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Showcase 2021 Winner: Karen Gordon Schulman

By June 21, 2021No Comments
Painterly effect applied to image of grasses. Morning Grasses, Yampa River Botanic Park, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Showcase 2021 Judges’ Choice, Altered Reality © Karen Schulman
Morning Grasses, Yampa River Botanic Park, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Showcase 2021 Judges’ Choice, Altered Reality © Karen Gordon Schulman

Artist’s statement

Peace, beauty, balance and humor are what I hope my art expresses and how I would like it to affect others.

I feel that Morning Grasses fits my creative philosophy and my mission as a photographic artist and leaves room for the viewer’s interpretation and wonder. I’ve always been interested in alternative styles of creative photography, including hand painting silver prints, Polaroid SX-70 manipulations, digital multiple exposures, and currently, Creative iPhoneography.

I love capturing moments in time with my camera. I am drawn to whatever resonates with my creative soul. I think as much about the design, light, shadow, pattern, texture, or gesture in the image as I do about the subject itself. I search less and let my awareness draw me to what I can use as my canvas, and I often add layering of texture or color to my original image, as I have done with this one.

How I got the shot

I had taken my photo workshop group to the Yampa River Botanic Park in Steamboat Springs and was sitting by a garden while guiding a participant. I had an impulse to turn and look behind me. I saw the tall grasses in soft light with a pond behind, made six ‘straight’ exposures, but didn’t feel that any were particularly unique. So I changed to multiple exposure mode and immediately felt the magic. Since I made the original image, I have created different looks by layering the original with varied textures and tones and I’m very happy with this latest version.

What I used

I used a Nikon D2X in multiple exposure mode with an 18-200mm Zoom Nikkor lens set at 105mm. My settings were f/5.3 at 1/60th. Post processing was done using the Snapseed, Stackables, and Formulas photo apps.

About me

I’ve been fortunate to live in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for 29 years, with my husband Joel and Guinness the Cat, surrounded by all the beauty and photo opportunities that living in the Rocky Mountains offers.

I’ve been a photographic artist and educator for over 40 years, although my love of capturing images on film goes back to my “Brownie Hawkeye” childhood days on the east coast, where my father’s love of photography became my inspiration. My current work reflects my life in northwest Colorado and the American West as well as my travels and friendships in countries around the world.

I was challenged with breast cancer in 2007 and believe that this experience and being a cancer survivor has helped me to understand that art has the ability to touch us deeply in our most vulnerable moments and that art can play an important role in contributing to the healing process for people in stressful health and healing situations. Additionally, making photographs, particularly of nature, is inspirational and healing for both the photographer as well as for the viewer. And because of this, I have been incredibly fulfilled to place my artwork in medical centers and cancer treatment facilities.

My photographic journey

Travel and nature offer me opportunities to make images that resonate with my creative soul. I’ve always enjoyed photographing the natural world, exploring the grandest landscapes to the tiniest creatures beneath the sea. Colorado, Utah, and the American West, Ireland, Ecuador, Morocco, Cuba, and the Caribbean, Bali, Mexico, and Bhutan are just a few of my favorite destinations. I’m also fortunate to lead photo tours to many of these locations for Strabo Photo Tour Collection. A few of my most important teachers and mentors have been my husband Joel Schulman, Ron Rosenstock, Sam Abell, Chris Newbert, and Garry Winogrand.

NANPA and me

I’ve been a NANPA member since 2006. In 2007 I wrote an article for NANPA Currents entitled “Left/Right Brain Photography.” My other involvement has been mostly through the Summit, helping out at the Strabo Photo Tour Collection exhibit booth. At the 2013 Summit I gave an Exhibitor Demonstration called Introduction to Creative iPhoneography.

For this 2021 Showcase I had four other images in the semi-finalist category, and in previous Showcases I had images in the semi-finalist and finalist categories, but this Judges’ Choice for Altered Reality is my first major award, and I’m honored and very grateful!

Learn More

Focus Adventures Website:
Fine Art Photo Gallery:
Leader for Strabo Photo Tour Collection:
Facebook for Karen Schulman:
Facebook for Focus Adventures:

See more of Karen’s images

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