Friday, November 22, 2013

See What Trina Wilko is Creating!

Art Piece: 
“Top View”
Mixed Media
15”  x  20”
About the Artist:
Trina Wilko
Trina Wilko lives and works in Montreal, Quebec.  She is a professor in the Early Childhood Education Department at Concordia University and a Faculty Supervisor for student teachers.  She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Concordia and a Master’s of Education in the Arts from McGill University.
Artistic pursuits are woven into the fabric of her life; painting, drawing and art education are a mainstay, and reflect the growth of a commitment to art through her careers as a graphic designer for a chain of fashion stores, as a ceramic artist and teacher, and as a writer and illustrator.
She wrote and published a children’s book, ‘The Lively Lines of Linus’, as an art teaching tool for the classroom teacher.  The playful story connects fundamental art vocabulary with the art making process, thereby preparing the student for conversation about art.
To view more of Trina’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Creative Flower Photography, by F.M. Kearney

Tip #10:  Shoot it Indoors

As an outdoor nature photographer, I generally prefer to take my pictures, well...outdoors. However, a recent family emergency prevented me from getting out into the field as often as I would have liked. To prevent cobwebs from forming on my equipment, I needed to come up with ways to stay active. One way was to try shooting photos indoors. Of course, landscapes were out of the question, but flowers were a different story. I bought some flowers at a local florist and I was back in business.
Indoor shooting has its advantages. There's no wind to deal with, and since I hand-picked my subjects out of a display case, they were all in pristine condition. The best part is that my commute to the "location" is just a few steps away into the next room.

With the proper lighting, I was able to simulate many of the effects I do outdoors. But, I soon realized that this was the perfect opportunity to try something new – something that I wouldn't be able to do outdoors. I began experimenting with flashlights. Surefire has a huge line of specialty lights and accessories. With prices ranging from $60 to over $600, they're definitely not cheap, but they’re extremely powerful and can be outfitted with colored bezels for a variety of creative purposes.

Since I normally don’t shoot indoors, I don’t have an actual studio. But, for these pictures, all I really needed was a container to hold the flowers, a black cloth and a few tripods. I used at least two flashlights for most shots. I attached one light to the handle of a mini tripod and placed it beneath the center daisy to create a backlight. I then attached a red bezel to another light and hand-held it to sidelight the other flowers – taking care not to discolor the one in the middle.
For the chrysanthemum, I did just the opposite. The blue backlight was created by a flashlight outfitted with a blue bezel set up directly under it. I hand-held another (bezel-less) flashlight to create a strong, “white-light” sidelight on the tops of the petals.

It’s much easier to use a remote release and avoid looking through the camera when taking these types of shots. It’s very difficult to see which parts of the flowers are being lit up by the hand-held flashlight in the viewfinder. It’s also harder to judge its intensity. A minor change in the angle can make a huge difference, which is much easier to see with your naked eyes.

The red rose was shot on a mirror. One flashlight was placed in the rear in the upper left, and another was positioned in front on the lower right giving me a “cross-lighting” effect. Shooting on a mirror does have its challenges. If you want a black background, everything it reflects needs to be blacked out – which can be quite difficult if the mirror is very large. I found it easier to work with by placing it on the floor, flush up against a flat wall. That way, I only needed to tape a black cloth to the wall to get a solid black background. Another problem was dust – a mirror seems to attract it like a magnet. No matter how many times I brushed it away, another speck would appear just when I was ready to shoot. However, these minor issues can easily be fixed in post.

These are just a few of the things you can do indoors. If you have a full-fledged studio with bigger lights and different backgrounds, the creative possibilities are virtually unlimited. I still prefer to be outdoors, but when that’s not possible, indoor shooting is the next best thing.


Article Submitted by:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Pope Gene Hackman X, by Jayme Catalano

When I first encountered ‘Pope Innocent X’ at the Doria Pamphili Gallery in Rome, I was struck by one over-whelming and unshakeable impression:  that man looks exactly like Gene Hackman.  The resemblance is uncanny.  Maybe we’re all walking around with recycled faces, our own doppelgangers lost in obscurity.  One thing is for certain:  Gene Hackman’s own double lived more than three hundred years ago, he schemed and plotted to obtain ultimate power, and he is forever immortalized in Diego Velazquez’ masterpiece of intensity and psyche.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation


Monday, November 18, 2013

See What Emily Lane is Creating!

Art Piece: 
“Inside the Church Courtyard”
Mixed Media
48”  x  36”
About the Artist:
Emily Lane
Emily graduated from Rhode Island School of Design with a BFA in graphic design. Her experience, working as a graphic designer, has allowed her to see the empty canvas the way she views a new brochure to design.  Composition, design elements, color and overall look are important in any medium she uses.
Her mixed-media paintings consist of acrylics, textured papers, textured gel mediums, oils and oil pastels.  She incorporates a lot of torn paper in some of her work for added depth and gel mediums for added textures.  Brush strokes and textures are very important in her work and she likes working on different parts of the canvas to create small paintings within paintings.
Artist Statement:
“My work has often been linked to the Fauvist Movement of Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, where the subject matters they painted were turned into pure color, forceful brushstrokes and deep emotions. They rejected traditional renderings of three-dimensional space and instead, chose to create paintings where space was defined by movement of color and composition. They had, as I do, a strong expressive reaction to the subjects they painted”.
To view more of Emily’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Friday, November 15, 2013

See What Michelle Shaw is Creating!


Art Piece
“Leaf Drops”
About the Artist
Michelle Shaw
The camera lens has been a key to a locked door that once Michelle opened, she could not close. Nowadays Michelle is never without her camera and she delights in finding quiet moments and capturing them–letting a subject’s natural beauty show.
Michelle’s main inspirations often involve the mundane, the things we often do not even give a second look at in our day to day lives. Michelle’s most satisfying images are those that reveal something new out of things that have been seen hundreds of times.
As with any photographer, light is the starting point and when Michelle finds that special light the camera allows her to show the uniqueness in the trees, animals, buildings and people that have been in front of her the entire time.
To view more of Michelle’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Enfant Terrible by Jayme Catalano

The De Young in San Francisco has staged a ground-breaking multimedia exhibit featuring 140 of John Paul Gaultier’s haute couture designs.  With a career spanning more than forty years, the context of Gaultier’s work is often gritty and controversial although the superb craftsmanship and detail ensure the work is always beautiful.  Known in popular culture for his work with Madonna in the 90s and his costume design on The Fifth Element and City of Lost Children, Gaultier’s work transcends high fashion into fine art.  Working in collaboration with Montreal-based theater company Ubu Compagnie de Creation, the exhibit includes 30 animated mannequins who talk, sing, and blink in an eerily lifelike way.  The exhibit ran through August 19th 2013.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation

Monday, November 11, 2013

See What Aimee Shattuck is Creating!

Art Piece
“Tiny Twister”
Oil on Paper
About the Artist
Aimee Shattuck
Aimee is inspired by beauty.  Her passion is creating beauty.  There is nothing more thrilling than being able to create renderings of what she finds beautiful.  Much of Aimee’s inspiration comes from burlesque, fashion, and erogenous individuals.  Aimee is a yoga teacher by profession so using the body as a form of expression is something she has always appreciated, and this comes through in her images.  Aimee uses postures, colors, fashionable accessories, and exaggerated facial expressions to convey emotion in her pieces.
To view more of Aimee’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Friday, November 8, 2013

See What Sarah Woolley is Creating!

Art Piece
“Say So”
Mixed Media
About the Artist
Sarah Woolley
Sarah Woolley lives in Portland, Oregon, where she is a professional artist.  Sarah believes we are all born with the innate ability to be creative- even to make art.  Sarah enjoys helping people discover this, through her classes.  Sarah is drawn to mixed media and expressive painting, and therapeutic art forms.  Common themes in Sarah’s work are people, nature, thoughts, and faith.
Sarah Wooley’s Personal Statement is:  “My art is an outpouring of who I believe I was created to be. My aim is to offer truth, nourishment, beauty, and hope through my art as well as to coax others to express themselves through creative means.”
 To view more of Sarah’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Most Versatile Season By F.M. Kearney

Fall is probably considered the "Super Bowl" of seasons for most nature photographers. Aside from the obvious explosion of color, I like it because the unbearable heat of summer is finally over. It's a little hard to see through the viewfinder when sweat is constantly dripping in your eyes. I also like it because I don't have to carefully pick and chose the perfect day for a shoot. Fall foliage is one of the few subjects in nature that can be successfully photographed on either a sunny or a completely overcast day. However, it's important to know which types of scenes look best under each type of lighting condition.

I shot the vertical image in the forest area in the New York Botanical Garden on an overcast day with even lighting. Forest scenes are notoriously "busy" by nature. To complicate them even further with extreme highlights and shadows produced by direct sunlight, will cause everything to deteriorate into one big bowl of contrast. The soft lighting in this image helped to simplify the scene and emphasize its true colors. Although an overcast sky can produce very pleasant effects, the sky itself is not much to look at. I generally don't include too much (if any) of a blank white sky in the shot. This image was also aided by light winds – creating a near mirror-like reflection in the Bronx River.
The horizontal is a photo of Hessian Lake in Bear Mountain State Park. Located just 30 miles outside of the city in Upstate New York, this park is a great getaway for fantastic views of fall foliage. I specifically wanted a sunny day for this image. Composition was very important. With the sky as the most visually graphic element in the scene, I placed the horizon line low so that the cumulus clouds would take center stage. This wouldn't have worked had they been any thicker, but the patches of blue sky nicely complimented the colorful foliage. Also, I didn't want the tree on the right to blend into the background, so I created some separation by positioning it just above the ridge of the distant tree line. I then waited for the little duckies to swim into the perfect spot on the lake to complete the shot.

Even though both of these images were shot under optimum lighting conditions, they still needed one more thing to really make them shine. I used a polarizing filter to saturate the colors in the forest. It served the same purpose in Bear Mountain, in addition to darkening the blue portion of the sky, thus, enhancing the clouds. This wonder filter works well in any season, but its effects are probably most evident with fall foliage.

Autumn is truly a versatile season, because any kind of day is a good day to shoot fall foliage. Even a rainy day shouldn't be ruled out. Close-ups of raindrops clinging to colorful leaves can make for some very compelling images. Of course, you might want to wait for the rain to stop first.

Article Submitted By:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Pacific Skies by Jayme Catalano

Renowned photographer Frank Espada spent the first 50 years of his career documenting the issues concerning minorities, culminating in The Puerto Rican Diaspora:  Themes in the Survival of a People, a book which has won numerous awards, and is represented in the Library of Congress along with 83 vintage prints.  Now in the sunset of his own life, Espada has turned his lense toward the sunset views over the Pacific Ocean, photographing the same patch of sky every day for a year.  “Pacific Skies” is an examination of the dynamic between the sun and the atmosphere as well as photographic composition and aesthetics related particularly to color, light, perspective, and form.  To view more from the collection, please click here.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation                  

Monday, November 4, 2013

See What Greg Trout is Creating!


Art Piece
“For Jus Oborn”
Mixed Media
8 ½”  x  11”  
About the Artist
Greg Trout
Greg Ephemera Trout is an exciting talent that is gaining popularity.  Greg has a permanent piece on display at the Art House Co-Op, in Brooklyn, New York.  Greg says his work is a celebration of detritus, scraps and forgotten lore – finding new and mysterious homes.  Greg says he breathes new life into a picture long thought deceased.
To view more of Greg’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.

Friday, November 1, 2013

See What Nika Ostby is Creating!


Art Piece: 
11”  x  14”
About the Artist
Nika Ostby
Nika Ostby’s images do not have perfect proportions. Nika says her subjects do not see themselves the way she sees them; unique, special, and photogenic. Nika believes, through pictures people can see just how beautiful they are. That is why she takes pictures.  Nika feels the need to show her subjects the beauty they exude; from within as well as from their exterior.
 To view more of Nika’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shooting the Mums by F.M. Kearney


Chrysanthemums are fun flowers to photograph. As one of the last flowers to bloom before winter, they come in many different colors and styles, allowing for a variety of creative options. Some of the most common are garden chrysanthemums, which usually grow in neat, tight clusters. Sometimes, I'll move in close and fill the frame with them as I did in the horizontal image of the solid red flowers. However, these types of shots can become very boring very fast. To break the monotony, I look for wayward blooms trying to "make a run for it." Using a shallow depth of field, I focused on the light pink and yellow buds rising high above the fray. This placed the center of attention squarely on them, creating a much more interesting shot.
The uniformity of garden chrysanthemums somewhat stifles creativity. Korean chrysanthemums, on the other hand, grow in a random manner amongst multi-colored blooms, opening the door for a lot more creative (and colorful) compositions. I used an even more shallow depth of field for the verticals of the pink and yellow mums. The lack of order made it easier to strategically place blooms in the foreground and/or background of the main subject. These little compositional gems, however, take time to visualize. What may, at first, appear to be a haphazard cluster of flowers, will gradually reveal a multitude of interesting angles after a few minutes of careful observation. You'd be amazed at how many images you might be able to coax out of a relatively small area.

Article Submitted By:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Life Before Death by Jayme Catalano


Memorial photography and Victorian post-mortem photography are popular subjects among bloggers, especially around this time of year.  It seems we can’t get enough of this seemingly morbid and alien cultural practice.  If you’ve been living under a rock or would like more information, click here.

German artist Walters Schels and writer Beate Lakotta have resurrected the practice of post-mortem photography with their project “Noch Mal Leben” (Life Before Death:  Portraits of the Dying).  A collection of portraits taken while the terminally ill subject was alive and again after death, the images and text explore the experiences, hopes and fears one encounters at the end of a life.  As one subject says, “I’m going to die!  That’s all I think about, every second when I’m on my own.”   Another subject says, “I’m surprised that I have come to terms with it fairly easily.  Now I’m lying here waiting to die.  But each day that I have I savour, experiencing life to the full.  I never paid any attention to clouds before.  Now I see everything from a totally different perspective:  every cloud outside my window, every flower in the vase.  Suddenly everything matters.”  To see the complete collection and read the interviews, visit the exhibition website here.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation


Monday, October 28, 2013

See What Franz Creigo is Creating!


Art Piece: 
11”  x  14”
About the Artist
Franz Creigo
Franz Creigo is a natural light photographer, and he tries to never stage his pictures. Beauty is a subjective viewpoint that is shaped by what people experience ,and in return, Franz’s images exude a multi-lingual facet that mirrors American society. Franz’s hope is that his pictures speak to the experiences and in the languages of all who encounter them.

Franz is currently in his last year of law school, with no intention of practicing law. His passion is art and the photographs he captures.
Artist Philosophy:
Franz Creigo’s philosophy echoes a thought from Helen Keller. "Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved."
 To view more of Franz’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.

Friday, October 25, 2013

See What Anahit Burke is Creating!

Art Piece: 
“Sunset View”
16”  x  20”
About the Artist
Anahit Burke
Anahit Burke currently resides in Texas, where she enjoys painting in the abstract style as well as painting landscape art.    Anahit believes painting landscapes is the best way to underline the beauty of the nature we were so fortunate to inherit.  The medium she uses mostly is acrylic as she finds that acrylics brighten the painting more than any other mediums.  Anahit also specializes in ancient iconography.
To view more of Anahit’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Autumn in the City by F.M. Kearney


Fall is one of my favorite times of year. With brilliant shades of reds, yellows and oranges exploding all over the place, there certainly isn't a lack of material for northern nature photographers to work with. Even in a major metropolitan area like New York City, the beauty of autumn is never far away. One year, I set out to Wolfes Pond Park to capture the magnificence of this colorful season. Located in the southern region of Staten Island, Wolfes Pond is one of the city's lesser known and least visited parks. That's very good news if you're trying to capture nature scenes without the presence of buildings or people in the shots.

I found a use for almost all of my lenses on this visit. My 50mm normal lens perfectly framed the horizontal shot of the upright, broken tree stump at the water's edge. I switched to a 28mm wide angle lens for the other horizontal of the tree laying prone in the foreground. The winds were calm, so I was able to obtain strong reflections in the lake. I used my zoom lens for the vertical image, which allowed me to compress the space between the trees and the distant background for a tighter composition. Although fall foliage can be successfully photographed in any lighting condition, these images definitely benefited from the diffused, overcast light. Direct sunlight would have produced a sea harsh shadows and contrast – effectively robbing them of color saturation.

Wolfes Pond Park is one of New York’s best kept secrets. It's also very easy to get to at just a quick hop on the subway, a skip on a ferry and a jump on a bus away. Well, okay...unless you happen to live on Staten Island, it might not be that easy. But, it's certainly worth the trip if you want to capture "real" nature images within city limits.


Article Submitted by:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

That Girl from Girls by Jayme Catalano

Fine artist Jemima Kirke is best known for her roles in Tiny Furniture and the HBO series Girls, both created by friend Lena Dunham.  In the second season of Girls, Jemima’s character Jessa paints a portrait of her then-husband, a scene which miffed Kirke, “I was a little pissed at the moment, when I saw that painting as a prop…It’s just a little close to home.  And only because I have been been very vocal about the fact that I make artwork, so I don’t want this to be seen as mine.  Not that there was anything wrong with it; it just wasn’t me.”  Kirke’s paintings are influenced by the work of Edouard Mamet and Lucian Freud and one can sense a bit of Francesco Clemente in her portraits.  As her website describes the work, “By turns both heart-breakingly intimate and ultimately entirely distant, Kirke flees from obvious representations of her subject matter to focus on underlying darkness and the interplay of pathology that exists between artist and the person studied.  Her practice highlights the uncanny moment of fusion between the sitter’s projected identity and the internal character that the artist imposes upon her subject.”  She is currently signed on to portray Jessa in season three of Girls.  For more information regarding Kirke’s fine art, please click here.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation

Monday, October 21, 2013

See What Betty McGlamery is Creating!


Art Piece: 
“Outter Edge of the Swamp”
18”  x  24”
About the Artist
Betty McGlamery
Betty McGlamery lives in Marietta, Georgia and works primarily in oils and acrylics.  She enjoys plein air painting and has been spending half of her time painting in South Georgia. She earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Art Education from Florida State University and has been painting for most of forty years.  She is a member of Gallery 4463, Acworth, GA. And is a member of Oil Painters of America.
To view more of Betty’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Friday, October 18, 2013

See What Ashley Peters is Creating!

Art Piece: 
“Stacking the Odds”
Lincut, Acrylic Wash and Pen
5”  x  7”
Ashley’s  Personal Statement:
“The Process of Growth”
Growth is the changing and developing of one form, body, or unit into a similar but further developed and evolved version of the original.  It is a necessary and an unstoppable part of life.  Even through avoidance, it will ultimately win.  Like the crashing tide against sheer rock cliffs; erosion will conquer.  In taking part of this inevitable metamorphosis; what do we leave behind? What do we lose? What do we become? Growth is an ever-developing event that never truly ends. No one and nothing actually stops. Growth is change. Change, both resisted and embraced initiates refreshment, reverberations and recognition. In my printmaking illustration I look at the process of growth, what it means to grow, the emotions we feel during these shifts in life and the sacrifices that are made along the way.  I look often in a bittersweet, semi cynical but consistently nostalgic manner.  I show this in two styles through the imagery of the human form and the imagery of our surroundings; specifically trees, flowers, foxes, and deer.  I believe that people and these specific choices can visually and symbolically hold similarities and their stories are similar.  It is my thought that growth can be both wonderful and sinister, but more so amusing.  To sit back and realize the gears are turning, at the very instant is a moment of awe.  In these moments you have the ability to value and affect the course at hand.  I want people to be able to look at my work and empathize with images they see. To recognize the feelings they have once or maybe currently have felt.  I want to provoke a sense of empowerment over others growth and encourage  the embracement of their constant evolution. I do not fear growth nor am I intimidated by change. Embrace the events before you. Recognize what is happening, and then take it a step further to enrich what you value most. Growth is change. It will not stop for me and it certainly will not stop for you.
To view more of Ashley’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Always Something There to Remind Me by F.M. Kearney

I often talk about the difficulties of being a nature photographer in a major metropolitan area like New York City. Unless I have the time and the means to escape city limits, most of my work will be restricted to local parks and botanical gardens. Even though I may be able to frame a photo to appear as if it was taken in the middle of nowhere, man-made elements are always nearby.

Late one afternoon, I glanced out my window and saw the most amazing cirrus cloud formations. I grabbed my camera and trusty polarizing filter and took a series of photos. As beautiful as the clouds were on their own, the filter enhanced them even more by darkening the blue sky. In most cases, a wide angle would probably be my lens of choice when shooting the sky. However, I needed to use a zoom lens in this situation in order to eliminate all surrounding distractions. To illustrate this, I took one last photo with a considerably wider view – including what I normally strive to exclude. It made me think of a 1982 hit from Naked Eyes. No matter how well I might be able to compose a nature photo within the city,  there's "Always Something There to Remind Me" that I'm never too far away from signs of civilization.

Article Submitted by:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Confections by Jayme Catalano

Nick Cann began his career as a set illustrator at MGM Studios during the Golden Age of cinema, later branching out to set and credit designs for television and film.  Using  
Sharpie markers and pens, Cann creates whimsical worlds with a unique style reminiscent of Naiad and Walter Einsel or Aubrey Beardsley.  Cann, perfecting his art for more than sixty years, says “I like to draw.  I have been drawing for as long as I can remember.  My interests are fantasy people and detailed architectural confections.”    Based in Napa, California, his works are available for sale through his website.

Article Submitted by:
-Jayme Catalano
Graphic design and site creation


Monday, October 14, 2013

See What Sarah Swisher is Creating!


Art Piece: 
“Autumn Leaves Suite 1”
8”  x  10”
About the Artist
Sarah Swisher
Sarah has loved art all her life and has been painting and drawing since a very early age. After high school Sarah decided that art was something she wanted to pursue professionally.  So Sarah studied at The Art Insitute of Chicago and earned her B.F.A in 1998.   Since then Sarah has been in Indiana working and painting.  Sarah loves botanical forms, mythology and surface design and all of these things play a big part in her art.  Sarah makes everything from cameos and pyasnky eggs, to needle lace and watercolor paintings. Lately Sarah has been thinking about new ways of drawing.  How to use line and color in a new way, so Sarah’s latest work involves lace making and knit images.
 To view more of Sarah’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.

Friday, October 11, 2013

See What Zave Nelson is Creating!

Art Piece: 
Marker and Colored Pencil
25”  x  19”
About the Artist:
Zave Nelson
Zave was born in Atlanta, Georgia.  He never met his mother.  As a child Zave was a problem child, and stayed in trouble.  Zave was introduced to art and in his words “art changed his outlook on life and has brought him closer to God.  He now looks upon his life and talents as a gift, for which he is very thankful.
The Artist’s Personal Statement:
“I am of the father, as the father is of me; therefore I do the will of him, through the expression of my craft.”
To view more of  Zave’s work and the work of all our fine artists, visit us at   Also check out our monthly art competitions.


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Creative Flower Photography Tip #9: Place a Picture Within a Picture by F.M. Kearney

Double exposures are a fun way to add a little creativity to your flower photographs. Sometimes, I’ll shoot a close-up, then pull back and shoot a much smaller version of the same flower – giving it the appearance that it’s “nestled” within itself. Other times, I’ll combine two totally different images.

The basic concept is simple: shoot one large image and superimpose a smaller one on top. The problem is being able to clearly distinguish one from the other, and to not have everything meld together into one big cluttered mess. I tried various methods to accomplish this and the best way I found was to simply underexpose the bigger image. However, if both images are shot in the same light, even underexposing isn’t always enough. It’s for that reason that I like to shoot on sunny days. By completely shading the larger image, and then, shooting the smaller image in direct sunlight, I’m able to achieve an even starker contrast through the different lighting conditions. Coupled with the overall underexposure, both images are now sufficiently offset from each other – creating a unique effect, whereby, the smaller image will appear to “float” in the center of the larger one.
The photo opportunities are endless, but they do require a certain degree of pre-visualization. For proper composition, it’s important to remember the exact location of the images within the frame. Personally, I find it easier to shoot the smaller image first. That way, I’m able to ensure I have an adequate amount of “dead space” around it. So that the smaller image (and only the smaller image) is superimposed onto the larger one, everything else needs to be “masked” out. I use a 3X3 square foot black cloth that’s laid on the cloth on the ground behind the flower.
When shooting double exposures, the exposure for both images must be halved in order for the two combined images to add up to the correct exposure. One of the easiest ways to do this is to set your exposure compensation to -1. Because the subject is so small and surrounded by so much black, it’s imperative to meter very carefully by spot metering the flower. This will avoid overexposing the shot.
Set your camera up for a double exposure and take the first shot.

When shooting the larger, underexposed image, move in close and try to fill the frame as much as possible. Spot meter the brightest part, then, underexpose by about 1/3 stop. This should give you just the right amount of underexposure – dark enough so that it doesn’t compete for attention with the smaller image, but not so dark that its features become unrecognizable. Next, block any direct sunlight from falling on it.
If taking pictures of two different flowers, try not to choose two of the same color. The effect will always look more dramatic if the colors of the two images are just as different as the exposures.
This picture-in-picture technique is a great way to introduce something a little different in your flower portraits.

Article Submitted by:
F.M. Kearney is a fine art nature photographer, specializing in unique floral and landscape images. To see more of his work, please visit