Kerensa Morris tells us about how she combines film photography with extreme digital manipulation to explore the subject of colour psychology in her series 'Altered Realities'. She explains:
I began my series, Altered Realities what feels like an eternity ago, whilst I was starting my second year of art college. I was 17 and had just gotten the film bug and spent all of my time (and money) shooting anything and everything. Then, I got incredibly frustrated looking at the images, knowing that there were hundreds of thousands of images just like the ones I had taken in the world already. What was the point in me photographing something if an almost identical photo someone else had taken already existed? I started just having a bit of a play around, scanning in my negatives and blindly pressing buttons and moving sliders on Photoshop- and when I altered the hues something just clicked. I found that pinks and magenta shifts worked the best and looked the most ‘realistic’ (pfft!) After a lot of time just making these surreal landscapes for sheer entertainment, I started to get into colour psychology and how colours could evoke certain emotions and perceptions. Reds and warm tones, for example, give the impression of an enclosed space- an interesting juxtaposition to the vast, empty hills I was shooting. Of course, there are a lot of (boring) people who don’t like my work at all, and others who are extremely enthusiastic about it. Any reaction is better than no reaction at all- and I’d rather be making work that makes people go “woah, what the hell is this?” than taking bland photos that no one bats an eyelid at.
SFUK: Tell us a little about yourself and your background in photography.
KM:I'm Kerensa- a 20 year old photographer from Mid-Wales. I'm incapable of shooting anything except landscapes. I scan my film and then spend hours colour-shifting it on Photoshop, in an effort to alter the viewers' perception of the images with colour psychology. I picked up my first camera aged 6, and have hopefully improved since then. I have an Extended Diploma in Art & Design, and have done 2 years of BA (Hons) Photography before dramatically dropping out because i'm incredibly ill and am destined to spend eternity in my crumb-ridden bed.
SFUK: Why do you shoot film?
KM: There is such an in-explainable magic to film. I can never even come close to replicating an image shot with film. The colours, the grain, the patience you need, I couldn't live without it. I spend more on buying and developing film than groceries.
SFUK: Who inspires you, any favourite people or places you frequently go to for inspiration?
KM: Even though my work is incredibly abstract and surreal, i'm a sucker for the banal and traditional photographic style. William Eggleston, Saul Leiter, and Fred Herzog are the main three photographers I just worship. I go to the same spot countless times a year- the Elan Valley close to home is where a vast majority of my photos are taken.
SFUK: How would you describe your style of shooting?
KM:Not everyone's cup of tea.
SFUK: Do you have a favourite camera or film stock you feel compliments your work?
KM: I always always use my cheap and cheerful Pentax P30. I want it buried with me. I'll use any film I can afford- normally Poundland film or Kodak ColorPlus 200.
SFUK: Do you have any plans for your next project?
KM:I think I'll continue this project forever, it's become my style and I don't think i'm capable of taking a normal image anymore.
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