Monday, 29 September 2008

Digital Photographs - To Print or not to Print...

We have well and truly embraced digital camera technology. It’s a technology that is not only affordable but also accessible to so many. We are in an age where it doesn’t feel right to leave home each day without some form of digital camera, whether it’s our cell phone or a small compact camera in our pocket. And it’s this portability that means that we’re taking more photos than ever before. And this is where it gets interesting – one of several common themes begins to emerge.

"Fae Whispers" by Jules Campbell

The first one is that many of us no longer bother printing off the photos we take. We store them in our hard drives, buy external drives to back up copies of these images and make yet more copies on cd’s and dvd’s. But we never actually print the images and place them in family photo albums. So does this mean that the humble family photo album is no longer needed? Remember cringing when the old family albums were pulled out and scrutinised whenever relatives and friends visited? Ducking for cover so that our dear old aunt couldn’t squeeze the life out of us and telling us how much we’d grown? Flipping the pages over ever so quickly, so that you didn’t have to see yourself in those awful purple velour bootleg trousers you wore to your best friend’s birthday party? Surely, we shouldn’t let the current generation miss out on this fun?! So – what should you do?

1. Choose a selection of images from the ever increasing digital image album on your computer. It helps if you work in themes, or events, or family members, or even months.
2. Images selected can either be printed on a home printer (and yes, we all have one of those these days, too) or taken to one of many instant print booths located in major retail shopping centres. These printing centres have become very inexpensive even offering discounts on quantities and sizes on different days of the week (so that photo of your Uncle Jim pulling faces at the camera can be printed into the largest of sizes for a very small price indeed).
3. Select photo albums that are acid-free, as this will extend the life of the photo – but heck, as long as you have kept copies on your hard drive, external drive, cd and dvd, this shouldn’t really matter too much.

"Self Portrait" by Peter Hill

4. Most importantly, record in the album the vital information of who, what, where and when. There really is nothing more frustrating than looking at old photos in family albums from long ago where these details weren’t recorded, and now those details forever remain unknown. It’s amazing what a few words accompanying a photo can do to jog the memory and transport you back to that place in time.

"Central Park" by Danielle Kelly

So don’t forget to bring out the family photo album whenever relatives and friends are over, so another generation can really enjoy that part of growing up!

Next: To delete or not to delete?

Monday, 22 September 2008

Feature Monday - Photographic Treatments

Well, the discussion about "treatments" has been to-ing and fro-ing for a while now over at RedBubble. With comments like "Ooo, nice treatment!" being made on their work, artists just cannot be sure that a comment such as that is a positive or derogatory term. Do members assume that the image created was done so with just one click of an editing program, was it done purely in camera, or did it take hours and many layers later to create such an image? With the mass availability of inexpensive digital cameras and editing software, taking photos of anything and everything has never been more popular. And you only need to google Photoshop plugins, and you are flooded with endless choices of easy one-touch editing add-ons that will instantly "create" that special image for you. So, of course many will think that anything that is out of the ordinary would have been done while using an instant plugin filter. This isn't always the case - and this is what offends some artists when others leave comments such as "nice treatment". Perhaps, along with our instant world, we have also become lazy when using the written language. So when leaving comments like "nice treatment", what we're really meaning is "Excellent choices" as put so well by Shawhouse - mind you he also went on to add "I think you made excellent choices to arrive at the eye-catching image you posted here and that I can barely see on my stupid, sucky monitor that I inherited from my little brother a hundred years ago, I should really upgrade, but I’ll never afford anything decent, I should really get roommates…".

Using an example of a simple subject everyone has available to them - and apple or similar - the challenge went out to the members of A Photographer's Craft. Show us their best "treatment" - in other words, show us their interpretation of that subject. Below are examples of apple images from RedBubble members who took part in the challenge. Each is of an apple, and each has applied their own spin, interpretation, treatment - call it what you will - to make that image their own.

So, if you're going to be jumping onto sites such as Redbubble, or Flickr, and you see a WOW image that simply takes your breath away, leave a comment, and take the time to explain why you like it, rather than just saying "Ooo, nice treatment"!

"Apples" by Adrian Rachele

Saturday, 20 September 2008

2009 Calendar - Fifties Fair candid shots

Looking for a 2009 Calendar with that retro feel? Do you love fashion from the fifties? What about rockabilly? Then this may just be the calendar for you! ;p I've selected some of the images taken at the Fifties Fair from 2008 and with the new calendar functionality on RedBubble, this calendar is now available for sale. Click here to order your copy today!

2009 Calendar - Fifties Fair Candid Shots

Looking for a 2011 Calendar with that retro feel? Do you love fashion from the fifties? What about rockabilly? Then this may just be the calendar for you! ;p I've selected some of the images taken at the Fifties Fair from 2008 and with the new calendar functionality on RedBubble, this calendar is now available for sale. Click here to order your copy today!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Images of Home

I'm feeling a little uninspired at the moment, listening to the wind play havoc outside, it makes me a little glad that it's a staying at home day today.  Although, I could also be basking at the beach, sinking my feet in the warm sand and listening to the waves lap the shore instead of the howling ghostlike wind outside.  Amanda Cotton's image "Steps in the Sand" won a recent challenge in "A Photographer's Craft", with her entry of seaside serenity.  The warm light is really quite enticing and reminds me that I really need to book my summer holidays.

Amanda Cotton's "Steps in the Sand"


Quite a contrasting image is Karri Klawiter's "And the light still shines" - such a sad scene, to leave a home in such a state.  Whatever happened to the occupants?  What levels of hardship and despair must they have faced?  Did they manage to take any possessions with them at all?  It's heartbreaking to see that a person's life can unravel so spectaculary and leave this as a legacy of their despair.

Karri Klawiter's "And the light shines on"


This final image, although captured in black & white by Adrian Rachele,  there's a life and vibrancy to it and you know that the people who call this their home love to be where the action is.  What with the pub and fish & chip shop - you may never need to go grocery shopping again!

Adrian Rachele's "Home"

Monday, 8 September 2008

Feature Monday - Ripples Art Exhibition

I'm grinning from ear to ear at the moment and have to keep pinching myself! There is an art exhibition being held, starting tomorrow and I'm exhibiting 6 of my photographic images! There are 10 artists in total, including other photographers, as well as textile artists, painters, wood turners, jewellery makers and potters! All these years I envied the creative types, and the shows they do, and now here I am taking part in my first show! I can certainly tick that off my list of things to do before I die!!
As part of my Feature Monday, I've included images that will be included in the exhibition, one from Cordelia and the other by rsmac. So if anyone here in the virtual world is going to be down Kiama NSW way this week, then pop over to the Old Fire Station and have a look at the Ripples Creative Splashes Exhibition!

"even when you're gone" by me

Monday, 1 September 2008

Still Life Photography - Feature Monday

Boy, that's come around quick! Feature Monday...and this week I'm bringing you some examples of Still Life Photography. In my opinion, it would definitely have to be the safest form of photography - but that's where the simplicity ends. While you don't need to worry about your objects moving about, or throwing tantrums, or being generally off, or be subject to the weather, there is still much to consider before actually pressing the shutter. Yes, you can photograph your still life at any time you find works for you, and take your time with the shots, there is still a fine art, a skill involved in actually taking a still life photograph, to one that is simply a happy snap of some objects bunched together. Lighting, positioning, the objects chosen, the depth of field, the angle are some of the factors to consider when "staging" a still life photograph. What are you trying to portray to your viewer - is something else to consider - is there a message to your still life - is yet another factor to consider. And while it's true that you don't need to worry about being rained on, or injure yourself while out in the wilds - there's a lot more than meets the eye when it comes to still life photography.

Here are some examples to look at:

Harmonious Shells by Maria Madeiros

Lilies by Rose Atkinson

Still Hooked by Debbie Black

Nails and Nuts Figure by VashR31

still life by me :)

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