Photographing texture can help you look at bits and pieces of the world in different ways. First of all, with our eyes we view the world in three dimensions but our photographic interpretations are pretty much flat. So it is a challenge to visually represent “texture.” But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
Texture is defined as the way a surface, substance or piece of cloth feels when you touch it. The surface may, for example, be rough, smooth, hard or soft. In addition, in my search of texture I also seek to make everyday articles beautiful and the bland profound.
As artists/photographers we not only strive to capture what we see but also how we experience what we see with both our eye and our “heart.” Creating images of texture takes the challenge one step further: conveying to the viewer the sense of how the subject might actually feel to the touch. A great texture shot can reach out and grab you.
When the world news headlines scream “Disgusted” or “Disaster” or “Death” I often escape by creating tactile images to help me digest the despairing current events. Rusting metal, pumpkin piles, and a tapestry of garden straw flowers were all at hand this past week.
Smooth, rusty, tarnished and dull, metal easily gives up its age and provides the photographer with another great texture to work on. The weather worked on the side of a shed like a painter methodically using her palette. Soon to be demolished or forsaken, its panels surrendered to my abstracting imagination. Through the lens I felt its tiny rough mountains and sprawling silver tributaries.
Fabric is a huge part of our daily life: clothes, furniture, carpeting, walls, car interiors, silk scarves, wool wraps and curtains, to name just a few. In addition I love to photograph natural subjects but render them as impressionist tapestry. The multiple (8 images) exposure is my cross between Monet’s lily ponds and my hand block-printed Indian sari.
Add a few crackled pumpkins and the world’s surfaces are looking and feeling a little more worth walking among. Perhaps even with bare feet and an open heart/mind!