Looking through the window

Looking through the window

So now we are looking at a photograph taken off the coast of the Portland, Oregon coast. It’s quite special for me because Bill Stirewalt, the photographer, who took this is a good friend and this is an exquisite photograph – a platinum print.

So, in looking at this you see a view from reasonably far away because you’re not going to get this broad a view from being close. For me, what I try to do then is to give it a view as if like I’m looking through the window at it. The window becomes my defining frame because I can’t see beyond what the window allows me to see.

I want to create the window effect which will also give this a 3rd dimension in order to achieve that. I took my same mat board that we discussed before, and what I did then is I raised it, I built it up the behind the mat board. I created an extra space behind it that allows this sort of shadow to be thrown on the image. So, depending on where the light is you’re going get a shadow and the shadow defines depth.

The idea then was to go with the lage mat because I want to create the space I want to hold and focus your eye. Remember white reflects all light so I wanted your eye to be captured and this is the space I felt we needed. Then we chose a black frame. The question is which black are we going to choose and I wanted to choose a black that was soft, that wasn’t a bright and strong black. This is almost a dark charcoal black and it’s got a little texture.

When things have texture, they reflect light differently because there are different depths within the texture. You have the deeper portion which will reflect light to you differently than the portion that is more on the face and because we decided to do a large mat, we decided to do a large enough frame to be able to contain everything.

Once again, it’s this concept of going with the white reflecting all light and black absorbing all light we are able to create the contrast point far enough away so that it forces your eye to remain on the content. Then when you have time to look and appreciate the scenery.

You can then focus on the details that are in the photograph. You can pick out the clouds. You can pick out parts of the beach. The rocks that are on the beach, little flowers and branches that are on the ground which you would see less if I allowed your eye to flow away because you wouldn’t want to focus on these without the frame holding your eye.


Dictated by John Daniel

Atelier Daniel

4625 Avenue Wilson,

Montreal, Quebec



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