Photographer, Jon Paul, captured these beautiful wildlife images of a bobcat in south Lake Tahoe, California, using a Nikon D800 and Nikkor 200-400 f4 lens. These images are now available as fine art photographic prints.Read More
For years I've had a vision of what I would describe as "elegant landscapes". This vision includes characteristics such as fine, subtle detail, subdued colors or tones of black and white, calm compositions and unrivaled archival quality. This vision is based on a feeling that I experience in nature and want to convey through my work. EarIy in my career I moved to large format film photography for its ability to enforce this style in my work. The care required to compose the art, and the fine, subtle detail that came through in my large scale prints brought this vision to life.
However, I found that I was still enabling the sensationalized imagery we are all bombarded with to hold me back from truly pursuing the elegant landscape I was conceptualizing. Honestly, I allowed external forces, at least in part, to influence a segment of my color work. I was afraid to take the risk and stray from todays norm. While I was shooting large format film instead of digital, and primarily capturing subdued natural tones, I knew there was an additional path I could follow to fully immerse myself in the pursuit of this vision. For the last several months I have been doing just that.
For almost a year I have been studying, pursuing and practicing a very traditional photographic printing method called Platinum / Palladium printing. Along with being the most archival printing method available, this black & white printing process is a craft that I control from start to finish. I expose the individual sheets of black & white film, I hand process each sheet of film, I can then choose to scan the film and print larger digital negatives, I mix my own Pt/Pd sensitizer and hand coat cotton rag paper (Hahnemuhle Platinum Rag) making my own photographic paper. I then place the film and paper in direct contact in a printing frame (contact printing) and expose the photograph under UV light within a light box I built by hand. Finally, I develop, wash and rinse the print by hand in my darkroom. I am able to control whether the print is cool in tone (black and white) or warm in tone (light to chocolate brown) by adjusting the temperature of the developer. As an end result, I am beginning to produce the elegant landscapes I have envisioned by taking control of an entirely new manual process that has an authenticity unlike anything I have previously experienced.
Not only am I excited about bringing this new process, and extension of my vision, to life as part of my fine art gallery offerings, but I am growing through the process. That is the beauty of art. Through the pain of pursuing a passion, we learn about ourselves and have our entire lives enhanced. Artists, as do most people, have ups and downs. I have allowed myself to focus on learning this process for months. I have also made the investment and taken the financial risk necessary to pursue this vision by investing in the hardware and materials required to produce tests, test prints, failed prints and finally, successful prints. I feel a sense of both pride and fulfillment in having pursued this vision, regardless of the outcome. That said, I am extremely proud of, and excited about, the amazing quality of the prints I am now able to produce.
Subscribe to my Free Insider's Newsletter and receive a 40% discount on this image. I am releasing a limited edition of only 10, 8x10 inch Platinum / Palladium prints on 11x14 inch paper. This offer enables my subscribers to obtain a rare historic print at a substantial discount, while helping me progress to producing 16x20 inch Platinum / Palladium prints. Click HERE to subscribe and receive your discount today.
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Compositions in nature grab my attention with the way they make me feel. My art is the translation of that emotion. I use my big film cameras because they enable me, more than any other media I've tried, to do justice to how a place makes me feel. This image is not the result of capturing 1,000 images and choosing which one works. This is THE composition and exposure that I was moved enough to create. These experiences change my life. They keep me going. The final images I produce are my attempt to share that with you. That is "The Fine Art of Nature".Read More
“Winter Blanket, Lake Tahoe” has a dreamlike quality. A calm exists here, at this moment in time, that I envision for my art, but I seldom find in nature. The rare atmospheric conditions created a stillness that seamed to wrap the beauty of Lake Tahoe’s grandeur up in a blanket and present it to me. The monotone snow and cloud gently surrounded the rich color of Tahoe’s crystal clear waters, granite boulders and pines. The scale of this place is immense, but this scene creates an intimate feel. This idyllic cove was all that existed, with just our imaginations left to contemplate what beauty lies beyond the blanket of mist. Truly “The Fine Art of Nature”!Read More
The final image, Christmas Valley Blizzard Panorama, was taken in January 2017, just up the pass from my house (literally a 3 minute drive from home). I had visited this grouping of trees several times and knew I wanted to compose a soft image of them, using the the far side of the canyon to add depth. I waited for a heavy snow, which was easy given our record winter (200% of normal snowfall), and headed out the door. As the sun dropped behind the mountains, I was able to get a nice even light with minimal contrast for the mood I had envisioned. I chose the panoramic format to eliminate sky, further minimize contrast, and simplify the focus on the trees. Given the low light, slow speed film and small aperture required for focus, I ended up with a 2 minute long exposure. This eliminated the ability to see falling snowflakes, and added a bit of detail to the trees, but maintained that soft "foggy" look of the background, as a lot of snow was falling.Read More
This is an image I've wanted to compose for years, but Mother Nature just wouldn't cooperate with my schedule. Fortunately, as we hit the right weather pattern for an inversion effect here in Lake Tahoe this winter, I was able to make the time to be in the right place at the right time. The patience and effort paid off.Read More
I occasionally go back through my film files and "see how I saw". I have reinforced the idea that I had a latent ability to see "The Fine Art of Nature" before I truly became a photographer. The above image, "Foggy Forest Detail", is a prime example of a hidden gem found in my film archives. Early in my career I captured imagesRead More
As a professional, and as an artist, I have set very high standards for my fine art landscape photography. Given the medium I have chosen, large format film, I put myself out there in the elements where special light is possible, but only expose film when the conditions are worthy of my vision. Simply, I only expose a sheet of film when I feel I have "THE Shot".Read More
Often times, we look outside ourselves to find our path. As an accomplished professional of almost two decades, I occasionally look outside myself to see what I should be doing. How I should be doing it. Which path is being followed by others. It can appear as though everyone else is right. I often feel lost. The self doubt of an artist is difficult, but can be re-affirming.Read More