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

Which work should I be most proud of?

I currently have about 5,000 image for sale on my Fine Art America store – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/

Of course, they are not all masterpieces and some of my older image probably should be tossed, but sometimes you never know what will sell.  Lots of the images were created with other markets in mind besides decor.  Some like my popular stock image “Bagel Breakfast Sandwich” sells all the time for stock and has even sold a few times as fine art.

So the question comes down to this – which images should I take the most pride in?  The ones I personally like the most? The ones buyers seem to like the most? Or the ones my boutique stock agency curates and accepts for their business?  The options are as follows:

My self-selected photographs for my portfolio book:

My collector’s selected portfolio of recently sold images:

My professionally curated portfolio on Arcangel:

https://www.arcangel.com/CS.aspx?VP3=SearchResult&VBID=2U1HZOQPGU5LT&SMLS=1&RW=1280&RH=653

Usually the customer is always right but I think I would put the order of importance as Agency Selected, Artist Selected, Customer Selected.

Boutique Stock Agency Selected as the top in order of importance.  This is the portfolio I’m most proud of because it has been hand selected among other professional photographers by industry professional image buyer with years of experience.

Second I’d put myself because I think I have more experience viewing, reviewing and self-curating fine art photography more than the average buyer.   I’ve spent years not only creating fine art photography but looking at fine art photography by other photographers in books, museums and even took the History of Photographer course at Boston University.

Of course I love any purchase of my work by collectors and buyers, only they don’t always buy what I’d consider my best art.  Often my best gets undiscovered while something more second rate becomes popular.

I guess this order reflects the way I work.  I often think of the boutique stock market and book covers as a goal when I’m photographing, and I always shoot what I’m personally interested in.  If buyers like what I’m offering then that is a bonus.

Smart Doggie

Tiki the Westie as Smart Doggie

Smart Doggie – part of a series of photographs in collaboration with my West Highlands White Terrier – “Tiki”.

Tiki, a rescue from a southern puppy mill, came in to our lives just when I was starting to have more time to dedicate to my photography.  As the rest of the family seemed to run from my camera and modeling duties, or were simply busy, it was just Tiki and I in the studio.

Tiki immediately took to the studio and the treats that were offered.  Even today if I pull out my studio lights, Tiki gets excited and sits where he thinks the photograph might occur.

Once when setting up an assignment photo for a Halloween shoot, Tiki wandered into the set and sat. So of course I had to give him a mask and snap the shot.

Photography Prints
More and more images ensued. Tiki as a Broadway Actor. Tiki as Aladdin. Tiki as a ballerina. Many images were inspired by finds in the baby clothing section of the local thrift shop.

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Eventually many of the Tiki the Westie series were compiled in the little gift book “The Quotable Westie” which can be purchase via CreateSpace or Amazon. https://www.createspace.com/4070210

Art Prints

 

So you’ve learned how to use your camera, now what? Storytelling with photos

Photographs that make an impact – what is your story?

You bought a nice, new expensive camera. You read the manual front to back, back to front. You shot a few thousand images. You’ve gotten to know every aspect of your camera and figured out ISO, shutter speed and aperture. Now it’s time to make some meaningful images.

Art Prints

Images with impact. Compelling images that make people stop and look instead of swiping left or right or scrolling past. Photographs with strong compositions that use visual language to tell a story, create a mood or transports the view to a wonderful new plain of thought.

You are now ready to stop taking photographs and start making images.

Photography Prints

Composition is everything. You can have all the gear – or all the vision – in the world, but it’s composition alone that gets you to the more powerful photographs, the ones that connect and stir something in people.” – David duChemin

Photography Prints

Colby Brown – How to Tell Compelling Stories Through Photography – Photographers are visual storytellers.

The challenge for photographers – Telling an interesting story in a single frame.   Not in hundreds of words in a book or two hours in a feature length movie – a single image.

Photography Prints

That is a high order and a challenging goal.  Static images have the goal of setting the scene, highlight the subject and convey the meaning of the image.  In your images you want to be able to communicate to the view within seconds.  The viewer needs an image with a clear message to understand what they are looking at.  They also need to clearly be able to figure out what is important within the frame.  The viewer shouldn’t be guess at what the photographer wants to show.  The subject should be apparent and visual language and composition should direct the viewer’s eyes to the important part of the image.

The view should not be left thinking “what is this all about?” Become a storyteller rather than a photographer.

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Better photography starts with better storytelling. What are you trying to say to the viewer? Figure out your story before taking a photograph.

Iceland Through Pictures

Photographs of Iceland

 

Photography Prints
Iceland boast a special breed of horse – the Icelandic Horse with a beautiful mane and short stature.
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The horses dot the landscape in the farming regions as do the sheep – often found on the side of road or even crossing the road so drivers must always be on the look out.

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Camping is serious in Iceland with hundreds of miles of back country gravel roads called “F Roads” which are limited to four wheel drive vehicles. You’ll see many campers in Iceland that look like they are straight out of Mad Max.

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Geothermal and volcanic activity created and continue to change the landscape of Iceland – the country of fire and ice. Steaming mountains, bubbling rivers and shooting geysers can be found around the country as well as active volcanoes.

Photography Prints

Iceland is a land of thousands of waterfalls, mostly caused by melting glacier ice and pouring down rift valleys in this unique land form.

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In Iceland one can visit a lagoon full of icebergs that float, slowly melt, cave and flip over. It’s a mesmerizing display of white and blue.

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Unique rock formations such as these hexagon columns of basalt can be front around the island, many just a stones throw from the main highway, a two lane paved road that circles the country.

Art Prints

Modern Iceland has embraced minimalist architecture unlike shipping containers but original Iceland dwellers build peaked sod houses which connected living areas and barns so the animals could be cared for in the dark, cold winters.

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Traditional Icelandic churches can be found in every village. This one is surrounded by fields of lupine brought from Alaska for erosion control.

Art Prints

The remoteness of Iceland allows unspoiled beached of black volcanic sand. This one is reachable after an hours walk across a ancient lava field with the discovery of an old US Navy plane crash, left in place due to the remote location.

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Hiking in Iceland’s dramatic terrain is awe inspiring but one must be well prepared because the mostly tree free landscapes, unpredictable weather and punishing wind can be dangerous even in summer. Fortunately there are no poisonous snakes or large predators except for the rare polar bear the floats ashore on an iceberg although these are typically taken out quickly by the local farmers.

Photography Prints

The long dark winters and the inspiring landscape of Iceland produces optimal conditions for artists.

Art Prints

Iceland is a place with incredible beauty and few in habitants. Mostly clustered in the two largest cities and scattered village, in between spaces are filled with vast scenic vistas.

 
More Iceland photographs for sale as prints, framed art, metal and canvas prints and more here – https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/places+iceland

 

Iceland: Fine Art Photographs

Iceland Photographs

Photographs of Iceland by fine art photographer, Edward M. Fielding

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This black church sits alone among a field of lava rock. On the south coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, the tiny black church Búðir sits within the Búðahraun lava field.

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An old vintage tractor along the Ring Road in Iceland.

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The Skógafoss is one of the biggest waterfalls in the country with a width of 15 metres (49 feet) and a drop of 60 m (200 ft). Due to the amount of spray the waterfall consistently produces, a single or double rainbow is normally visible on sunny days. According to legend, the first Viking settler in the area, Þrasi Þórólfsson, buried a treasure in a cave behind the waterfall. The legend continues that locals found the chest years later, but were only able to grasp the ring on the side of the chest before it disappeared again. The ring was allegedly given to the local church. The old church door ring is now in a museum, though whether it gives any credence to the folklore is debatable.

Photography Prints

Kirkjufell (Icelandic: Church mountain) is a 463m[1] high mountain on the north coast of Iceland’s Snæfellsnes peninsula, near the town of Grundarfjörður.

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A cliff side cafe on the Snæfellsnes peninsula in Iceland.

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A rocky beach on the Snæfellsnes peninsula of Iceland with an emergency lifeguard hut and glacier in the background.

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Early morning light on a church in a remote area of Iceland on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.

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Kerið (occasionally Anglicized as Kerith or Kerid) is a volcanic crater lake located in the Grímsnes area in south Iceland, on the popular tourist route known as the Golden Circle. It is one of several crater lakes in the area, known as Iceland’s Western Volcanic Zone, which includes the Reykjanes peninsula and the Langjökull Glacier, created as the land moved over a localized hotspot, but it is the one that has the most visually recognizable caldera still intact. The caldera, like the other volcanic rock in the area, is composed of a red (rather than black) volcanic rock. The caldera itself is approximately 55 m (180 ft) deep, 170 m (560 ft) wide, and 270 m (890 ft) across. Kerið’s caldera is one of the three most recognizable volcanic craters because at approximately 3,000 years old, it is only half the age of most of the surrounding volcanic features. The other two are Seyðishólar and Kerhóll.

Photography Prints

See more at:  https://edward-fielding.pixels.com/collections/places+iceland

Want to sell your artwork online? Do some math first

Art Prints

I had to chuckle when a new artist on Pixels and Fine Art America was complaining about their lack of sales on the forum recently.  They couldn’t understand why they hadn’t made a sale yet despite having over 1,000+ views.

Really?  1,000 views and they expect the sales to come flooding in?  Think about how many people walk by an artwork at a gallery or even at a mall store window before something sells.

And that’s real people.  People in a retail environment.  People with a wallet in their pocket or cash in their purse.  People who are already in the mood to do a little shopping.

What is a 1,000 views on the Internet?  Most likely its bots.  Little software robots that index the internet every day.  They come to a page, scan the contents and report back to the search engine from which they came.  They are not buyers.  Bots are most likely 99% of the traffic that an internet page receives and bots are not buyers.

Then there are the lookers, tire kickers and browsers.  People looking for free clip art, people looking for free screen savers, people who are just curious, people who are simply at work – bored and playing around.  And perhaps a few are serious buyers.

So out of that 1,000 views, how many are valid potential buyers?  Perhaps three?

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Now take that three and consider the competition.  Pixels and Fine Art America says they have upwards of 125,000 living artists who use their site to offer their artwork for sale.  125K artists who are uploading something like 6,000 new images on a daily basis.

So this is the kicker from this artist who can’t believe they haven’t sold anything yet.

“Granted, I only have 8-9 drawings posted” and only joined in 2016 and has zero followers.  In other words hasn’t done much at all.

Sell Art Online

POD means Print On Demand not ATM

Uploading images to a POD site and “offering” work is not the same as marketing, promoting and selling your artwork.  POD sites are not ATM machines.  They don’t spit out money without putting in some effort.

Despite what you might have heard, art does not sell itself.  It needs to be seen and it needs to be seen by a lot of people before the right buyer reaches into their pocket and parts with their hard-earned money to purchase said artwork.

Do you have any idea how many buyers there are in the world wanting to purchase your artwork?  Does it appeal to hundreds? Thousands? Millions? A few? Just one? No one?

Some of the work I offer in my portfolio of nearly 5,000 pieces of photography and artwork has never sold – perhaps yet or perhaps never.  Some have sold a few times and a few have sold nearly fifty times.  Some sold in as little as three days, others took three years to find a buyer.

Some have less than 100 views and have sold.  Other have thousands of views and haven’t sold once.

Photography Prints

What does it take to sell artwork on Pixels and Fine Art America and other Print On Demand or POD websites?

There really is not secret formula to selling artwork on POD sites.  Good work, that is in demand, lots of it plus marketing, promotion and time for people to find it is the secret.

  • Professional, top quality work
  • Unique work that sets you apart from the pack
  • Work that fits the audience of the website
  • Lots of inventory to choose from
  • Promotion
  • Social Media activity
  • Marketing
  • Good titles, keywording, descriptions
  • Time for the work to be found by search engines and potential buyers.

 

 

 

WOW vs. HoHum Photography

Vintage Tractors artwork

WOW Photographs vs. HoHum Photographs

I had a recent discussion with some Fine Art America photographers about WOW photographs vs. HoHum photographs and if it made since only to upload your WOW photographs for sale to the public.

What’s a WOW photograph? Well, basically any photo that grabs peoples attention. Something that makes people stop and take a look in this modern world of image overload. A WOW photograph is  captured and of a subject matter that is interesting and unique.

  • HoHums are scenes that that have been shot a million times and don’t offer anything new.
  • HoHums are shot in 12 noon with harsh over head light while WOWs are shot at sunset.
  • WOWs look good as thumbnails and grab attention.
  • WOWs are a unique way of looking at a iconic subject.
  • HoHums are background noise, WOWs are the main event.
  • HoHums say “look I saw this”, WOWs take you there.
  • WOWs make you want to go somewhere and take the same shot.  HoHums make you wonder why the photographer even brought the camera to their eye.
  • WOWs are determined by the photographer and the buyers.  Not all WOWs are landscapes.  For someone looking for artwork for their diner, the gleam of bacon on a mouthwatering breakfast sandwich might be the WOW they are looking for.
  • HoHums have been seen a million times.  WOWs bring a different take on the subject.
  • WOWs favor the well prepared photographer and the busy photographer always looking for the next WOW subject.

The group concluded that while HoHum photographs might sell once in a while, usually because there is no other competition yet in the category but WOW photographs will sell over and over.

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This sunset shot of a lobster pound in Clinton, Connecticut is a good example of a WOW shot. A great detailed subject with lots of interest to people who live near the ocean and shot during a beautiful summer sunset. It has sold multiple times.

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This steam train dream concept shot is a created WOW because of its uniqueness and well crafted drama. It has sold multiple times.

Art Prints

Even food photography can be taken to the WOW level with good composition, preparation and lighting. This shot of balsamic roasted onions has sold over and over as a stock photography image.

Art Prints

WOW photography takes advantage of composition, lighting and subject to create a since of drama and intrigue.

To Get to WOW You Need to Shoot a lot of HoHums

I shoot a lot of HoHums. Every photographer does. Even Ansel Adams, who shot all the time considered 12 images to be a good crop for a year.

But the HoHums typically either get trashed, sit on the hard drive or maybe become stock photographs. The WOWs are the images that grab ones attention from just a thumbnail in Abobe Lightroom. They are the ones that get the extra attention of post processing in Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop and perhaps even OnOne Perfect Effects.

HoHums are practice.  HoHum photographs are for learning what not to do.  HoHums are experiments.  HoHums get you comfortable with your equipment.  HoHums are training.  HoHums are neccessary so that when a WOW opportunity presents itself you are ready to capture a WOW.

Now the Catch 22 on online selling is that you need enough product in your store  to attract buyers.  Online selling deals with the concept of Long Tail retail and marketing – i.e. having a deep inventory of products to appeal to a diverse market.

If you only upload the 10 WOWs you’ve achieved so far, you won’t have enough inventory to attract anyone to your portfolio, so you have to upload some photographs that are to exactly going to knock the socks off anyone.  But as long as they are not utter trash its ok.  Keep the quality consistent even if the subject matter might not be earth shattering.

The problem newbies have is they haven’t shot enough to pick out the best.  Probably they are not ready to sell to the public but they want to and thus start uploading utter crap that only turns off buyers.  Better to wait until you have a few WOWs under your belt before leaping into the world of selling your work.

Just keep in mind that you are not offering your work in a vacuum.   You are competing with all of the WOW photographer created by professional photographers.  You have to bring your A game if you want to WOW buyers.

Tornado by Edward M. Fielding
Once in a life time WOW moments like this can only be captured if you are prepared. Art Prints

Five reasons people give away their art

Back in the day I was the Director of Market Research at BYTE magazine.  My job was to prove the value of our readership for the ad sales staff.  I used to cringe when the young, inexperienced sales people used to come back to the publisher with some truly awful deals that would basically be giving away ad space.  Any fool can give things away for less than their value.   A seasoned professional or informed amateur recognizes the value of their work and the market needs.

The Line Up
The Line Up – call in the usual suspects – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/the-line-up-edward-fielding.html

Why do people give away their photographs and art?

The global art market achieved total sales of $63.8 billion in 2015.  People want to buy art and photography for their home and office.  They need to purchase art and photography for commercial purposes such as advertising, web pages, brochures, magazines, books, etc yet some people continue to give away their artwork and photographs or seriously undervalue their work.

Why is this?  I can think of five reasons:

Ignorance – They don’t understand the value of images in today’s marketplace and don’t realize the value of what they have. I recently sold an image for $360 profit a friend gave me. He didn’t understand the value of the image he had and I offered to sell it for him.  Images have value in the fine art market and commercial market.  It is just a matter of realizing it.

Exposure – Photographers and artists are often under the impression that giving away their images will somehow lead to future sales or recognition. The problem is that millions of images are given away every day on social media and there isn’t enough “exposure” to go around. What’s the value of this exposure? Perhaps 1 cent in today’s market. People value what they pay for – no one brags about art they got for free. And no one who has gotten something for free is going to pay for it the next time. They’ll just look for another free source the next time. And the value of someone looking for freebies as a “collector” is worthless. You want to cultivate a follow of people who value what you are offering, not people looking for freebies.

They are amateurs or hobbyists – The amateur or hobbyist is not looking to make a living on their photography or artwork.  They simply enjoy producing images for fun and are happy enough for others to look at their images.  They don’t want to the pressure of having to ask for money and would rather just give away their images.  They live for likes and shares.   The problem with this mindset is that it brings down the over all market and prevents the amateur or hobbyist from ever becoming a professional.  After being conditioned with instant success from likes and shares of their freebies, they are unprepared with standing up for the true value of their work and asking for money for their time, skill and effort.  The advanced amateur or hobbyist is setting themselves up for being asked to shoot weddings, soccer games, portraits for free.

They want to build up a portfolio – This might be the best reason to actually giving away services for free.  If you need to create a portfolio and need access to models or locations or maybe even a good project idea.  But there is no reason to give your time and effort for nothing.  Barter and exchange services instead.  Trade headshots for modeling time.  Create a video for a local business in exchange to some free time at the gym or on the massage table.  Don’t work for free, instead exchange one valuable service for another.

They don’t know how easy it is to take their goods to market – Some artists and photographers simple don’t know how easy it is to participate in the art and photography markets.  In the old days perhaps the only way to sell your art and photography was to take your portfolio around to galleries or sell directly to the public.  But with the Internet there are countless markets amateurs and professional photographers and artists can participate .  Stock agencies cater to professional image buyers and online galleries and print on demand sites sell directly to the public.  I explain how to sell via POD sites in these blog posts:

Covered Bridges in the Upper Valley

Covered Bridges of New England

Another winter storm was in forecast  but the morning was sunny so I decided to take a ride to one of my favorite covered bridges to give you a look inside.

Covered bridge hunting is a fun thing to do in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont along the Connecticut River, there is a great collection of historic, traditional wooden covered bridges still exist including the longest covered bride in the country.  Some are obvious while others are a bit hidden.

Moxley Covered Bridge
Moxley Covered Bridge – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/moxley-covered-bridge-chelsea-vermont-edward-fielding.html

Moxley Covered Bridge – The Moxley Covered Bridge in Chelsea, Vermont is a 59 foot long Queenpost Truss. It carries Moxley Road over the First Branch of the White River in Chelsea. This bridge was built in about 1883.

Taftsville Covered Bridge Vermont
Taftsville Covered Bridge Vermont – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/taftsville-covered-bridge-vermont-edward-fielding.html

The Taftsville Bridge is a two span 189 foot long Multiple Kingpost Truss with an arch. Spans are 89 and 100 feet. It carries River Road the over Ottaquechee River in Taftsville Vermont. This bridge was built in 1836 and is one of the oldest covered bridges in Vermont.

Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge
Blow-Me-Down Covered Bridge, Cornish, New Hampshire – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/blow-me-down-covered-bridge-cornish-new-hampshire-edward-fielding.html

The Blow Me Down Bridge is a one span Multi-King post Truss with a total length of 85 feet. It carries Mill Road over Blow Me Down Brook in the town of Cornish. This bridge was built in 1877.

Cresson Covered Bridge Sawyer Crossing
Cresson Covered Bridge Sawyer Crossing – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/cresson-covered-bridge-sawyer-crossing-edward-fielding.html

The Sawyer Crossing or Cresson Bridge is a two span Town Lattice Truss with a total length of 159 feet. It carries Sawyer Crossing Road over the Ashuelot River in the town of Swanzey. This bridge was built in 1859.

Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge
Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/featured/cornish-windsor-covered-bridge-edward-fielding.html

The Cornish Windsor Covered Bridge is a covered bridge that spans the Connecticut River between Cornish, New Hampshire and Windsor, Vermont. It was the longest covered bridge still standing in the United States until the Smolen Gulf Bridge opened in Ohio in 2008 but the the Cornish-Windsor bridge still carries car traffic while the Ohio bridge is only pedestrian traffic. Mt. Ascutney can be seen in the background

More Covered Bridges in the Area

More fine art photographs of covered bridges from all over the Upper Valley and New England can be seen here – http://edward-fielding.pixels.com/art/covered+bridge