After being at ImageNation and also looking at the works of other great photographers I have come to the conclusion that I was being too anal in trying to stick to the “rules” of photographer and that the way to improve was to take images wherever I was of things that I find interesting.
Yesterday we were at the riverbank market in Wanganui and I took these images of the people and sites.
The North Shore Salon is a nationwide photographic competition organised by the North Shore Camera Club. All of the images that are “accepted” in it appear in a book that is published so there is quite a lot of interest in taking part and the judging selection is tough.
For the first time I entered four images in the digital set category of “imagine”, and was successful in receiving an acceptance for the image below. This is the second award for this image.
This was the second year that I attended the ImageNation conference organised by the Advertising and Illustrative Photographers Association (AIPA) which is held at the Unitec Campus in Mt Albert Auckland.
The 2012 event had been such an inspirational event to me that I had high hopes of a repeat this year. For the most part the conference did live up to what I was expecting although I do admit that several of the speakers on the Saturday afternoon did not really impress me.
I have listed below some the gems of wisdom that I gleaned from the various speakers.
Learn how to edit your images because if you do that you will work out how the shots before you take them.
Don’t try to shoot stills and video at the same time. All you will end up is two average outcomes.
Find the ideas or people that excite you and follow them. Try to recreate their images.
You can learn a lot about lighting from studying art paintings (especially the old masters).
When charging for work, charge as much for post production work as for shooting.
In putting together a portfolio, show what you have a passion for rather than putting in one example of each style. This will show your style. Be brutal in your editing and if you are not completely happy with an image, then leave it out. A portfolio should only contain 10 to 15 images at maximum.
If you know how to control daylight, you will know how to control any light.
Try to shoot images so that the viewer feels that they are in it, rather than simply looking at it.
Get in close and make it feel close.
A style will only develop through lots of repetition of what you are obsessed with. Repeat but make subtle variations in the repeat.
As soon as you have the shot, move onto the next one.
And my personal favourite, when asked to the Art Director what makes a good photographer he replied
“Take good photographs, and don’t be a prick doing it”
Of all of subjects in art, the nude, is often the most controversial. Not sure if it started with the Victorian era, or the teaching of puritanical churches, but many people cannot separate the notion of being naked with sex. As such they get confused between an artistic image and pornography.
Despite all the negative attitude, there is actually no better way to teach someone how to see and draw light than to use the naked form as a subject and for hundreds of years we have been doing just that. It is why every art course involving teaching drawing humans will have some with the model naked.
It is also true for photography, where if you want to learn to light the body well then the best way to do this is with a naked body. You see it is not the lines but rather the interplay between highlights and shadows that really define the subject.
The life drawing group at the Hutt Arts Society has a biannual exhibition of their work but they were concerned that they did not have enough work to adequately show in the gallery. So they approached the Camera Club to see if we had photos that could complement the paintings. The exhibition was titled “Nudes, Nudes and More Nudes”.
In the end only three members of the club could supply images, and in my case I submitted 8 pieces shot over the last three years. Most of the images that I did submit where either shot in low light or were bodyscape images (where you are using the form to create shapes rather than the whole body).
While all of the images were up for sale I did not have high expectations of selling anything. Marianne Muggeridge (who is a very good Portrait artist) said that
“Nudes were a self indulgence, as they did not sell”.
I had taken the advice of James Gilberd for Photospace Gallery in pricing the images and it must have worked because it turned into a very successful venture selling 3 images as shown below.