Alternative Photography

OR-1030-2014-078

The question “Alternative to what?” might be fairly asked, but most of the photographs we see are normal, traditional examples of the medium. Whether in black and white or color, viewed on a printed page or a computer monitor, things usually look like we expect them to. Anything out of the ordinary stands out like a Picasso or Dali in your vacation photo album.

But photographers have always tinkered with processes, and the list of examples include bleach bypass, cross processing, cyanotype, double exposure, gum bichromate, infrared, pinhole, platinum, palladium, Polaroid art, and solarization. Most of these techniques have their roots in film, and so require(d) a wet darkroom. And while home darkrooms (think bathroom, with black plastic covering the window) have all but disappeared as film has given way to digital, the alternative processes continue to be practiced as always by a smallish number of photographers. Not surprisingly, as photographic software has evolved the look of many alternative processes is possible on our desktops without the physical requirement of a wet darkroom (a plus for many, a failing for others).

The example here was done in Topaz Adjust 5, using one of the Solarized Dreams settings in the Stylized Collection.

“Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” —Man Ray

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