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Photos, Painting & Richter

January 18, 2012

Shot with Hasselblad + Polaroid back + Fuji fp-100c film.
. . . . . . .

This photo looks like a painting to me. The colors, tones and soft edges are the result of using instant film and the Hasselblad Zeiss lens, I think.  It makes me think of some of Gerhard Richter’s paintings (which look like photographs) – his still life “Flasche mit Äpfeln (Bottle With Apple)” or his candles (“Zwei Kerzen (Two Candles)”). 

When I saw the Richter exhibition at the Tate Modern in London, I kept thinking about how some of his painstakingly detailed paintings look like photographs – something he is famous for doing.  And I wondered … would it be possible to do the opposite?  To take a photograph that really and truly looks like it was painted (and not just a photograph of a painting)? 

I think shooting film is one way to try to do it.  The emulsions in film seem to mimic certain qualities of paint.  It was interesting to see that the gauzy effects inherent in polaroid film or the Fuji fp-100c that I used above can make it look like a painting, too.  I’d like to keep working on this.

  1. January 18, 2012 12:21 pm

    this photo is a confession,
    reveals a secret and a regret

  2. January 18, 2012 12:23 pm

    i find that a lot with polaroids. and it’s one of the reasons i love them so.

  3. marthasnail permalink
    January 18, 2012 12:39 pm

    a really lovely, thoughtful post.

  4. January 18, 2012 12:46 pm

    Love that inky blue spill.

  5. January 18, 2012 12:54 pm

    Nice, Brian. My Hasselblad + Polaroid back shots come out looking like paintings, too. I’ve noticed it, but I’ve never stopped to consider why. So thanks for this.

  6. January 18, 2012 1:03 pm

    nothing short of gorgeous. you are so right too- look at that pillow…
    the painter (and photographer) and lover of Richter in me is nodding emphatically.

  7. January 18, 2012 1:29 pm

    I read once about an artist that would take a polaroid (not sure which kind of film) and then use a brush on the surface to manipulate the chemicals before it dried to create abstract paintings. Also, and I can’t seem to remember names at all, there is definitely an artist out there creating photographs that look like paintings, but it’s more of a trompe l’oeil set up than the quality of the photo itself.

    Anyway, great post. I look forward to your own artistic discoveries.

  8. January 18, 2012 1:48 pm

    I recently purchased a polaroid back for my Hassie too and am enjoying learning to use it. It does have an unusual quality about it. Love your post

  9. January 18, 2012 2:40 pm

    lovely shot, Brian. You have probably done this already but when you peel away the polaroid after development you should try and use the emulsion side to transfer the image onto textured paper. Think it would have worked nicely with this shot.

  10. January 18, 2012 3:10 pm

    beautiful and relaxing to look at

  11. Sue permalink
    January 18, 2012 3:33 pm

    I loved the Richter exhibition. You have used the inspiration to great effect..

  12. January 18, 2012 6:58 pm

    Just the loveliest shimmer… want to crawl in.

  13. January 18, 2012 7:38 pm

    Oh, thanks for introduce me to Gerhard Richter work, I like it… and your photo, the blue is amazing.

  14. January 18, 2012 10:06 pm

    A little Miles (Davis, of course), a shot of brandy (in a whiskey glass) and someone you love on the opposite end of that sofa…

  15. January 19, 2012 1:33 am

    I absolutely love how this came out

  16. January 19, 2012 9:29 am

    love the color contrast and the soft lighting

  17. hana ryan permalink
    January 20, 2012 1:22 pm

    i love this.

  18. January 21, 2012 1:08 am

    Stunning–photo, concept, post. The blue! The pillow! The lower slats of the table! Even the comments are beautiful. Way to spread the love.

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