Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"Things are beautiful if you love them."
― Jean Anouilh

Zion, first pass

So many images, so many decisions.

I’m working through SLRLounge’s Lightroom Course – outstanding. And I’m learning quite a bit in depth about Lightroom’s potential to truly be a darkroom for digital. This is one of the images I practiced with – it’s not quite where I hope it will be, but it is so far beyond what I would have accomplished a brief time earlier…



Fisheye lens…

Sunset 15 | Laughing Buddha, original painting by Spence Munsinger, fisheye photo

Laughing Buddha | Fisheye

I love fisheye curves. This is using a Lensbaby Fisheye lens on a full frame Canon DLSR.

Sunset 1 | La Jolla, original painting by Spence Munsinger, fisheye photo

La Jolla | Fisheye

I took these photos to scale down for use in webpages. I’m going to try and take some more carefully with a tripod and more exact focussing to put on the front page as an alternate to the full-width banner. Maybe with some high intensity light on one side to add to the marble effect…

Original Painting, “Laughing Buddha”.  See How To Buy Art

$929.00 Add to cart

Fine Art Print, 24″ x 30″, “Laughing Buddha”.    See About Prints

$172.99 Add to cart

Fine Art Print, 30″ x 24″, “Sunset 1 | La Jolla”.    See About Prints

$172.99 Add to cart

pacific coastline

This is the coast view from the Douglas Preserve in West Mesa, in Santa Barbara.

I was watching rain come in across the ocean.

pacific coastline

The light in California is unique. I asked Ethan Karp, a gallery owner in Manhattan – for the sunsets, East Coast gallery or West Coast gallery? Ethan said he could see the light in the paintings as Western, but that might make it more exotic shown on the East Coast… Not an exact quote, but close.


fisheye distortion

Fisheye distortion is just fun… I found the Lensbaby Scout with Fisheye Optic a blast to distort things with. Last evening there were cloud in the sky painted by the sun – not extraordinary, but extraordinary here and now because in New England in the winter there is limited color outdoors. Even a mild winter mutes color.

Here’s the straight shot…

fisheye 1

and then fisheyes…

fisheye 1

fisheye 1

The wrap-around view is like when you focus on something and expand, extend, push, float your awareness around and away from that sharp focus.


black and white film…

Someone asked why film, in a discussion that has gone from 6 January 2011 to now.

I answered that I love the quality of light in a 6 x 7cm TriX black and white negative,
developed conservatively in D76 1:1, scanned and then printed. I don’t think there
is a match in Photoshop to get the same quality. Approximations, sure, but not that
luminous certainty silver grain brings.

I shoot medium format color with a Mamiya RZ67 Pro II and 110mm lens on a stable tripod (heavy)
and with cable release and mirror lock up, bracketed focussing, to then scan at 4000 DPI on a Nikon
9000ED film scanner, and arrive at a raw capture size of 8200 x 11000 pixels, or a usable 75 Megapixels.
Which means I can print that 30″ x 40″ painting at 30″ x 40″ with minimal Photoshop upsizing.

No digital can yet match it. And I get archival storage (with some color fading over time) intrinsic to the medium.

I shoot digital too. But it has a long way to go to replace the experience of film. Digital cameras obscure
the process and the art of this, as art created in digital programs instead of through working with physical
materials lacks the texture and substance. An additional experience but not a replacement or an obsoleteness.


street photography in louisville


louisville image

I took a Canon EOS3 film SLR camera and a Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens to Louisville, Kentucky. I brought a digital SLR as well. I didn’t end up using the digital much at all.

I brought both a 35mm Black and White film, and a very good 35mm color film. I shot none of the color. I shot five 36 exposure rolls of the B&W.

The Black & White film was Arista EDU 200, an inexpensive house brand sold by Freestyle Photo, in Hollywood, CA. I’ve shot a couple of rolls of this film in medium format, and I found it interesting. For street photography in a town with an older architecture, a mixture of French and American-Southern building styles, it rocks.

It rocks because it has the look of 1940’s Kodak black and white film. The film emulsion, the plastic stuff holding the chemistry, is a clear blue. The chemistry isn’t modern, and the developed negatives show an uneven imperfect distribution of grain. The film is sourced as from the Czech Republic, which would likely make it Fomapan Creative 200 film. I like the look. Alot.

louisville image

My favorite modern B & W film is Kodak TMax TMY400 – this stuff is extremely sharp, perfect contrast, greys that cascade through the image. It has a modern look though. T-Grain films came out in the 1980’s, and are dramatically sharper than Arista EDU.

Arista EDU 200 is high contrast and high grain. I developed these rolls in Kodak D76 1:1 (diluted 1 to 1 with water) at 9 munites and 30 seconds – the D76 takes the edge off the contrast. The grain becomes a part of the art of the image. The look complements the subject matter.

louisville image


— spence