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Old 05-11-2009, 04:54 PM
 
Location: Barrow,AK
319 posts, read 1,464,635 times
Reputation: 298

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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 !!

 
Old 05-11-2009, 05:41 PM
 
Location: "The Sunshine State"
4,334 posts, read 13,674,444 times
Reputation: 3064
You are so right. I notice I am always thinking of how and where and what to use to compose my pics. When taking random pics I also notice I like to change them around doing whatever artistic thing I can do to them. I guess that does come from an artistic background. I have sketched, written poetry, painted, decorated and the list goes on and on. I am what you call, a Jill of all trades, Mistress of none! I think it is very important to have somewhat of an artistic background when photographing, which most good photographers seem to have!
I think I could probably make money at photography eventually, which is what I would love to do, since I love photography. But I just need to get myself into that scary MANUAL mode! Good thread you posted here!

Last edited by Blondie621; 05-11-2009 at 06:41 PM..
 
Old 05-12-2009, 08:34 AM
 
Location: SoCal - Sherman Oaks & Woodland Hills
12,974 posts, read 33,991,570 times
Reputation: 10491
JessE86 is right, but I disagree with him on the camera thing. Oftentimes, the tools used in a craft will help generate better results. You wont build a house with just a hammer and pliers. Same can be said for photography regarding cameras and lenses. If taking pics in rain or below freezing temps, you better make sure you have a weather sealed camera. Want to take pics to be used for billboards, magazines, large prints? Better makes sure your camera and optics (lenses) are up to the task. This is why the pros (and serious hobbyists) use higher quality cameras and optics (Canon EOS Mark III and "L" series lenses) because in addition to the skills you mentioned above, the tools used will also help provide the best quality images.
 
Old 05-12-2009, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Barrow,AK
319 posts, read 1,464,635 times
Reputation: 298
I have a $200 dollar sony toy camera- it is the size of a credit card

The manufacturer, says the temp range is 32 degrees above zero - 140 degrees

We created this image, well below zero !! SO MUCH FOR manufactures hype !!



Just because they say this is the limit, Often times, they are wrong !!

I have proven Kaptain Kodak wrong on a lot of things ! Just because you read it, doesn't necessarily mean it is true.

Notice I said - virtually any camera !! and it is true, and here is the proof


 
Old 05-12-2009, 12:20 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
647 posts, read 1,665,700 times
Reputation: 821
JessE, thank you for the inspiration in your post. I am looking to make a little $$ doing what I have found I love doing. I would just like to make enough to help offset the costs of this hobby.

Once in a while, inspiration stories like this make me want to try selling my stuff even more. I am currently in the process of creating a calendar to sell of Central Wisconsin. I am also looking to do some of my own matting and framing of my pictures, although I haven't dabbled in that venture yet.


Thank you again,
 
Old 05-12-2009, 03:51 PM
 
99 posts, read 321,221 times
Reputation: 391
Hi JessE, thanks for your posts. I really enjoy your Alaskan imagery. However, I want to point something out, and I hope you certainly don't take it the wrong way.

While I really enjoy your subject matter (and I can see why you can sell the large number of prints that you claim you do), I feel that technically your shots leave a lot to be desired. Considering that you are trying to portray your imagery as art, they appear to be simply snapshots. For example, even though the majority of your photos are set in snow, your white balance tends to be way off.

When I look through your Eskimo thread (https://www.city-data.com/forum/photo...q-eskimos.html), there are a number of issues with your photography. Your horizons aren't level, your portraiture does not have focus on the subject's face or eyes, the exposure is off, and at times your composition seems like it was a second thought.

I hope you don't mind, but I took one of your images and made a before and after example:





All I did was adjust the white balance and correct the horizon. In your honest opinion, which do you think is the better image?

I don't mean to sound overly critical of your work, but I figured I should step up and say something since we're on the topic of portraying our photos as artwork.
 
Old 05-12-2009, 04:44 PM
 
Location: Barrow,AK
319 posts, read 1,464,635 times
Reputation: 298
Thank you for taking the time to post all of that. I am not offended one bit.. snap shots .. ok. I sell snap shots.. big deal !

it is the money we make that counts !!

You are the second person to correct that same photograph.

NO OFFENSE; the colors are all wrong !! Daisys hat was 'cream color' off white..

In your rendition, it is white !!

There is a web site where Professional photographers hang around, Many people that actually work for National Geographic hang out at this web site.

I am just curious why they say something totally different about my work

I am the first one to admit I have posted extremly inferior photographs. there is a lot wrong with a lot of them, 90% of these are film. I scan them.. I dont put first class copies of these images on the net. some people use water marks.. The portrait of the girl. that is softened on purpose. that is too popular and this is one way for me to make sure people do not copy it.. POST CARDS - notecards can bring in huge amounts of money.. I have had too many of my images stolen and reproduced over the years. I have my ways to protect my property.

I scan a neg or slide low rez and post it, however it comes out, I do not correct or fuss with it. HOWEVER for a 16 x 20 or 20 x 24 print or larger.. The maximum effort is put into that image.

John Tracy of channel two news missed a very important meeting one day to take the time to go through my album of 100 - 11 x 14 color prints. He kept harping on the composition of my images. He was actually starting to irritate me with his constant praise of the composition of the different images.. I was sick of hearing him harp on this and I said.. hey all I do is point and shoot.. He slammed his hand down on that table hard and made me jump a a little bit.. " he yelled at me - NO YOU DON'T !!

A photographer for Paramount studios came into our gallery one day. and was looking around and said wow.. boy do these people love you. I laughed and said.. what makes you think that ?? they are just smiling because they want to look good for their free photograph. He said.. where did you go to school to learn how to shoot like this. I said I have never had any schooling at all.. He said your full of --it !! I said no honest. that is the truth. He replied.. You just didn't learn this by yourself.. I said.. Oh I had a teacher all right.. He said I knew it. who?

When I said Jesus Christ.. he got mad and left !! Later he came back and purchased a few prints.

Let me clear something up real quick so people can stop.

I am nothing - no one. but these photographs on the net are being viewed in their worst state.

I guess theft is the sincerest form of flattery, My images have been stolen by some very large name companies in Alaska,

I was offered 100,000 for the rights to just one image back in 1983. Upon the advice of some friends very high in the art world. I declined that offer.

I used to work for the top ten artists in the world (as a photographer)

Through Prestige Gallery ! Peabody Mass. the owners are now deceased.

Edna Hibel - Joseph Trippetti - Leroy Neiman that was in the early 70's

I do not take offense at your opinion.. but lets look at what pro's say about the same image you just corrected here. by: ADAM 73

scroll down 3/4's of the page.

Notice: he admits.. he didn't even know, there were words in this post !!


thank you for taking the time to post your opinion (mine is different from yours) I could care less , that I have posted shap shots and referred to it as art. (forgvie me) but the only thing I care about.. .. is my family fed and happy. NOTHING ELSE COUNTS..
 
Old 05-12-2009, 05:44 PM
 
99 posts, read 321,221 times
Reputation: 391
Hey, to each their own. I just find it interesting that you post in this forum as if your photography is at a level of quality that the average amateur can't touch, yet most of your images have numerous technical errors that even a beginner such as myself can quickly point out. While the subject matter of your photos is fascinating, in many of your examples the execution is lacking. I'm thrilled to hear that you've been able to make a living doing what you love (I wish I was so lucky), but I would be apprehensive to take your advice when trying to improve the artistic qualities of my photography.
 
Old 05-12-2009, 05:50 PM
 
13,247 posts, read 21,865,100 times
Reputation: 14144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phirenzic View Post
Hey, to each their own. I just find it interesting that you post in this forum as if your photography is at a level of quality that the average amateur can't touch, yet most of your images have numerous technical errors that even a beginner such as myself can quickly point out. While the subject matter of your photos is fascinating, in many of your examples the execution is lacking. I'm thrilled to hear that you've been able to make a living doing what you love (I wish I was so lucky), but I would be apprehensive to take your advice when trying to improve the artistic qualities of my photography.
Well said.
 
Old 05-12-2009, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Barrow,AK
319 posts, read 1,464,635 times
Reputation: 298
I post images of a culture that is deep in mystery !

The photos I sell do not have the errors and pitfalls that this cheap-O scanner displays.

I have taught photography for years with literally hundreds of students to learn the basics of photography !!

I am nothing - no one !! I have stated that point all over the net.

However, when it comes to being successfull in photography and making and outrageous income.. I have succeded. Living handsomely from images created 30 years ago, is a feat very few photographers ever achieve. I have not stopped learning. I have much to learn in many areas. but literally many tens of thousands of people have thanked me personaly for taking the time. and effort to do all this work.

I am not perfect - no one is. thanks for pointing out my flaws !!

If any thread on any forum is to be considered a masterpiece.. .. this is that thread. I have had those comments published by many people on over 60 sites. My main purpose in doing this is to educate the world as to the plight of the Iniupiaq people to obtain food. The more that people know.. then.. .. maybe some of these rules and restrictions will be lifted so that these people can eat THEIR FOOD !!

Ever since the arrival of digital photography we now have 4 billion new photographers that consider them selves a photographer. but give them a camera with no light meter and a roll of film.. I dare say they would not be able to produce a print if they had to do it all themselves !!

I provide information as how people can become more proficient at photography.

It is not the camera that makes the photographer, it is the COMPOSITION - in any viewfinder !!
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