MDSimages » Photography and HDR digital art by Michael Steighner

”Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.” — Picasso

There has never been a better time to not only create but to share your art with the world. This realization for me started quickly after my first upload to Flickr a few years ago. To share your creations with artists and appreciators from all over the world was a privilege left for a select few before the internet was around. Now, its just a click away!

Ben was one of those artists that quickly appeared on my inspirational radar with his “Pencil vs Camera” series of Flickr. He has since expanded his art into music, animation, and other unique digital media creations.

Meet the Artist – Ben Heine

Here are a few images from that collection as well as a trailer created for he’s channel.


Pencil Vs Camera - 67
Pencil Vs Camera - 65
Pencil Vs Camera - 58

Or watch the video here!


For more from Ben and his unique art, make sure and check out his website here, follow him on Twitter here, watch his updates on Facebook here, enjoy his Instagram posts here, watch his moving art on his YouTube Channel here, or admire his art on Flickr here!

“We all operate in two contrasting modes, which might be called open and closed. The open mode is more relaxed, more receptive, more exploratory, more democratic, more playful and more humorous. The closed mode is the tighter, more rigid, more hierarchical, more tunnel-visioned. Most people, unfortunately spend most of their time in the closed mode. Not that the closed mode cannot be helpful. If you are leaping a ravine, the moment of takeoff is a bad time for considering alternative strategies. When you charge the enemy machine-gun post, don’t waste energy trying to see the funny side of it. Do it in the “closed” mode. But the moment the action is over, try to return to the “open” mode—to open your mind again to all the feedback from our action that enables us to tell whether the action has been successful, or whether further action is need to improve on what we have done. In other words, we must return to the open mode, because in that mode we are the most aware, most receptive, most creative, and therefore at our most intelligent.” — John Cleese

Night falls over the Baltimore Harbor

My search for an appropriate quote for tonights post had me looking around for something that had a little bit to do with “playing at work” and “creating with friends.” An awesome combination when you can get that to happen!

Although the quote is not exactly what I was looking for, I still had to read it twice.

Love the “open” mode. John Cleese. Who new that such a funny man had such deep insight as well:)

Well, as I scurry about and finish packing for tomorrows trip across the country to do just that (play at work), I noticed this shot from last years event with the same team that I had yet to post. The Baltimore harbor is pretty cool actually. The shot is nothing epic, but kind of a cool view from the hotel we were at!

More to come this week…….

(hope my view is this good again!)

The door had no sooner closed behind me and I was exploring my new home for the week with the Nikon. Bright lights outside and deep shadows inside…..a perfect subject for HDR or High Dynamic Range photography. This process has gotten a bad wrap over the past few years, but its kind of a misunderstanding as to exactly what the controversy is.

As the initial capture of brackets to express the high range of light that the human eye can see is essentially the HDR or High Dynamic Range process, its not the “look” that a few protest (with anger at times!) It is in fact the “tone mapping” and processing of pixels that is what hits the hot buttons of a few. I have always found it quite silly actually as it is really an art that can be taken and expressed in so many ways. But, as in all art, there will always be critiques….and sadly haters…..

I have my own style that I at times take to the extreme, but like I said, its a personal journey. I have been working a bit on a few videos that I plan to share soon about those processes. It will be a deeper dive than the occasional youtube video I share here! Like having a friend by your side to show you the ropes and share what I know and why I love the process. I’ll keep you posted here on the blog and of course in the newsletter (you are subscribed aren’t you?!)

Real Estate Photography is of course a great place to use some of these techniques. I used more of a “realistic” approach below. What a great place to stay by the way in case you find yourself in Miami! Tell them I sent you….(although, I’m quite sure that won’t really get you anything but a confused nod of the head)

btw….I couldn’t resist taking Wolf Blitzer off of the flat screen TV and applying one of my images. Recognize it? More soothing to the eyes that Mr. Blitzer don’t ya think?!

The Marriott Marquis in Miami

“Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher

Something about a sunset in Paris. As a photographer, there is of course a part of me that feels the urgent urge to be in that special place to capture that unique image that is about to unfold in the beautiful light. It can be a little stressful if you are not in the right place as it unfolds (if you let it stress you that is!)

As an American enjoying a simple walk and being, ……well, French I guess, it was nice to just enjoy the moment.

From Le Promenade Plantee, that is exactly what I did:)

Sun paints the Parisian sky

I did bracket a few to capture a deeper lighting range, but for this one, I just ran a few faders and adjustments in ole’ camera raw.

Amazing what detail you can find in these files!

I chat about that a bit in todays quick tip video.


Or watch the video right here!

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