iPhone, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photo Editing, Photography, Picfair

The Greatest Work of Art in the World

It’s possible you walked right past it.  It’s always amazing to me what I run past almost daily.  It’s scenes like this:

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/2200 sec

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/2200 sec

Or this:

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#frost and #sun on my morning #run #nofilter #photography

A post shared by Amy Maranto (@marantophotography) on

 

These two photos represent to me the greatest art in the world, art that occurs in nature.  Don’t get me wrong, I love going to art galleries or churches and looking at beautiful works of art, but you can’t beat what you walk past every day.

These photos were taken within minutes of each other yet have a very different feel to them.  The first, which has been edited, is moodier despite the warm tone of the sky.  Here is what the original photo looked like:

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/2200 sec

ISO 25 4.15mm f2.2 1/2200 sec

A cooler tone, but more distracting elements in the lower left and right of the photo.  I used Photoshop, the healing brush tool, to remove them.  I then used the Analog pro plug in in Lightroom and applied a filter that warmed the photo up and also introduced the grain that you can see in the final image.  There is a vignette in the corners that I think is most obvious in the lower corners.  This version I posted to my Picfair portfolio.

The Instagram photo, well it’s an Instagram photo.  What I mean by that is that photos I post there tend to be more casual and everyday.  I like the light in the photo. I think it works well in Instagram’s square format too.  It isn’t a photo that I would put in a more formal setting though because part of the plant, the part that is closest to the viewer, is out of focus.  I could get all high and mighty and tell you haughtily that “It’s art!” but the reality is that it is distracting.  I like it, but I’m not going to edit it.

Do you have a favorite among the images? Are you on Instagram, I am @marantophotography if you’d like to stop by there. Do you have a favorite work of art?  Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Abstract

In the Spring the St. Louis Art Museum hosts one of my favorite exhibits, Art in Bloom. The challenge for some local floral artists is to create a work based on a piece from the museum that is assigned to them.

This was one of my favorites from this year.  It was this detail that caught my eye:

ISO 800 10mm f/5.0 1/13

ISO 800 10mm f/5.0 1/13

The ribbon, an almost exact detail from the painting, I think made the arrangement go from abstract to concrete.

This exhibit is usually crowded, for that reason I take my point and shoot camera. I usually set my ISO to 800, turn the flash off, and then let the camera make the rest of the decisions.  This low maintenance approach leaves me with nice photos and more time to focus on the art I am looking at.  I was lucky this year to have time to see the exhibit twice, once in the morning on its first full day and once near the end of the weekend in the evening.  It was interesting to me how much the arrangements had changed over the few days.

What do you think, do you like this take on the painting? Do you have a favorite yearly art exhibit?  Do you think that the time of day changes how you interact with the art you are looking at? Feel free to leave a comment below.

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Flowers, Photo Challenges, Photography

Weekly Photo Challenge: Orange

In terms of this week’s photo challenge, orange, I guess I just got lucky.  Today was the start of Art in Bloom at the St. Louis Art Museum. The challenge for local floral gurus in the area is to create a floral arrangement that represents a piece of art work they are assigned.  It is a fun and very crowded exhibit to see.  For this blog post I chose to show the floral arrangement of Catherine Thoele who was assigned Octagonal Jar with Design of Cherry Trees, Peonies, and Chrysanthemums.

Of the ones I saw, this was my favorite interpretive arrangement.  I loved the orange of the flowers, but one of the details that I appreciated was the leaves that had blue paint flecks on them, it was a nice tie-in to the original art work.

The challenges as a photographer to get these photos included low light, no flash allowed, and the crowds.  I chose to take my point and shoot, it is easier to handle in a crowded situation.  I used two different settings to get the photos.  One was Auto.  The other was a program mode that allows me to shoot macro.  I got some nice close-ups of individual photos in that mode.  As far as post-editing, I have kept that to a minimum. I did some cropping on a few.  The biggest adjustment I made was on the vase photo, where I applied an Iris blur filter.  I made that choice because the background was truly distracting.

I think it is because I enjoy looking at interpretations of art that this is one of my favorite exhibits of the year at the St. Louis Art Museum.  What do you think? should interpretations like this be featured in museums? Also, it was mentioned in the challenge to try a different gallery format for the photos.  I generally insert my photos one at a time in a fairly large format, so this gallery is a change for me.  What do you think of the format?  I think I can get away with it in this post, but I don’t think I be changing my normal format any time soon.  Your comments are welcome below.

Cheers!

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50mm Lens, Animals, Birds, Canon 50D, Nature, Photo Challenges, Photography

Chickens as Art

This week the photo challenge at WordPress asked us to consider a work of art.  It is my opinion that some of the most beautiful works of art are created by mother nature.

A yellow chick with black accents:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

 

Still beautiful, even on a bad hair day:

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

ISO 800 50mm 0ev f/5.6 1/100

These chickens are part of a 2nd Grade life cycle unit which I have written about here and here. When I am shooting photos like this I am generally trying to have the chicken in focus and the background blurred a bit.  Generally an f-stop setting of 5.6 works.  I also attempt to freeze the motion of the chicks, so my shutter speed is ideally 1/100 or faster.  To achieve the shutter speed I often have to set my ISO at 800 or higher.  To my eye, these settings achieve a clear picture without noise.  Both of these photos have been cropped, but that is the only post editing I have done on them.

What do you think of my “found” works of art? Have you ever considered chickens to be art?

Cheers!

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

Travel Theme: Round

I guess I had been holding onto these photos waiting for the travel theme at Where’s My Backpack? to be round. This is the week my friends!  The photo below I took at Laumeir Sculpture Park in St. Louis:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1/160

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1/160

This edited version is an HDR image that has been processed in Photomatix.  Here is one of the original exposures:

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1/160

ISO 100 50mm 0ev f/9 1/160

It was a sunny day so it would have been hard to get a perfect exposure in just one photo, so I knew I was going to edit the image into an HDR image.  Also, the veins in the eye were just screaming for the over the top result that HDR can easily give you.

Laumeir Park is a nice place to walk around, you can bring a picnic if the weather is nice and enjoy looking at all the art.  The particular piece is called The Eye by Tony Tasset, and it is on permanent display in the park.  It almost always has folks standing around it, how could you not stop and stare at an eyeball that is 12 feet in diameter?

So, what do you think of my HDR treatment of this piece of art? do you think you could walk past it without stopping? Your thoughts and comments are welcome below!

Cheers!

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Canon Powershot ELPH 320 HS, Photography

Imposter Art Lover

Sure, I like art, I’ve even taken a few classes and been to a few museums.  But perhaps that is not enough.  It was suggested to me the other day when I couldn’t name a certain photographer by looking at just one photo, that I maybe wasn’t really cultured enough.  It was a comment made to make me feel smaller than the person who was leading the discussion, and it did work, temporarily.

Here’s the thing, art is pretty hard to define, so deciding who is cultured enough to understand it is hard as well.  After thinking about this exchange I decided that while maybe I do not have a broad or deep enough understanding of art, I will continue to enjoy it in my own way, because I feel it adds a lot to my life.

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum recently relocated to St. Louis, so I went to check it out.  Their feature exhibit right now is called: Decisive Moments: 20th Century Street Photography. Street photography is not something I do all that much myself, but I do enjoy looking at photographers who do it well.

They also have many types of cameras on display.  Here is one that caught my eye:

ISO 800 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/6

ISO 800 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/6

ISO 400 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/20

ISO 400 9mm 0ev f/4.5 1/20

This museum is modest in size but impressive in what it has to offer on display, so worth a visit for the art lover or imposter.

Cheers!

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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

Cheers!

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