Category Archives: Prints

A Look Back | Autumn 2010

It’s hard to believe that it’s still officially fall when looking out the window and seeing about six inches of snow on the ground. Autumn doesn’t end until the eve of the Winter Solstice, next week. I’m hopeful that the reason behind so much “winter” early on this year is to allow for a more subdued, subtle February, unlike what we experienced in Ohio last winter. I’ve learned from my years and years of being a close observer of nature that more often than not there is balance in everything.

Now is a good time to take a photographic look back at autumn 2010. I hosted two very successful workshops including my first weekend destination program at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, late last September. In early November I presented a very well attended and received program of two half-day programs at Cox Arboretum in Dayton. Also noteworthy from this past autumn were a number of very successful portrait sessions, editorial stock image transactions, fine art print sales and installations and a couple of awards received at the 2010 Fall Conference of the Professional Photographers of Ohio.

Each season in Ohio I always come up with about a half-dozen images that best represent the “personality” of the time of year – that unique blend of light, weather conditions and of course, what I bring to the backside of the camera, meaning an always changing and developing creative vision with a few new technical tweaks here and there. Fall 2010 in southern Ohio can best be summed-up with one word – DRY. The lack of rainfall made for only sporadic and isolated areas of good, vibrant color. The upside were some spectacular sunsets and moonrises.

The following are my personal favorite nature and landscape photographs from autumn 2010. Locations include Hocking Hills State Park, Sugarcreek MetroPark, Grant Park and Dayton, Ohio.

October Journey by Jim Crotty
October Journey by Jim Crotty

Hunters Moon 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Hunters Moon 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Fall Arrangement by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Fall Arrangement by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Dew on Ironweed by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Dew on Ironweed by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Sunset Sky on Autumn Equinox by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Sunset Sky on Autumn Equinox by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Oak Leaf Texture by Jim Crotty
Oak Leaf Texture by Jim Crotty

Dayton Skyline in November by Jim Crotty
Dayton Skyline in November by Jim Crotty

Framed Giclée Prints from Imagekind

Showing one of the framed, black and white Giclée prints that I recently ordered from my online storefront on Imagekind. This particular image is an excellent example of the pleasing results achieved when converting an HDR photograph to monochrome. The photograph is a combination of five exposures, combined using Photomatix Pro. I then fine tune using the tonal adjustment tool, bring the 16-bit TIFF file into Aperture and then convert to monochrome (black and white) through the use of Nik Silver Efex Pro plug-in, which I love because of its effectiveness when doing targeted adjustments. I’m excited about the coming release of Nik’s HDR Efex Pro.

On Saturday, November 6, 2010 I will be presenting an afternoon workshop at Cox Arboretum, designed for those photographers who are more experienced and advanced with digital workflow and editing. I’ll be going over my step-by-step process for HDR nature photography, from in-camera capture to final print.

Newly Installed Prints of Fine Art Nature Photography

I was fortunate and grateful last week to be able to visit two entirely different installations of fine art prints of my work with nature and landscape photography. One was a very visually appealing display of several 30″x40″ gallery wrap canvas prints in a customer’s home. The collection of images was selected based on the customer’s desire to include all four of the seasons on the Ohio landscape. I also worked with this customer in crafting a uniquely cropped version of “Dogwood in Rain” photograph.

The gallery wrap canvas style print is an excellent choice for display fine art nature photography in an environment where a traditional, behind-the-glass framed print is not required. These prints “lift-off” from the wall, hence the “wrapped around,” and work superbly on neutral-colored walls. The price is a bit more than a normal, unframed fine art photographic prints. However, the true advantage is that the pieces arrive wired and ready to be hung on the wall. There is a significant cost savings when compared to costs associated with frame, mat, mounting and glass, not to mention the weight and difficulty in handling on a framed 30″x40″ print. I provide additional information about the benefits of the gallery wrap canvas print on one of my YouTube tutorials, at http://youtu.be/EOOWZlX6Nxk.

The other installation of my work with nature and landscape photography was in the newly opened addition to Wooster Community Hospital in Wooster, Ohio. There is currently 66 16″x24″ prints installed, representing landscapes that I have photographed in Ohio, Montana, Colorado, Utah and South Carolina. I was very pleased with how the prints looked, particularly with the expert craftsmanship that went into the mounting and framing by a local frame service in Wooster. In a public, high-traffic location, such as a hospital, office or medical center, the traditional approach toward framing (mount, mat, glass, frame) is usually the better choice over the gallery wrap canvas print.

What is even more pleasing to see is how this display of photographic artwork helps enhance an environment that promotes healing and recovery in situations that are usually quite challenging for both patient and family, as well as staff and medical personnel.

For both installations I use a professional print lab service that caters to the fine art photographer. This particular lab has been crafting prints of my photography for over five years now and I could not be more pleased. Their quality and attention to detail is superb. For more information on fine art print installations of my nature and landscape photography, see http://ohiophoto.org/public_html/fineart.html.

The Art of Nature

Fine art nature and landscape photography. Current print installations include Wooster Community Hospital, Wooster, Ohio; Buckeye Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Mt. Vernon, Ohio; Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio; St. Rita’s Hospital, Lima, Ohio; Zangmeister Center, Columbus, Ohio; Portsmouth Family Care Center, Portsmouth, Ohio
and Grayson Family Center, Grayson, Kentucky.

Calming, serene, peaceful, original. I welcome inquiries from commercial art consultants, designers and decorators. Professional fine art nature photography back by professional service. jim@calmphotos.com

Print Arrangement Preview and Consultation

A client recently purchased a number of my nature and landscape photographs, as gallery wrap canvas prints, for her home. Part of the process in assisting this customer in making the decision as to which images to purchase was providing her with a digital and print “preview” of how select photographs would look arranged together on a neutral background, thus providing a good look at how a particular composition within one landscape photograph will work with another.

In capturing and creating my nature and landscape photographs I love to work with flowing and directional lines within the frame that will enhance the primary subject by directing the viewer’s eye to that particular point of interest that speaks of the sense of place being visually represented. But with two or more prints arranged together it’s important to select and arrange the photographs so that the impact of one composition is not distracting to the other. Sometimes arranging artwork – such as on a large, open wall space – requires the same artistic eye and touch used in the creation of the individual pieces.

The customer asked if I could make a “print-out” previewing a grouping of four prints she was considering for a particular wall within the great room of her home. Her selections were based on wanting to visually show the four distinct seasons of the Ohio landscape. It was no problem at all for me to put this preview together and send it to her via JPEG attachment (below). For this composite I used the Moodboard app on my iPad, which was very simple to do. Truth be told just about any other word processing and/or slide presentation program could have been used as well. And of course there’s always Photoshop.

In the past I’ve also suggested particular arrangements of my photographs to various commercial art buyers and consultants. I love my art, but I love customers even more. This customer was very pleased with her purchase. She commented afterwards that it was the time and attention I took in helping her decide on prints – and print arrangement – that made the most impact.

For more information on purchasing fine art prints of my nature and landscape photography, please see http://ohiophoto.org/public_html/fineart.html.

Award-Winning Prints and Workshop Update

I entered four prints in the Ohio and Mid-East States Regional Print Competition, at the 2010 annual convention of the Professional Photographers of Ohio, held at the Dayton Convention Center during the weekend of March 10th. All four received judging scores allowing for inclusion in the public print exhibition part of the program. In addition, three prints were awarded with Honorable Mentions, including “February Falls,” “Summer’s End” and “Sunflower Moon.” An Award of Achievement” was presented for “Lingering Notes.”

The custom printmaking services that I utilized for this year’s competition prints was provided by TransImage, located in Kettering, Ohio.

The 2009 annual convention of PPO was the first time that I had entered the very competitive, juried print competition and public exhibition. Six prints were entered. All were selected for the public show, with three Honorable Mentions and three Awards of Achievement.

And just a heads-up. I will be presenting two, full-day workshops at Cox Arboretum, the first on Saturday, April 10th and the second on Saturday, May 29th. Both will emphasize macro nature photography in the garden. The April 10th program is currently full (I cap the class at 25 total attendees), but there is a short wait list. I almost always have cancellations when I send-out the pre-session reminder, about a week prior to the workshop.

The workshop scheduled for May 29th currently has 12 registered attendees, so there are still plenty of open seats for that program.

If you’d like to register, or be added to a wait list, please call me at 937-432-6711 or email. The fee for each workshop is $89 per person, payable on the day of the workshop. Lunch is included.

I will also be participating in Orvis Days on Saturday, May 8, 2010 at The Orvis Store near the Dayton Mall. During the day I will be presenting prints of my work as well as providing some basic tips on nature and landscape photography.