50mm Lens, Canon 50D, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography

Interacting with Art

How do you interact with art? Does it inspire your own work?  I was at Laumeier Sculpture Park and this sculpture caught my eye. It is called “The Palm at the End of the Parking Lot” by Robert Lobe.  It is metal wrapped around a dead walnut tree branch.  It is a big sculpture and I wasn’t really interested in photographing the whole sculpture because it was the detail of the metal contrasted with the wood that caught my attention.  Also, as it just so happened, the sun was shining brightly, but in a way that I could take a shot and the sculpture would be very dramatic against the sky.  This is my final image:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250

I will show you an original exposure later in this post but this version is three exposures bracketed together and edited in Photomatix Pro.  I chose the “Painterly” setting, because it was that combination of colors that I liked best.  Kind of funny that this ended up being a sculpture, photographed, and edited using a painting filter.

What do you think? Do you ever photograph art and then edit it? Is that an acceptable thing to do in your opinion, or is it unethical to modify another artists work in that way?  Feel free to leave your comments and thoughts below.

This post was also inspired by the weekly travel theme at Where’s My Backpack? The topic this week is sky.

Here is one of my original shots:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/6.3 1/250



14 thoughts on “Interacting with Art

  1. I have taken photos of artwork; mostly sculptures, but, also some murals painted on buildings throughout Philadelphia. I have modified the artwork, as you did originally, taking only the part of the sculpture that I wanted. But, I have also edited the artwork. I think it is okay. I wonder what the artist would think. You have made me give this some thought. Maybe, I should show the entire piece and my take. Hmm…

    When I first started blogging, I was ignorant about copyright, and thought I could use anything I found in Google Images. On my first blog, I tore down a lot of photographs when I understood how things really worked. It was easier than going back and researching every photo. That is how I started taking pictures. I probably already told you this. I sometimes repeat myself.

    Some artwork I have photographed will never see my blog, because they had “all rights reserved”. When it is okay to use the artwork, I try to give attribution to the artist if I know who it is and what the name of the piece is.

    I love the effects you used on your photo. The tree really stands out against the sky, and I think your editing makes the picture more dramatic and interesting, even though the original is a beautiful shot. In the end, it does look like a painting!


    • Showing a photo of the entire piece and then your take sounds like a reasonable way to go. I didn’t think of that. I understand what you are saying about copyright,it can be a tricky thing. There are a lot of bloggers who use copyrighted images, most with attribution, but I have seen some without. I think for the most part, where you really get into trouble is if you are then attempting to make money in anyway off of it. Most of the bloggers I have seen who are in violation, really aren’t doing that, so my guess would be that no one would every make an issue of it. It depends on the artist too, obviously some folks don’t mind the interpretation but others would really take offense.
      Thanks for your thoughts 🙂


  2. poppytump says:

    Futuristic !
    Interesting PJB .. it’s not something I’ve really thought about that before , but since I’ve recently used part of an image I took of a sculpture in a photo collage you’ve kind of got me thinking …


  3. “Art is anything you can get away with,” so said Marshall MacLuhan. Yes you can shoot a sculpture, post process the shot and still call the image art. I’ve done it, not frequently, but I have and I’ll eventually do it again..


  4. Suzanne says:

    It is a contentious subject. You could take the postmodern view that art in the public arena is available for anyone to interpret any way they want or you could take the more conventional approach and see the art as the copyright of the artist. Personally I tend to leave contemporary art and only re-interpret or digitally manipulate art that dates from before 1900 and is no longer copyrighted. (I wrote about this subject a lot when I was studying art as I use a lot appropriated images in my own art practice.)


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