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Manipulated Fireworks Photos Are Explosive Rorschach Tests

Photographer T-Mo Bauer turns the fleeting moment of an explosion into surreal light paintings.

by Kevin Holmes
01 June 2016, 1:25pm


Image courtesy of the artist

Digital photographer T-Mo Bauer has created some arresting images of fireworks taken over the course of New Years Eve 2015 in the Austrian alps. The pictures were created by using very long exposures to capture the colorful trails and forks of light from the explosions, then manipulated in post-production using Photoshop and self-programmed filters to create intricate and ethereal light paintings.

"My purpose in these, as in all my pictures, is to force people to stop, have another look, and think about what it is that they are seeing," explains Bauer. "They are meant as a visual diversion, one which appeals in its otherworldliness."


Image courtesy of the artist

Bauer is interested in capturing the beauty from the fleeting moments in life and the title of his latest exhibition The Corner of (Y)our Eye, a joint show with painter Anastasia Belous at London's 54 The Gallery, is a testament to that.

"These particular works are digital photographs, and interpretations and permutations thereof," notes Bauer. "Many of the shots were taken on New Year’s Eve and also the next evening in the Austrian Alps. They were edited over the following few months. I took around 500 exposures over those nights, using my Sony a7R as well as a few exquisite ones with my Hasselblad D5, with a Phase One P30 digital back." 


Image courtesy of the artist

Bauer is also a licensed pyrotechician, learning from a man who was trained to take down bridges, buildings, and blast tunnels through mountains, along with light up the sky with fireworks. "I am very much a borderline OCD control freak when it comes to my work." Bauer says. "I have done many shoots in blacked out rooms so that I can control all aspects of light. I cannot control where every spark from a rocket or mortar goes, but if I am shooting myself I know at what altitude to focus, what the expected light intensity is from different colors."

Take a look at Bauer's abstract, Rorschachian frozen explosions below.


Image courtesy of the artist


Image courtesy of the artist


Image courtesy of the artist


Image courtesy of the artist


Image courtesy of the artist

The Corner of (Y)our Eye is on now until June 5, 2016 at 54 The Gallery, 54 Shepherd Market, London, W1J 7QX. Visit T-Mo Bauer's website here.

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Tagged:
Fireworks
Rorschach Test
photograpy
long exposure
light painting
T-Mo Bauer