Favorite Travel Quotes

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts."
-- Mark Twain
Innocents Abroad

"Stop worrying about the potholes in the road and celebrate the journey." -- Fitzhugh Mullan

"A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving." -- Lao Tzu

Transforming Photography Into Art


Image before modification with Lightroom2

©Bert Gildart: With the advent of digital photography, Photo Shop and now Lightroom, it is possible to transform good photography into Photo Art. Obviously I think I am a good photographer, but recently I have been inspired by the work of friends and acquaintances who seem to be on the verge of mastering techniques that elevate photography from a documentary expression to something that is revolutionary.

To put it mildly, I’m in awe of this new Photo Art, particularly after Rich Charpentier took time to help me with work on several of my images, one of which I’m showing here.

Most who read my blog know I’ve been a student (or admirer) of the great photographers, such as Ansel Adams and Eliot Porter. They also know I have no compunctions against experimentation and that I have published both here and in magazines examples that have resulted from these experimentations. (Eagle, Grave yard Walk) Now, it seems as though a new world has opened and I want to master what I can.

I’ve long been aware of the potentials of some of these programs, but really got an introduction several months ago when Todd Campbell and Jack Floegel of Boise Idaho provided me with first-hand introduction to Lightroom2. Both Todd and I had driven our RVs to the Many Glacier Valley of Glacier National Park. During the evening, we’d sit inside one of our two campers and attempt to improve images we’d shot that day.

I used PhotoShop while Todd and Jack used a combination of the two — and I was blown away by their images. Jack and Todd, however, were appreciative of the fact that I had shown them an aspect of Glacier (grizzly bears) they’d never seen before and in addition to personalized help expressed their gratitude in others ways. Todd has been a constant source of support in my efforts to learn new techniques and Jack sent me a copy of Scott Kilby’s expensive book on Lightroom. I hope I can do more for them sometime.

But it wasn’t until last night here in Prescott, Arizona, that I’ve actually waded into Lightroom and that was because Rich Charpentier sat down with me and walked me through some photo enhancement techniques, using Lightroom. Rich has been at it now for over a year. So, too, have Jack and Todd.


We began with what I believe was a good image, one I took this summer of Clyde Brown in the opening ceremonies of the World Eskimo Indian Olympics in Fairbanks, which I covered for several publications. Rich showed me how to selectively darken the background, thereby drawing more attention to the dancer, rather than sharing it with those in the background. We then enhanced the color and slightly softened Clyde’s face. I think the results are phenomenal.

Clyde Brown

Results from using Lightroom2

Yet another person here in Prescott who has mastered the various techniques associated with PhotoShop and Lightroom is Robert Jamason. Rich knows Jamason and is displaying some of the man’s work in his art gallery. If anyone wants to view photo art, check out Jamason’s website and that of Rich Charpentier.

Clyde Brown

Black and white conversion quickly made with Lightroom

But be forewarned,  some of Jamason’s work is for a mature audience. Rich’s work is more traditional but shows the ways in which a good photograph can, in fact, be transformed into a work that is highly stylized. Tomorrow I hope to meet Jamason.

Regarding my work shown here, I believe it shows the ways in which PhotoShop and Lightroom2 can transform a good photograph into photo art. But with the quick transformation to black and white, it also shows a way in which I might be able to create a book I’ve long wanted to create, but couldn’t because publishers said the cost of a color book would be prohibitive. Now we’ll see what happens.




*Tampa, Florida, By Jane Gildart



2 Responses to “Transforming Photography Into Art”

  1. Rich Charpentier Says:


    Thanks for the kudos. Personally, the black and white really jumps out at me. I like the final edit there. There’s so much one can do with b&w, and I think that will be an upcoming digital project for me. I’ve just never been very good with it, but I’m thinking that I’m ready for that next step.

    There are so many possibilities, aren’t there?

  2. Jodi Hartshaw Says:

    Both images are powerful with or without color. I love the photos of Glacier. I lived there from 1971 until 1981. Rich and I have knew each other in high school in Florida. He has introduced me to so many new photography websites and possibilities. I have been an amateur photographer since President Ford visited Montana in the early seventies. I hope you both enjoy Borrego. I have learned a bit about it from Rich’s blog, and our chats. I will soon be visiting Arizona for the first time. I truly looking forward to it.