Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
a town center Christmas tree,
a well lit outdoor shopping center.
Happy holidays to all!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
I thought I might try to list all the basic human emotions and overtime answer the above question for each. However, deciding what the basic list of emotions is not straight forward. Depending on the theorist, there are 2 (happy/sad) to 11 basic human emotions with many, many more secondary and tertiary emotions.
Here are my thoughts on some elements the photographer might use to communicate the feeling of love:
- Get in close to the subject - creating a sense of intimacy. Distance tends toward loneliness, remoteness, etc.
- Compression - a telephoto vs a wide angle would better convey a sense of closeness vs. distance and separation.
- Warm colors vs cool - red might be very passionate where yellow might be more just warmth. Blue and green (ocean and grass) tend toward a feeling of calm and coolness.
- Soft focus or light - accentuate the warm glow one may feel when in love. Sharp detail may feel harsh.
- Lines - the type of lines to used to communicate love may depend on the particular aspect of love - say the excitement of new love (straight or diagonal) or the steadiness of long standing love (curved or horizontal lines)
Those are just my initial thoughts. What comes to mind compositionally when you think of "love"?
Blog image: I find it hard to think about communicating love outside of human interaction. This image of mother and child says it all to me. Examining this image, it makes use of all of the above items.: tight intimate shot, closeness - 200mm lens, warm sepia tones and soft light. As for lines, there are strong diagonal lines giving this image an uplifting feeling.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Friday, December 11, 2009
Monday, December 7, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- Different lighting.
- Different perspectives or lenses.
- Different ways of expanding the theme outside of your initial thinking.
- Variation of colors.
- Variation of the subject overtime.
While varying all of these there still needs to be a consistent style and vision behind the portfolio - not always easy.
I have included with this blog three more images I have added to my tapestry theme. Believe me at times I couldn't think of any more ways to expand it, but I made myself go out and see what I could find. Sometimes I had to shoot and reshoot the same subject multiple times to get something the fit my vision of the theme. Other times I had to work on the post-processing to get the image I envisioned (the oak leaf image for example). Now and then a new creative perspective would result (like the closing door image at the start of blog).
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The second and third images present much more pleasant surroundings. I have found these images make the viewer wish they were sitting there and really draws the viewer into the image. Sometimes an empty bench may make the viewer feel loneliness.
Going back to the first image, let us analyze it a bit more:
- Empty seat symbolism – loss.
- Wilted roses – reinforces the idea of death.
- Color – the color in the roses grabs the viewer’s eye. The lack of color in the rest of the image again creates a sense of loss, subdues the mood, etc.
- Lines on the granite wall lead you from the roses back to the empty bench.
- Light - the brighter light on the bench highlights the empty bench and may five a sense of hope to some.
What are some other strong symbolic elements you have seen used? Note, that some symbols may have emotional ties for you but not others.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Sunday, November 8, 2009
Saturday, November 7, 2009
- Not really hi or low key - just average tonal range - maybe a touch on the dark side.
- Wide angle lens - gives is that since of distance from the foreground leaf to the curve.
- Road line is more straight up and down - less dynamic or exciting than a diagonal. This is in keeping with the more subdued (or negative) emotion.
- Foreground object close to front frame edge (not at the classic 1/3 location). This reinforces the left behind or loneliness of the image.
- Black and white image - again less vibrant and more subdued.
The second image was shot while zooming and panning using a long shutter exposure. The panning was to keep the end of the road as the zoom focal point. It has been blended in Photoshop with a "watercolor" version generated with Topaz Labs Simplify. What feelings does this rendition of the image illicit?
Thursday, November 5, 2009
- Hi key image (somewhat) - highlights are allowed to blow out and the majority of the tones are on the lighter end of the scale. This creates an airy uplifting feeling.
- Vertical lines - the vertical lines of the tree have positive impact (as compared to horizontal ones).
- Diagonals - diagonal lines create energy and a sense of movement. The trees are at a slight diagonal in this image.
- Vertical framing - a vertical frame like any vertical lines in the image reinforces the positive feel.
- Low key image - most of the image is to the dark side - creating moodiness.
- Horizontal frame - horizontal lines or framing can make an image more subdued and tranquil.
- Post processed to emphasize the fog - fog adds mystery.
- Monochromatic - eliminating the bright fall colors again creates a more subdued retrospective image.
- Curved road - a path or road that disappears around a bend creates a sense of mystery. "What lies ahead?"
The third image conveys different emotions (shot again at the same time as the others). What do you feel when you look at it?
Monday, November 2, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Very, very few fine art photographers make their living primarily off of selling prints. One photographer in the NW indicated he only knew of 3-4 in the entire NW region who were able to do that. So in general I would say as a fine art photographer you need to look at generating multiple streams of income – books, teaching (online, DVDs and/or direct), lectures, etc.
It takes a long time to build up a following and income stream. Have you ever noticed how often it takes an artist in most any genera 10+ years to be recognized? The key here is to just keep plugging along and making the most of opportunities as they come along, getting your name out there.
One thing that does mark some of those that succeed is a specialization in a technique, subject or skill that isn't easily replicated by the mass of other photographers out there. In business terms they have established a significant barrier to entry to their particular markets. The current turmoil in the photographic market place is in my mind due to the lowering of the barrier to entry that existed before the age of digital photography and the digital age. The digital age has allowed a much greater number of people to create good images and distribute them in a prolific manner. One result of this proliferation has been that to stand out as a photographer you must figure out how to rise above the masses. While the Internet has created the opportunity for visibility around the world - standing out in all this "noise" is difficult (think about searching on the web - how many hits do you get if you sea ch on "photographer").
Stock photography as a major source of income is pretty much dead. While I hear rumors of a photographer now an then who still makes a living off stock, the professional fine art photographers I know would say not to waste your time there now. So far I have not had any success in the more direct sales approach to calendar companies and publishers either. This could be due to the economy, my lack of experience in selling to them or my images may not match their needs (though I try to do my research here). Time will tell.
So am I throwing in the towel. No. I am just sharing my observations along the way. Being persistent definitely seems to be a key to success.
Feel free to share your thoughts and experiences in making money in fine art photography.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
- When shooting images of fall trees, look for patterns in the color. Patterns give your image more structure and our brains like patterns. You will be surprised how many times there will be horizontal line or layers of color. I have included a couple of examples here - first two images.
- Look for back lit leaves and trees when the sun is out. The glow from back light can be quite spectacular and make a tree standout from the background. See next image.
- Use of double exposures to add more "glow". This can be done in camera, using for instance Nikon's overlay function, or in Photoshop post processing by stacking layers. To create the glow you see in the blog image I used an in camera overlay where the first image was in sharp focus and the 2nd one out of focus and overexposed 1-stop. I then blended them to taste using the in camera gain controls.
- Use camera pans or swipes to blend colors and create great fall abstracts. Here you slow down your shutter speed to 1/5-1/8 second and move your camera while taking the picture (it is fun to break rules!). Try it several times until you get an image you like. It is generally best (but not a rule) to move your camera along the primary lines in the image - typically up and down for trees. The last blog image is an example of this. For more on this see http://staceyglloyd.blogspot.com/2009/07/pans-and-swipes.html.
Friday, October 16, 2009
- Use a polarizer to bring out those colors and remove that washed out glare from the sky (even on a cloudy day). This is one filter effect you can't recreate afterwards in Photoshop. If you want fall colors with deep blue skies you need this filter. All of the blog images where shot with a poloarizer.
- Shoot on a cloudy day right after the rain - the colors are very saturated under these conditions, but again make sure you use a polarizer to get the glare off those wet leaves. See above image.
- Underexpose a little in some cases (1/3 - 1 stop) - underexposure saturates colors.
- Look for a splash of one color surrounded by another to create impact. See first blog image.
- Look for structure to hang your fall colors on. See next image.
- Windy day - experiment with long exposures. The next image was shot at 1.6 sec to allow the wind to create the fall "fire".
As always have fun!