Roddy Williams – An ongoing portfolio

Surrealism

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My attitude to photography is coloured very much by my training and work as an illustrator. For me the camera is a tool for creating a visual image, rather than something that records reality. In actual fact I suspect that realism in photography is currently a little out of vogue. The camera has always been a manipulator of reality, and many artists such as Man Ray and Dora Maar have exploited this aspect of a camera’s and a darkroom’s capabilities. These days, where Photoshop has almost entirely displaced the darkroom, the possibilities for manipulation are much greater. Very few photographs remain unaltered. Even adjusting levels or contrast or indeed converting to black and white is the beginning of an abstraction from reality and I tend to manipulate more than most.
I used a combination of experimental techniques here. In the first instance, photographing a tv screen is something I tend to do regularly, and I also in this case moved the camera as the photograph was registering.
The remainder is pure Photoshop, playing with the dodge and burn tool, levels layers and painting in gossamer strands of hair.
I’m working on a series of these, which hopefully will have the effect of causing the observer to create their own narrative.

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