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Showing posts from September, 2005

Excuses, excuses ... they just don't cut it

There are no excuses. Either a picture is interesting or it isn't, and it does not matter what the photographer had to endure to get it, what skills they've got, how many hours they had to wait, how cold they got, why something happened or didn't happen - it's all irrelevant. The only thing that counts is the final image.

Many of us have been there. We go to great pains to get an image and the final result is OK, but just not a hundred percent. The image goes into the portfolio and we keep it there because we know just how hard it was to get it. All the time it should actually have been binned. Just not good enough.

You've got to be ruthlessly honest, your own hardest critic and then you've got to go out and find tough experienced photographers, curators and picture editors, and subject yourself to their harshest critques. Not all of them will be right but you'll soon learn which are your weaker images.

Cut them out of your portfolio. No excuses.

You've als…

How much should I charge?

How much should I charge? It's question I've seen numerous times on forums. Photographers facing the prospect of their first professional commission wanting help to figure out how much they should charge for a piece of work.

You could write a book to cover all of the aspects involved and of course each type of photography brings its own set of criteria. Instead I'll mention a few things here that should be considered. It's up to you do detailed research about pricing in your own field. Don't even think of taking on a professional commission without finding out more and it's vital that you should agree prices up front with your customer. Research your market.

The short answer to the question of how much to charge is that you should ask for what you can get without over charging or under selling your services. Most keen amateurs charge far to little for their work because they don't need to live from selling their photography, they're flattered that someone…

More on copyright

I published an article on copyright recently. You can read it here. There's something that I should add. Beware of imitating the work of other image makers. If your image plagiarism someone else's work you are infringing on copyright you could be sued.

There's a fine line between doing a parody, using an idea and copying someone else's image. Each case is judged individually.

If you'd like to take a more cynical line then something Franklin Jones said may appeal. He said, "Originality is the art of concealing your source." It made me smile. Still though, I do I try desperately hard to ensure everything I do is unique. There's nothing more devastating than discovering someone else has had a very similar idea.

Paul Indigo

Fine art photography

What is fine art photography? A friend recently gave an interesting answer to this question. Photography becomes fine art when critics and curators decide that it is. Once they've decided then your work is endorsed and promoted.

I see 'fine art photography' which is technically, emotionally, conceptually and basically on every level absolutely terrible. Perhaps that's why some curators support it. Oh, it's a fickle world alright.

I've had moderate success especially among private collectors who just like what I do. Perhaps one day the mainstream will take to my work. We'll see. All I can do in the meantime is remain true to my artistic vision.

The picture below is part of a series. I think it is thought provoking. It's about bringing the outside world, particularly nature, into ourselves. Or it's about whatever you choose to see and discover.

I think art is 50% what's on the wall and 50% what the viewer brings to the experience.

Paul Indigo




Artwork al…

Photographer's technological obsessions

I'll probably sound like a voice from the wilderness with this one. Yesterday I read a detailed review about the new Canon EOS 5D, full frame digital SLR. It sounds great and slots in nicely just below the top professional Canon digital SLRs. Hooray!

Now here's the thought that once again struck me. Why are so many photographers continually chasing after the best and latest equipment? Do people really fall for the myth that they will make better images with more advanced equipment? Are the pictures that Ansel Adams, Cartier Bresson, Brassai, Matthew Brady, Francis Frith, or any of the other greats any less interesting, emotive, powerful or less brilliant because they used the technology available during their time? What's the difference between a beautiful image made on a glass plate, a 35mm piece of film or the latest CMOS chip?

Yet so many photographers spend so much time, effort and money pursuing technology. As far as I can see all that technology does is increase conven…

Lomo photography

Ever heard of the Lomo LCA camera? It's a world-wide phenomenon and there's a very proactive organisation the Lomographic Society promoting the use of this 'cheap' little camera developed in the old Soviet Union.

There are websites which eloquently describe the history and attitude associated with being a lomographer but fundamentally what it comes down to is that this little camera, because of its lens and design produces saturated colours and it's own particular quirky visual style. The camera has been used to produce work for major advertising campaigns by top professionals but fundamentally it is, as was the original designer's intention, a camera for everyone to snap away with.

A friend, Dave Watershappens to be a great lover of this art form and his site on the Lomographic Society website is well worth a visit: an excellent introduction to lomography.

Have fun. That's the spirit of Lomo.

Paul Indigo