With its beautiful countryside, old world charm, deep textures and rich culture Italy has been inspiring artists for centuries.
Bob Coates of Bob Coates Photography enjoyed the task of helping to lead 10 photographers on a mission to capture artistic images of northern Italy.
"It was amazing," Coates said. "Sometimes a place doesn't live up to the romanticized version that one envisions. Not so with Italy. It was everything I imagined and more. After I returned I couldn't wait to process my images. I couldn't believe how much I learned in teaching others in such an intense, target rich environment. We literally had our cameras in hand from dawn to dusk seeking beautiful Tuscan vistas and hilltop towns. I added new techniques for processing images and I feel I've found my artistic voice creating painterly otherworldly art pieces."
Denise Henry, owner/gallery director of Joe Wilcox Fine Art Gallery agrees. "Bob brought his Italy images by to see if we would be interested in selling his work. I said, 'How soon can you get your images printed?' I've always been a fan of Bob's work. As a mater of fact Bob has done photography for us in the past but this Italy collection is taking his photography to a new level. The Art Prints are absolutely gorgeous. We can't wait to display his work on our walls. My favorite is of a gondola in Venice with reflections on the water. The image definitely captures the flavor of Italy. I've also asked Bob to apply these new-found techniques to scenes in and around Sedona for some local color."
Coates sent a few of the images from this collection off to Wedding and Portrait Photographers International 8x10 Print Competition to get professional feedback. He came away a winner. Four images earned an Accolade of Merit from WPPI.
"It's always interesting to see the results from print competition," Coates said. "I wasn't sure the prints would do well since there is so much new technique used in creating these images. Sometimes the judges aren't receptive to a new or 'different' art treatment. With four Accolades I guess they liked them too."
Having recently returned from his own Italian vacation, Wib Middleton of Thunder Mountain Design and Communications saw Coates' work and was amazed.
"I took photos while in Italy too. I'm no slouch with a camera but I couldn't believe the rich, sensual color and old world feeling evoked in Bob's artistic renditions of scenes I had just experienced. All I can say is 'Wow. I can't wait to see more!'"
For more information or to see more of Bob Coates Photography work you can check out www.bcphotography.com and www.bcweddingphoto.com or call (928) 284-0200.