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Mobile Photography and Art – A Picture’s Worth with Carol Wiebe from Ontario, Canada

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A Picture’s Worth‘… is where we ask mobile photographers that have created powerful mobile photography/art to explain the processes they took. This includes their initial thoughts as to what they wanted to create, why they wanted to create it, how they created it, including all apps used and what they wanted to convey. We also ask these incredible artists to explain their emotions and how the image projects those feelings. We have published a few A Picture’s Worth articles recently, if you have missed those – please go here.

In this A Picture’s Worth today we asked Carol Wiebe to tell us more about her image featured here, ‘Casting Light’. This is a significant act because the more Wiebe thought about the image she had created, the more she realised that she was portraying a deep trauma. I am very proud of her for producing this art and for writing about it. Art therapy is a powerful force. Wiebe hoped that by ‘coming out’ in this way (as she described it to me), that she may be able to help others…

“I have created a number of works with females morphing into or interacting with trees.

For this digital piece, Casting Light, I had little more in mind than to create a woman holding up a shining lantern. The theme of the immortal search has always appealed to me, as I am an eternally curious person. My husband had just gifted me with a photograph of our grandson, carrying a lantern through the night. It occurred to me (excuse enough for any new move or project) to have a tree grow from my figure’s head, instead of adding the customary flowing hair. It would lend an air of fairytale enchantment to the image.

The figure actually began as a mere face, within Procreate, where I had tried my hand at re-creating an attractive young woman’s contribution to Sktchy. Displeased with the result, I ditched the re-creation idea, and simply concentrated on improving the face I had made. It pleased me that it wasn’t a pretty face, but had strength. I added a body to the figure, and was trying to determine what kind of background to add. I had just completed a painting I called Once Hidden and it seemed perfect as a background, especially since a round orange orb in the painting could become the lantern I had projected into my figure’s hand. I snapped a pic of my painting with my iPad, and brought it into Procreate as a layer. Once I had done all the tweaking I could there (adjusting opacity, hue, saturation, and brightness; drawing and re-drawing on various layers), I exported the image and saved it to my photos. Now it was time for iColorama magic. I love this app. It is my playground for trying any number of experiments and saving them all. It is not unusual for me to have over 200 versions. It is also not unusual, unfortunately, for me to then have a hard time deciding which versions to throw away. I cannot keep them all, and it exercises my curatorial muscles, so I pronounce that a good thing. I do not stop to take notes–I just roam far and wide, enjoying myself immensely. Of course, I have been using iColorama for over a year now, and have a fair idea of what to do if I want a specific effect. What I tell people who want to know how I achieved different effects in iColorama is this: keep using it until it is no longer a maze, but a path you can reliably follow. Even then, you will get surprises! This goes for any app. Find one that suits how you like to work, and keep trying to use it until you don’t have to try so hard.

It suddenly hit me, when Casting Light was done, that the tree image had to do with an event in my life that took place half a century ago. I used Casting Light, and other images, in a book I created for Steller, where I wrote: “This fairy tale image, an amalgam of a female and a tree, is very meaningful to me. Are you familiar with the Greek myth involving Daphne, rape, and her being turned into a tree?

When I was 15 years old, a group of about six boys from my school tried to gang rape me. I thought they were friends. They did not succeed, because I fought harder than I knew I was capable of fighting, and got away. But I know what it feels like to be turned to wood.”

Casting Light is very comforting to me, even all these years later.  It was many years before I told anyone what had happened to me at 15, so using the painting Once Hidden was amazingly appropriate. I love that the young woman in Casting Light knew how to hold up her light and find her way.

I did as well, and still do”.

‘Casting Light’ ©Carol Weibe

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