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The Long Road: A Senior Black + White High Dynamic Range Diptych by Brooke Beard (2016)

Click to read Artist Statement
The two sides of my diptych tell a story of pain and freedom. The pain is represented by the bloody knife, in a more literal way. I used blood because I thought it added a sense of danger to the picture. Had the knife been clean, it could have been interpreted in a different way. I wanted it to come across as menacing, or dangerous, and to make the viewer think of pain associated with blood. The shoe and open space represents Freedom to go and do what you want. I wanted to show a vast open space that is open in front of you. The shoe represents the mean of how you would leave. The meaning behind this story is to explain how I reached the point of freedom I’m at today. I reached this freedom through a lot of pain, suffering and sacrifice. I chose these images because it has been a big part of my life recently and I feel that many can relate.

I used Photoshop to edit my diptych. Once the raw file was uploaded I converted it to grayscale. Next I edited the raw file, by putting a vignette on it. I then selected the focal points of each of my photographs, The knife and the boot, and put adjustment layers on them to make them stand out. One problem I encountered with the adjustment layers was that the egde was too harsh, even after feathering. The edge looked harsher on one side than the other, so I couldn't reduce the adjustment layer without altering the side that already looked good. I solved this issue by putting another adjustment layer only on the edge that was too harsh, evening both sides out. Another issue I ran across was when I converted the shoe picture to grayscale, there wasn't much contrast, and when I tried to increase the contrast the black areas became to black. I fixed this by Selection around the shoe and only increasing the contrast in this area.
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