Inspirations – Fran Gallogly: Art Starts with Creative Vision

We are happy to feature the work of Fran Gallogly who has fine-tuned her creative vision with years of practice and shooting what she loves. The examples below really do show that creative vision starts in the camera and then can (and should be) carried through to the final processed image. Processing should enhance the artist’s original vision and not detract from it. We love that Fran’s original image is simply gorgeous and easily stands on its own. The painterly effect added in processing creates a new work with a rich feel and results in a variation that also stands on its own.

©Fran Gallogly

©Fran Gallogly

©Fran Gallogly

©Fran Gallogly

Fran speaks of the making of the images:

The original photo was taken with my Canon 5D Mark III and 24-70 lens at 1/13s, ISO 100, last December. I used a tripod, cable release, polarizer and ND grads as well.

Years ago when I took Darwin’s online landscape class, he told us we should always have a project to challenge ourselves. Last year I embarked on a project to photograph all of Trumbull’s parks (Trumbull, Connecticut, where I live) in four seasons.

It turned out there were more parks than I thought. I’ve lived here ten years but didn’t know much about them. It was a wonderful experience. I met a lot of very nice people and discovered we have fabulous parks with some great facilities like a community garden, apple orchard, two swimming pools, rails to trails hiking and bike paths, many sports fields and a BMX Track where regional bike races are conducted in the summer. I ended up practicing sports photography there and they made me a manager on their Facebook page so I could post photos of the racers. I also made friends with a family who now bring their children over to enjoy my husband’s model trains. In addition, the editor of a local magazine, Trumbull Life, has published many of my park photos.

At the end of the year I had so many nice photos of both landscapes and people in the parks that I wanted to share it with the community. First I tried doing a slideshow of the best photos in PowerPoint but wasn’t happy with it. Then a friend suggested I do it in Photoshop and pointed me to two excellent videos on how to do this on Mark Johnson’s Workbench series. I followed the directions and put together an 8-minute slide show with music from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. I was able to key the music to the slides, for example, his Winter music plays with my Winter slides, Spring music with my Spring slides, etc. I have asked the head of our town library to play the slideshow (which is in mp4 format) on their lobby monitor so people in the community can see it. Then a friend in the local garden club introduced me to the superintendent of the Parks Dept. in town and he loved it and wants to put it on the town’s web site.

One of my favorite photos from the Winter segment is this shot above of Twin Brooks Park on a Winter day in the fog. The shrubs are a very colorful form of Bloodtwig  Dogwood, Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire.’

Recently I decided to take a video class by Melissa Gallo whose web site is called Painted Textures. She sells lovely textures and also teaches a digital painting technique involving use of the Mixer Brush tool among other things. The class, which can be purchased on her web site, is called Painting With Photoshop. Besides the videos, she includes some textures, brushes and patterns of her own and sample files from the videos. It’s a struggle to learn and get it right for people like me who are not artists. People who have taken her class are invited to join a class Facebook page to share their work and encourage and inspire one another. This helps a lot.

It is a technique I am still struggling with. I think this painting of the park is by far my best effort to date. Like all new techniques it takes practice, practice, practice. Besides painting over the photograph, I also added a soft texture from a company called French Kiss, probably using a Blend Mode like Soft Light. That gave the white sky some color and definition. Besides landscapes, digital painting can be used for flowers, wildlife and even portraits. Right now I am working on some flower photographs as I am an avid gardener and have many nice flower photos.

About the Author

Photographing the incredible beauty of natural things, filming quirky videos, trying new foods with unpronounceable names, curling up with a good book, sharing ideas on how to live lighter on the Earth...these are a few of my favourite things!


  1. Fran Gallogly
    April 18, 2014

    Thanks, Darwin and Sam, for the lovely write-up!

  2. Clara
    April 18, 2014

    Lovely work

  3. Leslie D
    April 23, 2014

    Wonderful work Fran, it’s inspiring!


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