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  • Writer's pictureFt Hills Artists Gallery

Interview with Featured Artist Arlon Sieve

What is you medium and why did you chose it?

 Photography is my medium. I thInk it chose me. I was good in art in grade and high school, but never had formal art classes in water color or oils or the like. In college I was too busy with math and science courses to take an art class. 

How long have you been making art?

Got an early Kodak 35mm camera as a graduation gift from college 55 years ago and have never put a camera down. Always a picture that needs to be taken.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I think wanderlust has been my inspiration. Travel has been a big part of my life. If I could start over in a career, I think photo journalism would be the calling.

What does you studio look like?

No studio. Just camera equipment and computers.

What is you favorite time of day to make art?

Early morning and early evening are the times when light is really good for taking pictures. Of course, when traveling, one takes the picture when the opportunity arises. If I can, I go back to,a location when I know the light or conditions will give me a better photograph.

Do you listen to music or have complete silence when you work?

Both. When I am working on my computer with software to finish or enlarge a photograph, I need to concentrate.

Describe your creative process.

I always take a number of shots of a scene that I think could result in an outstanding print. I used to return from trips outside the US with 30 -40 rolls of film. Had to develop them all, then eliminate 80%. Much easier now with digital being good enough to replace film. I shoot RAW images. RAW is like a negative from a film camera. No processing done in the camera. All processing do on a computer where you don’t lose information in the photo from repeated processes. Software is the paint brush. I use Photoshop only to process a RAW image and some basic adjustments like white balance and sharpness. I use Topaz filters (software) to obtain desired effects and software to enlarge a photo and create a 300 dpi image for printing. All this usually results in an image of 200-300 megabytes that I download to the lab for processing. I can work on a single image for an hour getting just what I want. Often I go back to the original unchanged RAW image (advantage of shooting RAW) and start over. 

Good final photographs do require an “eye” for a scene and a lot of computer processing. A bad original photo captured on a camera will never result in a good finished product. A good original is always the first step.

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