The Inspired Series: Marta Everest

One of the best things about being someone who creates tools for other artists is seeing how they integrate them in unique and exciting ways. My goal in creating products is simply to offer tools to help people express themselves creatively by giving them options. My products are designed to be highly customizable so artists can develop signature looks while still saving time and offering fresh tools to inspire.

In case you didn’t know, I have a Facebook user’s group, Beautiful World Actions, Overlays and Textures by Jessica Drossin, which is not limited to simply Beautiful World products, but instead is open to everyone who uses any of my products in their edits. It’s a safe place to learn, get inspired, request constructive criticism (key word being “constructive” and ONLY if you ask for it!), and share your work with like-minded artists.

My goal is to highlight a user every month whose work can inspire others. To kick things off this month, I’d like to introduce you to the work of Marta Everest. Marta’s work is truly unique and beautiful, with a old-world look more like a painting than a photo. Marta’s gorgeous use of light and subdued use of color transports me to another world. She uses textures differently than I do and I hugely admire how she manages to show boldness, but also restraint, in how she integrates them into her workflow.

I hope you enjoy this interview and the fantastic work of Marta Everest as much as I do.

***

Marta Everest - 2

Q: Can you tell us a little about your background? How did you become interested in photography and what lead you to using textures in your portrait work?
A: I was born and raised in Sevilla, Spain in a very loving family that I always thank God for. I moved to the United States soon after I got married in 1998 and in 2004 we decided to move back to Spain to start a new life and raise our children. Today, I’m the mother of 5 wonderful children that mean the world to me. I became interested in portrait photography in 2002 when a photo of my oldest daughter won the 1st place at the American Baby Contest and then another photo won 2nd place the following year. I felt I had a good shot in the portrait photography world so I just pursued and followed my dream. I bought my first digital camera and my first editing software in 2007, totally clueless on what to do with it. I didn’t discover textures until a few years later and I just found myself immediately driven to them. Today they’re an essential tool in helping me create a story.

Marta Everest - 3
Marta Everest - 4

Q: Can you describe your process a bit? How do you select which texture to use? What mode do you blend them with? Do you apply them at the beginning or end of the edit?
A: I start all my RAW editing process in Lightroom before adding the last finishing touches in Photoshop. Once in PS the first thing I do is to apply different actions and tints to the photo until I find just the perfect tone that I’m aiming for and I adjust the opacity if necessary. Sometimes I also like adding a cyan color filter to some of my images to reduce warmth. Once the tone it’s been applied the search for the perfect texture begins. I usually aim for the same textures all the time (cool tone ones are my favorite) simply because I’m more familiar with them and they blend really well with the skin so I don’t need to remove any of it. When I find the right texture I simply apply it using a soft light blending mode and last I just do the necessary adjustments in the curve panel until the image looks pleasing to the eye, and not too contrasty.

Marta Everest - 5
Marta Everest - 7

Q: The photos of your children are so beautiful! How do you make them feel so timeless? Do you purely use natural light?
A: My goal is to keep my work fundamentally simple, but at the same time, I strive for an artistic feel to it, something evocative and imperishable. With the help of a single softbox (no flash) and in a confined space (my house small living room) I’m able to create the perfect scene for all my photos.

Marta Everest - 8
Marta Everest - 9

Q: What sorts of emotions or ideas do you hope to communicate in your images? What inspires and influences your artistic decisions?
A: I want my photos to be able to tell a beautiful story from long long ago and sometimes I just want them to be a reflection of something that the children enjoy doing when they’re at home, without the use of too many props. Just the moment and a soft light. Where do I find my inspiration? I find it in some of the old master paintings (Rembrandt, Vermeer…) and even Morgan Weistling. He’s an amazing artist!! and sometimes I look for inspiration in a children’s book, a movie, or even classical music can inspire me.

Marta Everest - 10

Q: What JD product could you recommend to others who might be inspired by your work?
A: If I could recommend a product it would definitely be any of the JD Beautiful World Tints and the JD Illumination Textures 2 or Beautiful World Textures.

***

Marta Everest’s work can be found here.

Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest on ViewBug: Winners Announced

Thank you to all the photographers that shared their best fine art portraiture photos in this photo contest!

 

People’s Choice – Photo by RussElkins

Simple Man by RussElkins - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

 

Grand Jury Winner – Photo by JamesOliverConnolly

Sailor Smoke by JamesOliverConnolly - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

“First of all, hats off to amazing portraits of men in a category too often dominated by portrait of women and children. This portrait hinted at a story I kept coming back to, wondering if I could decipher a clue to the character in that smoke, a hidden message in this deep and enigmatic portrait. I admire the muted, moody color palette and the intricacies and details included in this work. Excellent, original, and engaging vision and execution.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Amateur Winner – Photo by marygracedelapen

Jesper by marygracedelapena - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

“Once again, I was very impressed by a powerful, playful portrait with the depth, intimacy and quality that would be worthy of inclusion in a Vanity Fair portrait profile. Love the rich, warm tones, the detail, the intriguing pose and intense expression. Exceptional work!” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by SheridansArt

Forlorn by SheridansArt - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

“Outstanding use of color and light to convey emotion. The details are breathtaking and the otherworldly calm and beauty is mesmerizing. The portrait feels fresh and relevant but also harkens back to portrait paintings by the old masters. Sublime.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by johnwood

Musician writing in his thoughts by johnwood - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

“I love the lighting and mood conveyed in this seeming candid capture of an artist contemplating his craft. I love the non-traditional choice of model and the story this portrait suggests.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by francescorizzato

Those eyes by francescorizzato - Fine Art Portraiture Photo Contest

“What a stunning portrait, I adore the color choices and the fact that even though there is a lot going on here, my eyes never stray for long from the amazing eyes of the subject.” – Jessica Drossin

  

Congratulations to the Grand Jury, Amateur and People’s Choice Winner, who will receive respectively a $200, $100 and $50 Gift Coupon towards any product in my store!

Sun Flares Photo Contest on ViewBug: Winners Announced

Thank you to all the photographers that shared their best photos showing sun flares in this photo contest!

This was such a fun contest to judge!  First, all of the finalists are very worthy! Such an impressive display of talent! In the end, I decided upon a few guidelines to help me select a winner and honorable mentions among so many terrific entries. I decided to really focus first and foremost on the flare element: Did it feel realistic? Was it an attractive addition? Did it help to focus the viewers attention to something? Was its placement enhancing to the overall composition?

 

People’s Choice – Photo by 800ISO

“I love the low light and endless expanse of this image. It feels lush and well-developed. The flare leads my eye to the structure and creek details and works well as a compositional element.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Grand Jury Winner – Photo by wolongshan

“I love the vertically oriented composition in this shot. The gradated tones, cool to warm, leading the eye to the dynamic flare is very nicely done. I really enjoy how the artist has provided both detail and softness in this image, and the monolithic rock feels imbued with some sort of prehistoric magic. The reflection is also very nice, echoing the drama at the top of the image.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by gerrygroeber

“I adore the sun-drenched details in this shot. The flare works wonderfully compositionally to add visual interest to an area that would otherwise be lackluster in comparison to the cloud and landscape details on the right.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by YuliyVasilev

“A perfectly named photo, the gorgeously varied warm tones, interrupted by a path seemingly leading the viewer right into the scene — and towards the flare — works wonderfully” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by kathykuhn100

“What a spectacular flare! The subtle spectrum of color, the far-reaching arms of the flare leading us into different areas of the photo, and the way it is compositionally positioned all works flawlessly.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Runner Up – Photo by francescovaninetti

“I really liked the composition in this shot and how the structure and the flare balance each other on opposite ends of the vibrant field. The soft, warm flare works beautifully with the backlit lavender plant details.” – Jessica Drossin

 

Amateur Winner – Photo by JeremyMcG

“I love the beautiful flare and the way the hills progressively lighten in the distance with the haze. The center composition works well and draws me into the scene.” – Jessica Drossin

  

Congratulations to the Grand Jury, Amateur and People’s Choice Winner, who will receive respectively a $200, $100 and $50 Gift Coupon towards any product in my store!

Instagram 365 Challenge Week 6 Round Up :)

A resolution of mine this year is that in addition to showing my regular business/work portraits, I’m also going to attempt to do a 365 of my “real life” images as well… I want to challenge myself to create good portraits with no special props, locations or photoshopping.

When I started this on Jan. 1, some friends and followers asked if they too could join in and I thought it would be fun. The one basic rule is it’s a photograph a day, describing your life, taken with a camera phone.

I’m not going to feel like a failure if I don’t get all 365 and you shouldn’t either. I think it would be a huge win just to document ALMOST everyday for a year. That would be about a 300 day improvement over last year so I figure it’s still a huge step in the right direction!

 

JD-week6-Feb5

Feb. 5, 2015

Every pic I take of these two is like a game of “caption this”… True characters!! 36/365

JD-week6-Feb8

Feb. 8, 2015

Night Reading.
This would have been a better shot in my mind had my boy not been talking, but I am blessed with boys who express themselves constantly. I hope that continues as we move into their teenage years. 38/365.

JD-week6-Feb10

Feb. 10, 2015

My husband checking out a portrait. I love visiting this store. 40/365

JD-week6-Feb11

Feb. 11, 2015

I’m a little behind on my iPhone 365 project, and frankly, that’s largely due to baseball. Heck, I’m sitting at a baseball practice as I type this. Lately, if I’m not shooting or editing, I’m at a practice or game. Let me take a second to compliment the people who volunteer their time to make it possible for kids to experience extra-curricular activities: You are providing a huge community service and making a real difference in kid’s lives. Thank you! ️(ps… This ball literally came RIGHT at my camera and I called it quits after this pic, lol!!!) 41/365

#JD 365 Image Pool Spotlights

In addition to my own 365 project, I want to include some lovely moments from others “playing along” and adding their work to the community under the hashtag #JD365Project. Please be sure to give them some love and consider adding YOUR best “everyday” images captured with your camera phone (only) to our image pool. It’s NEVER too late to join.

yellowlabrador100

© Image from Judith Krasinski, to be followed at: instagram.com/yellowlabrador100

celenadanielle

© Image from Celena Green, to be followed at: instagram.com/celenadanielle

Isiwainastromoy

© Image from Siw Aina Strømøy, to be followed at: instagram.com/siwainastromoy

nshots

© Image from Nia Hobbs, to be followed at: instagram.com/nshots

karinegillopp

© Image from Karine Gilloppé Briend, to be followed at: instagram.com/karinegillopp

Instagram 365 Challenge Week 5 Round Up :)

A resolution of mine this year is that in addition to showing my regular business/work portraits, I’m also going to attempt to do a 365 of my “real life” images as well… I want to challenge myself to create good portraits with no special props, locations or photoshopping.

When I started this on Jan. 1, some friends and followers asked if they too could join in and I thought it would be fun. The one basic rule is it’s a photograph a day, describing your life, taken with a camera phone.

I’m not going to feel like a failure if I don’t get all 365 and you shouldn’t either. I think it would be a huge win just to document ALMOST everyday for a year. That would be about a 300 day improvement over last year so I figure it’s still a huge step in the right direction!

 

JD-week5-Jan29

Jan. 29, 2015

It was all fun and games until his big brother said he wasn’t tough. 🙁 29/365

JD-week5-Jan30

Jan. 30, 2015

Sisters. One always wants to cuddle, one is always looking for more food. 30/365

JD-week5-Jan31

Jan. 31, 2015

Dressing up in catcher’s gear. He asked me to take photos of him in full gear and tweet it to AJ Ellis. 31/365

JD-week5-Feb3

Feb. 3, 2015

Snuggling with the Chiweenie. 34/365

JD-week5-Feb4

Feb. 4, 2015

In the waiting room… Back again for a long day at the dentist. 35/365

#JD 365 Image Pool Spotlights

In addition to my own 365 project, I want to include some lovely moments from others “playing along” and adding their work to the community under the hashtag #JD365Project. Please be sure to give them some love and consider adding YOUR best “everyday” images captured with your camera phone (only) to our image pool. It’s NEVER too late to join.

karendnelson2

© Image from Karen Nelson, to be followed at: instagram.com/karendnelson2

september.dawn

© Image from September, to be followed at: instagram.com/september.dawn

pixels_by_pixley

© Image from Cynthia Pixley, to be followed at: instagram.com/pixels_by_pixley

christineblaylock-cut

© Image from Christine Blaylock, to be followed at: instagram.com/christineblaylock

alwayssnapping

© Image from Dawn Giannone, to be followed at: instagram.com/alwayssnapping

Instagram 365 Challenge Week 4 Round Up :)

A resolution of mine this year is that in addition to showing my regular business/work portraits, I’m also going to attempt to do a 365 of my “real life” images as well… I want to challenge myself to create good portraits with no special props, locations or photoshopping.

When I started this on Jan. 1, some friends and followers asked if they too could join in and I thought it would be fun. The one basic rule is it’s a photograph a day, describing your life, taken with a camera phone.

I’m not going to feel like a failure if I don’t get all 365 and you shouldn’t either. I think it would be a huge win just to document ALMOST everyday for a year. That would be about a 300 day improvement over last year so I figure it’s still a huge step in the right direction!

 

JD-week4-Jan22

Jan. 22, 2015

I’m sorry Buddy, you have many gifts, but good teeth were not one of them. I wish we were almost done, but there is still a long road ahead :(. 22/365

JD-week4-Jan23

Jan. 23, 2015

Not the best shot because I had to be super-sneaky to get this, so my options were limited, but I had to document my kid and his friend walking to school together. They walk two blocks together every day up and down the hill to middle school. They share no classes but ever since my son met her last year at science camp (her family had just moved here from Peru) he has wanted to be around her, going as far as to wake up early in the morning to try to learn Spanish. He won’t tell me what they talk about in their walks to and from school, but he looks forward to them. 23/365

JD-week4-Jan24

Jan. 24, 2015

Just a stylized #iphone portrait of my youngest. I am a big fan of Chuck Close, something about this straight forward approach reminds me of him (but not as good!!) #24/365

JD-week4-Jan25

Jan. 25, 2015

Took the kids out for a licensing shoot tonight. Gorgeous night! This is just an #iphone snap at the end. 25/365

JD-week4-Jan26

Jan. 26, 2015

I was at Lowes the other day buying incredibly overpriced light bulbs for a ceiling fan fixture (!!!) when my husband spotted this desk lamp that works on batteries and projects natural light… It folds up on an arm, so I thought maybe this could be a sort of a poor man’s ice light…So I’m trying it out. My oldest is less than impressed, but I thought it might be something worth pursuing in the future since I hate the cameras flash. 26/365

JD-week4-Jan27

Jan. 27, 2015

Okay, I know, totally random pic in the #jd365project BUT I had to document the Chiweenie channeling her inner Bruce Lee in her morning wrestle sessions with her sister. She makes these noises straight out of a classic Kung Fu film. She is awesome. 27/365

#JD 365 Image Pool Spotlights

In addition to my own 365 project, I want to include some lovely moments from others “playing along” and adding their work to the community under the hashtag #JD365Project. Please be sure to give them some love and consider adding YOUR best “everyday” images captured with your camera phone (only) to our image pool. It’s NEVER too late to join.

Kalliefrances

© Image from Kalliefrances, to be followed at: instagram.com/kalliefrances

jodytheangel

© Image from jodytheangel, to be followed at: instagram.com/jodytheangel

raneydayphotography

© Image from Jessica, to be followed at: instagram.com/raneydayphotography

tobfreed

© Image from Tonya Freed, to be followed at: instagram.com/tobfreed

sjois71

© Image from Joyce, to be followed at: instagram.com/sjois71