A Phoenix office building now features gorgeous acrylic prints of Arizona, created by Tom Corey, a construction senior project superintendent who enjoys nature photography in his off hours.
Tom Corey recently visited the ArtisanHD photo labs for help with a large acrylic print project, all printed on Kodak Metallic photography paper and mounted to 1/8” acrylic with museum backs. The location: a corridor in a medical office in the Phoenix West Valley.
The developer of the office complex had worked with Tom on other construction projects in the past – asked for his help with creating a calm and serene interior for the office. You might have seen more than 30 of his nature photographs hung in the Banner University Medical Center.
A nature photographer explains his work
Tell us about about your nature photography?
All of these photos were taken in Arizona. Some from the Page/Lake Powell area and some in Oak Creek Canyon. Most of the desert scenes were taken fairly close to Phoenix in our surrounding deserts.
Being born and raised in Flagstaff the outdoors have always been a big part of my life. I first dabbled in photography when I was in high school but really couldn’t afford film and the developing so that hobby got shelved.
In 2011 I was building a project in Oro Valley which had easy access to the surrounding desert and mountains. Since I was staying there during the work week I would hike in the evenings after work. I was always seeing these incredible sunsets or wildlife during those hikes and was frustrated using a cellphone or a simple point and shoot digital camera so I was inspired to get back into playing around with a real camera.
I purchased my first Canon Rebel DSLR and dove in. I learned a lot hiking around and snapping photos. Shortly thereafter I then managed a hospital project in Page, AZ. While there I was always out exploring the surrounding areas. That area really excited and inspired me to learn as much as I could about how to create great images. I studied various photographers for composition, lighting and processing techniques. I guess you could say that I became a sponge.
As my photographic eye developed along with my skills I soon realized that my equipment was not enough so I invested in a new camera and professional lenses. Shortly thereafter I began to receive more and more compliments followed up with requests to purchase prints so I developed my own website.
What is your day job?
I am a Senior Project Superintendent at DPR Construction and have been with them for 14 years. DPR did not have a role in this particular project however we have constructed several other projects for (the client).
Why did you choose acrylic and the mounting options for these particular acrylic prints?
Acrylic was the preferred material request from (the client). I had done a previous project for them at this facility with the artwork that is hung in the lobbies. That work was printed on Acrylic by another local printer. Plaza wanted to stay with the same type of product throughout the facility so when I was putting this order together I initially went to that previous vendor. This company was unable to produce prints in the larger sizes that I was looking for so I began exploring for a printer that could accommodate.
I had heard great things from some of our other local photographers about ArtisanHD so I decided to go and see what could be done. Mike Goldner met with me, showed me the various products and gave me a fantastic tour of the entire facility. I was super impressed with the entire operation. Mike was able to provide pricing using several different options that allowed us to fit the budget that was available for the project.
What did you learn from this nature photography project? What kind of advice would you give to other photographers / construction folk for doing a similar project on acrylic prints?
The first thing I learned is that the customer service provided by Mike Goldner is top notch and that ArtisanHD puts out an outstanding product. I also learned not only from this project but from other recent ones that printing in larger sizes requires a completely different level of effort for image prep.
It takes a lot more work to make sure that you get it right prior to print. If you are planning on printing large and are using traditional DSLR camera equipment you have to utilize stacking or panoramas to give you enough image detail to properly enlarge. This results in incredibly large file sizes so your computer has to be able to handle it.
You also have to go thru your image with a fine tooth comb to make sure that there are no imperfections. Things such as sensor dust spots, areas that might be slightly out of focus or perhaps using the wrong f stop when shooting can have drastic effects on the overall quality.
What’s the next photography nature project you’re working on?
I have not been able to do any photography since early summer due to a knee replacement surgery. I have finally recovered and regained the ability to get back out there.
I am going this weekend to try to catch the tail end of our Arizona Fall Colors. Also, I have realized that my imagery has been focused either on the Sonoran Deserts around Phoenix, The White Mountains or Flagstaff areas. My portfolio is lacking anything from Southern Arizona so that is on my radar to start developing.
For more information, see Tom’s website at: https://tomcoreyimages.zenfolio.com/