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The Ruscha Variations

I'm not quite sure what my project is yet, but I've been thinking a lot about Ed Ruscha and James Turrell lately. There was a New Yorker profile of Ruscha and he has a show at the Getty in Los Angeles; Turrell is everywhere: LA, NYC, Texas and had his own profile in the New York Times.

I haven't had a new photo project since the beginning of the year and thought I'd try to find a way to use the aesthetics of each and create some nice images.

At the same time, I live in LA and so I drive everywhere, and what has happenned is there has been a court injunction to turn off the digital billboards in town. Now everywhere I go it's hard to miss these huge, empty black rectangles just dangling above the street. And there was the idea.

So I started mapping what I've seen and I went out and took some shots today.

I hope to have some actual images later this week. It's a trial run so we'll see what comes back. Maybe I'll use the class to detail my process from idea to raw image to final image.

I wound up taking a series of photos using bracketing to find out on the post end which setting was best for what I was trying to do. I am not sure I am there yet, but I did monkey around with one image. Here is the raw image:

And then here is the image now after working on it a bit:

So you can see how it changed: I brigthened it considerably to set off the billboard and then tried to get that ghostly background by using the diffuse glow tool and smart blur in Photoshop. I think this is what I am going for, but I want to play around with other exposures first to make sure I have a soild plan on how I am shooting and producing these images.


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