1.4 Fire in the Sky Motion and Sound

Communicating Kyrgystan: Photographic reflections

Communicating Kyrgyzstan is an exploration of the ways in which processing experiments - particularly in DxO Analog Effects filters - can create new meanings and understandings about Kyrgyzstan.


Fire on the Mountain experiments with a specific set of creative prompts that explicitly ask for different extreme interpretations - defining the meaning, making things bold, making them ambiguous, revisiting the meaning, creating fantasy, adding sound and motion and so on. Using Analog FX this lead to some ghostly, apocalyptic visions. The most dramatic fires are completely digitally invented. But raise some questions that presaged the underlying political 'fires' of turmoil of 2019. And the threat of climate change that is as real here as elsewhere.

Washbasin with Rag starts with a photograph of the washing area in the house I lived in. The contrasty black and white image with the crack of light round the corner is very much a representation  of the scene itself in the harsh midday. I used multiple exposure in Analog FX to add the beatific photograph of the mountain at the back as an experiment in juxtaposition of alternative visions in saturated colour like a movie set. Challenging my/our Western views of the rural exotic picturesque. Fine for a short time, but much less fun in freezing cold winter.

Bottles or 'the party is over' echo the 'late photography' of war photographers like Roger Fenton. Except I left the bottles exactly where I found them - at the top of a beautiful mountain path in the early morning. This series is a much more nuanced series looking at the way in which subtle differences in colour/monochrome, tone, focal structure, vignettes and framing alter what we look at and notice in an image.

Trees looks at potential meanings that can be created through monochrome styles with different toning, selective focus and framing. Potentially 'rescuing' and making use of a conventionally 'picturesque' image that has serious lens flare.

Audience feedback indicated that this was interesting not only for me, but also in Kyrgyzstan. Particularly the Fire on the Mountain images and misty tree images.

Fire on the Mountain

  • 1.5 Fire in the Sky Key Moment

    1.5 Fire in the Sky Key Moment: The key moment of the scene is the fiery sunset. I intensified this through duplicating 1.1 in Photoshop and using Vivid Light blend mode.

  • 1.10 Fire in the Sky Consider Again Your Motivation

    1.10 Fire in the Sky Consider Again Your Motivation Here I rethought the concept a bit. This is a more melancholy and thoughtful image. I adjusted the control points in SFRX from 1.1 to make the buildings look more etherial and vulnerable between the sunset and the encroaching grass and weed flowers. I would like to make these more distressed.

  • 1.8 Fire in the Sky Combine Arbitrary Content

    1.8 Fire in the Sky: Combine Seemingly Arbitrary Content. In Analog FX Vintage Film Effects I added a random orange colour streak and film strip frame. This was arbitrary in the sense that it was a selection of the most contrasting elements from a random selection. But I find the result very evocative - many older photos from Kyrgyzstan have these dull colours, particularly when printed on cheap paper.

  • 1.12 Fire in the Sky 12: Make it ambiguous

    1.12 Fire in the Sky 12: Make it ambiguous Fire in the Sky make it ambiguous. Using Analgo Pro on 3 the image takes on a nostaligc feel old film feel where the time of day is unclear.

  • 1.7 Fire in the Sky Fantasies and Daydreams

    1.7 Fire in the Sky Fantasies and Daydreams: I wanted a dreamy, other-worldly image. I used Wet Plate 9 filter in Analog Pro. As this was a 'adydream' albeit a bit of a nightmare, I retained the desaturated colour. I chose film streaks that looked like figures going across the screen.

  • 1.4 Fire in the Sky Motion and Sound

    1.4 Fire in the Sky Motion and Sound: Here I used the liquify filter in Photoshop twice, blended in Vivid Light to introduce a feeling of emotional turmoil and apocalyptic upheaval of the mountains and wind. I think this concept has potential that I could explore further for more powerful images. Using Difference Blend Mode was also interesting.

  • 1.14 Fire in the Sky: Bounce Around At Speed

    1.14 Fire in the Sky: Bounce Around At Speed. I wanted to get a feeling of fire and abstracted dynamism. I flattened and duplicated 1.5 and used Exclusion Blending to get a bigger range of colours.

Washbasin with Rag

  • Wash Basin with Rag 2

    Wash Basin with Rag 2 Silver FX Film Noir 1. Focusing on light - and raising questions about what might be round the corner on the right.

  • Wash Basin with Rag: Still LIfe 6.

    Wash Basin with Rag 6. AnalogPro multiple exposure with mountains, framed as a 'picture'.

  • Wash Basin with Rag Still Life 7.

    Wash Basin with Rag 7. AnalogPro multiple exposure with mountains, framed as a 'picture'. Blended in photoshop with SFX Film Noir. To juxtapose the beauty and simplicity of life in Baizakh. And make the scene more colourful and optimistic. Which is what I saw.

Bottles or 'the party is over' annotated slideshow

Bottles 2  Colour Nostalgia

Bottles 2 Colour Nostalgia

Bottles 2 Landscape in Colour Analog FX colour wetplate with saturated colour on control points. I wanted to contrast the saturated bottles against a faded, tired landscape.

Trees: annotated slideshow

Morning Light, Baizakh, Kyrgyzstan

Morning Light, Baizakh, Kyrgyzstan

Trees processed and cropped following feedback from Cambridge Camera Club.

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