Alameda On Camera 2017

It’s been a while since you’ve heard from me, I know.  Life has become VERY busy for me lately . . . so busy in fact that I wasn’t able to attend the Alameda on Camera exhibit at the Frank Bette Center for the Arts this year.  This is the first year since 2011 that I missed participating in it, and I really felt the loss in my soul.

However, I was able to help volunteer at the opening night gala for the exhibit and got to see all the lovely pieces that this year’s artists produced.  There were some old favorites (like a quilt by Susan Lea Hackett), and some new blood (this is the second year in a row that FBCA has included a “Youth” category of photos), and it was great to see people’s interpretations of whatever section of Alameda they had chosen.

For instance, Patti Cary created this very interesting sculpture, titled “Return.”  I’m not sure what section of the map she drew, so I don’t know if the leaves on the branches are the photos she took, or if the other items on the branches are things she found on the streets or sidewalks of wherever she was.  Regardless, it’s a fascinating piece.

Because the 48 sections of the map of Alameda don’t change, there are a few sections where people seem to produce the exact same image every year, no matter who the photographer is.

For example, one section includes an abandon warehouse that used to house a Del Monte factory.  This building is so long that it takes up two blocks, and its own section on the map.  It can be very hard to make a photo of such a long building look interesting and different from every other photo (as you can see in the photo to the right), but one artist, Alisha Laborico, was able to capture what was (in my opinion) the BEST aspect of this building I’ve ever seen before.  (I’ll have to update this post later when I can take a picture of her image to share with you.)

 

UPDATE – Alisha was gracious enough to share her image with me, so here it is.

As anyone who’s seen my work for long enough will tell, it’s no wonder I loved her image.  The repeating patterns, the unusual angle, & the curving movement are all tricks I use in my own photography.  So, when I saw Alisha’s picture of the Del Monte building, I knew I had to write about it this year.  If you compare the image above of the building to the one to the left here, they almost don’t look like the same building.  And this old factory will be renovated next year, so it won’t look the same ever again.  But I’m thrilled that Alisha found a way to make this building look more interesting (to me at least).

 

 

Anyway, even though I wasn’t able to spend a weekend in February walking around this lovely island, capturing unique photos in my section, I was glad that I was able to see the work produced this year.  And you can believe that I will do whatever I can to ensure I’m able to attend this event next year.  After all, I’ve only taken pictures in 5 sections of Alameda . . . there’s SO much more of this lovely island to explore.  :o)

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Three New Images including a Gas Pump!

First Up, the Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The aforementioned Gas Pump, is not your typical gas pump. I created this image during the Alameda On Camera annual event and gallery. I was assigned a section of the island of Alameda where I live, and had 48 hours to take pictures within that area. In my area is a lovely marina. I was extremely fortunate on my first morning that there was a fog that rolled in which made for some lovely photos. This particular image is of a gasoline pump that is on the docks in that marina where the boats fuel up. It made a very rustic old-world look to the pump which I think is practically an antique. Here is the stipple image I did from the photo I took.

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

Alameda Ballena Isle Marina Gas Pump

The other two: Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk

You may recognize these two. I recently posted a blog announcing when I had finished these (You can see that blog here). Well, now I’d like to announce that they have finally been added to my website. Click either of the images below to be taken to my website, straight to those pages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for checking out these images and my website. I have recently updated all the pages in my stipple gallery to include the purchasing buttons. Some of you may have noticed that some of the buttons were in the “Coming Soon” stage. Well, They’re here!

That’s it for now. Thank you all for your continued attention. More art soon.

Craig P. Smith

 

 

Star Wars, Series 2: Princess Leia

February Portrait completed: Princess Leia

Month two in my year-long challenge of doing a portrait a month. Instead of doing one series of 12, I decided to do two 6 portrait series(es?). And instead of doing one series first, then another, I thought it would keep things interesting and alternate between the two. So, to see the first of the Silver Screen Icons series, check out my previous blog here.

This is the first entry into my next series “Star Wars: Series 2”. Here is Princess Leia. She is also known as Leia Organa, Leia Organa-Solo, and General Organa. But since this image is from The Empire Strikes Back, she was only going by Princess Leia at that time. This image is available for prints or you can purchase the original. They are available right now at MAS Artwork, and are a limited edition of 250.
(Click the image to enlarge)

SWs2-Princess_Leia_750max

I also did Princess Leia in my first Star Wars series. Here’s a sneak peek at that image.

SWs1_PrincessLeia_300max

So, next month it’ll be back to the Silver Screen Icons series. And if I didn’t mention it before, it’s going to be boy-girl-boy-girl. So, expect a iconic gentleman of the era.

Remember you can go to my website and purchase prints right now! Don’t forget to like, share and all that other social media sharing.

Craig P. Smith

Here she is… AUDREY!

Here it is. the first official portrait in my series “Silver Screen Icons: Series 1”. What better way to kick things off than with the epitome of style, class, and grace.The one and only, Audrey Hepburn.

This image only took 12 or so hours, and I was able to complete it within the month, as scheduled. Unfortunately, this months entry is definitely going to be a challenge to finish (More on that later). As an extra feature, I recorded video of myself as I worked on this image that my lovely wife will be compiling and editing. You’ll be able to see it soon on our new YouTube Channel (Coming Soon). We’ll let you know where to go when we get it all set up. There will also be a link to it from our website (www.masartwork.com/art).

audreyhepburn_750max

audreyhepburn_closeup2

And, who IS the subject of the next portrait? I’ll give you a couple hints. It’s going to be the first one in a different series. So, it won’t be a “Silver Screen Icon”. This person will be a major military leader. Also, they are fictitious. So, if I’ve already told you, or you know somehow. Don’t tell. If you don’t know, feel free to take a guess in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading our Blogs and we hope to hear from you soon.

~ Craig

Merchandising

Craig & I know that we have some fans out there who enjoy our art, but might not want to hang it on their wall.  So we’ve decided to branch out a little bit & see what kind of response we’ll get by offering our art on various pieces of merchandise.

We’re just in the beginning phases of this, & as such, we’ve got limited quantities of each piece.  This is really more of a test to see if it might garner any interest, so we’d love to get your feedback.  As a reward for your comments, one lucky winner will receive one of these gifts for free!

The first item we thought would be of interest to our customers is a mouse pad.  We realize that many people are using their phones to surf the net nowadays, but I personally know lots of people who still use a desktop computer at home.  So we came up with a few options:

mouse-pads

The next thought was coffee mugs.  Craig’s stipple of Marilyn Monroe looks great on these, and my Psychedelic Flower Wheel does, too . . .

mugs

We also thought coasters might be a fun idea.  Here are a couple of the ones we chose to start with:

coasters

And then–because we both love to play card games ourselves–we thought playing cards would be a great idea too.  We’ve definitely bought novelty playing cards from some of our trips, & are guessing others might as well:

playing-cards

And finally, my whole family enjoys doing puzzles; the more challenging, the better.  And many of my photos would make lovely puzzles (as well as a couple of Craig’s stipples).  We’ve gotten just a couple options to test the waters, & these are small count pieces (about 250 pieces each), but they would still likely take the owner quite a while to put them together.

puzzles

Anyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a drawing to win an item of his/her choice.  And for those of you who don’t win, if you’d still like to purchase one of the gifts, drop us an email at info@masartwork.com.  We’ll happily sell you what we currently have in stock, & that will also let us know which ones would be great sellers.  The prices will likely change once we start ordering them in bulk, but for now, the pieces cost:

Mugs – $25
Mouse Pads – $15
Puzzles – $15
Coasters – $10
Playing Cards – $5

These are just a few ideas of where we might go with our merchandise, so please feel free to let us know if there are other products you’d like to see offered with our images on them.

Calling All “Firefly” fans..!

I just completed two new portraits. Both from the Sci-fi series Firefly, and the subsequent movie Serenity. The first one is the head honcho himself. You may also know him from the ABC drama Castle. It’s Nathan Fillion in the role of ‘Captain Malcolm Reynolds.’ Give him a big hand, he likes the attention.

The second one is Mal’s pilot on the show, last seen skewered by Reavers. Fortunately, that’s only the character, and the actor is alive and thriving in his hot web series Con Man. He has voiced ‘King Candy’ in Wreck-it-Ralph and most recently starred in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as ‘K-2SO.’ It’s Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne, aka Alan Tudyk. Yaaayyyy.

Here is the first official peek at both images. I will be adding them to my website shortly, and I’ll send out an email when they are posted and ready for purchase, so don’t forget to sign up for our mailing list now so you can be notified (or send me an email on my website and order one directly).

So, without further adieu, here they are.

As I mentioned in my previous blog post, I’m going to switch gears for a bit. But never fear Firefly fans, I will be doing more portraits of the gang, and you’ll see all your friends soon; Inara, Kaylee, Jayne and more.

Thanks,
Craig Smith
www.masartwork.com/art/

A Clear Picture

Being a photographer who loves taking pictures of architecture, one thing that bugs me a lot is when things obstruct the view of whatever building I’m shooting.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a tree, street sign or a person.

I’ll use all sorts of tricks to make sure I capture just the building, and not the unwanted obstructions.  If people are in the shot, I’ll wait until they clear out (sometimes, waiting up to an hour for tourists to move out of the way).  If it’s street signs, I’ll find a different angle where you see just the building.  In fact, I took a photo of Windsor Castle one time where you only saw the top half of the structure, because of all the street signs AND tourists in the way.

But sometimes I can’t “cheat” my way to a clear picture, and so I try to take one with as few distractions as I can, and then edit them out in post-production.

 

portland-maine-021This photo, of State Street Church in Portland, Maine, is a lovely mixture of multi-colored bricks, with some very cool towers and other elements.  And thankfully, the telephone or cable wires are only in the sky, so I could easily use Photoshop to get rid of them one way or another.  I wouldn’t consider the trees an obstruction in this case because–with the fall colors–it just adds to the charm of the church.

 

 

 

 

These next two images would take quite a lot of manipulation in Photoshop.  I might be willing to mess with the church on the left, but probably not the house on the right, no matter how lovely all that ivy looks growing on the side.

portland-maine-010portland-maine-042

 

 

 

 

 

But even though I might or might not be willing to edit them in Photoshop, I still like taking the picture, if for no other reason than to remember some lovely element of the image (more on that in another blog).

portland-maine-107Now, this last picture is a Photoshop editing nightmare, and I DEFINITELY wouldn’t undertake it.  The Victoria Mansion (also in Portland, Maine) is a lovely structure, with lots of cool columns and whatnot, but I wasn’t able to capture the entire building without being across the street (with the lenses I had with me).  Unfortunately, being across the street meant that EVERY electrical wire got in the shot.  Even just editing out the wires in the sky would take a good couple of hours . . . forget about where they cross the building.

 

But, I liked Portland, and definitely plan on going back some day.  So I’ll be sure to bring some other lenses with me, and maybe I’ll be able to capture these buildings without any obstructions in them next time.