“Plumes” Took A Lot of Experimentation And Careful Setup to Get “Almost Perfect”

All images by Andrei Duman. Used with permission.

“I think it is very important for a photographer to continue to be interested and curious about photography.” explains Andrei Duman about his project, Plumes. “For me, that means that although I may be known more as a travel/landscape/aerial photographer, I am still wanting to push myself and try something new. Stepping outside what you consider to be your comfort zone forces you to be uncomfortable which is when you have the greatest opportunity to learn.” Plumes is a bit of an experimentation that Andrei wanted to do in the studio. And believe it or not, the project ended up helping Andrei with his travel photography.

“Throughout my travels, I always try to think of what I could do differently. Being fascinated with color and how it can intermix in different environments led me to try dropping ink in water to see what would happen.”

Andrei created Plumes with a white backgrounds and Profoto packs using three beauty dishes. After he fired up his Phase One XF iQ3 he got to work. He dropped some paint into a bottle and photographed its descent with the full 101MP sensor. And because this is all 16 bit color, we can see a whole lot of color gradation that’s very subtle but surely there. While the images are pretty beautiful, Andrei still thinks that this project isn’t perfect or finished yet. In fact, he plans to continue to do it on a regular basis. “It took me over 15 hours in the studio to get it to a level that I was happy with.” Andrei explains to the Phoblographer in an email. “Finding a paint manufacturer that provided the look I envisioned took some time and then finding the correct water mix was crucial. Should a take not have worked successfully, having to reset the entire setup would take close to 10 mins.” Here’s more from Andrei:

“The paint needs to be mixed again and the tank needs to be emptied, cleaned and refilled. Any little mistake would ruin it all and you have to start all over again. Needless to say, I was determined to get the images I always envisioned and so shot a great deal. Choosing the right files to even consider working on was very time consuming as nearly every image had something unique. Overall I chose these images because of the quality of the paint folds and the way that the colors wrapped around the others. I am very happy with the way these turned out and am glad to be doing something that is so far from my “usual” and expected body of work.”