Intro by Chamira Young
When fine art and photography intersect, a lot of creative magic can happen. It's always inspiring to see a photographic artist create a unique workflow that transforms their raw images into final pieces with their own style. That's why we're excited to feature the work of photographer Ed Kelly in today's post!
With a background in commercial advertising photography, Ed found a new passion for aviary photography when he moved from New Jersey to South Carolina. By adding a twist to his editing process, he's been able to create his own unique signature style with his bird photography. In the excerpt below, we get a glimpse into the creative process of this creative image-maker as he creates fine art using his Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 lens.
Click on the image to learn more about the lens Ed used. The dedication of the Tamron team is a tremendous asset to the photography community. They are constantly supplying us with the tools we need as creative artists to up our game! Check out the post below.
Fine Art, Avian Style
By Jenn Gidman
Images by Ed Kelly
Ed Kelly doesn’t just create bird photos with his Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 lens—he transforms them into Audubon-worthy pieces of art.
Ed Kelly had been a commercial advertising photographer for many years when he moved from New Jersey to a more nature-oriented area in South Carolina. In his new environment, Ed found himself gravitating more toward bird photography, which he continues to this day, documenting his feathered friends both around the Palmetto State and in other bird-friendly areas like Florida’s Merritt Island.
There’s a twist to Ed’s bird photography, though, involving a post-production process that turns his images into works of fine art, which he includes in his “Coastal Dream Series.” “The process is fairly straightforward in most cases,” he says. “I eliminate the background or alter it in some way, then add layers of complexity to the background and onto the main subject.”
Before the editing process can begin, Ed has to capture the photos—which he does with the Tamron SP 150-600mm VC G2 telephoto zoom lens. “The autofocus is faster and the color and contrast were enhanced over the previous 150-600 I owned,” he says. “The image stabilization offered via the Vibration Compensation (VC) technology is also very helpful, since I’m often shooting early or late in the day, when the lighting may not be optimal. With the 150-600mm, I’ve taken photos of birds handheld at 600mm at 1/15 of a second and achieved super-sharp images. I also like being able to get out of my car and start wandering the nature preserve with a lens that doesn’t weigh me down all day.”
Ed envisions how he wants the image composed before he even sets the bird in his frame. “Even though it’s not the focal point of the image, I’ll know exactly how I want the branch, or whatever else the bird is perching on, to come into the frame,” he says. “When the bird finally sets down, I just wait for it to turn so that it looks as close to the way as I saw it in my mind as possible.”
When it comes time to transform his images into fine-art photos, Ed first considers the background and how he wants to alter it in the editing process to sync with the coloring of the bird. “I consider the overall color temperature of the shot, then think about complementary colors based on the bird’s appearance,” he says. “I’ll figure out what colors in the background will make other colors in the bird pop, then adjust it accordingly.”
Next comes the overlay process, where Ed will add layer upon layer onto the main image until he achieves the texture or pattern he’s looking for. “It could be tiny specks of sand or scratches on a piece of paper placed on top of the initial image, which I then massage until it looks the way I want it to,” he says. “Or it could be two or three skies blended together. I also tend to add noise to the image at the end of the process to make it look more realistic. I want my photos to match the mood I’m trying to convey, and having an image look too clear and sharp doesn’t do it for me. I want my photos to look a little rough and grainy.”
Read the full post here.
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