blackwater national wildlife refuge part three

Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge – Part Three

If you have followed my work for any length of time, you know that I enjoy moving my work into a more painting-based look. I have taken a term I heard from Julianne Kost and adopted it for my new business. “Lens Based Artist.” I have decided to start promoting my more art based images and have begun gallery representation and selling my work as art.

More on that in future posts. (things are starting to take off. YAY!)

Back to Blackwater images and the post-processing. Here are a few photos of which I have played using the PhotoSynthesis process I have been working on over the years.

geese in flight art bob coates photographyGeese in Flight. Love the wing positions and pattern of the birds in the sky.

I worked on this image on the plane while en route back to Arizona from my speaking engagement in Maryland where the images were captured. My seatmate was fascinated by the process, and I talked him through my thinking as I worked on the photo. There are several layers of multiple images blended using Adobe Photoshop’s blend Modes and masks. The geese in flight created their art with all the different wing positions. I was able to capture their flight using the **Lumix GH5 and the Leica 100-400mm lens. The reach of this lens with the stabilization in the camera are making captures such as this easier than ever.

heron art bob coates photographyGreat Blue Heron on the shoreline.

After working on the piece and adding layers of textures, I pulled the image into Skylum’s Focus CK (part of the Creative Kit or available as a stand-alone) to add a bit of selective sharpness to the subject and vignette and slight blurring to the rest of the image. I use this tool in the Macro setting quite often. I could do the same thing directly in Photoshop, but it would take much more time and many more steps to accomplish the same thing. Plugins are very handy. I decide whether to purchase plugins based on how often I perform specific techniques. When I find the plugin saves me the time or makes it possible for me to do something I would not be able to accomplish otherwise, I buy.

heron in flight art imageHeron in Flight – All images are © Bob Coates Photography – All Rights Reserved

I don’t think any of these images are ‘ready for prime time’ as yet. I think of them as sketches testing ideas and pointing to the direction I wish to go.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

** I’ll be using the Lumix G9 in the future for most of my wildlife shooting. Designed with the stills photographer in mind, it adds 6 1/2 stops of handholdabilty (GH5 has 5) along with a better grip and button design for still photographers.

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