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Submitted by John Santoro on Wed, 07/10/2013 – 11:19am
Unified Color Blog


Robert Barnes is a digital artist working in Reno, NV and often “on the road somewhere in America” as he often signs his correspondence.

Barnes dove into digital media when digital artistry tools were new and crude; a time when creativity and imagination drove the genre. Fast forward to today and you’ll see that his work exhibits a unique look at the world and near-perfect execution. You can see more of Barnes’ work at his website.



Barnes shares his thoughts on photography with us:

Q: How does your locale influence your photography?

A: I moved to Reno, NV last year from Santa Fe, NM. It has all the benefits of living in the West, low humidity, spectacular landscapes, and closeness to Yosemite and San Francisco. In the brief time we’ve been here, Reno has surprised us with a myriad of photo opportunities. The Reno National Air Race Championships, The Reno Balloon Races, The Reno Rodeo (5th largest in the country) and Lake Tahoe – a 40 minute drive “up the hill”.

Q: What type of photography inspires you?

A: I work primarily with the Grand View. Landscapes that provide us with perspective, sense of place, and an ever changing palette of color, skies and terrain.

Q: How did you get started with HDR photography?

A: As a repeat visitor to the National Parks, I felt I was getting the initial “good stuff”. Challenging terrains like Antelope Slot Canyons, Horseshoe Bend, and The Grand Canyon in Arizona have, on a good day, a dynamic range that my cameras just can’t capture. My eye sees the image, the sensor’s latitude does not – at least not in a single image. HDR helps me present what I really saw – and often it is magnificent. In the one man show I have starting in September, I feature 4 surreal slot canyons that are the result of extensive use of HDR.

Q: Can you tell us what equipment and software you use?

A: My primary camera is the trusty Nikon D2X and 17-55mm f2.8 Nikkor lens. A sturdy Tripod, Photoshop CS6 Extended and Unified Color’s Float 32 and HDR Express2 (on a Mac).

Q: How do you see photography developing over the next year or so?

I’ve been shooting for 44 years. I’ve learned that photography is not a competition… I use my photography and HD Video to create what I describe as “Photorealist Paintings and Sculpture.” Limited Edition work. In some cases I wrap my images around 3D models I’ve created. I use every tool in my grab bag to bring my work to life. My personal end point is the creation of fine art prints and videos that promote my work.

As we move forward – the advent of 4,000 pixel width video will draw a lot of photographers into the video field. The cameras aren’t the end point. The image – and how it makes the viewer feel is what I really care about. Stitching multiple images to gain the super high resolution I crave, combined with ever improving HDR technology we enjoy today – leads us to the next step in the evolution of image creation.

From Mathew Brady to the NASA Astronauts shooting images of the Earth with large format cameras, all these advances are within the creative grasp of photographers today. I look at negatives I shot in 1969 and the images I produce today. There is little comparison strictly from the measurement of clarity. But the content of my old shots hasn’t faded with time. The Space Shuttle launch, The Democratic & Republican Conventions. Shots from the Goodyear Blimp and portraits of Bob Dylan and Buddy Rich – still shine through because THEY were the reason I tripped the shutter. What lens or camera body I was using was only a means to an end. Content and Feeling remain. New technology improves the canvas upon which I “paint”. The near future will see many more shooters who embrace the time lapse capture, the astro-photography of the night sky, the danger of extreme sports with small helmet cameras. Our adventure continues.

CLICK HERE to visit the original source web site for Unified Color.

One Comment

  1. Terrific Interview ! Your grasp of photography is astounding.

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