Shutter Notes: Mark Gilvey — Sky in Turmoil

Welcome to Shutter Notes, our weekly community feature. Shutter Notes gives you the chance to get to know our community members a bit better. Each member will share a little bit about themselves and their chosen image.

Mark Gilvey is a professional commercial and fine art photographer based in Woodbridge, Virginia. He provides photographic services to help businesses make a profit.

He has been photographing since 1977 and hasn’t been able to save a dime since he got his first SLR camera. In 2015 Mark opened his own studio near Potomac Mills. His work can be seen locally in Prince William Living magazine (Local Flavor section) and in the National Museum of the Marine Corps in the Medal of Honor Theater.

Mark Gilvey
CAMERA: iPhone 5, LENS: 4.12mm
APERTURE: ƒ2.4, ISO (unknown)
EXPOSURE: About 20 seconds

Why and how Mark created this image

You might be surprised to learn that Mark created this image in Joanne’s Fabrics and Crafts in the artificial flower section. He wanted to share this because it shows something you can do when you let yourself really do something.

Here is Mark’s description of this Sky in Turmoil image:

“I wouldn’t call it post-apocalyptic; more like the apocalypse, uh, now. It’s not the type of photo I normally shoot. It just kind of came together this way. There weren’t any preconceptions to make such a brooding, violent image, it developed that characteristic all on its own. Isn’t that what an “abstract” is? You start with one thing and it’s viewed as another.”

Mark had no clue this was going to surface as it did. Initially, he took long exposures while waving my camera phone over some artificial flowers to see what kind of pretty color blur he could get. This one stood out to him because it was, well; red. He likes red, but, what if?

For post-processing enlarged the hell out of it. He says he must have scaled it up to 80 inches. He didn’t care if there were going to be any artifacts because he was going to remove them or blur them out. Then, he added a lot of saturation, adjusted the reds, yellows, magentas, and oranges so they had separation, and voilà! Instant turmoil.

What we can all learn from this? Sometimes you have to just “go for it!” Give yourself a time limit and unleash the beast and see what you come up with.

A good rule

Mark also shared this little tidbit, I thought it was worth sharing.

98% Rule invoked. Get an image to 98% and then stop. The only person who will see the remaining 2% is you, and you will forget what it was, and others will find the other 2% things that you don’t even see as a problem. Move on.

Please join us in the Photofocus Community and find the complete description and instructions on how to submit your image for consideration here.

Please only submit one image at a time and for now only one submission per person. We’ll ask for more at a later date if we need them. If you have any questions, comment here or send me a message within the community. We look forward to your submissions.

If you have any photographer friends you know would enjoy or benefit from being in the Photofocus Community, be sure to invite them!