Tag Archives: garden

How We Took A Flower From Ordinary To Extraordinary

As I mentioned last week, we are looking to take this photo of a typical tea rose and turn it into something fabulous. It is a good photo with the subject clearly

Tea Rose Original
How can we improve this?

defined and focused. But, it looks like thousands of other photographs of a tea rose.

Artistic is not really a word I would use to describe it as much as ordinary. Ordinary is not bad, but we are making art here!   Yet, it does have some artistic value. Centered in the shot, the rose falls in line with the traditional rule of thirds. However, there is too much space on the outside of the rose.

If you look at the white of the rose and the dirty white in the background you’ll discover that the rose tends to disappear into the background. If it wasn’t for the reddish tint on the tips of the petals, one might not even realize it is there. That is not good.  The answer is to crop the picture so that the flower becomes more focused as the one and only item for the viewer’s perusal.

Next, we need to create a mood for the picture. Since the subject is a flower, we can easily follow one of two routes for creating this mood. We can soften the flower by blurring it. This will give the flower a dreamy  like quality. Doing this kind of visualization reminds me of the Hallmark cards you see for sick people or weddings. In my opinion this is best done with a color photograph.

Or we choose the second mystical mood creator known in art as visual punch. This choosing of one technique over another, probably more than anywhere, is where the visual message of the artist gets to be expressed in photographic art. It’s a choice. You must factor in different element of the picture to make your choice wisely. Personally, I’m thinking this flower needs visual punch. Punch is power.

The reasoning behind this decision is the color of the flower. Since the shot happened during the mid afternoon with the harsh sunlight moving in and out of the clouds, I used a UV filter to act as a sort of sunglasses. I don’t like the amount of color I had to lose to make sure I capture the detail in the flower. Therefore, I chose the visual punch of a black and white image.

Further, the shot just doesn’t seem romantic and “soft” to me.  However, flowers always show a certain sense of passion and passion is power.  So, we have passion and visual punch able to combine into a true statement.  My vision of what route to take when creating this work is now complete.  Now we just need to visually bring it to life.

Since there is no color to attract the eye, we can only use the shading naturally provided by the sun and the colors as they turn from various colors to numerous shades of blackness. The result is a powerful visual image.

Pink Petal Tea Rose
Passion and Punch always work together.

The flower is actually enhanced in its detail by losing the color and the cropping helps bring out the graininess of the flowers leaves. The result is a powerful combination of light and dark, grainy and smoothness that will look good whether framed or printed on canvas.

We go from ordinary to extraordinary.

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The Birth of A Work of Photographic Art

A few weeks ago I did a post on the potential of photographic art using a before and after picture. The response was good enough to inspire me to do another.   So this week we will look at a before shot of a tea rose I captured in a garden one very hot, muggy, and sunny day.

Tea Rose Original
How can we improve this?

 

 

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As you can see, this is a nice shot of a tea rose. It also, unfortunately, looks like millions of other tea rose photographs. We want to change that. One of the ideas behind photographic art is the use of a picture as a canvas of sorts. We want to enhance the subject and give it the power that photography has as an art form.

 

As is right now, this photograph has some challenges we need to address. Namely, because of the bright sun, I used a photographic filter on the camera that works like a pair of sunglasses. The upside is this filter allows for more detail in bright light, the downside is that it mutes the colors.

 

I also want to bring out more detail. So visit us next week when I post the results of this tea rose and discover what type of artistic flair I will bring to the image.

 

In the meantime, form a mental image of what you think we can do with this rose.

 

Till next week!

 

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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22 Ideas For Pumpkin Season

Archaeologists have found pumpkin seeds and remains in most areas of the Americas.  School age American children can tell you about the Native Americans showing the Puritans how to keep from starving using this versatile squash.

 

But what can you do with them?   Ah, you can make…

 

  1. Exfoliation face mask
  2. A body butter
  3. Lotion
  4. Pie
  5. Ice cream
  6. Gelato
  7. Soups
  8. Candle holders (small pumpkins)
  9. Snack on the Seeds
  10.  Bread
  11.  Honey Butter
  12.  Biscuits
  13.  Pancakes
  14. Cheesecake
  15.  Cookies
  16. Jack-O-Lanterns
  17. Ammunition for trebuchets:   Pumpkin Chunkin
  18.  Waffles
  19.  Scones
  20. Ravioli
  21.  Ale
  22. Fine Art!

 

You can get some ideas for pumpkin carving here:

http://www.extremepumpkins.com/

Or, recipes here.

http://allrecipes.com/howto/pumpkin-recipes/

http://www.endlesssimmer.com/2010/10/14/100-ways-to-cook-a-pumpkin/

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

It’s Almost Over!!!!!

So this is the last weekend of the show.  The show “Walking Through the Zen Garden” ends on Sun. afternoon.  Ann and I both hope that you have enjoyed a glimpse into the realm of a Zen Garden and all the beautiful nature that is there.   Remember, when the show ends, we will remove most of the pictures from the website.  So, if you have a favorite that you want to buy, or cards to order, now is the time.

Our first show continues a wonderful period of growth in our new gallery.  We have about 400 Twitter fans and our Google + following is increasing steadily.  If you don’t follow us on Twitter or Goggle +, then consider getting an email subscription, RSS subscription or “liking” us on Facebook.  We even keep up a presence on Pinterest.

Of course, with endings start new beginnings and we look forward to the mountain of possibilities. The next few weeks are very busy as we explore a series of Halloween and Fall seasonal works of photographic art.   Also, stay tuned for another A&A Photographic Arts first, as we present the publishing début of the short-story Old Man Grier and the Ghost Pumpkins. 

Are you a railroad or train fan?   We hope so.  A new series will begin soon featuring works of art from a local steam-powered railroad still in operation.

Don’t’ forget, now is the time to start thinking about rotating your seasonal artwork and purchasing new ones.   Speaking of seasons, don’t forget your new greeting cards,  they are a great way to impress someone special and wish them a happy holiday.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!