Photo Art – Making Your Photos Look Better
With the wealth of image editing software available nowadays, it is not surprising to know that more and more people want to get photos with better quality and with a unique touch of art. Most people let specialists make modifications to their photos for them so that they could get some form of photo art from their ordinary photos. However, there are also some others who would like to do the job themselves.
Knowing More about Photo Art
If you are the kind of person who would like to do your own photo editing so that you could come up with a work of art out of your normal everyday photo, then you need to know the following things. First off, you must be aware that photo manipulation, which is one way of making photo art, has been around way before computers came into the picture. In the past, this was done through manually putting photos together one by one in the darkroom or using double-exposure, paints and inks to do some retouching. Burning, cutting, masking, dodging, and fading are just among the photo manipulations done in the past that are somehow similar to the digital maneuvers now done with the help of computers and photo editing software.
There is also another way for you to create your own photo art, and this through removing the original background of your photos and replacing them with another. This can be done with the use of a photo editing software like Adobe Photoshop, which has a number of tools that could be used in taking away backgrounds from your photos.
Here are just some of the tools in Photoshop that you could use in enhancing your photos and come up with an excellent photo art by simply pulling out the original background:
- Magnetic Lasso Tool. You can use this with the quick mask mode and be able to get the background from your photo in an average time of ten minutes.
- Background Eraser Tool. This is the easiest tool to use and could produce results in less than three minutes.
- Pen Tool. With this, you could make a path around the image in your photo and then change it to something you could get from a selection. Expect to remove a background using this tool within 15 minutes.
- Channel Mask. This tool makes use of channels to make a mask so that the background of your photo could be removed. This is relatively easy to use considering that you would already be successful in less than two minutes.
- Technique Combination. If you really want to be sure, then you could pull out the background from your image by combining two or three or all of the techniques mentioned above. This kind of strategy will take an average of 20 minutes to get results though.
Aside from photo manipulation and the removal of background to make your own photo art, there are also other ways for you to be able to do this, and these are the basic editing techniques. These include the use of special effects like putting sepia tones, using the glow effect, and even the most basic of adjusting the contrast and brightness of your image. Although these techniques may be among the basic photo editing capabilities that you may have, they will already pave the way to having a better photo in your hands.
Creating Photo Art Prints As Visual Meditation
Our everyday life consists of multi-tasking, we are listening to one thing at the same time watching another and driving a car, all the same time. With the fast pace information age the speed of multitasking is ever increasing. Take a look at an average young person they are constantly texting, twittering, talking on their cell phones and working on something else. Fortunately our brains have been designed to process multiple streams of information that comes via our five senses. However research shows that whilst many people believe they can effectively multitask, in reality the level of attention to each task is below average.
A meditation practice involves having a single point of focus, reducing any distractions. It involves quieting the mind chatter so that we can go deeper into our own being. There are many forms of meditations some are visual like focusing on a candle light, others are simply focusing on your breath and there also walking meditation practices.
Creating photographic art rpints can be seen as a form of visual meditation. It forces us to stop the hectic process of multitasking and devote our attention to a single point of focus. Furthermore as opposed to motion pictures in photo art prints the subject is completely still, frozen in time. This visual meditation allows us to go deeper into the subject we are observing, noticing the minute details that we usually do not see in our everyday life. By doing so we expand our understanding of reality and we learn how to quiet our minds. Black and White photographic art prints can be termed the Zen photography, as it extends this meditative process even further. It removes the color, reducing our focus to variation in shading and textures.
For myself having spent thousands of hours in working with still art prints of nature, I have noticed an increased sensitivity and insight into nature. I have witnessed how each flower print; each tree print takes on its own personality, transmitting its wisdom.
The process of making photographic art prints encourages us to slow down, engaging in less doing and more being. Nature photographic art in particular expand our capability to see and appreciate the amazing beauty of our surroundings. Nature does not have an agenda it simply being what it is, cycling though changes of seasons, life and death. Great nature photographic art prints capture the essence of the subject in an instant of time. It allows us to reconnect with that part of us that is eternal, primal and unchanged.
Photo Art Galleries
Photo art galleries generally feature the artwork of photographers. The items for display are usually categorized into themes such as fine art, wildlife, nature, landscape, nude, travel, digital stock, documentary, and other images. By using advanced photographic production techniques, artists create black and white, color, digital, and film art photos in a variety of sizes and formats. At these galleries, you can view and buy images ranging from most modern and contemporary photography to vintage photography.
There are a number of photo art galleries located in the United States and Canada. Most of them feature mainly fine art photography, but some show other art media such as paper and textiles. In addition to photos, most photo art galleries carry a wide selection of videos, prints, and books. An array of stationery including bookmarks, greeting cards, and postcards are also usually available at these galleries. Some of the photo art galleries provide a wide variety of curatorial and design installation services as well.
Photo art galleries are greatly sought after for their personalized, friendly attention for art-selection assistance, archival-quality framing and matting, conservation and restoration services, special commissions, and installation services. There are photo art galleries that focus on particular projects such as thematic and historical topics. Many photo art galleries showcase a fine selection of religious photos. Sports, still life, fauna and flora, science, and fashion trends can also be the subjects of photos. Fine art photographs are excellent collectible items for a photograph collector. Single-subject photo galleries such as tattoo photo art galleries and nail photo art galleries are also very common.
Photo art galleries also conduct exhibitions for you to view and buy photos. These exhibitions sometimes focus on a particular artist or theme. Most photo art galleries provide online services for selection and purchase of photos. Online photo art galleries are also available.
Photographic Media and Photo Art Reproduction – A Guide to Terminology
The range of photographic media for photo-art reproduction has grown apace in recent years. For serious and occasional collectors alike, it pays to understand the differences in methodology, and the potential effect of acquisition prices and the investment value for the years ahead. Here are some key terms and the processes which apply to them
Darkroom/wet prints made from color negatives or transparencies. Before digital technology, these were the prints we all received from the pharmacies from our holiday films. They were also produced in larger sizes for exhibitions. C-type prints are now archival and are still preferred by some photographers and collectors to digital art prints.
Fine-art digital prints, aka Giclee, Iris or Art inkjet prints
The most common way of producing collectible prints in the digital age, is by scanning the original negative, or balancing a digital file from a digital camera, and out-putting the image, usually retouched, on various media types using archival inks. The advantage is that very fine quality coated papers can be used to make delicate, beautiful prints. Rockarchive’s Edition 100 is made in this way in various sizes without any loss of quality.
Lamda or Lightjet
This mode of printing contains elements of both traditional darkroom printing and digital technology. The original negative is scanned, or a digital image adjusted, and the resulting image is outputted onto photographic paper by means of laser light. The prints have the same archival value as traditional photographic RC prints or C-type prints on plastic based papers, with the advantage to some collectors of being called ‘photographic prints’.
Lenticular printing is a multi-step process consisting of creating an image from at least two existing images, and combining it with a special lens. This process can be used to create various frames of animation (for a motion effect), or simply to show a set of alternate images which may appear to transform into each other.
The combined lenticular print will show two or more different images simply by changing the angle from which the print is viewed.
Other Print types
There are an array of differing print methods now available using both traditional and contemporary techniques.
A screen is made of a piece of porous, finely woven fabric (originally silk, but typically made of polyester since the 1940s) stretched over a frame of aluminum or wood. Areas of the screen are blocked off with a non-permeable material to form a stencil, which is a negative of the image to be printed; that is, the open spaces are where the ink will appear.
The screen is placed atop a substrate such as papyrus or fabric. Ink is placed on top of the screen, and a fill bar (also known as a flood bar) is used to fill the mesh openings with ink. The operator begins with the fill bar at the rear of the screen and behind a reservoir of ink. The operator lifts the screen to prevent contact with the substrate and then using a slight amount of downward force pulls the fill bar to the front of the screen. This effectively fills the mesh openings with ink and moves the ink reservoir to the front of the screen. The operator then uses a squeegee (rubber blade) to move the mesh down to the substrate and pushes the squeegee to the rear of the screen. The ink that is in the mesh opening is transferred by capillary action to the substrate in a controlled and prescribed amount, i.e. the wet ink deposit is equal to the thickness of the stencil. As the squeegee moves toward the rear of the screen the tension of the mesh pulls the mesh up away from the substrate leaving the ink upon the substrate surface.
Silver Gelatin fiber prints
Prints made from an original black & white negative in the darkroom using chemicals and fiber papers are known as silver gelatin fiber prints. These are the most valuable to collectors, particularly as this now historic method of print making, combined with the fragility of old negatives, mean the prints will be rare. One of the characteristics to these prints is that they do not always dry completely flat and may look a little “wavy” when framed due to the process in which they are made. They are also particularly sensitive to dampness in the air and need to be treated with extra care.
Silver Gelatin RC prints
A silver gelatin RC print refers to an image made on resin-coated paper. These prints are also made from negatives in the darkroom using chemicals, but on plastic-based papers which are easier than fiber papers to work with. They also have the added benefit of drying flat. However, RC prints can be less ‘rich’ in terms of tone and texture than traditional fiber prints.
How Do You Identify Landscape Photo Art?
There are many different versions or styles of landscape photography not the least landscape photo art. Hopefully, I have been able to explain some of its characteristics in this topical article and it will leave you a little wiser. I have compiled other articles on a similar bent but none of them really cover this area of landscape photo art that well.
In my opinion, landscape photo art means creating a visual metaphor for a concept you have in mind, for a feeling within yourself. People often think that taking a landscape photo is a simple matter and that anyone can do it. But having a camera with you on a trip on the mountain and taking photos from time to time so that you’ll remember you’ve been there, has nothing to do with landscape photo art.
History indicates that it’s very difficult to become an “artist” in landscape photography. Besides the natural talent, you also need good equipment, much work and a lot of patience. Landscape photo art is not about taking photos, it’s about making them.
Good landscape photo equipment is quite expensive. If you can’t afford buying all the proper components from the beginning, you have to prioritize your budget into the lenses, as they are the essential equipment element in landscape photo art. You need prime lenses (with fixed focal length) and high quality zooms. The camera body must have internal meter and manual setting capability, for choosing the aperture and shutter speed. There is no need to mention that it is impossible to make a quality landscape photo without using a good tripod with a ball head. However, a good photographer can take excellent photos with any camera, the good equipment will only make photos even better, while a marginal photographer will not be able to take any good photos no matter how expensive the equipment might be.
Once you get the proper equipment, as a beginner in the landscape photo art, you can start thinking about what places you want to photograph, what kind of light suits your idea best, what kind of weather you want, and many other details.
For instance, if you want to photograph a mountain landscape, you must have in your mind the message you want to portray, the feeling that you want to share with those who will look at your photo. If you’re taking the photo on a bright summer day, people who the photo are much more likely to experience a pleasant feeling, or even strongly desire to go there. If you photograph the same landscape on a rainy or foggy day, the feelings you suggest are different but can sometimes lead to greater artistic license.
In order to transform “just taking photos” into landscape photo art, you also need to work a lot and to invest passion in what you’re doing. For instance, if you want to capture a sunrise in a specific location, you have to wake up before the sunrise and go there. Time becomes a consideration. Then you have to wait until the sky changes. It is at that moment when nature seems to wake up from its sleep and it this moment will last for less than a second perhaps. You have to capture that moment in your photograph to please and impress. Of course, it is possible not to get the result you hoped for from the first attempt, and then you have to check the weather forecast and get back the next day and try it again. And maybe the next day, instead of a sunrise, you will only see clouds and rain and you will have to return some other time. The idea is that you need a lot of patience and perseverance in landscape photo art.
A simple photograph may have the power of saving or destroying a place. Imagine you manage a great photo of the most beautiful and wild landscape you’ve ever seen. When people see your photograph, they may also want to go there to take pictures or just visit the location, this can eventually destroy wilderness and make it just a common landscape. Sometimes you should only share the image and keep the geographic details to yourself in landscape photo art – many professionals practice exactly that.