After finding her passion and moving forward into the world of photography, award-winning and professional fine art photographer Lorraine Baum has developed her very own style of creating extraordinary images. Lorraine resides in Denver, Colorado and she finds inspiration for her work in her surroundings as well as through her travels. Lorraine’s body of work is quite expansive and her passion and drive for her craft speaks for itself. It’s my pleasure to share thoughts and ideas about her art with my readers.
Lorraine, it was a pleasure getting to know you and about your creative process. You are a remarkable artist and someone who is definitely worth following. Your work is quite exceptional and I hope to see more great things from you in the future!
Can you please tell the readers a bit about yourself?
I have been interested in photography my whole life but it always took a back seat to my number one passion – music. I spent many years as an electric bass/trombone player in bands that traveled throughout Europe and the western United States. I eventually settled down into a 30-year career teaching middle school band and orchestra in Denver, Colorado. I continue to write and publish music for school bands and orchestras.
I retired from full-time teaching in 2014, and although I continued to substitute teach part-time until the arrival of Covid-19, I found plenty of time to pursue my other passion – photography. I have continued honing the art and craft of photography with a vehemence ever since. Travel has always been huge for me, and I only wish I would have had the skills during so many of my traveling years that I now possess.
Where is home?
Home is Westminster, Colorado – halfway between Denver and Boulder. Previous to moving here in 1963 I have lived in Virginia, Southern California, and Phoenix, Arizona.
After browsing through your website, I see that you’ve built up an extensive collection of wonderful art and photography. What is it that led you toward these fields and how long have you been working in them?
Thank you so much! When I was ten years old, we were planning a family vacation and I asked my dad for a camera. His response was: “What do you need a camera for? I’ll buy you some pretty postcards!” He didn’t get it! I have always felt I had an eye for photography and carried my Kodak Instamatic with me all over Europe. I got my first DSLR when I retired in 2014 and took a six-lesson class through the local community center.
Are you formally taught or self-taught? And what has been the best source of information along this journey (workshop, online forums, classroom, mentor, etc.)?
I am basically self-taught. I went to two different three-day workshops in Murphy, North Carolina in 2016 from which I learned a lot. I have also spent a great deal of time with online forums – particularly YouTube videos. I also learn from watching what fellow artists are doing. In the end, the thing that makes you good at anything you do is practice, practice, practice.
In regard to your art, what types of mediums do you work with?
I do digital photography with a Canon EOS 5D Mark IV DSLR camera. I begin the processing with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Depending on what I am trying to accomplish with a particular image I have a collection of plug-in apps including Skylum Luminar and Aurora HDR, the entire suite of Topaz apps, Nik Collection, and Photomatix Pro. I turn a lot of my photographs into what I call Photo Paintings – images that may look more like a painting or an abstract. I have also done some mixed-media collaborations with other artists, and some acrylic paint pours.
What is the inspiration for your art and photography?
My inspiration is this incredibly gorgeous planet where we are privileged to live.
How do you choose what you are going to shoot?
I don’t really choose – the images choose me. If it is lovely or humorous or interesting it is fair game.
When shooting subjects, what do you find most challenging?
Shooting wildlife is the most challenging for me. One, animals move. Two, they are usually far away and I need to get a better long-distance lens.
Which artists and photographers influenced you, and how did they influence your thinking, body of work, and career path?
I have done quite a few webinars with Serge Ramelli from France. His work is exquisite and his teaching most informative and helpful. Other than Serge I just look at work that has been done by as many different artists as I can on various websites, books, and magazines.
How do you keep yourself motivated and your work fresh?
I guess the motivation just comes naturally because of my passion for what I am doing.
Share with us your favorite images and why.
My Crested Butte, Colorado series is my favorite collection because it is such a killer gorgeous place and I am quite pleased with the shots I got there, especially “Sunset Over An Abandoned Canyon” and “Crested Butte Sunrise”. My other favorite is “Into The Fog” from the Black Hills of South Dakota gallery. My favorite photo painting is “Golden Forest”. I also like several of my flower photo paintings.
What type of camera do you shoot with? What’s your favorite lens?
Four years ago I stepped up to a Canon 5D Mark IV. My go-to lens is a Canon L series zoom lens EF 24 – 105mm. I have a Tamron SP 70 – 300 long lens that I am wanting to upgrade, and a Canon L series macro lens. Finally, just this week I made a purchase for a lens I have been wanting for a long time – a Canon EF 16 – 35mm wide-angle lens.
What is your favorite photography accessory?
What piece of equipment would you most like to acquire that you don’t have yet?
Canon RF 100-500 f/4.5-7.1 IS USM Lens
How important is Photoshop or other image editing software in your final images?
HUGE! I spend a great deal of time in the editing process. I start with Lightroom, move to Photoshop, and may use one or more plug-ins from there.
Was there a point in your artistic journey when you started to feel really good about your work? If so, what did it feel like to get past that “tipping point?”
I can’t pinpoint a specific time. I am feeling pretty good about where I am now, but I am constantly trying to improve and learn new things. I suppose when I finally started winning or placing in contests online and at my local art association, I began to feel like I was doing some things right. Making my first few sales didn’t hurt either.
Do you have any projects that make you look back and shake your head? What made the experience so unpleasant?
I do look back on a trip I took to Costa Rica in the first year of getting serious with photography and wish I had known then what I know now. There have not really been any unpleasant experiences along the way except maybe the time an enormous buffalo walked right by my car window in Yellowstone and I had everything all set for just the right moment and realized I had forgotten to turn the power on.
Where do you currently display your art? How can people purchase one or more of your pieces?
I have done a few local shows but mostly sell online where my art is available as wall art in addition to multiple other products. I would be so happy to have your readers visit my galleries at:
What do you think the future holds for you? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?
I have been dealing with some health issues for the past year and a half so I am hoping and praying my international travels are not over. I have so many places I still want to see and photograph. At any rate, I will carry on doing what I am doing and continue to work on improving my skills.