Jeff alu - WordPress.com

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6 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 10 μήνες)

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Jeff
Alu

(in his own words)

Overview

Jeff
Alu

is a freelance digital artist and
photographer who spends most of his
free time roaming California's desert
areas in an open
-
ended journey of
personal and visual exploration. His
black
-
and
-
white photographs play
with lighting, scale and perspective to
transform the mundane into
something ominous and alien. The
viewer tends to feel confused between
dimensions of reality and
surreality


Background

After two years of college (Eastman
School of Music) and needing some
time off from school, I landed a job at
the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena,
CA, even though I was a music
composition major. I suddenly found
myself working for the “Planet
Crossing Asteroid Search” (PCAS),
hunting for near
-
earth asteroids and
comets. It was all very procedural, not
artistic in any way, and I quickly
learned that I would rather be
elsewhere.



Inspiration

One thing that certainly stuck with me
from that time was the excitement of
the discovery of something new, not
seen before by anyone.


Search for discovery

I still craved the thrill of discovery. So I
replaced my search for objects in our
solar system with the search for
objects on our home planet, in search
of the unknown. Not an easy chore,
since the surface of our planet had
long
-
since been completely recorded
via imaging satellite. So I scaled down.
I began to search for the small, the
seemingly insignificant, the unspoken
-
for. And I continue that search today.



Camera
equipment

I don’t work with professional
-
grade
cameras, and have never owned one. I
use cheaper point and shoot cameras
without any special lenses or filters.
Rarely do I use a tripod.


Shooting

style

My shooting style is very spontaneous.
Very rarely do I plan anything out, and
it’s the element of surprise and
discovery that drives me forward.
While I do enjoy traveling distances to
obtain my shots, I realize also that
there are many, many great shots
waiting to happen right next to me. I
just have to stop, breathe, and observe
to find them. That can be a challenge
at times.



Shooting
technique

I usually photograph very quickly, and I
don’t hang around in one location for
very long. I find that the more I think
about things, the less interesting the
photographs become. Or the more I
know about a location ahead of time,
the less interested I am in
photographing there. I like to
“discover” as I photograph, and that’s
when I take my best shots.



Photoshop

Photoshop is my “second camera.” In
Photoshop, I look at my “data
collection” and infuse the photos with
the emotions and visions I originally
felt and saw at the time of the actual
shoot.



Image
Processing

I look for ways to create an organic,
and even traditional, feel to my
images. My processing techniques in
Photoshop are very basic, converting
to black and white, using the dodge
and burn brush, a little sharpening
here, some blur there. I don’t work in
layers when processing, I just do
everything to the original image layer. I
like to keep it basic. I think I would
probably be doing the same kinds of
things if I were working in a traditional
darkroom.



Processing
techniques

I
always
strive to make things
interesting, if possible. Many of my
images are dark. I’m just trying to
create a more powerful image, and
darkness sometimes solves this
problem for me. Darkness is a great
way of getting rid of extraneous parts
of an image and homing in on what I
feel is important
.


High contrast gives the images more
impact, at least for the kinds of things
I’m trying to express. Indeed, it does
enhance the abstraction as well, which
helps to take the viewer out of reality,
at least a little.




Evolving
Style

My technique always evolves. Back in
the beginning, my shots were cropped,
sharpened, with perfectly straight
horizon lines, and I was striving for
“perfect” compositions. Now, I often
use tilts, blurs, and I usually don’t crop
at all. I find that without cropping, I
sometimes discover interesting
compositions. Just when I think I’ve
found the perfect technique, I discover
new methods. I’m always finding ways
of improving or changing techniques,
it’s all very organic.


Photography as
a way of seeing

Doing photography has taught me how
to see in 2D. We’re used to walking
around, seeing everything in 3D.
Everything looks great in 3D. But stop
walking and look at the same scene,
from the point of view of a camera. It
can become less interesting when seen
that way. Doing photography has really
taught me to notice interesting
compositions that I would normally
just walk past. And these compositions
are available to us all the time,
everywhere. You just have to stop and
look. Otherwise they fly on by
unnoticed.



Photography as
discovery

Certain things excite me: patterns and
compositions which somehow come
together to form a statement so
complete and startling that they must
be recognized; A knowledge that these
patterns and compositions are ALWAYS
present, everywhere



Reactions to work

I don’t want my shots to be too
“obvious,” as in, “Oh, there’s a picture
of a rock.” I want to try to give that
rock some kind of alternate life, to
make it more than just a rock, if
possible. As far as reactions to my
work, they really have a wide span.
From the very same image, I’ve gotten
reactions such as “turbulent,”
“calming,” “apocalyptic,”
“inspirational.” I’m always glad when I
create a photograph that brings out
these kinds of diverse reactions,
because I think then I’ve done my job.



Art

subjects

I’m much more interested in finding
interesting, surreal scenes that are in
the real world. Almost like they could
have been created from scratch with a
computer, but are in fact, real. I guess
I’m interested in showing the kinds of
fantastic things that do exist in the real
world, that are often overlooked. Art is
everywhere.



Influences

Greg
Fisch
:
http
://www.gregfisch.com/BW_Photographs.htm

David
Fokos
: http
://
www.davidfokos.
net

Keith
Carter: http
://
keithcarterphotographs.com
/
images.html



Project

Take a walk. Notice objects you have
walked by countless times before. See
if you can discover a new perspective
of the object that hasn’t been thought
of or seen by any one but you before
this moment. Take photos from all of
these new angles and perspectives.


Do this for a total of 3 newly re
-
discovered objects

Project

Choose an existing photo. Using
P
hotoshop, alter the image
just
beyond what someone would expect
to
see. Using color balance, contrast,
blurs, or anything else,
s
ee if you can
manipulate the image into a tenuously
balanced place between real and
unreal.




Project

Choose an existing photo. Using color,
blurs, contrasts, or any other
techniques, see if you can infuse the
image with an emotion.


Using the same photo but different
techniques or combinations, see if you
can manipulate the image to elicit a
different emotion.


Repeat for a total of 3 emotions; all
using the exact same photo.

Bibliography

http://www.jeffalu.com/


http:
//
photographyinterviews.blogspot.com
/2010/03/
jeff
-
alu
-
desert
-
dreams
-
jeff
-
alu
-
works.html