Saturday, March 26, 2011

Plume by Josh Martin

Plume, 2010 by Josh Martin
photograph printed on canvas

"Plume is a piece that's pretty characteristic of both my work and my process.

I came across this flat sheet of rusting metal lying in the back of a pickup truck in the desert in Nevada, and I thought, "Goldmine!" I crawled all over it and took a couple dozen photos, and when I was able to get back to my computer to upload and process them, this image immediately leapt out of the pack and promptly hogged all my attention.

As for processing, I prefer not to monkey super lots with the original images beyond applying a few very basic sliders to the entire piece. I have this rule for myself that I can't add or subtract individual elements or colors from the images, because to me, that feels like cheating, so I don't use paintbrushes or cloning tools or anything Photoshoppy like that. Everything has to already be there in the original photo - I'm just there to coax the good stuff to the surface and intensify the scene as necessary.

As for Plume specifically, the final image does this thing that I love where a relatively small patch of nondescript scrap material, when treated just right, ends up giving a powerful impression of vastness, of other-worldliness. As if entire underwater ecologies or planetary nebulae are hidden inside these bits of industrial detritus, just waiting to be discovered." - Josh Martin

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