Understanding Print On Demand – Part One

PODs or Print On Demand is just one of the amazing technologies we enjoy in the Internet fueled economy.  POD can pertain to book or artwork is basically affordable custom manufacturing.  Products created only when the customer places an order.

Print on demand (POD) is a printing technology and business process in which copies of a book (or other document) are not printed until an order has been received, allowing books to be printed singly, or in small quantities. While build to order has been an established business model in many other industries, “print on demand” developed only after digital printing began, because it was not economical to print single copies using traditional printing technology such as letterpress and offset printing.

Before digital printing it would have been prohibitively expensive to produce a one off product.  Imagine going to a letterpress shop and asking the printer for a quote to print a single business card or a single wedding invitation. It just wouldn’t happen.

Print On Demand for Authors

Vanity printers have been around for decades.  Printers who would print a number of books for a “self-published” author looking to market their own books or perhaps create books as a promotion or giveaway item.  These authors were interested in bypassing the traditional mass publishing companies and create products directly.  Often this meant living with box loads of books in the garage or storage unit for years.

Now print on demand publishers such as Lulu or Amazon’s CreateSpace can inexpensively inventory and print and ship a book on demand when a buyer wants a single copy.  And they can offer these books on vast merchandising sites such as Amazon.

This is the method I used to create and sell my books “the Quotable Westie” and “Pugs”.

the Quotable Westie – https://www.createspace.com/4070210

the Quotable Westie - funny dog photographs.
the Quotable Westie – funny dog photographs.

Pugs – https://www.createspace.com/5240200

Pugs by Edward M. Fielding - a funny look at lovable pug dogs.
Pugs by Edward M. Fielding – a funny look at lovable pug dogs.

The print quality is not what you’d expect from a high quality coffee table book printed in Italy.  But the print on demand digital printing method allows the author to offer a unique book at a very affordable price.  These little books make great gift items and the quality is acceptable.

For the buyer, POD books allows for more choices and undeserved niches on subjects and topics might never make it to the shelves of a national chain store book merchant.

How To Create POD books

Creating POD books can be a bit tricky but vendors such as Lulu and Createspace offer downloadable templates to use.  Straight text is the easiest way to create a book as their are no graphics to format but it is possible to layout a photo or graphic heavy book, page by page in Photoshop.  All of the information can be found on the various vendor websites.  Cover images can be licensed and cover designers offer their services online.  Don’t skimp on the cover as this is the main marketing vehicle for any book.

Coming Up – Part Two of Understanding Print On Demand

In Part Two of Understanding Print On Demand, we’ll discuss buying and selling art via Print On Demand sites for artists and collectors.

Testing Out Fine Art America’s Shopping Cart Widgets

Fine Art America and Pixels.com offers artists a number of tools to help them reach the public at large and offer their work for sale. The site allows the artist to display artwork and allows the buyer to purchase and configure the images on to a host of products including wall art and products such as tote bags, cell phone cases, throw pillows and t-shirts.

The wall art is available in thousands of configurations including canvas prints, metal prints, acrylic prints and a hundreds of custom framing and matting options as well as rolled in a tube for local framing.

The Shopping Car Widgets look like this on this blog:

Widget #1: Stand Alone Shopping Cart


Widget #2: 300 x 120


Widget #3: 600 x 120


Widget #4 – Mysteriously missing!

Widget #5: 300 x 250


Widget #6: 300 x 250


Widget #7-9 – Mysteriously missing!

Widget #10: 214 x 214


Artist Series: William Wegman

William Wegman is an American photographer, painter and video artist probably most known for his work with Weimaraners.

In this video interview with artist/photographer William Wegman, William discusses his early use of video as well as his acclaimed work with the huge Polaroid which took 20×24 instant photographs.

I always enjoyed Wegman’s work, partly because he became most well known during the years I lived in Boston as well has his connections to Maine. I remember going to a great retrospective of his early drawings in Boston. Cartoon like drawings with lots of puns. His early photography work was displayed as well.

 

The Polaroid 20×24 camera is a very large instant camera made by Polaroid, with film plates that measure 20 by 24 inches (51 cm × 61 cm), although at least one camera takes pictures that are 23 by 36 inches (58 cm × 91 cm). It is one of the largest format cameras currently in common use, and used to be hired from Polaroid agents in various countries. Currently in the United States this can be rented from 20×24 Studio based out of New York and Mammoth Camera in San Francisco.  Photographers such as Elsa Dorfman and Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, have used this heavy (235 lb or 107 kg), wheeled-chassis camera.To celebrate Lady Gaga’s new role as Creative Director of Polaroid, a portrait of her was shot with the 20×24 camera

Work Inspired by Willam Wegman

I have my own series of dog photographs that are no doubt inspired by William Wegman.  After all if a “series” artist can use dogs as a stand in for humans, why not?

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Photography Prints
Sell Art Online

William Wegman (born December 2, 1943) is an American artist best known for creating series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses.

 

 

I’ll Fly Away Artwork

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This summer I had a great opportunity to photograph one of my favorite places on the planet, Prince Edward Island with bonus of having a car full of “willing” models – friends and family.

Remembering the rather consistent coastal breezes on the island from previous trips to Prince Edward Island, I did a bit of pre-planning and brought along some shear fabric as a prop from my model. Add the perfect location, in front of a beautifully restored and freshly painted lighthouse at New London beach and all of the elements came together to create “I’ll Fly Away”. The final image is a digitally enhanced photograph that brings about a painting like result.

A bit of history about this lighthouse which is officially called “New London Back Range” and is snugged into the dunes around the French River and an area known as Yankee Hill.

When Prince Edward Island joined Confederation in 1873 there was an evaluation of all Island lights. The Superintendents of lighthouses deemed a replacement of the two small lanterns raised on day beacons which guided ships into New London Bay. 

Built in 1876, the New London Back Range was originally an independent light but became the Back Range when a new front light was built in 1879, approximately 300 m (1000ft.) seaward at the narrow entrance to New London Bay

In 1876, George McKenzie of French River constructed the New London Lighthouse for $1,300. Upon completion, he stayed on as lighthouse keeper for twenty years.

 

lighthouse Art Online

lighthouse Photography Prints

lighthouse Art Prints

Prince Edward Island has no shortage of lighthouses. If you are a “Lighthouse Lover,” you’ve come to the right place. Lighthouses of many shapes and sizes dot the coastline of Prince Edward Island.

You can enjoy some of the best views of the beautiful island by visiting the lighthouses. Touring the lighthouse sites promise views of some of the island’s most scenic vistas.

How many lighthouses are on Prince Edward Island?

The PEI Lighthouse Society lists 63 lighthouses on the island.

1. NORTH CAPE LIGHTHOUSE
2. TIGNISH RUN LIGHTHOUSE/BIG TIGNISH/JUDE’S POINT
3. FORMER MIMINIGASH RANGE LIGHT
4. FORMER NORTHPORT BACK RANGE LIGHT
5. FORMER CASCUMPEC LIGHTHOUSE
6. NORTHPORT BACK RANGE LIGHT
7. FORMER HARDY’S CHANNEL/LITTLE CHANNEL LIGHTHOUSE
8. MALPEQUE HARBOUR APPROACH LIGHT
9. FORMER FISH ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
10. MALPEQUE OUTER BACK RANGE LIGHT
11. MALPEQUE OUTER FRONT RANGE LIGHT
12. FORMER CAPE TRYON
13. CAPE TRYON LIGHTHOUSE
14. NEW LONDON LIGHTHOUSE/ NEW LONDON BACK RANGE LIGHT
15. NORTH RUSTICO HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
16. COVEHEAD HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
17. ST. PETER’S HARBOUR LIGHTHOUSE
18. SHIPWRECK POINT LIGHTHOUSE/NAUFRAGE LIGHTHOUSE
19. FORMER SHIPWRECK POINT LIGHTHOUSE
20. EAST POINT LIGHTHOUSE
21. SOURIS EAST LIGHTHOUSE
22. FORMER ANNANDALE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
23. ANNANDALE BACK RANGE LIGHT
24. ANNANDALE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
25. FORMER CARDIGAN RIVER RANGE LIGHT
26. GEORGETOWN BACK RANGE LIGHT
27. FORMER GEORGETOWN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
28. GEORGETOWN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
29. PANMURE HEAD LIGHTHOUSE OR PANMURE ISLAND LIGHTHOUSE
30. DOUSE POINT FRONT RANGE LIGHT
31. DOUSE POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
32. MURRAY HARBOUR BACK RANGE LIGHT/BEACH POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
33. MURRAY HARBOUR FRONT RANGE LIGHT/BEACH POINT FRONT RANGE LIGHT
34. CAPE BEAR LIGHTHOUSE
35. WOOD ISLANDS LIGHTHOUSE
36. WOOD ISLANDS BACK RANGE LIGHT
37. WOOD ISLANDS FRONT RANGE LIGHT
38. POINT PRIM LIGHTHOUSE
39. BRUSH WHARF FRONT RANGE
40. HASZARD POINT FRONT RANGE
41. HASZARD POINT BACK RANGE LIGHT
42. BRIGHTON BEACH FRONT RANGE
43. BRIGHTON BEACH BACK RANGE LIGHT
44. WARREN COVE BACK RANGE LIGHT
45. WARREN COVE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
46. BLOCKHOUSE POINT LIGHTHOUSE
47. ST. PETER’S ISLAND LIGHT
48. LEARD’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
49. LEARD’S FRONT RANGE LIGHT/PALMER’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
50. WRIGHT’S BACK RANGE LIGHT
51. WRIGHT’S FRONT RANGE LIGHT
52. PORT BORDEN FRONT RANGE LIGHT
53. PORT BORDEN BACK RANGE LIGHT
54. PORT BORDEN PIER LIGHT
55. SEACOW HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
56. FORMER SUMMERSIDE FRONT RANGE LIGHT
57. INDIAN HEAD LIGHTHOUSE
58. SUMMERSIDE BACK RANGE LIGHT
59. SUMMERSIDE OUTER FRONT RANGE LIGHT
60. SUMMERSIDE OUTER BACK RANGE LIGHT
61. CAPE EGMONT LIGHTHOUSE
62. WEST POINT LIGHTHOUSE
63. HOWARD’S COVE/SEAL POINT LIGHTHOUSE

More lighthouse photographs and artwork here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/prince+edward+island

Q: How do you know when you’re an artist?

Photography Prints

You know you are an artist when you realize your unique vision of the world.  Artists see the world differently than normal folk.  They find was to question what others take for granted.  They see details in the environment and society that others don’t see.

You know you are an artist when your technical skills match your vision and you are able to communicate your vision to the rest of the world.  In terms of photography its called Pre-Visualization by Ansel Adams.  The ability to see the final image before you make it and having the technical skills to bring it to life.  – Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com

More quotes about being an artist:

“The artist is the antenna of the race.” – Ezra Pound  “The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.” – William Faulkner “Colour is the keyboard, the eyes are the hammers, the soul is the piano with many strings. The artist is the hand that plays, touching one key or another purposively, to cause vibrations in the soul.” – Wassily Kandinsky

“An artist is a dreamer consenting to dream of the actual world.” – George Santayana “I suppose an artist takes the elements of his life and rearranges them and then has them perceived by others as though they were the elements of their lives.” – Paul Simon “Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.” – Henry Ward Beecher

“The Artist is he who detects and applies the law from observation of the works of Genius, whether of man or Nature. The Artisan is he who merely applies the rules which others have detected.” – Henry David Thoreau “The highest art is always the most religious, and the greatest artist is always a devout person.” – Abraham Lincoln “Art is a collaboration between God and the artist, and the less the artist does the better.” – Andre Gide

“To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Schumann “The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.”  Francis Bacon “An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” – James Whistler

“Artists don’t make objects. Artists make mythologies.” – Anish Kapoor “Every artist was first an amateur.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson “The moment you cheat for the sake of beauty, you know you’re an artist.” – David Hockney

“Even a true artist does not always produce art.” – Carroll O’Connor “The artist who aims at perfection in everything achieves it in nothing.” – Eugene Delacroix “Artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything.” – Gustave Flaubert

“An artist has to be a little like Lewis and Clark, always exploring in new, uncharted directions.” – C.W. Mundy “A great artist is always before his time or behind it.” – George Moore “Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

“The greater the artist, the greater the doubt. Perfect confidence is granted to the less talented as a consolation prize.” – Robert Hughes “Every work of art has its necessity; find out your very own. Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, if you would never be compensated for it, if nobody ever wanted it. If you come to a clear ‘yes’ in spite of it, then go ahead and don’t doubt it anymore.” – Ernst Haas “Ask yourself if you would do it if nobody would ever see it, if you would never be compensated for it, if nobody ever wanted it. If you come to a clear ‘yes’ in spite of it, then go ahead and don’t doubt it anymore.” – Ernst Haas

“You have brilliance in you, your contribution is valuable, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do, and you must.” – Seth Godin

 “Everything you can imagine is real.”
― Pablo Picasso

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Pablo Picasso

Buying local artwork and supporting local artists

Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been touching on a nerve among people fed up with seeing local manufacturing jobs disappear (all the while not doubt shopping at discount stores like Walmart full of Chinese made cheap goods), but how many stop to think about the decorative artwork they hang in their homes or offices?  A trip to Pier One can snag a nice painting made factory style in overseas but what about supporting living, breathing and often struggling American artists?  The people who contribute to the local economy and turn those downtrodden parts of the city into cool, hip, viable and soon to be yuppified livable newly discovered desirable neighborhoods?

Chinese painting factory
Inside a Chinese painting factory where 10,000 paintings cranked out from copies.

Buying from local artist is often just economically feasible as buying no-name art from national chain stores. Reproductions such as those offered here on Dogford Studios (artwork of fine artist and photographer Edward M. Fielding) is just as affordable as the mass produced artwork yet the money goes directly to supporting the artist instead of a string of middlemen with a sweatshop paycheck for the actual brush wielding robot.

Art Prints

Part of the pride of art ownership is knowing a bit about the artist as opposed to knowing that the art came from chair number 45 in factory building #3. When it comes to showing off your art collection its not the market value of the piece that is interesting, its your personally skill at collecting and personal curation of your private collection.

Having people over for a party and answering questions about your artwork like this “Oh I’m glad you liked that, it was on sale at Walmart.” might as well draw a zero on your forehead in the culture department. Your bean dip better be killer to make up for that one.

This actually happened to me at a party. I was at a high level hospital director’s house and was checking out her artwork in between trips to the Gin and Tonic bar. I figured, she travels, she has money, she goes to benefits etc. Her art must be local or at least original. I complemented her on a “painting” and asked where she got it. Expecting a bit of a story behind the piece and maybe the artist. “Oh yeah, isn’t that neat. I saw it at Pier One.” Yikes! She knew I was an artist who sells their artwork for a living. Just what I want to hear, Chinese factory art hanging in the home of someone who could afford the real deal. This is someone who spends top dollar on the top gin brands, drives a sexy German sports car and whose bonuses equal a year of my son’s college tuition.

It really doesn’t take much more effort or money to buy from real artists. You can buy online or at craft fairs, art fairs, local galleries or direct from the artist on a site like this. The reward is the satisfaction of getting something few other people have discovered. Instead of someone walking in the door and saying “oh I have that.” or worse “I had that Ansel Adams poster back in the 80s”, you can show off something unique, something not found in the local Mostly Posters.

Truth be told this actually happened to me. On an Ikea buying spree I picked up a framed Picasso drawing reproduction and hung it in the entry way. Our new neighbor comes over to introduce themselves and one of the first things he said was “Oh. We have that too.”

I joked “It’s the original.” (which in our neighborhood could be true, we have some celebrities living in this town.)

He was taken aback for just a second before joke hit him but later the piece ended up in the basement and was replaced by one of my own works. Its same danger when you redecorate with everything from Home Depot. You are bound to find someone who comes over and can spot all of the fixures or tile from Home Depot. I can do it myself. “Nice tile. We put that in the bathroom of our condo back in 1992.”

Bottomline – shop local, support your artist neighbors and enjoy art collecting with a sense of individuality.

Limited Time Promotion Primitive Folk Pop Art Car

http://pixels.com/weeklypromotion.html?promotionid=189474

Baby you can drive my car Canvas Print by Edward Fielding – Purchase a 10.00″ x 8.00″ stretched canvas print of Edward Fielding’s Baby you can drive my car for the promotional price of:$49

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This image gets printed on a premium glossy canvas and then stretched on a wooden frame of 1.5″ x 1.5″ stretcher bars. All stretched canvases ship within one business day and arrive “ready to hang” with pre-attached hanging wire, mounting hooks, and nails.

Only 25 left in this size! Offer expires in five days!

Other work in this series of primitive, folk, pop art signs:

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Photography Prints

Fine Art America is one of the largest, most-respected giclee printing companies in the world with over 40 years of experience producing museum-quality prints. All of our prints are produced on state-of-the-art, professional-grade Epson printers. We use acid-free papers and canvases with archival inks to guarantee that your prints last a lifetime without fading or loss of color.

The goal is to put museum-quality works of art into the hands of art collectors all over the world and, in doing so, build awareness of beautiful artwork being produced by the Pixels.com artist community. When you purchase prints from Pixels.com, the proceeds go directly to the artist – you’re supporting a community of living artists all over the world!

All work comes with a 30 day money-back guarantee. If you don’t love it, simply return it.

Limited time promotion: Use this discount coupon code for any artwork by Edward Fielding. ‘NRRMDM’

My work can be seen in homes and offices around the world as well as on the covers of bestselling novels and magazines. Over 800+ satisfied customers from this portfolio on Fine Art America and Pixels alone.

…..
I use my artwork to communicate my vision of the world. My work deals with storytelling in light and shadow from the beauty, texture and shape of every day objects to wonders of the natural world. Thanks for stopping by! — Edward M. Fielding

Edward M. Fielding
Visual Artist
www.edwardfielding.com
sales @ dogfordstudios.com

Many of the images featured here on Fine Art America are available for rights managed licensing for book covers and other projects from Arc Angel Images – http://tinyurl.com/aww2wzl

New Series of Abstract Paintings

I’ve been working on a new series of abstracts.  Inspired by nature and the building blocks of life, they have an organic cellular look as if looking under a microscope.

Abstract Art Online

My process starts among the 90,000 photographs I have on my hard drive. I paint the initial pattern inspired by my ventures around Boston and New England and then I refine the colors on the computer.  I play around with hue, saturation and contrast to develop the pallet I want.  I then further mutate the results by layers the image upon itself and apply various blending modes.  I’ll rotate the image, crop, and stack multiple images upon the initial painting, almost like the way a virus mutates and spawns generation after generation of itself.

Abstract Art Online

I hope to produce about forty abstract paintings in this series which would provide a nice number for a show.

Abstract Photography Prints

Abstract art uses a visual language of shape, form, color and line to create a composition which may exist with a degree of independence from visual references in the world.Abstraction indicates a departure from reality in depiction of imagery in art. This departure from accurate representation can be slight, partial, or complete. Abstraction exists along a continuum. Even art that aims for verisimilitude of the highest degree can be said to be abstract, at least theoretically, since perfect representation is likely to be exceedingly elusive. Artwork which takes liberties, altering for instance color and form in ways that are conspicuous, can be said to be partially abstract. Total abstraction bears no trace of any reference to anything recognizable.

 

Abstract Photography Prints

In a sense, all art is an abstraction. Even photography, as the artist chooses what to capture or show from reality. Abstracts can be anything from slight alterations of reality to geometric shapes, patterns and pure design.

Besides looking great as a canvas print or matted and framed, these abstract art pieces from Edward M. Fielding also look great as throw pillows and tote bags. You can see the entire collection of abstract works here: http://edward-fielding.artistwebsites.com/collections/abstracts

Abstract Art Online

And the abstract images chosen for throw pillows and tote bags here: http://edward-fielding.artistwebsites.com/collections/throw+pillows++tote+bags

Talking about Artistic Vision in Photography

Developing an artistic vision is when the snap-shooter becomes an artist. Its taking control of your images to express your unique vision.  Its moving from taking shots to making art in the medium of photography.

“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” – Jonathan Swift

Artistic Vision is an artist’s way of seeing, their perspective, their vision, their unique take on the world.  It’s made up of the choices made by the artist – their style, their color choices (or lack of color), their subject matter and everything that makes the work theirs and not someone else’s work.  Artistic Vision is an identity.  An artist’s vision becomes recognizable as the artist becomes more well known.

“An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision.” – James Whistler

At its core, photography basically a mechanical capture of reality, and camera owners caught up in the gadgetry, settings, specs, and gee whiz latest equipment buzz often seem to forget that photography is a creative art.  The idea that better equipment means better photography dismisses the individual behind the equipment.

“Photography is more than a medium for factual communication of ideas. It is a creative art.” Ansel Adams

As with with all creative arts, an artistic vision what separates craft from artistry.  It separates a “photographer” simply holding up a camera and pushing a button, from an artist using a camera as a tool of expression.  Photography because of its lack of hands on mark making is the most challenging of all mediums in which to convey an artistic vision.

“Photography is a contest between a photographer and the presumptions of approximate and habitual seeing. The contest can be held anywhere …” – John Szarkowski

A perfectly exposed photograph with the “right” settings, focus, depth of field, white balance and any other measure of technical skill falls under the realm of craft and really is rather meaningless in terms of artistic vision.  Photographers who attend museum shows and gallery openings for fine art photography exhibits might scoff at some of the less than perfect exposures or a blown out highlights and completely miss the artist’s overall vision.

There is no right or wrong way to use the photographic medium to express one’s artistic vision just as the painters show us that there is no right or wrong way to paint a picture.  You can use tools from no camera, like Man Ray’s photograms to lens-less pinhole cameras to infinitely sharp view camera images from Ansel Adams F64 group. You can create imagery in the darkroom like Jerry Uelsmann’s enlarger composites or create digital composites in Photoshop.  You can create carefully composed grand landscapes or quick rapid fire looks at the people on the street.  The only requirement that will elevate your work to an artistic level is creating your own vision.

“Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn’t look like somebody else’s work.” –William Klein

Photography is seeing.  Photography is looking at your world through the lens of a camera.  It’s finding what interests you for all the reasons that your unique personal history has created your view of the world.

“To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” – Elliott Erwitt

Art Prints

About “Someone Remembered” by Edward M. Fielding

With that little background in mind I’d like to talk about one of my photograph called “Someone Remembered” and try to explain my approach in creating an artistic vision with photography.  To me this photograph reads like a story.

“Someone Remembered” takes place in a field in Vermont where an old farm truck took its last breaths and died.  Back in the day before we had modern conveniences such as transfer stations, recycling or even dumps.  Old cars and farm machinery simply ended where their usefulness ended.

I’ve photographed this old truck in the past and it’s a favorite spot of mine.  It’s in the database so to speak – a swirling folder of locations I keep in my head.  Since working with book publishers these last few years creating book cover images, I’ve been working on introducing more and more storytelling in my images. Creating images that feel like a frame out of a movie or page out of a book rather than simple documentation of an object or scene.

Rather any simple documentation of a subject I want the image to create story-lines in the viewer’s head.  Close up shots of this truck in the past suggested to me that maybe the truck was in an accident, maybe the driver was drunk and hit a tree or it was some tragic suicide. Maybe the truck is haunted?

In any case to me the truck has a lonely, sad quality.  At one point this truck was new, and probably the farm was successfully feeding a large family. This truck was driven to town for mail, groceries and the latest gossip.  Each fall the family piled into the truck with a prize winning pig in the back and headed off to the annual country fair for some good times.  Maybe this truck was used by teenagers for a little late night summer necking?

Whatever the case, surely this trucks past is more pleasureable than its sad present state of rusting in a field with its door ajar, its hood split in two threatening to fall the ground, its wooden bed rotten away and it’s upholstered seats chewed away by mice, its springs exposed.

The story in my mind leading up to the final version of “Someone Remembered” was that the truck perhaps slid off the road on Christmas Eve, crashing into a snowbank.  The driver never made it to the party.  Was never able to bring his love a present.  But the love was never forgotten and years later or perhaps every year the sweetheart leaves a present on the front seat for her long lost lover.

So that was my vision that I planned out in my head.  Execution of the vision required waiting until the right moment and waiting for the snow to fall.  When we finally got a good amount of snow I prepared several Christmas boxes that I’d saved from last Christmas , doned my snow pants, high boots, tripod and camera backpack.  

To reach the site required trudging through knee high snow with a heavy pack.  Unfortunately I didn’t bring snowshoes so by the time I reached the truck my legs were exhausted.  I took a few shots of the front of the truck and tried my props in different arrangements, being careful not to trample the snow around the truck until I was ready to move in closer.

Around the side of the truck the final shot came to me pre-visualized.  The snow on the windows provided a perfectly diffused lighting and the interior was nearly monochromatic with all of the rust and brown tones.  The bright Christmas package stood out perfectly.   I composed the image vertically to draw the eye into the interior as if one might enter the truck, perhaps from a child’s angle.  

I placed the Christmas package using the rule of thirds, placing it in one of the “sweet spots”.  I choose a wide open aperture to keep the package in focus but to throw the background out of focus and create more moodiness and mystery to the image.  Further work was done in Adobe Lightroom to desaturate and “age” the colors.

The end result is an image that visually tells the story that I intended to tell. Will everyone see the same story that I see?  Perhaps not but it’s my artistic vision I can’t only express it in my way and put it out there for interpretation. Hopefully it sparks a bit of conversation with the viewer and is more engaging than a documentary photograph that simply says “I saw an old truck”.   Hopefully my vision of reality has a bit more mystery and intrigue.  I want the viewer to ask about that present – who is it it for?  Why is it in this in this old rotting truck?  How long has it been there? I want more questions than answers.

Confrontation at the Red Robin

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An art dealer I know recently related this story. Now keep in mind he is not usually known for his “tact” and can come off as abrupt so I can certainly see how this scene escalated.

I recently had dinner in a Red Robin restaurant. RR as you may know covers their walls with posters and art prints.

I was sitting in a booth next to a wall with a big ugly black and white print of a cat drawing. At the table next to me there was two couples sitting there. They looked like your average to above averages, mid 30’s folks that could be lawyers, doctors, accountants, or some other profession. They were well dressed and sipping martinis.

One of them pointed of to me, or what I thought was at me but was actually just showing her friend the cat print and told her I wish I had that print for my daughters room.

Her friend jumped up, pulled a camera out of here bag and came over to the our table and asked if I mind if she took a picture of the print. She was very nice about it. I handed her a business card and said, I don’t mind, but I am sure the artist would not like it and told her that if she went to the website she could buy any number of cat prints that may work for her friend. She looked at me like I was crazy and said why should I buy one when this one is free for the taking?

I told here because what she was planning on doing was a violation of the copyright laws. She asked me if I was out of my mind and told me that if they did not want us to copy the art, they would not have it hanging on the walls where anyone can take a picture of it.

I told her that she obviously did not understand the laws and that if she would give me her email, I would send here some links. She got red in the face, told me to go F myself, clicked off several pics and went back to her table. She told the other gal and the guys what I had said and they looked at me and the girls both flipped me the bird. Their husbands were laughing their butts off and high fiving the girls like I guess you told that a******e!

These were probably very nice people. Very upper, middle class, well to do and well educated people.

These people don’t know and they don’t care about copyright laws.

I’m not a copyright lawyer but my understanding is that taking a photograph in a public place is not a violation of copyright. Unless you are going to start trying to sell copies of someone else’s image, taking a picture is not some kind of crime.

I was actually in a Red Robin yesterday (completely different coast than the above account). An unusual occurrence since its about an hour and a half from my house. But we were in the “big city” of Manchester, NH doing a bit of shopping at the mall. I did notice they had a lot of posters displayed on the ceiling of all places.

Later we went to the Currier Museum (which by the way my GPS in my Mazda CX-5 can not for the life of it – find) and noticed that they in fact encouraged social media photographs of the collection. This seems to be the trend these days to allow photography (without flash) as a way of free advertising.

The only collection that had a no photos sign was a traveling photography show that dealt with 911. I can understand not allowing photographs of photographs.

With paintings, many are way beyond their copyright expiration date the possibility of someone taking a great reproduction photo under “ok” lighting with a hand held camera is small and they sell responsibly priced reproductions in the gift shop. Beside I don’t think museums have had to deal with the same issues the movie theaters deal with – namely shady operators filming movies from under their trench coat.

Back to Red Robin – is it worth getting into a confrontation with someone taking a picture of a poster in a chain restaurant? I don’t think so. Chances are the shot will come out terrible and if nothing else it will remind the photographer to look for a legit copy of the poster. How many people follow through with anything anyway? Most likely the image will get deleted in a few weeks to make room for more. Or it will end up on social media as a promotion for the artist. The likelyhood this act will have any negative impact on the artist is rather small. And anyone who is clueless about copyrights probably is not much of an art buyer.

Personally I see my clients as a several steps above someone snapping photos at a chain restaurant.