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Month: April 2011

Eagle Cam Update: They’re getting big!

Posted in Reference Photos

Eagle Cam Update: They're getting big!

I wrote a week or so ago about the Eagle nest cam in Norfolk Botanical Gardens in Virgina. The three babies are  getting big! They are just starting to get their real feathers along their back  now.  It is so interesting to see an adult beak on the fluffy babies.  One of them was sitting up looking around this morning so you could really get a good look  at him.  Like many others, I was checking to see that they all made it through the terrible storms from last night.
It's an awesome chance to see eagle babies and the adults up close and  in action.  If you are an artist, it's a terrific opportunity to observe the eagles up close in their natural habitat.

Here's the link.

If you look on the right, below the camera link, you'll find slide show of photos of the whole family. Including this one:

Baby eagles at Norfolk Botantical Gardens in Virgina

Slide #14 from April 15,  2011

Photographing Glass

Posted in Art Work

Photographing Glass

I have some new painted wine glasses that are up on my Etsy shop this weekend. I enjoy using a different kind of paint and the challenge of a non flat surface. I used a smaller wine goblet this time and they came out very well. Now how to convey how beautiful they are in a photograph……..

My struggle with glass and an online shop is getting great  photographs that show off the wine glasses. Thank goodness for digital cameras or I would be wasting a lot of film. I find that I take wonderful photos of the reflections of my windows and of me with my camera, instead of the features of the wine glasses. : – )   So until I learn a simple way of doing it correctly, I muddle through and here are some tips on not what to do:

A background should enhance your glass: 

Poor background and too much reflection  This did not. And there is way too much reflection.

The lighting needs to be good.   Below, in an effort to correct the reflection, the flash overcompensated for the reduced light.  And…… there still is too much reflection.

LIghting issues

I changed the background to one that would compliment the daintiness of the flowers and took it all outside. Natural sunlight has it's own set of problems as well. Too much direct light washed out the painting below.

Too much direct light

Eventually I got some decent photos.  One could have been cropped better but the glasses looked good.  Here's two images I ended up using. 

Taken inside near a sunny window This one was taken inside near a sunny window

Taken outside in natural sunlightThis was taken outside in the sunlight.

After quite of bit of what not to do, I got a few decent photos.  I included both images in my shop write up. Each one shows the painting on the glass nicely.  These are some of the challenges I hadn't considered with an online shop.  The photos are so important to your online success. I will be reading up and improving my photos for the next time.  For now  – that's a peek behind my easel.

Shell Reference Photos

Posted in Reference Photos

Shell Reference Photos

I'm working on a painting that has shells in it. I have a basket of shells from New England shores and Florida that I pull out for reference.  Sometimes I'll stage them in a tray of sand.  I've even staged them in a tray of sand with flip flops for a painting. You can see a peek at the results on my blog header above. 

I  photograph them as well. When they sit in sunlight it allows me to see the true colors and where the natural highlights and shadows lie .  It's also really helpful to have photos too when something fragile like a shell  is suddenly in pieces on the floor.  While looking for guilty faces, you can still move forward on your painting. 

A really simple way way of photographing them is to lay them on a piece of foam board. The foam board is sturdy enough to move around with the shells to adjust the way the light falls or carry the whole set up outside. I photograph outside in sunlight or set up next to a sunny window.  The white of the foam board allows me to see how the shadows of the shells fall. The piece of sea glass on the lower right photo has an interesting shadow.  Here is some of my shell reference photos:

Shell reference photos

Spring Yellow

Posted in Reference Photos

Spring Yellow

All the early spring flowers are bursting in bloom!  My favorite time of spring.  It's not hot yet, the bugs are still where ever they stay for winter, and the first flowers are blooming like crazy. I've noticed around here in Pennsylvania that yellow and pink seem to be the big colors for the spring floral season.  Add a few flashes of white too

My favorite part is seeing a pairing of  a bush or tree with a matching flower.  For instance, in a past yard, we unknowingly planted pink hyacinth under a cherry tree.  What a delicious pairing – they both bloomed at the same time, in the same shade of pink.  In my yard now, yellow daffodils are planted next to forsythia. Both bloom at the same time for a wonderful burst of yellow.    Enjoy the Spring colors !

Forsythia and Daffodils in Bloom