A stylistic choice and editing technique I’ve been experimenting with and a few of my favorite shots.
This week’s Sunday Series I wanted to feature a certain style choice I’ve been experimenting with during the editing process: pixelating my photos. I’ve previously discussed using reflections (here and here) to create faux double exposures as a style choice and how it can force you to look at things different and now I’d like to do the same with Pixelation. I find myself doing it more and more, and the fact that anyone would willingly and drastically lower their pixel count strikes me as ironic but mostly curious. I obviously wouldn’t do it if I felt it detracted from the picture quality, but in these select cases it enhances the shot, adds something to it. The digital camera was actually first invented way back in 1975, but wasn’t popularly used until the 1990’s and then like any new technology it went through a rapid progress that quickly made any older models obsolete. The big thing in the early models was pixels! Pixels pixel pixels, you needed to have the most you could; yet here I am in 2013 adding pixel filters to my images. Am I nostalgic? Is it an unintentional nod to Cubism? I’m not sure I know the answer, but as a photographer I think it’s important to experiment with new ideas and techniques as we search to develop our “voice.”
The first photo I can remember experimenting with this technique on was oddly enough a street artist’s rendition of Picasso’s Guernica. Odd because Picasso was one of the founders of the Cubism movement, so maybe I was subconsciously motivated to imitate his art? I’ve noticed with most of these photos that they have a few things in common: Strong lines, grid shapes, and open spaces. The large pixels are they themselves square in nature and I think it enhances characteristics are already ingrained in the photo; making the strong lines stronger and giving a texture to the negative space in the shots. What’s incredibly important is to reduce the opacity of the filter so that the essence of the original shot still exists. You want to enhance the image without destroying it. Obviously you can’t apply this to any picture and it looks awkward with most, but with these few selections, I’ve found it works very well.