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Posts tagged ‘art’

Up for Discussion: Why We Blog

I’ve told you that it is a crazy week for me, and not a good one, so I am trying not to be too lazy, but I can’t do a massive Up for Discussion post today, so I thought I might do one on Why We Blog.  I will start.  I will tell you why I blog.  Then you can leave me a comment with why you blog, or maybe you might do your own blog post on why you blog with a pingback to this post.  Why do you think?

Why I Blog

I wrote my first blog post on WordPress, in September 2010, however it wasn’t my first blog.  I originally started in January 2010 on Blogspot, First One.sm20101031-3488

I started a blog for a couple of reasons, one was because I was photographing cycling and trying to sell the photos. A guy who worked with my husband suggested that I start a blog, that people liked blogs.  Well it never helped with the cycling, but then it had a second effect. Suddenly I wanted to post, I wanted to share my photos, and over time I realised that the photos I was taking for the posts was changing.

I changed to WordPress in September because I liked the stats better. WP had much better stats, still do, you could really get an idea of what people were looking at, it was good.  Then I started meeting people, I started making friends.  I have met some amazing people church0788-1scvirtually, I love seeing what they do. It has been such an incredible experience.

I really came to WP and blogging with the intention of using it to help me produce work.  In September 2010 I was trying to do lots of things, art wise that is, painting, printmaking, drawing and taking photos.  I thought having the blog would make me do work for it, but it really didn’t work out that way. Within a year of starting this blog I made the decision to give everything else up and concentrate on photography, I have never regretted that decision.

Then in November 2011 I decided to challenge myself to see if I could do a post every day, and post a photo each for the month of November, and since that time I have done a post nearly every day since.  With the exception of the odd here I still post everyday.  It works for me.

20110802-0010Posting each day makes me to go and take photos. Being a relatively lazy person, going out to take photos can be hard, so with the threat of a blog and the need for photos, I have taken far more photos than I would have otherwise.  I have found the blog a fantastic incentive to take photos.

Conclusion

The blog has meant I have met people who I would never have met otherwise.  It drives me to get out and take photos to show people.  It has been an incredibly positive experience for me.

So why do you blog?

I’m just going to approve all the comments for now, and I will try to respond to them all, but I hope you will forgive me if I can’t.

The photos today are from various posts during my first year on WordPress.

Up for Discussion: Observing the World Around You

For this Up for Discussion post I thought I would do something that I have been thinking about for a long time.  It may not seem that it is important or even relevant to photography, but I hope you will hang around long enough, and read enough to realise it does.

This is a lithography, so a drawing on a special stone that is then printed, not much room for mistakes.

This is a lithography, so a drawing on a special stone that is then printed, not much room for mistakes.

We often hear people talking about “faking the real in photography”, it isn’t a concept that is new and really, when you think about it artists have been doing that for centuries.  Learning to observe the world around them is very important.  It is something that some do well and some don’t.

Drawing

I know many of you know that I can draw, well used to be able to.  I’ve shown you images of my drawing before. One thing I’ve never really talked about is my Fine Art Degree, which wasn’t in photography,  but rather in printmaking and drawing.  It happened at a time when I was not happy with photography, or rather I was frustrated, I couldn’t get the images I wanted. I thought I would need to make them myself, so draw them.

A drawing from my sketch book.

A drawing from my sketch book.

It was an interesting process, it meant lots of observing of things as I drew them. I spent a lot of time drawing.

Observation

You can’t underestimate how important it is. Of course it isn’t important if you just want to take photos and not do anything with them, then again, if you hone those observation skills then you are likely to see more and get better photos.

If you are interested in photo editing/manipulation then it is really important.

Watching how the light falls on an object, or how it falls when it is hit by another light source. Then there are the shadows, how

Studying how fabric folds, then how the light and shadows show.

Studying how fabric folds, then how the light and shadows show.

do they fall, are shadows solid?  I saw a guy online doing some compositing, and as I watched him move a person into a lane and then add a shadow I realised that he just added a solid colour, shadows are rarely solid colours.  They often have light areas and dark areas, depending on what is around them.

The same guy also made the edge of the shadow very feathered, and soft, but then again it really depends on the light source and where that light is coming from, how direct it is.  If you went and stood outside in the sun, especially in summer, you would see your shadow would have a hard edge.  However, if you went into somewhere where the light wasn’t as strong you would see a softer edged shadow.  It really does all depend on the light.  Which is why in studios the light is often controlled with soft boxes and reflectors to make it like a secondary light source, sort of.

A drawing I did of my daughter, using window light.

A drawing I did of my daughter, using window light.

When you learn to draw you learn to watch and see how things are.

Perspective

Another important aspect is perspective.  It is something you learn in drawing and painting, probably most art forms.  I didn’t do a lot of drawing where you needed to worry about perspective, but it was always something you had to consider.

I have seen the work of other photographers and one of the things you notice is how they don’t understand perspective when they are doing composites and then the work doesn’t look real.

Faking the Real

It is an important thing.  You hear writers talking about how if you don’t make your characters real then people won’t believe them, so isn’t it the same with images, if they don’t look real then people can’t relate to them.  You have to make sure that everything in your image makes sense and is believable.  It is where learning to

A shaving brush, just studying how it looks and looking at the light.

A shaving brush, just studying how it looks and looking at the light.

look and observe the world around you really helps.

If you want to get into more photo editing or manipulation, then one of the best things you can do is learn to look at what is around you.  Don’t just take photos, look at what you are taking.  You don’t have to learn how to draw, but you can always learn how to look, observe.  Watch how light hits objects, where the light comes from. How does the light affect the shadows, are the shadows solid, or do they have lots of different strengths.

I think it is an invaluable tool and one we don’t take enough notice of.  Through drawing I really began to understand light and how important it was.  I also started to understand how I could use that in my photography and become a better photographer, at least I hope it has helped.

I have been going through all my drawings, I’ve found a lot that were just exercises, where I was just trying to see how I could draw them.  There are others that are more, a couple of etchings and some lithographs.  I will try and label them so you can tell what each is.

Starting the Year as I Plan to Finish

Happy New Year

It is the first of January as this post publishes, and I no doubt will be fast asleep, well I hope I am.

In the last 12 months I have concentrated on learning things and trying some things.  In between I did a few art images. Admittedly the year started badly with a bad back that meant I couldn’t sit for very long and wouldn’t able to spend a lot of time working on images.  As the year progressed I still didn’t do many, but it is something that I want to get back to.  Robyn’s One Four Challenge was great to help me get back into it and realised that perhaps I should be doing more.  So I am hoping to do a lot more of this next year.  It is something I love doing a lot. My back is so much better now and it is much easier to sit for longer periods of time.

I have gone through this blog and the one on my website and found images that I have enjoyed processing.  Some you have seen, some you may not.  Funny when I look at them now, they are nearly all architectural, I had really noticed that before.

Be careful with the celebrations, but I hope you all have a great evening bringing in the new year.

Yakking Too Much

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThat is something I get accused of quite a bit, though perhaps, too much is not quite true, I do like to talk and I’m not afraid to talk.  Perhaps, as I was told recently, it is why I make a good teacher, because I like to talk.  I hope I am not one of those really annoying people that talks so much that people can’t get a word in, but I do like talking to people.  I love the act of communicating, it is one of the best things ever invented, if you ask me.  So today I thought I would just talk to you about some stuff, much like I have the last couple of Fridays, and I hope you don’t mind.

I’m off to the city today for another One on One Photography Session. Doesn’t look like a great sunny day for it, but as long as it isn’t raining, it will be good.  LeanneCole-docklands-Melbourne-melbournestar-9348Another opportunity for me to get to meet someone and do more talking.  Showing people and teaching them how to take better photos is an absolute joy for me.  There is nothing better than to be with someone for 4 hours and just talking about photography.

Social Snappers Photography Excursions

Well, it is done, the Social Snappers have been launched. This idea has come from how I like to go out and take photos.  I have heard from so many different people about what they like to do when they go out to take photos, and one thing I have noticed is that women seem to like groups.  I know I do, how much fun is it to go out on an excursion to take photos with people who are there for exactly the same reasons you are.  I also want these to be considered social as well, with the idea that you will meet people who have similar interests as you, and there is a lot of time to talk.

I have asked everyone on Facebook to share it, and I was hoping I could ask you guys to do the same.  I know a lot of you aren’t in Melbourne, but with so many degrees of separation and all that, you might know someone who knows someone who might live in Melbourne.  You just never know.

Getting Back to the Work

LeanneCole-docklands-melbourne-promenade-9441I have been doing lots of stuff lately and one of the things I haven’t been doing enough is my art practice, so I need to start working on some images.  I stopped doing the fine art portraits because they didn’t feel right to me.  I have a whole series of images that fit a theme, a theme I have been working on for about 10 years or more, and I needed to find a way to make them work in that.

When I was at Uni, a friend asked me if I had started working on my essay, and I said yes, I’ve started thinking about it.  Well that is what I’ve been doing for the last six months or so, thinking, coming up with ideas, planning, more thinking. I think I finally have some ideas of how to do these LeanneCole-docklands-Melbourne-harbourtown-9394portraits images so they fit into my theme, or my style.  So stay tuned for those, I hope.

Though, perhaps, something I have come to realise is that maybe I shouldn’t be concerned about the portraits, and maybe people have nothing to do with my art work.  At art school I made a kitchen, there are photos here, you have seen them.  I was intrigued with the idea of what we leave behind and what happens to it after we have gone.  The Chernobyl disaster was a massive inspiration for me,  the workers town and what has happened to it since just being left.

I do believe in climate change, I can feel that it is happening, and how much has happened in my lifetime, but that isn’t what this is about.  I do want that to inform my work and I am interested in what happens to a planet when the humans are gone.  I find it fascinating.  I want to enter a art competition next week, so I need to get some images ready for it, but I thought today, I would depress you all with some dark images, the style of image that I like best.  I need to start working on a artist statement for it, so I hope you don’t mind that I have been working out some ideas in this post.  When I write it, I may just put it up here with the images I have entered the comp with.

I hope you all have very busy weekends planned and lots of photos.  It is a long weekend here, so maybe the sun will shine.  A gallery for you as per usual, the gallery has a couple more images of the kitchen as well.

Finding What Inspires You

scchambers-5hpm7546-6I have written my latest post for Photographers.com.au and today’s topic is about finding inspiration.  I know, that for some, finding inspiration is hard, and for others not so hard, so the post, Finding What Inspires You, is about finding ways, and about how I find inspiration.  Please take a look, and it would be great if you could leave comments over there, makes me look good, LOL.  Thanks

Here is the link again

Finding What Inspires You

Celebrating 30 years of Rick Amor at Niagara Gallery

That isn’t the exact title, I think it is more Rick Amor – Celebrating 30 years of Exhibiting with Niagara Gallery.  I couldn’t miss this show, in fact I try to never miss exhibitions Rick’s work.  So I was really happy when I received a comment reminding me of the exhibition, that it finishes soon, from someone who works at the gallery, so thank you for the reminder.  

The exhibition is work done in the last couple of years and gives you a great insight into his work.  

While I was viewing the exhibition I asked if I could show a couple of images of the paintings here on my blog and was given permission to do so.  

15627There are many buildings in his images and I find the presence of people in them quite wonderful, the way the people just allow you that hint of scale, though if they weren’t in the above image I don’t think it would detract from it at all.  

15632I just don’t think this image would have worked without that man working on the side, it really gives you the idea of how big this actually is.  I think you see it the structure in the image but don’t get much idea of scale, and then you see the man, then it suddenly seems monumental.  I love it.  

15647The beach has been a favourite subject matter for Rick for as long as I have been following his work.  I love the way he depicts it.  The way there often seems to be a storm brewing.  I have to say the concrete bunkers look like ones that are at Point Lonsdale.  

The exhibition is on until the 7 September, so if you are in Melbourne you should go and take a look at one of my favourite artists and one that has been a huge influence on my work.  Niagara Galleries are on Punt Road, very easy to find, look for the red and white building that has “Art Does Matter” written on the side.  If you want to buy one, something I dream of doing one day, then you better be quick, there are red stickers on nearly all of them.  

If you would like to see a lot of Rick Amor’s work, then you should also visit his website, www.rickamor.com.au.

What is Art

Someone asked me the other day what was the different between photography and photographic art.  I couldn’t answer it at the time, I needed time to think, then I thought why don’t I do a post on it.  In my mind photography is more about recording what is around you, using angles and in photoshop just doing the basic to make it look good.  Photographic art is more about doing a lot more to it and it is about expressing yourself.   It is about ideas, finding ways of expressing those ideas.

So I asked Google what is art? and this is what it said

Art  Noun

  1. The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture,…: “the art of the Renaissance”
  2. 2. Works produced by such skill and imagination.

Then I asked about Photographic Art, and it come up with fine art photgraphy.

Fine art photography is photography created in accordance with the vision of the artist as photographer. Fine art photography stands in contrast to representational photography, such as photojournalism, which provides a documentary visual account of specific subjects and events, literally re-presenting objective reality rather than the subjective intent of the photographer; and commercial photography, the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services.

I do like this definition and it probably does it explain it better than I can.

One aspect of being an artist that we have to do is have that vision, our work has to lead to something, or all the work has be in a similar vein.  When you enter competitions or put in submissions or proposals to galleries, one of the things they are going to ask you for is your artist statement.  Does your work all fit into that vision, and what does your work fulfill that intention that you have stated in your statement.

When I was at uni we would get told off if our work was all over the place.  We couldn’t do one thing one day and then do something else completely irrelevant the next.  They wanted us to work towards a body of work.  So if your primary work was portraits and then you suddenly started doing landscapes, you would be asked why, what does one have to do with the other.  They wanted a connection to them.

I think what I am trying to say is that photographic art or fine art photography is about your work helping you to express something.  If you are just photos that look good but have no other reason for it, then you are just taking photos.  Is there a theme to your work?  Do you have a style?  What do you want people to think when they look at your work?  Some questions to ask yourself.

I am finding my way though that maze now.  I am developing my new style and I am starting to work on what my artist statement is and what my intention is in the work. Of course the worse part is that I hate writing artist statements, I really need to find someone who is good with words, that can translate my ideas into a really articulated artist statement.  Of course first I have to work out what my work is about exactly.  I sort of know and I am slowly working it out as I go.

I consider the images I do on the weekends, just photography.  When I go our for an excursion and just take some photos, I think of them as just taking photos, nothing special.  When I take my portraits, I am taking them with a purpose and I am trying to express an intention.  They are planned and thought out.  I have a vision when I am taking them.  So to me, they are fine art photographs.

LeanneCole-scdocklands-3hpm5774

This image I consider just a photograph.  It shows what was there and what I saw.  It doesn’t express anything in particular.

Leanne Cole - The Offering, 1st Version

For me this is a photographic art image.  It was photographed with an intention, to convey a mood and to fit in with other work that I have been doing.  It is more than just what was there and what we saw.  She was dressed up, and we were after something in particular.

I hope I have answered that question now.  What do you think is the difference between art photography and photography?

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