Pictorialism — was a movement at the beginning of the 20th century that embraced photography as an art form by combining its nature with traditional fine arts. Mistakenly, the art of pictorialism is considered as naive and is usually compared to such terms as “pastiche”. Pictorialists didn’t try to make photography look like a painting, but rather approach the process of photography (photo-graphing) as the process of creating a painting. Years later such fashion photographers as Javier Vallhonrat, Paolo Roversi, Sarah Moon were called neopictorialists. The project “Green” is largely influenced by their works.


The artistic look of the works of pictorialists is a consequence of their specific approach to photography. They were not focused on the rather inevitable figurative nature of photography. They studied and experimented with the process of photographing for their artistic goals without considering photography as a documentary. It explains their technical interest in photography. Pictorialists tried and modified camera lenses, tried different expositions, lighting types, shutter speed ent. Partly the artistic look of their works comes from the full control of the film development process. Pictorialists underlined lighting patterns, abstract elements, circumvented the rules of the development process.


With the advent of digital photography, pictorialism seems to have disappeared. This can be indicated by the lack of such works in fashion photography. As fashion photography tends to focus on feelings, (neo)pictorialism with its defined melancholic mood used to have its own place in the industry despite the abstract form of pictorial photography.


“Green” —  is an attempt to repeat the practice of pictorialism, but with the usage of digital photography. I wanted to keep the methodology of pictorialists, but mix it with the digital post-shooting process. Thus the artistic look is highlighted here by the recourse to low-fi aesthetics. The work with the lighting patterns is maintained to be the key factor in the post-shooting process. For instance, I controlled the lighting patterns and highlighted them by playing around with the RGB curve. The work with such effects was the main part of the post-editing process. This was largely dependent on the lighting patterns in the original picture. Therefore, my job was to balance the studio lighting with the post-editing process.


Style: Kirill Nikolaev and Arina Haustova