Last night was “Art Evening” here in Lund, Sweden. It’s an annual event and 18 museums and galleries including Oberg PhotoGraphics are open from 5pm to 10pm.
This year I had chosen, together with my colleague and masterprinter Anders Jonsson, to work on a number of pieces shot by the iPhone, not the least by the use of the Hipstamatic app with its many options.
Lund Botanical Garden Fog @ Jan Oberg 2011
It seemed surprising to most of the visitors that one can create that sort of thing on a mobile phone! The other experiment we did for this evening was to print on anything but fine arts papers; we used leftover sheets of steel, copper, aluminium, painted steel, zink as well as canvas and watercolour paper.
Above you see is a couple of photos of those photos – an early morning shot from the Lund Botanical Garden – simple as it is, it’s was shot with Hipstamatic, processed just a bit in PhotoShop and then printed on brushed steel – not by the UV process but on an Epson 7600 inkjet printer designed for paper and canvasses!
I took these two pictures of the pictures in the morning sun and the shadow of an orchid in the window sill falls on it. What is more important is that with a metallic surface you get so many changes depending on the light that falls upon the sheet, your own angle, as well as reflecting a colour in front of it – for instance your blue sweater.
Printing on metals provides you not only with a different appearance of your motive – different from the result printed on paper; it also gives you not one but many different versions of your photo. You may even say many different works in one.
In the case above you see how the right-hand photo sparkles in a special way and you may associate to snow falling or the drops on every leaf and the fog in air reflecting in the morning light. It could not have been come through that way if printed on paper, not even glossy paper.
The new possibilities that emerge when you combine motive/focus with new techniques (iPhone + “apps”) and a much broader-than-usual choice of media to print on is plain fun and potentially revolutionary. We liked it and so did every visitor.
After all, what is the purpose of a picture if it doesn’t make you see, see more deeply, mindfully? If it doesn’t somehow attract your attention? Photography is all about seeing and experiencing the world in ways you normally don’t. A camera can see objects the human eye doesn’t – or rather the brain can’t process that fast.
Let’s try to bring that undefinable, magic, out – by whatever tools we can find.
And wouldn’t it be great if more people did not just upload raw, boring snapshots to their Facebook pages but began to use the new options and thereby created a more beautiful world by seeing it in new ways…limitlessly new ways – and sharing a little of its beauty?