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Eclectic Artist Jessi Pettit

Many artists tend to specialize in one medium, and sometimes even a subgroup within that. Jessi Pettit is not one of those artists. You can see her work under the name CLR SPLSH Designs which includes some unique abstract photography along with colorful and vibrant painted works.

Here are some samples of her work:

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Make or Break Use of Angles in Photos

When people talk about the technical side of photography, it is easy to get lost in all the math and science while forgetting some of the more basic parts. One of these is the effective usage of angles.

Take the two photos below. The first does show a nice flowering plant, the details are all there but so is something a little less pleasant. Check out the dirty black trash bag in the corner. the seconds is of the same plant at a slightly different angle with similar coloration and clarity but no ugly distraction. The third and fourth photos show something similar too.

So the point is, when you’re working on your exposure meter setting, adjusting aperture and shutter speed, selecting the appropriate ISO… don’t forget to use a nice and effective choice of angles.

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The Practically Perfect Art of ZenJoanie

One of the troubling facts about art is that sometimes it’s just not practical for people. Sure, it may look great but you might only have so much space to keep some items that aren’t offering functionality of some sort. One artist I recently learned of has done her part to solve this issue.

Check out the work of Joan Koeppel, which includes everything from shirts to shot glasses with her appealing designs. And if you are a framed art junkie, no worries, she even has some of that too.

You can visit her official website at ZenJoanie.com.

Samples:

 

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Find the artist on Facebook too.

 

 

Hey Photographers – Don’t Fret Minor Exposure Issues in Photos

Form time to time, most of us photography enthusiasts mess  up a shot with high or low exposure. Our first instinct might be “oh, crap!” but once you step away from the moment for a bit, you could realize that a tiny bit of “incorrect” exposure isn’t always a bad thing.

See the charts below. They show a fairly significant swing in a typical meter. But, let’s suppose your shots hit less that 1 on either side, or even just the first dot. You have two options:

  1. Easily adjust in basically any editing program.
  2. Go with it because it might just produce a cool shot.

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The photo on the right-hand side is one I took at Station Square in Pittsburgh but I used editing software to make the other two so as to give examples of extremely over and under exposed shots.

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Here are a few shots people just went with or even did on purpose:

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Creative Contortions: Talent in Western PA

The city of Pittsburgh and nearby areas have long been known for cultivating people with great skills and talent. The list of athletes, performers and artists is extensive and growing all the time.

I recently had the pleasure of meeting two of these young ladies, along with a mentor who has helped mold their remarkable skills. And interestingly enough, they sort of fit into all of the categories I mentioned earlier.

Ashley King (21) and Alexa Siska (15) recently wowed audiences on the reboot of “The Gong Show” with their contortion performance. The girls are from the Dance Extensions Performing Arts Center in Canonsburg, a facility run by owner and director Betsy Shuttleworth and co-owner Dawn Churney.

The girls aired as the first performance of the evening and scored one of the highest scores of the night. Watch it here:

 

As you probably expect, a lot of hard work goes into these routines and contortionist training in general. The show was taped in May 2017 and the girls only had about one month before the show to practice the act after the show contacted Betsy when coming across an account on Instagram (@bendytrainer). And while due to unexpected circumstances, the girls has only paired up a few months earlier, Ashley has been working on her craft for about 14 years while Alexa has been in training for 4 years. Ashley is also one of the instructors at the studio.

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The girls flew out to LA for on a Monday, rehearsed the next day, recorded their segment on Wednesday and returned to Western PA on Thursday. The recording session took 12 hours on the Sony Studios lot. While Ashley had been to the International Contortionist Convention in Las Vegas a few years back, this was certainly the most unique experience in Alexa’s dance career so far.

Both girls attend school online, Alexa is in high school while Ashley is working on a business degree. As that it was during the school year when the performance took place, the show had a social worker and a professional approach to making sure younger students would stay focused on their schooling.

Contortion in Western PA

According to Betsy, creative opportunities for dancers and contortion artists are growing in the region partly due to resources like GigSalad and the Global Sisterhood of Empowering Women. That’s wonderful news because both girls have aspirations of owning their own studios some day in the Western PA area.

Paper Walls By Mike Gagnon

As a person who enjoys the art of literature, it’s always nice to learn about another writer, especially when they are into visual arts too.

This is the case for Mike Gagnon. And for several weeks so far, his publication “Paper Walls: Removing the Barriers Between you and Making Great Comics” has been a top seller on Amazon!

I suggest anyone with any will to work in the comic book industry invest the time to read it.

 

Silly Photographer, Lights Are For Inside

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend it was just a catchy title bases on a slogan from Trix cereal that was part of many of childhoods.

Now with that said…

One thing that always dumbfounds me is when people make things harder than they have to be. We see this in all walks of life and across ages and cultures. As a person who works with portrait and model photography, I’ve noticed this when is comes to outside shooting sessions.

I have noticed fellow shooters lugging around all sort of contraptions from soft boxes to reflectors and everything in between for a shoot in the local park, at a pool or whatever setting it may be. The problem it, it’s not necessary and in some cases might even be a negative.

Simply put, NOTHING, and I mean nothing, beats working with natural light, especially during the “golden hour” period. It gives off a glow that just can’t be replicated with strobe units and reflecting devices. Basically, because it looks -natural.

No disrespect to people who do use studio fixtures outdoors. This is my opinion and this is art. Far be it for me to ever say anyone’s art is “wrong” in any way. Do what you do and if you are satisfied, fine.

But I  have run into several shooters who instantly get defensive or cop an attitude about it. Some would state that people only prefer natural light because they don’t know what they are doing with studio gear. My response would be that perhaps those who want studio fixtures in outdoor shots don’t know how to use natural light. In fact, I would suggest that it’s harder to work with what is available rather than having something at your hands to manipulate things.

If you shoot natural light (whether or not you do studio work too) and would like to join a group that uses this method, check out Natural Light Photographers International.

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