Creating Fine Art Magic Quickens My Artistic Pulse

by Joe Bridwell

Bisti (old raw file) – Primordial Bisti (Creating Fine Art Magic)

“I always work better when I do not reason, when no question of right or wrong enters in – when my pulse quickens to the form before me, without hesitation nor calculation.”
Edward Weston, 1936.

This ‘make a Primordial Bisti’ idea sprang awake before dawn. Still half asleep this Thursday morning, I was in a dream state. I wanted to see the stable growth from a raw Bisti shot to CFAM’s evocative finale.
Why? Because reds and blacks more clearly embrace one another through sharp contrast. Yet together, these Bisti images clearly show the developing process and how one creates fine art magic. They use the power in Lightroom’s Develop Module.

Carolyn Fahm might say, “Not only do you embrace the majesty in landscape photography, you paint with passionate dedication as you Create Fine Art Magic. After mastering Lightroom tools, you show me exactly how to clearly take an old raw image and turn it into the dramatic tableau you call Primordial Bisti!”

Talking with her, “Carolyn, there are two phases to CFAM as you create memorable photos. Phase 1 is the regular raw file workup process. Phase 2 is akin to the Weston paradigm ‘I work better when my pulse quickens to the form before me – without hesitation or calculation.’ Carolyn, it’s in painting where my spirit embraces what if and my brush creates magic!”

Practically, between shooting the first image and finally painting the second, lotsa water went under the bridge. Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble – might be a lame effort to explain my learning process. If you shoot raw, basic elements of beauty are always there. If you learn how to do the Lightroom workflow process, you can craft a reasonable image (bubble-bubble). But, only when you apply creative spirit – with neither hesitation nor calculation – does such magic appear.
Without falter, you wake up, find that last Lightroom effort before falling asleep, then let your inner Muses spring forward sans calculation.

The local Adjustment Brush, Graduated filter, Targeted Assessment Tool (TAT), Crop tool – Adobe’s marvelous paintbox tools (pallet, oils, and brush of a painter). Their mastery changes you from journeyman to painter. Their subtle expression changes an old, plebeian landscape shot to your vision of how planet earth began.
In between, there is toil and trouble! By toil, I’m talking about the trouble you take to and make new things your very own. How you have to learn the range of what ALL the sliders do (or do not) in Adobe’s marvelous paintbox.

Time Heals All Wounds. In CFAM terms, this cliché includes taking an old photo then making it new. It applies to your never ending personal growth as a digital photographer. Thank goodness, it also applies to Adobe’s ability to bring out better tools as you learn.

As a boy, our home was adorned with oil paintings. Mom was an award-winning master at oils. She’d been gone 30 years when I picked up the camera. In that interim, I’d studied geology and fallen in love with the southwestern United States.
There’s so much to learn when you first pick up a digital camera. And in today’s digital world, you can do most of it in Lightroom. With a pen tablet and sliders, Mom wouldn’t recognize the process. Yet you can become a master painter!
I never thought of being a painter in spite of mom’s outstanding example. I didn’t think I had talent. But as I’ve learned to ‘paint’ with a pen tablet, all those old and many new vistas now stand open before me.
Thanks, Mom! Wish you were here to talk to about all the beauty and amazing new stuff…

About Joe 

Photographer, author, teacher with enhanced skill creating Award-Winning Photos. Joe uses Luminosity Masking and CFAM-Creating Fine Art Magic for his work!