Vermont – fine art photographs from the state of Vermont

In this new video, fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding (http://www.edwardfieldng.com) showcases some of his photographs from around the beautiful state of Vermont.

Prints, canvas prints, museum quality framed and matted artwork, metal prints, acrylic prints, wood prints and gift items with this Vermont photographs are available here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/vermont

The music is “Waterfall” by Aakash Gandhi

Stock Photography Reality Check Part One

So you think you might like to dabble in stock photography?  Here is a bit of a reality check to keep your expectation in line with reality.

What is stock photography?

Stock photography is the solution to expensive custom photo shoots.  Not every commercial photo use such as a magazine advertisement,   online ad,  local ad circular, small business business card etc. has the budget for a full on custom photo shoot.

Brand name fashion ads in Vanity Fair and Vogue, yes, but not Joe the Plumber’s ad in the yellow pages.  So stock photography provides a library of already made photographs for designers to use.  They might not get exactly what they want but it will be close enough.   Also what they get won’t be exclusive but their lower budget clients will have to deal the very real possibility that other pizza joints will use the same shot of a steaming hot slice of pizza.

In the old days, stock photographs were on slides and the stock agency would do a search for their clients and show they possible images on slides.  They would also publish stock books showing the images available.  All the images were provided by professional photographers.

Then came the internet, cheap, unlimited storage and access to photographers of all walks of life.  This allowed the stock libraries to expand and to accept images from professionals and amateurs alike.  These new stock providers were dubed “microstock” because the economics of lots of images procured inexpensively allowed them to offer the images to their clients for less then stock images previously cost.

Will I make a zillion dollars selling stock?

The microstock industry has matured to the point where there are millions and millions of images available for licensing.  In the very early days, one could up load a crummy photo and it would sell over and over.

Now a days your images are in competition with millions of other images.  The reality of today’s microstock market, is that you can see a few sales here and there but you can’t expect to give up your day job for microstock.

Are there more sellers or buyers?

The reality is that there are zillions more images available to license then the buyers will ever need.   Just like most things on the Internet – eBay, the fine art photography market, people trying to sell used Ikea Lack coffee tables on Craigs list – there are far more sellers than buyers.

How many images do I need in my microstock portfolio before I start seeing sales?

When I first started selling some of my work as stock, I figured I’d upload 40 or so images and I’d be soon laying on the beach watching my bank account fill up.  Then the reality struck and I realized I’d have to become an image factory if I was going to sell anything.  It was around 400 stock images in my portfolio before I started to see steady sales.

But you can’t stop there.  You have to continually feed the beast just to keep your head above water.  Images flood into the stock agencies every day, you need to provide fresh inventory to your portfolio just to be notices.

It’s gotten to the point where the stock agencies play games like rotating the contributors in the search.  They want to keep the good contributors interested so they try to make sure everyone gets a sale once in a while to hold their interest.

What are the best selling stock images?

The best selling stock images are the ones that are the most costly to procure.  Custom photo shoots with models cost a lot of money but at the same time in the advertising world, photographs with people are the most valuable – images with people are the most sought after.

Every amateur photographer wants to shoot landscapes, flowers or birds so of course the stock agencies are saturated with these images.  If you want to stand out, shoot people or other hard to obtain subjects.

You also want to create images with copy space so designers can add text.  A good way to learn about what types of images make good stock can be found in these books:

Summer Time and the Living is Easy – Summer Poems

Nubble Light Cape Neddick Lighthouse

Summer Poems

[n] the warmest season of the year; “they spent a lazy summer at the shore”

Art Prints

Summer

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

Art Prints

Dark

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

Art Prints

Art Prints

A cottage

A cottage
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…
love
Good night beautiful

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Summer Cottage

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;
Everybody’s working,
Here at Idlenook,
Except the company — and that
Sits down and reads a book.

– Edgar Albert Guest

Photography Prints

To make more interesting photos, become more interesting

“If you want to make more interesting pictures, become a more interesting person.” – Jay Maisel

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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.

Art Prints

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?

Art Prints

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?

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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.

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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.

Photography Prints

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.

Is my photography hopelessly out of style?

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.

Avoid the HDR and cliche photography trap!

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.

Ask yourself.

  1. Do you have any style?
  2. Can you describe “your” style?
  3. 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:

  • Minimalist Fashion Photography
  • Plants
  • Chairs
  • 35mm Film
  • Suburban America

  • Girl Gaze

  • Collages and Diptychs

    Read more here:

https://www.format.com/magazine/features/photography/photography-trends-2017-predictions

 

Love of Photography or Love of Being on Vacation?

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”.

 Photography Prints

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.

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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!

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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.

Art Prints

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.

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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.

Photography Prints

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.

Photography Prints

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.

 

The Other Side of the Tracks

Old Train Bridge Bath, NH
Old Train Bridge Bath, NH

My Train Portfolio

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.

Train photography by Edward M. Fielding
Train photography by Edward M. Fielding

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.

Train photography by Edward M. Fielding
Train photography by Edward M. Fielding

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.

Train photography by Edward Fielding
Train photography by Edward Fielding

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.

Train photography by Edward Fielding
Train photography by Edward Fielding

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.

Train photography by Edward Fielding
Train photography by Edward Fielding

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.

Train photography by Edward Fielding
Train photography by Edward Fielding

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.

See more great train photography here

 

Sometimes you just get lucky

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.

American Classics by Edward M. Fielding
American Classics by Edward M. Fielding

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.

Sell Art OnlinePhotography PrintsArt PrintsPhotography PrintsArt PrintsArt Prints

More vintage car photography can be found in this portfolio – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/car

5 Examples of Abstract Photography

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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.

Photography Prints

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.

Photography Prints

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.

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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.

 
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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.

Bad hair days and Dog Breath – Modeling is hard work

Clowning Around
Terrier photograph
Just Chilling by Edward M. Fielding http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/just-chilling-edward-fielding.html

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.

Example of a licensed image.
Example of a licensed image.

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

Clowning Around
One circus is closing, a new one is opening. http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/1-clowning-around-edward-fielding.html

“This modeling thing, it’s pretty easy, but actually it’s also really tough” – Cara Delevingne

Writers Block
Writers Block http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/writers-block-edward-fielding.html

“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

Wash Day Framed
Wash Day – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/wash-day-edward-fielding.html

“Modeling, for me, isn’t about being beautiful but creating something interesting for people to look at and think about.” – Kylie Bax

Great framed art
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/portrait-of-a-westie-dog-edward-fielding.html

“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

 

http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/pho-dog-grapher-edward-fielding.html
http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/pho-dog-grapher-edward-fielding.html

“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