Visual Artist's corner

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby FrankChurch » Mon Nov 24, 2014 1:24 pm

Andrew has a decent eye. A good thing in the age of the selfie.

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Chuck Messer
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Chuck Messer » Mon Nov 24, 2014 10:06 pm

Actually, he has two. (insert rimshot here)

Chuck
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Lori Koonce
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:05 am

Andrew

It's guys like you and Barber that make me wonder why the fuck I'm even bothering with classes. Those are amazing shogsy.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Steve Barber » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:26 am

Lori Koonce wrote:Andrew

It's guys like you and Barber that make me wonder why the fuck I'm even bothering with classes. Those are amazing shogsy.


To get better, of course. I have taken some classes over the years. Some good (a class I took through Long Beach Parks and Recreation with a phenomenal photographer named Craig Fucile), and some...well, wastes of time (no names).

The best courses -- Andrew feel free to disagree -- are those which teach you some basics, but then critique your work. What is it about a shot that is good, what is it that detracts from it. That sort of thing. (A bad class is one in which opinions such as "I don't like this picture" without explaining why. Why is it flawed, and how can it be improved?)

But keep taking the classes. There are fundamentals that CAN be taught, and then you layer on your own "eye" to make it your work. (And once you get good enough you can try defying the rules which you were taught, which makes it even more fun.)

More importantly, go out and shoot as much as you can, as often as you can. Learn from the bad shots as well as the good ones -- learn what differentiates them from one another.

But most importantly, enjoy it.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Tue Nov 25, 2014 11:40 am

Lori Koonce wrote:Andrew

It's guys like you and Barber that make me wonder why the fuck I'm even bothering with classes. Those are amazing shogsy.


Let me underscore what Steve just said. The only people who really fail are those who quit.

I learned by buying books, paling around with a couple of other photographer wannabes, AND SHOOTING A MOTHER CRAP LOAD OF FILM. It's like writing. There are basics to be learned from books or classes, but after that comes the development of whatever talent you may possess and that only happens when you do it, continually, a lot.

Apparently some time around the fourth year or so I was doing photography I developed a "style" of portraiture. I didn't even notice, but people started remarking that they could spot one of my portraits at a single look. It was nothing intentional, in the sense of selecting a look I wanted to achieve, it emerged from the process of learning how to see and record.

My bar was set very high early on, which was kind of liberating. I wanted to do work like Ansel Adams and Edward Weston. I "knew" I'd never be that good, but it was a direction and I aimed for it. I got better. Comparing myself eventually ceased to be a thing.

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AndrewR
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby AndrewR » Wed Nov 26, 2014 4:15 pm

Steve - Thanks! I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out. It started out as a pretty mundane set of images captured on expired Polaroid pack film. It seems to work pretty well as a collected installation piece.

Frank - I'd like to think my eye is a little better than "decent". ;-)

Lori - The point is to keep challenging yourself. Classes are important starting points as you not only learn basics but you get to share work with peers and get feedback. Learning the rules is also important so that you know how break them in the right ways.

I've been lucky. I learned from some amazingly talented and knowledgable instructors, some of which not only became good friends but have continued to mentor me. I don't know if I'll ever be "good" but it's important to keep striving.

(Btw, composing this on my phone so apologies for typos or errors)
Andrew Rogers

"Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic." - Brett Weston

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Nov 29, 2014 9:29 am

Steve, Mark and Andrew

I know what you guys have said is true, and is the major reason I'm taking them. Well, that and they came with the camera when I bought it.

But, I'd like to think that I'm not the only person who looks at what they do and think it's crap. I know we all compare ourselves to the art and artists around us, I just tend to be a bit more harsh that my outer critics.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Steve Barber » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:41 am

Lori Koonce wrote:Steve, Mark and Andrew

I know what you guys have said is true, and is the major reason I'm taking them. Well, that and they came with the camera when I bought it.

But, I'd like to think that I'm not the only person who looks at what they do and think it's crap. I know we all compare ourselves to the art and artists around us, I just tend to be a bit more harsh that my outer critics.


If we're boing truthful, we all suffer from that. If you don't have the inner voice questioning you, I don't think you can get better. The person who thinks they're "all that" usually isn't.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

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Steve Barber
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Steve Barber » Sat Nov 29, 2014 11:42 am

Now posting daily photographs and short comments to the blog.

http://thumbnailtraveler.blogspot.com
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:50 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:But, I'd like to think that I'm not the only person who looks at what they do and think it's crap. I know we all compare ourselves to the art and artists around us, I just tend to be a bit more harsh that my outer critics.



Oh, my stuff is absolute crap. I can hardly bear to look at it.

But it's mine, so I have a soft spot for it.

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Lori Koonce
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:36 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote:
Lori Koonce wrote:But, I'd like to think that I'm not the only person who looks at what they do and think it's crap. I know we all compare ourselves to the art and artists around us, I just tend to be a bit more harsh that my outer critics.



Oh, my stuff is absolute crap. I can hardly bear to look at it.

But it's mine, so I have a soft spot for it.


If your photography is only a quarter as good as your writing, then it's far from crap. But, it's just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.

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FrankChurch
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Nov 29, 2014 4:12 pm

I have good ideas about photos but don't know which end to shoot with. We all have our talents. Find yours.

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AndrewR
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby AndrewR » Mon Dec 01, 2014 12:54 pm

Lori Koonce wrote:Steve, Mark and Andrew

I know what you guys have said is true, and is the major reason I'm taking them. Well, that and they came with the camera when I bought it.

But, I'd like to think that I'm not the only person who looks at what they do and think it's crap. I know we all compare ourselves to the art and artists around us, I just tend to be a bit more harsh that my outer critics.


Thing is, my thoughts on my own work run the gamut. Some days I think I've totally nailed it and then others I start thinking that maybe it's time to cash it all in and quit. This back and forth is common to all artists I think, though some of us tend to internalize it better than others.

When I was taking Photo 2 (at the vehement suggestion of the Photo Department Head) I nearly packed it in and quit about halfway through. We were given an assignment, "The Thing Itself", that entailed photographing an object using 4-5 rolls of 36 exposure film. Halfway through the assigned 4th roll I finally lost it. Endless photographs of the same fekking basket. I was over it. In a fit of pique I stomped the shit out of my object (a smallish basket), ran over it repeatedly with my car, and finally kicked it across the street. I did find that it broke the monotony a bit and finished the final roll (there being no way in hell I was going devote a 5th roll to photographs of the damn thing).

At critique the entire room was crickets. Dead silence. Not even a "I like what you did there" at any point. Infuriating. I called my best friend to vent and told him I was quitting. Somehow he managed to talk me down. He asked if my instructor had anything bad or constructive to say. No, I replied, nothing. He gently suggested that maybe, just maybe it was quiet because the instructor didn't feel like I needed anything. He was right too. I realized that the students that needed help were the students that got the most input. Silence, it would seem, is sometimes the artistic equivalent of "That'll do pig. That'll do". I discovered something that day, I found that by not quitting I'd broken through a wall. This was new to me because giving up was something I'd always managed to do.

Lori, it's important that you work through it and not worry whether or not you've "got it" or not. In the end, as long as you're happy making pictures (or writing, etc.) that's what's important. It may not pay the bills, but if it's something you enjoy keep at it.

And Frank, please chill with the pithy asides. I'm tired of the continual pooping in the punch bowl. I don't mind if you've got something worthwhile to add to the conversation, but this kind of drive-by stuff is tiresome.
Andrew Rogers

"Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic." - Brett Weston

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AndrewR
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby AndrewR » Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:41 pm

Once again re-sharing images that have appeared elsewhere:

"Varsity" (Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport)

Image

"Arterial"
Image
Andrew Rogers

"Anything more than 500 yds from the car just isn't photogenic." - Brett Weston

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Steve Barber
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Re: Visual Artist's corner

Postby Steve Barber » Mon Dec 01, 2014 8:01 pm

Frank, referencing Andrew's request I'm going to ask in my "not moderator" tone for you to withhold the asides from this thread.

Thank you.
All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.


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