Our newest work, Water Reeds, presents the thought that lines are an important factor in the emotional imprint of art. At first glance you might hesitant with the meaning of that statement.
I’ll admit, the statement is fraught with logical pitfalls and dangerous oversimplifications of reason. Everybody views a work of art differently and therefore the emotions can vary. The lines are the answer to looking at a work and discovering a hidden meaning to its feeling.
In both art schools and simple school art classes, students learn the artistic value of lines. They create direction and focus a viewer’s attention either towards or away from an area in a painting, sculpture, or picture according to the whims of the artist.
But, the usefulness of lines to an artist is not limited to just the direction you wish to point the viewer. They create an emotional feeling behind them. You can create aggressive lines that are forceful and dramatic. They beat down the doors of the soul with their thick widths and daring nature. The clusters of thick reeds in their green and brown lines dominate a presence that pulls the eye towards them.
Another function of a line in the hands of an artist is that of certain emotional passive aggressiveness. The rendering of these emotions is often accomplished with the thinning of a line. A thin black streak against a colored background is not always forceful. It does not assault the eye but it is not possible to ignore its existence.
The smaller reeds in the center of the picture show this feeling by directing your eye with a hidden yet forceful way. Yet the real technique is the way the water ripples actually form subtle lines going against the grain of the lines in the reeds.
Indeed, Our thin lines in the picture direct your eye towards our last line-induced emotion. I refer to passivity. If a thick line is aggressive and a thin line going in another direction is passively aggressive, how then can a line be passive? The answer is by their being no line.
In the center of the picture you see the gentle reflections of clouds in the water. True enough, if you were to grab a magnifying glass you would see a line. However, art is about illusion. The place where the blue of the water stops and the white of the cloud begins marks a line of some sort. Yet, from a distance, there is the gentle illusion of no discernible line. One color just stops and the other begins.
One last thought about art around the useful techniques and fashions of lines. Nature has provided us with this tranquil scene of reeds. You feel the light breeze and the warm summer sky. The picture in itself is very relaxing. However, to be relaxing, you as the viewer just need to read between the lines.
Living in the tropics the amount of insects and other assorted creatures you find is just staggering. Most of them are not very photogenic. However, every once in a while you run into the sort of small insect that screams for a photograph. A dragonfly remains one of the best examples I know.
Thus, I proudly introduce you to the latest in our dragonfly collection. Blue Dragonfly is a portrait capture of a male Pondhawk in all his beauty. That is unless your another insect, for these voracious hunters prey on smaller insects they capture with the their ability to fly at speeds of 30 mph or more.
Adding a little filter action to the scene produces the remarkable orange background. Funny enough, the background for this shot was actually orange. All the filter did was enhance a little more of this amazing color all the while bringing out the dramatic blue.
The hardest part of the filter process was the maintaining of those fragile wings. A dragonfly’s wings have a very thin, almost completely translucent quality to them. Changing the filter to enhance certain colors would invariably end up transforming the unique properties of those special wings. Indeed it was a challenge that ended with some surprisingly pleasant results.
In the end, when this radiant blue dragonfly with it’s gossamer wings resting peacefully on a flower appeared before my camera I took the opportunity to snap it up. An act I’m confident you’ll want to do too.
Our latest feature for our gallery is Pine Cones. This work represents one of many occasions where my inner artist took full control and I go a little wild. Sometimes, I follow a philosophy of “Don’t think, just shoot.” This type of photography is typical of an artistic type of photography known as Lomography. Most of the time, using this philosophy gives me quite beautiful but very unusual, and in the end, for one reason or another, unusable shots. However, I enjoy taking pictures this way due to the sheer artistic nature of the technique.
Taken through a specific type of Russian camera, Lomography is a film photograph. Sometimes blurs, light leaks, and other imperfections caused by the camera occur that represent this style. Other significant indicators of this style are the use of high contrast cross processing. Cross processing is the technique of using the wrong chemical solution to process a film than what the film normally requires. An artistic picture magically appears full of saturated colors and unnatural representations of color.
Pine Cones is an example of faux Lomography. I shoot and process my work in digital RAW. So, obviously when I add the techniques of cross processing and vignettes to the work, I’m doing so from a computer and not a dark room. Just like a darkroom specialist applying the wrong solution on purpose, I’m applying the wrong digital filters, and in the final result no one really knows what result will occur. Therefore, you may have to reprocess the picture several times to get the effect that you are looking for. Or, as is more than likely the case, the picture does not make the final cut and ends up in the digital trashcan.
It’s a laborious process for sure, but one I think people can agree ends up with a final work of art that captures it’s subject in a way that no other type of photography can.
This dramatic walkway through a dense palm forest looks as if it is a pencil sketch. Much to the surprise of some, I did not use the pencil sketch filter in Photoshop to create it. Instead, this photograph is a result of high definition processing, black cherry colored red filters and the liberal addition of both abstraction blurriness and heavy vignettes.
This work started out as something different. Originally, I desired to take several photographs of palm trees. Walking through parks in the state of Florida one would almost naturally suspect that palm trees would be both abundant and easily photographed. Realistically, only half that equation works out.
Finding palm tress in Florida is like finding a mosquito in a swamp. They are everywhere. There are thousands of styles and varieties, yet to this day, I have found only a handful worthy of the effort involved in lifting camera to eye. The difficulty is not their shape or size, no, rather their blandness. Palms are just not very colorful in their own right. You have either a dark brown with green foliage or a long trunk of sandy grey.
So, when I partook of the adventure to capture a cluster of palms for my next piece, I was ever the optimist hoping that today would be the day that I could capture that elusive photogenic palm.
The scene itself had all the particulars I look for. It had the palms, of course, a nice sidewalk style walkway and plenty of atmosphere. However, when started the process of selecting works for further enhancement, I was markedly disappointed by the original results. It was too brown, too exposed, and the natural lines in the photograph created by the trees were all wrong, at least for me. Still, I had that hidden impression that this shot was worth something. There was an unexplainable artistic feeling I had about it.
That is when my muse hit. That magical feeling of “what if I do this over here?” started to guide my senses and my hands. I started attacking the problems with filters, until I found the hidden picture within the picture. When you use filters in the production phase of your art work you invariably end up painting with light a great deal. A nip here and a tuck there, along with darkening a particular tree while enhancing another gives you varied results until finally your mind settles on the answer you were looking for.