Saturday, March 5, 2011

Art Sunday - Photography

I was a photographer before a painter. And then when I got back into painting my photography became and adjunct to my painting. I don't do plein aire. I have tried it. What I really want is always back in the studio. Besides the western air just makes water color dry too fast. I tried carrying a watercolor sketch book and a small tin of colors with a brush or two for sketches, but in the cool mountain air or a long hike the camera is so much quicker.

And the light can change so very fast. A moment before these cliffs were painted gold by the setting sun they were a dull sandstone color and the shadows of the pines on them not there. A moment after the picture was taken they were dark. But my Nikon D90 captured that fleeting moment and I am able to print it out at home and use it as a guide for a painting. Besides when you have a photograph to study you sometimes see what you missed in real life. Anyone see that eye staring out of the shadow at the bottom in the right third of this picture?

When I took the above picture of a back roads arch in Arches National Park I took about 50 others. I loved the juxtaposition of the cliff edges with the arch and the shapes created. Just wasn't sure of what made the best composition. At home I found myself liking the vertical over the horizontal and this one above all the others.

With the addition of digital imaging and software to manipulate that image I have found myself playing around with my photographs for other than painting a picture of the subject. The picture above I enhance to bring out the texture of the stone.

I find myself playing around with my photographs for the sheer joy of playing. And sometimes interesting things come of it like this old truck. When I took the photo it was a rusty old truck. But home and cropped and just a bit of enhancement of color to bring out the faded green a tad more it became my Epiphany card.

Been there, done that, have the bullet holes to prove it.
The truly interesting thing is when I took the picture it was a cracked back window. Home on the big screen it was clearly bullet holes.

The above was like my third picture I took with my new Nikon D90. More pixels you have the more you get to play I find. And Corel Paintshop Pro has lots to play with. This winter with the weather less than optimal for photography I have played. The above photograph is to me a digital art work. And the question becomes at exactly where the line is between a manipulated photograph and a digital work of art?

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