One of the first digital mashup (or manipulated) images I ever did, dating from maybe 2000, when I was first starting to use a digital camera (I’d been using Photoshop for years, so I wasn’t a stranger to digital photography as such). I’ve always been fascinated by human bodies and landscapes (for me bodies are landscapes in ways I won’t explain here…), and it all came together for me around this time when I started playing with images like this in Photoshop. Within a year or two I’d started productively feeding an entire obsession…. Both images must have been taken on my old Kodak DC290, meaning the full size of the original images probably wasn’t much larger than the full size image you get here. The two images are pretty straightforward on their own — a friend of mine in my studio, blurred when the flash failed to fire, and a rather dull image of Bakersfield from somewhere on the Rosedale Highway.
I’ve told this story before, in more detail, but here it is again… Short form: I drive to Yosemite to take nice Ansel Adams-ish photos of beautiful landscapes with my medium format camera, and the only thing I return with that I actually like is this … a dead car in a big Central Valley rain puddle. Story of my photographic life, really (and the start of an unintentional series of “dead car” photos). The longer version: Sometime in the early 1990’s I took my new(ish) camera — a large Pentax 6×7 medium format film camera perfect for landscapes — up to Yosemite, mostly because I wanted to see if I could do something like those omnipresent Ansel Adams images you see everywhere in California, and because I also wanted to see if I could get the beautiful stretch of the Merced that runs through the valley beside Highway 140 from to El Portal to Mariposa. It’s one of those great California river canyon drives that I love so much — like the Walker and the American rivers, you drive right next to rushing water, something almost unknown in Australia, and you’re surrounded by subtly-dramatic high sloping canyon walls, here usually mostly grass- or […]