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Purple Lotus Flower Macro

Purple Lotus Flower Macro

A Guide to Buying Fine Art Photography Online

I often get asked if I have my work hanging in a gallery for sale.  A physical building that you can walk into and touch… well, no. But in a sense, I have my work on display in the largest art gallery in the world – The Internet. By only having an online presence, I’m able to display all of my photography for sale, without limits. Also, since I offer prints on demand, and don’t have to pay rent for a physical space, I can afford to offer my work at a reasonable price. So for those that aren’t accustomed to buying art online, here’s a quick guide to make you more comfortable.

 

 

Visit Reputable Art Sales Websites

Decorating your home or office is a very personal venture, everyone has different tastes and styles. The first step in the art buying process is to find a site that has a wide variety of art prints for sale that also has a well established satisfied customer base. At the time of this writing, 3scape.com has over 6000 images to choose from. Fine Art America is another site with a huge variety of art, with thousands of satisfied customers. Both of these sites use professional printing and framing companies, and the highest quality archival papers and canvases. This means you’ll get consistent, long lasting color or black and white prints every time. Framed prints are mounted and assembled using custom cut high grade materials, right here in the USA. If you’re shopping on other artists websites, ask about their printing process and materials. Of course, you can probably find “cheap prints” out there, but you get what you pay for, and rest assured those prints will be poster quality reproductions that won’t stand the test of time.

Choose the Right Image

Art buyers are typically drawn to many different aspects of an image, depending on personal tastes, styles, or perhaps even artistic training. Likewise, most photographers have developed their own styles and techniques to incorporate colors, textures, and tones into scenes to convey some emotional response or mood. So how do the two match up? First, take a look at the space on your wall that needs art. Consider the style of the room, the wall color, and other decor. Wider spaces may need a horizontal or panoramic print, while a vertical piece would work better for narrow walls.  The rest is a matter of personal preference – color or black and white; scenic landscape or urban scene; perhaps an abstract? If you’re really not sure, ask the artist! I’ve helped clients choose the perfect print for their space, and even mocked up options using photos of a room or office space.

Living room with fine art print

Living Room Print Mockup

 

Caring for Your Photographic Art Prints

Buying fine art prints is an investment that adds beauty to your home, office, or work place. As such, proper care must be taken to ensure your prints last a long time. Paper prints should be properly mounted and framed (we can do that for you). Matting a paper print adds to visual appeal and further protects it by spacing it from the glass or acrylic glazing.  If you’re looking for prints for your bathroom or other humid place, consider metal prints which are durable and water resistant. All prints should be kept out of direct sunlight to prevent fading.

Fine art prints continue to increase in popularity and make for beautiful works of art in your home, and now online galleries make it possible to acquire the perfect image. Still not sure? Contact me and we can chat about hanging the right art piece on your wall. Or, if you’re ready to start shopping, please check out my Best Sellers, or visit my Fine Art Portfolio site.

 

Does the job for smaller cameras

By 3scape Photos from Chicago, IL on 7/8/2014
4out of 5

Pros: Good Value, Locks In Tight, Compact

Best Uses: Video, Travel

Nice little monopod, folds up smaller than most. Sturdy construction with good clips to hold sections in place. The wrist strap is nice as well. The bottom most section is a bit small, so may wobble in use, if you don’t need the extra height, might want to skip extending the last section. Good for small, light SLR’s or PnS, not quite sturdy enough for bigger heavier cameras.

Adam in helicopter

Adam in the chopper

I recently had the opportunity to take a helicopter flight over the awesome skyline of downtown Chicago. I met Chris Bachman of Bachman Aero at Schaumburg Regional Airport on a beautiful, albeit hazy summer morning. Since it was nice and warm, Chris had taken the doors off the helicopter so I have unobstructed access for my aerial photography. We took off around 8am and headed east towards I-290 better known as the Eisenhower Expressway (the Ike).

Chicago aerial haze

Hazy Chicago skyline in the distance

It didn’t take long for me to get that disappointed feeling in my gut, seeing the bright white haze that lay before me, shrouding the city from view. This of course, after several reschedules already due to weather. Alas, it would have to do… I’d have to make the best of this flight, if not for the photography, then at least for the thrill.

So off we went, heading east along the Ike as I happily snapped away at the sights below me. At Garfield Park we turned northeast, flying over Westinghouse College Prep, and Humboldt Park on our way to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.

Wrigley Field Aerial

Wrigley Field – Home of the Chicago Cubs

Wrigley Field Aerial

Wrigley Field and surrounding hood

From Wrigley Field, we headed east to Lake Michigan, then down along Lake Shore Drive, flying over the beautiful Chicago shoreline, beaches, and harbors.

Montrose Harbor Aerial

Montrose Harbor

Belmont Harbor Aerial

Belmont Harbor

North Avenue Beach Aerial

North Ave Beach

Montrose Beach Dog Park Aerial

Montrose Beach

Finally, we’ve reached downtown, starting with the Gold Coast, the historic John Hancock Building, and the Magnificent Mile.  Continuing south, we circled around Navy Pier where I was able to capture this great panoramic.

Navy Pier Aerial Panoramic

Chicago’s Navy Pier Aerial Panoramic

Next up: Millennium Park, the Loop, Grant Park & Buckingham Fountain, Museum Campus, and Soldier Field.. So much to see!

Soldier Field Chicago Aerial

Soldier Field, Field Museum, and Chicago Skyline Aerial

Before heading back to the home airport, we spun around over the Loop, getting a close-up view of the Willis Tower Ledge (I still call it the Sears Tower), then zipped up and down the Chicago River for some great views of the Trump Tower. Heading back to the airport wasn’t a dull ride either, as any view from the air is a great one. I had a chance to also shoot the United Center, Chicago’s “interesting” West Side, and Medinah Golf Course and Country Club.

I spent a fantastic hour or so of flying around Chicago’s amazing urban scenery doing two of the things I love – flying and photography. It’s an unbelievable feeling flying over the city with the doors off a helicopter, up close and personal.  For the full set of photos, please see my gallery: Chicago Aerial Photography.

Schaumburg Regional Airport Aerial

Schaumburg Regional Airport

Bachman Aero Helicopter

Bachman Aero Helicopter

 

Aerial Photography Tips

So, now that I’ve inspired you and you’re itching to get in the air to do some of your own aerial photography, let me share some tips with you.

1. Plan ahead! Research the places and viewpoints that you’d like to shoot, and discuss them ahead of time with your pilot. If he’s flexible and you’re the only passenger, he should be able to get you the shots you’re hoping for.

2. Plan ahead! Yes, more planning… This time, in regards to weather. Most of the time, you’ll have to book your flight well in advance, so planning for weather isn’t always possible.  Also, weather changes.  As I described above, I thought I was going on a nice clear morning based on the weather forecasts, but it turned out to be hazy. Do your best to study the forecasts and conditions a few days in advance, and try to anticipate the best conditions.  Around cities, haze is an unfortunate reality.  Try using a circular polarizer to cut through some of the haze, and shoot with the sun behind you.

3. Time of day.  As with most photography, the best time of day to shoot is early morning or evening.  With the sun lower on the horizon, you’ll get more depth and texture in your images due to the shadows that the sun will cast on buildings (or rural features if you’re not in the city).  Mid-day light will most certainly result in flat looking images.

4. What gear to use?  I currently shoot with a Canon 5D MkIII and for this shoot I used my Canon EF24-105mm f/4L IS USM zoom lens. If you’re in a helicopter, you’ll want a good quality, medium range zoom lens to give you the flexibility to shoot frame-filling close-ups or wide angle scenics.  Helicopters can fly lower and closer to everything, so you may not need a long zoom.  If you’re in an airplane, however, then something like a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Telephoto zoom lens may be more useful. What about a lens hood? Leave it at home! On the ground a lens hood is handy for blocking stray light, but in a helicopter with the window open or the doors off, it’ll just be a scoop for the wind to catch. At worst, it’ll snap right off the lens and go flying.

5. How about settings? One of the big concerns with aerial photography is vibration from the engine and motion blur from flying through the air at 60-120kts.  So how is it possible to get sharp images in the air? First, set your camera to Shutter Priority mode (Tv or S), and use a high shutter speed. Typically, 1/500th to 1/800th is enough to freeze motion. Depending on the brightness of the sun at the time, you’ll probably have to adjust the ISO setting as well. If you try to shoot and the aperture value starts blinking, chances are you have to bump up the ISO. 400-800 should do it, and still produce nice clean images with a camera like the Canon 5D.  Point-and-shoot cameras suffer at higher ISO, so if you have to, try renting a newer Digital SLR for the shoot. The last thing that will help with vibration is Image Stabilization (IS or VR). Many better DLSR zoom lenses include this feature, so turn it on for best results.

6. Anything else? If possible, ask if the doors can be taken off or the window opened. Shooting through glass sucks, and will result in low-contrast images, reflections, blur, and bugs!  This also means it’ll be windy, so strap yourself and your gear in really well. Your pockets should be empty or zipped so nothing flies away, and no gear should be loose. Safety first! Dress appropriately, it may get chilly up there but skip the hoodie (again, wind). Lastly, if you’re prone to motion sickness, take some pills or use pressure point wrist bands.

Well, I think that’s about all for this post. I hope it was informative and enjoyable… if you’d like to know when I update my blog or post new images, please sign up for my newsletter using my signup form at the top of the page! If you have any comments, I’d love to hear from you.

The winter thaw is finally beginning, and that puts me in a good mood!  So from today (3/10/2014) until 5pm on 3/15/2014, I’m offering the following abstract images at a special promotional price.  My professional print company gets standard size canvases at a discount, so I can pass that on to my customers.  These amazing images are from NASA’s Hubble Telescope, and make for great abstract artwork for your walls.  Check my gallery for more incredible outer space images.

Butterfly Nebula NGC6302 Canvas Print

Butterfly Nebula NGC6302 Canvas Print – 24×20 – $89

Carina Nebula Canvas Print

Carina Nebula Canvas Print – 36×24 – $124

Tarantula Nebula Canvas Print

Tarantula Nebula Canvas Print – 24×20 – $89

It’s Friday, it’s mid-April, and I just feel like it.  So here’s a great promotion running for the next several days (while supplies last).  I get a special discount on standard size canvas prints, so I would like to pass that special print on to my fans and customers.  Here are the current limited time promotions – 11×14 canvas prints (ready to hang) for only $60 (normally $99).  Only 20 of each available, so hurry!

Zebra Love

Zebra Love

Chicago's Willis Tower

Chicago’s Willis Tower

Cloud Gate aka The Bean

Ghosts in The Bean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Promotion Expired 4/17/2013…  Thank you buyers!

A client of mine recently asked for a custom sized panoramic print for his dental office reception area.  The images below are the options I provided, taking into consideration his furniture and other decor.  He decided on the Marathon Key Sunrise Panoramic, but I’ll make the rest of these available for purchase as well, just click on the images below.  As a side note, yes… I do take requests and I do custom orders!  If you’re interested in my work and would like something customized, just let me know.

Autumn Aspen Grove Panoramic

Autumn Aspen Grove Panoramic

Good news! Fine Art Metal Prints are now available for order direct from this site!  This amazing product is created by infusing dyes into a polymer coating that is heat transferred onto a 1/16th inch thick aluminum sheet.  This process makes the print durable, scratch resistant, and water proof, with an archival value of well over 100 years.  In addition to the long lasting print, this process and material really makes images pop.  The colors are extraordinarily vibrant and the depth of the coating gives photos a luminous quality that no paper print can achieve.

Panoramic Metal Print

Panoramic Metal Print

Metal Print Detail

Metal Print Detail

One Hanger Option

Hanger Option for Small Metal Prints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Check out some of my Best Selling Photos if you’d like a metal print of your own!  Or go direct to my Chicago Skyline Panoramic which is hanging in homes around the world.

In other news, I’ve also added seven new frame options for custom framed fine art prints.  These include economy metal frames in Black, Gunmetal, Frosted Silver, and White, as well as wood frames in Black, Black Walnut, Canadian Walnut, American Maple, and White.  I will also soon add premium handcrafted environmentally friendly bamboo frames as an option.

I’ve been trying to go through my collection of images to add new work to the site. The first batch in that effort is a bunch of macro photos of Butterflies and other Bugs, as well as Flower macros and other Close-Up Stuff.  I’ll be adding much more to each of those galleries shortly.  Here’s a teaser of what you can find in the galleries:

Swallowtail Butterfly

Swallowtail Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterfly

Grape Hyacinth

Grape Hyacinth

Dismembered Bee

Dismembered Bee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So…  how does one go about shooting images like these?  For outdoor shots of flowers and bugs, I travel light and low tech.  Bugs move around a lot, and I don’t have the patience to set up a tripod and wait for them.  Most of the butterfly photos were taken at Brookfield Zoo, during the summer when the butterfly exhibit was going on.  There are plenty of subjects flying around in a natural environment with plenty of flowers to sit on.  I approach slowly, shooting while getting closer and closer.  That way, if they fly off I at least have something.  It’s important to stop down to a small aperture to get as much depth of field as possible, since macro shooting results in very shallow DOF.  Flowers are much easier because they don’t fly away, just watch out for wind.

What about gear?  While a macro lens isn’t necessary, it sure does help.  A cheap way to go is to start with a set of Kenko extension tubes.  These work by increasing the distance between the sensor and the back of the lens, allowing closer focusing.  I’m currently shooting with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro lens.  It’s a fantastic combination for macro shooting, but also makes for a great portrait setup.

It’s finally here!  Today I’m announcing the official re-opening of my specialty print shop.  All of my images are now available for immediate customization and print ordering, direct from this site.  The new order system allows you to choose various print configurations including standard prints, framed prints, and canvas prints.  Further, you can choose custom mats and frames, for a completely finished, ready-to-hang art piece.  I’m still working on adding a larger variety of frame and mat options, and plan on offering acrylic and metal prints in the near future.  Check out some of the examples below, or find your own favorites!

 

1945 Vought F4U-4 Corsair - Fine Art Print

1945 Vought F4U-4 Corsair
Framed Art Print

Chicago Skyline Panoramic - Fine Art Print

Chicago Skyline Panoramic
Fine Art Print

Double Arch Illuminated by Moonlight - Canvas Print

Double Arch by Moonlight
Canvas Print

EDIT: Payment via Amazon has now also been enabled!

Well, it looks like I’m officially dumping Fotomoto as my print provider for images hosted on this site.  They are just not living up to the standards that I expect, and just doubled their costs, which I can’t in good conscience pass on to my customers.  This change is good for everyone (except me since I have to now reprogram my site!), as I plan on using my fine art print provider, Fine Art America to offer prints for the rest of the images on this site.  It will take me a little while to write the back-end code, in the mean time if there is an image that you would like to purchase a print of, please contact me.  I will get the image uploaded to my portfolio site, and email you a direct link for purchase.  What’s even better?  The print prices will now be lower, and products include prints on paper, canvas, acrylic, and metal, with a variety of framing options.  Stay tuned for more updates!

Speaking of fine art prints – my Fall 2012 promotion is on! Head over to my portfolio site and use coupon code JUGAEK for 30% off until the end of November!