Today I have eight fine pictures to share, from eight different photographers. They range from the very straight forward, to the manipulated. I found them all interesting. Whether any of these pictures represent a type of nirvana in photography, is of course up to each of you. I guess in many ways, we have all at some point hoped to reach complete harmony and perfection in image making. I wonder not only if that is even possible, but whether we are not all better off that it is probably not. It causes the journey for perfection, to continue.
Michael Quinn created this harmonious image of clouded sky, land form, glacier, and reflective waters. A beautiful shot made in Greenland.
I find myself sharing a lot of pictures on these pages that emanate from Australia. One of the things that makes America so amazing for landscape photographers, with its never ending diversity. Australia certainly has that same characteristic. David Roma made this great image.
I’ve come back to Michael Frye continuously for outstanding imagery, whether it be color, or black and white. I think the dark, but clean and elegant qualities of this picture work flawlessly with the black and white treatment.
There’s nothing quite like photographically stopping a descending bird in mid-flight. When the bird is a graphically pure specimen like a Puffin, you have a winner. Oliver Herbold made the photo.
I absolutely love this “action“ shot of a Diamond Back Terrapin. Turtles don‘t provide a lot of action and almost anybody who views a photo of a turtle will accept a turtle in mid-step, to be an action shot. The physical position of photographer Ray Hennessy, and the clean unobtrusive background both help make this a great photo.
We go back to Australia, this time the Gold Coast, for this colorful and moody picture by Glen Anderson. I think that the veiled light on the clouds, and the small splash of light on the rock in the lower left corner, make this spectacular picture a balanced one.
I am a believer in the sort of photography (artistic vision?) that allows the photographer/artist to see the art in what truly exists, and use his/her photographic skills, with available light (from nature and man), perspective and lens choice, to bring to fruition, outstanding images, without the need for further manipulation. I actually went through my era of creating manipulated images in the 1970s long before all of the possibilities of digital alteration. With that having been said, there is certainly room for digital or in camera creations, that leave the realm of reality. We should never discount an entire type of photography, based on our preconceived notions.
The only thing I can tell you for sure about the image below, is that we have a wide-angle landscape and a telephoto moon, and I like it. This is a moody, evocative picture. I would share with you the photographer’s name (and website link), which is in the lower left corner of the picture, except that even when I enlarge it, I am not quite sure what it says. Nice image just the same.
With our final picture, we move even farther out of the mainstream. Simona-Carmen Andreou is both the photographer and the model in this picture which is named, “give me back my time”. The statement is obvious and picture is fascinating.
A Little Complaining
A few years ago I received some criticism from an acquaintance. He said that since I sometimes criticize the behavior of others, he thought I should be able to take what I give. I did not agree with his personal criticism of me, but I thought his reasoning was more than fair.
I love art, or at least what is in my opinion art. That is why I have written so much on that subject in this blog. I also love photography, and much of my favorite art, was made with a camera. It seems like whenever I celebrate photographic art, and especially those who create (in my opinion) it, those same photographic artists eventually disappoint, and even anger me. I am almost done with the self-proclaimed photographic artist. Every time I sing the praises of an image maker, they prove themselves to be ego ridden, and self-ordained geniuses. Critical of everyone that doesn’t meet their personal standards of art. ART IS A MATTER OF OPINION. Apparently these so called photographic artists are the only people on earth, that know art when they see it. There is one photographer in particular who’s images I have often gladly shared with the readers of Earth Images. He is a fine writer as well. Far beyond my skill levels. When he writes, he loves to use big words. That’s okay, on rare occasions I use big words too. I do know what they mean. I can enjoy an article with big words. Eventually he will reach a point where there is little but four syllable + words in his articles. He is showing us how brilliant he is. If I know more big words than you, I am clearly smarter. Right? He does the same thing with his writing that he does with his images in the sense of what he thinks they should mean to us. I sound smart (or look smart in pictures), I must be smart. Such a waste of talent. One more pretentious photographer who’s work I will stop sharing. He needs to learn ( my opinion) to at least pretend to be humble. He is creating photographs, not curing cancer. While I am certainly supportive of individuals believing in themselves, including a belief that they are artists, don’t tell me I have to believe that. Show some class and keep it quiet. Be respectful of the intelligence of your viewers to decide for themselves. Ultimately it is those who view your work that will decide if you are an artist or not.
Photography is not automatically art (my opinion), just because it’s unusual, or perhaps bazaar. Photographs are not precluded from being art, just because they are of common subject matter, or maybe have received a common treatment by the photographer. Art is and always will be a matter of opinion.
My advice to the photographer I am writing about and others like him, just make your pictures and share them, and your work will speak for itself. Don’t perpetually play the role of the brooding artist. Lighten up. You are not the sole provider of “photographic nirvana“
A fair question to me might be, why don’t you name, names when you criticize people? If I was writing about those who did dastardly (literal) things to others, I would. As much as I love photography, naming names, when it only serves to make me feel better, is not worth it. Another criteria I use is, did they name, names. In this case the answer is no. I generally write these sorts of criticisms when I have seen several people exhibit the same bad behavior. You might call it a commentary on the “sort of thing” I see going on, which in this case, was some photographers who view themselves as artists. It is never personal between the photographer and myself. If that were the case I would address the issue one on one and out of the public eye with that photographer. If they had written about me in public, I might then return the favor.
It is fairly rare anymore that I post my images on places like Facebook or Flickr. When I do post them, I sometimes change the date the image was made in the exif data. Every once in a while someone indignantly calls me on it. All anyone has to do is ask and I will tell them the correct date. I was growing tired of hearing “oh that picture’s quite old”. I made the picture, I am pretty sure I already know that it‘s old. I changed the dates on two pictures recently, one to the year 1700, and another to 2113. A viewer of those images angrily accused me of trying to fool everybody. Please, the dates were 1700 and 2113. I explained that I was trying to be funny to most people, but admitted that I was messing with the humorless. I wonder if he calls himself an artist. I only came across the idea to do this, when I discovered a particular software program I used was erroneously changing the dates on the photos I worked on.
The paragraphs above were very cathartic, and I thank you for your indulgence.
Grab your cameras, go out and have an artful day, Wayne