This is a revisit of a photo collaboration with Michael Anthony Farley from a portrait project with LED Baltimore from a few years back. Farley was at the time an active drag performer and huge Blade Runner fan. So we decided to integrate both interests, with a portrait concept based upon the candy eating geisha that is seen on digital signage throughout the film.
Recently, I’ve been going back through my archives of past work and picking up photographs from the cutting room floor, and taking them for an unbridled and exploratory adventure in Photoshop. Really, just taking an image and modifying it organically, with no real plan beyond whatever the current state of composition.
This is a technique I learned to appreciate with wood carving. When carving wood you can force or pursue specific imagery, but with the medium being an imperfect and organic material, I find my best work comes from going with the flow, finding the grain and working along it. This is particularly true when working with manual hand tools, like chisels and knives. The work is slow going and over time, as you continue to work the wood, you begin to feel rather than see what you’re working on. All in all, the process is quite cathartic and generally inspires work that is genrally more creative than any single concept or flourish.
This editing process isn’t much different. I apply many, lightly modified layers, primarily through brush work and finer (ab)use of the liquify tool. Rather than forcing photorealism, allowing imperfections in skin cloning and layer transparency to give the new image a surreal sense of movement, depth and emotion.