Best in Show

Last summer I took part in my first fine art photography show in over ten years– the Bar Harbor “Art in the Park” show in Maine. This annual fair at the gateway to Acadia National Park is a showcase for painters and photographers to show and sell their art.

The most popular print at the show- a 40×60″ metal print

I custom printed over forty-five large (16×20 to the large 40×60-inch metal print above) limited edition prints for the show, as well as over 120 open edition 8×10’s, a new Acadia Centennial poster, and sold several copies of my book. It was my first time participating in the show, but the response to my work was very gratifying. The icing on the cake came a few days later when I was surprised to learn my photography had been awarded “Best in Show.” I’ll definitely be back next year to do it all again.

Personal Projects: Fine Art Photography and the Essence of Trees, Part 1

 

 

I make my living as a commercial photographer– I listen to my clients and do my best to carry out their vision, whether that means photographing a luxury apartment complex, a famous politician, a medical team, or executive portraits. I ask a lot of questions- how will the pictures be used, who will the audience be, and what’s the end result you want from the pictures? I have to listen carefully, then translate their ideas into a well-crafted photo.

But every once in a while, I have to get away and photograph my own personal vision. This is where the fine art photography side of my business comes in. For over two years, I’ve been working on a new project photographing trees. But just not any trees; these are special trees photographed in a unique way. I call the project Essence, because I’m not making literal photos of the trees– their trunks, branches and leaves. Instead, I’m using camera movement to capture their essence- what makes them special. It might be the color of the leaves, the shape of the trunk or the size of the trees.

In these images, I’m photographing the trees from multiple angles, often walking 360 degrees around the tree, taking pictures every few steps then combining up to fifty images into one finished photo. I end up with some very unique tree portraits. I’ve looked around but I only know of one photographer making similar images, so these are unique portraits. As much as they look like standard pictures of trees, often the trees don’t look anything like their finished portraits. The image below is one of twelve pictures that make up the image above.

The technique doesn’t work with any tree; I’ll sometimes look for hours to find one that will work. Then it can take two or three hours or more on the computer to combine all the images into a finished photo. I’ve been using a medium format, 51MP camera to make the pictures, and with the larger file size, the final photos can exceed 4 gigabytes or more. But the detail is incredible– layers upon layers of leaves and branches that combine to create an Impressionist masterpiece.

 

To see more finished images, visit my fine art website, www.hudsonfineart.com/trees-gallery-2.

 

Personal Work- Acadia National Park

Sunrise, Hunters Head, 2014

Sunrise, Hunters Head, 2014

I love my job; it’s what I’ve done for the last 25 years. But every once in a while, I need to get away from it all and find some peace and fulfillment doing something other than commercial jobs. For the last nine years, I’ve spent one week every Autumn in Acadia National Park, off the coast of Maine. From the moment I wake up at 5am (4am my time), until after midnight, all I do is photography, searching for the most beautiful light, color and locations. After dark, back in my hotel room, I review the day’s work and make plans for the next day. It’s strenuous, tiring, emotional… and I love it.

In 2014, I self published an e-book, The Photographer’s Guide to Acadia, which sold moderately well. In 2015, I’m hoping to publish my first hard cover coffee table book of images from Acadia. A couple of my pictures have been sold as posters in the national park’s gift shop for several years. I never went to Acadia with the idea that I would try to profit from my trips, but it’s been nice to have a small demand for prints, which helps cover the cost of my travel to Maine each October.

In 2014, I created almost all my images with a new camera, the Pentax 645Z, a 51-megapixel camera with superb sharpness, wide dynamic range and great handling. This is possibly the best camera I’ve ever used. I’m looking forward to making some very large prints with the images from this camera.

I have over five hundred prints available for purchase; visit my website, Images of Acadia, to find out more.

Incoming Waves, Otter Point, 2014

Incoming Waves, Otter Point, 2014

Swirling Pine Needles, Whitecap Stream, 2013

Swirling Pine Needles, Whitecap Stream, 2013

Dusk, Jordan Pond

Dusk, Jordan Pond, 2013

Rocky Coastline, Hunters Head

Rocky Coast Panorama, Hunters Head, 2014

Birch Trees

Birch Trees, 2014

Ocean Runoff at 1/1600 Second, 2014

Ocean Runoff at 1/1600 Second, 2014

Acadia Coastline, Otter Cliff, 2013

Acadia Coastline, Otter Cliff, 2013

Small Pond, Canon Brook Trail, 2013

Small Pond, Canon Brook Trail, 2013

Early Morning on the Coast, 2014

Early Morning on the Coast, 2014

Rippled Reflections, 2013

Rippled Reflections, 2013

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.

 

The Chicago Project

Skyscrapers, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Skyline in Squares

I’ve lived about twenty-five miles west of Chicago for over two decades; until three or four years ago, I rarely went into the city unless I had to for work. Given the choice, I’d rather be somewhere deep in the woods, hiking on a mountainside, or down by the coast. I didn’t like the noise, the traffic and the endless construction. About that time, I randomly picked up a book about Richard Nickel, a Chicago photographer who worked tirelessly to salvage some of the city’s historic architecture that was scheduled for demolition during urban renewal in the 1960s and early 1970s (he eventually died in an accident attempting to salvage some of the Stock Exchange Building from the wrecking ball in 1972). His story and prints inspired me and it started me realizing what world-class architecture we have here. The Chicago Project was born.

Chicago Architecture, seen from parking garages near North Wells Street and the Chicago River

Glass & Steel, North Wells Street

The Chicago Project is my ongoing project to photograph the architecture and feel of Chicago. I don’t know how long I’ll keep working on it– maybe three or four years, maybe decades. My goal is to mount some gallery exhibits, as well as make prints available for purchase. To date, I’ve already sold several prints that now hang on office walls as well as in personal collections. If you’re interested in prices and sizes, email me here.

Rather than just photographing a record of Chicago architecture, I’ve tried to create unique, artistic views of the city. In particular, I’ve mainly concentrated on the interplay between the buildings– the way they reflect their surroundings in their windows, often creating abstract shapes and colors, and the unique features of many different buildings. I work both in color and black and white, depending on what’s appropriate for the subject matter.

Diptych

Diptych

Chicago is world famous for its skyscrapers; the ten-story Home Insurance Building (1885) is widely considered the world’s first. Since those early days, hundreds more have risen along the skyline, including the iconic Willis Tower (Sears Tower), the John Hancock Building and the Aqua building.

Aqua

Aqua

Chicago cityscapes, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Carbide and Carbon Building, Michigan Avenue

Chicago cityscapes, from McCormick Place, Illinois, USA

Windows within Windows, McCormick Place

Skyscrapers, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Luxury Condos Reflecting Luxury Condos

Skyscraper (333 West Wacker Drive), downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Merchandise Mart Reflected in Nuveen Building

The John Hancock Center, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

Convergence (John Hancock Center)

Skyscrapers, downtown Chicago, Illinois, USA

LaSalle Street

Wacker Drive– 40x60-inch print hanging in corporate office (2014)

Wacker Drive– 40×60-inch print hanging in corporate office (2014)

 

The Adventures of Mike’s Camera is the blog of freelance photographer, Mike Hudson. He is available for commercial photography assignments– marketing, corporate, editorial, annual reports, lifestyle, web page photography, and events. His clients have included many regional and national magazines and newspapers, several healthcare providers, colleges, hotels, architectural firms, small businesses and more. Visit MichaelHudsonPhotography.com to check out his portfolio or contact him via email.