Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Laying Down A Sky

Six Miles Up I,  9X11", mixed media

Six Miles Up II,  9X11", mixed media

Just some reactions to the recent trip out west.

I had been playing with these two panels for a month, trying out all sorts of stuff.  I ended up with two panels that weren't going anywhere.  Beautiful, but void of anything interesting--and everything I did buried the textures and colors back even further.  So I started scumbling a gradation of white from top to bottom, and was enjoying how the effect resembled a sort of atmospheric perspective.  Then I went on the plane trip.

Talk about spooky, when I got back and was looking at the plane shots, I turned to look at these two panels.   Unbelievably similar.  Couldn't resist the minor tweaks it took to bring them to this state.

It was a real bear trying to get these to look like the actual pieces.  They were taken in full sun, but with exposure compensation turned down a bit.  This preserved the texture in the clouds, but made everything else too dark, and ruined the sky tones.   Photoshop saved the day, bringing the colors back to fairly accurate.  This after trying to work with 8 other shots trying a variety of light and exposure settings.  I didn't mean for them to become a full time job, but these versions are accurate enough.

Is this too weird--not being micro-planned out in advance and all?



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20 comments:

Jan Yates, SCA, Canada said...

wow! that's --well-just WOW! i feel like i am in the sky looking down-and also feel like maps and trails in -and beyond-the sky--really really evocative..my goodness Bill i never know what i am going to find here-exciting stuff!!!!

Sonya Johnson said...

When I just now saw these as the thumbnail on my feed, I immediately assumed that you'd used your 30K' plane window reference photos to create them, so I was surprised to see they predated that trip. A sign, I think.

Maybe you can read fortunes as well? ;)

Re photographing your work: I'd strongly advise against ever taking it in full sunlight! You will spend (waste, actually) absurd amounts of time trying to correct blown-out values and whatnot, and still won't be happy with the result.

I take almost all my photos outside in the shade. Just set them on the ground and stand over them with the camera at its widest aperture setting and centered to reduce parallax distortion. Cropping and straightening is all the editing I usually need to do.

William Cook said...

Wow you two are believably quick. Seems like I just hit the publish button less than five minutes ago.

Hi Jan--Thanks for stopping by, and for your wonderful comments from the last post, still trying to catch up. You're right. Anything's liable to show up here, I think I'm redefining the necessity for content in art, seems like anything will do as long as it's something. Consequently my subjects are all over the place like trying to hold onto an eel.

Hi Sonya--Much appreciated! I like the idea of laying the piece down flat, shoot and be done with it. I'll try it. Glare is a major concern. I've taken to shooting any way there is no glare and the light is even. Then in photoshop I pull the corners back to square. I did learn my lesson re direct sun, though--your point is well taken. Thanks for checking in, and for your wonderful comments.

Franco said...

Very good!!

L.W.Roth, said...

Don't you just love when work suddenly falls together prompted by some newer work you did? It's magic.
These certainly look like the skies I saw over Nevada. Very nice Bill.

Sad news for me: my Walmart is sold out of the Nikon Coolpix L120, 4.5 -94.5 Zoom Nikkor lens. I can't just run over there to get my hands on one. Fortunately, I can have one shipped to my Walmart just up the road.

SamArtDog said...

Just goes to show how amazing a scene like that and the eyeballs to see it really are.

Doncha just know God gets all the best laughs.

William Cook said...

Thanks for checking in Franco!

Linda--They were not too far from the Nevada skies you mention--right around the same time too. I hate wrestling with art and arguing religion (probably the same thing now that I think about it). Art and religion should be uplifting and awe inspiring. The big yes should enter the mind--nothing negative. Yes I do love it when the magic happens. As for the camera, the Walmart guy said that these are difficult to keep in the store. He says he gets a bunch in and they're gone by the end of the day. You're right to just order it--probably get a better price anyway.

Katherine van Schoonhoven said...

Brilliant!

AutumnLeaves said...

Such perfect shots of the view from a plane! Really, these are stunning, William.

William Cook said...

Hi Sam--Great point. How can one not feel grateful for these opportunities. And at these altitudes how can one not realize that from God's perspective, all of our foibles must look so hilarious.

Hi Kvan--Thanks! Doesn't "foibles" sound like a Casey word?

Hi Sherry--Thanks. A happy accident--sort of. I'm getting some great ideas out of these--big open areas of white canvas and patches of intensely detailed translucent craziness opening up randomly. Sound interesting?

John Brisson said...

Think I'll just go with the "wow" too!

John

William Cook said...

Thanks John

Celeste Bergin said...

this one may well be my favorite....love it!

William Cook said...

Celeste--Really great hearing from you. I'm so happy you like these. Maybe it's me but I think a painting has to be about something--even in abstraction. Something has to waltz the eye. You can't just smear materials around.

Susan Roux said...

It seems you were flying all along and didn't even know it! Happy to hear it finally came to you. Looking at your work, I instantly thought of the view from a plane. You obviously tweaked it the right way to capture that feeling. Very nice.

Taking accurate photos, don't even get me started...!

William Cook said...

Hi Susan--I am delighted you stopped by! Thanks for the encouraging words. Looking down at the sky is quite another perspective indeed. As for the camera, it's a new toy at the moment. I bet you take wonderful reference shots, but detect a wee bit of frustration ? I couldn't take a decent picture to save my soul although they've improved a little with this new equipment. All the best.

m.gaudreau said...

I have really been enjoying your explorations, Bill. The Skyscapes are beautiful and I can still see your "handwriting" (dots and dashes?) I also appreciate you educating the public on the intricancies of Balamerese.So,as you ponner yor nex peece by the zinc dont hit yorrseff ina fard.(that place between your hairline and eyebrows)

William Cook said...

Hey Mike--So when ya goin danny ation? We ain't. Goin nee Aiter Banks. I'm really enjoying the progress you're making in on-site painting. Your stuff is getting downright outstanding. Thanks for checking in and for the kind comments. Best.

indira lakhsmita said...

ooohhh yes i simply ADORE this one!!!
love the idea of laying down the sky, you are brilliant! :D

William Cook said...

Thank you Mita--I thought you'd like that bit of poetics. It seemed to fit in so many ways. Love you. Thanks for commenting!