having a muse

having a muse

It’s Good To Have A Muse

muse2/ mjuːz/ noun 1.a goddess that inspires a creative artist, esp a poet
Word Origin: from Old French, from Latin Mūsa, from Greek Mousa a Muse

Having a fellow artist who encourages you to explore new areas and ideas within your specialty is a fabulous tool to supplement your creativity.

Meet Pash.

She is my muse.

pash gabalvy musePash Galbavy – Learn more check out her website 

Pash is a life model, dancer, mask maker and performance artist. Her tagline is ‘Masks, Movement, Modeling and More.’ She often is performing new concepts and pushing boundaries that inspire and inform new work for me. Just yesterday Pash asked if I would cover a life posing event for her with her artist group. This day would find Pash and her group at the gallery of John and Ruth Waddell in Cornville, AZ. The Waddells have created a magical space with bronze sculptures dancing and cavorting around the property. A truly magical area that Pash enhanced with her interaction while the artists sketched and drew their interpretations of the scene.

pash in a pose at waddells galleryPash in a pose integrated with John Waddell’s bronze

Pash PosingPash asking me to photograph and document her event had me make this image

cutout of pash and sculptureWhich led to me isolating some areas in moving toward a new piece of art

pash waddell working imageWorking sketch experimenting with beginning textures

pash galbavy art pieceA picture I am currently calling ‘Merge’ (working title)

Images such as this are put together utilizing multiple photos of textures blended using Adobe Photoshop Layers, Color Modes, Blend Modes, and Masks. I sometimes will experiment with ten to twenty different versions before settling on a final image. This one is getting pretty close.

Images in this post were captured with the Lumix G9 and the Leica 12-60mm f2.8-4 lens.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob


bjs brewhouse colorado springs

bjs brewhouse colorado springs

BJ’s Brewhouse Art Piece – ColoadoSprings, Colorado

Had a great time sharing Adobe Photoshop techniques from my PhotoSynthesis program for the Professional Photographers Guild of Colorado Springs. During my All Day hands-on class, I was charged with creating artwork from scratch live in front of the attendees including making selections and sharing the thought process as I created the image.

bjs restaurant & Brewhouse art by bob Coates PhotographyHere’s the image I made for the class with a few elements cleaned up for clarity

This technique was one I created for art application but I keep finding that it is working its way into my commercial work as well. You can see the original photo below. The textures I used were images that we had gathered on-site that morning. The idea is you can create a significantly different image using many different techniques, textures, masks and blend modes.

photoshop pallete screen grabHere’s the Photoshop Layers Palette in a screen grab illustrating some of the techniques used.

The text was created using the fx palette. A large font was used for the name to attract attention. It was ‘dressed’ with bright color, an inner glow with a bright edge and a drop shadow. All of the text effects were chosen to help make the name stand out. The text for the address was more informational and was rendered white to be in high contrast with the rest of the image.

original capture beer in glass at BJs BrewhouseHere is the original capture SOOC ( straight out of camera) when my beer was delivered at the bar. Made with the LumixGH4 and the 35-100mm f2.8 G Vario lens

Got questions? Give me a shout.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob




snow in sedona

Red berries interlaced with green and red leaves topped with a coat of snow grabbed my attention and put me in the holiday mode. Had a wee bit of snow yesterday which is a relatively rare occurrence here in Sedona. I had my Lumix GX8 with me and grabbed an image that put me in the season spirit. Add a little Photoshop Bevel & Emboss, a canvas texture and some text with a Bevel and Emboss with a soft Drop Shadow to, as they used to say in the Playtex bra commercials, ‘lift and separate’ it from the background…

happy holidays berry photo

Happy Holidays to you and yours for the rest of this year and deep into the next!

I feel so fortunate that I am able to make a living creating imagery and being able to share thoughts & ideas with you. If you get the chance take a little time each day and think about all the wonderful things that are happening in your life. Cheers!

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

photo-synthesis process

I enjoy creating new images using my process dubbed Photo-Synthesis. I use multiple texture files, Adjustment Layers, Layer FX, Layer Masks and more…

sound bites art

sound bites art

sound bites grill art

sound bites grill art

This is one of the classes I teach and as a Panasonic Lumix Luminarybased on Adobe Photoshop. If you have a photography group and would like to have a presentation made depending on the size of the group… Click on the link in the menu bar for a description of this or other programs I present.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

PS – the light rays were created with a photograph of rusty galvanized roofing material and Photoshop Blend Modes…


wizard academy

Wizard Academy in Austin Texas is a place of creative learning, whimsy and full of visual delight! I was there last week and enjoyed working and learning in this target rich environment!

sculpture at the Wizard Academy

Detail from a metal sculpture near Engelbrecht House on the Wizard Academy campus.

spiral staircase from the library tower

Spiral staircase from the Library down to the presentation room in the Tower at Wizard Academy

don Quixote detail from carving

Detail from a Don Quixote carving in the lower art gallery in the Tower.

The Wizard Academy has an extensive collection of art devoted to the Don. Paintings, lithographs, metal and wood sculptures in all shapes sizes and mediums of which you might think. Think adventures, tilting at windmills and all that entails. It is definitely not a place for those who are traditional thinkers! It makes you stretch…

Images captured with the Lumix FZ 1000

market street bridge chattanooga tn


Makes you stronger.

Exercise makes you better.

Exercise doesn’t have to physical to be helpful to you.

As part of a workshop I conducted for the Photographic Society in Chattanooga, Tennessee we all went down to the aquarium and waterfront area downtown to begin the day. I shared ideas I have about gathering textures for the ‘Photo-Synthsis’ technique I teach. The exercise was to gather textures and subject matter to work with later in the day. There was one mandatory subject, the Market Street Bridge. After heading to our computers we all were tasked with creating an image of the bridge. It proves once again that you can give multiple photographers the same subject to work with and come out with a variety of finished images. Here’s a few the class shared with me.

mickey rountree market street bridge photo

This was by Mickey Rountree. If you would like to see more of Mickey’s work which contains, as he says, lots of HDR and pin up art. (I saw some of Mickey’s work and it’s definitely worth a look. Some very stylized interesting techniques) Go here. © 2015 Mickey Rountree

“Bob, I thoroughly enjoyed both days (of instruction) and have enough new ideas that it will take weeks to play around with and learn the techniques well. You are a great teacher; knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and yet easy going and approachable. Hope you enjoyed your time in Chattanooga.” Mickey

Myra Reneau market street bridge photo

This one is by Myra Reneau. © 2015 Myra Reneau

“Thanks Bob for a great workshop both days this weekend.  I especially liked today.  Thanks for your help in working on my selections (as well as well as everything else). Anyway, safe travels!  I am looking forward to learning more. Thanks again,” Myra Reneau


By Rosemary Jardine. In addition to using the textures and techniques we talked about in the class I enjoyed Rosemary’s
composition and framing of the secondary bridge. © 2015 Rosemary Jardine

“Thanks for the compliment using my work on your blog! I shared the link on my facebook page. Here is my finished project from the workshop yesterday. I finished this up with a layer that I painted some highlights on the water canons as well as a warming mask. Thank you once again for coming to our area and sharing your knowledge with us. most of my current skill came from the internet, tutorials and so forth. It was a blessing to have the personal training. You have given me the desire and skills needed to proceed forward with my passion for fine art photography. I can hope to one day produce they quality of work you, yourself are doing. That is if I have enough years left in my life, although I do consider myself a fast learner. I also want to let you know your slide show is perfect, the music suits it so well!”    Sincerely,  Rosemary Jardine

bob coates photography market street bridge art image

© 2015 Bob Coates

I used the Lumix FZ 1000 to have a complete zoom range to vary my captures. Able to go wide for scenes and also able to get close-ups of various textures. A handy camera to work with indeed! Here is my Market Street Bridge rendition…

Four photographers. Four images with a totally different feel. Have I told you lately that I love photography!

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob