Spanish Patio – Two Slightly Different Perspectives

Using a sketching technique, I created these two prints of a patio done in a Spanish theme. I like the softness the color sketching creates allowing the eye to see detail on specific subject and softening the edges keeps the eye more centrally focused on the specific subject matter.

The setting is an outdoor patio/kitchen located in Los Angeles. The door is from a very old building and was repurposed for this project. The table is black metal and the top is inlaid with tile matching the color scheme of the tile work above the fireplace. What you can’t see is a grill and separate smoker lining the side on your right and a large screen TV on the wall to your left. The entire patio is covered by a pergola to create shade from the sun.

Ok, so that’s the lay of the land if you will, so back to the prints. I have talked about framing a photograph or art print in such a way that you create focus on the visual aspects that you want to convey. I am presenting two very similar art prints, yet both create a slightly different sense because of what I have left in or taken away. In the first one “The Spanish Patio”, you have a bit more sense of the door, fireplace and table being a part of something bigger. This is created because the stone wall to the right of the door is shown with a hint of a large potted plant. Very subtle, but gives the impression of more there then just the door, fireplace and table.

In this second print “The Fireplace, Table and Chair”, the focus is clearly just these three subjects. This presentation is my preference for that very reason.

What I wanted to do was show two slightly different presentations of the same general subject matter so you can make your own assessment comparing the two. I believe they do tell slightly different stories for the reasons I have stated…..Thoughts?

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Apples and Pears – Still Life Art Prints

This week I am featuring three art prints from my Floral/Still Life Gallery. For these prints, I used a set of fake fruit that we had in a large bowl as a center piece (for still life objects just about anything around the house with a visual appeal works). I have a small light box for such projects, so with a white background and base from the light box, I started arranging the fake fruit in various poses and alternated between the different colors and types of fruit (apples and pears to be specific and colors in gold, red and brown). Believe it or not the shoot lasted about an hour and a half…the fruit worked so hard and was so patient. From all of the configurations and colors used, I narrowed the shots I was going to use to about ten. I was really pleased with the captures I chose and then I began the next stage of the process.

The results were crisp, sharp captures of this fake fruit. What I wanted to do was soften the pictures up just a bit to give the final product a more casual relaxed look while keeping the details of the original photography. That’s where Photoshop comes into play and using the watercolor filter (you can control the levels and depth of the look), I chose just a light brushing to soften the edges and add texture to the white background.

The first two art prints are representative of the ten that I did, but I also wanted to combine four of them into a collage, which is the final print featured.

Thoughts?

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Classics – Vintage Airplane and Trucks

When I am taking photographs either black and white or color, I am constantly visualizing the most interesting way to frame “the shot”. My framing visualization is always looking for interesting angles and unique presentations, not necessarily to show entire subjects or broad landscapes. I try to peak the viewers interest and evoke an interest in what they are seeing. The best example I can think of is macro shots of flower blooms and buds. By taking just a section and focusing on that portion only, you see the detail of the bloom that you wouldn’t necessarily see when included with a garden shot or total plant shot.

I used the same approach with the attached three photographic art prints.  The common theme between them is two-fold: they are all classic/vintage forms of transportation and all three highlight specific shapes and colors to draw your eye in.

We start with “Black Propeller”. This is a single engine prop plane from World War Two. I took a  number of shots of this plane from almost every angle. I kept coming back to this “macro” shot of the propellers. The thing that drew my eye in was the color of the black propellers in front of the bright yellow casing of the engine. That was the starting point and then the intricacy of the engine and finally the detail reflected in the chrome center cap of the propellers. You can see people and their shadows looking at this plane.

“Green Classic Truck’ was another shoot that I did from all angles. This shot in my perspective told the story best of the truck (what you don’t see are items in the back flatbed that weren’t pertinent to the era this vehicle represents). This particular shot and the angle tell the story of this deep green classic/vintage truck with the wood doors and curved running board becoming the fender. Your eye gets pulled to the bench front seat over to the windshield with the single wiper blade. I also liked the positioning which allows a peak of the activity behind the truck. The people under umbrellas at tables added an additional element.

We end with “Pale Green Classic Chevy Truck”. Of course I had to present the front grille to start the visual journey of this beauty. From the grille your eye travels down to the wide white-walled tires up to the visor at the top of the windshield. I was fortunate in this shot that there wasn’t any distracting items or activities immediately around the truck to take away from the look of this classic/vintage vehicle.

Thoughts?

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Getting Non-Linear With Urban High-Rises – Featured Art Prints

Anyone who has been following my work, knows I have a fascination with architecture. I did start studying architecture in high school and always thought I would go to some architectural school, etc. etc. etc. Problem was my parents both worked for a private four-year liberal arts college in Iowa which is where all of my siblings and I ended up going (could be the deal on tuition costs for dependents of employees of the college – four of us so you do the math). I ended up with a major in business which to me seemed the most practical. Having said all of that, it was that same school where I was introduced to photography and dark rooms which ultimately led to the things you see here. OK, so that explains my fascination with architecture and why you see a lot of it in my work. Today I wanted to show an interesting mix between that love of architecture and creative artistic presentation. I have done a number of shots of urban high-rises which of course are very linear and rise into the sky in very straight lines. Mixing the fauvism style and technique which presents non-linear and abstract looks to subjects with urban structures results in the attached two art prints. Both prints create an abstract and playful approach to rigid downtown buildings (Seattle in both cases).

 

 

Thoughts?

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The Seattle Great Wheel – Angles and Architectural Elements

Always looking for an interesting aspect or angle to a subject matter, I have attached two prints I created of The Seattle Great Wheel. The official website to the Seattle Great Wheel is here (the website has a great overall picture of the ferris wheel at the end of pier 57 along the bay front of downtown Seattle). It really is an impressive ferris wheel and has fast become one of the main attractions in downtown Seattle.

I did a photo shoot a few years back and spent quite awhile trying to capture unique shots of this very large ferris wheel. I wanted something a little different to highlight the architectural detail of this beautiful wheel. As I went through the shots and started narrowing it down to unique angles, I thought that with the geometric simplicity of the structure, why not try some of these angles in a sketching or ink pen style…both simplistic in visual appearance and focusing specifically on the structure.

With the help of Adobe Photoshop I came up with these prints that portray two very different angles and perspectives of the gondolas as they went around the large wheel.

 

“Seattle Great Wheel”

Thoughts?

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What Am I Seeing? Three Very Different Black and White Photographs

This week I wanted to take a look at three very different black and white photographs and tell you what I see.

As I have mentioned in my posts, I shoot everything in Raw format which means I shoot digitally capturing tremendous detail. It does take up memory and believe me my portfolio and archives have their own hard drive because of it. The reason I shoot with that much definition is that it allows me to “play’ with the end picture more.

The first picture is a cityscape of downtown Seattle with the Space Needle featured front and center. What do I see? I see the downtown towers and Space Needle sharply defined…very bold straight edges. I see the architecture dominating the capture because of that factor. As an additional element, I see the sharp contrast of the cloud formations from the high level clouds to the puffy cumulous in the background.  I see an architectural statement of Seattle with the subtle element of weather which Seattle is known for.

From a cityscape to a farm. What do I see? I see a mood created from an abandoned farm highlighted by showing it in black and white. I see barren tree branches and collapsing buildings that have a lonely element with no life. The black and white presentation allows this mood to be front and center without getting distracted by pops of color.

From the farm to Old Point Loma Lighthouse sitting on the entrance to San Diego Bay in Cabrillo National Monument. What do I see? I see the top of a lighthouse where the simple architecture of the structure points your eye upward to the light. I see what is a deep blue sky not taking center stage because the presentation in black and white makes it a supporting gray backdrop to the white structure and the intricate architecture of the top of the lighthouse.

Thoughts?

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Subtle Softening Photographs of Covered Bridges

This week, in keeping with the theme from last week (a behind the scenes peek of how I digitally create these art prints), I wanted to share a technique I used with these three examples of covered bridges in Oregon. As I stated last week, I have been using Adobe Photoshop forever. I love the variety of features and flexibility it gives me not only with my photography, but also in creating digitally painted art.

The three prints I have attached came from a photo shoot I did a number of years ago in Oregon. All three look like three photographs of covered bridges and in reality they are. If you look closer, you will see that the edges and detail are softened slightly…ever so slightly to just give the prints a subtle softness. It’s a minor change I created by using one of Adobe’s filters. I started with the photographs in Adobe and eliminated any background “noise” such as electrical wires. In these shots that was about the only doctoring I did to the actual photograph. The next step was to soften them slightly, so I used their watercolor filter. In that filter you can control numerous elements such as pixel size of softness..type of softness and intensity. With numerous trial and error attempts, I settled on a level I liked. A subtle watercolor effect that you see more easily in the trees, but it also soften the edges of the bridges…again very subtle, but an overall softening.

Thoughts?

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