Bob Ballou

I spent my professional career as a landscape architect, land planner and urban designer. Urban design focuses on the relationship between architecture and the land to create a balance between nature and the man-made environment. As a result, I have always been interested in patterns, color, contrast, and how light plays upon our emotions, affecting how we relate to nature and architecture.

The tools I used throughout my career have been sketching and photography. With advances in visual technology, the computer and drawing software have added a third tool for design professionals. I began to explore how I might marry these tools as a way to express my impressions of architecture and nature as captured in my photographs.

My work is an exploration of these images. In the computer I can remove detail, to focus on simple shapes and relationships. I can change or enhance color to see how it affects emotions and the relationship to a setting or scene. In a sense, to find the image within the image and reinterpret what is communicated.

In the computer, software provides me a way to “paint” the photograph by mixing the pixels of color present…painting with light rather than pigment. I can also manipulate color, saturation and contrast to emphasize or de-emphasize aspects of the image. After printing on fine art paper, I add pastel by rubbing it into the paper. This provides a way to put back what the printing process may lose or to further enhance the play of light on the image.

The results can be impressionistic or abstract.