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Thread: The "Art" of photography !!

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Default The "Art" of photography !!

    The "Art of Photography" or Photography as an "Art" form, requires skill and imagination.

    It has absolutly nothing to do with the "camera" you are using.

    Let me illustrate this using a common ordinary "pencil' .

    Everyone has a pencil in their house, everyone knows how to use a pencil.

    But how many people can pick up a pencil and DRAW an exact likenss of a person or individual ?? very few !!

    It is the same with a camera ... !!

    So, now you know, it has absolutely nothing to do with the brand of 'pencil'

    It depends on the skill of the person 'using that pencil'.

    It depends on the skill of the person 'using that camera'.

    People; new to photography, often ask the same question.. what camera should I purchase ?

    To me: that is the same as asking what type pencil should I use to create this drawing !

    A true professional can create the same masterpiece using any camera virtually ! From large format; from the most expensive DSLR - TO A POLAROID.

    In case you haven't noticed, Photography is all about composition, in any viewfinder !! Subject Matter ! The subject matters !!!

    Photography is all about light, and what you can do with that light, and your imagination !!

    that is what sets apart a pro from a wanna be

    I hear so many people say, I am going to experiment. that statement shows a complete misunderstanding of the basics of photography.

    Only three things happen when you release that shutter to create an image.

    That image is either too light - too dark - or correctly exposed !!

    Creating an image that people or companies want to purchase, shows your on the right track in learning the Art of photography.

    Art sells big time !! It is in constant demand by virtually all companies throughout the world.

    To find out what these companies want to purchase, get yourself a copy of Photographers Market Book ( every year) study that book and learn.

    Truely you will learn many things you never were aware of when creating an image.

    Learn how to 'submit' your images to different companies that want to purchase images, big name companies such as Adobe, Corel, Hallmark and tens of thousands of other companies pay big bux to purchase or lease images.

    Creating the image is just part of the process. Learning how to 'market' you images is one aspect of photography that most people are totallly clueless about.

    Forget the internet as a way to make money with your photographs. I doubt many can ever achieve an income using just that method.

    Rather; get out in your area, with your porfolio and show & tell!! This is how to market images, you will meet people, you will find out new info etc. This is hard work, but this is how it is done (for me anyway) I have more than 38 years experience marketing images of mine from Boston - Washington State & Alaska !! 1970 - 2008

    Let me show you an image here, that appears to be, - 'absolutely worthless' ! No one, would even consider purchasing this image.



    I made a lof of money from this image. Many people when walking past our gallery on 4th ave, in Anchorage, would merly glance over at the gallery door when walking past our shop. They had no intention of walking in.

    But when they saw this image (bottom), they would break out in laughter, stop and change direction and walk in !! All because of a slight change I added to this image. Although not everyone that entered our gallery ended up purchasing this image, This image got them in... then they purchased other images we had framed.




    You have many DIFFERENT TYPES of tricks that can be used for your images, and these are not limited to which type of camera you own. it is all about YOUR IMAGINATION !!

    Now here you can see that image and where we placed it on our front door (2002-2003 only). We only opened for one year for a 'market study' and we found that the demand was far above anything we ever expected.




    Let me give you two more examples of how I made huge amounts of money from two other images.
    Again it had nothing to do with the camera, or this location. But hard work and listening to people and acting upon the information I had acquired.

    The image above was created in 2002. The lower left corner shows the image that won the Alaska Press Award in 1989. Umailaq - Whaling Captain.

    Dec of 1990, I was in Anchorage, and I just had a 20 x 24 inch copy of that image double matted and framed and I wanted to somehow sell this image for $250 bux.

    I woke up one morning and I had to make a phone call to a number in fairbanks that I just could not remember. I had been calling this same number for 1 and half years every week.. but this one day, I just could not remember that phone number. so I did something very stupid.

    I picked up an Anchorage phone book to look for a Fairbanks phone number...........doh !! ???

    As soon as I opened the phone book, I noticed in the lower right hand corner. Umailaq Insurance Company,, Wow.. I know what that 'word' means.. Whaling Captain !! wow !! I walked over to the other side of Anchorage from midtown to B street and International in a cold snowy day carrying the framed print in a large photo / art type carrying case.

    I arrived at the insurance co. and they liked the print but were not interested, shucks and a half !! I do not give up, and in that same building right behind me was the receptionist desk for U.I.C. construction company, ( A native corporation). I approached them also and tried to make the sale. They liked the image but were not interested in buying art, rather; they needed a photographer they said for 23 construction projects they had finished in Barrow. I said I am a photographer, she said.. we need someone really good, that was the end of that... .. dissapointed, tired, weary I walked back to midtown and went into a book store and browsed some books and came upon a word I have never heard of pertaining to photography.. 'delivery memo'.

    I purchased this book, went home and typed up a delivery memo and included 75 color slides of my best work.

    To make a long story short. I got the job and made over $14,000 in just two weeks time. I charged them $650 per day plus expenses.

    One last short story, Hanford Washington - working on a new nuclear power plant - 1979.

    The worlds largest biggest construction crane was built upon this site. It could move and carry 1000 tons. Lampson built this crane, it was called Big Blue. I created an image of this crane, and sold copies on the job site for just $3 bux. FULL COLOR gorgeous 8 x 10 ! On a nuclear power plant that is under construction, there are perhaps 20,000 workers or more. I made just over $12,000 bux in 3 1/2 months. Each and every day I went to work broke, but by morning coffee break I had $300 bux. I would print up 100 - 8 x 10's every evening in my darkroom using chemicals and paper.

    The point I am trying to make is :. YOU can make lots of money in photography if you want to. It does require work, and before you ever succeed, .. .. .. you have to fail ! you have lots to learn and understand.

    But understand this FIRST... .. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO... with which BRAND of camera you decide to use, It is about your ability and imagination to CREATE !!

    My point in posting this is to get you to 'think', and possibly to inspire you in ways you never thought of.

    GOOD LUCK & Best wishes in your quest !!

    If I can help you in any way.. just ask !!

  2. #2
    Member moose-head's Avatar
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    Another excellent post. Thank you for sharing your insights with all of us.

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    Thank you for posting and sharing with us. Very interesting information about photography.

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    I want to show you something that is exactly what I am talking about.

    The ability to create !

    Using your imagination to create - ! We view our world through a viewfinder, - that which we want to capture. Creativitiy comes from 'seeing' & using your IMAGINATION. It has absoluty nothing to do with which brand of camera you use.

    It is all about your COMPOSITION through - any viewfinder !

    This is a perfect example of something extra-ordinary, by using your imagination.

    Ok, I cheated on this and used a filter.
    Sorry.. but this is not called 'cheating' this is called using your imagination !! This is .. .. .. - The Art of Photography

    As I said earlier, "there are many tricks & tools" you have at your disposal.

    Brand names do not help one bit for you to achieve this type of ART !!

    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...ad.php?t=40329

    That image is truely spectacular !!!

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    I needed to bump this post to the top, to illustrate another method of using your skills & IMAGINATION !!

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    Thanks David, good info.

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Believe it or not - you can excercise your IMAGINATION !!

    HOW ??

    In the exact same manner in which you excercise your body .. .. i.e. your arms, (pushups or lifting weights). You can excercise your legs by running or many other methods to make your legs 'stronger'

    But how do you excercise your imagination to develop it to make it stronger, per say?

    There are definete excercises you can do, to excercise your mind, your imagination.

    Unfortunately this requires much practice and it will not happen overnight !

    But there are many excercises that will develop your imagination, and it all requres much thought !

    Think.. .. ! think about something that is impossible to grasp. Such as how long is forever ? Clap with one hand, run with one leg.

    These may seem stupid and trivial and nonsense. But it works, these are well known methods of excercising your imagination.

    I am going to insert an image here, that might help you understand more about using your imagination in the Art of Photography.



    THIS IS NOT A PHOTOGRAPH !! That is my camera which I drew and constructed in 3D Studio Max (3d program).

    In photography we photograph that which we can see, In the world of 3D, anything you can possibly think of can be created, and animated with full photorealistic capabilities.

    When I first saw this camera for sale in the Point Hope native store, the very first thing that caught my eye was 10.10 megapixel, - Panasonic, hmmm. That is a pretty well known name for good products.; However what sold me on this camera was the lens. LEICA

    As soon as I saw this lens, 35mm - 420 mm zoom (compact & short).

    I was hooked, I just had to try this camera out. The cost was $500 +. It was well worth the investment.

    I took me a couple of days, in 3d studio max trying to figure out how to build an exact likeness of my camea. Everything we look at in our world is made up of 'simple' shapes. Look around your home.

    anyone can do this.. the program is free for anyone to try for 30 days.

    I just wanted to post something a bit different and try and get you to THINK !!..........................'EXCERSICE YOUR IMAGINATION, then get out there and create !! This is something you will do for many years, but I promise you, you will become much better, when you excercise your imagination and apply your skills with a camera !! Good Luck !

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    Member tull777's Avatar
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    Great stuff! Thanks for sharing!!!
    http://www.pbase.com/tull777

    http://www.eddiefisherphoto.com/


    "If you're too open-minded, your brains will fall out. ....."Tight Lines & Best Fishes"

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Let me add .. .. another piece, to this creative puzzle, that so many want to understand.

    YOU, can Read.. .. right ? Of course you can.. you are looking and reading the words on this page. but I bet I can present a major obstacle to reading & understanding simple sentences.

    I present this bit of info, as another excercise to further develop your IMAGINATION.

    LOGIC PROBLEMS .. .. .. will help you to 'think' differently. Logic problems are found in any issue of Dell Puzzle magazines, and other puzzle magazines. A logic problem asks you to figure out.. who is who or what is what, using simple sentences. Extremly simple sentences.

    Try one, and see how frustrated you become over your IN-ABILITY to understand.

    Believe it or not, You will become an EXPERT reader, the more time you spend trying to solve these little gems in simple logic.

    Your IMAGINATION, will benefit greatly in your preception to see things you never saw before, using simple words.

    Photographs portray, feelings, humor, sadness, grief and a whole slew of other adjectives, to impart "feeling' or mood.

    People, pay for unique type photographs, and they always want.. .. 'more'.

    Start by building yourself an excellent portfolio to carry everywhere you travel, always have this with you, you just never know who your going to run into during your 'day'.

    I have been awarded countless photo - jobs, just by having a portfolio handy, to show and tell. 10 - 25 photos are sufficient. 8 x 10 is the smallest size album you want to create. 11 x 14 is much nicer, larger prints are always a pleasure to view.

    I hope some of my ideas and 'habits' .. .. .. make you think !!


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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Michael Phelps is a name.. .. everyone has heard by now, He did something that couldn't be done, everyone told him that. We have all read in the news about the incredible accomplishments of this young swimmer. But do you remember what he said? over and over again all through the olympics ? !!

    He won.. he kept saying, because of his imagination !! He kept using those words. I am not making any of this up. You have all seen and heard many times, Mikey boy use those words. I HAVE AN IMAGINATION !!

    He was the one olympian that kept using those words !!

    I have an imagination also, I enjoy using it and excercising it, and creating images using my 'imagination' !!

    Marketing your images requires 'work', forget the internet, you need to get out there, and meet real people ! Always have a portfolio with you.

    Show your images.. .. let your images do all the talking !

    You just never know who your going to run into !! .. Just how passionate are you, for your obsession in photography ? How well.. do you want to succeed ? What do you want ? what do you 'really' need ?

    I do not care where you live.. or reside.. show your images to people that you come into contact with. East coast, West Coast, Alaska, It doesn't matter where I have been, I always have my portfolio, and I whip it out instantly even if I am on a bus, a train, a plane or at some picnic in a park. Show your images, I love to watch peoples expressions when I show images. Guess how I obtained many high paying jobs ?? By showing my images !!! You just never know who or how, but I promise you this, You will succeed !! it just takes practice and.. .. .. 'your imagination' !!



    Old 'habits' are very hard to break, even if I am 7 miles out, on the frozen ocean ice pack, I am still showing images !!












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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    I challenge you, to this one 'test' of using your eyes & your imagination !

    Walk around the outside of your house, looking only .. at your house and the earth, keep walking.. .. until you see it. Then photograph it !

    If you really look & use your eyes.. search, ... look,, be creative.

    It might take you 10 minutes, it might take you an hour (if you have that much patience.)

    But I am positive, you will find something interesting to create, that could be marketed. Learn to think "different' !! OPEN YOUR IMAGINATION and look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Majik Imaje View Post
    The "Art of Photography" or Photography as an "Art" form, requires skill and imagination.

    It has absolutly nothing to do with the "camera" you are using.

    Let me illustrate this using a common ordinary "pencil' .

    Everyone has a pencil in their house, everyone knows how to use a pencil.

    But how many people can pick up a pencil and DRAW an exact likenss of a person or individual ?? very few !!

    It is the same with a camera ... !!

    So, now you know, it has absolutely nothing to do with the brand of 'pencil'

    It depends on the skill of the person 'using that pencil'.
    Great Post Rep added.
    I got the wife a Canon Rebel XSI for X-mas along with a bunch of Accessories (Flash, Tripod Lens's and such) and after she opened all the stuff I got into checking it all out and realized my "Pencil" is broke.
    We are both beginners and must admit this stuff is way over my head. We have a few other Canons that we used to just point, shoot and upload to the computer. I did get a DVD about the XSI showing the basic funtions, but looks like I am going to spend quite a bit of time just getting my pencil sharp just so that I may begin to try and create art.
    Fish IT! Hunt IT! or *#%@ IT!

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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Well I appreciate those words of understanding. My advice is continue to use your point and shoot and learn how to consistently create images w/ pleasing composition. The technical stuff will all come into focus as you 'play' with your new camera. Play, create & learn. It will all happen.
    In time (shortly), it will all become second nature !!

    Remember when we were all in the first grade? when we picked up a pencil to write with, our letters and shapes were not uniform but wiggly.??

    It just takes ................TIME !!!


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    I always try for something different...












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    Member Majik Imaje's Avatar
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    Being "different" isn't the same as ART. ART SELLS big time.

    Ask yourself this question, before you click that shutter release.

    Can I sell this image? Is this image 'sale-able'.

    Sometimes, just a bit of motion does the trick for a boring photograph.






    Learning how to create Art .. is something that will require much practice.

    No one just instantly picks up a camera and creates ART. It requires imagination,skill, thought & planning. Occassionaly you will come upon a scene that is just perfect, everything is all set up for you to create a stunning work. Keeping your eyes fine tuned for that one special set of circumstances to prevail.

    What to look for ?? symmetry, of lines, patterns, shadows, light, color,

    Humor, and many other emotions in people places, events. etc.

    It would be next to impossible for me to give exact references to all that is worthty to photograph as ART.

    I am merely trying to provide suggestions to improve your skills and open your eyes.

    You have all the tools necessary to create ART. It is going to take much practice for you to be able to sell your art and make a very good income doing so. But the rewards are great. New equipment and supplies to further your quest to become a very successful photographer.

    Anyone can do this, (really). It just requires practice & constant work.
    Before you can succeed, you first have to 'fail'.

    This is how you learned how to walk. this is how you learned eveything, by failure first, then success came later !!

    Don't ever give up, as soon as you do, your dream is dead !!

  16. #16

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    I am just learning photography and I use a old Sony Cyber-shot 5.1 mp. I appreciate your advise, and will continue to improve on my technique and equipment. Thanks again.


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    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Those are great

    Not just toad stools, but in that picture its the something behind it that makes the photo interesting.
    It makes me want to know where those stairs are going..
    The fact that they are out of focus and the mushrooms or Toad stools were clear is like the way my eyes work, when I focus on a certain object.
    I like your Christmas card face too.. those are the types of scenes those of us here in Alaska absorb all the time, and so it makes it kinda personal to me, because that scene is could be in my own yard..
    Those are the kind of photos that I enjoy because they are part of real life.
    Sometimes the set up pictures don't have that personel feel to them, too perfect, to staged...
    Thanks for sharing those shots..
    Very nice.
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

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    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Default To add to Majik's comments,

    in my (little) mind a great photograph is one that

    a) tells a story; or
    b) makes the viewer stop and think; or
    c) makes the viewer feel an emotion

    I try to ask myself before I push the shutter -

    "What is it that I'm trying to accomplish with this picture?"

    Much of the time, I'm pushing the shutter because I feel something about the subject, and I want to share that feeling with someone else. Other times, I'm pushing the shutter because I want to expand my technical and/or artistic horizons beyond what I'm capable of today ("I do what I can, no matter how little it may be")

    R,

    SH

  19. #19
    Member Floyd_Davidson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sierra Hotel View Post
    in my (little) mind a great photograph is one that
    A great photograph is one that accomplishes what the photographer intends it to, who ever the photographer is and what ever the intent is.

    The significant point of course is that the intent is almost certainly different for every individual photographer. Anyone who claims that their idea of a good photograph is what defines art or defines photography, is mistaking "style" as "art".

    And before someone jumps up and down taking offense at that... consider that in the 1930's no less than Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams repeatedly exchanged jibes with each other over exactly that point. Adams made beauty out of big ugly rocks, and literally felt that the one true purpose of photograhy was to show beauty. Lange took pictures of reality which were not necessarily beautiful, but most certainly were captivating. They argued back and forth, at the time, over which was art. Later I believe they both realized they were arguing different style, and that both were valid art.

    I would suggest that until a photographer has a very clear idea of what constitutes the specific style and intention of their own photography, that they not accept anyone else's claims of what defines "art". Instead, they need to define what their art is (i.e., develop a style), and to be very careful to separate that from the definition of art in general.

    Likewise, it probably is misleading to think that taking beautiful pictures of beautifil things is necessarily a skill. For example, I love taking pictures of small children... but make no mistake, just about anyone with just about any camera can get a good picture of a child (or a sunset, or a flower, or... a lot of other things). Back to Lange and Adams, try making art from objects that are not inherently beautiful... and skill becomes necessary. Yet on the other hand, while everyone does take beautiful pictures of children and sunsets regardless of skill, to repeatedly produce the precise type of result (i.e., to get pictures in your style, of any given beautiful subject) does require skill. And even with children, sunsets and flowers, that is what is required to make your images stand out from what everyone else does.

    A wonderful example of much of the above, that we see here very commonly, are the landscapes done by Ray. His work has a style that shows up just so very very clearly in every picture! That takes skill. (Of course the difference between skill at Ray's level and people like Lange and Adams is that Ray, so far at least, can only accomplish that for certain specific types of scenes, while Lange and Adams could literally take a picture almost anything and stamp it with their own style!)

    Food for thought, eh? I think the philosophy of the art of photography is necessarily hand in hand with the technology of photography. Both need to be balanced against the other in order to understand and progress with either.

  20. #20
    Member Sierra Hotel's Avatar
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    Floyd, I agree with everything that you said. One comment I'd like to add is that there is a difference art and photography. I think that there's art, which is HIGHLY subjective, and dependent on the individual evaluating the object (in this case, a photograph). On the other hand, there is photography, which can be art. There is the technical perspective, coupled with the artistic. I can think of many photos that are technically perfect, but would not be considered art by most people. On the other hand, most photographs (not all, but most) that are considered great art are technically excellent also.

    Adams is one of my favorites, and I still try to puzzle out how he a) accomplished his work technically, and b) how did he view the world creatively to create the art.

    Personally, I'm an amateur with no particular style that is learning a hobby. I like seeing the work on the web site (and on Flickr, Nikonians, Fred Miranda, and others) because it makes me change how I look at the world every day, whether I have a camera in my hand or not.

    As for style, most of us are forced to work with what we have (man it sucks that we live in Alaska - there's so little to shoot), and come up with something that we enjoy and accomplish satisfactorily in a world where perfection is becoming the minimum acceptable standard, and the habit is to nitpik everything to the point where it obviously must be garbage .

    While I wouldn't pretend to appreciate all styles, forms, or types of art, I certainly feel strongly that if it doesn't make one feel something, it's probably not art.

    As for the balancing the art against the technology, I think I'd disagree with that. Give Adams the latest and greatest of today's technology, and I'm sure he'd have done work that would surpass even his most admired work. But I'm a technogeek too, so I might be a little too accepting of the technology .

    R,

    John

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