All posts filed under: Fine Art

Capturing the character of birds in intimate portraits

Leila Jeffreys is an acclaimed Australian contemporary photographic and video artist. She is best known for visceral and mysterious images of birds that explore and subvert the traditions of portraiture. Her avian subjects are photographed at human scale with an astounding attention to color, line, form and composition. How did you get started in photography, and in photographing birds specifically? I picked up a camera at the age of 15 and from that point on, it was always close by – I was the one in my group of friends who was always taking photos, documenting our lives. I studied photography in high school, and then at University in Perth, Western Australia as part of my Communications degree, before moving to Sydney, New South Wales to study photography full time at TAFE. After completing my studies, I began working as a commercial photographer but was never at all comfortable in that role. I was always uncomfortable with the prospect of working fast and handing over work that disappointed me. So, once I realized that I …

Shooting a large-scale public art installation

Sabine Hornig, an artist from Berlin, was invited by Public Art Fund to participate in a competition to create an installation for LaGuardia Airport’s new Terminal B – and she was awarded one of four large projects. We sat down with Sabine to hear the story of how her art evolved to include photography, what inspired her in creating the installation at LaGuardia, and how she achieved the final result. Hi Sabine, thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us about your incredible art. To start, we would love to hear how your art evolved to include photography. My background is actually in sculpting. At a certain point, I began incorporating large transparent photographs into my works. I first realized this at the Malmö Museum of Art in 1995. These works were quite large-scale and thus required high resolution images, as I had to enlarge them to the scale of the work. I find that the transparent images I have been working with become almost three dimensional in the space; it’s almost …

The Art of Creative Expression with Tony Hewitt

Tony Hewitt is a multi-award winning Australian fine art photographer. Do you remember the moment when you decided you were going to become a photographer? I remember wanting to be a photographer from early on. I’m not sure of the exact moment, but I do recall shooting an image of the setting sun as it glistened through the tall grass, shot through the front window of my car at the age of 17. I used the strip of window tint across the top as a gradient filter. This was my first landscape image and still hangs on the wall at my sisters house, (although I must admit to not really understanding much more at the time than it looked good, and the camera was on auto. This was the beginning of my journey as a photographer. Why did you choose to focus on landscape and fine art photography? After a career involving nearly 1000 weddings and thousands more portraits, I found myself moving into the commercial genres, and ultimately began pursuing private projects. This was …

Peter Latham brings New Zealand’s landscapes to your home

Peter Latham is a fine art landscape photographer from New Zealand who captures his country’s epic scenery in incredible detail. His photographs can be seen in private and corporate collections around the world, as well as, more recently, New Zealand’s Auckland International Airport.   I’ve loved photography from a young age, back when we processed film the old-fashioned way and it all felt magical. I fell for it immediately. But my first real foray into photography happened in my 20s. I had quit my job at a camera store and decided to cycle for 5 months around New Zealand’s South Island, bringing along as much camera equipment as I could carry, i.e. a Bronica ETRS 120. Two years later I started a tour around the globe as a photographer, aboard 17 different cruise ships. On one of these cruise ships we got an Epson 7600 (24”) printer. We were shooting everything on film, scanning 8×10 studio portraits and printing them onto canvas. I was so impressed by the process that when I gave up ship …

T.M. Glass blends photography with digital painting in mesmerizing still life

T.M. Glass is a digital artist based in Toronto, whose practice explores the historical, technological, and aesthetic conditions of photography, stretching it beyond its traditional definition. Once a student of sculpture and fine art at the Ontario College of Art, Glass returned to art after building a successful career as a writer and producer in film and television. Today, the artist’s vision is channeled into hyper-realistic still life photography combined with digital painting.   If I had to trace back the catalyst for my photographic beginnings to a precise point in time, I would say it all started when I saw a painting by Claude Monet at the Art Gallery of Ontario in the late 1990s. It was a simple still life painting, lilac flowers in a jug, but the composition, light, shades and colors were so beautiful they captured my attention and my heart. I stayed looking at it for the longest time, and years later I can still remember how strongly that 100-year-old painting reached out to me. It was Monet’s artwork that …

Opening windows into other worlds – Leif Steiner

I don’t have a lot of background in photography, but because of my role as a creative director I believe I developed an eye, a sense of problem-solving, opinions on style – all of which I think can easily be applied to photography. So I approach photography from a problem-solving standpoint. When I look at a photo, I’m very analytical. To me, an extraordinary photo is one that you can look at, but that you can also hear, smell, and taste. The best thing about being a portrait photographer is the ability to interact with people and learn things about them that you would never be able to do otherwise. I’ve learned so much about people by taking their portrait. Traveling to remote places, photographing some of these traditional cultures – there are huge language barriers. Sometimes I have to work with two translators, but I still get to understand a little bit more about their life, and they understand a little bit more about mine. This shared perspective is the richest experience for me. …

Managing the subjective experience – Pierre-Alain Folliet

My decision to focus on photography came at a time when people were reaching out with project proposals that I had to refuse due to the lack of time. I realized that if I kept refusing photo projects, they’d stop coming to me, and if I really wanted to do photography I needed to start prioritizing it. In fact, photography is a way of life for me. I live for photography, I live through photography, I express myself through the image. The first memory I have related to photography is from when I was about 12 years old and we had a flood in Geneve. I took my mother’s Rolleiflex and went out to take pictures, declaring myself a reporter. I took 12 pictures, because that’s how many the film allowed, and returned home feeling the proudest I’ve ever felt. “I search for the extraordinary in everything because I’m not much interested in the norm. I love going beyond the norm, even when that means I’ll suffer to get there.” Today I shoot nature because …

Celebrating life through photography – Rudy Atallah

I was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon to an American mother and a Lebanese father. In 1984, I moved to the United States, joined the Air Force after college, and ended up in the First Gulf War. I served for 21 years and retired in 2009 after the Mærsk Alabama hostage rescue – the Captain Phillips story. After that, I started White Mountain Research, along with my work for two nonprofits: The Nazarene Fund and The Blessing Projects. Oftentimes, on business trips or while traveling for nonprofit work, I carry a camera with me. When I get to take a break, I sometimes capture things that move my heart. I don’t just arbitrarily pull the camera out of the bag and start shooting, I have to feel something when I point my lens towards a subject. My passion for photography started off, believe it or not, during the First Gulf War. I was flying combat missions back and forth around Saudi Arabia, and I used to carry a camera in my helmet bag. When …

Capturing time in landscape – Ken Rhodes

I always had a passion for photography. I did quite a bit of film photography when I was in high school, but at university I put the camera down for several years as I pursued an advanced degree and raised a family. I picked it up again about 10 years ago and revived my interest in landscape photography in a way that surprised even myself. “You can plan only so much about how the final image will look, the rest is up to nature and time. This element of uncertainty is what draws me to long exposure photography.” Today, photography enables me to express myself in a way that I can’t do in my career as a scientist. In science, we have a very structured approach to running experiments. Many of the things we do have to meet fairly strict criteria as we, let’s say, advance molecules from the laboratories into human clinical studies. Landscape photography, and particularly long exposure photography, lets me bring this experimentation out into the landscape. Long exposure introduces an element …

Finding a new home – Miles Flint

After many years of just taking pictures, it was 2009 when I heard that Phase One were running a 10-day workshop in Death Valley, California, and I managed to get a spot. It was during that trip that I realized just how little I knew, how much I had to learn. I realized I needed to examine myself and my motivation for doing photography, and make a cognitive change. That’s the time I began to read other books, look at other photographers, go to museums, art galleries, and really start to think much deeper about photography and art. I started out with a business background. In business, everything was measurable. You knew how well you were doing, you knew that if you made your quarterly numbers or your annual budget it meant you were doing well. When you start out in the art life, there is no way of assessing objectively how well you’re doing, which is why I think most photographers are somehow a bit insecure. They know what they’re doing, they know what …

Photographer Harold Ross on working with fine art galleries

Harold Ross is an American fine art photographer who has been mastering the art of light painting for the past 30 years. His work has been exhibited, published and collected all over the world. Today, he teaches his unique technique of sculpting with light through his blog and regular workshops.   If you’re at a point in your career where you’re considering working with galleries to sell your work, here are a few questions I think you need to ask yourself beforehand: Do I want to work with limited editions? Whether you want to work with limited editions is a big and very important decision. Once decided, it’s difficult to change, so give this a lot of thought. Basically, if you work with higher quality galleries, limited editions are desired, as collectors of your work will want to have confidence that there will be a limited supply of your prints. This means that, all things being equal, your limited edition prints will have more inherent value than if you offered open editions (no limit to …

Meet Harold Ross, the light sculptor

Harold Ross is an American fine art photographer who has been mastering the art of light painting for the past 30 years. His work has been exhibited, published and collected all over the world. Today, he teaches his unique technique of sculpting with light through his blog and regular workshops.   My love story with photography started, as it does with many photographers, while standing next to my father in the darkroom, when I was very young. I’ll always remember those moments of watching the images come up in the developer tray. This seems rather quaint in today’s age of electronic devices, but back then it was truly magical. I remember wanting to recreate that magic for myself. At sixteen I bought my first camera, a GAF Instamatic, which I still own. I remember having so much fun photographing family and friends, and then developing the film and making prints in the darkroom. Both my father and my uncle were amateur photographers, and there was no shortage of good advice and technical help. It was …