Sunday, October 18, 2015

Master photog turns life 'Inside Out.'

Ted Master learned photography the old-fashioned way -- with an all-manual camera. He used a manual camera and then PhotoShop to create "Inside Out," which took first place in the photography category and Best of Show.
It’s a door to somewhere that appears out of nowhere. It is a staircase that goes up into something, but no place in particular.

It’s there, but it’s really not. It is a hole ripped in the gauze of temporal reality, creating a universe imagined by Ted Master for his Gold Medal-winning photograph, “Inside Out.”

The image, created and photographed on a farm field in the middle of Goochland, Virginia, then brought to life with PhotoShop and Master’s imagination, also took “Best of Show” at this year’s competition.

And it almost never would have happened had Master not taken that route home from school that day and saw an advertisement for the Art Institute of Atlanta.

“I’ve had all kinds of jobs,” the 69-year-old Master said. “I’d been an architectural draftsman and had an office by the window. I like the outside. I like being outside. I spent all day staring out the window so they had to move my desk to the middle of the room,” he said.

There was an art form to the job, “because you have to see rooms and draw things from all angles, but I wanted to do something different.”

He moved to Atlanta with plans of becoming a dentist, and was accepted into the school. But on the way home from visiting the college, he saw a sign on the building for the art institute.

“I thought about it all weekend. I don’t want to walk around in a white coat.”

Besides, art had always been more his thing.

“I hung out with friends in the 1970s and they were all photographers. They always gave me pointers on how to shoot or what equipment to buy.”

He learned the old-fashioned way, on an all-manual camera.

“Sometimes you get the same kind of shot with an automatic, but manual allows you to accentuate shadows and let’s you get the image you want that others can’t see -- maybe it’s shadows or motion. If you shoot on automatic, you miss the opportunity to get something magnificent. There is so much more to see when you get out of automatic.”

“Inside Out” wasn’t created right away. While out for a walk and looking for photos on an old farm, he happened across a barn and got the shot.

“Three weeks later I told my friend, ‘I have an idea. I want to go back!’

With the help of PhotoShop, he created a haunting image of a barn wall that’s not quite there, leading into a room out of thin air. Parts of the inside of the room are pulled outside to add to the effect.

“I hope it puzzles people, and gets them to look more closely, and wonder how I did it,” he said. “I want them to enjoy it, talk about it and interpret it as they see it.”