lens based artist

lens based artist

Lens Based Artist

It’s been a little tough to get blog posts up and out lately. Our Internet provider has been having some problems and being downstream of those problems has led to slow to non-existent connection to the world. For that, I apologize.

Sometimes you don’t realize how much time is spent connected to the Internet, and how dependent we are, until you don’t have access. This is probably a good reminder for me. In the meantime, it has affected my workflow a fair amount. (that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!)

That said, I have some news to share and a new way to connect so you can hear it. (using the hotspot on my phone)

As you may know, I heave begun working toward moving my photography business to the conceptual art market. I’ve even started a new brand and will be slowly transferring my marketing to the art side. I heard Julianne Kost mention the term Lens Based Artist and it resonated with me. I’m still a photographer and probably always will be but the art I’m producing is far beyond capture and simple processing of a photographic image. It is only the beginning.

lens based artist logo graphic

Here’s my new logo.

Here is an example of the type of imagery on which I am working. You may recognize some of the techniques from classes I have taught over the years, which I call PhotoSynthesis. It uses multiple images, Adobe Photoshop layers, masks, blend modes, brushes and more to create the final art piece.

french horn art image bob coates photography“Horn in F” – PhotoSynthesis Lens Based Art

lens based artist shirts bob coates photography

New shirts with embroidered logos. Made by Queensboro

Shirts are already embroidered. A wax seal has been created to help set my signature apart. Vehicle signage is being designed. And I have an opening at an art gallery as Artist of the Month which I’ll let you know about later.

Yours in Creative Photography,     Bob

PS – You get $20 off when you use this link to get your own embroidered shirts from Queensboro



my muse

my muse

My Muse – Pash Galbavy

I gotta tell ya it is some kind of wonderful to have a creative person who enjoys being in front of the camera! I’ve never had a muse before. For those who might not know the term here’s the Dictionary definition.

Verb (used without object), mused, mus·ing.
  1. to think or meditate in silence, as on some subject.
  2. Archaic. to gaze meditatively or wonderingly.
noun: Muse; plural noun: Muses; noun: muse; plural noun: muses
  1. (in Greek and Roman mythology) each of nine goddesses, the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, who preside over the arts and sciences.
    synonyms: inspiration, creative influence, stimulus;

    “the poet’s muse”
  2. 2.
    a person or personified force who is the source of inspiration for a creative artist.

Having a person who is an artist in their own right is a gift. Pash has ideas, shares them with me and then lets the chips fall where they may. We start to make photographs with her thoughts in mind then we go wherever the first situation takes us. She has an intimate relationship with the environment which is usually the starting point. Then I add a couple of thoughts to refine, and we experiment and play, and this invariably leads me to create new imagery that I find exciting.

I usually end up pushing my personal boundaries as we work together. And then, even more, when I get into post-production.

pash in red oak creekPash in red. Made with Lumix G9

Our latest foray into collaboration led to a photo session on Oak Creek in which she had a thought of ‘creating a mermaid.’ I had the urge to play with infrared and had her do some warm-up posing on the rocks with a dress, flowing cloth and au’ natural.

pash flowing tulle infraredThis Photo has the feeling of a Greek Statue to me. Infrared made with Lumix G6 converted by LifePixel

As the session went on, I added Tiffen neutral density filters to extend the time that the shutter would be open.

slow exposure infrared photoThe neutral density filters extended the time allowing the wind to register in the trees.

nude on rock in oak creekThis image reminds of one of the classic painters.

More from this session to come.

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Learn more about Pash here

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


kazm radio show tech talk

kazm radio show tech talk

Kazm Radio – Tech Talk with Tom Taback

tom taback & bob coates on the radioSedona on-air personality Tom Taback and Bob Coates (That’s me!) recording a program for later playback

Twenty minutes of conversation with Tom about photography, cameras, my recent travels teaching, and art. Tech Talk is on KAZM radio Wednesdays. I had the opportunity to share ideas about new technology in photography. Fun show! Listen now.

kazm radio logoYours in Creative Photography,       Bob

tuesday painterly art – elias

tuesday painterly art – elias

       Tuesday Painterly Art – Kristi Elias

I have watched Kristi grow and set her work apart from others on so many levels. It has been an amazing journey to watch. Here is some of Kristi’s work and words to inspire you in your artistic quest in photography. While Kristi’s images do not involve painting per se they have a distinctive art feel to them. I turn this post over to Kristi.

image © kriti sutton elias Look carefully at this image and check out the background build.
(not to mention the build and definition on the fighter) – image © Kristi Sutton Eliasimage © kriti sutton eliasOriginal capture. Note the kicker lights that help with background separation and extraction.
image © Kristi Sutton Elias

“I am a fine art portrait photographer, a good portion of my work is conceptual composites. I create between 40-over 60 composites a week for client orders, some are more involved than others. The amount of time to create the composite varies depending on if I am reinventing the wheel and creating a new concept and artwork from scratch or re-creating a piece that I have created for another client before.

image © Kristi Sutton Elias After processing. image © Kristi Sutton Elias

image © Kristi Sutton Elias Original capture. image © Kristi Sutton Elias

“Most of my backgrounds were taken during our vacations, I pick vacation spots based on images I would like to create. Medieval and abandoned castles are my favorite, this year we are going back to Europe and I already have a shot list of where I want to go.

image © Kristi Sutton Elias Original captures. See the final below. (I merged the three images original for this illustration: ED.)
image © Kristi Sutton Elias

Kristi Elias-14_600p Final image © Kristi Sutton Elias

“After I shoot a session, I upload my images into lightroom and cull through them rating my favorites. After that, I will open my selected image into photoshop and create the composite. Sometimes my composites could be 5 images put together to create the final image and sometimes just 2 images. After I have created my final composite, I use NIK Software Color EFX Pro 4 to create my final vision. I have a few go-to tools that I like to use, but overall each image is treated differently as its own piece of art. Some of my go-to’s are dark contrast and bleach bypass and darken lighten center. The best thing to do is go through all the filters and see what each one does and play with all the levels. Before I start an edit I look at the image and decide what color pallets, hues, and mood I want the final image to portray. I have created hand-painted backgrounds that I photographed and use for textures in my work.

image © Kristi Sutton Eliasimage © Kristi Sutton Elias

image © Kristi Sutton EliasStarting with a well-lit capture that has depth and dimension makes selling the final image that much easier image © Kristi Sutton Elias

“Another important part involved in my editing, I listen to Love songs or country love songs on pandora while I edit.  Mood music :).”

www.KristiElias.com (Masterpiece Portraits)
www.KristiSuttonElias.com  (Editorial and Advertising)

Kristi will be teaching a week long class on “The Fine Art of Portraiture” at Texas school this year. Click on the link to learn more about the class. It will be a very creative and fun class!


Yours in Creative Photography,         Bob