Intelligent design with a black and white photograph collection

Fine Art Photography

Black-and-white photography is classic and artsy. It conveys intelligence,” says One Kings Lane senior buyer Stephen Haskell. “A framed collection can bring an incredibly refined gallery feeling into a home.”

This age-old fascination with photographs, contemporary residences and semi-minimalist trends are altering the way we look at adorning our walls with prints. Decorating with black and white photography is seeing new heights thanks to improved cameras and the growing inclination to use neutral colors and muted tones.

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Consider building your art arrangement vertically to add extra height and intrigue to a small-scale series.
Art Prints

When it comes to displaying photographs, and you cannot go wrong with black and white – they are undeniably classic and oh so sophisticated when gathered in a group on display.

Photography Prints

A great display of black and white photographs

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Naked Cowboy of Times Square

Fine Art Photography

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The infamous “Naked Cowboy” of Times Square New York City. Fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding –
Robert John Burck, better known as the Naked Cowboy, is an American street performer whose pitch is on New York City’s Times Square. He wears only cowboy boots, a hat, and briefs, with a guitar strategically placed to give the illusion of nudity.

Hudson in the Snow

Old car black and white

Old Hudson in the Snow by Edward M. Fielding

Old Hudson in the Snow

by Edward M. Fielding

As shown in Vector frame from Society6.  Link here.

The Vector frame is made from solid wood with a contemporary, angular profile measuring 0.87″ wide x 0.87″ deep. A gesso coating gives the molding rich color and a smooth finish. Premium shatterproof acrylic protects the art print, while an acid free dust cover on the back provides a custom finish. Includes wall hanging hardware.

Paper size 10″ x 10″. Printed area 8″ x 8″. Framed fine art print on natural white, matte, ultra smooth, 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free archival paper using an advanced digital dry ink method to ensure vibrant image quality.


A 16×16 print is currently on display at the AVA Gallery in Lebanon, NH.

An abandoned old Hudson sedan in the snow. Black and white fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding
The Hudson Motor Car Company made Hudson and other brand automobiles in Detroit, Michigan, from 1909 to 1954. In 1954, Hudson merged with Nash-Kelvinator Corporation to form American Motors. The Hudson name was continued through the 1957 model year, after which it was dropped.

Good Photography vs. Bad Photography


vintage camera Photography Prints 

Off the top of my head I made this list of thoughts about what makes a good photograph vs a bad photograph after looking through a rather mundane portfolio of snapshots offered for sale on an online gallery.  Open for controversy, feedback and discussion!


Good photography is clear and to the point. Painters add to the canvas, photographers subtract. In a good photograph you know the photographer took the time to eliminate distracting elements to provide a clear message. In a bad photograph you know immediately that the photographer stood in the most convenient spot or maybe never even bothered to get out of the car.

Good photography is purposeful. You know immediately why the photograph was taken.

Good photography isn’t boring. In a good photograph the photographer brings something new even to familiar subjects. Boring photographs are always taken with the same boring angle at the same boring height and aimed at the same boring subjects. “When finding the right angle for a shot…’Move your ass.’” – Jay Maisel

Good photography shows consistency. You know a good photographer when they consistently bring the goods. Each photograph in their portfolio is presented with care and attention to detail.

Good photography evokes an emotional response. Good photography grabs you deeply. Bad photography makes you wonder what attracted the photographers attention in the first place.

Good photography is selecting only the best to show. Bad photography is lulling you to sleep with every shot off the camera.

Good photography makes you want to be there, bad photography shows you places to avoid.  In other words the bad photographer takes a great dramatic place and makes it look boring.  A good photographer could take a boring place and make it look interesting.

Good photography shows the photographer got up early, stayed out late, has their camera with them always. Bad photography is the camera dusted off for vacation.

Good photography brings back a few great shots on every outing. Bad photography is the lucky shot.

Good photography is a unique vision. Bad photography is being satisfied with the same shot everyone else gets.

Good photography shows you something you never saw before or makes you stop and see something you’ve walked by a thousand times without even noticing. Bad photography shows you what you’ve seen a thousand times before. – Edward M. Fielding –


Behind the Scenes – Twin Falls, Maui Hawaii

Fine Art Photography

I thought I’d share with you a look behind the scene on one of my latest releases – Twin Falls. With the first snow of the season falling outside (its not even Thanksgiving yet!) and the temperature dropping because of the polar vortex or something or another, my mind has been wandering back to last year’s trip to to the Hawaiian island of Maui.

I hadn’t been back to Hawaii since I was born and even then I only spent four months there before my Dad was sent to Vietnam and my Mom moved us back to Connecticut to be closer to the support of family. It took me over 40 years to get back to the tropical islands of Hawaii and I made the most of our time there. We stayed on Maui and explored just about every inch of it from the top of Mt. Haleakala with wind driven hail filling up our ear cavities to the beautiful sandy beaches and muddy jungle trails.

The Hāna Highway is a 64.4-mile (103.6 km) long stretch of Hawaii Routes 36 and 360 which connects Kahului with the town of Hāna in east Maui. On the east after Kalepa Bridge, the highway continues to Kīpahulu as Hawaii Route 31 (the Piilani Highway). Although Hāna is only about 52 miles (84 km) from Kahului, it takes about 2.5 hours to drive when no stops are made as the highway is very winding and narrow and passes over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide.[5] There are approximately 620 curves along Route 360 from just east of Kahului to Hāna, virtually all of it through lush, tropical rainforest. Many of the concrete and steel bridges date back to 1910 and all but one are still in use.

One of the first sites along the Road to Hana is Twin Falls.  Twin Falls is on private land owned by the Wailele Farm but is open to the public.  There is a small parking lot at the trail entrance as well as a cute little food stand selling smoothies and fresh coconuts.


In honor of the traditional uses of Ho’olawa valley, Wailele Farm – Twin Falls Maui is dedicated to keep free access open to the public as an inspiration for all.

The trail takes one to the first falls which we found full of swimmers so we decided to hike on to the second falls.

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When we finally reached Twin Falls, conditions were less than ideal and down right challenging.  Other hikers as well as the rough terrain of overground jungle and slippery rocks and mud made it tough to find a good composition that included decent foreground as well as keeping people out of the shot.  Bright sun lit the upper jungle canopy but created deep shadows round the pool.  Straight out of the camera, the RAW color version of the image is dull and lifeless.  Not exactly the mystical landscape quality I pre-visualized.


The before shot. This photograph has a lot of problems.

The before shot. This photograph has a lot of problems.

Here is a breakdown of some of the problems I had to overcome in in post processing.

1.  People.  A steady stream of hikers were coming and going from the spot.  Some of them ventured into the water but they were mostly likely to walk along the banks and have their picture taken under the waterfall.  They went right but I went left and positioned myself across from the waterfall finding a fallen tree as a good foreground subject.  The tree was nicely illuminated by a shaft of light which penetrated the deep jungle over the pool.  I was using a six second exposure to blur the waterfall and give the pool a calm feeling so it was almost inevitable that some would move into the frame during the exposure.  The frame I eventually used was the one after this one when the hikers were out of the frame.  In this shot you can see the hikers blurring as they move during the exposure.

2.  The dynamic range of the scene was high between the bright highlights on the water at the top of the falls and the deep dark cave under the falls.  I had to crop out some of the top as well as dodge and burn to lighten shadows and darken highlights.

3.  Despite using a tripod and trying to level the camera before the shot, the legs were sunk in jungle mud and managed to move out of level.  The “horizon” was leveled in post.

4. Leaves and debris.  I found the floating stuff on the water distracting so I removed most of it in post processing.

5. Muddy water.  The water in the pool was cloudy and rather uninviting.  Keep in mind that these waterfalls in a rainforest come and go during rainstorms and all sorts of mud and silt from the jungle finds its way into the water.  Plus human activity from walking around the water and swimming in the pools stirs up the muck.  By going with black and white the water becomes just a liquid and you don’t have the color cues to tell you its not crystal clear blue water.

6. What the heck is that?  Some weird shape in the lower left.  Either my lens cap wasn’t oriented correctly or something else crept into the frame.   I cropped to 8×10 aspect and eliminated this distracting element.

This image sat on my hard drive for about 10 months before I attempt to work on it.  The original just looked so terrible that I almost never saw its potential.  I’m glad I gave it a second look!


About the Hana Highway or The Road to Hana

Maui’s famous road of twist and turns and over 600 turns within 52 miles plus forty something one lane bridges makes for an adventure of a lifetime.  Every turn is another stunning view be it waterfall, jungle or seaside cliff plunging down into the ocean.  I’ve been on the Beartooth Highway in Montana which traverses a mountain range and I’ve driving up Mt. Washington in the White Mountains of New Hampshire but neither road prepared me for the crazy roller coaster ride that is the Hana Highway.  At some points the road has a posted speed limit of 10 miles an hour because you simply can not see what’s coming around the bend ahead of you.  Other times as the passenger you can literally stick your hand out the window and touch the cliff wall.  Add to this the limited parking at popular stops, the back up of cars behind you and the local flying down the road in late model pickup trucks full of coconuts and it adds up to the true white knuckle ride.

The maps all warn people not to travel beyond Hana.  But rather to stay over (very much recommended) or head back the way you came preferably before it gets dark.  Some rental car companies even state that you can’t take their cars on the other side.  Mostly I think because they don’t want to have to send a repair truck to find you if you get stuck.  We didn’t head the warning….

…Wanting to see the sun setting on other side of the island we headed out in our little lawnmower of a compact car and wished we had brought along some window cleaner.  One stretch of the road hugs a series of sea cliffs that plunge down to the ocean.  How anyone in their right mind thought they could build a road here is beyond me.  Besides the terror of the drop off and the rough road conditions, at one point we turned the corner to be blinded by the setting sun.  We couldn’t see a thing!  Right at the point of a hairpin turn.  Thank goodness no one was following us or they’d have slammed into the back of us and probably shoved us off the cliff.

I was glad we ventured on the backside because we were able to see this amazing church just as the sun was setting.

Hawaii Photography Prints


Framing 13×19 photographic prints


How do you frame your prints?

Modern DSLR cameras produce images in an 8×12 format which is a bit more rectangular.  In comparison an 8×10 print looks much squarer.  The tricky part is finding mats and frames for 8×12 or 13×19 which is the largest size many people’s home photo printers can produce.

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4×5, 5×7, 8×10, these standard sizes that you would get from a photo studio or school photo day photographers are easy to find in your local Kohls, Target, Walmart or any other store that has a home decorating section.  But try to find a non-standard size and it gets trickier and expensive.

Let’s face it.  Framing outside of standard sizes gets expensive.  Rarely does one save as much money as they think they might framing it themselves.  Often it better to simply order a framed print when ordering a unique from size from my gallery.  Or ordering a canvas print.  Canvas prints are basically always made to order and the labor is less than having a mat cut and a frame made to size.

Art Prints

Where did these photographic ratios come from?

Some say that the 4 to 3 ratio comes from the printing industry. 8.5×11 inch was a common paper size even before the first photo was ever made; and goes back several centuries.  4×5 inch film was popular back in the day of large format camera including those press cameras you see in the movies.  8×10 is simply a multiple of 4×5.

35mm format is 3:2 and there are not a lot of 6×4 frames or mats out there. One solution is to shoot with cropping in mind.  Give in today’s cameras large megapixel counts, as long as you are not producing billboards, one can easily crop to fit a more standard ratio.

35mm still is 8 sprocket holes on 35mm movie film; which makes about a 24x36mm frame. “regular” movie film running vertically is 4 sprocket holes. Still 35mm cameras evolved from 35mm films used with 35mm movie cameras. Mechanically it easy easy to make the film advance an intergral number of sprocket holes. Thus 8 was used with most 35mm still cameras; one sprocket hole is 45 degrees of sprocket rotation. – Kelly Flanigan

Hip to be Square

Shooting, cropping and formatting for a square aspect ratio has a lot of advantages.  There are ready made square frames in smaller sizes like 4×4, 8×8, 10×10, with the popularity of Instagram, frame manufactures have created a lot of ready made frames for this ratio.

Art Prints

Another advantage is the square online often gets shown larger on certain websites.  Because the square is easier to layout on a page, photos are often cropped willy nilly into squares, you by creating a square yours is less likely to be cropped in a strange way when displayed in certain situations.

The downside is composing in a square format can be challenging. Square frames and mats:

Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black:
Kiera Grace Langford Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black

8×8 frame:
Malden International Designs Manhattan Matted 8×8 Black Wall Picture Frame

16×16 black frame:

Art To Frames Picture Frame, 16 by 16-Inch, Black

Framing the 13×19 Print

I recently had the chance to prints some photographs on an Epson photo printer at the arts center where I teach.  Now what to do with the output without spending an arm and a leg on custom framing.

If you print with a 1/2-inch margin all around (12×18), and then mat with 3 inches all around, you will have an 18×24 matted print, which is a stock frame size found in most art supply stores.

You can choose to frame casually without a mat (poster style) or buy a mat and then a frame.

You can get pre-cut mats here:

10 of 18×24 White Pre-cut Acid-free whitecore mat for 13×19 + back+bag

18×24 frame:

Art To Frames Picture Frame, 18 by 24-Inch, Black

13×19 Frame (no matting):
Art To Frames Picture Frame, 13 by 19-Inch, Black

Scenes from the Canterbury Shaker Village

Fine Art Photography

Canterbury Shaker Village, Canterbury New Hampshire

There were no pulpits or decorations because those things were worldly. “In meeting, they marched, sang, danced, and sometimes turned, twitched, jerked, or shouted.

Shaker Village Photography Prints

Their buildings are very complete and in excellent order. They have a steam laundry, with mangle, and an admirably arranged ironing-room; a fine and thoroughly fitted school-house, with a melodeon, and a special music-room; an infirmary for the feeble and sick, in which there is a fearful quantity of drugs; and they take twelve or fifteen newspapers, and have a library of four hundred volumes, including history, voyages, travels, scientific works, and stories for children, but no novels.”

Shaker Village Photography Prints

“In the dwelling-house and near the kitchen I noticed a great number of buckets, hung up to the beams, one for each member, and these are used to carry hot water to the rooms for bathing. The dwellings are not heated with steam. The dining-room was ornamented with evergreens and flowers in pots.”

Shaker Village Photography Prints

The people are not great readers. The Bible, however, is much read. They are fond of music. In summer they entertain visitors at a set price, and have rooms fitted for this purpose. In the visitors’ dining-room I saw this printed notice:

At the table we wish all to be as free as at home, but we dislike the wasteful habit of leaving food on the plate. No vice is with us the less ridiculous for being fashionable.

Married persons tarrying with us overnight are respectfully notified that each sex occupy separate sleeping apartments while they remain.”

Shaker Village Art Prints

The Shakers believed God was both a man and a woman. That the fall of Adam and Eve was due to sexual intercourse and that men and women should be celibate.

shaker village Photography Prints

To see more artwork from the Canterbury Shaker Village please visit my gallery – Canterbury Shaker Village Gallery – artwork by Edward M. Fielding