Putting A New Perspective On Viewing Paintings

I love art. Having the opportunity to go out and see beautiful art is always one of my favorite activities. I am also fortunate to live in a great area for that. There are local galleries, local arts agencies, museums, and a growing public art space that I love.

The form of art I actively participate in creating is photography. And while I enjoy seeing beautiful photographs anywhere I can, what I really appreciate is artwork in modalities outside of photography. I live near Corning, NY so glass is always prominent in my artwork thoughts and feelings. But there is so much to enjoy; sculpture, fiber work, ceramics, drawing, and digital arts to name a few.

Close-up Angled perspective of Bear painting by Rod Reynolds.

But of all the other forms of artwork that I don’t create, painting probably hits home with me the most. As with all forms of art painting can take so many different shapes. Not all styles and subjects in painting resonate with me, but when I see the type of artwork that does it really makes an impact. I don’t think that I have a particular style of painting that I prefer or anything sophisticated like that, but there are certain pieces of art that I see and I love. If there is one thing about painting that can capture my attention is if it is animal or nature themed.


I am fortunate to have people in my life who I know and consider friends that are amazing artists. Tops on that list is my father. He gave me my first camera to pursue photography. And my dad was the person who first encouraged me to show my photography in public.

My dad and I have gone to several of each other’s exhibits and helped each other install and take down our artwork together. Being able get an up close and personal look at someone’s artwork as you hang and art exhibit is a really cool experience. You get to see the art in a way that no one else does when installing an exhibit and helping to shape how an exhibit might look.

Close-up perspective shift shallow depth of field on a painting by Rod Reynolds.

Being able to have such up close and personal connection to my dad’s artwork has allowed me to show my love for his work in what I think is a unique way through my photography. I like to try to use my photography to show his artwork in a way that you can’t really see it in person.

A lot of my dad’s artwork can be large and or contain many different components. One way I like to look at those paintings through my lens is my selecting a small chunk of the bigger piece and highlighting it close up. Making a small section that might go overlooked in a larger piece more prominent and front and center.

Frame borders and wall as focus is on center of painting by Rod Reynolds.


The other way I like to interpret my dad’s artwork is by using selective focus. I shoot the images with a very shallow depth of field. And I shoot at some degree of an angle. I focus in on one spot on the painting to set the focus point there. Then after I click the shutter depending on the distance from the painting and the angle of view I am using much of the painting that is within the frame if my photograph will be progressively more out of focus. This will draw the eye to the part of the painting that I wanted to focus and. Giving the painting a little bit of a different look.

Out of focus beak of a Loon in a painting by Rod Reynolds.

My dad and I have talked about the possibility of an exhibit featuring his original pieces and my interpretive photography to accompany them. Maybe we will make that happen at some point.

What do you think of these interpretive photographs of paintings? I’d love to hear all your thoughts.

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