Ulrik Gliese - Visual Arts - Work Process
My image making process varies a lot depending on the work and the stage that the work is in. Sometimes it is spontaneous and free flowing. Other times it is thought out and controlled. In any case, the most important thing for me is that the work process is
a continuous flow of discovery and creation free from rules and open to new paths.
Making a photographic image is most often a two stage process. First, there is the photography that results in a negative, a transparency (positive), or a digital file depending on the methods and media used. Then follows the image processing to create the print based on the result from the first part of the process.
When I photograph, I often just let my eyes go on discovery and simply react to what I see. Later, when a series is forming, I may end up searching for subjects that will work for certain images that I have in mind.
I almost always visualize how the image will end up looking in print in terms of composition, tonal range, color and overall sense and feel. However, with respect to what the image conveys it varies much more. Sometimes, I have a clear sense of what the image tells me right away. At other times, I donít really know. I made the image because I reacted to what I saw in unexplainable ways. Then, during the image processing, and even after the print is created, the image will keep on speaking to me and lead me to new discoveries and increased insight.
Making the print is equally important to making the photograph. The artwork does not exist before the image processing and printing have been done. The final print is really the original work and it may vary greatly if made at different times in the career of an artist. I mean, we all change over time and our desired way of interpreting a given image material will change accordingly.
A lot of the way that an image ends up expressing itself stems from the image processing. In most of my images, the photography largely determines the contents, the composition and the basic expression. In other words, the photography will make or break the image. The image processing then brings everything into just the right balance. It makes the image shine while maintaining finesse, and express its contents with just the right feel of intensity and softness. In other words, the image processing adds visual and emotional depth to the image. Without this part of the process, the image would be crude and its expression harsh or dull like a piece of music played before the musician had a chance to interpret and practice it. It is, however, important not to overdo the image processing and completely remove the spark and spontaneity from the image.
The process of making art is wonderful and fulfilling, and it provides great freedom to do anything your heart desires. I do not believe in dogma and do not follow any rules in making my images. I will use any equipment, materials, processes and methods required and available that will produce the desired results. How can we even talk about rules when it comes to art? One of the purposes of art is to be able to discover and create free from rules and conventions. All aspects of our lives are so full of rules, and rules tend to make things dull.
Letís keep art fresh!
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