All posts by sjdagostino

David duChemin:The Visual Imagination – updated

If you don’t follow David duChemin, you should. A great photographer with lots to say.

duChemin has just announced the release of an e-book focussed on abstract and photo impressionistic images. You can find the post at http://davidduchemin.com/2014/04/impressions-abstracts/ I am looking forward to reading it.

So why photo impressionism:

I had an experience with a painting – to say I merely looked at it wouldn’t do the moment justice – that made me wonder whether my own work created a similar experience in others, and if not – which is what I suspected – why not, and was there a way I could do that? 

An interesting side bar; based on the file names,  the images in the duChemin’s post are from his iphone.

Since writing this post duChemin has published The Visual Imagination. I hope to review it soon. Till then you can find it at:

The Visual Imagination by David duChemin a good photo impressionism read
The Visual Imagination by David duChemin

 

Hal Eastman: Photo Impressionist

Vol 6 of Photograph is out and features a great portfolio/article on Hal Eastman. You can buy  a copy at http://craftandvision.com/products/photograph-no-6.

Cover - Photograph Vol 6
Cover – Photograph Vol 6

Eastman’s portfolio focuses on slow shutter ICM images.   They are really quite ethereal; almost painterly. The portfolio alone is worth the $8 magazine price.

Natural Dance- Hal Eastman
Natural Dance- Hal Eastman

The portfolio is drawn from two recent collections. I prefer the “Natural Dance” images over his “Horse Rider” collection. The slow shutter adds to the mystery created by his use of natural locations. Because of the trees they have me thinking of Emily Carr although the subject matter is very different.

Eastman’s website is also worth a look. http://www.haleastman.com/ . He has a great collection called “Natural Rhythms” which is quite inspiring.

Natural Rhythms – Hal Eastman.

And don’t forget about the words. Eastman’s interview offers a glimpse into his process and creative ideology. Definitely worth a look.

A New Exhibition Asks, What Is a Photograph, Anyway?

20100731-_DSF1497-Edit

Looking back at the pictorialists (the original photo impressionists) it is clear that photography has been about vision since it’s earliest days. But with the advent of straight photography and later mass media photojournalism we began to test photographs against “truth” forgetting that every frame represents a series of choices that allow the truth to be shaped.

I like the question posed by this article and the exhibition and book behind it.

Definitely worth a look.

Bob Crutcher: Photo Impressionist

Legs: One afternoon on Water Street. (ICM) by Bob Crutcher
Legs: One afternoon on Water Street. (ICM) by Bob Crutcher

I have been following Bob Cruthcher on Flicker for a couple of months now and enjoy his use of intentional camera movement (ICM) together with a slow shutter speeds to produce visually compelling images.

One of my goals this year is to feature the work of photographers who are experimenting with impressionistic technique.

I have been following Bob Cruthcher on Flicker for a couple of months now and enjoy his use of intentional camera movement (ICM) together with a slow shutter speeds to produce visually compelling images. Crutcher lives in St. John’s Newfoundland. Looking at his Flickr Photostream St. John’s is visually rich environment.

As one door closes... ICM. One afternoon on Water Street
As one door closes… ICM. One afternoon on Water Street by Bob Crutcher

Earlier this year Crutcher told me that “Legs” (the lead image above) was his favourite impressionistic photograph. It is a strong composition with lots of visual interest drawing the eye from left to right. I like the saturated colour and strong sense of motion. The exif data tells a lot about the technique. Shot using a Canon Rebel and a medium telephoto at 1/8th of a second, the camera appears to be moved slightly vertically during the exposure.

One afternoon on Water Street by Bob Crutcher
One afternoon on Water Street by Bob Crutcher

Vertical ICM isn’t new. Freeman Patterson, another east coaster, used it effectively in the mid 90’s to create trees with height and weight to rival an Emily Carr. But with a deft hand and a new point of view Crutcher has given the approach fresh look.

I also like the compositional range. Some images are tight crops; looking for the picture in the picture. Others are wide perspective like the one below. Nicely done Bob.

Winter fun by Bob Crutcher
Winter fun by Bob Crutcher

Peace on earth and good will to all…

peace on earth and good will to all
peace on earth and good will to all

Its a busy time of year and easy to forget to pause and reflect on what is good and what matters – best wishes to all and thanks for your support of my photography projects photoimpressionism.ca/ and dagostino.ca/

The image is the Christmas Tree at Toronto City Hall shot in the round meaning about 40 images were captured all around the tree then merged together. The image is part of a series posted on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/photo-impressionism/

It’s All In The Detail

A Photo Impressionistic Treatment of Sunflowers In The Round: Detail 2 by Stephen D'Agostino.
Sunflowers In The Round: Detail 2 by Stephen D’Agostino. This picture was featured on Flickr’s Explore Page on October 7, 2013.

Some thoughts on creative cropping of an “in the round image” from my personal photography blog http://wp.me/p2Cu15-5D

Worth a look: Photographic Punctuation

I follow the blog photographic punctuation because of the strong impressionistic images and thoughtful commentary. Many of the images are taken with an iPhone.

If you wander through the images on the blog you will notice a grittiness and contrastingly a dreaminess. Take this one for example. The low resolution black and white creates drama but in a way that generalizes the subject; drawing the viewer in. The strong composition is not just because of the artist’s adherence to the rule of thirds, but look at the juxtaposition of the background reflection. Nicely done!

Definately worth a look.

Photographic Punctuation

I knew the phone would be passed to me. I knew this once she took the call. She showed me the caller ID as it rang and vibrated in her palm. Hello, she said, her gaze fixed on me. Yes, she said, this is me. She lowered her head and listened intently. Sorry, she said, can you repeat, she said. She turned from me and walked a few steps ahead. I see, she said. Yes, she said. Yes, what? I said. She turned again and raised her head and looked at me, mouthing something. What? I said. With her arm and hand fully extended she passed me the phone. You talk, she said. Hello, I said. 

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Photo Impressionism Is Mainstream:CBC News

It’s an interesting story. But what caught my eye is the use of a strong photo impressionistic image as the lead. A wonderful long exposure photo showing members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing in February 2013.

More and more I see photo impressionistic images in main stream media which is a clear indicator of the genre’s acceptance.

A long exposure photo shows members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing on stage at the Stage opera house in Vienna in February 2013. (Herwig Prammer/Reuters)

A long exposure photo shows members of the Vienna State Opera Ballet performing on stage at the Stage opera house in Vienna in February 2013. (Herwig Prammer/Reuters)

Ballet dancers brains adapt to cope with dizziness – CBC News – Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News.

Technology Leads Art: Smartphones and the Rise of Photo Impressionism

red rocket

Technology and creative expression are closely linked. So it should come as no surprise that the rise of photo impressionism is closely linked to the success of the iPhone.

I recently explored that relationship in a post on my personal photography site. See http://www.dagostino.ca/technology-leads-art-smartphones-and-the-rise-of-photo-impressionism/

Pictorialism: Some Examples

While researching my earlier post Re-examining the Link Between the Rise of Photography and Impressionism , I ran across a couple of great examples of Pictorialism that are too good not to share. These early photo impressionists used soft focus and post production techniques to create some really beautiful images. I think they provide a really strong argument in favour of turning off your auto focus.

Frank Eugene, Alfred Stieglitz, Heinrich Kuhn and Edward Steichen admiring the work of Eugene, 1907 (8386801204)

Some of the most influential Pictorialists seen in one picture. Frank Eugene, Alfred Stieglitz, Heinrich Kuhn and Edward Steichen admiring the work of Eugene, circa 1907. This is a good example of post production scraping of the negative to isolate the subjects and produce a more impressionistic effect.

Nocturne, circa 1912, by Karl Struss

Nocturne, circa 1912, by Karl Struss. A really nice example of soft focus.

Karl Struss nude

Karl Struss nude. Another soft focus; less is more.

108 Portrait of Mrs. White-Clarence H. White

Portrait of Mrs. White-Clarence H. White. To me this image feels like an impressionist painting; perhaps a Manet.

Stieglitz-Winter

Stieglitz-Winter. Think about the mechanics of this picture. The streaks of snow give away the slow shutter speed; another beautiful soft image.

Another Stieglitz “Spring Showers, The Coach.” 1902. I love the mix of grain and softness here.

Niagara-ahhinton-1904Niagara, a photograph of Niagara Falls (from the Canadian side) by English photographer Alfred Horsley Hinton (1863–1908).

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