Tag Archives: Photographs

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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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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Toxicity of Oil Paints: Past and Present

Self-Portrait by Vincent van Gogh

Many people attribute the shimmering, swirling colors and bold, choppy brushwork in Vincent van Gogh’s paintings to his lifelong battle with mental illness. Although his world-famous paintings now sell for millions, during his life van Gogh lived and worked in poverty, surviving on financial assistance from his devoted brother Theo. At times, van Gogh was so poor that he couldn’t even afford food because he had spent all his money on oil paints; his passion for painting overriding his basic human instincts.

As his mental instability worsened, van Gogh ate some of his oil paints, which contained lead. Ingesting the lead in his oil paints may have led to van Gogh’s seizure in 1890, precipitating his mental and physical decline that would lead to his self-inflicted death half a year later.

Lead is just one of the many toxins that were once a common ingredient in many oil paints. Mercury, chromates, sulfides, barium and antimony are just some of the other toxic ingredients that were used to create oil paints. The popular Cadmium Reds, Oranges, and Yellows contained cadmium, while cobalt contributed to Cobalt Blue and Cerulean Blue. Scheele’s Green rose to popularity in the 19th century, replacing the previous green pigments to become the green of choice for artists, used by Turner and Manet. Sheele’s Green contained arsenic.

Thankfully, the oil paints that are manufactured today contain very little of these toxic substances. Oil paint tubes are required to carry a warning label if they contain even the slightest traces of toxic materials. Although these labels cause some artists concern, the risks of becoming poisoned from modern commercial oil paints are quite minor if the paints are used as intended.

Although it may go without saying, artists should never follow in van Gogh’s lead by eating their oil paints. Likewise, artists should never put paintbrushes in their mouths or open stubborn tubes of paint with their teeth. Although you’d actually have to eat an entire tube of paint to become sick, it’s not worth the risk of getting oil paints anywhere near your mouth to begin with. Maintaining clean studio habits, which includes minimizing skin contact with oil paints, will assure that today’s artists run minimal risk of toxic exposure through their oil paints.

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