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Chinese Brush And Seal

I'm having some nice insights working with the Chinese brush. It's astonishing how one simple tool is used in such a complex way. The tiny little moves you make with it have such import. To be able to tone down and center my energy enough to become aware of this is a huge success for me. I feel that as a westerner I live so externally. The Chinese personality seems much more subtle.

This Image 'Chinese Brush and Seal". Elena Ray Copyright 2007.

With this image I really wanted it to be a black and white. I worked it for multiple files (I save working files in sequential order so that I can always revert back to a previous version if needed.) in black and white, really working the tones in a quest to balance this somewhat teetering composition. I printed it multiple times on Kozo but was never satisfied with the result. Can't seem to get where I want to go with black and white-(I'm love sick for the old chemical stained scratched negative light leak Holga camera qualities the Eastern European photographers are getting with their work). Finally, with this image, I laid a blended layer of the original file in as just a color over the black and white layer. Then I laid another normal original color layer in at 50%. It's interesting to me to see how creating a black and white "mask" beneath the color layer allows one so much control in producing a color photograph...This discovery will be very useful to me I think. I'm pleased with this finished file as a straight color photograph; it's clean and simple. I'm not pleased that I seem unable to master my own direction! The traditional Chinese colors are so wonderful though-so what was my thinking?

Photo credits: Elena Ray Microstock Library © Elena Ray.

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