Abstract Photography by Gregory J. Phelps

Abstract Photography by Gregory J. Phelps


Gregory J. Phelps is known for his creative solutions to some of the most challenging assignments in advertising, architectural and portrait photography. For over 36 years, he created photographic images for many of America’s Fortune 500 companies. During the last year, Greg has been devoting more and more time to his fine art photographic work, which he offers for sale on his website.

To Greg, photography is like classical music: lyrical, emotional, founded in finely honed techniques and timeless in its artistic integrity and beauty. Whether he’s photographing an individual or an inanimate object, in the studio or on location, his approach is always about finding what is unique in the subject. It is about seeking to ignite that individual spark, that certain attitude, that glimpse of what sets the individual or object apart.

As a fine art photographer, Greg seeks to capture the stories of the people, nature and things around him and create images that are both artistically inspired and technically excellent.  He takes a modern approach to photography, one that expands the boundaries, taking the classic approach of the “old masters” and then applying the newest techniques, using experimentation to establish new parameters. These techniques enhance the beauty of the finished photograph, giving it the breath of life.

Greg has had seven one-man shows, including the United Way’s Women Who Make a Difference, Hometown Heroes (ongoing), Champions Against Domestic Violence for the Fort Bend County Women’s Center, A Portrait of Survival for the American Cancer Society and Houston Proud and Tall, a celebration of some of Houston’s great architecture.

Check out more at gjphelpsart.com

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My goal is to create fine art photographs that are both artistically inspired and technically excellent. Having just one or the other is not enough.  Technique without art is cold and uninviting, while art without good technique prevents the viewer from truly enjoying the work.

To satisfy my creativity as an artist I must work on my photographs after I complete the image capture. For me, the creative aspect of photography includes both the techniques employed during capture and subsequently infusing the image with the emotional content that I experienced where I took the photograph. To this end, I adjust the global color balance and the global contrast, then focus on individual colors, and adjust the image contrast so that it reflects the feeling of open, glowing light or of deep, mysterious shadows, according to my memories of the original scene.

On the level of image composition, I routinely collage multiple captures into a single image.  The goal of these collages is to expand the field of view represented in the image far beyond what the single capture can show; even when the photograph is created with the widest lens available. These collages have the added benefit of representing time as well as space. Since the images that compose the final work are taken over a span of time, which can vary from a few seconds to 25 minutes or more, the resulting collage shows the variation of light, the movement of clouds and the changes in other moving elements that took place during the time required to complete the image captures.

I also remove elements that are unnecessary or unaesthetic. These elements range from trash to elements that are either natural features that can be modified in the original scene, or elements that include textures whose patterns are incomplete or visually unsatisfying, and any other unwanted element that detracts from the beauty of the captured image.

A work of art is primarily the product of a person, not a machine. For this reason, a photograph printed straight from the original capture, either film or digital is unsatisfying and fails to meet the defining criteria of fine art.  Such an image represents the output of my camera rather than the expression of my emotions.
Gregory J. Phelps, 2014

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