Photography Art – Making Painterly Images

I am extremely fortunate in many ways, one of which is being named a PPA Approved Juror. This gives me the opportunity to be exposed to photographers creativity in a very intense, concentrated form. Thinking critically about the work and listening to my fellow juror’s opinions. It is an intense education.

Have I told you lately how much I appreciate the educational value of PPA’s Imaging Competition? Both as an entrant and a judge I learn more about photography every time I place images before my peers or sit on a panel sharing my opinions about the quality of work before us.

artist painterly image from photographyA painterly image by yours truely

I love to see new areas being opened up and explored. But, I would like to add a word of caution and offer my opinion on a new trend many photographers are embracing. Creating painterly images. There are some magnificent image makers who have embraced this and I applaud a lot of the work I see coming through. A word of caution. Some of this new work is less than stellar.

The reason behind this sub-par (in my opinion) image making is that painting is a whole ‘nother skill set. Those that are producing beautiful work have studied the work of classic art and artists. They have studied and practiced with software like Adobe’s Photoshop and Corel’s Painter programs to replicate the depth and dimension found in paintings. They have learned color. They have learned to balance blending of the painting technique with the photography using the Goldilocks method. Not too much, not too little but jus the right amount.

Other photographers have seen this art trend and tried to get the look via a shortcut. That is what inspired this post. You really can’t just push a button on a software plug-in and think you are creating artistic images. The software that ‘replicates’ a Monet or Degas style of painting does not work. They are flat. There are repetitious strokes that are quite evident in the work which will limit the amount of time anyone will want to be viewing the image.

Just as learning photography has a learning curve so does creating a look in the style of the old masters or any other artistic genre.

So what are the options if you want to offer this product line to your clients?

You can ‘half-a**’ it and push the button on a plug-in.

Or you need to study, learn and practice, practice and practice some more. You will need to want to create this type of art. Immerse yourself deeply in the new art. Explore the new world with the same ferver that you brought to learning your photography skills.

Or you can continue to make your photographic images and hire out the art creation. There are some marvelous photographers who enjoy the creation of the art and are excellent sources for a new product line for your studio.

Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing art and artists that I feel are transforming true art from their photography images. See if the difference shows from those who are at the top of their game. Hopefully you’ll find inspiration to take your work to new heights.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob