Fifteen Clouds

The Cloud Series represents an investigation into the use of digitized photography and Iris printing to transform imagery as opposed to making the type of contrived images so often seen in these techniques. The original photographs were created using a Polaroid Spectra camera and film, with the subject matter harking back to the series Equivalence created by Alfred Stieglitz. The premise of his photographs was that clouds are there for everyone to use; my challenge was to make personal images which could evoke a myriad of feelings.

The process I employed is simple in concept, yet complex in execution. The modest 2″x3″ prints were scanned at very high resolution and then the images were taken into Adobe PhotoShop and manipulated. My overriding goal was to find a way to create a tonally rich image that evoked in the viewer all the delight and imagination one experiences when looking at clouds. In order to achieve a rich range in tones, I chose to print a seemingly monochromatic image using full-four color when outputted to an Iris Printer. I chose to keep the size small (4″x5″) in order to maintain a relationship to the scale of the originally captured image and also to create a visual context which can afford the viewer an intimate experience.

When exploring the Iris Print process I chose to draw upon ideas and techniques that I have previously employed in creating photogravure prints. After much experimentation and lots of trial and error, I found a way to print on a Paper Colle using a copper plate to create both an embossed space for the image to sit and an ultra-smooth surface to print on. The resulting print has the rich tonal qualities I was after as well as great depth of surface, both qualities I have found lacking in traditional Iris Prints.