Almost a year ago we profiled the surreal digital art of Elaine Hughes, who won a Sunset Print Award for Dream World. This year, Elaine’s husband, Robert, enters the fray with his Sunset Print Award-winning image entitled Playing Card.
As noted in last year’s profile, both Elaine and Robert have focused their photography toward digital fine art. In the case of Playing Card, Robert says he photographs objects and scenes that might be interesting as part of a surreal digital scene.
He comes up with a concept and calls up other pieces and parts to create an interesting whole. For Playing Card, the focus is (surprise!)… a playing card. It’s a card he picked up at the Flamingo Hotel in Vegas some years back and photographed.
Add a couple of patterned backgrounds and part of a Christmas ornament (the legs of the flamingo), do some Photoshop magic, and Voila!, a print that intrigued the judges so much it scored a 100 at the Professional Photographers of Ohio competition.
Robert has varied interests, and magic is something he dabbled in as a teenager. He’s also an accomplished blues guitar player, currently on a world tour with his band Teeny Tucker. This combination of creative endeavors feeds his photography and digital fine art.
“I usually have some deep psychological meaning behind my work, but this is just a playful image,” he says. “I photograph elements that I store away in the back of my mind. I may be working with an image and remember that I photographed something that would work well. Images tell me what they want to be; I try to be open and listen. If we listen hard enough the image will tell us what it wants to be, and this was one of those.”