Tag : art

First Piece in a Gallery!

First Piece in a Gallery!

Hey Everyone,

I submitted a piece to a gallery for the first time last week and it was accepted. It will be on display and for sale in the Art League Gallery at the Torpedo factory in Old Town Alexandria until Jan 7. You can get more details here http://www.theartleague.org/content/dec2012_allmedia

 

The piece is pictured here and is entitled “Chained No. 3”. As you might guess from the name, it is the 3rd in a series. I have not finished the previous two images, but hopefully they will be done soon and also hanging in the gallery. I was pretty nervous, as I had never submitted anything to anyone before, but I am now very excited that a whole new group of people have a chance to view my work. Thanks for your continued interest and support!

Dan

Accidental Art

Accidental Art

Accidental Art…

If you shoot in RAW format (unprocessed image data) like I do most of the time you have to touch every single image again later in post. Often this is just getting groups of images with similar color, contrast ratio, and exposure, and batch processing them using a tool in Photoshop. It does make for a much longer post production process, but I think it yields much more consistent and better results.

Unfortunately for my ego, this photo was not the result of careful shot selection and meticulous editing, but rather, if I remember correctly, an incredibly lucky shot captured in full auto mode in jpg format. Too bruise my ego even more; I didn’t even notice that my camera had somehow been switched to auto and jpg. It is an easy thing that can happen with the turn of a dial, and I remember wondering why my camera would choose this moment to start misbehaving and being all stupid.

By the time I had figured out what was going on the wondrous and evanescent weather moment had passed and I was sure that I had miss it completely. Not so. As it turns out my camera is pretty decent as a photographer and barely needed me in order to take great photos.

This all happened more than five years ago, and I had pretty much forgotten about it. But, then I found this image on my HD, and thanks to our wondrous technology, all the metadata that had been embedded when the image was created. Metadata is all the information about and image such and camera model, lens model, focal length, etc. This stuff is great for many reasons, but in this case it was a great memory jogger.

As I write this I am deciding what size and type of print of this image to buy and hopefully sell. I am pretty sure that when the print arrives, it will look spectacular and I will be very happy with it. I also know that what this image means/speaks/inspires to me is going to be very different from others who view it. I will always look at this photo and chuckle and be amused that something so cool was so accidental. Perhaps I should modify it in some way to express that viewpoint and make it part of the “art.” hmm, I may have just talked myself into that…looks like I will be ruining another perfectly good photo with “art”

Thanks for reading!!!

@danielcbloom

www.danielcbloom.com

https://www.facebook.com/DCBphotography002

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A nice sunset…with a boat…

 

 

This image has been waiting to have something written about it for a while now. I just could not think of anything to say. I should be able to find something to say about every image I create right? Well, I got to thinking about this assumption and the conclusion that I have come to is elegantly simple. If I truly have nothing, non-technical, to say about one of my images, that means that I don’t consider it Art.

Wow, this was quite a revelation to me. I had never considered the question of “what is my art to me” in such simple terms, but the more I think about it the more I am convinced. As a minimum bar for what, of my own work, I consider art, it is the most simple and decisive measure I could ask for. With simple taxonomy in mind, this blog takes on a whole new level of importance for my artistic process. As it is, this blog is for myself, for the most part. I publish it because I am hoping that other people reading it will help mitigate the “bullshit” factor. So far I have not had any “calling BS” responses(hoping that might change when I launch my new site and it’s easier to leave a comment), but the very idea that they might is a good deterrent to getting to self aggrandizing. What I am saying is that I want your help keeping this an honest and matter of fact look at my artistic process and thinking.

Now, to say a few words about this image and why I don’t really consider it art. Interestingly, if this was created by someone else and I saw it hanging on a wall somewhere I would consider it art. For sure there are many artistic works that many people have many differing opinions on. In the larger sense, the historic sense, it is those people, outside of the creator, who decide on what is art. That being said, the question of what the artist considers art of his/her own creation has an incalculable effect on future projects and self image as an artist.

This image here is a good image. It is a solid photograph. However, every decision I made when creating this image was a technical one. All those choices add up to a cool photo, one that many people might consider art, but to me, its creator, it is just not invested with anything.

Thanks for reading!!!

@danielcbloom

www.danielcbloom.com

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Sitting in a Starbucks in midtown…

 

 

I’ve been posting allot of digitally altered images. There is nothing wrong with them, in fact they are more or less my forte, but sometimes I want to show you something more “real.” One could have a long philosophical discussion about whether a photograph even represents reality, but for the purposes of this discussion I will say that I think a photograph represents a portion of reality, one of many pieces that never quite seem to add up to the whole. You might even say that obviously altered images still represent a portion of reality. In that case, rather than physical reality, emotional reality. Provided of course that they were created with honesty by the artist.

We humans, as the product of evolution may not be well disposed to view “thoughts” a part of reality, but they do “exist.” Perhaps art is the manifestation of an, as yet, uninvolved emotional sense. Clawing for life through thousands of years left us with an organ designed to keep us alive, but maybe human art taps into a part of our brain that is still evolving, still in its early stages of development. The implications of this idea are myriad, and though completely speculative, I find this concept oddly compelling. Perhaps this can explain some of the seemingly ineffable, yet extremely powerful, nature of the best art.

(I cross my heart, there were no drugs involved in this post. Though I do have I pretty vicious head cold)

All that being said, this week we have two images instead of one. There is a good(tenuous at best) reason for this. We are talking about images, altered or not, representing reality. The two photos from today’s post are practically “untainted” by my dirty digital hands, and thus should represent some portion of physical reality, right? Well here is another question: does artificial light count as altering reality?

These photos represent to different angles of the exact same object in the same location. They are lit entirely artificially by a singe strobe light which I placed behind the bench pointed directly at the camera lens. The fill light is coming from the bounce of the flash off the wall that was directly behind me. Both photos were taken after dark, on a very, very, dark night. They are also shaded from any light from the sky by overhanging trees. In other words, it was pitch black out side. In other words, the only light in the images is completely artificial and also slightly different for each photo.

Despite all of this “alteration” I would say that to be both these photos represent their subjects very accurately. In fact, I tried to take pictures of this bench during the day and I just could not establish the drama that simply oozed out of the ancient moss covered wood. When I looked at the bench, I could see its age, its life, its character, its creepiness perhaps. But, taking a picture communicated none of these things. It was not until I completely “artificialized” the conditions that the truth of the bench make it into the lens.

Objects may exist regardless of the consciousness that perceives them, but they are irrelevant without that consciousness. In other words, facts are useless unless they can be conceived, communicated and understood. Perhaps sometimes, in art, but also in life some portions of reality must be “adjusted” so that truth about another portion can be understood.

I apologize for the rambling and “deep” nature of this post, so very much, but that’s what comes out when I sit in a Starbucks in midtown and watch humanity rush past my window.

If anyone actually makes it this far please let me know so that I can apologize in person the next time I see you.

Thanks for reading!!!

www.danielcbloom.com

@danielcbloom

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NYC on a gray day in the winter…

 

 

I recently found myself in NYC wondering around with a couple friends. I, as I so often do, had my trusty Canon 5dmk2 with me and was casualy taking some pictures. I am fascinated by linear perspective(mostly because I was always terrible at drawing it) and there are few places that offer a better study in perspective than the tall buildings covered in glass and scafolding and the dead straight crosstown Aves of Manhattan. There is also a visual and spiratual hustle and bustle about NYC that is palpable, but not easy to capture in a single frame.

Capturing the tall building and their colors and textures was a job best done using the HDR (hi dynamic range) technique. I think buildings are very good candidates for the detail rich and cartoony look of a heavly processed HDR image. However, as i have probably mentioned before in this blog, i am not a huge fan of simple HDR captures of scenes. There are very good ones out there, but it is just not for me. Still, they are a great tool to keep in my digital tool bag, and truth be told if I am shooting any type of scene who’s subject is not directly a person, I generally try and capture multiple exposures to be used in an HDR if I need to later.

So, for this image I combined 3 exposures to produce the HDR. I then took the orignional image and combined it wtih the HDR. The road and all the vehicles are from a single exposure. I did this partly in order to freeze the motion of the traveling cars, but mostly because in HDR they looked so artificial that I just could not take the image seriously(whatever that means).

I spent a long time making the transition areas from normal exposure to HDR. These hours are impossible to see in this format, but I am hoping that when its printed large format, you will be able to hunt for along time before finding those areas.

New York City is probably one of the most photographed places on Earth, so creating a new and interesting image of this ultimate metropolis seems an impossible task. For me this simply means ignoring the fact that I am climbing an olympic mountain of prior artistic offerings, and focusing on creating something that satisfies my artistic sensibilities. The idea of trying to avoid completely any similarities with previous artistic works can be a paralyzing and devastating undertaking for any artist. Especially when referencing subject like love, evil, the human spirit, pain, happiness, exultation, piety, or any small island where 8 million individuals make their home.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you again next week.

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“Sun Bubbles”

 

Some of you have seen this image before. If you have, you probably know that there are two versions. This one is the version that shows up best on a computer screen. The other is more subtle and soft and will look fantastic printed on canvas in a large format.

This photo was taken at about 6am in MA and the water was very cold. I would like to thank Chris Bloom and Lauren Evans for agreeing to get up that early while on vacation, climb into cold water and put up with me asking them to hold various precarious positions while they tried not to look cold. Based on the final product they are both good actors because they were freezing.

I would also like to thank my assistants Taylor and Michael Bloom, as well as my lovely wife Megan, for dealing with me getting very cranky because one of my wireless flash triggers was not working. Oh, and getting up early and that whole bit too.

I had been planning to try and get some sunrise shooting done for several days, but was afraid to ask the folks on vacation with me to get up before the sun came up and indulge my artist obsession. It was completely unfounded fear as it turned out because everyone was on board from the word go.

This version of the image is the HDR version. HDR is the process of capturing scene by taking multiple exposures in order to capture a broad tonal range, and then combining those exposures later, with software. These type of photos can have a surreal quality to them that can make them look fake or like digital renderings. Depending on the situation they can be a very effective tool and I even like to use a normally exposed image in some areas and an HDR for other areas of the same final product. In this case though it is just HDR.

The pose was developed by the circumstances. in other words I had no idea what exactly i was looking for. We tried a bunch different things and finally we worked our way to this. This turned out to be one of those posses that looks completely different on camera than to the eye. In fact it looked like two almost random positions to the eye, but when compressed into two dimensions and onto a CMOS censor the compositions really flows.

The sun is obviously on the right side of the image and the “chi” of this image flows in an arc from the bottom left of the frame to the top right, the sun. Also from the foreground to the background. I added the lens flairs in post because I wanted the flow to be immediately apparent. To me they almost look like some sort of mystical tractor beam pulling the models towards the sun.

As I sit and write about it i have discovered several small  things I would like to change. They are minor, but I think that it is these minor changes that may be the difference between looking at this image one time and wanting to see at it often.

Thanks so much for reading.

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a good example of “using lies to tell the truth.”

 

This weeks image is a cool and interesting one. Its  In this case there were two challenges. First, making a photograph look like what I actually saw with my eyes. And second, convincing people that this is actually what the sky looked like when this picture was taken . Seriously, it looked like that! I have made several digital adjustments but in this particular situation they were only made to make it look like what I saw. The only real artistic license I took was that everything on the ground that is not man made is in gray-scale and everything on the ground has a charcoal shading texture. Even this was somewhat in the service of replicating reality. There was this bizarre colorless effect going on. I think that it may have been because it was one of the most brilliant rainbows I have ever see and that in comparison perhaps the ground seemed pale and lifeless.

There are many, many small details that you will not be able to see on this small version. Like so many of my pieces this one was very specifically created for large format viewing. However, I think you can get the gist of it from this small version. One little detail that is easily noticeable in this version is the little black triangle in the top left corner of the frame. This photo was taken from the balcony of my apartment and that little black shape is the underside of the balcony above me. I was going to take it out, but I decided that to me it added a grounding point. So many photographs seem to be take from some magical vantage point that does not exist in reality. This is due obviously to the skill and vision of the photographer. In this photograph I thought it might be fun to subvert that tradition if only in the smallest way.

Thanks so much for reading and as always I welcome your feed back. You can share this page using the share buttons on the top left of the page. And please follow me on twitter @danielcbloom

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Here is an interesting one…

 

this is one of my favorite images. It is so melodramatic that I get a huge variety of responses to it. My own response is “very cool” if I do say so myself. This image is also a very good example of my process.

I have always been fascinated by “droplet” photography. We have all seen amazing images of different colored liquids captured in exquisite detail as they are mixed and splashed. As cool as that is, I have always seen it mostly as a technical achievement. I wanted to explore this area of photography, but it has been done so well that I felt that I couldn’t really do it any better. Since it was not something I wanted to spend to much time learning I thought maybe I could take a decent droplet image and then incorporate it into something a bit more my style. So I started making photographs of droplets of different colors of water. When I got a version that was decent I processed it and filed it away for later inspiration.

Compared to the technical perfection of many other droplet photos mine was quite inferior. However, I realized this and thus it was an artistic choice to make it anyway. Besides, if it was going to be part of something else maybe the unrefined nature of the photo would be an effective tool.

A few weeks later I was experimenting with different lighting setups for photographing eyes. My lovely wife has very beautiful eyes and I am forever trying to capture them perfectly. She is very patient and always willing to indulge me.

So now I have on my computer these droplet images and also some interesting eye pictures. But still I had not connected the two.

As I was playing with the glass and the water dripping into it I realized that I could flip part of one of the images and make it look like there was something flowing into the glass. It all snapped into focus (to use a tired but apt cliche). Tears were perfect, and if I had tears I needed eyes. And guess what, I had some very interesting eye pictures. Working with digital images is truly a pleasure and within seconds I had all the image elements layered in my PS file. There was plenty of poking, prodding, painting, and many masks and adjustment layers.

After I was done with all that the image looked great…except, it looked a little out of balance. Its Feng shui was off. I experimented with several option to balance it out and make it feel right, but they all felt forced and wrong. In frustration I decided I was done and it was just going to be what it was going to be. I added my tiny signature in the corner and went to close the image. Hmm, I thought, what if I make the signature part of the image? Interesting…

Now the image is done and I realized something…this is a self portrait. Not in a direct sort of way of course, after all I’m not in the frame. It is a self portrait of my artistic “fingerprints,” my point of view. In a way all works of art are self portraits, but to me this is a piece devoted to that powerful and perhaps self indulgent subtlety. That is why it needed a big signature, to not only balance out the composition but also to overtly insert myself into the piece so that it would be become about me. To me this image says “Hi there, I’m Daniel Bloom.”

Thanks so much for reading!

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So here we are…this image!

 

This image is my nemesis(sometimes). Which is funny because I created it. It has so many technical flaws that if I were doing it now I would fix. And yet it is one of my most artistically and thematically concise images. This is the picture where I found my artistic voice. I am quite sure that I cannot put into words quite how profound that is. This was the first piece of art I I ever created that I truly thaught was exactly what I wanted it to be. It was the first image I was ever able to invest with enough meaning and emotion that I would call it art. It was also the first piece that I was able to take my technical abilities and use them to create something more than cool, more than interesting.

This is a simple image. Simple in theme. Simple in structure. Simple in concept. It is also a rather cliché technique of mixing color and BW in an image for emphasis. Regardless of its roughness and its simplicity and am very proud of this one in particular.

I have a few thank yous that I would like to formally make in regards to this image. I would like to thank my younger brothers Taylor and Michael who were so willing to help even when I was very poor at communicating what I wanted them to do. This shoot was very low tech and they both were able to execute their tasks with great skill. Not only that they were both great fun and hilarious. They have a small video production company with their friend Nathan Called Oak Croft Films that specializes in hilarious sketch videos. You can find their Facebook page at http://goo.gl/vM9cP and I highly encourage everyone to take a look as they are quite amusing.

I also must thank my brother Chris Bloom, the subject of this image. He is one of the most hard working and enthusiastic people I know. He is always willing to work with me on anything and he gives his all in absolutely everything he does. He is a dancer in NYC and a fantastic choreographer.

Well, this has been a rather heartfelt post. I know that this may not be the most information ridden episode of Photo of The Week, but sometimes there is just not that much to say about a piece. It’s also rare I think to be able to pinpoint the the genesis of something. In this case I am hoping that recognizing how big a deal this image is to me that I will be able to apply the same focus and drive to my future projects.

@danielcbloom

www.danielcbloom.com