Artistry by MacNaughton

Beyond his photographer’s eye and great skill in capturing images with a camera, my friend, Mike MacNaughton, also dabbled in taking the images a step or two further.

By manipulating the materials while printing a photograph, he found he could introduce new visual elements to the original images.

Here’s a “fractured” portrait of me that was one of the first of Mike’s artistic-print endeavors.

There are those who know me who just might tell you this is the truest portrait of me from those bygone days.

Mike experimented as well with hand-tinting black-and-white prints to produce eerie effects with an interplay of touches of color against the stark black-and-white imagery.

I particularly love this picture from the bottomland section of Rolke Ranch.

The beautiful landscape, muted into grayscale, accents the “tunnel” Mike colored in. It’s almost as if we are looking into a heightened reality within the woods.

I’ve already shared the picture of me getting a pie in the face when Mike set me up for a “group photo” while someone delivered the goods.

He later turned one of the pictures into a mixed-media marvel of double vision, “Just a Touch of Grey” (a la Grateful Dead) and “Fun Vortex,” a phenomenon known to open up and swallow whole groups of people — really!

“Mixed media materials: Print — Nikon F2AS-F3.5, 200 ASA Fuji Ilfabrome paper, oils, film dye, tempera, graphic pens, toilet paper, Elmers glue, spit”

Photos don’t do justice to this one. This snapshot does show some of the decorative touches Mike added atop the framed picture, but it fails to capture the full feeling of the piece.

A recticulated B&W negative (Tri-X) was printed on Ilford sotk. The print was used to create a &x& contact interneg. The interneg was contact printed on Cibachrome for artificial tint. Print was then hand tinted and retouched.

Mike MacNaughton brought an artistry to his photography that might not have paid off commercially, but he did make some wonderful pieces of art. I know Mike produced many more of these wonderworks. I’m just happy to have the handful we have to decorate our walls.

About bullersbackporch

I am a native Austinite, a high-tech Luddite, lover of music, movies and stories and a born trainer-explainer.
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