One Fine Day in Winter – The Life of the Photographer
Growing up I was a huge fan of Mad Magazine and especially Don Martin’s cartoons which often had titles such as “One Fine Day in XYZ”. Combine that with my new learning challenge of creating videos and you get a result like the above video which attempts to get the viewer a glimpse into my process. Yes, mundane chores like like doing the laundry, giving rides to ski practice and grocery shopping get in the way of the “glamorous” life of the fine art photographer.
Big snow falls add extra challenges. 1. being the driveway has to be shoveled before any play happens. 2. it is often not safe to stop along a roadside when the plows are still working or the ditches are just waiting to swallow your car. 3.when you are the one working from home you get a list of chores to do.
Not all is as it seems in winter. A couple years ago I drove up what I thought was a snow covered driveway but it turned out to be a snowmobile trail and it swallowed my new car. I ended up walking to a country store and buying lunch for a burly landscaper kind of dude with a truck full of shovels to come and help we get out of the snow bank.
Oh the hazards of the job. Full of adventure yet full of perils not shown on a GPS unit. Here are a few captures from Etna, NH after snow storm Nico. 8 – 12 more inches are on the way!
Gregory Crewdson is a unique photographer who creates “movies” through a single photograph. Gregory, along with a massive crew, scripts out, sets up and shoots single photographs that are beautifully epic. The photographs he creates explore a psychological nature of humans that can be both majestic and disturbing. The creativity shines bright in the work of Gregory Crewdson.
Seeing Crewdson’s elaborately staged and lit still photographs, often taken with a large format view camera that exposes every detail, one is immediately taken in by the abbreviated narrative. What is going on? What events lead up to this scene? What will happen next? And perhaps – when is this sad and depressing movie coming out?
But there are no clues to who these people are, or what is happening to them and what will happen next. There is no movie to tell the rest of the story. There is no character development or plot. Just a snap shot in time.
The time and place in a Crewdson photograph or perhaps “movie still” is timeless. The cars, clothing and technology do not betray an exact period. This isn’t Mad Men where every detail is authentic to the exact year of the story. In Mad Men a magazine on a coffee table has to be the right year and month. In a Crewdson photograph the cars are late model. The telephones – rotary. The houses are from the 1940s – well worn, a place from a childhood or a place grandma lived.
Perhaps the sets describe a land within Crewdson’s childhood memories. The Brooklyn born Crewdson often summered in the Berkshires region of Massachusetts. A place of contrast among the summering wealthy from New York and Boston, the Tanglewood crowd and the blue collar locals who toiled in the factories of contractors the Industrial Military Complex, many of which have moved overseas, leaving in their wake a lot of unemployment, empty Main Street storefronts and housing stock in desperate need of upkeep. The kind of made for Hollywood set pieces perfect for creating a backdrop of despair and mystery.
One summer as i was driving back and forth between New Hampshire and Westbrook, Ct on I91 I found myself in “Crewdson” territory.
I was helping my parents clean out, pack up and make the permanent move to Florida and decided to take some time for my photography alone the way and as a break.
I drove through Franklin County, Ma which is spot where one would take a right coming down I91 to head over to the Berkshires Region. Its usually the spot to turn if you want to head over to Pittsfield for MassMOCA or just to spot for the McDonald’s. To the left is Greenfield, MA which has the same mix of architecture you’d see in a Crewdson piece. The city has a Main Street Historic District containing fine examples of Federal, Greek Revival, and Victorian architecture. Greenfield also has some of the large old brick mills and factories that provided the economy that created the city in the first place. Nearby is also Old Deerfields which is basically a living museum of preserved homes.
Deerfield includes the villages of South Deerfield and Old Deerfield which is home to two museums; Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association and Historic Deerfield, Inc. Historic Deerfield, Inc. is a museum with a focus on decorative arts, early American material culture, and history. Its house museums offer interpretation of society, history, and culture from the colonial era through the late nineteenth century.
But it was in Greenfield on a rainy summer day when the chance encounter with a late model car, backed by period homes provided me with a “Crewdson” moment. The only thing I was missing was a few half naked models clad in dirty, soaked sundresses.
Can’t you just see a victim of domestic abuse leaning against this car smoking a cigarette with the abusive husband in a wife beater screaming from the landing on the house in the background?
Maybe this one with the hood up and a scraggly looking 20 something working under the hood and a kid pedaling his tricycle down the middle of the street in the background.
I have a number of images in my portfolio on Fine Art America that might fit in with a show of Crewdson’s work. Usually I don’t work with a crew of art student interns and lighting crew. So in my work just the suggestion of a car on location is all you are going to get. Make your own conclusions about what might be going on.
The photographs of surf board fences, beautiful island beaches, life guard stations and more are available from the portfolio called “The Last Resort” by Edward M. Fielding. You can order framed art, canvas prints, metal prints, cards and more here:
All orders come with an 30 day money back guarantee and are printed and framed to museum standards by a firm that has been doing business with artists for over 30 years.
The Maui Hawaii photographs complement the images of surfing and surfers that has been a theme in my work over the years from surfing breaks at Rye Beach in New Hampshire to the shores of California, to the waters off of Hawaii where I was born.
Choose your favorite surfing canvas prints, framed prints, greeting cards, throw pillows, duvet covers, t-shirts, and more from available designs. You can choose the style, background, mat, frame, and more to create one of a kind artwork that matches your home or office.
Search for “hawaii”, “maui”, “surfing”, “westies”, “dogs”, “Tiki”, “beach” or whatever you like. With over 4,000 images in the collection you are sure to find something perfect for yourself or as a gift.
Driving around Prince Edward Island after dinner with a car full of teenagers, I spotted this row of beautiful old antique tractors lit with incredible light from the setting sun. Now in these situations I have to make a calculation in my head within seconds. First is there anyone behind me before I slam on the brakes, second is there any where to pull over and third am I ready for the complaints from the passengers who really just want to get to our destination.
Believe me there are so many times I’m happy to ignore the protests! In photography, the photographer does rely on a lot of serendipitous moments but these moments favor the prepared. Its all about always looking for photograph opportunities and then having the skills to be able to pull the image off.
Make Your Own Luck
1. Learning to see images
2. Always having a camera on hand
3. Practicing constantly
4. Giving yourself opportunities
5. Returning to locations
6. Taking advantage of good light
7. Working quickly and with purpose
8. Making not taking photographs
9. Putting yourself in front of interesting subjects.
10. Walking for driving down that unknown street.
The lighthouse photograph above came about over years of revisiting the same area. Conditions were “lucky” on this occasion of going back to the same area and exploring it thoroughly to capture the best light, the best clouds, the best angle etc. More hard work than luck. The lucky part is when the sun and clouds cooperated.
Luck and Photography
It has been said that photography is the art form where luck matters most. True enough. And anyone can get that one lucky shot in their life time. But when you look over the career of a great photographer and start seeing one “lucky” shot after another, you start to realize there has to be a bit of planning behind all of those lucky shots.
This “storm chaser” shot below was very lucky. Probably lucky I didn’t get killed. But I didn’t go chasing a wall cloud, the storm came to us. I took this shot from the porch of a little cottage we rented on Prince Edward Island. Lucky, although I was prepared with my tripod and camera equipment.
MOST PEOPLE ARE NOT skilled photographers, but if you’ve taken enough pictures in your life, you’ve surely turned up some good ones — a snapshot or two that made you think, “Maybe I have a knack for this.” – Boston Globe
Lucky Shots Take Time
People just starting out in photography look at great photos and have a desire to create the same amazing photograph right away. The problem is looking at a small sample of a photographers lifetime of work. Keep in mind that you are looking at the best of a photographer’s portfolio over a long period of time. Luck will present itself within a long time frame. Play blackjack, roulette, the lottery or slot machines long enough and you will win at some point.
Same with photography. Invest the time and energy to create your own luck and it will happen.
Sometimes luck comes in the form of a vintage car parked in the exact right spot at the exact time you happen to be there with your camera.
The Last Resort is a photo essay of the island of Maui Hawaii in black and white fine art photographs. The name comes from the Eagle’s song from the classic rock album “Hotel California”. In the song they talk about a certain neon sign that is on the island of Maui that says “Jesus Coming Soon”. The sign has been there for 89 years so the term “coming soon” isn’t referring to human years. Maybe 600+ year old Noah would consider that soon but I digress.
Fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding was born in Hawaii, was an army brat but didn’t stay on the island for more then six months and hadn’t been back since. So Fielding’s journey to Maui was about 45 years over due. The only thing he knew about this tropical paradise was from images he’d seen on Hawaii 5-0 and the episodes of the Brady Bunch where the family takes a three-episode vacation to the islands. Would Maui live up to the hype of the word “Paradise” or as the Eagles say in there song, should we never call some place paradise because that leads to its ultimate destruction and we are running out of paradises?
What Fielding found in Maui was an incredible landscape of contrasts. Maui has desert dry areas, wet rainforests, 10,000 feet above sea level “moonscapes” and 0 feet above sea level beautiful beaches. But there was also an undercurrent of Yankee go home. A bit of native resentment and even a bit of resentment from the hippies and surfers who first flocked to the islands to live out their dreams of a perfect wave. Everyone seems to have a claim to “the real” Hawaii.
Rodney Smith (born December 24, 1947) is a New York based fashion and portrait photographer.
Smith primarily photographed with a 35mm Leica M4 before he transitioned to a 120mm (medium format) Hasselblad with a 80mm lens. He prefers natural light to illuminate his subjects, but occasionally will use continuous lighting. Smith shot predominantly in black and white, until 2002, when he first began to experiment with color film. His work is commonly referred to as classic, minimalistic, and whimsical. – Wikipedia
After graduating, Smith went though a long period of struggling to find both his vision and a way to earn a living. He supplemented prints sales by teaching, putting collections together for corporations and basically living the life of a starving artist. “I never really knew from one month to the next how I was going to live,” he recalls. His first break in corporate work came when a friend who owned an ad agency hired him to shoot a black and white ad campaign for Northrop – which was shortly followed by a plum annual report assignment from Heinz – an opportunity that helped transform a lifelong devotion into a prosperous career. – http://www.kodak.com/US/en/corp/features/imagesOfGrace/bio.shtml
The greatest test for a photograph is if the two-dimensional image imbedded in its fibers can stand the test of time. With Rodney Smith’s elegant aesthetic and compositional prowess applied to creative concepts, the paper itself may one day fade, but the memory of the imagery will not. – http://www.digitalphotopro.com/profiles/rodney-smith-old-school-with-a-modern-twist/
Fine Art Photographer Edward M. Fielding Releases Series of Funny Dog Photographs
New Hampshire based fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding has just released a series of humorous dog photographs via Fine Art America/Pixels.com (edward-fielding.pixels.com), and is selling framed prints and other artwork worldwide using the company’s industry-leading service network. Buyers can make use of 24-hour customer service and a full money-back guarantee.
Hanover, New Hampshire – May 12, 2016 /PressCable/ —
Upper Valley photographer and artist Edward M. Fielding, know for his magazine and book cover work in the International publishing industry, decided to create a series of funny, sweet and humorous photographs featuring his westie “Tiki” as well as some of his friend’s dogs. The entire series is available as prints that can be purchased from Fine Art America and its sister site Pixels at www.edward-fielding.pixels.com.
Select photographs from the series are featured in two books available on Createspace.com and Amazon.com. “The Quoteable Westie” features Fielding’s West Highlands White Terrier “Tiki” playing the part of several different roles and characters. “Pugs” features some of Tiki’s small pug pals.
Edward M. Fielding, a graduate of Boston University originally worked in computer publishing and trade magazine world including working as a marketing director for Byte Magazine. He then went on to form Fishboy Art and Design with fellow artist Paul Ocepek and then branched out on his own as a fine artist. For more information about us, please visit http://www.edwardfielding.com or http://www.dogfordstudios.com
“Everyone can take one good picture, its the body of work that counts.”
If you reflect on a life does it matter if someone did something nice once or twice? Or is a lifetime of good deeds that matters? Same holds true with photography. If you shoot enough pictures you will eventually take at least one good photograph in your lifetime, after all Ansel Adams photographed consistently and famously said that 12 good photographs in a year would be a good crop.
What sets apart a good photographer from the “meh” photographer, is the ability to create a body of work that is good and consistent. Too often photographs seem to get compared to other art forms such as painting in which a single “masterpiece” is held up as the ultimate shot. But photography doesn’t usually work that way.
Photography is often about telling a story over time and from various angles. Often book form is the best way to experience photography rather than a single shot. Or a gallery show or even as a series of three or four images displayed together.
Take one of the most famous photography books of all time “The Americans” by Robert Frank.
The Americans, by Robert Frank, was a highly influential book in post-war American photography. It was first published in France in 1958, and the following year in the United States. The photographs were notable for their distanced view of both high and low strata of American society. The book as a whole created a complicated portrait of the period that was viewed as skeptical of contemporary values and evocative of ubiquitous loneliness. “Frank set out with his Guggenheim Grant to do something new and unconstrained by commercial diktats” and made “a now classic photography book in the iconoclastic spirit of the Beats”.
Robert Franks individual work is strong but as a series in book form it creates a body of work that is elevated to greatness. Each individual image build on the previous to tell the story.
In this short video of Bruce Gilden critiquing submitted art photographs, watch when he gets to the final set of images and how the series of three images become so much stronger than any individual image.
Is This Art Photography Any Good? – Take it or Leave it with Bruce Gilden
photographer Christopher Anderson to talk about his work and his life-changing experience aboard a Haitian refugee boat that sank in the Caribbean. We then followed him as he hit the streets to photograph New York City.
Check out more episodes of Picture Perfect: http://vice.com/picture-perfect
Watch the best documentaries online here: http://bit.ly/VICE-Documentaries
Originally aired in 2012 on http://VICE.com
Photos courtesy of Christopher Anderson / Magnum Photos.