Photo-Impressionism and creating art from the everyday

It’s all too easy to stagnate in your photography especially if you are not keen on outings to far flung places or indeed, even closer to home. For some of us then, finding ways to express ourselves differently to our peers can be challanging. One way out of this malaise is to look for something a little different, to find ways to say the same thing but in a slightly different language. My personal approach, certainly of recent times, is to use my candid work as the basis for more impressionistic artworks. This is not to say that I don’t employ the same strategy to the various landscapes that I take, I do, it’s just that candid scenes seem to work well in this genre.

This all came about recently when I invested in Dynamic Auto Painter (DAP) which “helps” me create the types of scenes I admire in various painters such as Emile Grupp, Pino Daeni, LeRoy Neiman and John Singer Sargent although of course I am fascinated by other painters such as Vincent van Goth, Édouard Béliard and Frank W. Benson. Now I have to say here that I am not a painter, I am a photographer. While it’s true that I did show some early promise as an artist, I don’t feel that i have the skills to “do it myself”. I need help and that is what DAP provides me with. This is not to say that I simply choose an image, set the defaults and let it chunter away. Far from it. I interact with almost every work I create and of course, as the old saying goes, rubbish in, rubbish out. Finding good candidates for impressionist art is an artform in itself, just as it would have been for the various artists mentioned above.

Now I need to say here that I have no intention of providing you with a primer or manual on how DAP works. Firstly i am relatively new to using DAP so I am still learning (and making mistakes). Secondly, it’s one hell of a program and I doubt I could do it justice even if I knew it backwards. And finally, I simply don’t have the time. What I would say is if you like the gist of what i am saying here, download the trial version and get stuck in. The latest version is DAP7 and well worth a look. DAP7 is fully functional but the exported files are watermarked so you can’t use them without doing some cropping. Besides, the developers Mediachance have spent many years developing DAP so paying £60 or so (with discounts) is a no brainer if you are looking to expand your skill sets.

My favourite artist for candid portraiture is John Singer Sargent as I particularly like the softness in his paintings. The header image above is based on the work of Sargent with some modifications during and after processing. I think it works particulalry well for well defined subjects in particular. I have had less success with this style in busy scenes so I have preferred to use Grupp, Belliard or Benson in such circumstances. As I say though, I am learning as I go and my perspective may change as I go further in this type of work.

Here are a few more examples. You can see more of this type of work on my commercial art website at

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