|Stephen McLaughlin was raised in the small Southern Illinois town of Flora and moved farther down the state in 1970 and now resides in Herrin, Illinois. Steve received a degree in Photography from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois and is in charge of Distance Learning at John A. Logan College in Carterville, Illinois. There he works on Web pages and trains people to work on different kinds of software and computer equipment. He also is a part-time instructor in the Art Department for Photography and Digital Imaging Classes.
He has over 20 years behind a camera, but is now using a computer to realize his artistic abilities. "I have worked with regular photography for many years and loved it, but there were always limitations of some kind. Sometimes it was the film and sometimes the equipment, but I never felt I had the control to produce art the way I wanted it to look. Now, I do something I call "digital painting" to create the kind of work that I feel expresses what I see and feel from my subject material."
The "digital painting" process involves taking an original photograph, putting it into a powerful computer and actually painting in sky, shadows, color, and details that give an image a look that is similar to watercolor, but still has many of the traits of a photograph. Each image is then printed out on a professional printer using special pigmented inks and archival paper. The prints have been tested to last in excess of 200 years.