Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Take a Walk!

Along with yesterday's post about photographing the cherry blossoms, spring is a great time to take nature photos and turn them into thermofax screens.  A walk around your neighborhood or a special outing to a park or scenic location will provide many opportunities to capture photographic images to use in your work.
Look at your subject with the idea that you want to have the background as clear as possible.  Maybe you want to shoot it from below so it is framed by sky.
You can also block out background clutter by holding up a plain piece of paper or fabric behind the image. The color you use will depend on the contrast you want to obtain between the image and the background. Here a black canvas is held behind the plant to eliminate similar colored background.
After you download the photo, it's a lot easier to remove the background with photo editing software.
Above, the background of the rocks is easier to work with than the ground or foliage might be.

Thermofax screens burn best when there is high contrast - NO shades of grey!  Some phone camera apps can turn a picture into a sketch-like image and that may help you to decide if you have taken the photo as you want it to burn on the screen.  Flora is a great way to start using photography for your custom imagery.  It is plentiful and stays still when you take a picture.  :)  Don’t forget to look for design sources from winter that still linger in the landscape as you walk.  
If you can pick your flora, you can press and then photograph it or lay it on a piece of plain felt and photograph from above.  Using the solid background keeps you from having to edit out a lot of clutter in the photo. 
Of course, you are not limited to pictures of flora, but it is a great place to start and to practice your photography skills with the end product (a thermofax screen) in mind.

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