No, this is NOT a painting!

My wife frequently calls my printed work “paintings”, even though she knows better. Customers who walk into my studio at Art Works will often believe they are looking at paintings until looking more closely or simply asking. I attribute this to the quality of light I search for and capture in my photography. I certainly don’t use any sort of photoshop filters to purposely recreate a “painterly” effect.

But when I printed my “Misty Morning” picture on canvas for the first time, I said, out loud, “Holy cow! This really does look like a painting!” Take a look at the finished product:

This is NOT a painting!

This is NOT a painting!

The light that existed that morning was extraordinary. The sun would peak through dense fog for brief moments. Beams of sunlight would pierce through to illuminate small portions of the river, which caused an under-lighting effect. There was a gentle breeze blowing, moving the patches of fog downstream (from left to right in this image). The exposure was 8/10ths of a second, so the leaves on the trees moved slightly from the breeze during the exposure and the water in the foreground was flowing as well. These conditions all contributed to create an image that really does look like it was created with brush strokes rather than pixels.

I will be submitting this image for the All Media Show at Art Works this month. My biggest worry is that the judge rejects the image thinking that it has been digitally manipulated to make it look like a painting. In this case, however, nature was the artist and my camera’s sensor was the canvas.

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