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Tag Archives: Fine Art
Where Have All the Jobs Gone?
There are some among us who remember the good old days where you could be a full-time photographer and making some pretty serious money. But, in light of a variety of factors, it would seem that jobs are quickly disappearing. Or, at least, jobs that paid enough to live off of. Between everyone having a camera that’s capable of compensating for mediocre skills, money-making moves by newspapers to eliminate their photojournalists, to saturated markets, etc. are there jobs to be had?
Today we talk about the the state of the wedding photography industry, photojournalism, fine art photography, and commercial photography. We’re not in complete agreement on everything but we certainly see some bright spots.
Here’s a tip to keeping, or finding, your photography career: learn video.
No artist or photographer today as we spent a lot of time on the topic.
And, please, leave us a comment! Are you looking for a job in the industry or are you trying to figure out how to keep it? We want to hear from you!
We took a different path today and decided to look at our own work. After two years (almost) of the podcast, we thought,”what the hell” and talked about the work we have done, where we have come from, and where we think we are going.
It gets a little sugary and supportive – certainly a departure from other podcasts – but we’ll be back next time with our normal crap. But this is a really decent show and gave all three of us an opportunity to look the other guys’ work and talk about it. You can definitely see a progression in the work we’ve done and the artistic vision that we’ve developed since starting Polarizing Images back in September 2011.
Take a look at the stuff below and let us know what you think. C’mon, leave us a comment – you know you want to!
The Work of Others (Our Artists)
Lewis Hine is our photographer of the fortnight. His work for the National Child Labor Committee changed the way the US looked at the use of child labor. He has some of the most iconic works of America’s industrial age. Except, like Rob discovered, some of his most well-known work isn’t actually his. ^#%&# Internet!
FREEBIRD! Yup, Lynyrd Skynyrd (the original group) is our artist. What do we have to say about them? Listen the show, then, dammit!
Photography: You Ready to Go Pro?
Holy shit, this sucker is one long show. Two freaking hours! Anyway, this show is based on a question that Rick and I (Rob) get on a regular basis. It usually goes something like “I’ve been shooting for a while and I get lots of positive comments on my photography and now I’d like to start charging. Am I ready?”
Ugh. Continue reading
Why the Hell is Photoshop So Controversial?
Photoshop: it’s a tool that, for some incredibly stupid reason, seems to be controversial. Some people love it, others hate, but the smart people know that it is just that – a tool to achieve and end-result. But what got us going this week was a comment from someone on Facebook regarding a photograph they had seen, “…wow, is it real or PS?”
C’mon, really? Just because a photograph has been through the Photoshop cycle, it ceases to be real? But that got us thinking – what does it really mean for a photograph to be “real”? Too many people confuse “real” with “realism”. Are Picasso’s works not “real” paintings because they don’t depict realistic subjects? You’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who would take such a position. So why do we say that about photography and Photoshop? If I create a shallow depth of field through a lens choice that’s okay but if I add blur in Photoshop, then it’s not a real photograph? If I make a bride’s teeth whiter than they really are or, more to the point, than they appear because we’re under incandescent lighting, that’s not a real photograph but if the bride had her teeth whitened by a dentist, that’s okay?
This whole concept of post-production, regardless of the tool that’s used, has to stop. As long as the photographer/artist is trying to achieve an image that they see in their mind’s eye, why the hell should we care – or judge – how it was achieved? And we’re not even touching on the differences between using Photoshop to manually alter an image versus allowing a camera to do it outside of our control!
So, to all of you who believe that Photoshop renders a photograph “fake”, it’s time to allow your photography and creative vision to mature a bit.
What about photography before there was Photoshop? Today’s photographer is Kansuke Yamamoto (1914-1987), an early surrealist photographer from Japan. His work included several pieces on film that, today, we would accomplish with Photoshop or other digital imaging tools but, as a film photographer, Yamamoto did his post-production in the darkroom. Are these “real” photographs?
What happens when you let Tony choose the artist? You get a musician! Today we have Captain Beefheart. As long as we’re talking about art being real without requiring realism, the good captain is actually an excellent choice for an artist who inspires. Especially in the realm of surrealism. Let’s let Captain Beefheart have the last laugh today:
[pullquote]“It makes me itch to think of myself as Captain Beefheart. I don’t even have a boat.”[/pullquote]
Photography? No, really, we do talk about it eventually! As usual, the guys take the long way around to getting on topic as we have our usual discussion about what we’re drinking, why Rick will eventually play all seven dwarfs, whether Rob or Tony has the larger breasts and, well, you know by now…
Oh, and thanks to Mr. Sadie Breeze for preventing brain damage.
Photography, Dinosaurs, and When You Won’t Change
After the last episode’s emotional tirade about whether or not the photography industry still needs a traditional sales force, things come down in this second part. Instead, we talk about whether the film shooters and even the dSLR users today are being left behind by the advances of technology. Is there still a place for traditional print portraits? Is there still room for the fine artists? How about the RAW vs JPG argument: is that argument going to be irrelevant in the near future? And what about those guys who insist on only selling prints and not providing CDs? That’s an issue we need to deal with.
Let’s face it, photography is indeed changing and, as much as we want to believe differently, we don’t have the actual answers about what will still be viable five years from now. But one thing is clear – if you’re not going to be a visionary in photography then you’ll end up a dinosaur and, historically, we now how that ends.
Artists of the Fortnight
Tony points us toward the amazing photography of Dennis Hopper. Sadly, Dennis is no longer with us but his work in photography remains with us. Rob believes that actors often make great photographers because they live their lives being creative. Regardless of why, Hopper himself has a body of work that is poignant and strong. Anybody who wants to get into the fine art side of portrait photography would do well to take a good long look at Dennis Hopper’s work.
For our artist, we look at the well-known Rembrandt. If there was ever a true Renaissance Man, Rembrandt was it. Schooled in math, science, art, literature and history, Rembrandt used that learning to develop a style of portraiture known for its sharpness and, of course, it’s lighting.
Don’t forget – Our Photography Book Review
Head on over to www.PolarizingImages.com now and take part in our book discussion, The Art of Photography!
Elisha and Anne: are you available next week?
Tony is out sick for this episode and it’s left to Rick and Rob to record the show. Listen to what happens when two guys with attention deficit issues try to remain focused on a conversation. Witness for yourself Rob’s amazing talent of taking 5 minutes to set up a 5 second answer or Rick giving an awesome answer that has nothing to do with the question.
It’s a rather personal show, with R² (that’s shorthand for Rick and Rob) discussing their goals for 2013, their regrets of the past year, and their dream assignment. Of course, there is the usual oddball stuff liberally strewn throughout.
BTW, since we forgot to do the opening segment, Rob was drinking whiskey and Rick was drinking his homebrew. So now you know.
What else do we talk about? Well:
- The difference between allowing mistakes and accepting mistakes
- How the business of photography interferes with the art of photography
- Can a style atrophy if you’re not careful?
- Buy stuff from our CafePress Store (it’s a recurring theme)
- Will Rob continue with figure studies in 2013?
- Why photography can still be a viable profession
- How the opening sequence to our first episode was like Masterpiece Theatre… on quaaludes
There’s neither a featured photographer nor artist this week but that will be back.
Happy New Year and, before we forget again, it’s absolutely critical that you never, ever… oh look, a puppy!