East Anglia Based Landscape & Coastal Photography
About 3 years ago I discovered the wonders of a style of oil painting called “Lumanism”. The term Lumanism refers to a type of American landscape painting that became most prominent in the 1850s and lasted into the 1870s practiced among artists associated with the Hudson River School.
The artists did not identify themselves as Lumanists at the time, as the term wasn't coined until 1954 when the art historian and director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, John I. H.
Baur, used it to describe these naturalistic landscapes, often seascapes or river views, emphasising the treatment of light to create a contemplative and luminous effect. Baur defined Luminist work as, “A polished and meticulous realism in which there is no sign of brushwork and no trace of impressionism, the atmospheric effects being achieved by infinitely careful gradations of tone, by the most exact study of the relative clarity of near and far objects and by a precise rendering of the variations in texture and colour produced by direct or reflected rays”.
Just before the outbreak of the Civil War, a handful of landscape painters, instead of painting monumental, dramatic scenes of American wilderness, began painting on a smaller, quieter scale. Marked by a certain rendering of light as a uniform glow that infuses the entire scene.
Artists such As Albert Bierstadt, Frederic Edwin Church, Thomas Cole and Thomas Moran for me perfectly capture the essence of the term Lumanism. Thier collective works are wonders of artistic impression and realism. They use light as a compositional tool and detail as a prospective tool to create grandiose landscape vistas that have a surreal feeling of calm and immensity to them.
I have found this style of objectively sculpting the light and amount of fine detail to be directly transferable to landscape photography. The attraction is so strong I have consciously and subconsciously started to include this approach into my own work for the last few years. Looking subjectively at my portfolio as a whole the use of light and detail has become more and more prevalent in my work.
This brings me to a point where my divergence from reality is taking a stronger and stronger hold of my attention and passion for image creation. I am drawn to this Lumanism style so much that I have decided to dedicate a whole new gallery to it. The images here will be unreservedly and unapologetically “Lumanism” orientated and represent a strong deliberate alternative view of the landscape that was presented before me. They showcase my artistic renderings of many popular and well know scenes into a personal interpretation of realistic fantasy.
Included in this gallery are images that were mainly taken in the middle of the day and converted to a Luminist style image with extensive colour grading, tone manipulation, image distortion and replacement skies. To emphasise this transition I have included a "before" reference shot of the RAW file images before editing to give you a real sense of the transformation from reality to fantasy.
I hope you enjoy the images and you might be interested in knowing that I can offer tuition in the editing processes involved. NB; I am currently working on a new eBook titled The “ART” of Lumanism Post Processing In Landscape Photography Which will cover in detail all of the processes involved in editing these images.