Raymond St. Arnaud » Portfolio

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Outside the box was my first serious project in digital imaging. The key that allowed this development was the release of Lyson Archival Inks for the Epson 3000 printer. Until that point everything was transitory.

Armed with the ability to make prints I choose to examine converting photographs into images that reflected the imagery in printmaking. I leaned heavily on digital line drawing techniques that replaced etching, and the color is often reminiscent of lithographs.

The images come from a very wide time period and were collected as an ongoing activity.

 

This photography project had two sources of inspiration.

One was the thought that I was able to walk the streets of Paris, taking hundreds of photographs, but didn’t seem to have the capacity to do so at home.

The other was the motivation to become physically active by walking around my neighbourhood and city.

I began twin projects as blogs on the Internet. One was called, The Dysfunctional Photographer, the other, The Forced March.

The title, The Dysfunctional Photographer, reflects my need to rediscover the photographic possibilities in day-to-day living and the title, The Forced March, my need for physical activity.

The rules were simple. I had to post one photograph per day on each blog. The photographs could be anything of interest to me and my sensibilities. The origin of the photographs could be within my house or anywhere that I travelled in my day-to-day activity.

For the most part I restricted myself to using a point and shoot camera set to program mode. Doing so forced me to concentrate on visual response, instead of the camera.

 

The images were force processed in Photoshop to reflect my interest in exaggerating contrast, detail and colour. This is an extension of my experiments in the early 1970s with film-based photography. I will confess to having given up on the film-based concept. The number of copies, reversals, negatives, positives and film masks became overwhelming and impossible to track. I am grateful for the current digital options that allow me to pursue this interest again.

Both blogs continued for 100 posts, and were closed when I redirected my time and energy to a renovation project. I have re-purposed the images into hardcopy books, through Print-On-Demand technology.

This photography project had two sources of inspiration.

One was the thought that I was able to walk the streets of Paris, taking hundreds of photographs, but didn’t seem to have the capacity to do so at home.

The other was the motivation to become physically active by walking around my neighbourhood and city.

I began twin projects as blogs on the Internet. One was called, The Dysfunctional Photographer, the other, The Forced March.

The title, The Dysfunctional Photographer, reflects my need to rediscover the photographic possibilities in day-to-day living and the title, The Forced March, my need for physical activity.

The rules were simple. I had to post one photograph per day on each blog. The photographs could be anything of interest to me and my sensibilities. The origin of the photographs could be within my house or anywhere that I travelled in my day-to-day activity.

For the most part I restricted myself to using a point and shoot camera set to program mode. Doing so forced me to concentrate on visual response, instead of the camera.

 

The images were force processed in Photoshop to reflect my interest in exaggerating contrast, detail and colour. This is an extension of my experiments in the early 1970s with film-based photography. I will confess to having given up on the film-based concept. The number of copies, reversals, negatives, positives and film masks became overwhelming and impossible to track. I am grateful for the current digital options that allow me to pursue this interest again.

Both blogs continued for 100 posts, and were closed when I redirected my time and energy to a renovation project. I have re-purposed the images into hardcopy books, through Print-On-Demand technology.

I was standing in my driveway doing yard work, when a neighbor living across the street, drove home and stopped by to talk. He informed me that part of a major street was closed off for an auto show of antique cars.

A simple bit of information, not a new kind of event, but I was possessed with the need to go and take photographs. My desire could not have been any greater if I had been commanded to do so by a burning bush.

This was a return to a theme I had explored 20 years earlier. Like many such early works, it was short lived, as it lacked direction or sense of purpose. The concept was retained and lay dormant, waiting for a different sensibility on my part to explore this theme again.

Images were collected during 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. The first images were collected using a film camera. I began photographing with a digital camera in 2005. I decided to terminate the series in 2006. I had other images that were now of higher priority, other themes and other technical ideas that required exploration.

The title for the series and the individual images come from a connection to an economic viewpoint on the development of our society through the 20th century. Specifically the phrase “the Henry Ford economy”.

This relates to the creation of a middle class through the development of mass production techniques that made many goods plentiful and affordable. It was said that Henry Ford believed he had to pay his workers well enough so they could afford a lifestyle that would allow them to buy one of the cars they helped build.

The Reflections, of course, come from our own century. They are often obscure and subtle, sometimes a bit clearer, but always distorted; much like our view and understanding of what it would have been like to live in the “Henry Ford economy”.

The  images in this collection are in a book format.

As a student in 1974, in response to a challenge from an instructor, I devised a means of comparing multiple variables with a graphic image.

I was fortunate to find a former Engineering student, now studying in Fine Arts to write a program that ran on he Amdahl main frame computer at the University of Alberta. In due course the project became a project with a life of its own, divorced from course requirements. This period is represented by the first half of the book.

The second half, figurative drawings arose from the loss of a photograph in a University sponsored exhibition. I choose payment in computer dollars and explored the use of a large scale digitizing tablet. I would submit pencil drawings to the computing area. Someone would trace them with the digitizer and produce a pen and ink drawing on paper via a plotter.

I subsequently used the drawings as the basis for a series of paintings.

I have been fascinated by television imagery since my first viewing of test patterns in the front display window of a small town hardware store.

I eventually transferred that interest to ways of reproducing the effect on paper while a student in Fine Arts. Eventually, I succumbed to investigating the concept through image editing software on a computer.

The original photographs were colour negatives or colour slides. The original photos date back to the 1970s through to the 1990s. They are part of a life project of capturing images as they present themselves. The images were selected as being appropriate to the thought that being seen on TV is validation; of the moment, the place, the experience.

Random Walks . . . Paris comes from the kind of travel undertaken by my wife and I. We have no set itinerary, no guides, no arranged tours and minimal hotel reservations.

The "random walk" concept came to mind a number of years ago as a possible title for an exhibition of photographs of a different travel experience. The title has been resurrected to present the explorations during our trip to Paris. It encompasses day-to-day events and is organized around some recurring themes that evolved during the 10 day experience.

One of three books of photographs from the 'French collection'. This book encompasses photographs of day-to-day experiences while wandering around Paris and features common themes that evolved during the experience. The photographs have altered or manipulated color, contrast and detail, which is a continuing feature in my photographs.

It is not uncommon that a child will play more with the box, than with the contents. In my case I enjoyed and derived great benefit from seeing great art close up. But, I also had a great fascination with the structures that housed the art in Paris, and the secrets that lay in open view.

Those secrets take the form of form, pattern, color and detail. Using these components, one can create a new reality; a reality that can only be seen through isolation and exaggeration.

One of the three books of photographs from the 'French collection'. This book dwells and explores aspects of the museums normally ignored by most visitors, and features images with altered states of color, contrast and detail.

The idea for this series came to me while visiting the Pompidou Centre in Paris. This fabulous contemporary art gallery has a very distinct architecture. The distinctive green "Sortie" signs appear at every possible exit and everywhere that you can conceive as a path to an exit.

What caught my attention was the frequency of the signs and the variables of the doorways, in what one would expect to be uniform architectural elements. I continued the pursuit of sortie images while visiting other museums.

One of three books of photographs from the 'French collection'. This book documents "Sortie" signs and their immediate environment in Paris museums, and features images with altered states of color, contrast and detail.

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