Open for Critique

There is a time in the creative process when you need to protect your work, let it develop and form in a safe place. And there is a time in the creative process to gather feedback and other points of view, opening your work up for a constructive critique.

Kat-Sloma-Photography--3

My latest body of work, which I’m calling “Variations on the Forest,” is ready for critique. Usually a critique is something I request from trusted sources, in private. But this time, as I prepared a sampling of images for an upcoming PhotoArts Guild Critique Night, I thought I would share them here and invite your feedback and discussion as well. Why not? This blog is a place for work in progress as much as finished concepts.

The work shown here is a sampling of images created in this series over the last two years. As in all of my portfolios, I didn’t develop a concept first and then create the work. It evolved as a response to what I do and what I see as I move through my life, in this case my regular morning hikes. There are some common elements I’m seeking in order to include an image in the body of work, but rather than define them for you I’d like to get your words.

Here are a few prompt questions, to get the conversation started:

  • Do the images work together as a group? Why or why not?
  • Are there any images that don’t fit with the others for you? Which ones?
  • Is there an overall emotion evoked for you? What is it?
  • Do you want to see more or interact further with the images? Why or why not?

Let’s discuss!

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 1

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 2

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 3

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 4

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 5

Oregon Forest Trees Kat Sloma iPhone Photography

Image 6

Registration is open for Fall Workshops!

I know it’s the heat of summer, but fall will be here before you know it. (Don’t tell my son, he’s getting too much pleasure from sleeping in.) My fall mobile photography workshops will fill up before you know it, too! Registration is now open for my workshops from September to November. A workshop is the perfect thing to do while you wait for my book to arrive!


Mobile Photography 1: Introduction
Corvallis, Oregon
September 12, 2015 or October 10, 2015
1pm to 4pm

Kat-Sloma-Photography-0826

Learn to capture great photographs with your smartphone or tablet. You always have your mobile device with you, right? Why not make it your primary camera! In this half-day course, you’ll learn how to get the most out of your device’s camera along with the basics of creative photo editing. Whether you want to take nice photographs of your family and friends to share online or begin to create photographic art, you’ll be making photographs you are proud to share in no time! The class will be taught for both iOS and Android devices, and no prior photography experience is necessary.

Cost is $40+apps. Register here.


Mobile Photography 2: Artistic Alterations
Corvallis, Oregon
November 14, 2015
1pm to 4pm

Kat-Sloma-Photography-4666

Take your photographs into a whole new realm! Explore the possibilities of creating interesting and unique art by altering photographs on your iPhone or iPad. In this half-day workshop you will learn the secrets of sequencing and blending apps to create art with depth and interest from your photographs. By the end, you will be creating images as unique as you are! The class will be taught for iOS devices running the latest version of iOS.

Prerequisite: Mobile Photography 1, Intro to Mobile Photography or Intro to iPhoneography

Cost is $40+apps. Register here.

Will you be joining me this fall? I’d love to see you in class!

Simplifying a Scene with Slow Shutter Cam (Mobile Tutorial)

Photography is about lines and light for me. I love a simple graphic image, uncluttered by unnecessary details or a complex background. That makes photographing in the dense Oregon forest a challenge for me! Lately I’ve found using Motion Blur mode in the Slow Shutter Cam app, I can get the simplicity of the light and lines I’m looking for in the complex forest environment. Plus, it’s just fun to play with intentional camera movement!

Oregon Forest Morning Light Kat Sloma iPhone Altered Photography

So how does Slow Shutter Cam work? It’s pretty straightforward. The app takes multiple images during the exposure period, and then blends them together. How blurred your final image will be depends on the settings you choose as well as the motion you use when you take the photograph. You have lots of options in both settings and motion to experiment with.

When you open the app, you frame your scene and set focus and exposure. Nicely, you can tap to set focus and exposure similarly to ProCamera. I’ve found that overexposing a little bit often works best for my images, but you will want to play around with exposure settings yourself.

IMG_5560.PNG

To change your blur settings, you can tap the aperture/iris icon in the lower left and a pop-up menu appears on the screen. I use Motion Blur as my capture mode, and then play around with Blur Strength and Shutter Speed as I take different images. Tap anywhere on the screen to close the menu when you are done adjusting your settings.

IMG_5561.PNG

To take the photograph, tap the camera icon in the bottom center. Start moving your phone to get the motion blur on a stationery scene. The window in the top left will show the scene unblurred, while the rest of the screen shows what the blurred image looks like as you create it.

The image you create will depend not only on the settings in the app, but on how much, how fast, and what motion you use as you move the camera. Experimenting with types of motion (up/down, wiggly, circular, etc.), start/stop points, exposure, blur strength, and shutter speed will result in very different images. Below is an example of six different images of one scene. I will often take many more than this, changing the app settings and my motion to get a different result in each one.

IMG_5578.PNG

Those are the basics for Slow Shutter Cam! Pretty simple, huh? The secret lies in experimentation with the settings and movement in this case, rather than complexity in the app.

The rest of the fun with these images comes later, when I sit down to edit. I will look through all of the images I’ve created and see which ones have the most potential. I’m looking at the light, the lines, and the impression the movement gives to the overall scene. It’s easy to be too blurred, or not blurred enough. You want the image to look artistic, not like a mess or an accident.

Once I’ve selected the image, I follow my normal processes of basic adjustments, artistic edits, and then blending to get the final image. For the image at the beginning of this post, here is the starting photograph, as captured by Slow Shutter Cam:

IMG_5580.JPG

I wanted to focus in on a certain part of the scene, so I cropped and did some basic adjustments in Snapseed:

IMG_5581.JPG

From there, I edited with Tangled FX, Classic Vintage and XnView Photo FX to alter color and texture, and then used Image Blender to pull the final image together.

Oregon Forest Morning Light Kat Sloma iPhone Altered Photography

The image is called “Awakening” and is one of my favorites so far in this forest series. I think the dramatic light and dark, along with the blur, work well to create a mood.

Your turn! Enjoy playing with Slow Shutter Cam and let me know how your experiments turn out.

Looking for Art in Oregon? Got you Covered…

Oregon is wonderful in the summer. Sunny days, cool nights, low humidity, few bugs. And lots of art! Last week I finalized my art fair schedule so I can finally share it here with you. I’d love to meet you at an art fair this summer, share my work (it looks even better in person), and chat about art, photography, creativity… or life in general. Mark your calendars!

KatSloma_2015NewWotk_Postcard_Front

Lake Oswego Art in the Park
June 26 – 28
George Rogers Park, Lake Oswego, OR
More Info

Salem Art Fair & Festival
July 17 – 19
Bush’s Pasture Park, Salem, OR
More Info

54th Annual Clothesline Sale of Art
August 1
Benton County Courthouse, Corvallis, OR
More Info

Northwest Art & Air Festival
August 21 – 23
Timber Linn Park, Albany, OR
More Info

Corvallis Fall Festival
September 26 – 27
Central Park, Corvallis, OR
More Info

Philomath Open Studios Tour
October 24, 25, 31 and November 1
My Studio, Corvallis, OR
More Info

Kat-Sloma-Photography-5093

You can always see a current listing of my events and workshops on the calendar on my website. Fall workshop dates are posted now too!

PS – If you’d like to get a copy of my 2015 schedule postcard (shown at the top of the post), email me your address. I’ll add you to the list!

Oregon Coast Travelogue

We spent the weekend unplugged from the Internet and plugged in to the family at our favorite spot on the coast, Washburne State Park. We hiked, we walked on the beach, we played, we made photographs. It was a wonderful break from our normal lives. We need to do this more often!

Enjoy a few pics from the area, all edited in Stackables with a formula I created called “Heceta.” It works great on landscapes!

UPDATE 3-June-15: If you would like the “Heceta” formula for your own use, do the following:
1. Make sure the Stackables app is installed on your iOS device.
2. On your iOS device, download the formula file from this link. (This is a Dropbox link, and you may be prompted to save the file to your Dropbox account, if you have one. Go ahead and save it to your Dropbox and then download from there.)
3. When you go to download or open the file, use “Open in…” and choose the “Open in Stackables” option.
4. Stackables will open and ask if you want to import the formula, click “Import.”
5. To use the formula, load a photo and then go to Favorite Formulas (the ones with a heart!). You will see the “Heceta” formula there. Have fun!!

Heceta Head Lighthouse

 Low tide at Heceta Head.

 The beach at Washburne.

 The bridge at Heceta Head beach. Oregon has the best bridges!

 Zoey loves fetching on the beach.


Hello from the Sloma family!

I forget we have this amazing place, the Oregon Coast, just an hour from our home in Corvallis. One more reason to love where I live!

What you Cultivate, you Create

“You reap what you sow.”

I think we’ve all heard that saying a time or two. This is true in all aspects of life… our relationships, our development and our art, too. I got up this morning to write a blog post and discovered I had no words to write. I haven’t done any of my “creative” reading lately, or written in my journal for a week. I hadn’t sown any seeds for a blog post, which come when I’m taking in new ideas, pondering them, playing with them to write something new.

But I have images! Oh, do I have images. I have some beautiful forest images, from my morning hikes. That’s where I’ve been sowing my seeds of creativity: Visually, on the trail.

I shouldn’t be excited or disappointed one way or another, words or images. The outcome is obviously clear, I’m creating where I’m cultivating. Whether it’s an attitude or an art, where we invest our time and energy is where we will get a payback.

The hard part is in internalizing that we can’t get that payback in all areas at once. We have to pick and choose where we focus our attention.

Where do you choose to cultivate?

Cultivate intentionally, because that is where you will create.