When Rich Ernst gets to work on his computer and his Intuos4 on the images he captures in the outdoors, the result is a new artistic genre he calls “paintography.”
What inspires you? For Rich Ernst, who made his living as a geologist with the U.S. Forest Service, the natural world offers a trove of inspiration. Paintography has become an increasingly popular style and one that Rich teaches at the Fort Collins Digital Camera Club.
Once he gets the composition he likes, he’ll open the image in Corel Painter and use the pen tablet to apply paint effects – complete with brush strokes and color blending – to create his final image. From early photo adjustments to final paint effects, his Intuos4 plays a key role along the way.
“The pen and tablet work just like natural media, as close to drawing and painting that is technically possible,” Rich says. “The precise control and natural feel allow me to paint as if I were using a brush, and it allows me to apply effects in Photoshop right where I want them. It’s a technique called painting with light.”
Rich shoots his images with an eye toward adding these painterly effects. He says, “For me, it’s a nice combination of my lifelong interest in fine arts and photography.”