Making of a Print

Well I have picked up my print and I am meh about it. The printers did a fine job and printed exactly to the proof but I think where I feel it to be a loss is in the punch of the image. I think where I went wrong is not understanding the medium I was printing on. I was hoping that I would have a lot of the qualities of a photograph on the paper when it was never going to happen. But all is not lost

This is what the image has going for it; it is sharp throughout the image. There are no blown out whites or funny digital hiccups that detract from the image. The greyscale is exactly as I had created it and the dark are full. There is not a flaw in the print anywhere in this print. The only thing I don’t like is the lack of a punch in contrast that you get from a photographic paper. With that said, I am not going to trash it but stare at the print for a while and figure out what to do with it. I may just matte and sell it and let buyer frame it themselves. I am, however, going make a large print of the same image on photographic paper.

But to counter that small disappointment I created some images of my Yucca plant that is blooming in the backyard. This is the second year in a row that both plants have bloomed and so I took advantage of my day off and defused sunlight to make these images. Two of these images are shot in front of the vine plant growing next to it. I find that the green textured leaves of the vine plant make a great modeled background when it’s blurred out. The last one is done with black side of my reflector to hide what was behind the flower.

I really liked the soft defused light in the images I created and feel that it is the key that makes the photograph despite what I had originally planned. I was looking for the sunlight streaming through the tree to create drama of highlights and shadows that are in my water lily photographs. Instead I kept battling the high think clouds of the morning so I just went with it and ending up loving them more then what I had planned. Funny how that works.

If you love these or any images on my site feel free to contact me for a price quote on any size of print you want, as well as any questions you might have. I would love to talk to you. And if you have enjoyed this post or the images I have created, feel free to share I would appreciate it.

Lamp #1

Despite the gloomy skies, I made my way downtown and began my photographic journey creating images of Cedar Rapids.  Because the grey flatness of the sky I looked for subjects that did not depend on it to be enhanced. I headed to the Iowa Bank Building to see if I could create an image using the street lamps and building. As I passed this building I have often felt the arches are something you see in a bigger metropolitan city in the financial district. The street lamps seem to compliment that feeling when you see them next to or visually placed on the building. That is what I am after.

The one side, 3rd Street sidewalk, has construction going making it impossible to create an image without a lot of clutter. So, I opted for the 2nd avenue sidewalk and created this image. I had shot many angles but felt that I created close to what I wanted to create on the other sidewalk.

What draws me to this building and why I created this image is the fact it looks like a building for a bigger town. It was built in the 20’s when the money was flowing and big and important was the design of the financial institutions. There are a few buildings in town that were built at the same time but do not have the arches and windows this does. The arches give it that step up. I have often wanted to photograph just the arches but at this point I can’t get at the same level as they are to create the image.

The other part of this building I find fascinating is the columns that are currently being covered up by the construction work. They too have that big city look to them and I have often wanted to photograph them as people walk by them. And being in a small town the foot traffic is not that heavy. I think I would have a harder time finding to one or three people walking by them at the right time than having too many people in the shot.

I plan to make more images of this building and the street lamps through this project. I believe I have a taste of what I am looking for but not it entirely. Once the construction clears away I will create images of both the street lamps and arches along with the columns.   

Landscape #3

Tuesday was one of those days where the light and weather was not what I was looking for to make images of downtown so I opted instead to head out to the country side to create photographs. Being spring the weather tends to be turbulent for most the days. In the latter half of spring into early summer the number of storms that produce tornados grow substantially. As Iowans, we tend to live by the weather. The farmer’s success is tied to the favor of the weather so it is common place that we keep one eye on the sky while going about our daily lives. And in the spring when the weather turns bad and storms roll across our plains we don’t always head for shelter. Instead sit out on our front porch and watch the violence of the wind, rain wrapped in thunder and lighting and the few tornados carve paths of destruction in our fields.  Only when the danger is truly baring down upon us do we seek shelter only to step out and face the destruction head on.

As bad as the clouds look it was one of those spring days where it could not make up its mind wither to rain and be nasty or just look that way. Many of times on days like these I couldn’t help be drawn to stand out in a field and watch the clouds race by. It’s the drama of the sky and the energy that swirls and builds in the atmosphere. It’s watching the clouds move one way or another and as they did the light change giving them and the landscape character rather than flat grey like winter.  

For me Spring is change, the energy that is building to push the life from the ground. I could feel it standing there as the clouds passed overhead creating a friction between land and sky, anticipating a spark, a bolt of lightning discharging the color of the planet breaking the monochromatic spell of winter. Just stand there and you will feel it.