Fine Art Photography Blog
On my first trip to Bologna, Italy, I discovered a large trash bin with some curious paint markings on its lid. I stopped and took many photographs of the scene.
I’ve looked at these images for a long while and still am not sure what’s made these markings. But I don’t think they are intentional. At some point in the past, this metal surface came into contact with some black paint and the result is what you see here.
I have a strong philosophy that my photography—especially my abstract work—does not depict the visual works created by other artists. I don’t [generally] photograph graffiti, sculptures, even architecture that was meant as an aesthetic, visual statement made by another creator.
I believe the best fine art photography presents situations, subjects, concepts and ideas that were not thought of by someone else beforehand. As such, all my abstract works that I present publicly are of subjects and situations that I believe were not created for visual effect by another artist before I encountered it.
Which brings me back to the enigma of this image. I found it as you see it. But it perplexes me. What made these marks?
After much study I believe the shapes in the paint were not created intentionally, but from some activity which we will never know. If this is truly the case, this is one of the finest examples of “accidental design” that I’ve encountered.
Either way, I love it … and hope you will, too.
A couple of years ago I led a client on a private photo tour around Spain. One of our favourite locations was Barcelona, where we enjoyed an afternoon tour and concert of the famous and beautiful Palau de la Musica Catalana.
Here’s an abstract image I made that afternoon. Click the image or click here for a larger preview.
As with all my fine art photography, prints are available. Contact me for pricing.
I’ve just published the latest issue of my newsletter:
A private art collector in Northampton, England has commissioned me to create a bespoke work using my abstract photograph ‘Fountain of Truth’.
I’ve printed the image on canvas at 30×45 inches, plus a black border for stretching.
Next I will use brushes and sponges to apply hand embellishing with transparent acrylic, building up the image in layers.
The finished work will hang in the master bedroom of the residence.
You can commission your own bespoke artworks (at less cost than you might think) by contacting me.
A private art collector in Minnesota, USA has commissioned a bespoke variation on my abstract photograph ‘Waiting for Dawn’.
This has been one of my most popular images. Several collectors have ordered original mixed media works and reproductions of it, making subtle adjustments to customize it for their home.
The current commission called for a custom crop printed to the size of 22×36 inches. The collector also requested that I tweak some of the colors here and there, adding more saturation and hues to match their interior decor scheme.
The custom image is being printed as a straight chromogenic print on luster photo paper, and will be matted and framed for hanging.
I’ll write up a more detailed case study of this project, along with final photos, once the art has been installed.
In 2014, Ruth and I led another private photo tour around Tuscany, Italy. One of our group’s favorite towns was San Gimignano, an architectural wonder from medieval times.
We first photographed the iconic village from the surrounding area, then gradually worked our way into the city. Everyone made compelling images depicting all facets of this magical town.
While I was wandering around the back alleys, I discovered an outdoor restaurant patio attached to a hotel. Lovely glass panels were all around, each reflecting and refracting the afternoon sun as it came down in slivers between the tall stone towers surrounding the courtyard.
This photograph shows a closeup of the refraction of glass panels on a textured fabric surface. Although it’s far from the typical photograph of San Gimignano, for me it epitomizes the special vignettes that can be found in every little corner of the world.
As with all my photographs, fine art prints and original abstract mixed media works are available, so get in touch if you can envision this adorning your walls.
Click the image or click here for a larger preview.
For many years, I’ve been working to refine my vision in creating pure abstraction using the camera. It’s been difficult in ways I didn’t expect.
Making an abstract photograph can be hard, to begin with, because we can very easily make sense of pictures and figure out ‘what the thing is’. If you can tell what it is, it isn’t truly abstract.
Second, even if a photograph may be called truly abstract, it might not be beautiful or interesting. I’ve long known that I am mainly concerned with making pictures that are beautiful and interesting, in various ways, rather than pursuing the all-too-common goal in fine art of presenting ugliness.
With these two objectives forming a prime directive—it must be truly abstract and it must be lovely—most of the pictures I make inevitably fail the test. (What you see here on my web site are the ones that I feel succeeded…)
Every once in a while, I make a picture that, in every way, feels right. It simply clicks. And I know I’m on the right path for myself as an artist.
This is one of those images. I have many thousands of pictures in my body of work, but relatively few that I really love. This one just does it for me.
I made this picture in Korčula, Croatia. It’s a very beautiful city known for innumerable views and scenery that capture the heart and mind. But. as always, I look for something beyond the obvious.
This is a close-up, although not extreme macro, photograph of a metal door with dark brown paint. Over many years people had taped posters and flyers to the door. While the posters have long gone, the cracked and peeling residue of the tape remains, creating unbelievably intricate patterns and textures forming enigmatic shapes.
The detail captured here is almost unbelievable. I used my favourite camera of all time, the Sony A7R II, which has a resolution of 42.4 effective megapixels. With the camera on a tripod, I very carefully chose the settings for the shot and focused critically to get the absolute sharpest image possible. To the right is a small section of the image, enlarged to show the amazing detail. As you can see, I could easily cut this image apart to make an unlimited number of variations and sets of images designed to hang together on a wall.
Although the original capture was very monochromatic (pretty much all brown hues) I decided to make it a straight black-and-white to emphasize the very graphic nature of the image. It strongly reminds me of a pen and ink drawing, which I loved to do as a child and teenager. Maybe this is why it resonates with me so much?
What do you think? Do you like it? Why or why not? What does it remind you of?
Would you hang a huge print of this in your living room, or on your office wall?
I’d love to hear your comments, please post them here.
And, as always, contact me if you’d like to discuss a purchase.
We had a super time at the Castle Ashby art festival last weekend… attendance and sales were good, and people really responded enthusiastically to my abstract mixed media works.
Here’s what one visitor said: “I was blown away by your stand! My wife and I are planning a big redesign of the house this summer and would love to feature your work. A big ‘thank you’ to you and Ruth for exhibiting at Castle Ashby this year – we visit every year and this year was made special by discovering your work.”
Here’s a fun video produced by the organisers of Leicester’s Open 27 exhibition at the New Walk Museum & Art Gallery.
If you pay attention you can see them hanging my two abstract works on canvas, right around the 30-second mark.
Abstract photograph made in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Multicoloured blocks appear arranged in a grid interrupted by transparent lines and subtle textures.
Available as a fine art print on any material. Also available as an original mixed media work, hand-embellished with acrylic.
Click the image for a larger preview.
Contact us for details and ordering.
I’m working on a series of photographs featuring strong graphics and high contrast derived from urban architectural elements. This image was made in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Click the image for a larger preview.
Fine art prints available; contact Nat for details.
Abstract photograph made at El Prat airport, Barcelona, Spain. Stark, graphic composition depicts monochrome concrete with hashed lines reminiscent of stitches.
Click image for a larger preview.
Fine art prints available; Contact us for details.
This is the kind of photograph I am always looking for. Simple, graphic, enigmatic.
I’ve titled this image ‘Gaelbreton Beam’ because, to me, it portrays a bridge and a beacon in the gap between the ancient peoples of Europe. (Weird, I know.)
The Gaels descended from the Celts and became what are considered the native inhabitants of the British Isles. The Bretons come from essentially the same genetic lineage, but became the people of Brittany, and eventually, modern France.
Throughout millennia, the people of England and France have been tied together by blood, marriage and historic events. Only the English Channel—a shallow stretch of water only about 20 miles wide—separates these kindred people. But so much has divided them.
This abstract photograph was made in Paris, France and presents a minimalist composition featuring a multi-hued teal blue strip dropping down into a deep black background.
Fine art prints available on any material, in any size. Also available as mixed media original on canvas with hand embellished acrylic.
Click image for a larger preview
I roam the world looking for subjects to create interesting abstract photographs. When I see an opportunity to make a photo like this, things just click together.
This is a photograph of the outside of a building housing Selfridges, a retailer in Birmingham, England. It’s an iconic structure and has been photographed many times. This is my take on it.
Click the image for a larger preview.
Fine art prints are available; contact us for details.
Ruth and I had a great time at the opening reception for my abstract art show at the Brick Lane Gallery in London! Thanks to everyone who came out to see the show, and thanks to Lucy and her associates at Brick Lane for putting on a fantastic exhibition.