Featured Artist Tom Kostes

Artist Tom Kostes is a photographer with a strong inclination towards digital painting and design. Discover more of his work by visiting his website.


"Berries with Leaves" Photography by Tom Kostes

“Berries with Leaves” Photography, Various Sizes


I had to do a bit of soul searching to select images for this feature, since I work in several styles. I have decided to go with my more “innovative” images, ranging from impressionistic to abstract.


"Rainbow in the Falls" Photography by Tom Kostes

“Rainbow in the Falls” Photography, Various Sizes


Early on in my journey, I considered myself a landscape photographer, but soon found this too limiting. Now I will capture any subject that evokes my imagination.


View of Mt. Hood in a dramatic landscape, photo by Tom Kostes

“Hood from the Rose Garden” Photography, Various Sizes


I started out creating in black and white, processing my own film and printing in the darkroom. It was fun and educational. Gradually, I became enamored with color, for a time becoming a bit discouraged at the prospect of having to turn the work over to the color labs.


Photograph of seagulls on the beach by Tom Kostes

“Waiting for the Sunset” Photography, Various Sizes


When digital came along, with a virtual darkroom on my computer, I was in heaven, and still am. Now I have the control over my images that was lacking.


Photo of ice over water filled with leaves by Tom Kostes

“Ice Over Leaves” Photography, Various Sizes


Over time, I have moved to a more “painterly” and even abstract way of working with images. For me, it’s been a natural progression. Making two dimensional images appear three dimensional is an abstraction in itself. A walk in the woods or in an urban environment can yield many abstract images right in the camera, requiring merely the ability to see and capture them.


Dramatic orange sunset photograph by Tom Kostes

“Last Rays” Photography, Various Sizes


Now, although I am still a photographer, I am also a digital artist and designer. Sometimes I leave an image quite realistic, but often I stray far from the original in-camera capture. I have worked diligently, over many years to master my craft, which includes the camera and the software I use to process and create my visions. This has afforded me the freedom to create images that truly follow my muse.


"Poppies with Daisies and Crows" Photography by Tom Kostes

“Poppies with Daisies and Crows” Photography, Various Sizes


I will take an image in any direction my imagination takes me. Michelangelo said, “The sculpture is already complete within the marble block, before I start my work. It is already there, I just have to chisel away the superfluous material.” I try to work in the same spirit, allowing the image to take me to where it creates an expanse for the viewer to engage with.


Landscape photograph of a field with a fence and Mt. Hood in background

“The Fence” Photography, Various Sizes


I have no set workflow. I have tendencies which I follow at the beginning, but will deviate from them in an instant if I see a way to create a more exciting, creatively rewarding composition. Working in this manner has set me free as an artist and made my life and work much more fulfilling.


Abstract photograph "In the Mist" by Tom Kostes

“In the Mist” Photography, Various Sizes


I am well aware that some people still believe it’s a “sin” (or worse) to Photoshop or otherwise process an image, but that opinion is one that would suppress originality and imagination. I always shoot in RAW and every RAW image, without exception, needs processing, as it is simply a digital negative. Without it, the image can never reach its full potential. It just depends on how far one is willing to take it. I personally believe there are no limits except the ones we choose to place upon ourselves or our work.


"Space Needle" contemporary Photography by Tom Kostes

“Space Needle” Photography, Various Sizes


To me, “the sky is the limit.”


Artist Tom Kostes invites you to follow him on Facebook.


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  1. Dan Myers says

    Love “Ice Over Leaves”!

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