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!

A Touch of Red - Jane Trotter

Well, it’s no surprise what these are! This is probably my most easily discernible image (even without the helpful title). Yes, I have immortalised my fingerprints.

What may be slightly less discernible is how I made this image. No, I did not dip my fingertips in red paint.

I played with a bucket.

I really enjoyed the strong backlight and how the pads of my fingers pressed against the plastic, providing a slightly darker appearance than the rest of my fingers.

Here’s an example where my fingertips suggest three, mysterious and disturbing hooded figures, advancing in the twilight.

3 Hooded Figures - Jane Trotter

Somewhat starker and simpler (and looking more like fingers) is the ‘out of the camera’ shot for ‘A Touch of Red’.

Original image for 'A Touch of Red'

Of course, in the original, there’s absolutely no hint of red, and it’s reasonably far removed from what I ultimately ended up with.

This is where I embarked upon a bit of a journey. Back in the day when I had very little skill in Photoshop and only possessed a rudimentary grasp of the basics, my ‘playing’ was not particularly sophisticated.  For example, I would tweak levels, contrast and brightness, and hue and saturation to see what enhancements I could make.

Sometimes curiosity got the better of me and I went out on a limb, tweaking these elements to their extreme, just to see what effect they’d have on the image. I’m very glad I did, as ‘A Touch of Red’ is the result of such daredevil experimentation!

It’s certainly been a while since I made this image, so I can’t take you through exactly what my processes were. Frankly, they were probably incredibly unstructured, with a lot of toing and froing and a fair amount of luck thrown into the mix!  However, these four intermediate shots I’ve put together will hopefully give you an idea.

The progression towards 'A Touch of Red'

What appeals to me the most about ‘A Touch of Red’ is its simplicity. It is what it is, and nothing more. No pretence. no artifice. It’s direct and straightforward. A good philosophy for life maybe…

A Touch of Red - Jane Trotter

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