Saturday, May 31, 2008

From the sea

An improved version of one I publishe don Flickr (increased satuaration of the coast to the left)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Photos from the Jurassic Coast

Just returned from a stunning trip to Britain's Jurassic Coast (we floated around Lulworth Cove and Durdle Door - well squelched was probably the more operative word considering the weather!) Not one to be put off by the weather I donned a silk dress, climbed down a cliff and got into the sea. Cold doesn't even describe it, but it felt kind of liberating :-) I've put the two best shots on Flickr but I had to post some of the beautiful scenery and some silly outtakes. BTW, the beach these were taken at is called the Man o War Beach.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Tune in, Turn off

Simply because it was one of the cheapest accessories I could purchase, I've just bought a polarizing filter (a Hoya Pro1 55m) to go on my kit lens. So, this week I've been playing with filters. The Hoya definitely adds a depth of colour. So I played with this a bit doing some indoor shots (although this is really not what a polarizing filter is best for - think sky and water, however I liked the grittiness it added to the shots). Then I played with photoshop's built in photo filtering already filtered photographs...and then I ended up converting to B&W so probably all completely pointless!

Here's the b&w version and the colour one is in my flickr account. Out of the two I'm not sure which I like best. As for the subject matter, may be a bit conceptual, but makes sense to me at the moment!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Photography Snobbery

An article appeared in the New York Times this week that annoyed me a little. In "Sepia No More" by Virgina Heffernan photography is classed as an art form that should be reserved for the Art College photographers who still shoot on film and post process in their darkrooms. Anything digital or that has been "photoshopped" is just not proper art. Heffernan particularly looks to Flickr and Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir (who's name she can't even spell) in her criticism. Stating that the whole of Flickr encompasses a certain common "style" (of digital manipulation) that is not considered a pure art form, of Guðleifsdóttir, this photographer she writes:

might have amounted to nothing in analog times, when elaborate deference to institutions, hard-won group shows and expensive years spent in unnoticed toil were the only way to success. But just as certain ne’er-do-well writers have found themselves in blogging, and failed filmmakers have taken to online video, these seemingly out-of-step artists have both invented and mastered the Flickr photograph. Other photographers have added still more levels of processing — including the otherworldly contrasts achieved with high-dynamic-range photography — to the quintessential Flickr image, and it’s becoming only more eye-popping and stylized.

And none of it looks like Diane Arbus or Henri Cartier-Bresson, the photographer many critics still consider the greatest of all time.

Well, blow me down with a feather, could digital photography perhaps be an art form in itself and it's photographers actually artists in their own right? I see Photoshop as tool, just like the paintbrush is the tool of the painter or the clay the tool of a sculptor. Arbus and Adams manipulated their pictures massively in the dark room, they didn't just come straight out of the camera. I don't see why I should be belittled for using a digital darkroom - it's simply more efficient. What's more what post-processing has enabled us to do is an abandonment of reality and I find that really interesting. Of course I don't consider myself an "artist" really, but through photography and photoshop, exhibiting on Flickr, I have found my means of artistic expression and creativity. It's just like publishing really, just because you get your work in a high brow journal / gallery doesn't mean it's the best piece of work in the world, just that some editor / gallery owner thought you were good. When you open up your art to the world, you open yourself up to the disapproval or acceptance of anybody and everybody and I get more through that. Oh well, each to the their own. Personally I don't consider a half-filled bag of sand being exhibited in the center of a big white room "art" (I'm still recovering from my last trip to the Hayward). All this art snobbery is a bit pretentious really!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Still life of a shell

This is a another version of the one in my flickr account that is slightly darker. A screen layer has been use don this version to lighten it a bit.