Globetrotting Artist Totes Paint Shop Pro Wherever He Goes
There’s one word that sums up Duncan Waldron’s career as well as his art: kaleidoscopic. Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Waldron’s first job involved creating high quality reproductions of astronomical plates and objects for the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh. He emigrated to Australia in 1998 where he left professional photography behind and began working in product development. Now, he resides in New South Wales, where he studies contemporary furniture design. “This may either lead me in a new direction or just add to a general mixed bag of skills,” Waldron said.
Waldron first came across Paint Shop Pro in 1995 just before leaving the Observatory. “We were just starting to turn towards digital photography, although the vast majority of our work required a quality that digital just couldn't provide,” he said of his celestial snapshots. His first reaction to Paint Shop Pro? “My immediate response was that it was affordable — I couldn't justify the expense of a certain other program as I wasn't doing very much that required it.”
Paint Shop Pro continued to stand the test of time and Waldron’s career changes. “As time went by, and my and my wife's businesses began to develop, I had the need to produce a variety of advertising, promotional, and packaging materials. Having been "encouraged" to learn "the other program" in my studies, I discovered much that I find frustrating and have frequently said "Paint Shop Pro is so much better/easier" at certain tasks. The workspace is much more user-friendly in the way palettes function.”
“I have always been one to bend or ignore the rules,” Waldron said. “I try materials and techniques that are not recommended or are on the fringes of conventional photography. With Paint Shop Pro, I can push the boundaries.”
Waldron particularly enjoys pushing the boundaries artistically in his personal “creative image-making.” He developed a “custom kaleidoscopic technique” using a script. “I have gone on to make 2nd- and 3rd-generation images. Coupled with some of the available distortion and reflection tools such as polar to rectangular coordinate conversion and kaleidoscope. I have expanded my range to the point where I would be happy to see some of it on a gallery wall.”
While his personal art leans toward the abstract, Waldron continues to use Paint Shop Pro professionally for Web site illustration and advertising flyers, as well as product packaging art. It’s clear, however, that his creative spirit continues to lead the way. “I’m somewhat addicted to seeing what a photograph will become when I spin it around, turn it inside out, and generally mangle it. The results are always unpredictable and a voyage of discovery — sometimes from the most casual starting points.”
And, if anyone is up for a voyage of discovery, it’s Duncan Waldron.