Below I have attempted to explain what to some seems like a conflict in creative process, but in this age of technology I feel artists have so many possibilities for creation. I strive to use the means that satisfy me the most, in painting that is with a brush on canvas. In my photography, I can concern myself completely with the composition in the early stages of shooting the image and finish in the comfort of the studio and my computer with the coloring, feeling, and meaning.
I strive to create an artistically inspired personal expression of the subject in front of me using the media of past artists. I love to paint ‘en plein air’ using oils because I can respond directly on the canvas with the color and lines based on my inspiration and emotion of the moment. But working in oil paint can limit how far I can go ‘en plein air’. The oils are slow to dry not allowing for the finishing touches that I prefer to add. So to this end I work in the studio from memory or photographs to complete the painting as I envisioned.
As a photographer in the field, I can have control over the process of taking the photograph with the equipment I chose and the control settings on the camera but little control over the artistic aspects during the image capture.
My creativity and artistic input starts after the images are downloaded to the computer. This is where I can control what I want to portray in the image. I am able to infuse the image with the emotional content that I experienced while being at the location where I took the photograph.
To this end I work with many adjustments available to me. I first adjust the global color balance and the global contrast of the image to my taste. I then focus on individual colors and work towards making them the exact tonalities that I desire. Similarly, I adjust contrast so that it reflects the feeling of open, glowing light or of deep, mysterious shadows, according to my memories of the original scene. I also, may use filters to enhance the image, to bring out different aspects for aesthetic purposes.
My goal is not necessarily to create an image that represents something that exists, as is, in reality, in the “real” landscape, but rather to create an image that is believable, an image of something that one can consider to be possible, even though one could not quite find this exact same image in nature.