Archive for the ‘Imagination’ Category

“Open and Shut”


Click on the image to see it in a LARGER size. 

I’m beginning to do more work in composite images. This is a process where two or more images are combined in one picture. In this picture, which I named “Open and Shut,” three images were used.

Capture0035I photographed Catherine in the studio on a white background. Here’s one of the unedited pictures. I took two pictures in rapid succession, asking her to close her eyes after the first picture, but not move anything else.

The first picture, with her eyes open, is at left. The one with her eyes closed is exactly the same – well, except her eyes are closed. With the image of her eyes closed, I flipped it horizontally in Photoshop. So, as you can see in the final image above, she’s almost a mirror image of herself. Then, I needed a background, so I searched many stock image sites and perhaps looked at a thousand or more pictures.



3d Illustration of Abstract Interior Background or Wallpaper

I wasn’t quite sure what would work well with the two Catherines. After a few hours, I came across the image on the right. With the open windows on the left and blank panels on the right, it seemed the perfect reflection of the two model images. The blue would not have looked natural with the warm tones of the Catherines, so I changed the color of the room in Photoshop.

Then – the problem was how to cut Catherine out of her white background. With her hair, this would be really tricky and time-consuming. I’d heard about a service in Thailand that is expert in masking. I sent them the two images and they sent me back cutouts of Catherine on blank backgrounds. Every hair was included – an amazing job.Then I combined the three images in one Photoshop file, placing her in what I felt was a realistic position relative to the background.

One photographer I really like who does a lot or work with composite images is Joel Grimes. Check out his beautiful and creative photographs on his website. Grimes’ work has really inspired me.

Even though I used a stock image for the background and farmed out the masking, this picture took about 6 hours to create in Photoshop. But it was a labor of love. Thanks, Catherine, being such a great model for this project!

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”




Find What You Love


The two pictures in this post are of Megan, an aspiring model. Megan loves to model. During our recent shoot, it was rare that I captured her without a smile. She has found something she loves to do.

Find What You Love. I hope you will read this article by a British concert pianist. Then, please come back here! Find What You Love.

James Rhodes showed extraordinary courage and determination to pursue his passion.

For me, I took a somewhat different – and admittedly easier –  path. I retired early from the business world, without a clear idea of what I wanted to do next. I had always been an avid amateur photographer, so I took some photography courses at a local art school. One particular course, on studio lighting, really grabbed a hold of me. I want to do this! Without quite knowing how to proceed, I began to look for a studio and found my current space five years ago this month. I bought some studio lights and began to teach myself how to use them. While I took courses, workshops and private instruction from more experienced photographers, most of my training is self-taught. This is the hard way, but was the right path for me.

I absolutely love taking portraits of people – in the studio or any other location. It’s what gets me excited every morning. I work really hard to improve my skills and learn new techniques. In business, I didn’t have much of an opportunity to use the right side of the brain. I’m making up for lost time now – and having a ball. Right now, I can’t imagine doing anything else.

There was a fork in the road for me. When I took that lighting course, I could have said, “Gee, that looks like fun, but I’m too old to start this now.” Or – “I’ll never be as good at this as the teacher – so why bother?” I give thanks every day that, somehow,  I took a leap of faith.

Have you found what you love? I hope so. Are you doing it? I hope so.  If not, is it time now to make that leap?

“Individual, Indelible, Iconic Images”

Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.







But Is It Art ?

by Blake Robinson

April 7th, 2013    2 Comments     Add Comment
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I love taking pictures in museums. Faithful readers may recall a couple of earlier blog posts on The Museum of Modern Art in New York, or MoMA. You see them here and here. A few weeks ago, I went back to MoMA and pondered that age-old question, “Is It Art?”  For example, Is a helicopter suspended above a stairwell art?


Is a big canvas that’s mostly red, with a stripe here and there of something else, Is THAT art?


Are a couple of steel girders suspended from the ceiling, with wooden chairs, art? These people walking by don’t seem too impressed.


Monet’s Water Lillies? – Yes, now that is art!


Richard Serra does interesting sculpture with sheet metal, usually large curving forms. Here, he just has one slab on the floor and another on the ceiling. Well, you can walk on the floor piece, anyway. I was not as brave as the couple pictured here – I didn’t want to walk under a piece of metal weighing several tons attached – how? –  to the ceiling. Serra is known as a minimalist sculptor. That part I get.


Is Tilda Swinton nappingTilda napping in a glass box art? This is not my photo. The guard said, “No Pictures!” so I obeyed, only to find hundreds of images of Tilda online that night.

Before you decide whether Tilda is art or not, you can read the label for her, which appears to the right, below.

As shown, the title is “The Maybe.” What does that mean? Maybe she’s asleep or maybe she’s just pretending. Maybe she’s doing this, as some art bloggers suggested, for publicity or in hopes of getting cast in a new move. Maybe it’s all a joke. Or maybe it really is art.


I have to say, of all the “art” I saw on this busy Saturday afternoon at MoMA, that Tilda was the most intriguing. She got me thinking about what art is or could be. I suppose if our mind is engaged in trying to figure out the meaning of what we are looking at – perhaps that is enough.

Let me know what you think about all of this.

But one last question –  two vacuum cleaners, each lit from below by a row of fluorescent lights – Is THIS art?



Working both in the studio and on location, photographer Blake Robinson serves the Connecticut communities of Darien, New Canaan, Stamford, Norwalk, Westport and Greenwich.