[n] the warmest season of the year; “they spent a lazy summer at the shore”
Sweet as a berry
Summer is merry
Popsicles and lemonade
A memory that will never fade
Vacations and going to the pool
Of course Summer has one rule
Always have FUN
Out in the sun
Author: L. Farrington
Robins finally quiet.
The mountain has pulled on its blue hood
of night, its spruce-lined cloak
looses owls from deep inner pockets.
Here below, moths flutter around porch lights
gathering secrets at each door:
who’s not home, who’s got an unexpected, unwanted guest.
A few houses away, someone listens to jazz alone,
someone reads a crime novel set in Iceland –
the wind is blowing over a barren landscape
where a boy was lost.
At dawn, lilies called Embers of Vesuvius
will slowly unfurl their hot orange petals.
Robins will start up again.
This whole thing will feel premeditated.
Even when the mystery is solved at the end
someone still lies dead.
Close the book, turn out the light,
it’s too late now.
Poem by Kristen Lindquist
at the end of the path,
between maple trees and evergreens,
a front porch, weathered boards,
memories in the grain,
summers by the lake,
green converse allstars,
monopoly into the wee hours of the morning,
pancakes and bacon mornings,
red ginham table cloths,
chasing fireflies, sparklers,
hot dogs on the grille,
spitting watermelon seeds, sticky chins…
a cottage, memories,
and now we make our own,
hand in hand as love
once again sits on the porch,
counting stars and drinking lemonade,
you and me and a cottage
at the end of a path…
Good night beautiful
Father’s in the woodshed,
Cleaning forty fish;
Mother’s in the kitchen,
Washing every dish;
Sister’s upstairs making
Every bed we own;
The company is on the porch
With the graphophone.
Father does the rowing,
Brother does the chores,
Mother does the baking,
Sister sweeps the floors;
Here at Idlenook,
Except the company — and that
Sits down and reads a book.
“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” – Jay Maisel
Legendary NYC photographer and workshop instructor, Jay Maisel is a quotable fellow and one of his most famous sayings involves the idea of being a more interesting person leads to more interesting art and photography.
Being more interesting requires being well-read, exposed to new ideas and different points of view and seeing all that life offers. Think about who the most interesting people are at a party. Is it the guy talking about his new lawn mower and the snow tires he bought at Walmart or is it the gal who likes to eat exotic things and just came back from a trip backpacking through India?
Who do you think comes back with the most compelling photographs? The one who dusts off the camera every time the roses are in bloom, or the one who ventured into an abandoned factory to capture dust swirling in the air?
To make interesting and compelling images one has to have a sense of adventure and purpose. Playing it safe or standing in the Kodak moment spots in the most visited National Parks ain’t going to result in exciting images. This is more of “I was there” or “I saw a buffalo” type images that clog up the arteries of Facebook on a daily basis.
Creating something new, something unique, something exciting requires leaving the beaten path and finding your own voice. Giving yourself permission to follow your own interests and passions, not the “approved” photography subjects that have been done to death.
Artist, designer and fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding strives to live an interesting life. Next stop: A 10 day trip around the Ring Road in Iceland in an RV. Should be an interesting adventure of a life time.
Styles change. Fashion never sits still. Yet there are plenty of photographers who still churn out the same old style year after year.
Recently a photographer on a Fine Art America forum was moaning about their dropping sales this year. They had great sales in the past but now nothing. Perhaps the market has left their style? Maybe sad looking big eyed children just aren’t the thing any more? Things do change and people do get tired of certain styles and move on.
Perhaps ten years ago they wondered into a Peter Lik gallery while on vacation and said “wowza, I love this over saturated, metallic paper landscape” and have been striving to achieve that look ever since. Or they had a Ansel Adams poster in their dorm room thirty years ago and have been traveling to the southwestern US every chance they get to create dramatic black and white images of Yosemite or the desert.
Or maybe a five years ago they caught the HDR bug and have never left to the realm of surreal colors and impossible dynamic range.
So what happens when HDR becomes a cliche? Something for amatuers or for people to do with a phone apps? Perhaps its time to go to a more traditional or classic style. More retro. Or more futuristic. It depends on you, your sense of style and what the market is looking for.
Do you have any style?
Can you describe “your” style?
Can you adapt to trends or are you going to wait for your style to come back in fashion?
According to Format Magazine the trendy styles for 2017 are:
I think there is some confusion out there in photography land. There is a true love of photography and then there is a “love of being on vacation with a camera”.
A true love of photography is the deep need to document the world around you. This when you never leave the house without a camera, you are always taking photos and looking around for photo subjects non-stop.
Then there is the pull the camera out of the closet, dust it off, perhaps buy a new lens because finally it is vacation time again!
You can tell this type of photographer in online forums as they are the ones arguing about the latest cameras and which lens is the sharpest. They are also the ones asking for photo spot suggestions and where they should go on vacation – Cuba? Iceland? Ireland? Which national park is the best? etc. In otherwords, where can I justify pulling out the tripod and standing next to my fellow vacationers to get that same photo I see on the post card rack.
Nothing wrong with this of course, I do it myself. I get pumped for a vacation with the family and think about all of the great shots I’ll get while the family impatiently waits so we can go to dinner.
Every new location brings a fresh scenes to captivate the imagination and a change of scenery recharges the soul. Plus its good for the brain to have to plan out your adventure and navigate a new landscape. Often one is restricted to basic equipment so planning and adaptation is required.
But the true artist can bring out amazing images from their own backyard. The amateur puts full faith in the exotic location in order to impress. As if their vision lays within their equipment and relies on the landscape to provide the artistry.
Perhaps if the amateur didn’t put the camera back in the closet after an exotic vacation they would learn to see the wonders all around them in their own backyard.
My love of trains brought me back into photography after a long absence fraught with the concepts of career and raising a family. Making a move to a house with a bonus room rekindled an idea of building that dream model railroad I’ve had since I was a kid reading Model Railroader magazine.
Researching ideas online lead to the desire to document my progress which lead to my first serious DSLR, a micro-four thirds Panasonic G2. And then this snowballed into more lenses, an upgrade to a G3 and then eventually to starting to sell my photographs which justified upgrading to a full frame Canon 6D as well as various studio lights, lenses, bags and so on.
No doubt this is a similar trend. Typically people probably purchase their first serious camera when a child is born which may for may not lead to an obsession that takes them way past taking family photos.
But my train obsession has continued although its certainly not my only subject. I’ve shot trains and train tracks, stations, abandoned equipment and lost lines all over New England and even in Canada. From museums to living breathing steam engines on tourist lines.
One of my most intimate train experiences came one summer in Connecticut when I was helping my parents move out of their summer home for a permanate move to Florida. In between trips to the Goodwill and the dump, I was able to sneak away and capture some great shots of the Essex Steam train.
I shot on the train and from vantage points carefully mapped out along with the train schedule. By the end of the summer I knew every crossing and every parking spot up and down the Connecticut River from Essex to East Haddam.
I got some of my most iconic shots of those great old steam trains that summer and what happened to my model railroad? Unfortunetly photography bit hard and my poor model railroad sits unfinished waiting for me to get off the real real railroads and back into the attic.
Do you know a photographer who always seems to get that lucky break? Some amazing shot that looks like he/she might actually know what they are doing? Well, truth be told, getting lucky has a lot to do with being prepared and ready.
Sure luck happens. But the working photographer puts themselves in situations in order to increase the chances of luck and they are always prepared to capture moments when they suddenly appear.
One of my favorite things is finding vintage cars in the wild. This particular shot of an old vintage truck in front of a dinner looks like might have been planned and set up for a magazine shoot but it was completely a lucky situation.
We had just dropped off our son at summer camp on Squam Lake (On Golden Pond) and were headed home when we decided to stop off in TIlton, New Hampshire for dinner at the Tilt ‘n Diner. As we are finishing up our burgers and milkshakes, we start seeing vintage cars roll into the parking lot just as the sun is starting to get low on the horizon.
What timing! We were dining at a spot an hour from house in the middle of the week and it just happened to be old car night! So of course my wife took car of the bill and I headed out to get my camera and started shooting.
Unlike at a car show when the cars are all packed in tight and often festooned with awards or signs, this situation was perfect as the diner provided a great nostalgic background for the cars and as they drove, the first cars had plenty of space around them so they appeared more natural.
Like abstract painting, abstract photograph chooses to isolate shapes, lines, color, divorced from reality and boiled down to the very essence of a sensation or impression. The difference is painting starts with a blank canvas and adds elements whereas in abstract photography the photographer uses a camera to isolate and subtract from reality.
Finding shapes, patterns, detail and composition from the larger world and eliminating all sense of context and meaning other than the pure sensation and tension created by line, texture, light, dark, color and perhaps movement.
Abstract photography, sometimes called non-objective, experimental, conceptual or concrete photography, is a means of depicting a visual image that does not have an immediate association with the object world and that has been created through the use of photographic equipment, processes or materials.
An abstract photograph may isolate a fragment of a natural scene in order to remove its inherent context from the viewer, it may be purposely staged to create a seemingly unreal appearance from real objects, or it may involve the use of color, light, shadow, texture, shape and/or form to convey a feeling, sensation or impression.
The image may be produced using traditional photographic equipment like a camera, darkroom or computer, or it may be created without using a camera by directly manipulating film, paper or other photographic media, including digital presentations.
The life of a super dog model is not all bones and biscuits. Sure some days the kibble rains down and luck shines but some days its a bad hair cut and stupid wardrobe.
“Just Chillin'” is just one of hundreds of photographs that Tiki the Westie has modeled for in fine art photographer, Edward M. Fielding’s series of dog photographs.
Some of the best Tiki the Westie supermodel photographs have been collected in this small gift book called “the Quotable Westie” and is available on Amazon and direct from the publisher CreateSpace – https://www.createspace.com/4070210
“This modeling thing, it’s pretty easy, but actually it’s also really tough” – Cara Delevingne
“I was successful and I enjoyed modeling, but it got to a point where I felt like I had ‘been there, done that.’ I wanted something that would inspire me and challenge me. I needed something that required more creativity. I started writing and I started auditioning. Simply posing in front of the camera was no longer enough.” – Julia Voth
“Modeling, for me, isn’t about being beautiful but creating something interesting for people to look at and think about.” – Kylie Bax
“I think the only reason I wanted to do modeling, really, was because I knew I wasn’t ready to act; I knew I didn’t have enough life experience, and I knew that doing photo shoots was a way of acting. Playing a character each shoot and being able to just emerge yourself in these awkward experiences – it was amazing.” – Dree Hemingway
“I didn’t mean to be a TV presenter, I just hated modeling. It feels very odd that it’s turned into this ‘It-girl’ thing. What does that even mean? I wear clothes and I go out. It’s so weird.” Alexa Chung
Ah the perpetual questions of photography’s place in the art world, which started with the birth of photography 150 or so ago. Is photography art? Is all photographer art? What makes some photography art and other photography not art?
Most importantly IS MY PHOTOGRAPHY ART? Or which of my photograph are considered art and others simply snapshots?
For me the argument has been settled long ago when photographer’s began to be shown at art shows in galleries and museums and collectors began collecting photographs as fine art.
Photography is an accepted fine art medium. All major art museums have photography collections. Photographers has been granted major retrospective at MOMA, The Tate Modern and other predominate museums. Photography is taught as a fine art medium in art schools around the world.
But certainly not every photograph is considered art. To me the difference is the intent of the photographer. The artist uses photography to create a specific vision they wish to communicate with the world. This is different than a randomly shot snapshot. The intent is to create a single image or series of images that explore an idea.
This is why the modern art world ignores Peter Lik and no major museum has his work in their collections. He creates beautifully rendered postcard images but there is no meaning or intent behind them other than to create a pretty picture. Today’s museums collect art which explores ideas beyond simple beauty. So photography that explores ideas is considered fine art while a beautifully shot landscape basically falls into the realm of craft.
When is photography art? When it pushes the boundaries, when it shows us a new way of seeing, when it exposes a truth, when it explores an idea, when it pushes us out of our comfort zone, when it shows us how to see anew.
I was researching DIY photobooths for possible set up at my son’s prom when I came across this cool little printer called the Happy Printer from Zink.
It uses a heat activated ink less color technology developed by a spin off from the old Polaroid Company. Its kind of like the label printer I have that used special heat activated label. The great thing is there is no ink to purchase.
The Happy Printer uses rolls of special paper in a variety of widths such as two inch, one inch, 3/4 inch and 1/2 inch. The rolls are about 20 feet long and there is even an app available to “stitch” strips together if you need a bigger print.
And if printing off little color photos or strips of photos isn’t enough fun, did I mention that the paper is also a sticker? Double the fun when you can stick the result right into a scrapbook project or on a lunch bag.
There are two versions of the Zink Happy Printer currently on the market and a number of other little portable printers that use the Zink technology.
The ZINK Wi-Fi Enabled Wireless Printer with Arts and Crafts App sells for $99. ZINK hAppy Smart App Printer hAppy is the portable, Wi-Fi, app-accessory that allows you to print directly from smart phones and tablets. Just download the free ZINK Design & Print Studio app onto a smartphone or tablet (or use a 3rd party compatible app); load a ZINK zRoll™ (photographic-quality ZINK Paper in roll form), design, and then wirelessly print to the hAppy. It’s compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. hAppy is also compatible with Android smartphone and tablets and Amazon Kindle Fire tablets. hAppy works with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloud Print apps.
The ZINK Wireless Touchscreen Printer. Wi-Fi Enabled. Built In App for Editing and Printing Photo & Labels On-The-Go. Prints Directly and from IOS & Android Smart Devices sells for $199 and adds a touch screen for creating images right on the device.
ZINK hAppy+ Smart App Printer. Featuring the Google Android operating system, the hAppy+ has built-in Wi-Fi, a touchscreen, and runs ZINK apps, making it your all-in-one tool for designing and printing whatever you can imagine, all from the palm of your hand. Via built-in ZINK apps, users can create and print directly on the hAppy+ without needing other devices. Just load a ZINK zRoll; create the design on the printer’s touchscreen; press print; and then place and adhere the print to create a variety of projects. hAppy+ is also compatible with Apple AirPrint and Google Cloudprint. The hAppy+ can also work as a companion to smartphones and tablets.
Zink stands for “zero ink” is a full-color printing system for digital devices that does not require ink cartridges and prints in a single pass. The printing technology and its thermal paper are developed by Zink Imaging, Inc., a US company. Zink Imaging makes all the paper; makes a printer for printing labels and other designs on rolls of Zink zRoll; and licenses its technology to other companies that make compact photo printers, and combined camera / compact photo printers that print photographs onto mostly 2×3” (about 5×8 cm) sheets of Zink Paper.
The Zink technology and Zink Imaging started as a project inside Polaroid Corporation in the 1990s, which spun out Zink Imaging as a fully independent company in 2005.
Photobooth App with Zink
Happy Printer can be synced with Photobooth apps like Photobooth and SimpleBooth to create a photobooth for events.
Other Printers That Use Zink Technology
There are a number of small, mobile printers (and instant cameras like the Polaroid Snap) that use Zink’s inkless technology but they use sheets instead of rolls of the Zink paper. Instead they use packs of 10 sheets at a time. I don’t like this method as much as the Happy Printer’s long rolls but here are the options.
Polaroid Zip mobile printer
HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer
Kodak Mini Mobile Wi-Fi & NFC 2.1 x 3.4″ Photo Printer with Advanced Patent Dye Sublimation Printing Technology & Photo Preservation Overcoat Layer (Gold) Compatible with Android & iOS