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Monthly Edition No. 9 – Leipzig Layers

Print of the Month

December 2023

Leipzig Layers
Germany
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25
£35 GBP

During the spring of 2023 I was fortunate to visit, for the first time, the beautiful and enchanting city of Leipzig, Germany. I had looked forward to this for a long time, as I had been told of the city’s charm by close friends and artists, and had read enough to know of its remarkable history and residents.

On arriving in Leipzig by train, Ruth and I were immediately struck by the splendour of the architecture and the magnificent civil planning that had been established and evolved over the centuries. Leipzig is simply one of the most beautiful cities I’ve visited anywhere.

Even so, I’ve learned that a beautiful environment, in and of itself, does not always lend itself to the kind of picture-making that I most love to do.

While I certainly appreciate and enjoy architectural photography, I generally avoid it, as it feels too much like documenting someone else’s creative product. Street photography holds some appeal for me, but I usually prefer to make photographs that don’t include people… so my street photos often feel lifeless.

But for abstraction, I’ve rarely encountered a city that offers as much as Leipzig. I roamed the city streets over a couple of days, having an absolutely marvellous time making pictures.

The image I’ve selected for this month comes from outside a vacant retail shop, whose windows had been covered with coloured construction paper and plastic sheeting. I worked this scene for a very long time, designing all kinds of compositions and shooting in bursts while the plastic fluttered in the breeze. For an abstract photographer, it was a magical experience!

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 8 – Autumn in Central Park

Print of the Month

November 2023

Autumn in Central Park Photograph by Nat Coalson

Autumn in Central Park
New York City
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25
£35 GBP

Something a little less abstract for this month …

New York City is magical in every season but autumn is special, particularly in and around Central Park. My aptly-timed photograph for this Monthly Edition gives us a glimpse of the spire on the roof of The Dairy, Central Park’s Visitor Center and Gift Shop, viewed through beautiful, multicoloured leaves.

This photo features a composition technique that I love using, sometimes referred to as “frame within a frame”. The arc of golden leaves emphasises the steeple and sets it off from the surrounding background.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 7 – The Sultan’s Mystique

Print of the Month

October 2023

Abstract Photography: Artigianale IV: The Sultan's Mystique by Nat Coalson

The Sultan’s Mystique
Barcelona, Spain
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25
£35 GBP

This photo was taken during the same photo trip as Monthly Edition 6 (Girona Ripples). Some years ago, I was hired to lead a private photography tour around Spain. It was an unforgettable experience!

We stayed several nights in the centre of Barcelona, a beautiful and energetic city full of visual stimuli. Our hotel had a wonderful old cellar where breakfast was served each day. As I sat eating, I marvelled at the ancient ceiling, with its multicoloured layers of patina accumulated over centuries of painting, peeling and repainting.

One morning after the breakfast service finished, we obtained permission to photograph in the cellars. Over a period of several hours I made many photographs, most with my camera pointed straight up. This is one of my favourites, and is now being released for the first time as a Limited Edition print.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 6 – Girona Ripples

Print of the Month

September 2023

Girona Ripples
Girona, Spain
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25
£35 GBP

A few years ago I was hired by a client to lead a private photo tour around Spain. Our itinerary included stops along the Costa Brava, north of Barcelona in northeastern Spain.

We stayed a couple of nights in Girona—an exceptionally interesting and beautiful town. The river Onyar flows through the centre of the old town. The river is lined with lovely, colourful buildings which create captivating reflections in the surface of the water.

I visited the location several times, in different conditions, to evaluate the light and determine the kinds of photos I wanted to make. When photographing reflections, the strongest reflections and most colourful results are possible when the surface of the water is in shade, while the subject being reflected is brightly lit, as is the case in this photo. Also, using a polarising filter is very effective for refining the appearance of the reflection.

This is one of my favourite images from the trip; I can look at it endlessly and always find something new and interesting.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 5 – Eternal Cycles

Print of the Month

August 2023

Eternal Cycles
Maine, USA
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25

Visiting New England, USA during the autumn can be a magical experience for photographers. Many years ago, I was in Maine attending a workshop given by American photographer John Paul Caponigro—a fantastic experience in many ways. After the workshop I enjoyed a few days of photography on my own.

I had been practising and experimenting with ICM (intentional camera movement) for a few years at that point, having been particularly inspired by the earlier work of nature photographer William Neill. I’d seen his beautiful photographs of tree trunks turned into lovely, translucent streaks through a process of moving the camera vertically during a long exposure. I wondered what might be achieved by using different types and directions of motion to create the blur effect.

On a beautiful fall day during that trip through Maine I was feeling inspired by the splendour of the autumn colours. I attached my camera by its mounting plate to the end of my tripod’s centre column, which also featured an articulating hinge. This allowed me to rotate the camera around the axis of the lens. I pointed the camera upward toward the canopy of multi-coloured autumn leaves set against a brilliant blue sky, and during long exposures rotated the camera to produce the swirling effect you see here. Through lots of trial-and-error I eventually found a combination of camera settings and techniques that produced the effect I had envisioned in my mind.

That day I spent hours alone in the forest with my camera, making many photographs and enjoying the solitude and a very engaging creative process. This photograph is one of the results. I’ve titled it ‘Eternal Cycles’, evoking the motion of the changing seasons and the enduring and magnificent colours of nature.

Over the years, this image has been one of my most successful photographs. Many times I’ve printed it in very large format on canvas and then embellished the canvas with clear acrylic brush strokes, creating a unique, one-of-a-kind original work of art.

Now, for the first time, I’m offering Eternal Cycles as a fine art, limited edition print at a very special price.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 4 – Feast for the Eyes

Print of the Month

July 2023

Feast for the Eyes
Gothenburg, Sweden
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25

A few years ago Ruth and I visited Gothenburg, Sweden. I had a fantastic time exploring this beautiful and historic city. I discovered several very lovely parks, including the one shown in this photo, which had a beautiful pond covered with water lilies. Surrounding the pond was a hedge of rhododendrons, which were reflected in the surface of the water.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 3 – Shapeshifter No. 4

Print of the Month

June 2023

Shapeshifter No. 4
Photograph 2018
Manchester, UK
Print on A3 paper, Edition of 25

In 2018, a good friend (and an exceptional photographer) shared with me some images he had made of a very special place. I knew right away that I simply had to go there and create my own photographs.

Although the location (which I’m keeping secret, for now) is only a couple of hours from our home in the Midlands of the UK, the logistics proved challenging. Being in a city centre, transportation and parking were of concern. But more important was the fact that this is a very public—and very busy—area. I hadn’t been there before, and I was unsure about the conditions I would find when I arrived.

Nevertheless, I optimistically planned the day of shooting. I decided to take the train from our town to the big city, even though that meant lugging all my camera equipment. I took my full complement of gear: a large camera backpack full of various lenses and a backup camera body, and my trusty tripod. The train ride took several hours and required a change of trains at a very busy station.

The journey went as expected, with no major issues. But when I arrived at my destination, it was cold and pouring with rain. I walked through the city as quickly as I could, hoping it would all be worth it.

When I arrived at the location, there were a few people here and there, but otherwise it was relatively quiet. I spent some time walking around, standing in various places, just looking, and thinking, immersing myself in the feel of the place and getting a sense of the kinds of human activity I might expect once I got into doing some serious photography.

I enjoyed several hours in the location, shooting diligently for long periods and taking a few short breaks. I had an amazing time!! I made nearly 500 frames, representing a fantastic variety of angles and a range of focal lengths, from quite wide to very close up.

This type of situation is a perfect example of the critical importance of composition, framing and visualisation in photography. The most subtle shifts can make a huge difference in the total composition, and this relatively small space provided an infinite number of possibilities for interesting images.

It’s not every day that I have so much fun and feel so immersed in the process of photography. On my return journey home I felt the deep satisfaction of knowing I had made some images that I was very happy with and that would make incredible prints.

After later reviewing, sorting and editing the day’s images, I selected 25 which make up the final collection. I’ve given the series the title Shapeshifter, illustrating the amazing way that even a tiny shift in angle and perspective creates incredibly different pictures in this special location.

(And if you’re wondering what exactly this picture shows, it’s simply a reflection in a mirrored surface. This is exactly how it appears to the naked eye—I haven’t manipulated or altered the image in any way.)

I’ve previously produced this photograph as large format, original canvas and metal prints. Now, for the first time, I’m releasing it as a limited edition print on paper.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 2 – Fusión

Print of the Month

May 2023

Fusión
Photograph 2018
Near Aracena, Spain
Edition of 25

During the Spring of 2018, Ruth and I led a small group on a private photo tour of Portugal and southern Spain. Our carefully planned route took us through many authentic and rarely visited places, including the area around Aracena.

Our group stayed a few nights at a rustic family farmstead, situated on a vast tract of ranch land. The property also enjoys acres and acres of wild oak trees, the acorns of which are fed to the local pigs raised to make jamón ibérico.

One day, while exploring the woodlands on our daily walks, I discovered a huge, cast-iron disk half embedded in the forest floor. I don’t know what it was—maybe some leftover farming equipment, or remnants from mining or some other industrial activity.

In any case, I was captivated by the colours, patterns and textures of the metal dish. I made a series of photographs, working to get the angle of view and composition just right.

I’ve previously produced this photograph as large format, original canvas and metal prints. Now, for the first time, I’m releasing it as a limited edition print on paper.

PS—the photo tour mentioned above was one of many that Ruth and I have led for private clients. We create bespoke photo experiences anywhere in the world, so get in touch if you’d like to discuss your own private photo tour!

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

Monthly Edition No. 1 – Sutton Harbour

Print of the Month

April 2023

Sutton Harbour No. 1
January 2023
Plymouth, England
Edition of 25

This photograph is one of a series of images I made during a trip to Plymouth, England in January 2023. Ruth and I had been to Plymouth a few times before, and during one of our trips discovered the beautiful and historic Sutton Harbour. I absolutely love seaside and maritime environments, especially for my abstract photography.

While wandering around the docks, I encountered huge stacks of lobster and crab pots, all stacked up and wrapped with cling film. The rain and sun combined to create wonderful, dewy condensation on the film, taking on the appearance of water.

When I find situations like this, I can spend hours deeply engrossed in my photography, exploring every nook and cranny to find the most intriguing compositions. This image stands out as one of my favourites from this particular shooting session.

Read more about the Monthly Edition programme

New Work: The Lexicon, 2022

The Lexicon, 2022

In December 2021, Ruth and I visited the beautiful city of Lille in northern France. Exploring the narrow cobbled streets of the old town, I discovered this scene in a shadowy doorway. I made a number of exposures, shooting handheld, working to create the strongest possible composition while abstracting the graphics by removing the visual context of the surrounding scene.

After applying only very minimal adjustments to enhance tone and colour, I printed the image onto Breathing Color archival canvas. I stretched the canvas onto pine stretcher bars and then, using a small brush, applied clear acrylic—over only the lines. They stand out nicely against the dark background, and the hand embellishing creates a unique, one-of-a-kind mixed media work.

I’ve mounted the canvas in a black, wood float frame. The finished work is just over 24 x 36 inches and is priced at £950.

Contact me to enquire about a purchase

 

New abstract photographic art: Fusión

Here’s a new artwork I’ve just released, from a photograph I made in Spain.

It’s titled Fusión and is 36 x 24 inches (plus the frame).

I printed the photo on Hahnemühle metallic canvas. After mounting it on pine stretcher bars, I embellished the canvas with gold foil transfer.

It was sold at my gallery to a collector in Warwick, England.

 

New Work: Shapeshifter No. 11

During Autumn 2018, I produced a body of work in abstract photography that, in many ways, fulfills my highest vision as an artist. (This is what I’ve been working toward for many years!) Today, I’m pleased to present one of my first releases of finished art derived from the series.

My aim with this series was to create a set of images that share some common attributes and visual style, but that also have a lot of variation from one image to the next.

While I was making the photographs I was observing the dynamic, captivating graphic elements and working to create intriguing, surreal images with an organic feel.

I’ve titled the series Shapeshifter; each individual photograph simply uses a unique number designator. This naming ties in with the nature of the subject matter—through only slight changes in my viewpoint, the reflective surface revealed an infinite variety of shapes, colours and patterns… Truly morphing in front of my eyes!

Shapeshifter No. 11 displays  a minimalist composition, with a single black line running diagonally across the picture space. This is surrounded by subtle, organic textures in a muted, pastel colour palette.

As with much of my abstract work, this is offered as a mixed media piece, which I create by printing the photograph onto canvas and then hand-embellishing the canvas surface with transparent acrylic, bringing out the contours and textures of the underlying image. It is 16×24 inches, unframed ‘gallery-wrap’ style and delivered ready-to-hang.

Thus, each is produced to-order and is a one-of-a-kind, unique original. This art makes fantastic décor and a real conversation piece in any contemporary interior!

Order yours today for £375

with free shipping in the UK.

(International orders are also welcome; your shipping costs will be determined by your location.)

New Commission: Waiting for Dawn

A world-renowned eye surgeon based in Switzerland has commissioned me to produce a bespoke mixed media work on canvas, based on my photograph ‘Waiting for Dawn’, as a Christmas gift for his wife. The artwork will hang in their home.

New abstract photograph: Remnant

Abstract Photograph: Remnant by Nat Coalson

Abstract photograph with a minimalist geometric design features a striking pink vertical streak set against large fields of textured teal and mottled silver.

Fine art prints and mixed media originals available.

Click the image for a larger preview.

New Abstract Photograph: From Deep

Abstract Photography: From Deep by Nat Coalson

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.

New Abstract Photograph: La Hermosa Musica (Mono)

Abstract Photography: Artigianale VI: La Hermosa Música by Nat Coalson

 

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.

New Commission: Fountain of Truth (mixed media)

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.

New Commission: Custom Variation on ‘Waiting for Dawn’

Nat Coalson - Waiting for Dawn (Custom Commission)

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Intersections (Man + Nature)

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Culminate

Abstract Photograph: Culminate by Nat Coalson

Click for full size 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.

Close-up black-and-white photograph of dried and cracking tape on a metal door in Korcula, Croatia. Reminiscent of an ink drawing. Fine art prints available; contact Nat Coalson to purchase.

Click for a larger view

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Mosaic Veil

Abstract Photograph: Mosaic Veil by Nat Coalson

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Fracture

Abstract Photograph: Fracture by Nat Coalson

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Stitches

Abstract Photograph: Stitched by Nat Coalson

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.

New Abstract Photograph: Gaelbreton Beam

Abstract Photograph: Gaelbreton Beam by Nat Coalson

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

Contact us for details

New Abstract Photograph: Selfish

Abstract Photograph: Selfish by Nat Coalson

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.

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