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Friday Night Photography Quote:

The ability to make a truly artistic photograph is not acquired off-hand, but is the result of an artistic instinct coupled with years of labor.
Alfred Stieglitz


As long as I’ve been doing this. No matter what I’ve done or have accomplished. It never ceases to amaze me how one of my Images looks Printed large. Really large!
One of the Photography Groups I’m a Member on the Net side called Viewbug had given me a coupon for a “Free Large Print” from an Online Printing Lab called Nations Photo Lab. I’ve heard of them before and have seen Ads through the years. But I’ve never had the opportunity to use them till now.
Gotta tell you. I highly recommend them. Easy to use interface. A good amount of choices to go through depending on the results you want. Fast delivery! Package came today Friday. I had placed the Order on Wednesday Night.

I had sent out my image from “Sunrise in Florence”. I even gave them the opportunity to Color Correct the image as a just in case the printer and my Calibrated Monitor had any differences of opinion. Since it was sent as a Test. I didn’t have it mounted or Framed but I did add a 1″ border to give me a chance to have it Framed in case I really like the end results. All I can say is Breath Taking…
All the Golden Light. All the Details and Reflections are there. Even the enhancements I had made to bring out the details of the clouds are there.
Yeah!!! I’m impressed and extremely happy with Nations Photo Lab!
http://www.nationsphotolab.com

Sunrise in Florence Italy
Sunrise in Florence Italy

Skill . . .

Friday Night Photography Quote:
…To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there are no guarantees that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters…
— Harry Callahan


Yes!! Experience Is thee best Teacher.
But, you have to understand the basic principles of exposure and composition to even begin to play with your camera.
In this age of technology where we have so many places to turn for information of Photography compared with only a few choices when I was a kid with the hunger of more.

There is obviously more than this but these are some of the places and books I Highly Recommend for someone first starting out:

This is a wonderful book that We as experienced Photographers call “The Bible” when asked for anything for Help by a Beginner.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
https://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Exposure-Fourth-Photographs-Camera/dp/1607748509/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1492827912&sr=8-2&keywords=bryan+peterson+photography+books

There are a lot of places on the Net for Inspiration and/or knowledge for Photography. “The Photo Argus” is One of the best places for sharing the knowledge and creativity on any Level.
http://www.thephotoargus.com

Flickr and Viewbug are both great Portfolio sites. But the really best place for the specialty equipment or Camera is of course “Youtube.com”…

Skill
In Photography this encompasses a great many areas. Learning or acquiring the Skill to use your Camera is Only the start of many places you’ll find is a requirement. Things you’ll find yourself looking for as a Necessity are:
Color Theory, Composition, Knowledge of editing aka Photoshop and/or Lightroom.
Speaking to a large group of people (if indeed you start to shoot parties). Or How to control a small crowd to capture the Moment your looking for.. Not only are these obnoxious but one can Not ignore the Basic Rules. Also don’t forget that Lighting will eventually pop up as something you discover you will need..

Now being realistic about it. Everyone now walks around with some kind of camera or something that can take pictures. Some are very good. But at this point what makes that picture a great Picture? I’ve heard what recommendation can you give me that I can take the same level of beautiful pictures you do without learning all this stuff? The best thing I can say is at this point in time everyone has a Word Processor in one form or another. Does this make them a Great Writer??
Everyone owns pots and pans. Does this automatically make them a Great Cook?

What makes an Image Stand out from all the other Images on the Net?
The Answer is All the Things I described above…. Knowledge.

Like this discussion? Hate this Discussion? Any thoughts at all?
Leave a Comment please….
Mark G

What Is “Art”?

Friday Night Photography Quote:

ALFRED STIEGLITZ
[1864 – 1946] American artist photographer and editor

It is not art in the professionalized sense about which I care, but that which is created sacredly, as a result of a deep inner experience, with all of oneself, and that becomes ‘art’ in time.Alfred Stieglitz


According to my studies: “Art creates a reaction from the Viewer“!
Any kind of a reaction, it doesn’t matter. If the Artwork creates any kind of response including to make the Viewer go Hmmm…… All emotions are also covered when I’m mentioning “Response”. We can get into all kinds of discussions and what Is Incredibly interesting is “Art” means different things for different people..

I had taken an “Aesthetics Class” in College and on my term paper I had chosen “Photography as Art” as my subject. To give you a very fast outline I started with the history of Photography through the ages. Then had touched very lightly on the struggles of Steichen and Stieglitz to get Photography Accepted as an Art Form.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Steichen

In todays Society the acceptance of Photography as an Art Form has passed into Obscurity.  With all the Smart Phones, IPads and Tablets there is a terrible loosening of Standards on what a Photographic Image should posses. Granted this didn’t start in today’s Technology. It started long before from the late 1960’s with the Kodak “Make Photography Accessible to Everyone Mentality”. I’m speaking about the “Kodak Instamatic” and including the earlier versions like the Brownie Box Camera.
Don’t misunderstand me. That’s how I actually got started. “Borrowing” my mother’s Old Brownie from way back on the floor of her Closet and taking it outside to try my hand at taking pictures. But something got lost along the way. Pictures are either too Dark. Or out of Focus and other things too extensive to list. But the Acceptance of Lower Quality Images just makes those who obsess over Quality shake our heads.
Think I’m a Snob do you? LOL Just look around the Social Media Sites like Instagram and Facebook. Then do a search on any of the Main Photography Sites and try to compare what your looking at?

You know something? I wasn’t going to go this far but the frustration pushed me. I was even considering including a few of my images as an example but I’m feeling that would also be too egotistical to prove the point. But I’m Not going to go there…
Instead I am including a Few Links from areas on the Net that we as Photographers go to for both inspiration to try to better ourselves. As well as places for us to learn a thing or two. Keeping in mind the Old Saying:
The More You know. The more you realize you truly Don’t know!

So I am actually going to ask you my readers to go to your Normal Ares and look around at what is posted. Keep that in mind and then start to click on my links below:

I would like to have a discussion here with your thoughts and comments on what you Think About my post..
Have a Great Weekend Everyone
Mark

Why?

Why do We Do the things We Do?


Friday Night Photography Quote:

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.
— Man Ray

When we get to a certain point in Photography we concentrate on our Subject.
After we get at least Semi-Proficient with the use of the Tool called a Camera. We then start on the creative use of Light. Light and Shadows to be more exact. Natural Light from slightly behind. Natural Light shining through a window. All of a sudden we discover how Beautiful Natural light truly is. Till the light is blocked by the Clouds and or we Attempt to shoot indoors.

This is where artificial light is deemed a necessary evil. Artificial Light is a difficult thing to learn. An awful Lot of people find using any kind of an Artificial Light extremely intimidating. These people will make any excuse as to find a way to avoid using Artificial Light by any means.

One of the basic problems is if not used correctly the image can look fake or simply Not Right if the Light is a bit too bright. The Image can look Unnatural. This might end up being one of the excuses. That using any Artificial Light will render an Unnatural Image. So they wont use it under any circumstances. That sounds to me like it’s too difficult to change a Flat Tire on my Car. So I wont use my car!

Artificial Light is like any other Tool. It needs to be researched and Mastered to render a beautiful Effect. Nothing is easy. If it were that easy then everyone would be getting the benefit of Using something that can enhance and help you perfect your Image.

I’ve seen some interesting comments this past week. One person had mentioned that they Only Use Natural Light like it was a Medal or something. Even for an Indoor Shot! Though they weren’t really happy. Seems that they weren’t happy cause the Camera was Not able to deal with the extremely dark conditions in a proper way.

The Term Natural Light as if you didn’t already know is the Round Nuclear Glow we see in the Sky commonly called “The Sun”. Natural and the other name we can interchangeably use is Ambient. Ambient is also the existing or background light.
If we measure the Natural or Ambient Light within our image. Then set the Artificial Light to a drop lower power than the existing Light. This will change an average image into a Great Image.

I’ve mentioned them before through the years. You know the places on the Net that can help us Learn All there is about Natural or Ambient Light.

The one comment that makes me go crazy is “Oh I won’t Use any Artificial Light. It makes the Image look Fake!” With a Attitude like using any Kind of extra Lighting is beneath them or an amateur way.. Nope! It doesn’t work that way. All we need to do is find out what the problem is. Then try and find the Fix to that problem.

There are so many great places on the Net that discuss Lighting that it makes me feel overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the emotion of Extreme Joy!

  • Creative Live
  • Kelby Training
  • Neil Van Niekerk has a Blog about Lighting called “Tangents”
    http://neilvn.com/tangents/
  • Strobist
  • Youtube is another great place with all the tutorials

Neil has a very interesting article on his pages about using Video lights that I felt I needed to include the link here. Otherwise all the others can be searched on the Net.

The first thing we learn about using Lighting is to Get that Light Away from the Camera. But if we move the Light Off Camera then How can we get that Light to Flash in Sync with the Camera’s Shutter? We use what’s called “Triggers” or “Flash Triggers”. These are Wireless Radio Controllers that will set off your Flash.

Why do we go through learning all of these things? To make our images be the best that we can! All of these things for “Off Camera Flash” are Our Tools. Tools that will enhance these Artificial Lights. Filters, Reflectors, Soft Boxes and Umbrellas. Soft Boxes come in many shapes and sizes.

Before I say anything else I would also like to mention that Neil Van Niekirk has several books out over at Amazon that are very good. A few are about explaining Off Camera Flash.

Have a Great Weekend Everybody!
Like my Post? Don’t Like my Post? Have a question?
Post a comment so others can see what’s on your mind.
Mark

Travel

The camera is a magic window that transforms the world.

– Irving Pobboravsky


I just read an interesting blog about Travel. What the word Travel means to people is of course different. The last thing mentioned in that wonderful discussion by Ishita is:
What does the word “Travel” mean to you?

We’ve met those that get the thrill of saying “I’ve been there”! The very sad part of that is that IS all that is meant. Meaning they have gotten absolutely Nothing from the experience! To just say “I’ve been there”? Seriously? In the comments section someone had posted that they’ve even seen someone run  in to shoot a Selfie then turn around and go “OK lets go to the next one”! LOL Unbelievable!
To Each their Own!

Travel
Interesting concept. It means different things to different people.
To Us! That’s my wife and also includes my Brother and his wonderful Family. Travel means to walk through History. To see the sights and sounds of those who have walked the same streets. To experience the mindset of those who have lived throughout the ages. The names that we know from History. The Rulers, the Famous Explorers. The Artists and Musicians of the ancient world. The Religious Leaders, the Politicians who have gone down in History as the names we have all studied.

Last week was St Patrick’s Day. In Honor of St Patrick’s Day I had posted a different image each day for two weeks from our Journey’s through Ireland. Yes! I bring my camera on our Adventures. As an Artist I try to capture the emotions and experience of our Travels. Very rarely do I take a “Selfie”!

To Honor Ishita and her interesting thoughts. I am going to try to create a slide show of the images I had created from our Travels of Ireland.
Ha! Well that didn’t work too well. Enjoy my images. You can leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

Enjoy,
Mark

January 22, 2017

Friday Night Photography Quote:

Let me here call attention to one of the most universally popular mistakes that have to do with photography – that of classing supposedly excellent work as professional, and using the term amateur to convey the idea of immature productions and to excuse atrociously poor photographs. As a matter of fact nearly all the greatest work is being, and has always been done, by those who are following photography for the love of it, and not merely for financial reasons. As the name implies, an amateur is one who works for love; and viewed in this light the incorrectness of the popular classification is readily apparent.
— Alfred Stieglitz – in 1899


Between being called into work for Snow Removal and trying to recuperate. After the crazy Holidays I’ve had No Time to shoot. These past few weeks have been spent basically trying to get past the tough physical drain on my body and mind. Work has been rough!

Happy New Year to everyone! Those on the American side of things Congratulations on getting a New President! We shall do what we have to day to day and see what actually transpires. I say let them fall where they be. Just be on guard and watch to see if they the New Administration tries to take any of our Protected Rights away.

First thing that’s already happened is a Lot of the White House . gov pages of Information have disappeared. Some are troubling considering the previous discussions on the Environment. The Rights guaranteed to us under the Bill of Rights as well as the LGBT page. The way some of the Republicans Homophobic rantings it’s Not a Surprise but seriously?
The limited compassion shown by these supposed Intelligent individuals that are to Run Our American Government is mind boggling.
In this article what was left out is the American First Nation or to some the American Indian page was also removed. Here’s the Link:
https://www.engadget.com/2017/01/20/trumps-white-house-website-deletes-climate-change-lgbt-pages/

Now I normally am Not fond of discussing Politics on my Art Photography page. But since I haven’t been able to do anything to show for my next discussion on lighting. I felt that just a Little bit of Current Events is worth it. All of the Women’s Marches around the world have been peaceful and have also broken some major Protest Records. As of the latest numbers I’ve heard 2.9 Million people have Protested against the Hate and Anti-Women American President.

Any thoughts and discussions are Welcome. Just post your thoughts without going off into a Heated discussion and I will share it here..

Mark

Categories Uncategorized

Ending 2016 . . .

Friday Night Photography Quote:

HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON
[1908 – 2004] A French photographer. He is considered to be the father of modern photojournalism.

Photography has not changed since its origin except in its technical aspects, which for me are not important. — Henri Cartier-Bresson


With all the current events going on around us. It’s our jobs as photographers to capture and show the humanity still abundant through these difficult times.

The wonderful images being posted from the brave “Water Protectors” has touched the hearts of the world. It’s the Power of the People if we stand together to either correct or prevent injustice. The battle might still not yet be over. But at least the last Oil Spill a stones throw from Standing Rock showed for all eternity that these people are Right!

Why am I mentioning Standing Rock here? Because I shared the Quote above from the Master and Father of Photo Journalism. Everyone now walks around with a camera. Whether the IPone, Droid or even Tablet and Drone.
Because one has a tool and walking around with a wrench. Doesn’t make one a Plumber. Those of us who are Photographers understand exposure and lighting. Just snapping the shutter is the easy part. It’s the composition with lighting and shadows. It’s the point of capturing the Mood or Expression. Taking a Snapshot is easy. Creating the Art is a whole different ball game.

Understanding Light and how it adds depth to a one dimensional Image is what it’s all about.

Funny that this isn’t originally what I wanted to talk about here. I’m thinking of continuing that Lighting Discussion for the New Year.

We’ve learned and seen lot this past year. Again from the power of the people showing the displeasure with the Government and the Good Ol Boys network. The masses wanted change. So they tried to make a difference. Only time will tell now. Hopefully there will be someone with a real camera right in the middle of things to make it go viral on the net.

We’ve discussed exposure, composition and techniques of how and why a camera works. I’ve tried to show examples using my images to try and teach you a basic fundamental understand of what Photography truly is. So for the closing of the year 2016 and the actual progression from Photography Basic 101 we will for the upcoming year be showing more advanced ideas and concepts.

I’m glad 2016 is finally over. We’ve lost a lot of Great Artists from all around the spectrum of Actors and Musicians. I would say the world is actually in morning for all those that were called back.

I know I’m jumping around here. But so was the year 2016!

Here we are trying to just give back a little. Sharing in my knowledge and experience in Photography. I’ve been trying to setup some Interviews with people to show the mindset of how other Photographers approach there Art.
So hopefully we can get some real work out and be able to give you a different perspective.

Wishing All of you a Very Happy Healthy and Safe New Year!
Looking forward to creating some new work and being able to raise the bar a bit.
Be Safe!
Mark

new-year2017