If you're a fan of The New Yorker cartoons, this Conde Nast Store is a great site to purchase your faves in the form of a greeting card. And, just like my NaturAli greeting cards, you can customize the inside message. This one cracked me up because it's totally me. I hover. Can't help myself. It's not so much a trust issue (okay, maybe it is), as it is a natural curiosity about how things work. When my dad used to tinker with the car engine, I was front and center, unlike my sister who could care less and was likely inside with a book. I'll admit, the cable guy recently called me out on my micromanagement behavior. As he sat there troubleshooting on his makeshift stool in the form of an upside down 5 gallon bucket, his comments still linger in my head. "Ma'am, if you don't mind, I prefer to work alone." Alrighty then, I get it the hint.
Of course there's no shortage of political humor, as well as stuff that just cracks you up. I love the weekly caption contest and have even entered a few times. It's always fun to see what clever things people come up with.
I recently hosted a contest, Rustic Farmhouse Wall Art, via Fine Art America. I love this type of decor and think it makes some of the best wall art. Because it's such diverse category, the entries were quite varied but they all had that same country feel of warmth and comfort.
There were 230 pieces of artwork submitted and the winning entry was from Wes Iversen, A Window to the Past. The impressive HDR image was taken at the Chippewa Nature Center, near Midland, Michigan, which includes a homestead site that depicts rural life in Michigan as it was in the 1870s.
"When I visited the homestead site on a Spring day last year, I did not have any particular image in mind, but was simply looking for good subjects to photograph," says Wes. But the homestead buildings were actually closed during his visit and he describes how he managed to get the shot.
"I was able to capture the handheld HDR shot through the glass on a door to the kitchen. Even though I tried to steady my camera by bracing the lens against the glass, the longest of the three exposures that I took showed some blur, so the image was created by combining only the two shorter-exposure shots. I used Photomatix Pro software to combine the two images into a single high dynamic range (HDR) shot. I then adjusted contrast and sharpened the image in post processing using Photoshop and other tools, and added texture to achieve the vintage look," explains Wes.
Originally from Chicago, Wes moved to Grand Blanc, Michigan, in 2016. Most of his images were taken after 2011 when he retired from a long career in journalism. He is inspired by all types of photography from macros to landscapes, and strives to produce images that tell a story. "Since moving to Michigan, I have particularly been enjoying the opportunity to photograph local wildlife, especially the birds and waterfowl in State Parks and preserves near my new home," he says.
Congratulations, Wes, on your first place win. Such a gorgeous and impressive image.
Once you've decided on an image you would like to purchase from the NaturAli Images store, there are many options for framing and matting. First, click on the image and to the right, you'll see a drop down option for Wall Art. Then, click on Wall Art>Framed Prints and there will be 4 tabs. The first tab is to choose your size. The second tab is the frame option. There are many colors and styles to choose from including black, white, silver, gray, gold, bronze, etc. Also, there are several materials and options including wood, metal, matte finish and so forth. Just click on the shaded gray bar below the frame picture and all of the specs will pop up. Third option is to choose your mat. Again, there are many colors and sizes to choose from, including a Bottom Mat or no mat at all. Finally, choose your paper (glossy, luster, picture rag, to name a few) and then add your order to the cart. With every option you choose along the way, prices will be calculated and a preview displayed. Try choosing an image and playing around with the different options and you'll see how easy and customizable these framed prints are.
A word about quality. I chose this vendor for the outstanding quality. Certainly not the cheapest, but the prints and framing are impeccable. Your artwork will arrive well-packaged, protected and ready to hang. I know a lot of people say, "I'll just frame it myself," but in the end, if you're going to hang a piece of artwork, professionally framed and matted pieces make a huge difference. Start off with a smaller piece of artwork and a simple frame, which can be purchased for under $100. And, everything has a 30-day guarantee. If you're not satisfied, just send it back. But I know you'll love it.