Archive for the ‘Fine Art Prints’ Category

Focus Your Fall Portfolio

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018
Working with a theme can help you create a unique collection of images

 

 

Autumn Elm and Sunbeams, Cook’s Meadow, Yosemite National Park, California, 2014.

With autumn photography season here, I want to share some ideas that may help you develop an excellent portfolio for this fall season. I have found it useful, for myself and for teaching my students, to think about creating a story line, or clear thematic focus, for your work. Consider what specific locations or aspects of autumn inspire you the most. The location could be your backyard, a nearby park or reserve, or a travel location where you can spend at least a few days to explore the area fully. A favorite aspect might include colorful reflections, or the patterns of fallen leaves, or a series focused on branch-filled tapestries of color. This approach of specialization will help distinguish your autumn images from other photographers’ work.

Two key elements needed for your selection of an autumn theme are passion for the subject and easy access during the season. Passion is a must-have ingredient for creative, insightful imagery. Repeated access to your location will build your knowledge of the light, weather and seasonal changes, helping you find the best conditions for making great photographs. One idea would be to photograph the transition of autumn in your area, from the first hints of color in green trees to the last clinging leaves. This transition offers us great opportunities to communicate that visceral sense that we all feel of time moving forward.With autumn photography approaching soon, I want to share some ideas that may help you develop an excellent portfolio for this fall season. I have found it useful, for myself and for teaching my students, to think about creating a story line, or clear thematic focus, for your work. Consider what specific locations or aspects of autumn inspire you the most. The location could be your backyard, a nearby park or reserve, or a travel location where you can spend at least a few days to explore the area fully. A favorite aspect might include colorful reflections, or the patterns of fallen leaves, or a series focused on branch-filled tapestries of color. This approach of specialization will help distinguish your autumn images from other photographers’ work.

Instead of trophy hunting for singular, spectacular scenic images, I like to explore around for quiet images, ones that don’t shout too loud. In Yosemite, for example, I often find exciting details on the forest floor, in river reflections or cliff details. I have included some examples here from last fall in Yosemite Valley. Over a two-week period in late October and early November, I worked with private students in Yosemite Valley. I enjoy the one-to-one process of helping photographers find their own vision, and share mine with them. Even though I usually focus on intimate details, that doesn’t mean I will avoid those epic, rare events where weather and/or light explode with drama and energy.

On one such dramatic morning, an amazing confluence of peak autumn color and morning mist, rising off a frosted meadow, unfolded before me and my student. We started out photographing from one excellent vantage point, then raced to where the sun was directly behind this extraordinary tree where we witnessed sunbeams bursting through the graceful branches. Knowing that the mist would burn off soon, we worked rapidly to find the best camera position for him to block the rising sun with the tree’s limbs. Even though the lens was shaded from direct sun, the high contrast and rapidly changing situation called for bracketing exposures to ensure a full range of data was captured. The end result, for both of us, were top portfolio “keepers!” The images portray the symbolism of “a new day” and “light shining through the darkness.”

Just as exciting to me were several quiet Yosemite images I photographed last fall. Quiet intensity in an image can endure and engage the viewer for longer in my opinion. With subtle imagery comes a depth that can be enjoyed more over time.


Yellow Maples, Cedar and Pine, Yosemite Valley.

When I pull together a group of photographs such as from last autumn, I edit by looking for the highest and most consistent quality, as well as looking for a balance of scale, light, weather and subject matter. I might use a wide-angle view or two to set the context of the portfolio in Yosemite Valley. However, my intimate landscapes would be my main focus, such as the river and trees reflections, or leaves floating through autumn-colored river reflections. When you see the selected images as a group such as in an exhibit or online gallery, they should create a visual story, a personal exploration, a creative viewpoint.

This fall, think about what thematic project you could develop. Selecting a title, even if you change it later, can give you additional focus for both your shooting sessions and editing. Think about what you want to say with your images. Your unique viewpoint will be better revealed, and the concept behind the photographs will heighten the portfolio’s impact.

Best wishes for great light, wondrous color and creative autumn photographs!

Autumn Portfolio

 

 

Autumn Snowstorm, Yosemite National Park, California 2015

 

 

 

Impressions

Saturday, September 15th, 2018

Autumn tree reflections on Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine 1992

Impressions
(revised from 2003 essay published in Outdoor Photographer.)

I enjoy impressionistic art. As a teenager, my mother worked as a docent at the National Art Gallery when we lived near Washington, D.C., so I often had the chance to visit the exhibits.  I was captivated by the en Plein air approach of Monet and by the pointillism of Van Gogh I viewed there.  Art soon became my favorite class during my high school years. My intrigue with the Impressionist movement led to my experiments with blurred many images years later.

The sensation of light and the emotion of seeing a beautiful moment are the qualities of the style I like.   Impressionism, the French school of painting that developed in the late 1800s, has been defined as a method of depicting transitory visual impressions. One early adherent advised other painters to “submit to the first impression” of what they saw.  This idea, in part, can be attributed to the invention of photography in the previous century.  The Impressionist painters saw the enormous potential of revealing the frozen moments of time as seen in photographs.

In their work, the Impressionists chose to emphasize their direct sensory and emotional responses devoid of intellectual thought.  Painters such as Claude Monet were fascinated by the ever-changing lighting conditions outdoors, and they would return to paint the same scene at different times or weather conditions.   More traditional painters of the day painted only in their studios.  The Impressionists painted on location, working quickly to capture the moment before the light changed.  How similar this sounds to landscape photography!

A critical photographic idea grew out of, at least in part, from Impressionism’s sensory method. The concept of the Equivalent, developed by Alfred Steiglitz, relies on the photographer’s intuitive response to a scene to create an emotional equivalent.  Mentored by Steiglitz, Ansel Adams and Minor White taught this approach to their students.  They used the idea in their own work, applying it using straight photographic technique rather than altering reality.  Reflecting on his own path, Adams once wrote, “If I feel something strongly, I would make a photograph, that would be the equivalent of what I saw and felt…. I’m interested in expressing something which is built up from within, rather than just extracted from without.”

Freeman Patterson, in his book Photo Impressionism and the Subjective Image, discusses another approach, writing “the “impressionist” photographer deliberately abandons physical exactitude in the belief that he or she can convey the reality of feeling more effectively by doing so.”  Patterson wishes to “help photographers venture into some aspects of the non-literal world of photography and to create (or, for that matter, to record) impressions that convey a truth of feeling or spirit.”  If you are frustrated creatively with traditional methods, you might explore this option.

Most of us photograph the landscape by attempting to capture special events in nature, such as mountains in dramatic light, in a realistic and documentary style. Such literal imagery, if composed well and heartfelt, can speak powerfully about the beauty of the land and express the photographer’s unique perspective.   The danger in this straightforward approach is that images can be so blandly descriptive that the viewer is left unengaged and the artist’s viewpoint unapparent.

For the most part, I photograph directly and realistically.  There is usually little doubt that the subject existed as seen in the photograph.  Ideally, the scene is transformed in a magical way, via composition or light, to make an extraordinary image.  When I make abstractions of nature, the reality of the image is only a question because the exposure itself has altered the reality, such as with blurring water, or that I have isolated the object from surrounding clues, not because I have changed reality.

It seems to me that there is a continuum of possibilities between realistic photographs and photo impressionism, a gray (middle gray?) area where photographs have the attributes of both.  “Autumn tree reflections on Bubble Pond, Acadia National Park, Maine 1992″ is a photograph that depicts reality impressionistically.  I exposed the image with my 4×5 camera with a single exposure.  The only factor that “distorts” reality is that the shutter speed used blurred the reflections.  Is blurred water reality?  Is it more real if a fast shutter speed stops the water’s action?  The answers are less important to me than being open to exploring artistic options and having the willingness to experiment in hope for creative inspiration.

My photograph here was made using straight photographic technique, yet evokes an impressionistic feel, returning me to that brilliant autumn afternoon, when harmonious colors blurred in water, like a painting!

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For information about William Neill – Photographer, A Retrospective, private workshops and to connect via social media, visit WilliamNeill.com to sign up for his newsletter updates.

Open Studio Tour coming soon! Sierra Art Trails – October 5, 6 and 7!

Thursday, August 16th, 2018

The photo above shows what my living room looks like during Sierra Art Trails.

We are very pleased to announce that we will be open again for Sierra Art Trails 2018, which is celebrating 16 years of supporting the Arts in the Yosemite Foothills! Mark your calendar for Friday, Saturday and Sunday, October 5th, 6th and 7th from 10 AM to 6PM. My home studio will be full of my fine art prints, books, and posters. Come visit me, and you can also visit Yosemite while in the area!

NEW BOOK

Featured this year will be my new retrospective William Neill – Photographer, a Retrospective. The first printing is now in limited supply so consider coming to my studio for your own signed copy. To learn more about the book, to read what “others are saying” see here:

 

Book Reviews
TERRA GALLERIA BOOK REVIEW
ON LANDSCAPE BOOK REVIEW
LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY MAGAZINE BOOK REVIEW
THE ONLINE PHOTOGRAPHER

Book Essays
THE LUMINOUS LANDSCAPE
OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER


INVENTORY SALE!

Once each year, I offer discounts on a large number of prints in inventory.  The good news is that I have so many photographs, but not enough space in my office, so CLEARANCE is the key word!

I hope to see many old friends and meet new ones too!  Let me know if you think you can make it, and ask any questions if you have them. Also, please share this with friends who you think might be interested. Thanks!

See the official website for more details.
http://www.sierraarttrails.org/index.html

Cheers,  Bill

The cost of admission is $20.00 for all participating venues and includes the Sierra Art Trails Catalog, your “ticket for two” for the event. The catalog includes a list of participating artists, examples of their work, and maps to the locations of artists’ studios, galleries, and other viewing locations.  Artists are scattered throughout our mountain communities. Your catalog and map will guide you to each artist’s venue.

See the official website for more details.
http://www.sierraarttrails.org/index.html

My Favorite Photographs of 2017

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Greetings from the Sierra Nevada. It is that time of year again when we all look back at the events of that last year, and look forward to the year ahead. Many photographers have developed the good habit of editing a collection of their favorite images for the year. The process of self-assessment is a vital part of artistic growth. In the day-to-day rush of life, we don’t often stop to see trends in our own image-making. By turning back the clock, we can see if we’re stuck in a rut or are hopefully making great progress.

I have included capture details, date and time of exposure, in chronological order. I hope you will visit my blog and add your comments or favorites at the bottom of the page.

May 2018 brings you joy, peace, and exciting photographic opportunities.

Cheers to a happy and healthy New Year!   Bill

Best of 2014
Best of 2015

Best of 2016

 

Here is the link to my Outdoor Photographer Magazine essay on the subject from 2010:
Best Of The Year
An annual review of your images can point you in new directions of creativity
By William Neill | March 30, 2010

 


Oaks in Snowstorm, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/15 second at f/22, ISO 6400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Oak Branches, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 16-35mm F2.8 G SSM II,
1/160 second at f/13, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Purple Plum Blossoms, spring, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/20 second at f/14, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood in Bloom, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/100 second at f/13, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Maple Leaves and Granite Boulder, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/13 second at f/18, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Dogwood and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/160 second at f/2.5, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Salsify Seeds at Sunset #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 50mm F2.5 ZA,
1/125 second at f/2.5, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Datura Blossoms, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pier Reflections, Pismo Beach, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
6 second at f/25, ISO 400
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Boulders and surf, Carpenteria, CA 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
6 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Evening Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
PureShot for Apple iPhone 6s plus, iPhone 6s Plus back camera 4.15mm f/2.2,
1/300 second at f/2.2, ISO 25
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/1 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sunset Clouds #2, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 24-105mm F4 G SSM OSS,
1/40 second at f/6.3, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Grasses. Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/8 second at f/13, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Shells, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/22, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Nautilus Shell 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/10 second at f/22, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Nautilus Shells 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/14, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Two Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
@William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves and Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1.30 second at f/25, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Maple Leaves over the Merced River, Yosemite National Park, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/4 second at f/19, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Big-Leaf Maple Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1.60 second at f/32, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Cottonwood Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Sweet Gum Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Braken Fern, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/18, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves #2, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Chinese Pistache Leaves, 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/3 second at f/13, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Autumn Oaks, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 70-200mm F2.8 G SSM,
1/6 second at f/11, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Pebbles, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/16, ISO 200
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 


Ice, Pine Needles and Oak Leaves, Ahwahnee, California 2017
ILCE-7RM2, 90mm F2.8,
1/2 second at f/20, ISO 100
Copyright © 2017 William Neill

 

The Fine Art of Nature for the Holidays

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

Greeting from Yosemite! It is that time of year when we start shopping for holiday gifts. I’ve provided you with a list of options that feature my photography. I hope that the holiday season is a happy and healthy one for you.

Happy Holidays,  Bill

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On the Williams Sonoma online store, my photograph “California Nautilus Shell” is available. At the moment, the price of this large archival photograph is seriously discounted.

Exclusively From Williams Sonoma:
CLICK TO PURCHASE

  • 50.25″L x 1″W x 28.75″H, overall.
  • Giclée print signed by the photographer.
  • Set behind Plexiglas and double-thick beveled mats.
  • Wood frame has a painted, high-gloss finish.
  • Ready to hang with D-rings at the back.

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On the Artful Home, my print “Agave” is available. For details, CLICK HERE. The photograph is handprinted by me here in my studio.

Image Dimensions:  16″H, 20″W
Overall Dimensions:  22″H, 24″W

 

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Original photographs are the highest representation of my art. For pricing information, please contact one of the galleries listed on my Gallery Representation page. Each gallery’s link below features a variety of prints from large format color landscapes to my Impressions of Light series.

The Ansel Adams Gallery
800-568-7398
E-mail: evan@anseladams.com

Susan Spiritus Gallery
714-754-1286
E-mail: susan@susanspiritusgallery.com

The Weston Gallery
831-624-4453
E-mail: info@westongallery.com

The Focus Gallery
781-383-0663
E-mail: vallinophoto@comcast.net

Paragone Gallery
Francie Kelley
310-659-0607
Email: mail@paragonegallery.com