step & repeat level three

Here’s a continuation from yesterday’s post.

Step and Repeat Level 3 is a continuation of Photoshop Tutorials using repetitive individual photo elements in a geometric pattern to create artistic images. Although this tutorial stands on it’s own for advanced Photoshop users you might want to check out the Step and repeat videos Level 1. You can start here. Then also view Level four.

You may notice the Arcanum bumpers on the video. What’s that? I am a Master in the Arcanum and invite you to come take a look around at a different way of learning. You can check it out here


Step and Repeat Level Three Photoshop Tutorial
Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob

sunday photo/art quote 3/29

I was wandering around the web last night and early this morning searching for a photo/art quote that would work for and found myself uninspired with the quotes I was encountering.

So I gave it a break and decided to check in at a Mastermind Forum I belong to and Lo and Behold!, there it was. Edward Zemba of Robert Charles Photography had posted this little gem from one of my favorite artists with the comment “Michelangelo had it right!”

michelangelo art quote

“The greater danger for most of us is not that we aim too high & we miss it but that it’s too low and we reach it.” Michelangelo Bounarotti

How do you decide what your artistic photographic goals are?

Are you willing to stretch?

To go beyond what you really think is possible?

Or are you safe?

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

PS – Push it!


step and repeat level two

Here’s a continuation from yesterday’s post.

Step and Repeat Level 2 is a continuation of Photoshop Tutorials using repetitive individual photo elements in a geometric pattern to create artistic images. Although this tutorial stands on it’s own for advanced Photoshop users you might want to check out the Step and repeat videos Level 1. You can start here. Then also view Levels three and four.

You may notice the Arcanum bumpers on the video. What’s that? I am a Master in the Arcanum and invite you to come take a look around at a different way of learning. You can check it out here


Step and Repeat Photoshop Tutorial
Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

step & repeat photoshop tutorial

Step and Repeat – Step and Repeat – Step and Repeat…

Oh wait! It’s the individual elements in a photo that I’d like to ‘Step and Repeat’ not the words themselves.

This is an interesting way to take your images to another place. I’ve been sharing it with my ‘Photo-Synthesis’ class attendees and because of the interest expressed by my students I’m going to share a series on how to use the idea in creating photographic artwork

I hope you enjoy and will share your efforts with me. Please when sending images for me to peek at make the longest dimension 600 pixels and save as a jpeg…


Step and Repeat Photoshop Tutorial
After viewing this tutorial you can move to Level 2 Step & Repeat
Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

speaking prescott az

Enjoyed sharing some ideas with the Prescott Arizona Camera Club Great group!  After I spoke I had a chance to see their print competition and it showed they have quite a few very talented photographers. Looks like they are in growth mode with a push for new members and improving their meetings and organization.


Prescott Camera Club meeting. (thanks to Bruce Roscoe for grabbing this image for me)

Here’s some feed back from my presentation…

“Bob – great presentation last night. By the time you’d finished the initial slide show I was ready to try about a dozen new things in Photoshop. I love your layered work. Please send me your presentation slides. There was a great deal of terrifically valuable information in there. Thanks,”     JB Burke

“I enjoyed your presentation Tuesday night and am impressed with
artistry.  Please send me the samples and links you discussed.   I am
also interested in the site you demonstrated for watercolor effect. In
addition to the nice images that can be produced I found it is a perfect
way to save a nice subject that I have photographed but is flawed.”  Pat Fiedler

“Bob, really enjoyed your presentation at our club last evening. You mentioned that you would e-mail any info that would help to become a better photographer with the subjects that you covered in your presentation. I  would really enjoy some of those websites and articles. Thank You, and again really enjoyed your presentation.”     Jim Naumann

“Good Morning Bob,
I thoroughly enjoyed your presentation last night.  It was entertaining as well as inspiring.  I love what you are doing with the layers, blend modes and textures.  Your work is awesome! Please send me the “sticky notes” from last night.  I like your idea of learning one technique a day.  It makes learning Photoshop much more manageable. Thank you for sharing,”         Bill Zombeck

Lumix helped make it possible with sponsorship for me to speak to this group. Need a speaker for your group or organization?? Get in touch.

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

sunday photo/art quote 3/22


Had a chance to experience this quote by Henri in action at the North Central District Professional Photographers of America imaging competition.

photo quote from henri cartier bresson

“Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.” Henri Cartier-Bresson

Two full days working with Thirteen other people viewing print images and digital files. Talk about being immersed in photography. Here’s the way it works. Six people are on a panel and along with a jury chair are working to see that each image gets a fair shake at be judged as impartially as possible. And therein lies my tie-in with the quote.

Being exposed to the shear number of images created and seeing what makers can envision makes me proud to be part of this industry. Moments in time preserved for families. Stories crafted. Fantasies brought to life. Emotions captured and far-off vistas shared. All of these images passed in front of my eyes and were created by photographers sharing their vision captured through the lens.

I salute those who put their images out there for review and to learn how to become better image makers and show what might never have been seen.

What are you creating right now>

Yours in Creative Photography,      Bob

photographing artwork

I’ve been working with a way to shoot flat art that really simplifies the set-up and gets you better color than some other ways. No longer a need for polarizing filters and busting butt trying to get even light across the field of the artwork by trying to use 45 degree angles with lights pointed at the art… See the diagram for the set up here’s how it works for me…

Take a measurement of the art. The lights should be at a distance as an equilateral triangle that is longer than the longest dimension of the art to be photographed. If you have really large art you can stack another umbrella light over the first to get larger coverage.

Lights on umbrellas should be facing the CAMERA. We are lighting the flat art with the spill from each umbrella. This makes it extremely easy to get the light falling on the art to 1/10 of a stop over the entire surface with virtually no effort.

Set up flags so that the light doesn’t flare the lens since the lights are pointing toward the camera.

Take meter readings to ensure the light is within even across the art. Use that reading on your camera with an expo disk. Make an exposure with the expo disk in place with the metered settings from the artwork’s position and use that exposure to set a custom white balance on your camera.

If you are shooting artwork with glass or with highly specular highlights from the paint or glaze set up a black background behind the camera and cover the tripod with black velvet. Get out of the way and trigger the camera with a remote. There will be no reflections or any light for the artwork to “see” hence no glare or specular hotspots to deal with. The color will be spot on since you are using a custom white balance. I’m sure you could also use the Macbeth checker system also but the Expo disk works great for me. I also add a checker chart and gray card just in case, but haven’t had to use them since adding expo disk….

BTW the camera can be anywhere along the center line it doesn’t have to be in between the lights it can be forward or behind the lights.

One other thing to be careful about is lens choice. Ideally a tilt shift or very flat lens with no distortion is best. Use a level on the artwork and the camera lens to make sure they are on the same plane. Spending more time here will save you lots of hassles once you get to the computer. If you use a wider angle lens you can get some barrel distortion. If you don’t do enough of this work you can use the flattest you have. Camera raw has a lens correction tool that can get you very close but even then you should check that the image is perfectly square by pulling down some guides. A VERY small amount of transform tool using warp can get you back on the straight and narrow.

Since I have been using this system I no longer have issues with shifts in color from hot spots or polarizing filters. And most important no more fighting with artists about getting the ‘right’ color. Before there were always problems, no more. Try it you’ll like it!! Any questions give me a shout….

The black seamless paper is only necessary when you have glass that you can’t remove for one reason or another and you would also need to cover your tripod with black velvet to reduce reflections also..

Yours in Creative Photography,    Bob

PS Thanks to commercial photographer and educator Jim Lersch for the diagram materials… Jim Lersch Photography

thanks to nmppa

Thanks to New Mexico Professional Photographers Association (NMPPA) for hosting a convention of which to be proud. They did a great job. I was there to give a program on art and imaging competition and to help judge the annual print competition. There were a lot of great images.

If you are in the NM area and want to get in on some great learning you should join the organization. Organizations always go through ups and downs and it looks like they are on the ups with a solid board excited about getting quality photo education from photography speakers for their members.

horn in f image photo-synthesis

Image made during the NMPPA convention during my ‘Photo-Synthesis’ Photoshop class.

Books, magazines, the web, DVD tutorials, Creative Live & PhotoVision are all great ways to gather photography education!

BUT, nothing beats in-person photo education and networking with fellow photographers and competing in the PPA system of Imaging Competition. A great place to start is with your state Professional Photographers Association whether you are in New Mexico, Arizona or any other state. Not sure where your closest PPA Affiliate is? Find out here.

Yours in Professional Photography,       Bob


speaking judging ppanm

In Albuquerque, New Mexico for the PPANM annual convention. Will be serving as a judge for print competition today (Sunday) starting at 1 PM. Then tomorrow I’ll be presenting my ‘Photo-Synthesis’ program with a side of print competition from the state through PPA District through PPA International. A bit about the why it’s good for your business and how to do your best in what the judges may be looking for in your images.

PPA New Mexico photography program speaking decription

Will I see you there?? Or, at another one of my speaking programs?

Yours in Creative Photography,       Bob

sunday photo/art quote 3/15

There are often conversations with photographers of whether they are creating art or fine art with their imaging. Some are – some aren’t -  but who are we to judge? The point is once we get over whether we are artists or not we need to work, not just dream, to make our dreams happen. Today’s Photo/Art quote from Constantin puts it very succinctly. (especially the second sentence!)

fine art quote brancusi
“Art career goals make your career happen. To see far is one thing, to go there is another.” Constantin Brancusi


1. the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.

2. the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art;

an art collection.

fine art[fahyn]

1. a visual art considered to have been created primarily for aesthetic purposes and judged for its beauty and meaningfulness, specifically, painting, sculpture, drawing, watercolor, graphics, and architecture. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for fine art

fine art


1. art produced chiefly for its aesthetic value, as opposed to applied art
2. (often pl) Also called beaux arts. any of the fields in which such art is produced, such as painting, sculpture, and engraving
Collins English Dictionary – Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Cite This Source

fine art

Something requiring highly developed techniques and skills, as in He’s turned lying into a fine art, or The contractor excels in the fine art of demolition. This term alludes to the fine arts, such as music, painting, and sculpture, which require both skill and talent. It is now often used to describe anything that takes skill to do. [ First half of 1800s ]

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source

What are you doing to work on your career and push it into the direction you would like it to go?
Yours in Creative Photography,        Bob