I've been working on setting up a Digital Alchemy Gallery on this site. I was going to say that I no longer work in this idiom when I realized that I've actually got several new works that clearly fall into the category. Its strange how our minds can create false ideas about how we define ourselves and our work. As of this post, this piece is now called Diary of a Root Sprite. We'll see if that sticks. It is essentially done, perhaps a few minor tweaks, but nothing that could be noticed on the web will change. (The piece is 25" wide and 75" tall)
This particular piece results from several images acquired on the summer 2006 road trip. As I motored north on US 395 , making the return loop, I got close to the Oregon Border where I spotted this scruffy tree along side the road––a Pinyon pine I think. I always keep my eyes out for trees that have good separation from there environment.
In photography, separation of the subject matter from the background can be very important, especially with trees. Most trees stand near other trees and the fractal complexity of the branches blend the edges of one tree to another and make it very hard to 'see' a clear image of the subject. In everyday life our 3D binocular vision solves this problem for us and allows us to appreciate a single tree in a forest. But in the 2D world of photography this is not possible. This is why so many images taken in forests are disappointing. You usually need to be thinking about separation when photographing in nature. A lone tree on top of a hill is the best possible separation of all and this was the case here.
I combined this image with another image I made under a tight windblown spruce forest along the Oregon coast--an image so tangled with dead branches that it reminded me of roots in an underworld hollow. The final element is from a scan of a painting I did some years ago, Acrylic on Panel. I scanned it at various stages and this was from the halfway point. I then took half of the face on this painting and flipped it so that a new face appeared, a face strangely inhuman due to the symmetry (most human faces are somewhat unsymmetrical and nothing makes someone look a little odd like doing a mirror flip on their face and making them perfectly symmetrical. Try this out and compare a left side flip with a right side flip. One person can sometimes look like two siblings rather than a single individual. Click here to a get a page that further describes the process behind the Root Sprite. You see, it already has a different title. I'll have to blog on the subject of titles soon.