Posts Tagged ‘artwork’

More “Pencil Sketch” Portraits


Here’s a picture I took of Amelia as part of my recent video of a fashion shoot. If you haven’t seen the video, drop everything and click on the link!

I’ve been experimenting with a new technique to create “pencil sketches” in Photoshop out of photographs. Here’s what I  came up with for Amelia’s image:

Amelia "pencil sketch"

It’s a little hard to see the effect in the full image, so here’s a closeup detail of the same image:

Amelia "pencil sketch" closeup

The technique involves several steps, for those of you familiar with Photoshop, that include: a blend mode of Divide, Gaussian Blur, Poster Edge effects in the Artistic Filters, Linear Burn and a few other things. Whew!  Which image is better? Well, they’re very different. I’ll leave it to you to decide which you like best.

Here’s another image from a model shoot with Ashley.


And here’s the pencil sketch version of the same image, below.  As always, I’d love to hear your reactions.

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”

Ashley "pencil sketch"




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.




Shooting at MoMA (Part Two)

This is part two of a series of posts about photographing people looking at artwork at The Museum of Modern Art in New York. If you missed Part One, see it here. The woman above got very close to this Jackson Pollock, leaning in some times, perhaps in hopes it might make more sense that way. I’m still struggling with Pollock’s work – viewed at any distance.

So, this was a painting that caught my attention. I agree with the message – but what does it say about itself as a work of art? No one seemed much interested in lingering over this one.

Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World is one of the most famous paintings of the 20th Century. (and one I can get my arms around more easily than the Jackson Pollock painting). I was intrigued that this photograph showed more of the viewer’s face than is shown of Christina’s face in the painting. What is the viewer thinking? Perhaps she is imagining what is going on in Christina’s mind. And your humble photographer/blogger is wondering about both women’s thoughts and feelings.

This gentleman stared at this painting for a LONG time. He listened to the audio guide, then checked out the work from straight on, the left side, the right side, up close and far back. He was totally absorbed, which made my job much easier. I never got “caught” on this one, even though I took over a dozen pictures of him.

Here’s our friend from the first post, still up on her toes on one foot.

You may be wondering why I didn’t show the whole painting here – but even if  you saw all the words, it still wouldn’t make sense. This woman had taken a picture of the work on her iPad, hoping that would reveal the paintings hidden secrets.

Remember Patty Hearst? Loved the Red Keds and green shoulder bag here – colors likely not featured in Patty Hearst’s fashion palette.

This kid was intently studying these paintings – each one a flat black rectangle, nicely matted and framed. Maybe the audio guide helped here – or perhaps going down in a catcher’s crouch provided the answers.

Out in the sculpture garden, this fellow got down low to capture these fountains on his iPhone. His friend, out of the picture frame, and I gave each other knowing glances.

Let me know what your reactions are to these pictures. As always, I appreciate your interest in my work.

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

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