Monthly Archives: July 2014

Dock On The Lake – Excerpts From a Photo Shoot

The excerpts from a photo shoot I want to share today are of a dock on a lake. On a photo shoot from a few months ago, I took numerous shots that I started sharing last week. The shoot was around a small lake near our house. The focus this week is the dock on the lake.

I have attached three photographs of this dock. The point of discussion is the variety of shots you can get centered on the same subject matter. Each of these shots has a different look and tells a different story, yet is of the same dock on the same lake.

Dock on the Lake 1

Dock on the Lake 1

The first shot gives you a point of reference of the dock as it pertains to the lake. You get a feel for the size of the dock and the general feel of the lake. The dock itself isn’t large, nor is it one of many. From this perspective, the dock is center of the frame, but what really becomes the focal point. Is it the lights along the path, the hill in the background or the dock? As you look at the composition of this shot it encompasses all of these elements….again, no right or wrong depending on what you want to portray.

Dock on the Lake 2

The second shot zooms in on the dock. The benches on the dock become more prominent, but so do the homes on the surrounding shoreline. The composition of this shot has the dock with benches front and center. It also has the same hill in the background and homes along the shoreline…again, no right or wrong depending on what you want to portray.

Dock on the Lake 3

Dock on the Lake 3

The third shot puts the framing vertical instead of horizontal. One of the benches takes center stage and the lights on the dock become more of an important element.

All three photographs are well composed, but tell different stories. I put this out there as food for thought as you are taking photographs and trying to figure out what you want the final result to say. By taking numerous shots from different angles, it gives you a pool of pictures to review and determine which one represents the story you want to tell. As a side note a couple of these shots looked better in a black and white format due to the elements within the shot….any idea which two? Thoughts?

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The Beauty of a Hot Air Balloon – Featured Art print

 

 

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Hot Air Balloon Collection titled “The Beauty of a Hot Air Balloon”.  The print is a close up of a hot air balloon lifting above the gondola just as it becomes inflated. It is done in a gothic oil technique that uses earthen tones and bold brush strokes creating an old world look.

The setting is a launching site for sunset hot air balloon rides in San Diego. With the pattern of the winds along the pacific coast in San Diego County, hot air balloon rides there are done at sunset. In the early morning hours, the air is typically still until the sun heats up the coastal land. With that hot air rising, the cool oceans breezes come in to replace the rising hot air, creating afternoon coastal breezes. This pattern stops when the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. In the hour or so before sunset, it is typical to see many hot air balloons in the sky taking flight close to the coast and then drifting inland until the sunsets allowing them to make their descent back to earth as the breezes die down.

The entire gallery is based on the launch and early flights of these sunset hot air balloon rides. The shape and color of hot air balloons lend themselves to beautiful art prints from rolling the balloon envelopes out for inflation, to the inflation process itself and then finally lift-off.

This particular print is one of my personal favorites as I have it framed and hanging in my own home. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Hot Air Balloons.

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The Lighthouse Life – Featured Art Print from my Color Photography Collection

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Color Photography Collection titled “The Lighthouse Life”.  The print is a color photograph of a lighthouse sitting on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the Oregon Coastline.

The lighthouse in this art print is the Heceta Head Lighthouse. Located along Pacific Coast Highway on the Oregon Coast, Heceta Head dates back to 1893. The setting and views are incredible with the lighthouse situated on a bluff rising 205 feet above the ocean. The structure in the right portion of the art print is the Light Keeper’s house. A path connects the two structures and there is also a path down to the beach. Both structures were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. From 2011 to 2012, the lighthouse structure itself was closed for restoration. It was officially Re-opened to the public on June 8, 2013.

This particular lighthouse is considered one of the most photographed lighthouses along the Oregon Coast. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first reason is the setting itself with the lighthouse perched on the point above the surf of the ocean. The second reason is the ability to see the lighthouse setting from the south along the coastal highway. A number of lighthouses can only be seen when you get to them, not many can be see in such a panoramic manner. I have used this particular photograph as a basis for paintings in my Lighthouse Collection using both oil techniques and watercolor. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Color Photography.

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Point of View and Perspective in Photography – Palm Trees

The excerpts from a photo shoot I want to share today are palm trees. On a photo shoot from a few months ago, I took numerous shots that I will be sharing over the next few weeks. This particular excerpt focuses on point of view and perspective using palm trees as the subject matter.

I have attached three photographs out of a number I shot that day around a lake near our house. When you are taking photographs for artistic purposes or to relay a message, you need to find unique ways to present common subjects. You need to visualize a different point of view to present or a unique perspective. The attached are great examples in my opinion.

Palm Tree 1

Palm Tree 1

The first photograph is from the base of a large palm tree along a walkway that encircles the lake. I sat down under the tree and pointed the camera skyward. I changed my focal point slightly and snapped about five shots, this being the one I liked the most. I like the result and believe it offers a capture that makes you stop and really look at the photograph…mission accomplished.

Palm Tree 2

Palm Tree 2

The second photograph is in a grove of palm trees. I did the same thing, sat down on the ground and started pointing my camera skyward. I took about six shots and settled on this as the best. Again, I am pleased with the result and believe it offers another great example of a unique perspective.

Palm Tree 3

Palm Tree 3

The third photograph is a group of palm trees I spotted around the lake. From a distance I shot just the top portion of the palm trees using the sky as a contrast against the fronds. This capture may not be as unique as the other ones, but it does show an example of framing subjects in such a way that you get rid of the surrounding noise. An example of what I mean would be this same shot of palm trees in Los Angeles using the same angle. I could put two of these types of shots together and you wouldn’t know which one was taken in a major city and which one was taken by a lake. You do not see the ground or the surrounding landscape.

So next time you are taking photographs and you want to make them pop, think about your perspective with the subject. What are you trying to relay and what is your point of view. It may be a creative angle to capture a subject or it may be eliminating noise or additional surroundings that give you a uniqueness to make someone stop and really look at your photograph. Thoughts?

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Red Peppers – Featured Art Print from my Color Photography Collection

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Color Photography Collection titled “Red Peppers”.  The print is a color photograph of a red pepper plant growing in a garden.

I would love to take credit for this healthy plant of peppers, but I found this in the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona. It was February and we were there for the Chihuly Exhibit as I have talked about in previous posts. We were in the gardening area where they display the type of plants that are native to this area and how to grow them. Part of this exhibit covers vegetable gardening for warm season harvest. The red peppers were ready for harvest.

Having grown up in Iowa and living in Denver for a number of years, I am familiar with the pattern of growing flowers and vegetables in a four season climate. My wife and I also lived in San Diego for 24 years, so I am familiar with warm weather year around and understand the ebb and flow of plant cycles in that environment. Phoenix offers a new challenge with the extreme heat of summer and timing your vegetables around that time frame. I found it very interesting as I love plants and always have some type of garden.

That was the horticultural aspect of the red pepper, but frankly from a photographer’s standpoint, I was more interested in the esthetics. The first thing that caught me eye was the obvious…red!! In a sea of vegetables, the red stood out. The second thing that caught me eye was the subtle lighting of the red peppers. The challenge I had in getting this shot was that the plant was located right by the sidewalk and this part of the garden had a traffic jam of people crowding the walkway. Stopping to shoot was not something I could give much time to with the limited space and number of people. I took about five shots as quickly as I could and then cropped the results into this final photograph. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Color Photography.

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Green Wagon – Featured Art Print From My Sepia Photography Collection

The art print I wanted to feature today is from my Sepia Photography Collection titled “Green Wagon”.  The print is a sepia photograph of an old wagon used to haul goods and produce between town and the farm or ranch, circa 1800’s.

I liked the look of the wagon in this shot, and wanted to focus on the wagon bed and wooden wheels. The wagon has a long bed to haul a week or more of supplies between town and a farm or ranch. Conversely, it is built to haul produce in large quantities from the farm or ranch into town. Since time didn’t permit daily trips, you needed to be able to load large quantities when you did go into town. Notice the detail of the wagon from the steel side supports to the large wooden wheels. The wagon was built for endurance in its day, but today sits protected along the streets of an old west town fenced off from people trying to climb on board.

Because of the subject matter of this photograph, my inclination was to convert it into a sepia tone print. Sepia photography is the brown color tones we associate with very old photographs. The look is a result of the technique used in developing photographic film during the 1800’s and early 1900’s. Today we can create that same look digitally.  My first step was to convert this photograph into sepia, which I did. I also liked the color of the wagon and the wheels in the original shot, so I played with allowing some of the green and red to bleed through. I liked the effect with just a light touch of color. To finish off that old west look and feel, I added some subtle texture for added warmth. Thoughts?

I invite you to come into the gallery to view the new additions to the collection in Sepia Photography.

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Cave Creek, Arizona – Excerpts from a Photo Shoot

Cave Creek 1

Cave Creek 1

The excerpts from a photo shoot I want to share today are from Cave Creek, Arizona. Cave Creek is located in the extreme northern end of the Phoenix metropolitan area and has become an extremely popular destination for tourist. Keeping the spirit of the “Old West” alive, the town has the look and feel of those days gone by.

I have attached four shots out of 90 that I took and they all come from a re-created old west town that today serves as shops for tourists. There are numerous carriages and wagons lining the main street next to the wooden walkways typical for an old western town. For a photographer, it’s a dream come true for creating old west art prints and photographs.

The first photograph is of a courtyard located towards the back of the town right off of main street. I like the look of the fountain and took a couple of shots to see what I would get.

The composition of the next shot gives you an idea of just how much “Old West” items are around this town. There are wooden wagon wheels everywhere and I loved the old outhouse at the end of the street.

Cave Creek 2

Cave Creek 2

The third photograph shows some of the shops and the wooden walkway with a carriage in front.

 

Cave Creek 3

Cave Creek 3

The fourth and final capture shows a replica of a Native American Indian teepee. The keynote here is replica, as an actual teepee (or tipi) was constructed of animal skins and was without wooden floors for ease of mobility.

Cave Creek 4

Cave Creek 4

 

I haven’t decided what I will do with these particular photographs, but wanted to share them. What I usually do after a photo shoot is take a quick inventory of the results to see what I am interested in doing something with. In this particular case, I was getting ready to update my Sepia Photography Collection, so that was foremost on my mind with this subject matter. I pulled a few of the shots and added them to that collection. The rest of them, I will sit on and go back to them at a later date to see what I visualize at that time. Most of my painting prints come from that process of waiting and then revisiting. Thoughts?

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