I discovered the following color expression as I started to work on the Gradient project in July-August 2007, Documenting the rapid change in the landscape which characterizes the Coastal Road (from Tel Aviv to Haifa). When I looked at the pictures, I felt a great disappointment, for they did not reflect what I experienced in the field. They were similar to what I saw but did not make visible the heavy heat I felt on my flesh and the bright light that strike the eyes.
A few weeks after I began, Adobe released the beta version of Lightroom software into the digital space. I started to use it and found the familiar Hue/ Saturation tool from Photoshop, but visually it was different. It was organized similarly to an equalizer in music systems. This fresh arrangement of indicators made me look at appearances that combine color and black and white differently than I knew and thinking about color as representing other values than a realistic representation of detail.
At the same time, I also looked at the engravings made in the country in the 19th century, in particular, I focused on David Roberts's painted etchings, as they reflected light and color experience.
When I removed the colors using this tool, I received a muddy gray picture. So I increased the contrast and highlights. Although what I'm going to say will be trivial to any painter, it was a discovery for me: In the black and white picture, the contrast arises from differences in luminosity. While in color, the contrast appears from the balance between cold and warm tones. As I increased the brightness and contrast, I reproduced the expression of the bright light experience I felt while standing in the field - a light that forces me to close my eyelids. Then I started to bring the colors back into the picture in a measured and variable way, and I also changed the tendency of some of the colors to cool and warm tones. At that moment, the meaning of the colors changed. Instead of representing the details realistically, they rendered other values expressing the reality I experienced: heat, glair, dryness, and growth.
From that moment in addition to the documentary aspect, I also began to explore photographic color palettes. This investigation is related to an early concept in black and white photography- the Pre-Visualization: The photographers had a set of color filters they placed in front of the lens and rendered the natural colors into different black and white palettes. So did I. When facing the landscapes, I learned to see the possibilities in my mind. I was glad that I was continuing a photographic tradition and maybe adding something new of my own.
I photographed the landscapes for three years (2007-2010). I named the project "Gradient" because:
List of photographs