Today, my photographer of the day is JohnDSmith from Norman, Oklahoma in the USA. John delves into nature photography, cars, people, and other objects that move him and in many of his images they are transformed from a regular photograph to an extraordinary oil painting. The use of programs like Topaz and plugins like Redfield have produced exciting and artful images. I especially love the way he paints in Topaz on covered bridge images. They have a great point of view and the Topaz painting adds such a bright look and sense of depth to these images that you would think that John got some brushes out and dipped them in oil paint and put it all on canvas. He is very good at the blending of images and using Fractilius as well. A lovely electric dabbed-brush type technique that excite the eyes. Dig into his portfolio and you will see what I mean.
So, let’s do that. I will also mention that John is religious enough to produce images that show his faith in Jesus Christ and is not afraid to quote scripture in the description and for that I applaud him. Today is Good Friday, a day to honor the crucifixion of Jesus on the cross and when I found the image at the top of this page in John’s portfolio, I knew it had to showcase his work with that image at the top of the page. The image is titled Darkness at the Crucifixion of Jesus. You click on it and read the description that explains what happened when he was crucified as a reminder of why he died for us. This image is behind the whole reason for Lent in me being Roman Catholic, which in turn is why I sacrifice my time each day to do something positive for other people, which in turn is why the Photographer of the Day exists every day during Lent and is the reason why many of you have become the photographer of the day and is what compells me to describe what you did so well and how the images move me. An image is a powerful thing and sometimes it tells a story and sometimes that story is very meaningful and extremely powerful. Just like the image of the three men being crucified above, one of them being Jesus. I was very drawn to the dark blue of the sky of this image. The fractilius strokes around the edges of each man on the cross and how the men are completely black makes for a very strong image. The strong contrast of the men against the blue sky and the light brown earth, promotes the strong symbolism that helps tell the story of what happened that day. The curvy lines on everything from the clouds to the men is a nice touch that the program puts on everything and I think it came out just great. This is one of my favorite images of John’s. Funny, when I typed in JohnDSmith in the Redbubble search bar, and it shows all the images in Everything JohnDSmith, it showed five pages of all of his images and this one was not anywhere to be seen. Interesting.
Next looking above, we travel to Wisconsin in the image titled Covered Bridge, Little Hope Wisconsin. I absolutely love this one and this image was the gateway image that got me interested in John’s work and had me dig further into his portfolio. First, the composition is beautiful with the placement of the Autumn trees and colored foliage framing each side of the the covered bridge. The straight on point of view lets us look straight down the length of the covered bridge structure and the tunnel effect forces our eyes to look deep into that area. The lovely look of the oil painting affect a la Topaz works so well in this image. I won’t go into camera technicalities in this one because the Topaz work takes over and things like sharpness and light don’t seem to be as big a factor. Of course, light is a factor and John captured that wonderfully, but the oil painting look of this one calls to me and tells me that this is a time where composition is so important in an image. As photographers who have a good grasp on the technical aspects of sharpness, exposure and so on, we all struggle with finding a great and compelling composition. In many ways, it is what separates the good photographers from the great ones. All I will further say is that this is a great one.
Next is an architectural structure type image titled Stormy, Stormy Night … I was immediately attracted to the vertical lines of orangey colored concrete on the front of the dam. The warm colors of orange, bronze, and yellow make this a real eye-catcher. This was actually taken around mid-day and made to look like an evening image with low light in the sky type colors. How ingenious and imaginative that was and what a glorious result. The composition of the bring the main housing area of the dam in close on the left side along with the wides sweeping view of the entire dam makes for a high interest scene that keeps me captivated. Sharp focus along with beautiful light and a great composition has this one achieving high marks in my book. Just a wonderful image.
Next (above) is the electric and vivid car image titled Lightning Fast. What a cool image. John took two different photographs and blended them together and created the feathery edge effect using the Fractilius program. The lightning bolts in the background is an image from another photographer to whom he gives full credit and the Corvette is his own photo. The Corvette is his own car. There are a few reasons I like this image, but a big one is because the Corvette is my favorite sports car of al time. Plus the fact that it is black and manufactured in the ’70s, which is the best body style that they ever made in my opinion, makes this a killer shot for me. He shows the two original images in his description and you can see how he greatly improved upon both of them to create this wildly exciting image with all its feathery edges and vivid intensity of the lightning. I think he did an awesome job on this.
And riding away to end this showcase is the train image titled What a Ride. What a crazy rail line this is.Look how close those tracks are to the edge of the ravine with an insane curve coming up in the near distance around that large rocky point on this mountain. A great element to this image is the inward curve of the brightly colored train against all that greenery. Kudos to John for being able to shoot this (handheld I’m sure) keeping his nerve and making sure everything on the camera is set so that he got a nice sharp focus. The wild side of this whole scene is of course, the drop off to the right along with the entire view of the insanely steep landscape. The ability to bring us a place of interest of something very unique was achieved wonderfully in this one and it definitely tells us a story of a train lines existing that rides an exciting edge. An awesome shot John.
So you got a nice glimpse of John D. Smith. A master of mixing the photograph with the oil painting and showing us the fruits of his hard labor and travels. I hope you feel compelled to leave his some wonderful comment with a couple of faves of your own. I feel he deserves the extra recognition. John, I must put you on my Watchlist because I need to learn more of your many talents and can’t wait to see more.