Category Archives: Photographer

Art that Sells Broadway

Segmation - Art that Sells BroadwayThe versatility of art is not easy to define. Art is an umbrella term that encompasses different mediums, genres and styles. Each medium of art is attractive on its own, but when several types of art come together, a fresh, deep, enriched level of art is born. For instance, this is the case when music, dance, storytelling and graphic design collide. You may be wondering where these diverse art mediums intersect. On Broadway, of course.

Erick Pipenburg (@erikpiepenburg) has one of the most interesting jobs in America; he is the senior theatre editor at the New York Times. Recently his job has taken him away from Broadway stages and into the studios of graphic designers and photographers who create promotional posters for hit shows.

Behind the Poster” is a category on the New York Times blog, Artsbeat. In this genre of his professional art medium, writing, Pipenburg interviews the talented visual artists who are on the front lines of theatre show productions. He has gone behind the curtains of shows like “The Visit,” starring Chita Rivera; “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” starring Neil Patrick Harris; and a new play, “Stage Kiss,” which is promoted by an abstract poster that is made up of lipstick kisses on paper. Each time, Pipenburg’s interview reveals a story that goes beyond the script and into the lives of all the artist who create and promote the play.

To better grasp what Pipenburg does, read the response from freelance illustrator Julie Furer Knutson, who created the poster for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” playing in Seattle, Washington:

“I wanted this to scream ’60s. That blue is very of that era. When I was a kid we had a couch that color. It seems everybody had that couch back then. I guess it was Danish-designed and had that very plain but textural fabric to it. The characters keep drinking to hide what’s going on in their lives. They are outward with their rage, but they are hiding behind the alcohol. I thought white for the title really exposes things.”

Here is the New York Times article that contains this poster review and five others: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/31/arts/posters-the-fine-art-of-selling-theater.html.

Erick Pipenburg is revealing another element of art that goes into creating shows that grace Broadway stages each night. He is showcasing the tapestry of art mediums, styles, and genres that go into producing show-stopping productions. In a way, he is identifying the many parts of a fulfilling, multi-dimensional work of art.

Art is often made up of several pieces. No art program knows this better than Segmation. Paint-by-number has been allowing people to become artists for years. Now, Segmation is making paint-by-number a digital phenomenon, too. By putting together the pieces of artful imaging, you can be an artist. Have you tried SegPlay PC or SegPlay Mobile yet? Click here to learn more about the software that can transform you into an artist: http://segmation.com/. Piece by piece, you can, like Erick Pipenburg, expose a beautiful picture.

Read more Segmation blog posts about art and color:

Paper Quilling – Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

Can Elephant Art Save the Species?

What Is True About The Color Blue?

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An Artist’s Story of Taking Risks and Staying Determined

Like many artists, Alexis Lawson found herself at a fork in the road. One path boasted little brush, bright lighting, and a trail that went as far as the eye could see. This was the path of education; after finishing her schooling, she would become a teacher with a salary, pension, and set vacation days. The other path was barely visible, covered with thick foliage and debris. She couldn’t see where it led beyond a couple steps. This was the path of professional photography.

Alexis took the path less traveled. Shortly after her daughter was born, about five years ago, she decided to avoid the safe route and go out on a limb. She became a professional photographer.

Since making this decision, the artist’s path has taken Alexis on a journey of discovery. As she progressed in her career, she experienced many changes. For instance, Alexis’s photography career started with taking pictures of children and families. Today, Alexis specializes in couture female portraiture.

The Palm Beach based photographer was turned onto glamour photography by Sue Bryce, the portrait photographer behind the Olay Best Beautiful Stories. To follow in Bryce’s footsteps, Alexis signed up for mentorships and workshops with photographers who specialized in shooting “glamour shots.” Alexis admits that photographing women as if they were Vogue cover models “hit home” with her. It was this feeling and her admiration for women—who, like her, managed careers, homes, and families—that prompted her to shine a light on their inner and outer beauty.

After realizing this, Alexis stepped out onto another limb. She turned the back room of her home into a photography studio. Even though there was no guarantee people would come into this space or solicit her services, she took the chance and made a massive renovation.

With a studio in place, Alexis knew it was up to her to bring in women to photograph. She began pounding the pavement, working 50 hours a week to network and market her unique services. All the while, Alexis knew that what she told the women she photographed applied to her, too. “Be true to yourself and stick to it,” she would say.

Like many artists, Alexis had talent. But beyond talent, she worked hard to make her dreams come true. The evolution of her career involved taking risks, working hard, and overcoming obstacles. As she took time to navigate the rocky terrain of the path she chose, she remained focused on the most important thing: being true to the artist inside her.

Today, Alexis Lawson can be found in Palm Beach, shooting couture photographs from her in-home studio. Visit Alexis’s website to see an extensive display of her photography: http://www.alexislawsoncreative.com/.

If you want to be a professional artist, you can. Take the path less travel. Step out onto a limb and work hard to make your dreams reality. And take Alexis’s advice: Be true to yourself and stick to it.

James Ostrer’s Junk Food Art

 
Obesity is considered a major health crisis in the United States and many other countries. According to the Food Research and Action Center, “Obesity rates have more than doubled” since the 1970s. It has also been reported that two-thirds of Americans are considered overweight or obese.

While media pundits and nutritional scientists speculate the cause of obesity, one source of the problem seems apparent: junk food.

Humans love junk food. And many of us are addicted to it (which some claim is the food industry’s goal.) When considering this truth, it is safe to say that junk food has changed the face of our culture.

One artist, photographer James Ostrer decided to explore this phenomenon with his latest series, entitled, “Wotsit All About?”

If you called the series horrific, he might not mind. Using junk food, he produced some of the most disturbing images you can imagine. Monsters.

Coping With Junk

At an early age, James Ostrer’s parents divorced. It was a troubling time for him and his parents did what they could to lift their child’s spirits. His father, in particular, thought Happy Meal’s would work. Therefore, whenever Ostrer’s father picked him up for the week, he started things off with a trip to McDonald’s.

Unfortunately, instead of lifting Ostrer’s mood, this tradition brought on a bad habit. Ostrer began turning to junk food as a way to cope with stress. As he got older, Ostrer noticed his health was in decline. This got him thinking about how his relationship with junk food negatively impacted his life. He also began to reflect on how junk food impacts the world. That was when inspiration struck.

Happy Meal Monsters

The result was a series of portraits that showcased grotesque monsters made entirely of junk foods like candy, burgers, and chocolate. Ostrer used junk food as material to completely cover his models from head to toe. After eight hours in the “makeup” chair, each monster emerged looking horrifying and disturbing. This was Ostrer’s goal. The photographer successfully made the point that our relationship with junk food is indeed horrifying, grotesque, and disturbing.

Ostrer also titles his photographs to enrich his message. Each one contains the letters, “EF,” followed by a number. “EF” stands for “emotional fossil.” This structure mirrors what is called “E numbers.” The Food Standards Agency’s code for what are considered safe additives. The reviews are strict but somehow, fast food restaurants keep managing to receive passing grades.

Ostrer’s monsters have their own E numbers, indicating that they are “safe.” But Ostrer second guesses their labels by asking, “Are these monsters safe?”

Is Junk Food Safe?

Health is a global issue and junk food is too, especially in America. More often than not, what seems harmless turns out to be destructive. James Ostrer’s work reflects this fact with a bit of a twisted view. Ostrer tells us these junk food monsters are on the loose, but instead of running from them, we invite them into our bodies every day.

By viewing Ostrer’s photographs, we are invited into his perspective; a perspective that he hopes will alter the trends of junk food.

Read more Segmation blog posts about food art:

Food Never Looked So Good

Coloring Each Season with Healthy Food

Thanksgiving Scenes Influences Art

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An Art Project For Human Kind

An Art Project For Human KindArt mimics its creator.

The art project Humanae has a strong identity and global reach, just like its creator. The woman behind the art has a colorful lineage and resilient sense of self.

Angelica Dass is a photographer who set out on a mission to expose the myriad of identities, cultures and skin tones that exist throughout the world. The Humanae project involves her taking a portrait of an individual and extracting an “11 by 11 pixel sample” of the person’s face. She matches the exact shade to Pantone’s elaborate color system. Then, she edits the picture so that this shade becomes the portrait’s backdrop.

When Dass aligns the pictures, she shines a light on what people often forget: no two people are exactly alike. With over 2,000 photographs, Humanae is revealing that two people might share a cultural heritage but are different in many other ways.

Nobody knows this better than the creator, herself. Angelica Dass is number 7522 C on the Pantone color scale. She is Brazilian by blood but her biography sheds light on the texture that weaves this artist together. “[Dass is] the granddaughter of ‘black’ and ‘native’ Brazilians,” an article in the Latin Post reads, “and the daughter of a ‘black’ father raised by ‘white’ adoptive parents.”

It is easy to imagine how such a checkered past raised a few questions in the mind of a young Dass. Her questions propelled her to seek answers in art. Through the Humanae Project, she is “recording and cataloging all possible human skin tones.”

What started as a final project for her Masters degree in Art of Photography has now turned into a global adventure. She is eager to photograph as many people as possible. But this is not necessarily of her personal volition; the project has taken on a mission of its own.

An Art Project For Human Kind 2“Humanae has influenced areas, materials, attitudes, knowledge, human meaning, expression, and communication outside of my control,” she tells Latin Post. The purpose of the project has pursued a greater calling than Dass ever intended. The growing collection of 2,000 photographs represents a sense of equality.

The people who are photograph come from all walks of life. Not only are they from different parts of the world, they are of different socioeconomic circumstances and education levels. They speak different languages and have contrasting social norms, too. But these differences are not what appear on camera. The differences viewers see go far deeper, exposing the individual.

With individuality front and center, humanity seems to exist only because of differences. Or, as the creator of Humanae would say, her project is as “global as humanity.”

Read more Segmation blog posts about creative photography:

Food Never Looked So Good

When Ink Art and Underwater Photography Collide

Photography: Black and White or in Living Colors

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Art Illuminates Science

Fabian_Oefner_Dancing_Colors_08_1500Until recently, common technology could not capture the fine details of life. A new age is upon us now. The slim and sleek devices many people carry in their back pockets are able to capture information and images that were unavailable a few years ago.

One man uses advancements in technology to artistically illuminate science. He is getting a lot of attention as a unique individual who is scientifically astute and creatively brilliant.

Merging Science and Art

Many people have thought this merger was near impossible thanks to a common misconception that humans either think with the right side of their brains or the left. As the saying goes, people are either smart with numbers and figures or see the world to creative lenses. Clearly, this is not the case anymore.

Fabian Oefner is a Swiss photographer who is contradicting this inescapable myth. Oefner goes to great lengths to put the intricacies of the world on display for all to see and experience. Using art and intelligence, he is bringing science to the public in a very creative way.

A Photographer’s Connection

He acknowledged the misnomer mentioned above in a recent TED Talk. He said, “If you look at science, science is a very rational approach, whereas art on the other hand is usually an emotional approach to its surroundings.” In recognizing this, he has made it his goal to merge these scenes and create a single image. He wants the collaboration of art and science to move a person by activating his or her mind and emotions.

Two of Oefner’s art pieces, of many, include the visibility of a sound wave and the combustion of flammable alcohol. He records the science projects with a state-of-the-art “camera that shoots 3,000 frames per second.”

Visualizing Sound: Oefner sets tiny, multi-colored crystals atop a piece of foil that rests on a speaker. When the music moves the crystals his camera captures the art of sound.

Capturing Combustion: In a second piece of artwork, he uses items a person may find in his or her home to create an explosive shot. Setting fire to a bottle of whiskey, he freezes a flame.

Fabian Oefner does not stop there. He continues to mesmerize the world with the reality of science through the vehicle of art.

More of his pieces can be viewed on this CBS news slideshow: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-205_162-10018481.html.

Read more Segmation blog posts about Art and Science:

Extracting Art from Science

Art and Science – A Genius Combination

Art and Science – A Genius Combination

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Photography Returns to Its Roots

When you thumb through your favorite magazine, how many images do you see that you assume have not been highly processed through technology? More than likely your answer is none. The truth is that retouching images using digital tools has been the name of the photography game for the past several years. In many cases, photos all over the media do not reflect anything that is real or “organic,” but rather what is fanciful and ideal. These qualities are not necessarily bad, but in some ways have lessened the value of raw, genuine photography. But all this is changing.

Photographers who have leaned heavily upon digital tools for the past few years are beginning to gravitate back toward totally or partially un-retouched images. Post-processing techniques that have been majorly employed by photographers are now becoming more and more shunned as artists seek to bring photography back to its roots. But among all of these changes, there is something to remember: there is nothing intrinsically wrong with utilizing technology in photography.

The problem was never in the technology (the post-processing techniques, digitalization, etc.) used to enhance images. David Allen Brandt, commercial photographer, commented, “The problem was that the images themselves, the backbone of the art presented, weren’t great to begin with.” So the issue is not that the technology used to transform images is “un-artistic” or negative. Rather, the core of a piece of photographic art (the photograph itself) needs to be high quality before post-processing techniques are used. Technology shouldn’t be the means a photographer uses to ensure an image is artful; it is more appropriate for it to be used to enhance an already-excellent photo.

As mentioned, photography is returning to its origins. It is mainly making this journey via photographers/artists who are choosing to allow “raw” images to be a primary source of art. These artists view image processing tools as just that: tools. Rather than counting on those tools to make an image into a quality piece of art, these photographers are taking artful images and making them better by using post-processing techniques and other technological helps. Amazing teachers are also shaping this next generation of artists by teaching photography techniques that do not emphasize digital manipulation.

Note: The image represented in this post does not belong to Segmation; it was found at http://www.photography.ca/blog/tag/lens/.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/08/10/living/fine-art-photography-manipulation/index.html?iphoneemail

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Baby Art Creates Dreamy Photographs

Image: Book cover for "When My Baby Dreams"

A familiar adage says, “A baby changes everything.” For one young mother, the birth of her baby also birthed a career in photography.

Finland native Adele Enersen was just another excited new mom taking photographs of her sleeping baby girl and posting them on her blog for family members to enjoy. Who would have thought this hobby could turn into so much more? Before long, her creative style of photography was drawing millions of fans. Her pictures were being compared to the work of baby photographer Anne Geddes. With such success, Enersen began looking for a book deal.

Image: Baby Mila as an astronaut

It all began when Enersen discovered her baby girl was a heavy sleeper — even at nap time. She slept heavy enough for Enersen to create dream-like environments around her and snap photographs.

This excited mother to baby Mila, who couldn’t tear her eyes off her sleeping child. She started to imagine what her baby girl might be dreaming about during the hours she slept so sound. Enersen’s imagination prompted her to start constructing the dream scenes around her daughter.

All credit goes to Adele Enersen whose creativity and imagination makes the dreams of children come alive. All of the dream scenes are created from items around her home. Enersen has a knack for manipulating fabric and for turning everyday items into elaborate sets. She has used stuffed animals to create forest scenes and found inspiration in clothing and pillows.

Image: Baby Mila as a bookworm

Enersen’s photographs of Mila have been collected in a book titled “When My Baby Sleeps” that recently became available for purchase. She never considered herself a serious photographer, just a mother enjoying her baby and trying to share her joy with friends and family. When at first she was overwhelmed with the popularity of her photographs she relied on that simple joy to be her foundation. She desires for her photographs of Mila to combat many of the negative things people are surrounded by every day. 

To read more about Enersen’s story, view some of her photographs of baby Mila, now a toddler, and to hear her thoughts about future projects visit:

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45816601/ns/today-books/#.TzqG47EgcsI

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When Ink Art and Underwater Photography Collide

Two seemingly different concentrations of art have been making waves in their recent mash up with artist and photographer Mark Mawson. While not a tremendous amount of information is available about the technique and execution of this brilliant, color-soaked approach, we can speculate on some of the aspects of this thrilling new style.

Water

http://www.paranoias.org/2011/12/aqueous-fluoreau-by-mark-mawson/http://www.paranoias.org/2011/12/aqueous-fluoreau-by-mark-mawson/Water is a funny thing. When we are submerged, it is the one known natural element that resists the pull of gravity by working with the natural buoyancy in our bodies to alleviate some of our weight. Nearly everyone experiences these effects while swimming or taking a bath.

Another peculiar trait is how it spreads and disperses other liquids or particles that have been introduced into it. Think of when you put cream in your coffee, or when you add dye to water to make Easter eggs. The effect is immediate and really quite interesting.

As seen in the picture above, a second liquid-like material introduced into still water creates a shadowing, swirling veil of almost air-like quality that slowly ripples and radiates outward; akin to the slow leak of a pin-pulled smoke bomb.

Ink

http://www.paranoias.org/2011/12/aqueous-fluoreau-by-mark-mawson/

What photographer Mark Mawson manages to capture is thrilling and new in several ways; not only in its gorgeous eye-popping presentation, but also in its incredibly temporary state of existence as well as its unique, un-typified use of ink.

While the featured picture is an amazing and brilliant example of Mawson’s technique, it is certainly not the only approach to this style of art. As you look further into some of the images he’s captured, you’ll notice the endless possibilities for positioning, lighting, and background.

Some pieces are seen with a subtle back drop of flurrying colors (perhaps immersed in the water sooner to capture their translucency), cascading down over a more vivid splotch of color floating in the foreground, constantly shape shifting to create new and interesting views of our underwater art gallery.

To see more of Mark’s work, check out http://www.paranoias.org/2011/12/aqueous-fluoreau-by-mark-mawson/  and see the waves he’s creating by making, well, waves.

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Face the Fact, Technology Creates Art

In the 21st century, technology creates all things useful… including art. We have to face the fact that gone are the days when art belonged on an canvas, was formed between the hands of a potter, appeared from inside a slab of granite, or was developed with the intention of advancing culture.

Now there are even more dimensions of art to embrace. We can do this by recognizing how technology allows everyone to become artists by producing visual representations of who we are, as individuals and what we care about.

An online program that allows anyone to create a work-of-art is Picasa. This is Google’s free photo editing software that transforms our every day pictures into artistic masterpieces.

The newest version, Picasa 3.8, has the ability to turn anyone into an artist — or a video producer for that matter. For some time, Google’s Picasa has been an easy tool that makes photo organization and editing a breeze. It allows individuals the ability to create online albums that are easily shared with friends and family members throughout the world. Check out the Face Movie Segmation produced with it:

(If the video does not appear on this screen, visit Youtube to view Segmation’s feature Picasa film: http://youtu.be/16JPgeF5y5U)

Creating A Face Movie

It’s easy to create a Face Movie like this one. Picasa 3.8 can instruct you with step by step directions. However, it is a process that is completed with just a few clicks of a button. The program analyzes faces in the photos you want featured. Then, it couples them with the smoothest transitions in ways of facial expressions and/or poses. The different technique Face Movie uses, creating noticeably different movies, is overlaying photos organized by similar qualities, like expressions or poses. You can start creating your Face Movie today by clicking here.

Benefits of Picasa 3.8

But wait… it gets easier. With Picasa, you don’t need to scramble to find the pictures you want to use. It organizes all the photos on your PC, even those scattered throughout your system. Then, they can be easily organized into web albums.

Name Tags

Google understands that the people captured in photographs are what matter in a picture. This is why they created a collection system based on name-tags. It is a lot like the Facebook feature, “tagging.” By placing a box around an individuals face, one is able write their name and easily store all pictures where he or she has been tagged. This is also available with places, or “geo-tags,” where one can mark the exact location of the picture using Google maps.

Sharing

From there it is easy to publish your favorite photos online. You can choose to share single images or an entire album. This also allows you to connect with friends and family members and set notification settings when those you’ve set as “Favorites” post new photos.

Editing 

And you don’t need to worry about showing pictures that are sub-par. Picasa also includes an editing systems that can improve any picture. By having control of red-eye correction, lighting, and other abnormalities, you are sure to collect and share pictures you’re proud of.

The abilities of Google’s Picasa 3.8 are numerous, but you don’t have to believe us. Explore the free program and see for yourself.

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Photography: Black and White or in Living Colors

Does anyone remember a time before color photographs?

When photography began to flourish in the early 1900s, the camera produced only black and white images. However, a desire stirred inside many people, like physicist James Clerk Maxwell, who wrote about the first technique used to color photographs in 1855. Through his work, other photography enthusiasts were able to develop the capacity to capture life in living colors.

Maxwell predicted that it was possible to capture the essence of a photograph—the arrangement of color—in a time when only black and white photographs were produced. He wrote about color vision; a study to advance the concept that color identified by both human brains and machines is based on the wavelengths of light that reflect, emit, or transmit color signals. Maxwell found that a wide range of colors could be created by mixing only three pure colors of light: red, green, and blue. This manipulation of color had to be done in proportional amounts to stimulate the three types of cells the same way “real” colors did. In his writing, Maxwell used black and white photography as an analogy for his findings.

Maxwell’s Analogy:

If three black and white photographs were taken of the same setting through red, green, and blue filters, then made into transparencies (also known as negatives or slides), one could project light through these filters and superimpose them into a single image on a screen. The result would be an image that reproduced all of the colors seen in the original setting, not just red, green, and blue.

At this time, Isaac Newton’s work advancing the fact that all color is influenced by light, was common knowledge. In a similar fashion, Maxwell insisted that eyes see color on the surface of a perceived shade, where millions of intermingled cone cells represent only three colors. Red and blue sit at opposite ends of the spectrum with green planted as a middle region. They signal sensitivities (red) and stimulation (blue) that eyes receive when light shines through particular colors. The process of taking a set of three monochrome “color separations,” was also known as the triple projection method. Maxwell’s analogy was first tested by Thomas Sutton in 1861. However, the experiment did not work and the desire for photographs to represent living colors encouraged other enthusiasts to develop the art of color photography, which picked up steam again in 1890.

Color photography has been around for a little over one hundred years, and look at how far it has come. Flawless colors and mass production of images show how color photography has influenced enthusiasts and much of the world. This, however, is made possible because of the records kept during photograph exposure, like the triple exposure method which was outlined in Maxwell’s analogy. At the end of the appropriate exposure time, analyzing the spectrum of colors into three channels of information, red, green and blue, helped form a method to imitate the way a human eye senses color. The recorded information has been used to reproduce and enhance the original colors by mixing together aspects of the red, green, and blue lights and removing or adding elements of white light.

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