Monday, June 26, 2017

Painters Playing with Photography

Before I became a painter - my first love was photography.  I was 15 and visiting relatives in India one summer and I had two cousins who were photography hobbyists.  Back then photographers used film and one had to wait for prints to come back before you were able to see if your experiments worked.  (Clearly, I am old enough to have used a film camera when I was a teenager)

Spending the summer at my grandmother's house in India meant a lot of free time for me in the afternoons.  When my cousins were in school, I would either rent VHS movies or books.  I read a LOT!  My cousin leant me his copy of The Joy of Photography.  I read the book cover-to-cover.  I specifically remember the diagram where the illustrations described the inner-workings of the camera.  From when the light brought the image to the lens, bounced off the mirrors and onto the film for imprinting.

Today, we have digital. Instantaneous ability to see how the photo seems to have turned out on a small screen; more importantly, the ability to erase instantaneously and re-take the photo if we don't like it!  Some say that digital photography has removed the "art" of the backroom development of negatives into film.  I guess one could debate that.  Still; I know a few photographers who really do make art out of their photographs in the post-processing phase (after the photo is taken and loaded into a digital software program like Photoshop® or Lightroom®).

Oil Painting was always on my bucket list of things to learn someday.  And so, when I moved to Tokyo in 2012, I decided to take a break from my 20-year career in healthcare and delve into studies regarding oil, drawing, and photography.  The more I painted, the more I loved it.  And slowly I have come to focus on the art of painting - whether it be with the use of Oil, Acrylic or Japanese Watercolor.

Still, I do like to pick up my camera and have some fun.  Since I usually find subject matter from photographs I have taken along my travels; I use my these times to really play around with my camera.

Earlier this year, we went to Hawaii.  And with the use of a tripod I played around with the aperture (shutter speed), F-stop and ISO to catch some "waves" in the ocean.  I love when photographers make water look like flowing silk.  And I wanted to see if I could capture that in the ocean.

On a previous trip to the Big Island of Hawaii, I managed to get some shots of a waterfall in the Botanical Gardens in Hilo.

Each of these photos will look a little grainy if you view them up close - but I was happy to get the water looking like that!

And so I tried again this past Spring when we were at the beach!

ISO 100, f/22, 1/6 seconds

ISO 100, f/22, 1/6 seconds
Notice the heart in the splash of the wave on the rock? I didn't
see that until I processed the photo - what a happy accident!

I also try to experiment with the camera settings in Low Light situations...  Not always easy.

Aboard the Cruise Boat - Liking the lead in lines
of the fence, lights and the poles

Vancouver Harbor at Dusk

Other times I like to try silhouettes:

My husband's profile
ISO 100, f/10. 1/200 seconds

Still, I am not a perfect photographer and there are plenty of situations where I simply resort to AUTO or use the Creative Settings on the camera to cheat (such as the sports setting) because - well...  there is no other way to capture photos like these!

Bald Eagle catching prey in Alaska

Bald Eagle - midflight
As a painter, many of my photographs serve as inspirations for compositions.  I have posted these on previous posts.  Here are a couple photographs that became paintings.

My son taking in the sights at Waikiki Beach

The Boy
Oil on Canvas

Langkawi Beach at Sunset

Painted in Pastel
Well, I am getting ready for a couple upcoming exhibitions for the Fall of 2017 and Winter 2018. I have had a busy Spring and will have a busy Summer.  I hope to blog regarding this process as I work through it!  Until then!

Peace. ART. Soul.

No comments: