Home EdizioneEd. 12 Art and the levels of graphic information
La foto svelata; L'Arte e i livelli di informazione grafica

Art and the levels of graphic information

Photos and written by Simone Angarano means of expression. The use of the auxiliary flash allows for full creativity. It is not a matter of taking photographs of things but of changing the way the world appears through pre-visualisation. This kind of expressionism requires a courage that is rare nowadays. The use of flash in its versatility allows us to be photographers who illuminate ideas and not just ‘things’. It allows one to reason and see by levels of graphic information, illuminating each one in the way one prefers. This is vision, this is art, this is the true construction of the message. To create striking images with flash you have to think like an artist, this does not mean buying the latest gadgets and accessories, it means seeing things differently and being aware of our surroundings and realising that we have the power to change their appearance. La foto svelata; L'Arte e i livelli di informazione grafica Thinking as an artist means realising that the world is not made up of subjects alone and starting to ask questions: “What would happen if you lit the background instead of the subject? What if we modified that light, widening or narrowing its beam?”. These questions should be repeated for each plane of our shot as we have the tools to light anything and in any direction. The answers to the questions will increase the skill of the photographer and as experience increases the number of flashes used will also increase. The concept will no longer be about a light for the subject but about a general view. It is about seeing the world differently from others to illuminate emotions. Young artists must learn to see the world as ‘layers of graphic information’ and not as a constant succession of subjects. There are five basic graphic elements: lines, shapes, patterns, colours and tones. You have to think that your subject is a layer as can be the background behind him, the near tree , the car in front of him etc. etc. . The use of various flashes allows you to light each layer independently, changing the meaning of each image and the way it is read by the observer. You have to be determined when working at different levels of the image, adding and subtracting data until the overall view is exactly what you want. La foto svelata; L'Arte e i livelli di informazione grafica The process of constructing the message using the separate flash is quite simple. Of course you always start with an idea, but before you try to realise it ask yourself what you want to communicate. Having done this, choose the shooting point and focal length according to the perspective you have in mind, so cut and depth of field. Having done this, move on to the background and decide how you want it to be represented. If the background is at a great distance then adjust the aperture and shutter speed to make it look the way you want it to, mentally taking into account any physical or logistical obstacles that might later be in the way. Having done the background, move on to the next layer and illuminate it (with a flash or even a reflective panel), repeat these steps one layer at a time until you get to the target.
The trick, of course, is to identify the layers that need to be lit, leaving out those that don’t. How quickly you make all these decisions will depend both on how much equipment you have and on your experience. The process is, I admit, difficult for a beginner and may seem complex and time-consuming but I assure you that it is just a matter of practice.  Practice that will allow you to be the master of your art and your view of the world, giving you a unique vision of photography.

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