There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman. Emile Zola Letter to Paul Cézanne (16 April 1860), as published in Paul Cézanne : Letters (1995) edited by John Rewald As I continue to take more pictures, more consistently, and with a bit more focusThat’s a photography pun.– I find I wander farther afield (both geographically and conceptually) rather than narrowing and, perhaps, perfecting. Or at least improving more rapidly. It seems I follow a path in photography similar to the way I wander in everything else. I don’t really know if this leads to greater or lesser progress. Does taking landscapes influence your street photography? Do macros influence your portraits? Is it all part of a greater whole which shapes how you see the world? I have no idea. I’m hoping for the last one. It seems our society bets heavily on the opposite. It’s interesting to me to look at how the extrinsic “reward” elements of photography plays out as well. It’s a tricky thing in my opinion. There is this idea of “pure” art for art’s sake versus a kind of “compromised” art for audience. This feels overly polarized to me. Art and audience seem inextricably intertwined. Weighing the value of audience against your own […]
I was looking around to see how many pictures I’ve been posting to Flickr since taking the new job at VCU. I had a feeling there was a dramatic increase but I was curious about actual numbers. After stumbling around the Internet for a bit attempting to do things the hard way, I stumbled on a URL from 2004 — https://www.flickr.com/photos/heather/archives/date-posted/2004/06/calendar/ It didn’t seem to be working but since the URL itself made sense, I just replaced heather with my flickr username and put in the current year/month to get https://www.flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/archives/date-posted/2013/04/calendar/. Dingo!It feels right. Surely you aren’t going to argue that bingo really makes better sense somehow? So not only do I get the numbers I want, but I also get a calendar view of all the days I took pictures. I’m still far away from the D’Arcy/Alan shot a day stuff but that’s not really my style. I can now look and see that in three months at VCU, I’ve taken more shots than I have in entire years in the past. That doesn’t necessarily mean anything but I’m having fun and I have the mental energy and desire to do things like this in ways I hadn’t previously. Quantity isn’t the goal but lots of practice and lots of reflection ought to create some improvement.
A number of attempts at street photography . . . I liked the mix of colors and lines and the mix of people who noticed the camera and those who were oblivious. I am making more of an effort to frame the shot despite the fact that it tends to alert people a bit more than I’d like. There is something interesting in the moment people notice the camera and the eye contact but I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. I’m not sure about pictures like these. I like the hat in combination with the sun glasses but I’m not sure the actual photograph is any good. There’s some interesting echoes of shape and color. The light is a bit harsh but I liked the contrast. I had two shots like this. The other had the lady in the wheelchair in focus. The light was nice. The background is distracting but I like her face enough to keep it. This was from across the street at 35mm which was a bit far. I like the no hands casualness and the circles vs rectangles enough to keep it. This is one of the examples of a person noticing the camera and it improving the picture. This was part of the crowd watching the two […]