In the summer of 2001 another photographer I know exhibited some pictures that just blew me away. He was very happy to share the information on the technique with me and I soon had the necessary gadgetry to do these terrible things myself.
The effect is to take a nice, normal picture and turn it into what looks like an Impressionist painting. The basic technique is to project the image onto a screen and distort the projected image. When you're happy with the way it looks, you take a picture of the distorted image. If you didn't shoot the original image on slide film you simply shoot a slide copy of it. Yes, you gain a little contrast and lose a little detail, but considering what else you're going to do to the image, that's not a real problem.
The basic technique for doing the distortion is pretty old and well known, but it's always been a bit of a studio curiosity. Then, in the late 1980's, a gentleman named Chris Beltrami hit upon the idea of projecting slides and distoring the projected image. He sells a kit to get you going quickly.
Because I like this technique and play with it every so often, I'm doing this section as a sub-main. I'll add sets of images on the usual (i.e., random) schedule.
Be sure to click down from the thumbnail gallery to the frame-by-frame gallery - the thumbnails are small enough that the effect is almost completely removed.
Interested in having me take an Impressionist Portrait of you?
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