Tempest (inquiry)

Ann Torrence uses digital photography and Adobe Photoshop compositing techniques to reveal underlying patterns, histories, and relationships in seemingly random movement or the passage of time.

The artist's personal connection to the teapot in computer science stems from her prior work at the School of Computing at the University of Utah. As coordinator of outreach and alumni affairs, she edited the school's newsletter, The Teapot, which was named to honor alumnus Martin Newell's PhD dissertation work. She was inspired to use the icon in her personal work by students and faculty who illustrate today's advanced computer graphics techniques with a teapot motif.

Technical Overview
Tempest (inquiry) was assembled from multiple digital photographs of a glass teapot containing ordinary bubbles in plain water, taken under typical white strobe light without the use of any colored filters. In the post-processing phase, Adobe Photoshop was used to separate each image into its spectral-source grey-level channels. Using single-channel elements from more than a dozen images as sources for the composite, she assembled a new color-channel series to produce the teapot image shown here.

As with film-based multiple-exposure photos, the photographer can use this technique to visualize spatio-temporal histories that are otherwise lost. But, unlike film-based exposures, digital photography gives the photographer immediate access to the spectral-source and precisely time-stamped channels. The resulting transformation of time into spectral space yields a non-realistic yet evocative approach to image-making. Additional images in this series are available on the artist's web site.

Ann Torrence
University of Utah
torrence (at) xmission.com