Tag Archives: red

Know Something Most Artists Don’t Know About Filters

This incredible capture of a local bird fishing by the side of a tranquil pond owes its drama and vision to the use of filters in photographic art.

I’m often called upon to explain what a photographic artist does to not only the everyday art lover, but often enough to painters and sculptors also. Many people, especially, other artists are often hung up with the use of photography as merely a recording tool for selfies. Slowly, those barriers of understanding break down more and more as people see the artistic results of science and art blended in perfect unison.

One of my favorite explanations  is that in photographic art the light is our paintbrush and reality is our stretched canvas. However, we need to add another line to that explanation as our work of art Water Bird in Copper this time displays.

Water Bird in Copper
Water Bird in Copper

Namely, a filter is our artist palette.

 

This work has been released into the public domain by its author, Mlaoxve
Public domain by its author, Mlaoxve

Artist palettes are stereotypically envisioned as large boards held by painters where they mix the colors of the paints they are going to use. It’s one of the oldest and most recognizable pieces of equipment in a painter’s toolbox.

 

Painters use palettes to mix their colors to achieve the perfect nuance of color that they then apply to the picture that they are painting. It allows them to lighten or darken paints to create help them create the highlight or shadow in the work according to their artistic vision.

In photography, the use of filters is nothing new. In fact, with out the use of filters color film would never have developed. Filters allow certain wavelengths of light, or colors, through to the lens while blocking others.   This is often used to stop glare and boost picture clarity. Or, in it’s artistic application; the humble filter can serve the role of the palette and dramatically enhance the drama and beauty of the picture at hand.

 Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

 

Discover the Energy of the Lions

Blue Lion is the first in a dual picture set. Red lion is the other picture offered in the set . Meant to go together side by side, the details and colors of these two lions bring up the energies found in fire and water.

Both elements are clearly lions of the elemental world. They both contain a primal cleansing function and are equally feared by man. Lions represent the sheer force and power of nature in action and these statues summon an example of that ferociousness.

Blue Lion
Blue Lion
Red Lion
Red Lion

With the blue hue representative of the water element and the red hue a symbol of fire, we seek and find an energy balance between these giants of the natural world.

Whether you are seeking to enhance the Feng Shui flow of energy found in fire or water or just seeking a powerful dual statement of protection, these lions will look equally good protecting a doorway or projecting color into a room.

 Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

 

The Draw of Red Hibiscus

Visiting the tropical gardens of Florida are among one of my favorite places to go to. The endless carousing up and down long corridors of tropical greenery provides ample opportunity for a person to get back to nature.

Between one such corridor of tangled shrubs and brilliant flashes of floral thunder stood this exquisite hibiscus.   In full bloom this flower assaulted the air with both fragrance and a wonderful red hue.

Instantly,  the artist in me became delighted at capturing the image of this fragrant beauty. As pretty as this flower was, I still felt that perhaps it lacked something. Oh it was a stunning picture in its own right and processing it was a joy. But, I wasn’t happy with the total feel of the picture.

Red Hibiscus
Red Hibiscus

The color of the red flower on a deep-sea of leafy green sent an idea into my head. Why look at this botanical beauty through traditional black and white? So, I placed a deep red filter over the image and the results were magical.

The deep red punches through the various isolating influences of the green leaves and really pushes the actual flower to the limit of our visual acceptance. The petals of the red colored flower suddenly turn a red tinged highway of visible lines bursting forth from the center maw of the open flower.

The flower became a true apiary sign post inviting the delicate caresses of petals and pollen. A hidden beauty in it’s own right waiting for the right discovery.

Red Crowned Crane: A Splash of Color Makes the Difference.

This incredible bird is a Red Crowned Crane. Cranes are birds of elegance and beauty that very few other species can match. The natural colors for the bird are simply a bright red crest on its head, a blackened color plumage to the face and a long, tall elegant body with further white plumage.

Red Crowned Crane
Red Crowned Crane

As you can see, it’s not very far off what this work intends to demonstrate. However, placing a black and white filter over the bird allows the bringing out of  finer nuances in the beak and head area. You see detail that would otherwise be lost to color. So, in an essence you gain parts of the image by promoting black and white.

This also works the other way around.  The black and white filtering of the image causes the background to disappear in a sea of darkness.  The result is a loss of distractions from the subject of the work and adding visual stimulus from the clashes of the white feathers of the bird against the black unseen background.

Normally, this opposition of black and white would take over the photo. But what makes this crane stand out, what grabs the viewer’s attention more than any other aspect, is the brilliant red color of its crest.

I took a chance by introducing the color to a black and white image.   Adding color to a black and white work of art has become very commonplace in photographic art communities. Generally though, like HDR style photographs, overproduction of these colored images has led to a bit of abuse.  More often than naught, the artist will color in a wide swath of the picture to try to highlight a large feature like a car or bus. Usually, the object takes up so much of the picture it becomes unclear why the artist changed it to black and white in the first place.  But in our case, the bird only needed that small flush of brilliancy.  So the overall effect of the color is a punch of visual impact that centers the bird as the sole object of attention. The impression is cleanly made.

To overdo the color in an image destroys the artistic flair of creating the black and white image in the first place.   It is proof of the concept that a little burst of color goes a long way to developing something special.

See the rest of the show here.

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

Girders : Man vs Nature

The third installment from our recent visit to the Greenhill School campus is the work “Girders”. As the construction on campus of the new fine art building continued, there was a brief opportunity to see the skeletal insides of the towering building. I wanted to capture this moment before they installed the walls and fleshed out this monstrosity of campus expansion.

What I discovered was a series of right angles and geometric shapes as the girders of the red steel frame stood against the sky. The day was cloudy with low rumbling storm like clouds that spoke of rain. As these billows of dark nature swirled past the girders it created a strange otherworldly ambience.

Upon reflection of what I was seeing, I decided that a heavy red and green tinted filter was just the thing to bring the ominous feelings of the clouds to the viewer’s attention.

Girders
Girders

The red in the girders only became a deeper hue and a strange idea of the basic conflict of nature vs. man became prevalent to the picture’s theme. The girders representing the indomitable will of man to build, while his hubris produces an angry response from nature. All is in place to remind man though the building may continue, the victory is false for in the end nature and the ravages of time will eventually overcome.

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