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photo.. with gravy on top

July 4, 2007

I have just received an interesting email from the lovely and smiley Jessops’s employee, portrayed in the first photograph of my last post about Jessops. Apart of thanking me for his 15′ of fame, he also informed me that he is a music producer and photographer, and his website is

Looking at his pictures I really liked this one below and asked to know more:

Embrace by John Austin

The image has an obvious Holga feeling, nevertheless it is a digitally made photo with a very interesting technique involving some.. gravy too, yes indeed! Here’s what John wrote to me:

“I’ve been experimenting with “texture layers” on photoshop, to give the pictures a bit more depth.

For this picture, there are two layers: the original image, and a texture layer.

For the texture layer i basically took a picture of some paper with gravy poored over it. I then took this picture and put it on top of my original picture, then set the blending mode to multiply, and reduced the opacity. The detail from the texture layer now shows through onto the image. Details like the creases in the paper, and the brown from the gravy. I believe it gives the image a sort of aged feel.

But other aspects of the image totally contradict this. Like the extreme blur and extreme vibrancy of the green in the grass. These aspects were applied within photoshop also, as they are two traits that a “holga” camera is known for. I have a Holga, and i like it alot, and i like the images that it produces. So i just tried to recreate its magic on my digital images.

It’s not exactly the same as a holga image, if i wanted that i would of used my holga. I just like experimenting with my digital pictures. There’s a lot of possibilities, so you may as well try them”

Does it make sense? Yes, I think so. And although there might be other, digital ways to recreate texture within a picture, I find his technique fascinating.

Oh and something else, (following a previous point made in this blog, that many film vs digital arguments are sterile and misleading), it’s so interesting to see how people mix and reproduce film, digital files, ideas, food.. Creativity is endless!


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