In her latest series Disturbing the Spirits, photographer Ellen Jantzen shows us beautiful, ghostly visions of trees as they would appear throughout the seasons. Using digital manipulation, she keeps some parts of the trees intact while she blurs most of their imagery.
When asked to describe her process, Jantzen told us this, “The process has several incarnations. First is to photograph a landscape that captures my attention. I am particularly drawn to trees and paths. As I go through my raw files, I set aside those that seem to have the most potential. My concept begins to strengthen at this point and starts to coalesce around a central theme. I use Photoshop to layer and blend layers. I also mask portions of a photo to strengthen an area or blur an area; it depends upon the specific image and what I want to say.”
The series is meant for us to reflect on the symbolic meaning of trees while providing a personal moment of thought and reflection. “A work of art relies upon three things, the vision of the creator, the work its self and the viewers,” Jantzen tells us when we ask her what she hopes others get out of this series. “Ultimately, I want to impact others by providing a framework allowing viewers space to project their own imaginings and meanings to them. My work relies on the trust people place in the medium. Photography is so often thought of as ‘reality’ which offers me the opportunity of subverting that reality. I want to take viewers beyond the surface of an image, where something deeper and unexpected is; so I will continue to search for subject matter that will fulfill this desire.”