A Beginners Guide to Projection Art Photography

February 10, 2014 | Mark Goldstein | Photography Techniques | Comment |

Main Image: CC Image “Projection” courtesy of JonCarlosImages on Flickr.

Starting with black and white projections in the 60s and developing to colour through the years, projection art photography is not exactly a novel idea. But now as projectors improve and their colours and brightness become increasingly more defined and vibrant, projector possibilities are endless. Combine this with the infinite internet content and the only limitation is your creativity.

For the modern photographer wanting to branch out into projection art photography, colour is key. Ensuring your projected colours are as bright and vibrant as possible will give you the results you want. To do this, you need to understand a little about projectors and which specifications suit your purpose. So here is a quick guide to starting out on the projection art photography journey.

Projection art photography has become increasingly more popular over the years as photographers and artists have discovered this fantastically adaptable resource to produce art and photography. Most famously, photographer John French used projection art photography in the 1960s. He photographed models with floral and 60s style patterns projected onto their bodies instead of clothes. These black and white prints represent the versatile and exciting possibilities that projections can offer artists and photographers. With the internet full of content and content creation programmes, you can find or create any image/pattern/colour combination to project onto a wall, floor, person, or persons. There is no limit to the unique images you can produce with just a dash of creativity.

As an amateur/novice photographer or even a professional branching out into a new style of photography, researching and exploring previous photographers’ approaches to the medium is always a good starting point. Discovering what others have created using projection art photography offers a great source of inspiration, education and even understanding of the medium.

John French’s projection art photography is a great place to start when researching. His images are stunning and the use of projection is unique and innovative for the 60s. The quality of the projections is particularly impressive with sharp defined patterns covering the models’ bodies and effectively appearing as clothing.

There is a range of current photographers using projection art photography. Most importantly, many of the projects differ dramatically offering varied examples of projection art photography as well as demonstrating how projection content, placement and final frame can create stunning and unique art/photography.

Tom Eshchar created a project using naked models in various poses with a range of quite different images projected onto them. From angel wings to a painting, some of the projections consumed the model’s form while others became visibly integrated within the image.

Projection Art Photography: A Beginners Guide

CC Image “She’s a Flower” courtesy of Nikki Mann on Flickr.

Photographer Eva Mueller, on the other hand, took quite a different approach. Again using nude models, her projections of fruit, money, floral and industrial patterns have a very different interaction between model and projection. The projections are tailored to fit inside the model’s frame and each image interacts with the pose. For example, the model with a money projection holds a strong powerful pose while carrying shopping bags.

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