Feb 2, 2009

Mama was a Painter…

Ship Rock, Four Corners, New Mexico

Bob Hope's theme song was Thanks for the Memories...
for me, memories of her painting involve an easel, a canvas, a palette filled with oils, and something she decided to paint.  My walls are adorned with her charcoal, watercolor, pastel, and oil paintings.
For a long time, I didn't think of myself as a painter.  Then I became a photographer.  Slowly, I began to delve into Adobe Photoshop; when I had become proficient with brushes in CS3, I still didn't realize that perhaps, just perhaps, I was a painter.
But with advent of Lightroom 2, with local Adjustment Brush and Auto Masking, I had begun to change.  I was using the brush, I was making subtle adjustments to color, texture, and sharpness; perhaps I was becoming a fine art painter!
With recent, careful capture of an HDR image at Shiprock, these ideas began to congeal as a digital photographer who captured a superb image, then with always improving brushes, finally started to paint ever so subtle changes / enhancements into the beauty of an evocative landscape.
One day I began to think of matting which might also enhance an image.  Camera club judges had harshly criticized straightforward black and white mats using the same inner mat color.  Black and white mats... they seemed like old charcoal paintings.

I began to think, "What about an outer gradient mat which softens colors in the picture and an inner mat with stronger picture colors ~ but opposing gradient?"  Using image colors, the inner mat might become a small, enhanced focus point.  Again with image colors, the outer mat emulates the softness of a watercolor or pastel.  Together, perhaps they represent fine art paintings.

Dare I suggest that combination of superb fine art 'paintings' and color conscious mats actually does represent an advancement from just digital into fine art photography...

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