Category - Exposed

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Spoiler Alert!

In my 'Exposed' series of articles I reveal some of the secrets behind how I created my images.  If you don't want to know how I made this image, then STOP reading now!

Cascade - abstract art by Jane Trotter

I always like to challenge myself in my photography. Especially with triptychs, it can be extremely difficult disassembling an image and then reassembling it back together with a completely new concept and vision.

Constructing ‘Cascade’ (and I really do mean ‘constructing’ as it felt like a building project at times) really kicked my creative juices into overdrive!

Paper Trails

I’d been playing with paper in a previous photo shoot – check out the Exposed on ‘Astral Plane’ and ‘Mystique’ – and decided to revisit my colourful selection to see if I could come up with something slightly different. In ‘Astral Plane’ and ‘Mystique’ I’d used a slow, circular motion with the camera, generating very smooth and flowing shapes.

Now I wanted to highlight the more angular and jagged edges of the paper, so moved my camera in a more linear and jerky style.

Original source image for the triptych 'Cascade'
Original source image for the triptych ‘Cascade’

This is the original, source image for ‘Cascade’. I’d managed to capture a really zigzag, geometric feel and achieved what I was after. However, only the right two thirds of the image were usable (the far left was pretty indistinct and didn’t contain much interest).

Not to be deterred by this limiting factor, I set about deciding how I was going to crop the image to construct my triptych. In the end, I kept the crops pretty straightforward, conservative even. They all ended up being vertical cuts of varying lengths and all in the same area of the photo.

Putting it all Together

What do I do next? I sat at the computer looking at these for a long time. Sometimes I just need a bit of time and space to truly absorb what I’m seeing and allow my subconscious to take hold of and embrace the connections.

The more I looked, the more I started to imagine a series of steps cascading downwards. The challenge then became how to position and orientate the panels so that I could maximise their descent.

I put my construction hat on and got to work. The series of images below present how I put it all together. You can see I only kept one panel in its original orientation and rotated and flipped the other two.

My triptych staircase finally took shape. I thoroughly enjoyed assembling the panels, although I must confess to a degree of bewilderment and indecision at the outset. Ultimately, I’d solved my construction conundrum and could happily cast my eyes up and down my zany, abstract staircase.

About the Author

Jane Trotter is an abstract photographer living in Dunedin, New Zealand. Reimagining everyday objects found around the home, Jane transforms them into colourful and dramatic pieces of contemporary art.

Jane Trotter