And The Award Goes To…

2016 has been an wonderful year for Ed Cooley and Ed Cooley Gallery. We have welcomed new collectors, new masterpieces and many new awards. We wanted to take today to share our latest award-winning masterpieces with you and congratulate Ed Cooley on his phenomenal year.

The Tree, Tuscany

“The Tree” Silver Medal Honors at the Prestigious PX3 Prix de la Photographie Paris Competition

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“Solitude” Honorable Mention Mifa Fine Art Competition – Landscape

Fire in the Sky

“Fire in the Sky” Honorable Mention Mifa Fine Art Competition – Landscape

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“Dreams of Venice” Honorable Mention Mifa Fine Art Competition – Other

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“Wild Spirit” Honorable Mention Mifa Fine Art Competition – Other

All of these pieces can be seen in person by visiting Ed Cooley Gallery in Downtown Rogers, Arkansas or viewed at edcooleygallery.com. Once again we congratulate Ed Cooley on his stunning works and look forward to sharing new awards with you soon.

Why Should You Invest In Art?

Whether you are starting your collection, an expert collector or designing a new space, I get this question all the time: “Why should I invest in artwork?”

There is no simple answer to this question. Art collecting is a $10 billion-a-year industry and can look great in a portfolio. Plus it’s much prettier to look at than a stack of bonds. Several factors come into play when investing in artwork and you can read more about the specifics of what to invest in on Investopedia. Here are a few of the top reasons to invest in artwork now.

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Rarity

I’m sure you’ve seen and read the stories about someone finding a Van Gogh or Monet hiding in their great-aunt’s attic. Yes, it happens. When a piece of art, that was thought to be lost, is found it’s exciting because of the rarity. Fine art photography can have the same appeal. When an artist only releases 1 or 10 of a certain image, that increases it’s value exponentially.

Ed Cooley’s Fine Art Photography is unique in the fact that most photographers release hundreds, if not thousands, of each image; but Ed Cooley only releases 100 of each image. The rate of appreciation (and value) can therefore increase much faster.

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Emotional

Art can be an incredibly emotional purchase, you see an image from childhood or a place you dream to visit. It’s an instant connection and you are drawn to a piece. Financial advisors might discourage this, but I have found this to be one of the smartest ways to invest.

Think about it: you are now emotionally attached to a project- you therefore are invested in the artist, their works and your own investment. We as humans will always fight harder for something we are passionately behind. You will pass this artwork onto your friends and family, you will encourage them to purchase (therefore increasing the value of your own investment) and you will follow the artist more closely than for an artist of a piece you didn’t have a strong attachment.

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Financial

Yeah, this is a big one. The very same principals of investing in real estate or stock apply here. Can you afford your investment? Are you comfortable with waiting years to see a return? You need to respect where you are financially TODAY. You wouldn’t buy a $200,000 home if your budget is $100,000 in the hope you MIGHT see a return within 5 years. Well you might, but there’s another name for that…

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The Artist

This may seem redundant, but stick with me. Many collectors select their investments based solely upon the artist. When a living artist releases a new work many collectors will purchase without ever seeing the art. They do this because of the artist’s name and the value attached.

This can be highly lucrative and highly risky. There are artists who have withstood the test of time and constantly release works that are loved and highly collectible. There are also artists who have released many well-loved pieces, but tend to fizzle out in popularity. I have loyal collectors that purchase just to own Ed Cooley’s works and I support it whole-heartedly, but I also know they are purchasing art they love and are thrilled to be looking at for many years to come.

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So I guess my question to you would be, “Why should you invest in art?”

The Word of The Day is “Simplicity”

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated” -Confucius

Can we all agree that no truer words were ever spoken? In life, work, love and art, humans have an amazing capability of creating chaos. Sometimes it can’t be avoided and other times it is self-created. In the midst of this chaotic phase of life, we are taking a moment to celebrate the simple. And translating that into great photography, ipso facto, great art.

Zhanjiajie Mountains

When you walk out your door in the morning, what catches your eye? A great sunrise, a family walking past their neatly trimmed yard, cars moving quickly to get somewhere faster? You see an entire scene that your brain can’t possibly detail in entirety. Let me challenge you: Focus on the color of the sidewalk. No really, do it. You will be shocked at the patterns, colors, unique traits you had never experienced. Now take your camera and capture those patterns and colors. What do you see now?

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So often when photographing a scene or a moment, we are so focused on capturing everything and yet we miss it all. “You can’t see the forest for the trees” applies in many things, literally. Have you ever tried to photograph an entire forest? Impossible. But what about capturing the tree that has an exposed root system or an entire ecosphere living on its trunk?

Congratulations. You have found Simplicity.

 

The Best of 2016… So Far

Welcome to 2016 and welcome to Spring! 2015 was a wonderful year for us and 2016 has started off even better. I am honored to share with you the most loved masterpieces of 2016, so far.

gallery-5“Enchanted”

The latest major release of “Visions of Ireland” features Ed Cooley’s award-winning masterpiece “Enchanted”. Becoming one of Ed’s fastest appreciating artworks, “Enchanted” features the Dark Hedges of Northern Ireland captured in breathtaking light.

One of the most famous sights in Northern Ireland, this seemingly mysterious location was actually purposeful. The Stuart family planted it in the 18th century to dress up the road to their manor. These wonderful Beech trees have since grown entangled into a fantastic mess.

This sight has been featured in the HBO series “Game of Thrones” and many other mediums. With equal parts mystery and trepidation, I set out to put my signature style on this sight.

gallery-8“Hypnotic”

Featured during the release of “Industry Abandoned”, “Hypnotic” has been a show stopper since it’s release. Photographed in the famous Silo City of Buffalo, New York, this project was a completely new experience for Ed Cooley. Known world wide for his award-winning landscapes, “Industry Abandoned” was instantly something special. These haunting images of what was once the backbone of industry showcase the beauty of life that has moved into the absent space. The colors that have stood the test of time, the remnants of an obviously busy industry, and the memories left behind.

“Hypnotic” is a literal mess of advertisements and graffiti layered over time into a hypnotizing stare. What her eyes must have been able to see as the industry waned and she came to life.

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“Tree of Fire”

Can you believe these colors exist in nature? A breathtaking ode to autumn, this tree lives in the Portland Japanese Garden of Portland, Oregon. Captured by many photographers, but Ed’s style stands alone.

The gardens were established in 1963 and opened to the public in 1967. Japanese Gardens typically take hundreds of years to evolve and mature, but thanks to western ingenuity the Portland Japanese Garden is the perfect fusion of east meeting west.

This Japanese Maple may be short in stature, but the color gives it a mighty presence. A favorite among our collectors, this piece highlights our love of the Earth.

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“Wild Spirit”

And last, but certainly not least, I bring you one of Ed Cooley’s most awarded pieces. “Wild Spirit” brings the Camargue Horses of Provence, France into your home.

Many photographers have tried, but not many with success, to photograph these wild horses. Protected by the government to conserve the breed, this herd lives in the Rhone river delta and are watched by the “Gardians of the Camargue”. Legend says the Romans would arrive by ship to cull the young to train as war horses.

What is your favorite?

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to share our passion with you everyday. These masterpieces are all available for purchase and so the only question that needs to be asked, what is your favorite?

Name That Piece!

gallery-3How would you like to win an original Ed Cooley piece?

In celebration of our latest exhibit “Industry Abandoned” being such an amazing success, we are anxious to introduce this show to you! We will be releasing blog posts all week and next with features from the show and exciting details on how you can add to your collection.

Featured is one of our newest pieces, currently titled “The Piece With No Name” but we are hoping YOU can change that! Just go to Ed Cooley Fine Art and include your contact information along with what you believe would make a great name for this piece and you could win a signed copy! (View rules here)

Voting will end on November 28th, and winner will be announced on December 1st, only one ballot per entry please. Good Luck and can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

Trip Report – Ireland: Glandalough

Glendalough Tombstone

I have a few more posts about trip planning and preparation but I’m excited to show some of the incredible sites here in Ireland so we’ll save those for later.

 After arriving in Dublin, Ireland, we planned a rest day to adjust to the new time zone.  Of course, we couldn’t hang around the hotel all day so we drove 40 minutes south to Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountain National Forest.

Not only is the area a great natural area with two beautiful lakes, they have this super cool monastery more than 1500 years old!  Think about that; in the 6th century the Celtic Christians built this community and not long after Vikings invaded and took over Dublin.  Eventually these Vikings, were thrown out of power and many converted to Christianity and melted into the community.  They would have heavily influenced this entire area.

St. Kevins Bell Tower

There is a well-preserved tower rebuilt in the 1800’s, St. Kevin’s Chapel and cemetery full of incredible tombstones that have all kinds of Celtic artwork on them.  The cross, pictured against the evergreen foliage, especially intrigued me with its monikers showing Celtic patterns and farm animals along with a saddened cherub.  I’ve seen these same patterns in Viking tombstones and art all over Iceland.

Enjoy a few more sites from Glendalough

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Trip Report – Ireland: Planning

I’m spreading Irish Kerry Gold Butter on my toast this morning as I get ready to leave for the airport to Dublin to explore my Irish roots.  Not sure how much Irish blood runs through my veins but regardless we’re excited for an opportunity to travel to the ‘Emerald Isle’ for a fortnight.


Preparing for an international trip might seem overwhelming at first but with a little practice things tend to go smoothly.

1. First select a desirable location out of the endless possibilities

This is the fun part, no drama, just hours and hours of web searches and introspection.  If this is your first international trip, pick someplace that speaks your language and drives on the same side of the street.

Another criteria is what is the current political climate.  You won’t enjoy an exotic location if your safety is a concern.  We photograph at the edge of the day when most areas are void of people and protection.  There’s never a gauruntee but many locations remove that concern.

Finally, you’ll enjoy scouring photography and social media sites scoping locations and subjects.

2. When to visit:

If you goat peak travel times, you’ll be frustrated getting good looks and spend top dollar as well.  Better to travel just off season than to battle the crowds.

Something I will always do during trip planning is search for a workshop.  Sometimes it’s better to go with a group and if you prefer shooting alone it will give you an idea of dates that are productive for photography.

On our first trip to Italy, we joined Jim and Magrit Nilsen’s wonderful tours of Tuscany  and Venice.  Jim was great about accomodating our needs as professional photographers while providing invaluable information on the area.

You can also consider a local guide.  They know the area and best times to photograph.  They also releive you from language, culture and safety concerns.  Most are more affordable than you would think and make sure you don’t book yourself into a dive.

3. Visa requirements are always a concern

Make sure you can get into the country before booking tickets and accommodations.

4. Arrange your tickets and accommodations early

A year in advance gives you all kinds of options but can lock you in.  Consider trip insurance if you are concerned your availability may change.  An option to cancel for any reason costs a little more but gives you flexibility for the unseen.

While I prefer to book my own trip, travel agents can be a valuable resource and have access to discount packages that may not be available to you as an individual traveler.

My flight is boarding, next stop Dublin!

Tip of the Day: What’s The Best Camera for Me?

Pacific SkiesI get this question at least once a day: What camera is the best for me/beginners/period?

Honestly? I don’t know!

That question is just as complex as asking a sommelier “what kind of wine will I love over all others?” You just have to try them out, and that’s half the fun!

Here in Northwest Arkansas we have several sources for camera and camera equipment purchases, some locations will encourage usage in store to make sure they are the best fit for you. If camera ownership is completely out of your budget, using your iPhone or Android can offer some amazing quality photos and apps like Instagram and SnapChat offer many editing options that can create perfect opportunities to gain knowledge on lighting, angles and zoom.

And if you have a source, borrowing or renting a camera for the day can actually provide an amazing opportunity to hold and view and work with the camera in order to fully understand if it is the best fit for you!

Follow http://improvephotography.com/30537/beginners-dilemma-choosing-first-camera/ to see more about how to find the best camera for you!