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Photo Images into Art

By Digital Photo Artist

My ancestors were not particularly known for their artistic contributions to the world until my talented mother came along. Although she has sadly passed from this life, she left a legacy of artistic works that will never be forgotten. I got my artistic yearnings from watching her bloom as an artist when I was a youngster and though my expression was through photography from the beginning, I have to say she was very influential in my development. I constantly struggled with the “realism” that came to be in the photos that I took and the “fantasy” that was available to a traditional artist. I wanted to “blur the lines” between these two mediums so to speak (and yes, pun intended!) I feel that now in my later years, I have been able to accomplish this goal of taking an ordinary photograph and transforming it into an art piece. The struggle between my yearnings, true painter artists and the photographic purists are laid out in a different post…



There are many programs on the web now that can help one accomplish the transformation from photo to art, so it seems that there are many people who also strive to accomplish this form of art. I personally use Photoshop as my mainstay for this. I have Photoshop CC which is online access through Adobe to all of their fancy programs for a monthly subscription fee. I pay the $30 per month for the full spectrum of programs but there is a $10 a month subscription to be had for just Photoshop access. I also use other programs including Topaz, OnOne, Alienskin, Corel Painter, Photomatix, Portrait Professional and a host of other programs that I have bought and learned over the last 15 years. The learning curve is steep on these but doable!



Below is an example of transforming a photo into a painting. I used only Photoshop on this one. There are many treasures in thrift stores that make for excellent subject matter in these photos! I bought these dishes and set up the shoot with grapes and pecans I had in the kitchen. The shot required creation and the placing of the dishes in relation to the food was crucial. The background was contrived as well as the angle from which the image was taken. All of these basic artistic elements were considered before the photo was taken. Contact me if  you have questions or need help!


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The 3 Biggest Mistakes New Landscape Photographers Make

By Digital Photo Artist


The Three Biggest Mistakes New Landscape Photographers Make

“Oh what inspiration! With my brand new camera and I can take pictures like these!” you think to yourself as you browse through the magazine of prize-winning landscape photographers and their images. I live close to the Grand Teton mountains and they are the perfect subject for my new career! You plunged into the project with great enthusiasm and had a wild day running from place to place shooting to your heart’s content. The sun and the clouds put on a special show of beauty and awe that day just for you.

Meanwhile, you can’t contain your excitement as the images load into your computer! “These are going to blow everyone away! I will make a living selling these on Fickle!” The thumbnails pop into view, one by one.. “Oh, that one is too bright!.. and that one…hey what happened to those beautiful clouds?” and as you peruse your treasure you realize that the camera has betrayed you. Your inspiration is deflated and you just don’t know what to do. So you grab a cupcake.

This scene happens all too often as people realize their skills are not yet up to par. The feeling of overwhelm and not knowing where to turn to begin to fix the problems. What really went wrong?

Dynamic range is a subject that not many people have knowledge of. It is the range of detail that is recorded either by the eye or by the camera. The camera records dynamic range at a much narrower spectrum than the eye. So what you see with your eyes is not what you are going to get with the camera. In your images, your shadow areas will be just dark or black and your lighted areas will be blown out white with no details.

Mistake #1 is trying to capture full details in a scene with way more contrast than the camera can handle. The simple handle for this is to compose your photo with either a predominance of the darker areas in the viewfinder or a predominance of the lighter areas in the view finder. The camera will compensate nicely when the dynamic range of the scene is within its spectrum.

Mistake #2 is not being aware of or controlling your camera settings, especially when it comes to shutter speed. Blurry images come from camera shake facilitated by hand held cameras. No one can hold a camera perfectly still at slower shutter speeds, so either set the shutter speed to at least 1/60th of a second or get a tripod. Once you have set your shutter speed, then you can adjust your f-stop to get a perfectly sharp and correct exposure.

Mistake #3 has to do with image composition. Composition can be so bad as to leave out important elements of a photo, to leaving in objectionable elements such as telephone poles and wires or cars. It is best to compose so your photo leads the observers eye to the main subject.

You can make it as a landscape photographer! Just study your basics and do lots and lots of practice until you have your skills down to a science. You COULD be featured as the next great landscape photographer in the Outdoor Photographer magazine! Just go for it!

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Painting Pictures

By Digital Photo Artist


Girls on a Beach

Girls on a Beach

There are as many different ways to present an image as there are people in the world. Everyone of us, given the opportunity, would present the same image in a different and creative way. Whether it be by just leaving it as the camera saw fit to record it or, the other end of the spectrum, taking it to extremes that would make the image almost unrecognizable using all sorts of programs or plug-ins, every one would be different.


That is ART. It is the attempted and sometimes successful communication of an idea, a feeling or a concept via one’s chosen medium. It speaks to the eye of the beholder, either in apathy, fear, anger or exhilaration, it evokes a response. Sometimes its just “why?” and sometimes its “wow”, but all the same, we want a response in the observer.


I love to take photographs. As I excitedly go from one subject to the next, the thought in my mind is, “I can’t wait for people to see THIS one!” My subjects  are evoking a response in ME and I want to share the joy, the beauty, the wonder, the questions that come to me as I make images. I am driven to improve the quality of communication from my images. That is why I have moved into making paintings out of some of my images just to make them move to “that place” of higher emotion, conciousness or response from others. I don’t think it is because of my skill as a  photographer, it is because my vision pushes me out of the proverbial photographic box and explodes into more color! more detail! more story! Or less color, softer focus, more dreamy!


The images in this post started as photographs that I made and transformed into pieces of art. Check out more at!

Basket of Onions




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