February 1st, 2022
Eyes are the most important part of any portrait; or at least in 99.5% of the time. What do they always say when it comes to sales? Make eye contact. Most of us do that anyway, we meet someone and make eye contact as we introduce ourselves. It is no different when we first look at a portrait, you make eye contact with the subject of the image. The eyes are the first clue when it comes to learning the mood of your portrait. Are they happy, sad, mad, confused, etc? Looking into the eyes starts the process for the viewer to figure that out.
A portrait can be taken of subjects from the animal kingdom as well. Pets portraits are popular with people and when you capture your own or other's pets keep the eyes in mind.
When shooting a portrait there are only a few things to keep in mind to make your photograph pop and stand out. First, the eyes MUST be in focus, sharp. Point your camera's focus spot right on that eye. Second, light the eyes. In doors or out, light must be part of your portrait and the eyes need the most attention. Either off camera lighting or a reflector should be used to throw some light into the eye socket. We've all seen it, zombie or raccoon yes. Zombie eyes are portraits when the eye's iris and pupil blend together and you can't tell the point the pupil begins. This is almost always caused with the lack of light. Some animals in the wild kingdom have very large pupils making it difficult to see the iris area. Zombie eyes might be hard to avoid with these animals. Raccoon eyes are when the eyes are cast in so much shadow it is difficult to even see them. This is caused by the lack of light in the eye socket. The subect's brow casts a shadow. Normally this happens in strong light, for example, a very sunny day.
Like with most photography, practice makes perfect. Find a willing model and practice your portrait skills.
January 29th, 2022
Texture art is defined as art that affects the sense of touch. Or at least, something close to that. In the digital world, you are unable to use the sense of touch in that you can't reach out and feel the actual texture. When it comes to digital, the eyes (and I guess your brain) convinces you the image has texture You can actually see the texture you added to the image. Over the last year I started adding these textures to some of my images. I either create, purchase or just find royal free textures on the internet and apply them to the image. Using photoshop, these textures are layered on top of or below the image and then different blend modes are used to the textured layer. Masks and other photoshop work in usually done and, if you're skilled enough, magic happens.
Most of my textured images are done with my wild kingdom collection. However, recently, I've started using the process on landscapes and other photographs I've taken over the years. I'm really enjoying the results. Obviously, these images are available for sale on prints, T-shirts, mugs and other items I offer. Yet, I'm also posting them in various social media groups so other like-minded artists and photographers can see the results. I've learned so much from these groups and often apply what I've learned to my own images.
Sometimes the textures added to the image are obvious in that it is easy to see. Mostly, however, the textures are more subtle and harder to notice leaving a more pleasant textured feel. Mother nature is beautiful and you're able to see this through photography. However, applying a little help with textures can really add to that beauty.
January 27th, 2022
Being a wedding photographer, I get to discover beautiful locations in Cincinnati brides wish to be photographed. Spring Grove, Riverside Drive and Devou Park just to name a few. Certainly, shooting in these locations at various times of the year can only add to their beauty. Devou Park with the fall colors decorating the landscape is just one example. I always believed the Cincinnati Skyline doesn't really need help in that it is one of the most breath taking in the nation, in my opinion, but visiting during autumn changed my mind. I snapped a few images and then added them to my collection on Fine Art America.