Photo Du Jour
Almost 3 years ago we made the move 20 miles south from Frisco to Dallas. We did this for a long list of reasons, but primarily for the culture. We wanted to be closer to the Arts and Design Districts – and Deep Ellum. Places where creative people congregate. We also like the feel of Dallas in general. We feel like we belong here. In North Dallas we are 15 minutes from almost anything we are interested in and we don’t need toll roads to get there. Surface streets provide excellent, swift access.
For about 10 years now, I have been capturing Texas in all its glory. The minutiae is what fascinates me the most, as is evidenced in my first coffee table book, Texas As I See it. Dallas, on the other hand, does everything on a bigger-than-life scale. As a result, the Dallas skyline was awarded Best International Skyline status in a USA Today poll. And it just keeps getting better as more and more structures add dramatic computer controlled lighting. The addition of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and the completion of the Omni Hotel were the defining moments in the evolution of the skyline in my opinion.
On various occasions since 2010 I have captured this amazing skyline. In 2013 I had a commission to create a backdrop for KTXD TV in Dallas. The concept was a composite Dallas / Fort Worth Skyline, which ended up being a 15 hour editing project after capturing new images around midnight on two different nights. The result is a 204 inch wide sunrise skyline with the Texas Flag ghosted into it.
During this process I also created individual skylines of each city and produced a highly idealized version of the Dallas skyline complete with the Supermoon from 2013. Since then I have re-shot the ever-evolving cityscape of Dallas on several occasions. Naturally, whenever there is a Supermoon, going out to re-shoot is a good idea, as there is no better backdrop for this celestial event than Dallas.
This year I went out to capture the Beaver Moon over the skyline along with several hundred other amateur and professional photographers. The results were fairly dramatic, but the view from the levee does not provide a complete cityscape. Some crucial elements get left out – like the Omni Hotel.
The image below has become very popular in recent months. This is the origin of the combination skyline and I had completely forgotten about it. During an art show where I was exhibiting Oz, a client requested a night sky cityscape. I looked through my Facebook gallery and resurrected this one. As a result I have printed, delivered and installed several of these recently. The largest one measures 86″ wide by 40″ high and is installed in an office building in Dallas.
I do all printing and framing in-house with the exception of aluminum and acrylic prints. These I outsource.
This image is coming in next week (30×45) on aluminum for Northwestern Mutual in Dallas. It was shot in 2015 when the Trinity River was flooded during an interview with the Dallas Observer:
You can see the entire Cityscapes Gallery on my website as well. This includes Fort Worth, NYC and International locations.
Earlier this year I negotiated the rights to reprint this classic horse racing image by Adam Coglianese.
This iconic photograph in an Eclipse Award winning photo taken at Tremont in 1980. In this capture, Great Prospector is savaging the winner, Golden Derby as they head into the home stretch. Photo taken by Bob Coglianese and Copyright Adam Coglianese, I have obtained the rights to reprint this image on canvas in a 24×30 format only.
If you would like a copy of this amazing shot, order it RIGHT HERE. It looks absolutely incredible on canvas.
24×30 monochrome print on canvas for $350.00 + tax
Another Brick In The Wall
This is one of the latest in my Vortex series of digital art / photo-manipulation.
What I don’t usually reveal is the source material for these digital abstracts. In many cases I have even forgotten the original image I used to create them. On occasion I have to find the master file and examine the metadata to figure it out if and when the topic comes up.
Since this one is fresh in my mind, I thought I would give y’all a little insight into my process.
The original image is from the inner basement area of the old Sears Building, now known as South Side on Lamar in the heart of Dallas. I explored this area back in December of 2008 with the idea of using it for some edgy modeling photography. There are several images from the research trip that I have used, one of which is in my first coffee table book, Texas As I See It.
This is the original unedited, un-retouched image:
Photoshop manipulation is next.
- The original image is cropped to a square that contains the elements I think will achieve the desired effect.
- The square is resized to a pixel count I feel will hold up to printing up to 42″ wide for my largest editions.
- This image is enhanced to bring up detail, color and shadow / highlight detail.
- Multiple layers are created to work from.
- A master layer is twisted to a degree I think is effective for the elements in the image
- A duplicate layer is created from the new master.
- Both new master layers are edited for exposure, saturation and hue.
- Layers are tweaked for blending effects and then a master file is saved with the layers intact.
In the case of square Vortex editions, this version may be further enhanced, tuned and may have adjustment layers created to produce the final image.
In today’s illustration, I have decided I want this one as a diamond-shaped image.
- This version is then rotated 45 degrees
- It is cropped and resized again
- Brightness, exposure, saturation, dodging and burning are finalized at this point
- This is the master used to print from
- I save it as such and name it accordingly
- A new layer is added below the master and filled with white
- The master is rotated back 45 degrees for purposes of producing the preview you see below
- The preview image has its resolution changed to something appropriate for websites and email
- A drop shadow is added
- In Photoshop the Save to Web and Devices option is employed to create the efficient file size needed for web / email use
The final result is this:
Another Brick in the Wall
The most time-consuming part of this was crafting the 3 dimensional brick and blending it to achieve the effect I was after.
There are right around 370 editions of Vortex images in the collection at this time. Most of them are online to be browsed, but the complete collection is not available in one place at this time. It takes a lot of routine maintenance to keep the website up to date and I just haven’t had the time.
If you want to see more of this series, you can find a fairly complete collection at www.vividpixelz.net
You can send me an email, text or just use the old-fashioned method of picking up the phone if you have questions about this or any of my other work.
The Vortexes are in two different styles. The diamond-shape like this one and square versions. Both are designed to be displayed in a grid. They come in 24, 36 and 48 inch sizes for the square style. The diamond shapes measure 34, 48 and 60 inches when hanging.
Vortex Diamond Grid
These are the 34″ diamond vortexes
Today seemed like as good a time as ever to start a Photo Du Jour post. Every day I will post an image, generally something I processed that day.
Today’s classic pinup image is titled “Peek A Boo”. Deanna B. is the model, dressed in classic schoolgirl style featuring a tartan miniskirt and heels. This image was shot in my Plano studio in 2009.