Landscape sculptures by Sean Smith

•September 24, 2015 • 3 Comments

Recently, I decided to shoot a couple of sculptural pieces by a friend, Sean Smith. Sean is a landscape artist, and does some amazing work with stone for clients. He also makes some very interesting standalone pieces, and since I’m a big Andy Goldsworthy fan, and I love to make welded sculpture myself, I was really excited to photograph Sean’s work.

We did both shots in one night, and of course, they were light painted. I used mainly a small hand held LED panel. Below you’ll see a before and after of each.

Photograph by Harold Ross, Sculpture by Sean Smith

Sculpture by Sean Smith, Photograph by Harold Ross

Photograph by Harold Ross, Sculpture by Sean Smith

“Before”

Photograph by Harold Ross, Sculpture by Sean Smith

Sculpture by Sean Smith, Photograph by Harold Ross

Since we couldn’t register the waning daylight on the second image (It was already dark!), we had to use a fill light to fill in the shadows. The “before” image below is shot with just that fill light.

Photograph by Harold Ross, Sculpture by Sean Smith“Before”

Stay tuned… In a few days I’ll post the last two images (recently completed) from the Biltmore series!

John Corcoran’s “First Red Rose”

•August 12, 2015 • 4 Comments

My long time friend, John Corcoran (who is also the co-instructor at my group workshops) photographs flowers and people using light painting. Between us, we have over 45 years of light painting experience!

John mainly photographs flowers that he grows himself, and they include orchids, plumeria and roses.

One of the things that John has mentioned is that the first rose of the season is the most perfect, followed by the last rose of the season. I wonder why that is? Is the weather a factor, or is it something that nature does?

Light painting affords us the ability to bring out details, shape and dimension that ordinary lighting can’t. This is one of the main reasons that John and I have been practicing it for decades.

Here is John’s image of one of his “first roses” of the season. This beautiful photograph gained entry into the prestigious ” Art of the State, 2015″ exhibition in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania:

First Red Rose by light painting photographer John Corcoran

Photograph by John Corcoran

To see more of John’s light painted floral photography, please click HERE

The Accidental Collector…

•August 7, 2015 • 4 Comments

Over the years, my “accidental” collection of cameras has grown. I call it accidental because I never intended to collect them. Many years ago, my father brought me a cardboard box full of old cameras that he had bought at a yard sale. My collection began that very day, and an interesting thing happened; as soon as people heard that I “collected” them, they gave me cameras! I didn’t ask for them… I didn’t seek them out… they found me.

There are many cameras in my accidental collection which I love. Some of the cameras are old, some are rare, some are beautifully made, and some, like the Savoy (120 roll film), are just plain cool.

Do you have a favorite camera that you’ve collected?

Here is the Savoy, (photographed with light painting, of course) in fabulous lime green:

Photographer Harold Ross' Savoy Camera

Photograph © Harold Ross

ANNOUNCEMENT: More Light Painting Workshops: October and November 2015

•July 19, 2015 • 2 Comments

Still life light painted image by Harold Ross All Rights Reserved

Photograph by Harold Ross

Last week we just announced our September 18th, 19th, and 20th workshop, and we have now decided on weekend dates in October and November!

Our next Light Painting the Still Life Workshops, which will be held here at my home studio (in beautiful Lancaster County, PA) are scheduled for:

~ October 23rd, 24th, and 25th, 2015

~ November 13th, 14th, and 15th, 2015

Registration is now open, and the workshop is limited to 4 students.

To sign up please contact us at 717-923-0269 or via email at harold@rossstudio.com

Click HERE for the schedule and details of the workshop.

My workshops involve real teaching of the methods I employ, and this is a technical and intensive workshop… you will be given the training needed to produce work at a very high level. You will be receiving personal, detailed hands-on (literally!) instruction on proper light painting (not light pointing), and my post production process. You will actually learn the subtleties of lighting, using simple and inexpensive lighting tools, and the nuances of using layers and masking in Photoshop to create powerful images!

I’ve been using light painting as my main method of lighting for 26 years.

My co-instructor, John Corcoran, will be bringing a lot of experience to the workshop. He has worked as a professional photographer for over 35 years, and has been light painting for over 20 of those years.

He shoots wonderful floral images and portraits, all using light painting. You can see some of John’s images HERE.


You can see my students’ images in my Student Workshop Images page.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Upcoming Dates For Light Painting Workshops

•July 12, 2015 • Leave a Comment

Harold_Ross_Still_Life_with_Pencil_Sharpener_and_Steel_Ball

Photograph by Harold Ross

We have decided on a weekend in September (and there is still room in August) for our next group Light Painting the Still Life Workshop which will be held here at my home studio (in beautiful Lancaster County, PA).

The upcoming workshops are scheduled for:

~ August 21st, 22nd, and 23rd, 2015

~ September 18th, 19th, and 20th, 2015

Registration is now open, and the workshop is limited to 4 students.

To sign up please contact us at 717-923-0269 or via email at harold@rossstudio.com

Click HERE for the schedule and details of the workshop.

My workshops involve real teaching of the methods I employ, and this is a technical and intensive workshop… you will be given the training needed to produce work at a very high level. You will be receiving personal, detailed hands-on (literally!) instruction on proper light painting (not light pointing), and my post production process. You will actually learn the nuances of lighting, using simple and inexpensive lighting tools, and the nuances of using layers and masking in Photoshop to create powerful images!

I’ve been using light painting as my main method of lighting for 26 years.

My co-instructor, John Corcoran, will be bringing a lot of experience to the workshop. He has worked as a professional photographer for over 35 years, and has been light painting for over 20 of those years.

He shoots wonderful floral images and portraits, all using light painting. You can see some of John’s images HERE.


You can see my students’ images in my Student Workshop Images page.


Images from the Biltmore Estate – Part 5

•June 26, 2015 • 8 Comments

My apologies… It has taken awhile for me to publish this latest Biltmore post.

Until now, the photographs I made at the Biltmore House, in Asheville, N.C., focused on the ornate and luxurious appointments that were enjoyed by the Vanderbilts and their guests.

In this post, we take a look at the “downstairs”, the behind-the-scenes areas where the staff prepared food and did the more mundane tasks like cleaning the laundry.

The Brown Laundry was just a small part of the large laundry complex at the Biltmore House. There was a tremendous amount of laundry generated not only by the Vanderbilt’s, but by the large number of servants, as well as guests.

This particular room was shot during the day, and the house tour was still going on. We heard the funniest comments as the visitors looked in to see what I was doing:

“Look… he is checking for plumbing leaks” and “The electricity failed in that room”

Also: “He is looking for ghosts” and with my small LED panel in hand: “He’s ironing”.

Needless to say we got a chuckle from these comments.

In the Brown Laundry, hand washables and staff laundry were laboriously cleaned on tin washboards in the brown enameled basins. In the foreground is a ridged roller for crimping pleats.

Light painted photograph of the Brown Laundry at the Biltmore House

Photograph by Harold Ross

The wooden “cradle”, a hand-agitated mechanical washing machine from the early 1900s.

Light painted photograph of the Brown Laundry at the Biltmore House

 Photograph by Harold Ross

In this video you can see the lighting of the sinks:

The canning Pantry is just one of several pantries in the kitchen complex. The pantries were used for production and storage of various goods used in cooking for the Vanderbilts and their guests.

The Canning Pantry, Light painted photograph at the Biltmore House by Harold Ross

 Photograph by Harold Ross

The lid press:

The Lid Press in the Canning Pantry, Light painted photograph at the Biltmore House

 Photograph by Harold Ross

Photographing at the Biltmore House was an honor and a rewarding experience.

A huge THANKS to Jim Ryan, who made this project possible, and who spent many late hours with me shooting and doing post production.

And, for logistical help on the shoot, thanks to Laura Overbey, Collections Manager at the Biltmore, who helped us coordinate everything, and stayed late for us while we photographed the Biltmore House.

Thanks to Cindy Bradley of Museum Services, who assisted us in the photography of the Brown Laundry and Canning Pantry.

And, of course, thanks to my wife Vera for, as always, helping me every step of the way!

All material in this post © Harold Ross 2015

Images from the Biltmore Estate – Part 4

•May 3, 2015 • 5 Comments

One of the interesting things about the Biltmore House is the abundance of color. There is color everywhere… in paintings, tapestries, furniture and fabric. In the Banquet Hall, color is seen throughout almost the entire room. Interestingly, I was drawn to a scene in that enormous room which is virtually monochromatic. At one end of the Hall is a series of three very large niches, each holding a collection of 18th- and 19th-century copper and brass vessels from Holland, France and Spain.

These niches are roughly 18 feet high, and made of ornately carved wood. I decided to photograph the center one of the three.

The Banquet Hall Display Niches

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Banquet Hall Niche

Photograph by Harold Ross

The scalloped carvings in particular are quite amazing. As I was on top of my 12′ ladder while light painting, I looked carefully at them, and I just couldn’t imagine the level of craftsmanship required to carve these intricate shapes. Jim Ryan, a man who knows a lot about everything, explained how difficult it is just to lay out something like those scallops.

The lions’ heads, at roughly 18″, are very imposing, especially from just a few feet away from them, in the dark!

Here, you can get a sense for the skill needed to create these intricately carved features.

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Banquet Hall Niche (detail)

Photograph by Harold Ross

Photographing this scene took some time, as it is very large and quite complex. I must have gone up and down the ladder 100 times!

In this video clip, I am lighting the right-hand column from the 12 foot ladder. You can get a sense for how large this wall actually is!

Here is a detail showing the beautiful 18th and 19th century European vessels of copper and brass:

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Banquet Hall Niche (detail)

Photograph by Harold Ross

On the second floor, there is the most unusual gilded “cassone” or chest, made in Italy in the 1800s. The front of the chest houses a beautifully painted tooled leather panel, and the clawed feet are remarkable.

Vera is a fan of Harrison Ford and the Indiana Jones movies, so we couldn’t help but to refer to this unusual piece as “The Ark of the Covenant”. Above the “Ark” is the painting The Waltz by Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Flanking the painting are two very large ornate gilded sconces.

The Italian Cassone

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Ark Chest

Photograph by Harold Ross

As with many of the images we shot at the Biltmore, the scale just isn’t apparent (this is a phenomenon I’ve noticed in other light painted images I’ve made in the past), but keep in mind that the chest is roughly 7 feet in length!

Detail of the cassone with its painted tooled leather.

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Ark Chest (detail)

Photograph by Harold Ross

In this detail, we see one of the gilded sconces.

Harold Ross's light painted image of the Biltmore Ark Chest (detail of sconce)

Photograph by Harold Ross

Photographing at the Biltmore House was a terrific experience.

A huge THANKS to Jim Ryan who made this project possible, and who spent many late hours with me shooting and doing post production.

And, for logistical help on the shoot, thanks to Laura Overbey, Collections Manager at the Biltmore, who helped us coordinate everything, and stayed late for us while we shot the Banquet Hall image.

Thanks to Renee Jolly of Museum Services, who assisted us in the image of the Ark Chest.

And, of course, thanks to my wife Vera for, as always, helping me every step of the way!

Stay tuned as we publish more images from the Biltmore House!

All material in this post © Harold Ross 2015

 
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