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Gum printing and Photoshop. Light sensitive materials exposed by sunlight, negatives created with an Epson printer. Meet Brian Taylor, a photographer who combines the love of 19th and 21st century processes to create striking images, each a unique masterpiece with a handmade quality.
In this installment of The Creative Spark, Brian talks about why he uses historical processes and shows how he combines them with Photoshop and other modern imaging tools. We follow Brian as he creates a digital negative, exposes a print, and then adds additional layers to create a final image.
(music playing) The book format allows me to combine one image with another image. It allows me to mix words with images. A book allows you to tell a larger story or larger tale than any one single photograph. (music playing) What I am going to do now, I am going to tear off these margins so that the image fits inside the handmade book that I have waiting for it.
I first fell in love with the idea of handmade books maybe twenty years ago, because it allows me to say more than you can say with just one image. Plus I just love texture. You can see, my edges aren't really clean and sharply cut; they are torn, deckled edges. (tearing sound) So the margins are gone, the registration marks look much cleaner. It looks 100% better already. You've got to fold it in half so that it becomes pages, and we'll stitch it into this book, waiting for one more desert image.
This is a book that contains a lot of me. I think that's what each artist has to offer the world: part of themselves. (music playing) Well, now that we've attached the print and sewn all our hard work into this book, now we have to make the tough decision of which opens spread to show. I actually often prefer to show it behind a Plexiglas in a shadowbox frame, which actually annoys a lot of people. The real book lovers in the world say that I have entombed these books.
It doesn't bother me to make art that contains images and layers that can't be seen. But each page took so much work. Here are black-and-white toned prints, other gum prints, gelatin silver prints made in a darkroom. It's so hard to choose which image to show. I think I'll show a page that sums up the desert most of all, and I like this spread, which is very bright and shows the suguaros in the Papago Mountains in Scottsdale. And even if people can't see the underlying pages, they can sense it's a book filled with memories of mine from the special place: the desert.
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