Me by Vickie Harper Reed
I’ve been thinking.
Thinking a lot about “noise” and “Signal” (Thank you Zack Arias) and to what I’m “tuned into” nowadays.
There are so many people out in the blogsphere that have something “shiny and new” to tell you everyday ( My last post was December 2013 before this one) so I don’t blame you if you aren’t a “Regular follower” because I’m not a “regular poster”.
The truth is, even though I originally started a blog to reach more people thinking it was a good way to raise my web rankings , now I don’t care if I do or not- I’m not writing them for everybody; I’m sharing my thoughts with just you and me- so let’s get cozy….:-)
Here is one I am having now- I wrote this in response to a friend who was lamenting about how today’s creative market won’t sustain the artist.
“creativity became a commodity when we became focused business people instead of artists….Competition to sell an idea of “Art” became more important than the dream that inspired it.” ~ Clayton Spangler
In my opinion, it is far easier to create mediocrity en masse than thought provoking works that inspire. I don’t think this is the public’s fault at all. I think that it takes a lot of effort on behalf of ANY artist to educate and create a supportive clientele that will sustain them through their creative process in life. It’s the “Good Enoughs” that copy those views without any real meaningful thing to say themselves that devalue the work to the point it becomes a product.
When I can get what I want cheaply, What’s the difference between a fancy boxed and packaged product or a work of art you ask? Only this- When you buy something as a commodity, you buy what the market deems en vogue, you are buying what has been determined profitable for mass consumption by people who have seen the success that others are having with a formulatic system or way of doing something- and is created by the masses for the mass.
When you buy something that speaks to your soul- whether that ‘s a song, a sculpture, a painting, a photograph- You may even buy the item directly or not from the artist or their agent; but it becomes priceless in it’s resonance to you by your emotional response to it.
Supporting the arts and artists who truely inspire you or have something to say that only may ever be heard or seen by you; have at least found a kindred spirit in point of view.
Being an artist myself – It’s not always about what the market will bear; but what your heart will.
Teal Doorway- Lynchburg VA.
Doorways fascinate me.
The more imposing and ancient they appear; the more I am drawn to them. They strike me as holding something in rather than keeping someone out; mysterious when you look at it that way!
(Actually, I “see” most of my world that way- full of curiousness and wonder)
The Church doorway was more than halfway up the steps along Monument Terrace in Lynchburg Virginia- well worth the trek
I’ve had a couple of people asking me where I stood on this issue of the new Photoshop Creative Cloud subscription service Adobe announced recently. People know that it’s my tool of choice for editing my work.(Isn’t it just about everyones?) and wanted my opinion- well….here it is.
I think that this new business model of Adobe’s is a bad fit for me personally. The whole concept boils down to this. Adobe Photoshop has always been a product that you buy, install and use- you own a copy- it’s never been a subscriber service. If a newer version was rolled out- you had the option to upgrade or buy a newer copy that had all the latest features and it was yours-and until now, you weren’t gonna be charge if you decided to “saty where you are” with the current version- works just fine thank you very much! And let’s be honest- there are a lot out there that found a version they like and never did buy again- they paid a fair price and continue to use it.. Truthfully, sometimes I might wait a year or Two before upgrading myself because I didn’t feel like the latest and greatest version had features that were all that useful to me- It was possible that this led to better features being added when a version here or there was weak. ( in the sense that it didn’t have a ground breaking tool added- so it wasn’t the “hot ticket” for people to rush out and buy- incentive to be better is what I call it. But I always “bought up” when I felt that there was something worthwhile added.
Now I will have to “pay to play” if I want to go past Photoshop CS 6-and keep in mind, I will have to pay each month every year-not just once if I decide CS 6 is all I ever want to use. If I want to continue to use Photoshop- I won’t “own a copy” . Also, what happens to all those plugins I bought? Can’t use them with other programs- They were photoshop specific! If I decide not to renew ( because there WILL be another company looking to fill this void/niche of selling a stand alone product) Money down the drain…..
My take on this is that photoshop is a product- and I pay for features that I use and that I feel are worth the investment- it’s mine if I stop wanting to upgrade- I just live with the purchase I made. Without paying each year that I don’t feel is worth an upgrade ( and THAT in itself ican be a lot of money!) . Photoshop is not a service ( although, that’s what they are trying to become….) Will they be as inspired to create ground breaking features when they have all users over a barrel? Will it still be as inovative in the future? Seriously, what incentive will they have since they are already the biggest kid on the playing field- when they can say “you don’ t HAVE to renew….but you won’t be able to use the program you’ve been paying for all along…” Where as now, I can say- I’m happy with the version I use- no thanks, not right now- wait til you have something really cool that I can use- THEN I will invest my money in your company by buying your product.
in the meantime, think about this- AT LEAST $240.00 per year- for now- till they raise the price from no competition- is what you will have to shell out to continue to use the software- never mind that if you’re happy with forever using CS 3- you won’t have to pay a dime ever again…(and I’m CS 5.5…just saying…)
I DO understand that bigger businesses would consider the subscription a great bargin- especially with multiple licenses- But I’m not all that big of a company….I have a strict budget and I’m not all that found of being told what I have to spend it on….I’m a business person of one. It’s a big deal to me to be able to say what I have does or doens’t work- I need this in my budget for something else this year.
anyway- that’s just my opinion- I was asked….so I answered the best I could.
Which seems to happen more to you- someone who asks you for your thoughts behind an image? Or someone who asks how you “Did it”?
I’m more apt to talk about why I took a particular photograph than I am to explain the details and processes I went through to get it to look the way it does.
One of my very first posts I ever made included this image. I didn’t do a lot of enhancement to it, but I did do something called an “Orton Effect”
It’s really nothing new- I didn’t invent it, but I did figuire out how to do it digitally with layers and blending modes- now it’s pretty common knowledge and there are programs that have push /click/slide button that will do it for you – so you can pretty much “create” this on anything without a thought of how you are doing it or why.
There in lies the danger as an artist you must guard against.
It’s not about the people who ask you freely for the secrets to the magic behind what you do; but in the act of using the magic itself. Todays technology has made it really simple for visual artists to click a button and get an effect right out of the box- luring many away from creating something unique and meaningful. The urge to use some random effect because someone else did so with success can be tempting; but it won’t lead you to finding your own voice any more than singing along with the radio on does.
You have to step out from behind what has already been done before you can be recognized for work that is truely your own.
Making photographs is about taking risks. It’s about putting yourself out there. It’s about not being afraid of what the person next to you is doing- It’s about building confidence by building your skills as a photographer. The thing most people don’t get is this; by taking the time to build your skills- you create a tool that other photographers can’t buy- you become the implement of your own vision.
FYI-Before you think I’m ” throwing stones”- I just want you to kow that I use plugins and other digital tools too; so I’m not judging you if you do – I’m just saying, use what makes the strongest statement for your work- not because someone else tried the latest “miricle in a box” to make it happen…make what you have to share stand out by having something original to say; make it personal.Make it reflect the purpose you had in mind for it. Make it your voice.
Replica of the Nina sailing ship – Docked in Charleston WV at the time this was taken.
I suck at blogging on any kind of a regular basis- I know this to be true. 😛
But before you
call me lazy judge me, let me explain….
Life handed me an opportunity a couple years ago- and I became a photo editor for a state wide magazine- which means that I get to work on photos from a desk a lot and my shooting time went WAYyyy down.
When I DO get to actually shoot, it is usually an assignment for the magazine, and I can’t post those immediately because the magazine has first North American publishing rights- which means the works submitted can’t be published anywhere else before the issue comes out in print. (Typically a 4 month lead time…)
Since the magazine is about all things WV, and the photos tend to be editorial in nature- which is my specialty by the way- It limits what I’ve been able to post of late- unless it’s an “out take” from said assignment.
I plan on doing better blogging this year- I really do! 🙂 I still have things I want to visually say and share- and I also need to have a reason to shoot personal projects as well! But my idea is to not just post photos- which I do have a few “on the burner” I want to share with you; but to talk about ideas and photography in general.
(Perhaps what goes on from the “other side” of putting out a monthly magazine and the pitfalls I see folks fall into as they try and get their work published.)
Maybe even reach out and answer some questions here and there ( would love to hear back from you about what ideas most interest you on this!)
So….anyway, that’s the reason I haven’t been as “conspicuous” posting and blogging and stuff- I haven’t been ignoring my “followers” on my blogor anyone else for that matter- just been a little busier than usual in a totally different realm!
stay tuned more TK…
A group of photographers take a break near Pendleton Point in Blackwater State Park to enjoy the view.
This is just ONE of my favorite shots from this Fall- I have better landscape photos to be sure-but this one I took because it’s “personal” to me.
It reminds me that I need to be sure and take time to be in the present when I’m shooting.
Sometimes I get so involved with making decisions behind the lens; composition, F- stops, shutter speeds, etc….(you get the picture- no pun intended) that I get distracted from the subject and lose the connection that drew me to it in the first place.
Sometimes I like to just take a moment and do what these photographers here are doing- just being a part of the scene instead of creating one.
BTW-After I shot this- I walked over to the ledge myself and just enjoyed the view…
Leaves fallen after a rainstorm, lay in a spendor and glory of colors in subdued light.
Sometimes it isn’t about the subject as much as it is the quality of light.
Not all photographs require great deals of the stuff; although a lot of photographers splash it all about the place with gusto!
Sometimes it’s all about the quiet and colors from a shadowy perspective thatcreates mood from texture…..
As evening approaches, the sun’s rays add drama to the already beautiful landscape- bringing a sense of “being there” for the viewer.
And other times it’s all about the light to create something spectacular! The scene should always play to the strength of the light. Without shooting this the way I did, it would be a very pretty picture- but just like lots of others that we’ve all seen before- and therefore, nothing special.
It’s the ability to see and play with light to bring out our vision that allows us to trancend and elevate our subject to a higher level. This remains true whether it’s a landscape, portrait, or editorial photograph.
You must always look for the most effective lighting to create your art and achieve your vision..