T. Evan Kovasi
Born and raised in the hills of Northern California, Evan grew up steeped in the majestic beauty offered by the outdoors. Free to roam the countryside he developed a deep sense of appreciation for the ephemeral and episodic displays of the natural world. From a young age he would borrow his parents’ camera to take picture after picture of the sunset, the clouds, the spring flowers.
Though photography was always on the back burner it wasn’t until after graduating from college that Evan purchased his first DSLR. His passion for documenting our planet escalated quickly from that point. Self-taught, he would spend hours learning every aspect of his camera and the science of digital photography.
Today, his combination of technical expertise and artistic liberty are the genesis of works that sometimes look more like paintings than traditional landscape photography.
Photography has always had a grip on me. Of the many eclectic paths I have pursued, this is the one that always seems to be able to hold my interest. It's not just the act of taking the picture, it's the whole process: exploring amazing places full of interesting people and things; the technical aspect of milling up a new photography gizmo in the workshop; the digital darkroom, the hours spent in front of a monitor tweaking colors and fighting with software, scripting automated workflow while retaining control over every detail of the process... All of this is fantastically engaging and at the end of it, if I’ve done it right, I wind up with not only a captured memory but a work of art to put on the wall and share with the world.
I have put some of my favorite images on this site. Take a look around and see if anything strikes your interest.
What am I looking at?
These days, nearly all of my photography consists of spherical panoramas. These are created from a multitude of individual photographs, painstakingly aligned to create an image comprising the entire 360° x 180° field of view. For the most part, the photographs are all taken consecutively and from the same location. This technique sidesteps the technical limitations of lenses, while having the added benefit of increasing the resolution of the final image.
Now, consider that a sphere is a three dimensional shape. In order to put a spherical panorama onto a two dimensional surface, some part of the image has to be distorted. This process is known as projection. The same process is used in cartography: mapping the globe in two dimensions. There are many different methods for projecting images, and they run the gamut from mundane to the truly wild.
Beyond the projection and composition, my daytime images are nearly all captured using a process called HDR. This stands for ‘high dynamic range’, and is another sidestep to technological limitations. Digital camera sensors can record only a limited range of brightness. This dynamic range can be measured and varies somewhat camera to camera. However, by taking multiple separate photographs with differing exposure lengths, I am able to extend the dynamic range of the final image. This helps retain detail and color even in the darkest shadows and brightest highlights.
At night, when HDR is impossible (or prohibitively time consuming and not particularly helpful) I use other techniques and equipment. Long exposure times are used to capture more light during each photograph. For astrophotography, the limit to this is the movement of the stars. To circumvent this, I will occasionally use a star tracker which rotates with the stars and to which the camera is mounted. This allows the use of longer exposure times without visible star trails. For foreground shots, where nothing moves, individual exposure times can be 30 seconds to several minutes long. I spend these minutes laying in the dark, stargazing and listening to the sounds of the night.
All of these techniques combine to create a somewhat technical style of photography. Many of my images consist of several hundred separate photographs. Creating a final image is an arduous process that can take dozens of hours to complete, using multiple programs with many intermediary steps. While not quite as glamorous as taking the photos in the field, this step is vital to the creation of my style of photography.
I am not a photojournalist, but I am a realist. While my images are not a freeze-frame of a single moment in time, they are an accurate representation of the scene. The process of capturing a spherical panorama, especially at night using long exposures, can take up to an hour. Things change: the stars spin, the grass blows around, I walk in circles around the tripod… but what I capture from that scene is what was really there over the course of shooting. Aside from the projections, which can be pretty fun, I generally don’t ‘manipulate’ my images. I do not radically alter colors or swap in skies that don’t belong. I do remove small imperfections from the image such as dust specs, candy bar wrappers callously left on the ground, and other minor details. As with traditional photography, I use tools like dodging and burning to accentuate parts of the image and shape my artistic vision.
About my limited edition prints
Producing, or reproducing, fine art in limited quantities is a time honored tradition. By restricting the total number of pieces in an edition the long-term value of the artwork is improved and sustained. While this is beneficial to artists and collectors, to the everyman this is a burden.
Having weighed the pros and cons of reproducing my photography in limited quantities, I have reached a compromise. Smaller prints will be released as open editions, at a lower price point accessible to all. Larger prints will be released in successively smaller editions as the size increases. Currently all of my prints 35 inches (long dimension) and larger are limited edition.
While I strive for consistency from one reproduction to the next, there is no guarantee of perfect likeness. Differences in available print technology and application make perfect matches impossible. Images are reproduced on an as-needed basis and not in a single run. This further frustrates homogeneity. The variation, however, is kept to a minimum and I make every effort to maintain uniformity across an edition. However, my artwork is always evolving; minor changes to an image may be incorporated into an existing edition.
My limited editions are specific to the medium and the size of the artwork. For example, I have released an edition of my photograph “Lambent Damnation” reproduced on ChromaLuxe aluminum panels, each measuring 35 inches on the long side. This edition is limited to 128 total prints. Additionally, I have released an analogous edition consisting of the same image, in the same size, reproduced on cotton canvas. This edition is also limited to 128 total prints. Reproductions on different media and in different sizes have distinct qualia that define them, necessitating the separation of editions in this way.
While I may change the way in which I release editions in the future, those editions having already been released will not be increased in number beyond the original limit. Each edition may also include artist’s proofs, not part of the numbered edition, and not to exceed 10% of the total count of numbered reproductions. For example, for the photograph “Lambent Damnation” mentioned above, I may produce up to 12 artist’s proofs for each of the 35 inch editions. These proofs are at the artists discretion and may or may not be released. Prints damaged before sale will be marked as “HC” (hors commerce), and removed from the edition count. Once an edition is complete no more reproductions of that image, on that medium, in that size will be produced.
All of my limited edition reproductions are of archival quality. Both giclée prints on canvas, and dye-sublimation transfers on aluminum are expected to last many times as long as traditional photo paper, or prints. It seems that most authorities agree that these media have a lifespan of at least 75 to 100 years without noticeable fading, when stored indoors and out of direct sunlight. This is a truly archival timeframe; these prints will last for generations.
Accompanying the sale of each limited edition artwork, I will provide a certificate of authenticity. Both the artwork and the certificate are signed and numbered. Certificates should be kept with the artwork or in a safe location.