Tag Archives: black and white art prints

Which Print of Pelican Do Other Artists Say to Buy?

April is a very busy month in the art world.  There are a lot of public shows and a few private ones. For example, the work Pelican recently showed at an exclusive art show with the Tarpon Springs Art Association in Tarpon Springs, Florida. These private or member only art shows really test an artist’s nerve. It is like presenting a scientific paper at a medical symposium. There is no place to hide if something goes hideously wrong and your colleagues are going to scrutinize your work with every critical bone in their body.

The story behind Pelican is a rather simple one. I was sitting on a dock watching a local fisherman filet a large fish, a large friendly pelican suddenly showed up to see if any scraps accidentally fell in the water. It was like watching a family pet begging at the dinner table.  In the end it did not leave disappointed.

Pelican
Pelican

When I was in the process of choosing the type of print for the show, I discovered archival prints of this work look good. The work printed on canvas really has a classy artistic look.  But, nothing beats out the absolute beauty of Pelican printed on metal.   The gloss of the aluminum lends itself to showcase the pure whites in such a way that it looks almost self-illuminant. There is a serious wow factor to the print.

Pelican
Pelican

I soon found out I was no alone in this thought.  In fact, the biggest complaint or critique I had on presenting Pelican was a comment that the print on metal was actually too good for local fare. Other artists told me that if a patron has a white or black furniture theme in the home or office, then a metal print of Pelican is the print they should get.  It was the type of complaints that any artist wants to hear.

In Other News:

The gallery has experienced some very exciting growth opportunities recently by expanding its exhibitions

Monarch Butterfly 3
Monarch Butterfly 3

beyond the Texas border.   The newest members of the butterfly collection made a special appearance at the Tarpon Springs annual Art on the Bayou festival. White Peacock Butterfly 2 and Monarch Butterfly 3 was well received by both the public and other artists alike.

White Peacock Butterfly 2
White Peacock Butterfly 2

Future Happenings:

The gallery will exhibit local photographic works in a new two-person art show at the Susan Dillinger Art Gallery in the New Port Richey City Hall from May 2nd – May 31st.  The works will be on display during regular business hours.  There is no cost to attend and enjoy the art.  All art will be available for purchase.

The Potential of This Photograph is Awesome

Last week we started off with a picture of a strange-looking flower blooming off the side of a palm tree. The starting unfiltered picture is typical of what you find on the Internet. It’s certainly not a bad picture per se, but it does have issues that we will need to contend with before one can look at it and unabashedly call it a work of art.

What is the potential?
What is the potential?

One of the biggest difficulties in the picture is the heavy dose of sunlight affecting the overall image and is robbing us of detail that would enhance the picture. This has everything to do with the time day I took the picture.  In this case it’s a trade-off between technique and artistic imagery.  If I were to take the picture at an earlier or later time so that the lighting is perfect, the sun would not be at an angle in the sky to flow directly on the flower. Lighting is what gives an image its dramatic power.

So, one of the first things to do is to rebalance the image reduce the sunlight glare from blowing out our image. Once we mange that, both on the camera through a lens filter and then again in Photoshop, we pull out more detail and move on to any color issues.

The picture is green predominately green and white. It’s a plant so that is to be expected, but I want to enhance that drama we were talking about earlier. I do this by simply changing the image to a black and white one. The advantage is that the white will remain but the greens will turn into varying shades of blacks and grays thus not only preserving our drama but enhancing it.

After this transformation I work with the contrast and brightness and make sure that there is an area of pure white and pure black in the image for aesthetic reasons.

I then move on towards working with a modern day version of dodging and burning the picture to further enhance both the dark areas and the dramatic white. The last step is to make sure that no digital noise has crept in the photograph robbing the image of a silky smooth look. So I use a denoise filter designed to take the noise out .

You may ask why I’m not giving specific details about the exact settings I use in Photoshop or how many filters I may apply. It’s not that my answers are full of trade secrets. Rather, the reason is that there are no set hard fast rules for applying filters and using dodge and burn on your images. Some images may require 3 filters, some 13. It is dependent upon your artistic eye and the individual image.

Thus I am left with the enhanced image below.

 

Palm Flower
Palm Flower

Hope you enjoyed this look at a simplified version of taking and image and working it step by step and filter by filter into a work of art.

 

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Art Show! Opportunities with Animals

Welcome to our new online show!   Opportunities with Animals is a fresh view of animals from the lens of our resident photographic artist Andrew Chianese.

This show will remain online from June 1st – June 14th 2015.  All prints, and more, are available for purchase here or here.

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Enjoy…

Download our Free Catalog here!  (26 mb)

 

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The Bridges of Ellis County

There exist areas of Texas that do not seem to have changed much since the 19th century. Old homesteads and farms still populate the vast countryside outside the massive cities and quaint little towns. Usually these farms connect to civilization only by tenuous barely paved roads. The bridges of Ellis County bear tribute to one such road.

Fit only for the mightiest of farm trucks and tractors you won’t see any Ferraris out on these bridges. The roads are a mixture of crumbled Texas clay and gravel. The two bridges are spanning the local creek and offer an easy way to cross. It’s obviously not without danger though. The bridges are wooden and don’t even muster the protective feel that a guard rail would offer you.

You can imagine the panic of going over one of these bridges in the dark hours of the night. There is no street light and the over grown trees and foliage would easily block any light from a helping moon.   One slip up and you spend a long night waiting for a tow truck. Assuming you could even find one to come out that far. Good luck finding with even finding phone service out here.

Bridges of Ellis County
Bridges of Ellis County

While traveling that forgotten path one Sunday morning, the memory of old childhood stories involving trolls living under the bridge flooded my memories. One can easily imagine that these bridges, or ones similar to them, are the nexus for such stories.

Indeed this is where the wild things are. Besides the obvious danger that the bridges offer, you need constant diligence against running into a spooked deer, opossum, raccoon, coyote and even a loose cow. What hides in those few dark wooded areas along this unprotected path? Have caution my friends when visiting the Bridges of Ellis County.

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The Secret of Red Tulip

This is our latest offering in our ever-expanding artwork dealing with flowers. Red Tulip is a portrait of a bright red tulip found in the flower garden one spring morning.   The main motivation for the work revolves around the lighting and the detail of the dew on the petals of the flower.

 

Black and White photography allows for you to see pieces of the flower that you would otherwise be unable to view due to the bright colors. The challenge in creating a piece like this is twofold. The first, and probably the hardest, is taking the shot. But to do that it is necessary to mentally sift through hundreds of tulips and lighting angles to find the right one. The fact that I only use natural lighting conditions when taking a picture really pushes my creativity when searching for my subject.

 

Another trick is that you have to be there early to get this shot. Most photographers preferring natural light will tell you that as the day progresses the light from the sun becomes more and more harsh. But there are other reasons for getting to the flower garden before the sun becomes your enemy. Early morning is the best time to capture the morning dew. The random droplets of dew on enhance our attention to detail when viewing a flower. It just naturally appears fresher.

Red Tulip
Red Tulip

 

The second challenge in this shot is the use of filters.   Because I do not use artificial light, I use various colored filters to create a darker or lighter image among the colors when converted into a black and white image.   These filters only do part of the job however, as it is then necessary to use dodge and burning techniques to enrich areas of the flower that will enhance the natural lighting or darken the background as my creativity inspires me to do.   While this is consumes a great deal of time, the result is worth it.

 

As usual, the hardest part of any artwork is the naming. I decided that since the main reason any flower attracts our attention for so long is definitely the color. So, I decided that I was going to name it according to the color of the original tulip. Thus Red Tulip was born.

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