Inspiration

At all times we must seek inspiration for our artistic endeavors. As I’ve stated before I am not the most original or creative person on the planet but I am a great Plagiarist. I never miss the chance in my travels to visit local art museums and galleries for inspiration.

Modern technology allows us to explore creative techniques gleened from the Masters of the art. It is an endless learnig curve of concept, creation and execution using multiple software platforms in much the same way the original artist applied the techniques and materials available to them at the time; although much faster and without all the mess.

Here are two examples. The first was inspired by a visit to the Andy Worhal exhibit at the Portland Art Museum.

This series shows the concept picture from the Warhol exhibit. The second is the photograph I took of a flower arrangement with colored gels. The final print is created using Topaz Impression as well as layer and blending techniques in Photoshop. Granted this is no Warhol but it challenged me to explore creative methods and learn new skills.

The second series was inspired by Edward S. Curtis. I have always admired Curtis’s portrait work of the American Indian. His entire works are available free at http://curtis.library.northwestern.edu/curtis/index.html

The first photograph is a Curtis original. The second photgraph is a bronze statue at the Brisco Western Art Museum in San Antonio Texas. Using Photoshop layers and Nik Silver Effects I was able to create the final image.

Once again, I dare not compare my talent to Edward S. Curtis but endeavor to illustrate the concept of emulating the Masters of the art to acheive a pleasing image through their inspiration.

Challenge yourself to learn from the Masters and experiment. Each photograph you take is unique. Both examples are of rather mundane subjects when initially viewed but when transformed through the experience of exposing oneself constantly to the Masters can be quite rewarding.

Focal Points

 

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Welcome to my blog. I hope to inform and inspire you with my photography. Please follow along with me as I share my thoughts and insights as I progress through the various learning stages of what a blog is and how to effectively create meaningful content. Please be patient, I am just learning and have no real talent for creative writing let alone the fine points of story telling. I am sure most of you will be amused at my near complete lack of creativity. I am however quite good at plagiarism and learning from a number of really great photographers. I will try my best to inspire and inform you.

Let’s start with the image above. What made this particular image stand out from the other fifteen images of my cousin walking toward me on the beach? Number one, it is tough to get guys to “pose” and look natural. Women are innately much better at “posing” and not making it look fake. Guys…NEVER! We can’t decide what to do with our hands and consequently tend to look like clowns in most shots. The trick is to catch us right after we have “posed.”  I had my cousin walk toward me from a distance, luckily by the time he reached the zenith of the convergence of the clouds and the surf receding he had given up on his antics and just stuck his hands in his pockets. Perfect guy pose.

Number two, the artistic elements of the photograph. My goal was to have a shot that conveyed the beauty of the landscape as a fitting commemoration of his visit. I qualify all this by informing you that I AM NOT A PORTRAIT PHOTOGRAPHER. I mostly photograph landscape and travel destinations. From that perspective this shot works well to illustrate the scenic beauty of my cousins trip to the Pacific Northwest. Beyond that the shot works with the silhouette as the subject, converging lines of clouds and surf along with the highlight of the reflection in the sand drawing the viewers eye through the scene. The sun was kind enough to be filtered by the clouds and I was able to create a nice silhouette while retaining color and detail in the foreground. I stress –  this was not a portrait and not exposed as such. Totally impossible with strong back light without a flash.

There is nothing technically difficult about this photograph and only minimal editing for exposure and contrast. My point is for you as a photographer to recognize the basic structure of composition using converging lines to draw attention to a subject.  Oh, and never use guys as subject matter. Sorry Cuz.