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  • Night Photography

    Top Tips for Stepping into the Dark When the sun downs down it's a great time for you to explore the Night with your camera. It's all about the light, or the lack of light to create the mood of the moment, discover the many variation of darkness that you can use. I love that magical time when the sun has just fallen below the horizon and you are on the edge of day becoming night. Equally, it could be the dead of night with a jet black sky and the stars shining bright. Step out and become aware of the differences with or without Moonlight and all its stages between, and the effect it has on your photography. Re-engage yourself with the Night, we now live in a world filled with Artificial Light and it is very easy to forget our ancestral past when there was none, only the darkness. May I recommend a wonderful book to read before you get started - Under the Stars by Matt Law. Although not directly about photography this book retunes us into looking at the rhythms of the night in a very different way, and with that it can only but help how you become a nocturnal photographer. However, the use of Artificial Light will be dominate in your photography, just walk the streets at night and you can’t avoided it, but see if you can use it in a creative way. Think of it as painting with light on a canvas of darkness. Have fun with it, even add your own extra light to create some extra dramatic effects. The great thing about night photography is that there are no rules, even your camera will not perform the same way as it does in daylight, be prepared to fail, but also be prepared to capture something really special. Here are my Top Tips that I found works for me, some of these tips may seem obvious, however others I have only found out when things went wrong! With practice you will find your own way of doing things and getting the best out of your equipment and the situations you find yourself in. Planning Before stepping out into the night I always try and pre-plan where, when and what I want to achieve. Having a loose plan in mind helps me gather what equipment I need to take, you don’t want any more than you need , but equally forgetting a vital bit can be very frustrating in the dead of night. With little bit of preparation it can make a big difference in having a successful night of photography. Check to see what the weather may be doing and what you need to wear. Work out what the condition of the sky is likely to be, will it be clear or cloudy. Find out what phase the Moon is and its movement across the sky for the night. If you are photographing night time Seascapes find out the tide times. Get any maps together as to where you are going and work out a route before hand. Think about your timing, when to start and finish to get the best out of the night. There has been times for particular locations when I have done a daylight visit first. It's so much easier in places you don’t know to check it out first in daylight, rather than turn up in in darkness and be complete confused what to do and where to go. Everything looks so very different in the dark! Tripod 99% of the time I use a Tripod for night photography. I have three different sizes to choose from; Large & Heavy, Medium & Sturdy, Compact & Lightweight. Depending on the accessibility of the location and how far I have to walk usually determines which one I will use. However, some shots such as Star Trails you are going to need a heavyweight, so don’t forget you will need to carry this. Without a Tripod you will find that you will limit yourself considerably what you are able and need to do with your camera, a tripod is literally your foundation that all will develop from. Shot Manual Turn off all Auto Exposure facilities on your camera, you need to be photographing in full Manual mode to be able to control all aspects of the exposure. I also tend to turn off Auto White Balance and give it my own single pre-set value. This means in Post Production I know exactly what all my photos are set to and can make adjustments from this single point. If it was on Auto then every image could have different values making it difficult in making overall adjustments. For those of you that have it, make sure you capture images in RAW format, this will allow you the maximum editing opportunities Post Production. If you don’t have a RAW setting on your camera don’t let that stop you shooting in JPG. ISO Why bother taking a Tripod, just ramp up the ISO and Handhold? That’s not my preferred way if you want high quality clean images and have the flexibly to shoot at lower speeds. I tend to do quite the reverse, I shoot at very low ISO at night and slow speeds, so I really need that Tripod. However, there has been times when I have handheld at a high ISO to get a shot because using a tripod was not appropriate or possible. In these cases it is better to get the shot at high ISO rather than not getting it at all, you just have to do more work in Post Production to reduce the noise out of the image. Speed With the benefit of your camera mounted on a tripod you can shoot at very slow speeds, not possible when handheld. To create light movement in your photographs such as car lights etc then you will need to play around with the camera speed at the lower end. It's a bit of trail and error to find the correct setting and waiting for the best moments to fire the shutter, but that’s all part of the fun. Overtime you will develop your own gut feel when you start put your camera to the test of this type of photography. Don’t forget to use some form of remote shutter release to negate any camera shake, if you don’t have one of these then put the camera on a short self-timer setting for firing without your hands on the camera. Aperture If you are running at lower speeds on you camera this gives you lots of flexibility with your aperture settings. The thought maybe that when shooting in low light conditions you need to open your aperture right up to allow as much light into the camera. Well this may not be the best when thinking about the depth of field. Imagine your night shot exactly as if it was in bright daylight, what aperture setting would you use then? Better to slow the speed and have your aperture reduced for a better depth of field. Also if you are after a “Star Burst” effect from streetlights and alike then a small aperture is going to create this for you. Play around with different aperture setting for the same shot (adjusting your speed accordingly) to see what works out better for you. Focusing If you are in very dark conditions and can be very difficult at times for Auto Focus to work correctly. One thing you can do is temporarily maximise your ISO so that you can see the view through your camera, turn Auto Focus off and adjust the focus manually. You will need to lock this focus in, I use a small strip of tape around the focus ring to stop myself accidentally moving it. Once the focus is set you can now readjust the ISO to the correct setting you want. Condensation Yes, Condensation on your lens can be a big issue when photographing late at night. There has been times when I have thought I had a perfect shot in the camera, and it was not until later after I had downloaded the image onto my computer screen did I then see that there is water droplet in the middle of the picture! Always carry plenty of dry lens cloths as condensation can happen at anytime at night and can be really hard to spot, keep checking the front of your lens. For very long exposures (an hour or two) I have even had to resort to using heated elements around the lens, like the ones they use on astronomical telescopes to stop condensation forming on the glass. Batteries Make sure to have fully charge spare batteries with you. You will find photographing at night and in the cold will drain your camera battery much quicker. Because you will be doing longer exposures and likely be using the Live View Screen on the back of your camera a lot more power is being used than would be normally during daylight photography. The Bits & Bobs Take a Torch - White light and Red light, and a head torch frees up your hands. Warm Cloths - it can get cold out there at night, a hat helps reduce heat loose. Gloves - I use thin gloves so I can still feel the camera, but the camera body gets cold. Footwear - ware sturdy walking boots if you are going into rugged terrane. Food & Drink - in remote locations you will be pleased you brought these with you. Mobile Phone - for emergencies and great for map app’s (if you have a signal). Finally, be prepared for the unexpected! Things can and do happen at night so be super aware and keep safe, but ultimately have a great time and produce some amazing photographic results. There are many other things I could talk to you about Night Photography; creating Star Trails, Light Painting, Post Products and Editing, plus lot’s more……….but that’s for another time. Look out for more of our blogs from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. All The Best - Chris Available as Photographic “Custom Finish” Fine Art & Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, exclusively from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. Explore & Discover a World of Photographic Art

  • Photographing Lighthouses

    A Photographic Art Collection What is it about Lighthouses that touches us so very differently from any other type of building? Is it the romantic sense of loneliness? But if that was so why do those that are not isolated still have a magic about them? ​ As an ongoing Photographic Art collection Chris Page has brought together his photographs of these amazing structure’s, as a ongoing project. Here is just one location that Chris talks about how he went about capturing the beautiful images. Photographing Beachy Head I realised that I had to plan my forthcoming photographic shoot to Beachy Head like a military campaign, all had to be spot on to get the most out of the difficult location in a short window of time. Weather, Tides, Access Routes, Travel and Walking Times all had to be taken into account to capture the best of the early morning light. I started my car journey at 3.00am to arrive on the South Downs cliff tops by five and still in the dark. With the small beam of light from my head torch I picked my way down the steep narrow path to Cow Gap at the base of the cliffs and foreshore. Once on the beach I was presented with a mile long walk in the dark over large rocks and boulders on a receding tide towards the lighthouse. With 10kg of camera equipment strapped to my back and a tripod used as a walking stick, slip sliding my way for a more than an hour towards the distant blinking light. Rock falls are a constant treat from the 530ft high white chalk cliffs, but staying away from its base was not always an option in finding a route through between them and the sea. By 6.30am I had reached my goal with the light from the rising sun rapidly now starting to appear on the horizon. With a quick camera set-up and tripod perched on a high chalk rock fall I composed my first shot, and then waited, waited for the magic of the light to arrive. For the next hour I remand fixed in my concentration of what was before me. Moving only to play with the long exposures settings and tweaking the camera position as the clouds, sea and light constantly changed. There is great pleasure in being alone in such a place, with only the sound of the wind and sea to fill the space between your ears, along with the occasional barking of seals looking for breakfast. By 7.30 morning had fully arrived and time to move on. It was now a retrace back to my starting point, but this time photographing viewpoints I had not seen on my original track in the dark. Also with the tide rushing out there was now lots of extra space away from the base of the cliffs to walk over the glinting pools on flatted weather sea rock. Finally arriving back at Cow Gap all that now remained was the hike back up the steep cliff path. By 10 o’clock I arrived back at the car; huffing, puffing and dripping in sweat, but feeling pretty chuffed that the mission I set myself was accomplished! Available as Photographic “Custom Finish” Fine Art & Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, exclusively from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. Explore & Discover a World of Photographic Art

  • Collecting Photographic Art

    What is Photographic Art? It's a relatively young medium in the art world when compared to paintings and sculpture. But photographic art is fast gaining in popularity amongst collectors. However, given the saturation of photographic imagery in society today, it can be a daunting task. How to decipher the difference between a valuable work of art and someone’s happy snap, you will know, these are photographs that will stand out from the crowd. For you they have that intangible something that captures and drawers you in. Fundamentally you will know because you love it and want it in your photography collection. “Watching Over Granny” by Mike Rossi https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/watching-over-granny How to Buy Photographic Art? For you to purchase a piece of photographic art has never been easier with the rise of online galleries. You can now access a range of world class photographers without having to leave home. Much like traditional art, the contemporary medium used to only be available from bricks and mortar galleries or straight from the photographers themselves. Given the general preference towards more traditional paint and brush works, photographic exhibitions were hard to find. This has led to the genre being a challenge to access for the general public. However, things have changed, now in the digital age, anyone can start their dream photography collection! “Coruisk Rock” by Chris Page https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/coruisk-rock With this accessibility and saturation comes the challenge of finding valuable works that are of high quality. Sourcing photography art that will be a true addition to your art collection can be tricky. But there are a few key things to look out for. For our Six Top Tips to help you find the perfect artwork for your photography collection, keep reading Our Six Top Tips #1 Limited or Unlimited You will find Photographs and prints gain value through the scarcity of editions. Given that each print is based off a negative or digital file, you would think that photographers can print as many as they want. However, in doing this it would reduce the value of the edition. By limiting the number of copies of a single image, photographers can control how much the work is worth. Indeed, prices can vary for a single image across the different editions, with the value changing as each print is made. Additionally, even large or unlimited print supply can be some of the most successful pieces have been sold this way. You don't have to be put off by this. Do you like? Ultimately it comes down to this, if you are thinking of added it to your photography collection? “Turkey Kiss” by Mike Rossi https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/turkey-kiss #2 Creative Craftsmanship As you would do with any other art mediums, look at the craftsmanship of the photograph. The skill of the photographer, the consistency of their portfolio and the equipment they use will affect how the final image is valued. Research, read the artist’s biography and learn how the photograph was made. After all, an image may take seconds to capture, but it takes a lifetimes knowledge to know how to make the most of it. Photographers like those at OPENPHOTO have been approved by a curatorial team. Therefore, this ensures top quality and professionalism before their work is available for purchase, so rest assured that you’re purchasing quality work. Often artists early in their careers will charge lower prices that match their experience in the industry. It’s not all about the Professional, look out for the Semi-Professional or Amateur that could be the next up and coming thing in the market. Which means, as their popularity, reputation and experience grows, the value will increase. Therefore, meaning it’s an excellent time to invest and buy yourself a piece that grows in value! “Pastoral Church” by Chris Page https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/pastoral-church #3 The Production Pay attention to how the image has been printed and presented, there may be different options available that are reflected in the price. Photographs do not always get printed the same way, there are many different types of photographic paper and methods. For example, C-type prints, Fine Art Giclee prints, Baryta prints, Lambda prints, Endura prints, on Canvas, on Metal and many more. Each method of printing will have a different appearance in the final product, and different types of paper will have various lifespans. Generally, fibre-based papers will produce higher quality results which is why they are standard for exhibition prints. For works that won’t yellow as time passes, the paper should be acid-free. Take note on whether the final image has a matte, silk or glossy finish and any framing details, as these may vary across works. More often than not the Photographer will have selected the printing method, size and presentation that best reproduces the image. However, for some pieces there may be different options available for you to select from. Please refer to our Production Guide to help with the specification of these different products and methods. If you are in anyway unsure, please contact us and we will guide you through. “Dark Forest 1,2,3” by Frankey Craig https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/dark-forest-one #4 The Story Every image has it’s own story. Each element within the frame was included deliberately by the photographer to tell that story. The narrative behind the image gives it meaning and is where the connection we feel comes from. It may not always be the subject matter that tells the story, but instead the how and why behind the photo. It’s also important to note the photographer’s story. Why did they take the photo? What was happening at the time the photograph was taken? Many images become interesting looking at the circumstances surrounding them and take on a whole new meaning! “Street Racing in Naledi” by Mike Rossi https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/street-racing-in-naledi #5 Its More Than A Photograph It’s important that you make sure the Photographic Art comes with a certificate of authenticity. This document is proof of the value of the piece, when it was created and that it was created by the photographer. It’s also the place to look to find out which edition and number if part of a Limited Print Run. There may also be Signed editions by the Photographer for certain prints that will add more value to the piece. Special Collections of prints are sometime made available, such as Proofing Sets or First Editions, these are the most prized for collectors. From time to time we have Vintage Editions that become available. These are photographs taken on film some years ago, digitised and newly printed using modern methods. However, they still retaining the unique quality of film photography. When buying Photographic Art through OPENPHOTO you are purchasing new prints that have not been owned or used by anyone else. Every print is produced at the highest quality available for the specified product and method. In the unlikely event that you are unhappy with the condition you received your artwork in, we will we replace it free of charge. “Ben More” by Chris Page https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/ben-more #6 Do You Love It There are lots of factors that determine what is a ‘good’ image or a worthwhile investment to be in your photography collection. However, ultimately it all comes down to what matters is you. If you’ve fallen in love with a piece, then everything else falls away. All that is important is that you’re happy to look at that photograph on your wall for years to come. “Theebus & Koffiebus” by Mike Rossi https://www.openphoto-studio.com/product-page/theebus-koffiebus Explore & Discover a World of Photographic Art

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  • Portraits & People Collection | OPENPHOTO-STUDIO

    Portraits & People Collection Discover our Photographic Art from our Portraits & People Collection . ​ J ust click on the Explore button for more details and product information about the Photograph. ​ Available as “Custom Finish & Bespoke” Fine Art and Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, exclusively from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. Unemployed Man Explore click on image to enlarge Shack Fire Survivor Explore click on image to enlarge Candle Explore click on image to enlarge

  • Nature Themes | OPENPHOTO-STUDIO

    Themes from Nature Discover our Photographic Art with a Theme from Nature . ​ J ust click on the Explore button for more details and product information about the Photograph. ​ Available as “Custom Finish & Bespoke” Fine Art and Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, exclusively from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. Shop Themes from Nature Golden Carpet Explore click on image to enlarge Portal Explore click on image to enlarge Dark Forest One click on image to enlarge Explore Dark Forest Two click on image to enlarge Explore Dark Forest Three click on image to enlarge Explore Autumn Dancer Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Dying Heart Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Flag Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Angel Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Hurdler Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Dragon Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Ninja Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Soprano Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Phantom Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Virus Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Raindrop Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Wrap-A-Round Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn's Face Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Wrinkles Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn's Umbrella Explore click on image to enlarge

  • "Autumn Leaves" Collection | OPENPHOTO-STUDIO

    Autumn Leaves Collection Discover the Photographic Art by Mike Rossi of Autumn Leaves & Seeds in South Africa. ​ J ust click on the Explore button for more details and product information about the Photograph. ​ Available as “Custom Finish & Bespoke” Fine Art and Photo Prints, framed or unframed. Photography created as beautiful pieces of Wall Art for you to invest and enjoy, exclusively from OPENPHOTO-STUDIO. Shop Autumn Leaves Collection Autumn Dancer Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Dying Heart Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Flag Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Dying Heart Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Hurdler Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Dragon Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Ninja Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Soprano Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Phantom Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Virus Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Raindrop Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Wrap-A-Round Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn's Face Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Wrinkles Explore click on image to enlarge Autumn Umbrella Explore click on image to enlarge

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