Model: Taylor Montague at South Beach

taylor montague

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Portfolio Shoot

Model: Taylor Montague
Agency: Next Models – Miami Beach
Photographer: Sam Dobrow
Location: South Beach, Miami Beach, FL
Date: Feb 19, 2014

Posted in Lifestyle, Models | Comments closed

Impressions from Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

Art Wynwood 2014

It’s art season in Miami so I make it a point to visit as many of the art shows as possible to take a pulse on current trends in fine art and especially fine art photography. Over the 2014 Valentine’s Day weekend there were two art events in town, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (CGAF) and Art Wynwood. CGAF is a huge art festival presenting arts and crafts from numerous emerging and established artists without gallery representation; whereas Art Wynwood is a large organized exhibit by art galleries from across the world. Both shows exhibit contemporary art and photography.

Although the CGAF is a huge show with easily a mile of tents to peruse, I was disappointed by the quality of the art. This is not to say that there were no good artists but, they were far and few between. The price point seemed to be under $1000 though I did see some large pieces going for quite a bit more. It seemed to me that the food venders were the ones making the sales as the crowd worked up an appetite strolling the streets on this beautiful afternoon. Because of the diversity of the show, I can’t draw any conclusions about the current trend in art from this event other than people will purchase art on a whim if the price is below $1,000 and they can walk away with it. So the rest of this story will be focused on my observations at Art Wynwood which seems to have a more consistent theme marketing to the high end art buyer.

01-A-03897-CGAF-Art Wynwood Read More »

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The Art of Perceptualism in Photography

For several years I have been developing a style of post processing for my images which I call “Perceptualism”. Perceptualism is the expression of how I perceive the experience. I choose to push the contrast, saturation and sharpness to a level of abstraction to emphasize details that typically go unnoticed as we walk on by. When I capture an image, I look for interesting graphic elements and compositional lines in a scene then focus on the story it tells. Back in the digital darkroom, I experiment with color, sharpness and texture to develop the desired outcome. This article looks back at the history of photographic art to provide a foundation for the new direction I am exploring.

I began my work in photography with black and white. I learned to look at the scene through my viewfinder as if it were monochromatic with an emphasis on light and shadows to create form and mood. The abstraction of black and white did not change the content but it could definitely change it’s perception. With the advent of digital photography, I began to see opportunities to add different levels of abstraction to the image. Those abstractions did not change the content but they certainly did alter the perception of the image and its representation. My choice of abstractions, focus, contrast, colors and hues are carefully constructed to convey my perception of the composition.

Photography began in the early 1800’s as a tool to record visual experiences as “truths” to be believed because of their documentary quality. The first photographs captured images in a grainy monochromatic format. As the science progressed, photographic images increased in resolution and contrast providing much more realistic images. But soon after the invention of photography, the debate began as to whether photography could also be art. As early as 1869 Henry Peach Robinson created realistic but imaginary images by combining numerous negatives into a single composition. Robinson’s images were artistic creations though they looked like “truthful” photographs.

Robinson’s When the Day’s Work is Done (1877). Combination print made from six different negatives.

Artistic expression in photography evolved with somewhat distorted, toned, or blurred images specifically designed to imitate the art of painting. Photographers desiring to create art would manipulate the chemistry of the process and experiment with various media for the light sensitive emulsions. Many people attribute the soft focus, grainy, toned photographic images from this era to the imperfections of the technology, not realizing these images were intentionally manipulated for this effect. This movement known as “Pictorialism” reached its peak in the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. But wait, there’s more!

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Paris to Marrakesh

Europa II

[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_01-A-02618-Intrepid Tour 2013 HDR-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]6760Paris River Boat
A beautiful summer day in Paris overlooking the Seine River toward the Eiffel Tower.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_02-A-03601-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]6320Champs Elysees
The famous Champs Elysees avenue and shopping district as viewed from atop the Arc de Triomphe. The Louvre museum which can be seen at the far end of the avenue served as the French royal palace during the middle ages.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_03-A-03614-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5890Paris from Arc de Triomphe
This 270 degree panoramic composition of 16 images photographed from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France illustrates the impact of urban design by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann with wide avenues, geometric traffic patterns and strict architectural facade standards. The image has been enhanced in post processing to emphasize architectural detail in this 4' x 1' wall mural.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_04-A-03581-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5500View from Pont Alexandre III
THe Pont Alexandre III bridge is considered one of if not the most ornate bridges in Paris. It is also considered a significant engineering accomplishment of the time as it is a single six meter tall steel arch design.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_05-A-02777-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5340View for Marie Antionette
The gardens at Versailles mark the peak of French Garden designs. This is the view of the gardens at Versailles as seen from Marie Antionette's bedroom window. The formal gardens illustrate the obsession of man's dominance over nature.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_06-A-02839-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5260Walled City of Avila
Avila is a medeval city in NW Spain completely encircled by walls.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_07-A-02872-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5190Casa Lis
View of the entry to Casa Lis in Salamanca, Spain. Casa Lis was originally the home of a successful industrialist, D. Miguel de Lis, and now houses the Museo Art Nouveaux Y Art Deco.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_08-A-02876-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5050New Catherdal of Salamanca
Built 16th - 18th century combining late Gothic with Baroque styles to blend with the old cathedral.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_09-A-02901-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]5000Cool Respite in Coimbra
A calm place to rest from the summer heat in Coimbra.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_10-A-02929-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4960Quiet Cafe in Coimbra
High above the main city of Coimbra, cobblestone streets lead to quiet cafes.
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Streets of Lisbon, Portugal. "Year of Faith" - the church, especially the Catholic churh, is very influential in the lives of people in western Europe.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_12-A-03034-Intrepid Tour 2013And2more-edit-01.jpg]4860Private Club
The Moorish architecture and fountain decorate the lobby of a private club in Lisbon.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_13-A-03041-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4790Rossio Square Train Station
The Rossio train station, constructed in the late 1880's, sits above an underground tunnel considered a major engineering feat of the time. The double horseshoe entrance is a unique architectural element of this building. This railway connects to the region of Sintra.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_14-A-03044-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4660Lisbon Cable Car
Cable cars are considered on of the best methods to see Lisbon. They are frequently crowded and sadly pick pockets take advantage of the tourists.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_15-A-03066-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4650View atop the Pena Castle
The Pena Castle in Sintra is an architectural marvel and must be seen to be appreciated fully.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_16-A-03069-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4620Fortress of Pena
The Pena Castle is built on top of steep terrain with tall walls - a true fortress.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_17-A-03079-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4570Courtyard of Violet
This courtyard exemplifies the architectural genius of its designer. From all points inside and outside the castle, the architecture is a core element of the view.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_18-A-03200-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4490Goat Farmer
On the trip from Jerez to Chefchauen the simple life abounds.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_19-A-03219-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4500Heat of Ramadan
During the heat of the day, Ramadan observers rarely go outside.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_20-A-03248-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4480Chefchauen Blue
The Jews came to Chefchauen to live and work, bringing the color blue with them.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_21-A-03264-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4420Mohammed
Our guide, Mohammud, explained that Jews were eventually forced to leave the city or convert to Islam.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_22-A-03285-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4380Douar Nzala el Rhechoua
A beautiful man made lake seen on the road to Fes, Morroco
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_23-A-03322-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4320Panarama of Fes, Morroco
Fes has the largest medina in the world. The population of the walled-in old town still lives in a subsistence economy.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_24-A-03302-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4320Captive Audience
Outside the gates of Fes, we notice this horse and buggy waiting for passengers. Notice the horse'e legs are tied.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_25-A-03306-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4260Pastries for Sale
Just inside the gates of Fes, we are faced with all kinds of vendors. The time of day is approaching sunset and everyone is scavenging the market for their Ramadan break-fast. Notice those are not chocolate chips.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_26-A-03369-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4200Enter the Tannery
In the center of the medina (old city) we find a tannery receiving delivery of skins for processing into leather goods. The stench of rotting flesh is everywhere. I wonder if the mules care they are carriers of dead animal flesh.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_27-A-03367-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]4180Leather Goods
Above the tannery tourists parade through the rooms of finished product whilst stuffing mint leaves in their nostrils to disguise the odors.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_28-A-03463-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4150Enter Marrakesh
The huge medina in Marrakesh attracts tourists and vendors of all types while the mosque periodically blares the call to prayer.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_29-A-03492-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4140Snake Charmers
These snake charmers make their living by fees charged for photographing them and their snakes. Sneak a photo and they will chase you down for payment. Pay first, but don't expect a smile.
[img src= II/thumbs/thumbs_30-A-03498-Intrepid Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]4150Marrakesh Souks
Souks are individual shops clustered together in the medina (old town). Most items sold are handcrafted goods and food.

Well everyone always asks “What did you do last summer?” Sometimes it is difficult to answer without monopolizing the conversation… so this series is meant to definitively answer the question with only a few words. People say “a picture is worth a thousand words”… Here are my 30 pictures! I’ll save you from the word count. So the title gives it away, I took a trip from Paris to Marrakesh over a period of three weeks with my daughter Jordan. Since Jordan wants to become an architect, we went to many historic places with unique architecture.

intrepid map Our gateway to Europe was Paris, France. After a few days in Paris, we flew to Madrid, Spain where we met our Intrepid tour group. Our tour proceeded to Salamanca, Spain followed by Coimbra and Lisbon in Portugal, and culminating in Morocco with visits to Chefchaouen, Fes and Marrakesh. Although, I have hundreds of images (of which I will post more of in the future) this series represents my favorite images from the journey. I am adding this group to my fine art gallery on Please visit the site if you want some of these images on your own walls.

Please do scroll through the entire series in full screen mode and be sure to click on the [i] button if you are interested in the story behind the image.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed

Pena Castle, Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal

pena castle

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The Pena Castle is a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Sintra, near Lisbon Portugal. The castle is an amazing work of Romanticism architecture combining several styles (Gothic, the Portuguese Manueline, Islamic and Renaissance). The castle is situated on a steep mountain ridge where it receives cool breezes and fog. The castle is surrounded by a heavily forested park of approximately 500 acres.

Posted in Blogosphere, Europa, HDR Impressionism | Leave a comment

Panorama of Paris from Arc de Triomphe

This image is a 270 degree panoramic composition of 16 images photographed from the top of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France. The Arc is a center of Parisian traffic with many streets converging upon the large circular street surrounding the Arc. Due to the nature of the panorama the circle has been straightened out and the converging streets appear parallel to each other – just imagine projecting the image onto 3/4 of a circular wall while standing in the middle and you’ll get the picture.

The center of the image looks down the famous Champs Elysees shopping district ending at the Louvre which was transformed from the monarchy palace into one of the largest museums in the world. The Eiffel Tower, located near the Seine river historic district, is prominently visible above the horizon to the right. In the far distance is the beautiful Basilica of the Sacré Cœur (Sacred Heart) which is positioned on the highest point in Paris above the trendy Montmartre night club district and home of the Moulin Rouge cabaret.

The image has been enhanced in post processing to create a uniquely styled 4′ x 1′ wall mural.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed

The Palace at Versailles


[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]8200Versailles Palace courtyard
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[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6620Versailles Palace - Queen's bedroom
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[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6370Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6240Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]6110Versailles Palace - Louis XIV
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01-edit-01.jpg]6080Versailles Palace - View of the gardens
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5980Versailles Palace - glass gallery
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5880Versailles Palace - View from the lake
[img src= Tour 2013-edit-01.jpg]5780Versailles Palace - Marie Antoinette's residence

The Palace at Versailles is about an hour from downtown Paris by train. It is a short walk from the train station to the main gates. The Palace is a major attraction and lines to get into the palace are frequently several hours. We decided to tour the gardens instead of wait in line. After touring the immense grounds, biking several miles around the lake, catching a bite to eat, and touring Marie Antionette’s residence we returned to the main palace and were able to walk right in with very limited crowds. The late hour also provided an excellent photo opportunity with light streaming in many of the windows as well as few people.

The furniture and artwork are obviously quite old and subject to fading. These images were shot in very low light conditions without flash. Many rooms had very little sunlight allowed through the windows with massive curtains. The bright, crisp images were captured with an aperture around f/2.8 and ISO 2000 with a wide angle lens (Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L) and extensively post processed. Post processing includes adjustments for perspective (keystone), crop, white balance, noise reduction, sharpness, contrast, and color saturation.

Posted in Europa, HDR Impressionism, Travel | Comments closed

Scenes from Marrakesh


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This series was taken in Marrakesh, Morocco on my visit during Ramadan.

Posted in Street Photography | Leave a comment

Jordan Dobrow Portfolio

These paintings are the works of Jordan Dobrow.

Jordan Dobrow is a senior at Milton High School in Milton, GA. She aspires to become an architect and eventually own an architectural design business. Jordan has a strong aptitude for math and strong creative skills. From a very young age, she began constructing three dimensional models and building structures in the back yard. Her ability to imagine, draw and build her visions continues to grow. In her senior year, Jordan has enjoyed her class in advanced drawing and painting. This portfolio presents her work including some works in progress.

The art work was photographed by Sam Dobrow.

Posted in Fine Art Photography | Tagged , , | Comments closed

Vera Wang Bridal Fashions 2013


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On Sunday, March 3 from 5:30 PM, Vera Wang luxury bridal fashions hit the runway in Miami with an exclusive debut at the Mandarin Oriental hotel on Brickell Key. The dresses come straight from the New York runway show and will remain in Miami for a week so attendees can get a close up look and purchase one for their own wedding.

Modern Luxury Brides South Florida and The Caribbean hosted the first ever “Evening of Bridal Luxury.” The event, catering to upscale brides, was unlike any other in the market and offered guests the only chance to see the 2013 Vera Wang Bridal Collection on the runway in South Florida. The event began with complimentary cocktails by Remy Cointreau and bites by the culinary experts at the Mandarin Oriental, Miami, while guests perused a gallery of favorite wedding moments shot by the area’s top photographers. Attendees were then escorted into the ballroom for the much-anticipated Vera Wang runway show, which highlighted the designer’s 2013 collection. After the show, attendees were ushered into the ballroom for a KARLA Conceptual Event Experiences showcase featuring some of the most luxurious décor trends in bridal for the upcoming season. There, sounds by Scratch Weddings and a special performance by LITUS Music provided unique entertainment, perfect for the bride who wants something different for her big day.

Posted in Events, Fashion and Glamor Photography | Tagged , , , , | Comments closed
  • Welcome

    Hi! I'm Sam Dobrow and you have found my personal blog. This site is where I organize and share my thoughts, hobbies, opinions, travels and photography. Take a look around and feel free to leave a comment.

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  • GRAND Galleries

    Trevi, meaning "three streets" in Italian it the location of this exquisite Roman fountain. It marks the endpoint of an aqueduct that provided a large supply of water to the citizens of ancient Rome for over 400 years.
<a href="" target="_blank" title="Add to shopping cart">Approximate size: 9" x 13" (image).......... $275<br> ADD TO CART</a>
<a href="" target="_blank">Other sizes available on <b>request</b></a>
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