The Dark Art is not something from Harry Potter, it is something from the old masters. Not every piece of art has to be bright or sharply defined. The tone of an image dark or light often sets the mood before one comprehends the arts message. Don’t let the perfection of form drive the interpretation of your art, give your art a chance to digger deeper into the viewers soul. A palette can be the road map into deeper meanings or messages, seek the tones that deliver your message in a manner that is not hidden in technical perfection. The Dark Art is seeing things that live in the shadows.
Creative Time is why knowing yourself is important. Our nature gives us a living rhythm. I find my most creative time is between sunrise to several hours after. While I am “out in the field” I have a different energy but for working with photographs or digital art, morning is my sweet spot. I find playing my keyboard for 30 minutes gets me in a creative, non-stressed mode. I know this because I have tracked how I think and how I create and I know this is my most productive time. I see my images differently in this time and new ideas flood my mind, after about 4 o 5 hours I can feel the creative energy leaving me – then I do something totally different away from studio. Outside is very good for me (working in the yard, down by the creek, or going somewhere and living). If you find your creative time, defend it from all but emergency intrusions. I often wear studio head phones to keep the outside noise, well, outside.
Treat your creative time as the import gift it is, use it wisely. Don’t let life intrude, if it does address the issue. If you have folks that like to “pop in” put a big sign on your door – “creative time – No Admittance – this means you!”
All time is precious for our journey is short do not squander creative time because you can’t get more of it in the long run.
I’ve found that my really fine images come when I am photographing things I know in places that I know. I shoot a lot fewer pictures when I am at places I know then when I am traveling. Why, because I don’t the light as well in a strange place, and often my attention is between excitement of being in a new place with friends or family and I shot more knowing that in the editing process I find things I don’t see when I am shooting in a hurry. I often will ride with a window down and shot (I know its a sin to image from a moving car – just kidding if light is good and you can use high shutters speed/ISO then you can get some interesting images from a moving car. What I can’t and won’t do when tripping with friends or family is let the setting turn me into the director of a movie no one wants to be in. However that doesn’t mean that you can’t turn on the electronic shutter and snap-a-way as you walk with out noise. If you are tripping this year and the trips purpose is not photography then act like a photo journalist – keep your intent hidden and when the chance comes shoots as fast as your camera allows. I am one that truly believes that artistic content is more important the pure technical quality of an image. So enjoy your tripping but in brief moments shoot like a mad person. Shoot from the hip, shoot from the dinning table at a sidewalk cafe, and even shoot when you are walking – fast wide angle lens help you here.
The one thing I do know, if you don’t learn to be invisible to the people your are tripping with your photography will be more of a burden than a welcomed guest along your path.
Combine your point of view for digital art
Once you have a library of images that show your point of view, you can often find two unrelated images that because you have a point of view can be combined in a piece of digital art.
A reflection from a pond and the moon – Emergence
A image of a boat’s docking port and ships of a fishing fleet – Portal View
A flower and a wilderness landscape – Alone in the wilderness
In creating digital art don’t be afraid to use effects from more than one program. For me it takes a combination of several tools like different filters or transformation tools to get the right effect. Don’t be afraid of using some of the stock art filters in conjunction with manual manipulation to create your art.
One way to set tone in your art is to use Colors and textures in Art Photography. Many different programs allow you to modify your digital photography, the key is to apply your knowledge of the color wheel when developing the tone in the image. I wanted to convey a darker mood in this image and thus kept enhancing the earth tones in the image. When I was happy with the feel that the tones gave, I then added just a bit of texture to drive the over all dark feeling.
Photographic Digital Art
If you are using programs like Photoshop or On1 don’t be afraid to use some of the more artistic tools. Take sometime to play with them and perhaps you will find an art tool that will mix well with your photographic sensibilities through Photographic Digital Art.
The biggest payback of trying to create photographic digital art from your photography is that it will help develop your artistic point of view.