Updated date:

My Fine Art Photography

Denise has been mastering photography and Photoshop for many years and sells some of her work. She hires out her skills to help people.

"The Invisible Man 1"

"The Invisible Man 1"

Can You Combine Fine Art and Photography?

In the beginning, I had never heard of fine art photography. I thought you could be either a fine artist or a photographer—but not both.

Sure you need some artistic talent to frame a picture and take photographs that are compelling and composed to attract the viewer. There have even been art shows with photographers like Ansel Adams and others. The idea of combining the two had only ever occurred to me as a fantasy element, making people float or disappear or even have wings. It’s the idea that you can create art with photography. Art. Stand-alone, hang on your wall, purchased at a gallery, photography that is art. This was so foreign to me that I was stunned when I first heard about it.

"Wall Painting"

"Wall Painting"

Posters

Okay, I do remember people buying posters that were photographs, mass-produced, printed on bad paper, and sold to the masses who couldn’t afford art. I never had posters, not even as a teenager in love with Bobby Sherman. My mother didn’t allow such things on the walls. Maybe that’s why it hadn’t occurred to me to combine my love of art and my love of photography before. Maybe I’m just slow.

Fallen Soldier

Fallen Soldier

"The Invisible Man"

With the "Invisible Man" photos, I simply photographed my husband on a rainy day and then erased his legs, leaving only his shoes and his reflection. When the rain started coming down heavy I went back out and photographed the drops on the pavement and overlaid that on top of my photo so it looked more like a downpour I photographed him in. The truth is that it was only sprinkling then but the pavement was nice and wet for the reflection.

"The Invisible Man 3"

"The Invisible Man 3"

Fine Art Photography Has a Long Tradition

The truth is that fine art photography has been around for a very long time. And there are quite a few innovators and artistic geniuses that paved the way long before I came along with my little camera and Adobe Photoshop.

One such innovator is Francesca Woodman who had little more than herself and a camera but created fabulous works of art that are narrative and imaginative. I also love the great fine art photography of Brooke Shaden. Like Francesca, she mostly takes photos of herself but transforms them into inspiring and inventive works of art.

My niece Carrie as a fairy

My niece Carrie as a fairy

The Rise of Photoshop

I sometimes wish I had been introduced to this long ago when my children were little. I could have made fairies out of all of them. However, back when Photoshop was a brand new thing few could afford it, if you had a computer, that is. No sense in looking back. I am looking forward to what I can do now.

My granddaughter, Ivy, as a Coffee Fairy

My granddaughter, Ivy, as a Coffee Fairy

Floating Fairy

With my floating fairy photo, I photographed a sweet girl and paid her as a real model. She was happy to do it for pay. I had her lift one leg for a photo and then lift the other leg for a photo. Later I had to cut out the legs and put them into the dress she was wearing to make her appear to float. I cut out butterfly wings and attached them in Photoshop, and voila. I also used a photo of some lilies my daughter bought me for Mother’s Day to make the fairy complete.

"Floating Fairy"

"Floating Fairy"

Pixies

I wanted to make a pixie out of my grandson and found a little photo that worked out nicely from a day when he was playing in my backyard. Mixing it with some red mushrooms, frog and dried leaves was easy. I added wings from a dragonfly. The hard part was the background. In the end, I made it all very dark with only a few light spaces and fireflies. The glow is made but using a cut-out of my grandson that had been painted all white and then adding a Gaussian blur. I was happy with the final result but wasn’t sure I should keep the frog.

"The Pixie"

"The Pixie"

"Ocean-Bottom Girls"

One day I was at a farmer’s market and caught some young girls dancing in the street to the tunes of a live band. They looked like they were having so much fun and with total abandon. I took several photos of them. Later I wanted to create an underwater scene so I used the photo of the girls and an underwater photo. I added water bubbles and seashells. I had to add some photo filters of deep blue to make them look like they were underwater. I also liquefied their hair and made it float a bit.

"Ocean-Bottom Girls"

"Ocean-Bottom Girls"

Photoshop Actions

They sell “actions” for Photoshop and a very reasonable rate. One place I like to buy actions from is Envato Market. Most of the actions I bought were only $6 each. That’s incredibly affordable. You can buy actions to make photos look like sandstorms, broken glass, sparkly fairy worlds or watercolor paintings.

They are extremely easy to use and usually, a video tutorial is linked so that you can see step-by-step what to do to make the action work. You have to load the action into Photoshop and load any brushes that are necessary and come with the action. Some come with textures also. Then you press play and the action does the rest. I have here a few photos I turned into watercolor paintings using an action.

"Elderly" (using the Photoshop watercolor action)

"Elderly" (using the Photoshop watercolor action)

"Me Shattered" (using the Photoshop shattered action)

"Me Shattered" (using the Photoshop shattered action)

Shattered

My first marriage was one of those you read about but don’t expect to be involved in yourself. I was battered for four years until I ran away, and I like to use these shattered photos when I write about the experience. The broken glass is an extra touch I added but the rest is the shattered action. I played with the shattered idea on several photos of myself. These are some of the best ones.

"Me Shattered"

"Me Shattered"

Sandstorm

The sandstorm action was just for fun and I did a couple of things with it but mostly I like to use it in conjunction with other actions. Mixing them is fun.

"Running Sandstorm" (using the Photoshop sandstorm action)

"Running Sandstorm" (using the Photoshop sandstorm action)

I made this with the Photoshop archetek action

I made this with the Photoshop archetek action

Watercolor and More

The watercolor action is also one that I have enjoyed. I’ve used it to create some interesting artsy parodies on photos for use in postcard advertisements and flyers. They make some great treatments for greeting cards. Everyone loves the effect when used on actions, faces, and people.

I’m sure I have many more photographs in my future but these are just a few of the ones I’ve played with recently. The possibilities are endless.

Fabulous Photo Comments Welcomed

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 16, 2016:

FlourishAnyway,

Thank you for saying so. I love creating new things so this was total fun for me. It's just a bonus that other people think it looks nice too. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

FlourishAnyway from USA on May 16, 2016:

You've done some really beautiful things with your photos creatively.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on May 01, 2016:

Thank you. So nice to have you stop by. I appreciate your comments.

Blessings,

Denise

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on May 01, 2016:

Wow! Each one is so beautiful and unique.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 17, 2016:

Thank you Lawrence. I'm so happy that you like my photo manipulations. Have a great day!

Blessings,

Denise

Lawrence on April 16, 2016:

Denise

I loved the photos here. especially the 'invisible man' and the flute player.

It just shows when you know a little about how things work the fun you can have mixing things up and making the camera tell a lie!

Loved it.

Lawrence

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 15, 2016:

CorneliaMladenova,

Thank you so much for saying so. I love playing with Photoshop and all the things it can do. What a great tool. Don't you agree? Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Korneliya Yonkova from Cork, Ireland on April 15, 2016:

Gorgeous photos and manipulations, Denise! Floating Fairy and the Invisible Man are my favourites but the others are great too :)

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 12, 2016:

Thanks, Stella. I agree, the invisible man was fun. My husband puts up with so much of my creative shenanigans. I'm always asking him to sit under a lamp or behind a fence or cast shadows so I can take a photo... but he puts up with it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 12, 2016:

Thank you, Paula. I had so much fun creating them and I will be creating much more as well. Thanks for your support.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 12, 2016:

MsDora,

You are so right. This makes me so happy. I feel so fulfilled and valuable when I'm working on these images. Thanks so much for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

stella vadakin from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619 on April 12, 2016:

I love the invisible man. That was really very imaginative, and it came out great. You really did a beautiful job and very creative. Love it, Stella

Suzie from Carson City on April 12, 2016:

Paint......These are simply fabulous! I especially love the "sparkle" portrait! I would definitely be happy to hang such gorgeous works of art in my home!

You are extremely talented. Have a great day. Peace, Paula

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on April 12, 2016:

This is super-interesting! I admire you and anyone else who produce these fine images. I'm sure that this doing this keeps you happy.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 11, 2016:

GusTheRedneck,

Thank you Gus, I love doing this stuff. It's a pleasure sharing with people who appreciate art. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Gustave Kilthau from USA on April 11, 2016:

Ms Denise (Paintdrips on HubPages) -

Good stuff here, nicely shown and nicely explained, too.

Regards,

Gus

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 09, 2016:

Blond Logic,

It does take a keen eye, you are right. Somedays I don't feel up to it and others it works out so well it's like magic. I love doing it. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Mary Wickison from Brazil on April 09, 2016:

These are beautiful and so creative.

My husband does fine art photography but not so much manipulation. He uses Lightroom mostly.

It takes a keen eye to marry up various images into something which is appealing.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 09, 2016:

Randall Guinn,

It is so true that the economy isn't kind to us but we artists do it more for the passion in the art than the joy of money. Although paying the bills is really nice. Thanks so much for commenting and liking my work.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 09, 2016:

billybuc,

These were so much fun to imagine and create. Now really, I have to say, I wasn't thinking of getting rid of my husband. I just want to make that clear. We had been having a talk about how he feels like the invisible man and in the shower I imagined I could make him the invisible man with photoshop... so I did. I did have some twisted glee in the process but I still like having him around. Haha. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 09, 2016:

phoenix2327,

Thank you for your support and ideas. I really appreciate that. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 09, 2016:

sallybea,

I haven't yet but I love the idea. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll look into that right away. Thanks so much for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Randall Guinn from Pinellas Park, Florida on April 09, 2016:

Very well done. It's hard to be an artist, and not appreciate art, the amateur that I am, but I voted yes. I really liked the pieces Carrie, Pixie, and The Magical Forest, but they are all well done. It's sad that the economy has such a horiffic impact on the value of art at times, but I understand.

Again, well done.

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 09, 2016:

Denise, my goodness, you are sooooo talented. Thank you for sharing some of your work with us. Just incredible work and a joy to see this Saturday morning.

Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon from United Kingdom on April 09, 2016:

You are such a talented woman. I never realised how versatile Photoshop is. These images are wonderful and sallybea has the right idea. I think these would do well on Zazzle.

Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on April 09, 2016:

What a great hub with so many enticing images. Well done.

I love your image which looks like a Banksy.

I wish I had the time to develop my Photoshop skills as much as you have yours. I touched on this same subject using some of my own images in one of my hubs but your images have huge commercial appeal. Have you ever considered putting them on items in your own free Zazzle store? I think they would sell like hot cakes there.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on April 08, 2016:

Rochelle Frank,

Thank you, I appreciate that. I love playing around with narratives and concepts but I'm not always successful at it. The Invisible Man was really fun to do. My husband wasn't really too happy when I begged him to stand in the rain so I could photography his reflection, but he loved how it turned out in the end. Thanks for commenting.

Blessings,

Denise

Rochelle Frank from California Gold Country on April 08, 2016:

These are all very cool, Paintdrips. The invisible man even has "drips".

It all goes to prove that art is at least as much conception as it is execution. A technically excellent painter or photographer is not an artist if there is not an underlying concept.