The Red Hot Chair

This soft, grainy image is my first attempt at using a Holga Micro indoors. I’m continually amazed at what can be achieved with what is essentially a small piece of plastic; a camera that has no back and no real viewfinder.

I wasn’t sure how I felt about the grain at first, so played with a couple of Photoshop filters. As you know, I’m not a big fan of the cheap gimmicks this part of software offers, but found myself getting quite excited over the “median” option.

Let me tell you why….

Berry's Bay by Roy de Maistre (1920)

Back in April, I was enchanted by show at the National Gallery of Australia called Misty moderns: Australian Tonalists 1915-1950. Neither big nor showy, the works seemed like spontaneous sketches, seemingly created by a few quick, bold brushstrokes. The resulting slabs of tone and colour put atmosphere ahead of detail, making for images that give a rough, yet simple and, ultimately, emotional impression of the subject.

Hawthorn Tea Gardens by Clarice Beckett (1936)

Pushing the “median” option a little too far reminds me of this effect — the subject is reduced and blurred until it appears as shapes filled only by tone and colour.

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