Things have been extremely busy here at Studios on the Park in Paso Robles, with the major Paso Robles Wine Festival last weekend and the upcoming Paso Robles Festival of the Arts this Memorial Day weekend. I hope many of you can stop by the studio, as there are many wonderful events, classes, lectures, and exhibits both in the Paso Robles City Park and at Studios (located on Pine Street directly across from the park). We have special extended hours and are also open on Memorial Day. These two weekends are the biggest of the year for foot traffic through Studios, and therefore the sale of our artwork, so I have been busy post-processing more work, printing, mounting, matting, and framing. In addition, I submitted photography work for the Local Color Exhibition that will hang through July 1st in the Studios atrium gallery.
That said, we are very honored to have renowned painter Stephen Doherty from New York City attend the Festival, as well as judge the work submitted for the Local Color show. Mr. Doherty is the Editor of PleinAir Magazine and will also be lecturing. He will announce the awards for the Local Color show at a special Premiere Party and Keynote address tomorrow night, so we are very excited. The Paso Robles Festival of the Arts was born of a need to raise awareness of the Salinas River Corridor Project at the same time that Studios on the Park was preparing to open its doors to the public for the first time in May 2009. After the resounding success of the inaugural Festival, its mission was written to reflect the intention to continue to support the arts and the environment in Paso Robles. A portion of proceeds raised through the Festival go to support the Salinas River Corridor Project and Studios on the Park.
I am pleased to announce that one of my photographs printed on aluminum, Moon Over Piedras Blancas Bluffs, was accepted into the Local Color exhibition (see the first image at the top). The competition was stiff, with much great artwork submitted. Only about one in five pieces made the final cut. This image was taken at twilight north of San Simeon near the historic Piedras Blancas Lightstation, just along the coastal bluffs. The moon was gorgeous that night, which so happened to be my birthday. What a great gift it was to be presented with the opportunity to take this photograph. I also submitted a canvas gallery wrap print of the image above, Path to Grace, which was taken on William Clark’s Ranch at a place called Chapel Hill in Shandon, California. This image was not accepted into the show, but I love it anyway. It is an HDR texture-blended image taken just prior to a thunderstorm.
Moon Over Piedras Blancas Bluffs is also an HDR photograph, which means it is a composite of multiple exposures of the same scene taken at different shutter speeds with the camera mounted on a tripod, then blended together using special software so that both the highlights and shadow areas can be seen in great detail. For more information on HDR photography and fine art printing, please see the links on the top right of the sidebar to the three tutorials I wrote for Breathing Color’s Art of Printmaking blog.
I have also been experimenting with some of my classic color HDR images, converting them to black and white. The image above shows an abandoned vintage Chevy truck I photographed along old Route 66 in the Arizona desert, one of my favorite places to shoot. Apologies I have not posted more blogs this month, but all the activities have kept me busy. I recently photographed an abandoned mercury mine and will be doing a post with those images when the festivals are over. Hope to see some of you over the weekend here in Paso. And don’t forget that the Phantom Project Art show is still up at the vacant A&R furniture building just across the street from Studios. I also have two pieces in that show – one of an abandoned sugar mill, and one of a minus tide at sunset in Shell Beach.
Although I am preparing new work today to hang in our photography studio at Studios on the Park in downtown Paso Robles, I wanted to post an image taken on a Sunday drive in the beautiful West Paso Robles wine country. Like many people, I appreciate the plethora of fabulous wineries this area has to offer. But as a photographer, I am most drawn to the stunning views along Paso’s backroads. If you are visiting the area, I highly recommend exploring Adelaida and Peachy Canyon Roads and Vineyard Drive on the west side. The vistas are simply spectacular.
As I was driving along I noticed a lovely stand of oak trees in an open field, so I pulled over to take some shots. This oak tree was very majestic and quite likely very old. The image is comprised of three HDR bracketed shots processed in Photomatix 4, Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5, and with Nik Software. I named it Field of Dreams. Hope you enjoy it. I will post more images as I have time and work them up.