Catherine Yass is an English photographer who started her career in the early 90s, around the time the photography and art world started evolving and becoming increasingly controversial with works by people like Tracy Emin taking off.
Catherine’s work are mainly mounted in light boxes after having two layers of images overlayed. The first image is a normal positive image that is taken on a film camera and the second is a blue negative of the exact same shot taken a few seconds later. She then superimposes the negative above the background image so they both visible to create this illuminated halo effect. She did and exhibition in 1994 where she took images inside of a hospital and the final products have some great some amazing abstract photographs that are near enough impossible to recreate exactly in digital photography. Because Catherine works entirely with film photography there are no real proven techniques in digital photography by using photoshop or any other software to recreate the images she produces.
There’s one photograph that is love by Catherine which is called ‘Royal London’. I really like the image for the spiralling stairs that really draw the viewers eye. The contrast in colours as well is very powerful because of the luminance of the harsh blues contrasts very prominently with the flat colours of the stairwell itself.
I have also attempted to ‘Re-create’ Yass’ signature style digitally in photoshop, however my final results weren’t as refined as hers due to the fact it is such a specialist technique it is very difficult to recreate. I’ll give you a quick run through of what I have actually done: First, I duplicated by background image, then I ran it through a black and white filter and removing most of the greens, reds and yellows in the image to leave only the cooler end of the spectrum. I next inverted the image so it was a negative of the original background. Next, using the colour range tool in photoshop I selected only the highlights and whites in the negative and deleted them. I then colourised the negative to give it that characteristic Blue tinge to the image. I then finalised it by duplicating that layer and changing the blending mode to Overlay to soften the edges and give a nice blue hint to the overall image. Another thing I did to make the image really pop was offset the negative and the background layer to just ever so slightly make the details really pop.
Here’s my video: