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Friday, March 8, 2013

Bad Photos and Unlimited Imagination

Have you ever seen an inspiring view while on vacation, pulled out your camera, taken photographs, looked at the photos and felt supremely disappointed?  Did you wonder why the picture just did not depict what you saw?   Join the crowd (unless maybe you are a professional photographer).

I experience the photo-did-not-show-what-I-experienced-at-the-moment phenomena most of the time.  This is probably due to the fact that my emotions and interpretation of colors and light are not part of the quick photo process.  I am better able to draw or paint whatever charms me about a scene while on site, but truthfully, I don't always have the time or opportunity to paint on the spot when something catches my eye.

Here is a little secret--I like working from not-so-good photos!  Why?  The bad, boring or out of focus photo forces me to tap into my memory and emotions associated with the place depicted.  It also frees me to use my own color sense.  In other words, anything goes!

Here is an example of what I am talking about. 

This photo was taken on an overcast day that washed all color out of the palm trees and foliage.  Dull, dull, dull.  But I was traveling through the Fanning Springs area in Florida and had to keep on the road that day.   I could photoshop everything to prettify this picture, but why do that when I am a painter?

So I drew on my emotion, memory and knowledge of the day and cabbage palms to create this painting:

Mona Vivar, "Palm Duo", 8 inches x 10 inches, acrylic on canvas
I completely made up the color scheme of purple and orange for the palms.  I depicted the sky as blue and abstracted the background vegetation.  These changes make for a far more interesting image.
So there you have it.  I actually like and use bad photos.  Go figure.
All images copyright of Mona Vivar 2013

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