A Perfect Blend: Award Winning Fine Art and Portrait Photography by Paul Ernest

Award winning photography

Paul Ernest, an award-winning photographer based in Dallas, says, “If you give me a tank of gas, no schedule and a camera I’ll find somewhere to go that doesn’t have pavement.” This seemingly aimless wandering is not so aimless. Ernest is looking for the perfect landscape setting to create an evocative composition.

“I’m big into allegory and realism, specifically the work of painters like Andrew Wyeth,” he says. “It’s like Wyeth starts a sentence for the viewer to finish, so I look for things that are thought-provoking.”

Ernest explains that when he found a picture-perfect landscape off the beaten path on a rural dirt road near Dallas he wasn’t sure where the scene would take him. Ultimately it brought him a Best Color Image and the LexJet Sunset Award at the Southwest PPA print competition.

The final image, entitled The Recital, was inspired by a dog named Charlie. Charlie is owned by Ernest’s mentor, David Edmonson, and seemed the perfect audience for a backwoods retro recital along a country dirt road.

So, Ernest shot some photos of Charlie then turned to the head of the local historical society who had just the look Ernest was after as the cello player. The first trick in composing a scene like this, says Ernest, is to shoot in similar lighting so that the reflective surfaces match the broad plane of the landscape scene.

Paul Ernest PhotographyErnest uses a variety of different processes and filters in Photoshop, plus homemade recipes with onOne Software to create his painterly effects.

“Once I’ve blended the images I use a propriety texturing effect I’ve come up with, detail the signature elements, dodge and burn and then it’s pretty much complete,” says Ernest. “The shadow of the chair on the ground was actually the most challenging element in The Recital.”

Ernest says his compositions have opened up additional opportunities with his portrait clientele who want something totally unique they can’t get elsewhere. “A lot of people didn’t get into photography in the past because of the chemical element and having to wait for that image to develop. The technology has made it more accessible and leveled the playing field. What we’re seeing now is that in order to set yourself apart, you have to create extraordinary images and include a fine-art aspect to your work to maximize its appeal,” says Ernest.

Ernest is scheduled to present at WPPI 2012 in Las Vegas, Feb. 16-17, so if you’re there you’ll want to check out his seminar. For more information about his work, go to www.paulernestphotography.com.

Weekly Update: Events at WPPI, Sustainability and Textiles at FESPA, Canon’s Patents, X-Rite’s XRGA

Photographer trade show Las VegasLast week we highlighted some upcoming trade shows in the photography, large format graphics and sign markets. All of these trade shows feature educational programs that cover a variety of topics in their respective fields as well as special events, parties and industry panels…

Special events at WPPI: Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) hosts the appropriately named WPPI event, Feb. 17-24 in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand. In addition to a hall full of exhibitors and a full slate of seminars with 75 speakers, WPPI will include five special events: WPPI Launch Pad, a sneak peek at the latest products on the market on Feb. 20 from 2-5 p.m.; Sony Fashion Show, hosted by America’s Next Top Model celebrity judge Nigel Barker, on Feb. 20 from 7-10 p.m.; Canon Mardi Gras Party on Feb. 21 from 8-10 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena; Women in Contemporary Photography panel discussion on Feb. 22 from 7-9 p.m. at the MGM Grand Garden Arena; WPPI Awards Night on Feb. 23 from 6-9:30 p.m.; and Photoignite on the last day of WPPI, Feb. 24, where pro photographers demonstrate their techniques in five-minute presentations. Stay up to date on the latest during the show by following LexJet account specialists Justin Craft and Michael Clementi at twitter.com/LexJet, with additional news from the show at blog.lexjet.com. More info to come next week on special prizes and promotions if you find Justin and Michael on the show floor at WPPI.

FESPA Americas, coming to Orlando from Feb. 24-26, includes an all-day Digital Textile Conference on Feb. 25 that will feature a keynote speech by Nike’s Global Materials Quality Manager, Martin Wragg. Wragg will explore Nike’s sustainability projects under consideration and how printing fits into the bigger picture at Nike. Other topics during the Conference include: Market trends in digital textile printing, growing your business with fabric printing, transitioning from t-shirts to screen printing to digital printing, printing for fashion, big textile-printing applications, sustainability, mass customization and the digital supply chain, color management, a panel discussion and more. For more information about FESPA Americas, go to www.fespa.com/americas/

Canon registers 2,543 new patents in 2010: It’s official… Canon set a new company record when it registered 2,543 new patents in 2010. It also represents the first time Canon has exceeded 2,500 new patents in a single year. Some of the new products realized through the new patents include the Canon PIXMA MG8120 and MG6120 with a new light guidance system – a first for personal desktop printers – that incorporates Canon’s Full High Definition (HD) Movie Print mode; the Canon imagePRESS C7010VP, which represents the next installment of Canon’s flagship imagePRESS lineup for the production and graphic arts markets; and the CXDI-70C Wireless Digital Radiography (DR) detector, the company’s first wireless DR system.

X-Rite’s new Graphic Arts Standard: X-Rite has developed XGRA as a means to standardize and bring consistency across its current and legacy color management devices developed by X-Rite and GretagMacbeth. ColorMunki Photo, ColorMunki Design and EasyTrax already conform to XRGA and all future graphic arts instruments and software will also conform. X-Rite says the switch to XRGA results in small differences in measurement values, so many customers will not need to make any changes. For customers who have found greater differences in measurement values between former X-Rite and GretagMacbeth instruments, X-Rite will provide a means to move existing databases to the new XRGA standard.