Mango Days are here again

2014 – A Great Year for Mangoes

mango tree

This mango tree is fifty feet tall with a fifty foot spread. The fruit is exceptionally sweet and smaller than most varieties.

It is mid June and my three mango trees are raining mangoes. This year produced an exceptional crop. Just a couple months ago I looked up and saw the entire tree covered with golden blooms. I thought, wow we could have a big crop but the number of blooms is not an accurate predictor of the crop size. Some years an early rainy season results in poor pollination but this year was a little dry in the Spring. As the days grew longer, it was obvious the pollination worked well. The tree looked like it was covered by clusters of green grapes. Then the small mangoes began to fall and the clusters thinned out. But the mangoes were not growing very fast, they stayed small and green. As they became large enough to eat, I began sampling them and they were on the tart side. I was worried the crop, though plentiful, would be small, tart fruit. Then all of a sudden, the rain kicked in and those little green mangoes started to double in size overnight. Now with our almost daily downpour of rain these guys are bigger than ever and as sweet as can be imagined. I can collect 25 lbs each time it rains and typically 50 lbs or more in a single day. Read More »

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Bridging the Gap from Marketing to Sales

This article has been rewritten and posted on samdobrowcreative.com.

Please read the revised article: Building High Performance Sales and Marketing Teams.

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Model: Taylor Montague at South Beach

Description

Portfolio Shoot

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

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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

Paris River Boat
Champs Elysees
Paris from Arc de Triomphe
View from Pont Alexandre III
View for Marie Antionette
Walled City of Avila
Casa Lis
New Catherdal of Salamanca
Cool Respite in Coimbra
Quiet Cafe in Coimbra
Ano da Fe
Private Club
Rossio Square Train Station
Lisbon Cable Car
View atop the Pena Castle
Fortress of Pena
Courtyard of Violet
Goat Farmer
Heat of Ramadan
Chefchauen Blue
Mohammed
Douar Nzala el Rhechoua
Panarama of Fes, Morroco
Captive Audience
Pastries for Sale
Enter the Tannery
Leather Goods
Enter Marrakesh
Snake Charmers
Marrakesh Souks
Paris River Boat
Description

A beautiful summer day in Paris overlooking the Seine River toward the Eiffel Tower.

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 samdobrowphotography.com. 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.

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Pena Castle, Sintra, Lisbon, Portugal

Description

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.

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Panorama of Paris from Arc de Triomphe

Paris from Arc de Triomphe
Paris from Arc de Triomphe
Description

a 270 degree panoramic composition of 16 images photographed from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, France. The image has been enhanced in post processing to create a 4' x 1' wall mural.

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.

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The Palace at Versailles

Versailles Palace courtyard
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace - Queen's bedroom
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace
Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
Versailles Palace - ceiling paintings
Versailles Palace - Louis XIV
Versailles Palace - View of the gardens
Versailles Palace - glass gallery
Versailles Palace - View from the lake
Versailles Palace - Marie Antoinette's residence
Versailles Palace courtyard
Description

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.

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Scenes from Marrakesh

Description

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

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