OVF Luminous Portraits

SFUAD’s Photographic Society’s interactive installation was one of few projections at Outdoor Vision Fest that allowed attendees involvement and access to not only the creative process, but also the final product of the projection itself.

One participant holds up a plastic creature to be photographed. Photo by Ashley Haywood.

One participant holds up a plastic creature to be photographed. Photo by Ashley Haywood.

Luminous Lamina, as the project was titled, was the brainchild of photo society members Ashley Haywood, Brad Trone and C Alex Clark, with programming of the actual composite done by Zevin Polzin. Last year’s underwhelming OVF slideshow projection gave the crew motivation to up their game in order to better capture the crowd’s attention.

“It started out as just really wanting to do something interactive…a way to get people involved the night of. And to kind of demonstrate the skills of the photo department live, on the spot, without boring people to death,” says Clark.

When stepping into a little red tent, complete with lighting equipment, a camera on a tripod and a stool for the subjects, participants were instructed to look straight into the camera, and then given the freedom to make a facial expression of their choosing. These portraits were then manually cropped to the appropriate size, before being run through a unique program that composited the images into a singular face. The projection itself consisted of these overlaid pictures, slowly melding each face into one another.

“The focus isn’t on the portrait, but the collective experience of everyone who was there being captured. To record the night through portraits and then make a composite of it, and project that time, is what we were interested in,” says Haywood.

With more than 200 OVF-goers stopping by the tent to sit for a portrait, the reciprocal endeavor was not only a success, but a stepping stone for future involvement of the photography department and the unique ideas that stem through the use of a camera.