Photography is Art Too

August 19, 2011

Anyone who has been visiting galleries or participating in their shows has seen the surge in photography entries.  Digital cameras that are easy to carry around and the computer programs that can alter and enhance what has been photographed have produced some amazing results.  I don’t, however care for the attempts to combine the two, as it is now possible to do with a computer program.  I’m referring to the program that is supposed to make a photograph look like a painting.  Some of these have even shown up in a gallery I participate in.

I use photography a lot.  It can capture details of plein air scenes I might want to refer to when I am finishing a plein air painting at home.  When I’m traveling and don’t have my painting supplies with me, I can photograph scenes I might want to paint later.  But until this week it never occurred to me to actually exhibit a photograph I took.

With this economy small works are in and I was looking through my stash of small frames that I have picked up inexpensively at places like garage sales or Goodwill.   I found a lovely gold frame, that only needed a little touching up, with a two inch linen mat.  The opening was a little less that eight inches by ten inches.  I remember buying it at a church rummage sale.  Now the question was, what to put in it.

Going through the photos that I took in the spring at the Overland Park Aboreteum, I came across one of a group of pink and lavendar irises and loved the colors.  But there were so many irises and irises are hard to paint.  Then I had one of those light bulb moments.  What if I didn’t paint the irises but simply enlarged the photo?  WalMart was happy to comply and I loved the result, without any computer manipulation.  I don’t usually take photos that good.  All I had to do was have a piece of glass cut to fit the frame.  It will definitely be showing up in an exhibit somewhere.

Having my photo enlarged at WalMart had an added benefit.  It had been raining that afternoon.  When I walked out of the store into the parking lot, the rain had stopped and the sky was a wonder.  Among the clouds in varying shades of gray and purple was a ragged patch of blue with shafts of sunlight pouring through.  I had my camera in my purse and quickly took several photos.  These will be the basis for a painting.

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