The Royal Retouch

Come down from your royal wedding high yet? Me neither. I have been processing and uploading my Windsor Castle images to my Pixels and Flickr sites for the past few days.

Fun stuff, but the one problem with digital images (especially highly valued vacation ones) is that the creative options for visually bringing them to life can be a bit overwhelming.

For instance, my raw shot below has potential to be decent photo.

Then, below is the shot after I processed and retouched it - removing people, security barriers and some other stuff.

Below is just one final version of the image. The effects involved were basically pumping up the volume on the color, selective blurring, selective darkening, and finally selective sharpening then cropping it.

See more of my photography on my Flickr page, and fine art on my Pixels page.


Royal Wedding

In celebration of the mania surrounding the Royal wedding (as opposed to the wedding itself), I have decided to make available fine art prints of my best shots of Windsor Castle. They are available now on my Fine Art America galleries by clicking here. Below is one sample.


On the easel now

Here are two detail images of the beginning stages of a large painting I have started recently.
Large for me is anything above 24 inches in either direction.

The subject is a scenic panorama of Blenheim Palace in Woodstock, Oxfordshire. I am using as reference a few shots I took on a recent trip to U.K.

This will end up being the first landscape I have created in over a decade. I started with the structure itself since that will be the most challenging.


Spring Exhibit Award

My latest pastel painting, "Eleanor of Aquitaine", won an honorable mention award in the most recent juried group exhibit I submitted it to.

The "honorable" and "mentioned" piece is 9x7 inches.


Postcards from Britain - Blenheim Palace, Part 4

When you go into the main entrance of Blenheim Palace you find yourself in a beautiful open space which establishes the awesome surroundings and splendor of the interior. Original and reproduced, captured French battle standards of the vanquished French armies are displayed in various rooms.

Aside from marveling at the fact that for centuries this entire place was a private residence, the great thing about seeing the interior of a place like Blenheim Palace is the ability to see a private collection of fine art. Art that you will never see in any public museum, and that has been in a family for many generations is always extra special to me.

In a section off to the right of the main hall hangs an impressively huge portrait of the first Duke, John Churchill and his family. Sitting on a table in front of the painting is a beautiful silver sculpture.

The sculpture is actually a dining table centerpiece that was used in many formal dinners hosted by the various Marlboroughs throughout the centuries. It depicts a victorious John Churchill writing what is known as the “Blenheim dispatch”. Basically after leading the British to victory in the battle of Blenheim, in Germany, he takes a moment to write to his wife Sarah, saying something like “… tell the Queen she has had a great victory at Blenheim.” Below are a couple details of the sculpture.

This scene is immortalized throughout Blenheim palace in paintings, sculptures, and tapestries.