Thursday, November 12, 2009

Origami Project

As of recently I started a new project based around origami, which is the art of folding paper. I'm not all that talented at folding paper, but someone close to me is, and has been helping me pursue this project in-depth. Together so far we have created three images. Already I have plans for at least two more. It would have been three, except Halloween's idea was pushed to the back of my mind in lieu of more pressing things.

Now that the opportunity has presented itself again though, two ideas are in the works to create two fresh images! One is going to be holiday themed, and thus won't be ready until around Christmas sometime, possibly not until the day of. The other I have been searching designs for, and deciding on how I want to light and colour it. I know the background will be blue, now I just have to decide on the colours of the origami in the photo. Not sure if I want to go with a cool-coloured theme, or maybe a contrast of some sort. It is quite the dilemma.

Eventually, I'd like to piece these pieces all together as a book of fine art available for purchase, but that's a bit of a ways off right now. I'd need a minimum of twenty-five photographs, and I'm nowhere near that. Someday though, someday. I'm aiming for the end of 2010, simply for the fact that getting the folding right can take a lot of time and practice. Mix that with brainstorming and you have quite the process ahead of you already. So this project will take a bit.

For now though, I'll share what I already have. If you'd like to see them at a larger size, please visit my Fine Art gallery at my website.

The lotus is what started it all. The person I'm close to who knows how to fold well was looking through one of his books of flowers one day, and I pointed out that I found that one very pretty. So he said he'd fold it for me. Seven tries later, plus one failure of my own, he created that. I folded the simple lily pad while he worked on the difficult stuff. Overall I'd say the folding took about four hours to get right. After that I set to dying the water blue for this shot, and then set everything up. The background is part blue-gel covered lighting bounced off a white reflector, and part water. I side-lit this with a soft box and a couple of go-bos to get the effect of the shadows you see. After doing the photography, I popped it into Lightroom and Photoshop to do some minor touch-ups. There were these horrid clumps of dye that needed to be smoothed out in the water, and a little dust on my lens.

This one was created with the complementary colour scheme in mind. That flower was such a pain to create for it, not because it was complicated, but because it had to be assembled. Each petal is made separately, and then hooked together. We're talking seriously time-consuming. The stem was a bit difficult too, since the first one wasn't strong enough to hold up the flower. So I had to find a different folding pattern to make it stronger. Overall though, the folding for this only took about three hours. I set this one up with the same side light, and put it on glass over a yellow-gel covered light that reflected off a white background. I aimed the light as well to create the spotlight effect you see. Took a lot of go-bos to control the light spill in this one. Not too much touch-ups though, just the same dust spots, and a few scratches in the glass to be rid of.

This piece took days to complete. It was created for a friend who was down, to raise her spirits, and thankfully well worth the effort. If you hadn't already noticed, this piece is photo-manipulation. It took about two hours total to fold both the butterflies properly and all the stars, but about four or five hours in Photoshop to get the image how I wanted it. This took a lot of patience in cutting out all the objects off the white background, smoothing the edges, and placing it how I wanted. After that I found the brushes I wanted to use, and went to town in designing. Overall, I really enjoyed the effect I created. The colour scheme is also on purpose.

Of the three, I'm not sure if I'd include the third one in the book I want to create, since it's nowhere near pure photography. But I still enjoy sharing it because it is a beautiful piece.

I hope you're looking forward to my newer origami pieces as well!

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