Novel Perspectives

posted in: Painting | 0

Here are suggestions for photographers and painters. Do you use photographs as an aid in your painting?  Photography has been used by painters since its invention  in England and France in the 1830s. For hundreds of years before then artists used the Camera Obscura, the concave lens, the Camera Lucida, the graphic telescope and other artifical  lens systems to help create a sense of vera-similitude ( a truer correspondence with visual experience). They were pursing Aristotle’s definition of art as  “the successful  imitation of nature”.  From Joshua Reynolds to Canaletto artists owned and used these machines. Artists do not turn their back on technology. They embrace, adopt and adapt it. In the photographs I show here I have moved the beholder’s point of view down to almost ground level. The unusual point of view heightens drama and alters the beholder’s sense of scale.  A near leaf looks immensely large compared to the trees only a few yards away.  The reflection of the trees extends  all the way to the bottom ( or ground plane) of the picture. If you were standing while taking this shot then the trees would not extend as far down  into the picture as they now appear with my lowered point of view. When photographing your motif ask yourself three “point of view ” questions. 1. Am I close enough to my motif to optimize its effect?  2. Have I achieved the most  interesting vertical angle on my motif ( should I get higher or lower for a more dramatic effect)?  3. Is my lateral point of view the most dramatic possible ( move around  your motif as well as moving up and down)? 

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