Back in the old days, I would switch from taking photographs to etching plates every so often just to keep myself in balance. Photography is a scattershot process – you take a lot of photos, but very few of them end up being great. Printing etched plates is a craft – you spend a month on a plate trying to make it perfect and at every step wonder if you’re improving your print or about to ruin it.
These days, I mostly switch between the program ArtMatic and creating huge layered Photoshop files as epitomized in the “Atlas Of Dreams” series. The layered Photoshop files have become my modern equivalent of etching a plate, with the added benefit of being able to save versions and go back to them if things go bad. My modern equivalent of a camera is ArtMatic. Instead of searching for interesting subject matter and trying to find the right way to capture it, I search mathematical parameters for interesting algorithms. When I find one, I can “mutate” it until I find it aesthetically pleasing, then explore all its nooks and crannies.
The Rogues Gallery series (formally the Summer 2010 series) is a collection of “one hit wonders” of my ArtMatic explorations. While each one is an aesthetically pleasing photograph, moving the camera around didn’t yield much of anything different.