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Digital Image Transfer: Creating Art with Your Photography Paperback – October 4, 2011
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"Horovitz (director, graduate art therapy program, Nazareth Coll.) offers a variety of techniques to incorporate photography into art in novel ways. Detailed, step-by-step projects walk readers through transferring images onto fabric, polymer clay, glass, metal, wood, and other surfaces. Fine-art photographers have been using solvents to transfer photographic prints to alternative surfaces for decades, but the advent of digital imaging has greatly widened over the last ten years the possibilities for this technique. Horovitz discusses both familiar and new methods, including basic information on essential software like Photoshop and Studio Artist. This is a natural complement to your library’s digital photography and crafts sections." - Library Journal
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In general Image Transfer provides a series of hands-on,step-by-step projects that allow artists to push digital imagery into off-screen compositions. Horovitz covers more methods for transferring inkjet images than most of the other books I've read on the subject and includes methods for applying images to wood, glass, metal and paper using a variety of solvents and materials. Though not is precision-oriented as some step-by-step texts, she provides enough working photographs for the artist to proceed.
The entire first chapter is devoted to a rather basic guide to creating digital imagery which I felt would be better served if she expanded it into a second book on the production of digital imaging through computer programs. As it stands, it was not useful to me (I already know how to do it--or else I wouldn't be buying the text to begin with) and it may not be detailed enough for someone who has never done it before. However, it took up little space in the book so is not really an issue.
Throughout the text, she encourages readers to be innovative, experimental and to embrace all manner of texture and surface, which is wonderful. She shows readers how to use ghost images, save transfer leftovers to be recycled into new pieces and even how to incorporate shrink plastic images into more traditional work. Her receptiveness to experimentation is what makes this a strong enough title to purchase, especially since many related books are more conservative in their approach.
Some of the chapters focus on materials that must be bought by a particular manufacturer (like Lazertran or Sheer Heaven). Others discuss home studio ways of making transfers using common art materials (gel medium, turpentine).
Because the book is practical, supportive of experimentation and allows for a lot of creative adaptation, I highly recommend it--especially to artists already familiar with digital imaging and image transfer.
I wish she would acknowledge the fact that what she is really doing is a form of printmaking--but she does little to bridge the gap in discussion between photography and printmaking. Just a really minor pet peeve of mine.
Horovitz does not address studio safety often or well enough in the book. In some cases, she does not mention safety at all. As with any new process, do research on your own to determine the safety of a solvent or product. Look up MSDS sheets if you need to. Some of the materials she advocates are QUITE toxic, but can be safely used with proper measures.
For example, acetone and turpentine are associated with a number of confirmed toxic conditions. She does not mention the necessity to use exceptional ventilation, gloves and a respirator (if possible) with acetone. At least the use of gloves and good air circulation! Turpentine is the same way and many people experience shock reactions to the toxic fumes.
She never mentions the use of gloves, dust masks, GOOD ventilation (not just your large living room with the windows closed) and the possibility of respirators or fume masks (in extreme cases). The only reference to safety that I found was when she mentioned (as a photo caption) that you should make sure the area is well ventilated when you bake tape transfer onto plexiglass. She also briefly reminds the reader not to re-use measuring spoons you've dipped in turpentine.
Not trying to scare anyone away, because again, I do recommend this book for its solid, instructional and creative material. This is just a reminder that when you try ANY new technique, even if the book does not mention studio safety, take a peek in other books or at the web to learn ways to stay safe. I have seen a lot of instructional books on encaustic painting, for example, which completely ignore the toxicity of many of the pigments and fumes!
You can look up the studio safety information yourself, as a companion to this (and all!) books.
Edited to add:
I found one other occasion in the text where she mentions safety (briefly), in a section on CitraSolv. It only mentions having good ventilation, but does not stress the dangers of any other products, what good ventilation means, or the necessity of using gloves.