Aerial Photographer Kevin Krautgartner Uses Squarespace to Showcase the Earth's Fragile Beauty

February 28, 2019


Island Sunsets

While those of us in the northern hemisphere eagerly await the arrival of spring, photographer Kevin Krautgartner travels the world capturing envy-inducing views. Krautgartner focuses his lens on a wide array of subjects, ranging from architectural interiors to soaring urban skylines. But the German photographer’s most wanderlust-inspiring images are shot from the sky in sunny, rugged, and remote landscapes. Recent work has taken him to the Seychelles islands, Italy’s Dolomite mountains, and the glacial rivers of Iceland.

The artist studied at University of Applied Sciences in Dortmund, Germany, and shares with Colossal that his dual academic training in photography and graphic design has informed his work as a professional photographer. He uses formal tenets of design to create tension through lines and forms, and he explains that he finds himself almost automatically drawn to scenes based on their compositional makeup.

Krautgartner explains that his design finesse makes Squarespace the perfect platform for showcasing his work online. Squarespace’s themes and customization options allow him to create the exact environment he wants for his work, down to custom fonts. He cites the ease of use and high-quality customer support that allow him to focus on his creative projects. Krautgartner also puts his creativity to work by selling fine art prints of his photographs using Squarespace’s seamless e-commerce integration. “The easy to set up e-commerce system allows me to present my prints in a high quality in just a few minutes. And I’m able to offer my photographs in different variations, so the customer can choose a print on different materials as well as in different sizes.”

In his gallery-ready images, Krautgartner deftly captures atmospheric conditions, conveying the warm, clear air of tropical climates, as well as the grey, damp essence of cooler regions. Rippling ocean waves, transitioning trees in autumn, craggy bare rocks, and the verdant foliage of palm trees add textural elements to the photographer’s carefully composed images.  Whether shooting with a drone or from a chartered aircraft, aerial photography allows the artist to capture moments of surprise and awe. “You never know what to expect when you are going up in the air. I think I have the responsibility to remind as many people as I can how beautiful nature is, and how important it is for us to think about what we do with our land and what impact human intervention has.”

Want to share your unique view of the world? Get started with a portfolio or e-commerce site today on Squarespace.com with a commitment-free 14-day trial. When you’re ready to launch, use the offer code COLOSSAL at checkout for 10% off your purchase.



Southern Waves

Autumn in the Dolomites

Nature’s Colors

Glacier Rivers

First Light on the Island

This post was sponsored by Squarespace. 





Photographer Craig Burrows Reveals the Hidden Glow of Flowers and Plants Using the HP ZBook X2

February 25, 2019

Colossal + HP

Artist Craig Burrows (previously) captures the natural fluorescence of flowers using a unique UV imaging technique, resulting in spectacularly luminescent photographs. The process, known as ultraviolet-induced visible fluorescence photography, involves projecting electromagnetic radiation on to the flower, and then capturing the visible light briefly emitted by the plant. Lest you think everything around us is secretly glowing all the time, the light shown in Burrows’ photographs appears within nanoseconds of the UV light projection, and decays within ten nanoseconds. Objects that emit a longer afterglow are referred to as phosphorescent. The incredibly brief window of illumination is usually not observable to the human eye not because it is itself invisible, but because the glow is so brief, and generally surrounded by much more powerful, atmospheric sunlight.

To create his seemingly magical—but actually all-natural—photographs, Burrows first collects local flowers from his lush Southern California neighborhood, or purchases specific species he’s interested in experimenting with. He works with them in an extremely dark environment, to prevent any competing light from dulling the flowers’ glow, and places each stem in a stand that’s covered in light-absorbing matte black electrical tape. Burrows uses long exposures, and moves his UV-filtered LED evenly over each blossom to ensure that every petal, stamen, and pollen grain gets its moment in the spotlight. Despite all the technical details and varied equipment involved in each shoot, Burrows never knows how—or if—a photograph will turn out until he’s finished shooting.

The photographer, who credits Swedish artist Oleksandr Holovachov with his own inspiration for UVIVF, has been working in this mode for just four years, and has taught himself the intricate process. His work has paid off, with a recent feature in National Geographic. Considering Burrows’ unique perspective on blending art and science, we asked him to turn his precision-focused lens to the HP ZBook x2.

“Regarding the laptop, there are a lot of things I was pretty impressed with. For one thing, it’s got an aluminum and magnesium body and is made to meet MIL-STD-810G specs. This makes me feel comfortable bringing valuable equipment like the ZBook x2 with me—it really feels like a quality piece of hardware. I normally use a large laptop with a full-size keyboard, and I was pleasantly surprised by the detachable one for the ZBook x2. Once I got used to the Quick Keys, it was pretty sweet to use.”

“In actually using it, it was incredibly snappy—definitely one of the quickest laptops or computers I’ve had my hands on, including some workstation desktops I’ve used.  When it comes to navigating around large 16bit images, rendering a video from them, or creating a focus stack, that power and speed makes it a true delight to use.”

“I work around a lot of people in the design industry and I kept getting compliments from everyone on the looks of the tablet. It looks confident and classy, and doesn’t sacrifice ports and functionality to make it happen. I will admit, I was pretty gleeful that I could use USB devices and SD cards without needing external dongles and adapters!”

“While it would certainly be of more use to an illustrator, I found the pen interface pretty excellent. My workflow for photo editing demands abundant keyboard shortcuts so I struggled with using it in pure tablet mode, but I found it quite adept for sketching and drawing. The fact that the tablet has the functionality of a Cintiq in a compact and portable form makes it extremely useful in photo-editing for both masking and making adjustments. The Zbook has definitely made me rethink what a laptop can be and changed my expectations.”

You can purchase prints of Burrows’ fluorescent flowers on his website, and follow him on Flickr and Instagram, where he shares interesting floral facts alongside his photography.

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.

This post was sponsored by HP.




A Full Spectrum of Waves Course Through Warren Keelan's Aquatic Photography Edited With the HP ZBook x2

February 12, 2019

Colossal + HP


Whereas many people see the world’s water-covered surface as a monolith, photographer Warren Keelan (previously) makes a living seeing the ocean’s constant changes, day to day and even moment to moment. Keelan, who is based in New South Wales, Australia, suits up in neoprene to capture ocean water from inside, above, and below. In Keelan’s luminescent photographs, the aquatic environment is framed by glinting sunlight, crashing waves, and glimmering rainbows.

The photographer captures a range of macro and micro shots, detailing both the tiniest bubbles emerging at the water’s surface and the grand scale of tall wave walls. Keelan then brings his treasure trove of fieldwork back to his studio and gallery to fine-tune each photograph, ensuring that it captures the fullest version of the moment he experienced in the water. For his most recent photographs, we equipped Keelan with an HP ZBook x2 to see how the workstation’s innovative structural design would support the artist with his post-production process.

“In order to produce my best quality work, I require a computer that is not only fast and reliable, but a system which provides a professional viewing platform for image editing and processing,” Keelan explains. “I have used many HP laptops, monitors and peripherals throughout my career as an ocean photographer, and I can honestly say the new release HP ZBook x2 is the most powerful and versatile digital darkroom I’ve worked with.”

“The combination of its 4K LED-backlit touch screen and powerful Intel i7 processor makes it the ideal workstation for Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop. Until now, I’d never used a tablet-style device for my gallery workflow, but since I switched from touchpad-and-mouse to ZBook’s touchscreen-and-pen combination, my editing has become significantly faster. The HP ZBook x2 is a game changer for me as a photographer and image creator.”

Though the artist is lucky to have easy access to the ocean, he also embarks on further-flung adventures to capture aquatic moments. This fall, Keelan headed to the Kingdom of Tonga, an archipelago of islands in Polynesia, to capture the majesty of humpback whales in their natural environment. Keep an eye on his Instagram to catch glimpses of his larger-than-life trip. Keelan also offers prints of his photographs in his brick-and-mortar gallery (don’t worry, he ships worldwide!).

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.






This post was sponsored by HP. 





Mysterious Worlds Collide in Justin Peters' Digital Collages Created with HP's ZBook x2

February 8, 2019

Colossal + HP

German artist Justin Peters (previously) uses the wide world of photography to create unique composite images. Peters’ dreamy creations play with scale and proportion, mixing human-sized objects like jellyfish and surfboards with the monumental: moons take the place of beach-side campfires and whales breach above foggy mountain ranges. The prolific 23-year-old artist has been sharing his fantastical digital collages since 2016 on Instagram, and the world took notice of his work this past summer, with his creations ricocheting around the internet.

Thematically, Peters frequently combines disparate elements from the natural world, with a particular focus on celestial imagery. He shares with Colossal that he incorporates these outer-space elements to help visualize the vastness of human imagination. Peters describes his creative process as working on multiple pieces simultaneously, as he looks for similarities between objects and how components could realistically work together. Whereas many collage artists use strong juxtapositions to create metaphorical contrasts, Peters creates a subtle sense of magical realism by seamlessly integrating the various elements in his images. Professionally, Peters works exclusively in digital media, describing it as the way of the future, though he also experiments with drawing and photography in his free time.

With his focus on digital media and particularly Adobe Photoshop, we asked Peters to take the new HP ZBook x2 for a test drive. The artist shares, I have always used a Wacom graphics tablet, but what I love about the ZBook is that it combines the best features of a powerful laptop and a graphics tablet into one device. You can use it in so many different ways!I also really appreciate the flexibility it provides me to work wherever I want away from my desk, or to stand up and continue working after many hours of sitting down.”

The ZBook x2’s versatility allows Peters to work quickly and efficiently, without switching between different devices. “My editing process requires a great deal of control over objects, and using the Wacom pen directly on the ZBook’s matte display rather than a separate tablet feels great and makes my edits even more accurate. I use many shortcuts in Photoshop, so being able to access these using the buttons on both sides of the detached tablet makes my workflow even faster. The ZBook x2 really is a complete package for creative artists.”

You can see more of Justin Peters’ recent work on Instagram.

Learn more about the HP ZBook x2 at hp.com.

This post was sponsored by HP.




Artist Maude White Counts on Squarespace to Showcase Her Stunning Papercut Artworks

February 5, 2019


Photos by Maude White unless otherwise noted

Artist and self-described craftsperson Maude White (previously) captures gentle moments of beauty and grace in her meticulously detailed paper cut artworks. White has worked in paper for the last several years, first exploring her signature medium with simple silhouettes and popup books. The New York-based artist now focuses on the organic forms of female portraits, flowers, and birds. “Every piece I create has its own identity,” White explains. “The knife, and me, and the paper are all in a dialog together, all talking and getting along. The last thing I do is cut it out of the surrounding paper. It comes alive, or is born, and we meet each other for the first time. It’s a completely living thing apart from me.” 

“When I first started cutting paper it was not a career,” White explains to Colossal. “That’s really the way to approach anything, to do it for the joy of it and use it as a way to learn.” By sharing her work online with a Squarespace portfolio site, the self-taught artist has been able to reach a worldwide audience and find success. In addition to her gallery-ready original papercuts, White has partnered with Abrams Books and Paralax Press to release two books—Leading with Love and Brave Birds—that bring her artwork and message of uplift to life.

She shares that the methodical and meditative practice of cutting paper has been a healthy way to express her desire for order and control. In shaping her online presence as an in-demand artist, White explains that it’s very important to her to share this sense of safety and wellbeing with others: “I like all of my work to be comforting or a safe space. Beauty is a form of love. Creating something beautiful allows people to experience love when they look at it.”

White shares that creating her website on Squarespace allows her to feel assured that her website stands up to the finesse of her artwork. “I like things to look the same, flow together, and stay consistent. I love black and white. I like having control and knowing exactly what i’m looking at and what i’m going to get, and it’s always going to look beautiful.”

Ready to set your portfolio site apart? Head to Squarespace.com for a free trial and when you’re ready to launch, use the offer code COLOSSAL to save 10% off your first purchase.

Photograph by Laura Glazer; hand-cut paper by Maude White; reproduced from Brave Birds, Abrams Image, 2018

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Classes Begin January 28 at the School of Visual Arts Division of Continuing Education

December 17, 2018


photo credit: Svetlana Jovanovic

From one-day workshops to semester-long courses, take the opportunity to immerse yourself and be inspired. If you need advice or have questions, our information sessions begin Tuesday, January 8th. Visit sva.edu/continued/events for details.

Courses are available in:

For advice on courses, visit sva.edu/ce/course-advice. To register, visit sva.edu/ce/registration-details.

About the School of Visual Arts
School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for seven decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, a dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprising 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College please visit sva.edu.