Author: Nawfal

A Freelance, Editorial Photographer; Photographic Artist; and Abstract Expressionism Painter. A Nebraskan at Heart, but currently living in Malaysia. I love to photograph any stage related event, especially dance performances. I have been photographing dance since 1998, and have contributed to several magazines with dance photography essays. If you need photography done for Head Shots (i.e., to promote your book, self-promo, web-sites, actor's or modeling profile hand-outs, etc.), Dance or Stage Production Photography, Candid Portraiture, Cat Portraiture, or Fine Art Abstract Expressionism Photography for Wall Decoration & Interior Design - Please leave me a private message because I would like to help you with your photography needs. Thank You for your Visit!

Ambidextrous Abstract Light Streaks #1 on 21 June 2017 I’m running a test I won’t say what the test is all about…yet

Title : Ambidextrous Abstract Light Streaks #1 on 21 June 2017.

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson 

All Rights Reserved.

I’m running a test:  I won’t say what the test is all about…yet.

All for now.

​Photographers BEING the RECORDERs OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND UNMITIGATED CONFLICT

​THE HORRORS OF BEING A RECORDER OF HUMAN SUFFERING AND UNMITIGATED CONFLICT

On a personal level, I cannot even begin to communicate to you what it is like to be a recorder of human suffering and war.  I am not a war photographer:  I do not photograph human suffering.  I have never been this kind of photographer, and I probably never will be this kind of photographer.  I am, for the most part, an art photographer.  

I am not a “War-Junky”.  War does not inspire me.  Human suffering does not push me to create powerful images, although, I could probably do it…there is a sort of possession I feel when thrown into scenes of action, and when I have a camera up to my eye.  In the end, however, I would probably become terribly depressed, facing other people’s pain and suffering too often.  

Nevertheless, there are, and have been, many photographers whose jobs it has been to do such things.  And, they have created powerful images as recorders of human suffering, which in many cases, have been poignant enough to change public opinion against aggression.  Nick Ut’s photo of Napalm Girl, or, Eddie Adams’ photo of Saigon Assassination, these photos come to my mind.  

A powerful photograph taken more recently, is Kevin Carter’s image of the starving Sudanese girl, crawling her way to a U.N. Food Camp, with a vulture nearby, just waiting for her to die, and eat her.  Carter’s photo sparked something in me to speak up about Hunger and Starvation.  I guess I was a little irritated with certain religious zealots who claim that by fasting, you will better understand how the poor feel when they are hungry.  I wrote that, that argument, when used as a good reason to fast, was nonsense, as NO ONE with resources will ever understand real hunger, or what it is like to be starving—the poor child in Carter’s photo is the sad epitome of starvation.  

☆ Poor people who live in extreme conditions and environments may always feel hungry, and many of them always feel starving, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, until unfortunately, they die due to starvation or the diseases and health problems associated with starvation.  

DO YOU THINK YOU PERSONALLY KNOW HUNGER AND STARVATION?

People with resources, who fast for example, will never-ever understand what it is like to feel hungry or starving, and if you think you do, you need to look deeply at Kevin Carter’s photograph of the starving child! 

Here’s a simple, “Do I Understand How it is to be Chronically Hungry, Malnourished, or Starving,” test:

1)  Are your bones nearly sticking out through your skin?  

2)  Is your belly bloated, and are you feeling disease-stricken due to malnutrition?  

3)  Are predators just waiting for you to die so that they can eat you because you do not have the strength to move?   

4)  Is your daily caloric intake so low that you have lost so much weight, that you appear like a ghost of your former, healthy, self? At the beginning of the day, do you have thoughts that you may not be eating today?

If you answered “NO” to all four of those questions, then you have no idea what it is really like to feel hungry, starving, or malnourished.

WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT HUNGER AND STARVATION?

What do I know about hunger and starvation?  All I can claim is that I have studied social planning issues dealing with hunger and starvation, but that was years ago during my graduate school education.  More recently (about two years ago), due to a illness, I went from a healthy 75kgs weight, down to a ghostly 57kgs!  So, that’s what I honestly know about hunger, associated health issues, and living at an unhealthy weight.  If you are at a healthy weight and lose nearly 20kgs in less than a year, and then you see only a remnent of yourself when looking in the mirror, that’s when you BEGIN to understand the feelings surrounding health conditions associated with nutrition, disease, or anything else that causes a person to be at a lower than healthy weight.

WITH SO MUCH HUMANITY LOST—WHERE DO I FIT IN?

With so much humanity lost in the world, sometimes, I wonder what damn good am I to anyone.  I am the creator of pretty pictures.  There is so much suffering in the world, and I wonder how what I do with my photography, or with my words, actually helps anyone.  I know I get a fair share of “sympathetic-Likes” on my photography blog posts.  I wonder, however, how many people actually take time to read what I have written.  

I do what I know how to do—I am a Photographer—an Art Photographist.  I wish and hope what I do, inspires someone…anyone.  

MY ARTISTIC INSPIRATION 

I get much of my inspiration from my favourite artists of the nineteen fifties and nineteen sixties, such as Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Piet Mondrian.  Most of my artistic photography influences come from the Abstract Expressionism painters of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism:  BOY…were they a rowdy bunch of partying drunks (a good share of them), with truckloads of problems, and there were several suicides within the group (i.e., Rothko, Gorky, and “existential suicide” like Pollock).    

This does not mean that I am not moved by, and inspired by, a few photographers.

MY QUESTION IS:  “HOW TO DO THIS JOB AND NOT BE SUICIDALLY-DEPRESSED?”

One of the photographers I respect the most is Don McCullin.  He was a “War Photographer” for over two decades.  However, he eventually determined that the title, “War Photographer” was dirty.  

(Photo of Sir Don McCullin)

McCullin has survived his time as a conflict photographer.  Kevin Carter, however, did not survive—he killed himself.  The extreme depression and loss of hope experienced by Kevin Carter, is one extreme.  Kevin Carter killed himself in July of 1994—only 3 months after winning the Pulitzer Prize for features photography.  Kevin Carter cited in his suicide note that the nightmares of his life basically cancelled out any joy, so much so, that there was no joy left in his life. 

However, on the other side, there are other photographers, like Don McCullin, who witnessed and endured great tragedies for a long time:  He too suffered mental anguish, and he was highly affected due to the nightmarish experiences he faced while working as a photographer of conflict.  The difference it seems, was McCullin’s ability to come to terms with his work and survive the experience.

THE PURPOSE OF THIS POST
Well, this is neither a psychological study, nor a guide on occupational health and therapy. Mostly, this is just a look at McCullin’s work, and an inside look at some of his wisdom.  At the end of this, the mystery will still remain…”How to do this job and not be suicidally-depressed?”

The purpose of this story is not to give a psychological evaluation of War Photographers and why some survive and some don’t—I am not an expert on PTSD, or Clinical Depression, and I will not even attempt to touch further on those subjects.

● I think the biggest thing you should take away from this essay is that you cannot be a conflict photographer recording human suffering, and NOT be affected mentally, in a very serious and long-lasting way.

For educational purposes, I wanted to further pursue some thoughts on the subject of Recorders of Human Suffering, and how they also suffer in their lives, due to a great extent, because of all the experiences of human misery that is stacked one on top of the other, for which they have either written about, or photographed, because that is part of the job.  It is interesting, and sad, how this trauma from witnessing so much suffering affects them to such a great extent, that some of these reporters are unable to cope.  I have a feeling that most people nowadays don’t have much of a clue about the misery of human suffering because mass media/Press is highly regulated and scenes of extreme suffering are rarely seen in newspapers and magazines because it is bad for selling advertising to these periodicals, and also, it is really bad publicity for the Industrial War Complex, who profits from death and destruction.   

It appears that photographers like Kevin Carter and Don McCullin face the ultimate conundrum, of when to separate their job from their humanity, and evaluating when it should be morally right to put their job on the back burner, and to focus on their humanity, and give at least a little help to their photographic subjects, who are in need of help.  This is a mind-crushing moral line that all conflict photographers seem to face.  The wrong choices in these moral situations can leave mental scars, and those choices can haunt the photographer for life.

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FAIR USE

To show the impact of McCullin’s work, I need to actually show some of his work, but that brings up copyright issues, so I resorted to studying the “Using Images” topic, at MIT’s website, http://libguides.mit.edu/usingimages .  

Is my use fair? — The four factor test:

FACTOR 1

Purpose of use?

WEIGHING TOWARDS FAIR USE:

Nonprofit, educational, scholarly or research use? Repurposing, recontextualizing, creating a new purpose or meaning?  Transformative use?

ANSWER:  YES.  The images used here are screenshots from the video documentary “McCullin”—in most cases, the screenshots were repurposed, cropped, to focus more on the main points of the images, and the images are of very low resolution.  The purpose of the images’ use is also different from the original usage.  This is educational and non-profit usage.

FACTOR 2

Nature or type of work?

WEIGHING TOWARDS FAIR USE?

Published, fact-based content?

ANSWER:  YES.  Blog published and as factual as possible.

FACTOR 3

Amount Used?

WEIGHING TOWARDS FAIR USE?

Using only the amount needed for a given purpose; Using small or less significant amounts.

ANSWER:  YES.  Just a handful of images out of probably tens of thousands in Don McCullin’s archives.  Enough just to make an educational point.

FACTOR 4

Market Effect?

WEIGHING TOWARDS FAIR USE?

If there would be no effect, or it is not possible to obtain permission to use the work.

ANSWER:  CORRECT.  There will be no market effect, this is only for educational and not-for-profit purposes, and it would probably be near impossible to obtain specific permissions with any ease.

I believe my intention of using a few low resolution, cropped screenshots of images, for not-for-profit, educational use in this blog post satisfies “the four factor test.”

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Sir Donald McCullin, CBE, Hon FRPS (born 9 October 1935) is a British photojournalist:


THE BEGINNING OF HIS PHOTOGRAPHY EXPERIENCE 

Don McCullin grew up in Finsbury Park, a rough part of London.  He did his first story for The Observer in 1959.  He photographed the boys he hung out with, who were all gang members.  Early on you could tell that there was a direct honesty to his work, capturing the real character of his subjects and showing the truth behind the subjects, to tell a truthful story.  Only years later, Don would discover the nightmare of his work, and how this kind of work, as a recorder of human suffering, demands a very heavy toll on a photographer’s life. 

CYPRUS CIVIL WAR (1955 – 64)

The Cyprus Civil War between the Greeks and Turks, was McCullin’s baptism of war.
McCullin quickly found out how to photograph war, but he said he also discovered that “War is partly madness, mostly insanity, and the rest of it is schizophrenia.”
“You’re trying to stay alive, you’re trying to take pictures, and you’re trying to justify your presence there.”

McCullin said, “I want to take the photographs but I don’t want to take the photographs.”

Someone once asked McCullin if he has nightmares?  He said, “I only have nightmares during the daytime…and my darkroom is a haunted place.”

There was a little old Turkish lady barely able to walk, and holding two sticks, being hurried along by a soldier, but she wasn’t moving fast enough and McCullin did not want her to get killed. 

He photographed her, and then he picked her up and ran her to safety.  He said the action was a way to help him clear his conscience.  He said, “If you are a reporter or photographer, it’s best to be on the side of humanity.”


THE MISSISSIPPI — The First Story for The Sunday Times

THE CONGO: THE CONGOLESE ARMY VS. THE SIMBA REBELS (1960)

McCullin said, “If I look forward to doing  two wars a year, I’m not going to survive.”


THE BATTLE OF HUE, TWO WEEKS OF HELL, VIETNAM (1969)

“It was like going into total madness and insanity,” said McCullin, of the Battle of Hue.  Two full weeks of urban warfare, the last North Viet Cong stronghold after the Tet Offensive.

Of Hue, McCullin said, “I need to make sure that when they see my pictures after Sunday breakfast, that it’s going to hit them hard.”  

Don stayed with the U.S. Marines and went out on missions and rescue evacuations of wounded soldiers, while other reporters were nowhere to be seen—The Marines suffered 50% casualties at the Battle of Hue.  McCullin was so caught up in the battle, that for two weeks he wore the same clothes, and he never showered.  He was always in the action.  His Editor at The Sunday Times, Sir Harold Evans said that “The truth of a photograph is told by a truthful photographer,” and that’s what McCullin was.

McCullin had a lot of freedom to go with the troops to photograph the horrors of war.  This freedom for photographers does not exist nowadays, and you will never see these types of dramatic and devastating images in modern publications.  Why?  Because it is bad for advertising!  Advertisers do not want to advertise in publications that have graphic images of war and starving children.  The other reason is because it looks really bad for the Industrial War Complex, whose business it is to keep wars going, to sell more weapons of death and destruction!


THE BIAFRAN WAR (1969)

McCullin walked into a camp of 800 starving children—they thought he was there to give them something, and offer some sort of salvation from their misery.  However, these are starving children, they had no idea he was there to do his job, of taking pictures.

McCullin said, “I have never seen anything so horrible in my life…this was worse than any inferno-of-insanity you could ever imagine.”

McCullin was humbled by the dignity these starving and dying children had.  Most of them were within a day of death, and they showed more dignity than most people have.

CAMBODIA (1970)
It was during this assignment that McCullin was wounded by shrapnel from a mortar attack.  He was bleeding and on a stretcher on this truck, and took the photo of this other man who was also critically wounded.

VIETNAM (1972)
McCullin made 16 trips to Vietnam during the war.  On this, his 16th trip, after the photos were published, South Vietnam put him on a blacklist.

Once McCullin became known as a “War Photographer”, he didn’t like it—it felt dirty.  He said, “It felt like being called a mercenary.”

His career, constant absences from home, ended up ruining his marriage.

BEIRUT CIVIL WAR (1976)

McCullin was allowed to follow the Lebonese Christians.  He ended up photographing these Christians committing unspeakable horrors against Muslim soldiers and civilians.

The Christian soldiers so proudly wore their crosses as they brutalized and killed Muslims in the name of Christianity:  The Christians (“killers”) went house to house performing executions of the men and older boys.  One Christian soldier told Don that if he caught him taking photos that he would kill him.

The photo above shows Christian Lebanese soldiers having a good time over the dead body of a Palestinian girl, and she is looking like a dishonored victim of a crucifixion in the mud.

When this photograph was published and seen by the world, McCullin became a target:  “It was almost an honour that they (Lebanese Christian soldiers) wanted to kill me for taking that picture.”


MASSIVE CHANGES AT THE SUNDAY TIMES

McCullin was sensitive but he wanted to wake people up and inform.  He spent 18 years with the Sunday Times, but in 1981, disaster hit the paper due to the Trade Unions strike, and that led to the sale of the paper to Rupert Murdoch.  That was the beginning of the end for the paper.  The paper’s reporters and photographers were no longer independent and free to do hard-hitting conflict stories, and that was bad for Don McCullin.

In 1982, the Falklands War began, but McCullin was banned from going—his style was to revealing and truthful.

McCullin’s photographs showed the consequences of governments’ greed, and the consequences of that greed.  He never intended for his photos to legitimize murder—ever!  His long-time editor, Sir Harold Evans, said that McCullin “Was a humanitarian photographer with genius skills.”

LEBANON (1982)

Instead of going to the Falklands War, he went back to Lebanon in 1982.  By that time, he said he had become a “war-junkie”.   

Phalangist forces, with the backing of Israel, massacred 3,000 Palestinian civilians in the refugee camps of Sabra and Shatila.  They also attacked hospitals where many wounded children were recovering.  McCullin said, “It was a war of religious madness!”

(Photo above)  Dead Palestinian bodies lined up, victims of the refugee camps massacre.

“These memories come back as fresh as if they happened today, to haunt me,” said McCullin.
(Below Photo)  A malnourished and mentally ill child strapped to the bed with rope and covered in filth and flies.  The hospital this boy was in, was being targeted and shelled by Lebanese Christian and Israeli forces.


ONLY ENGLISH LANDSCAPES NOW

In 1984, McCullin got pushed out of The Sunday Times with the changing of Editors.  The publication would no longer publish war and misery photographs, they were changing direction and Don was not a part of that change.

In his remaining years, he wants to only photograph the beautiful English landscape.  He wants to try to eradicate the memories of horror from his mind.  The English landscape he says, is his form of heaven.  Nevertheless, there are always reminders out there in nature of what he used to do, of some similarities.  If he hears a chainsaw noise in the distance, he thinks a tree is dying.  When he hears a shooting, he thinks there is going to be some blood somewhere.  McCullin said, “No matter how hard you try to run away from these memories, there will always be someone out there pushing a button to remind you of what you used to do.”

McCullin said, “I have been manipulated, and I have in turn manipulated others, by recording their response to suffering and misery. So there is guilt in every direction: guilt because I don’t practise religion, guilt because I was able to walk away, while this man was dying of starvation or being murdered by another man with a gun. And I am tired of guilt, tired of saying to myself: “I didn’t kill that man on that photograph, I didn’t starve that child.” That’s why I want to photograph landscapes and flowers. I am sentencing myself to peace.”


LAST THOUGHTS

I think that last statement is very important to distinguishing which “Recorders of Human Suffering” will cope and survive, and those who will fall into despair because of paralyzing depression, and perhaps in addition, fall even deeper into the abyss due to other personal and financial problems.  Those photographers of conflict who have their “reminder buttons” pushed, but have found some level of peace, will probably live healthy lives.  A few of the others, the ones who can’t cope with the madness of their memories, and have their “reminder buttons” pushed often, may not be so fortunate, and that is what probably happened with Kevin Carter.  Major Depressive Disorder is an insidious and crippling illness, and if it is not confronted, the sufferer can literally waste away.  In the worst instances, they can even be pushed to suicide to make the pain stop.

Abstract Light Streaks #354

Title:  Abstract Light Streaks #354.

Final Edit & Creation Date: 4 April 2017.

“ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS” SERIES.

Series Years:  2015 – 2017.
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SERIES DESCRIPTION:

This is a collection of nighttime, time-exposure, light streak photography.  There is something about nighttime photography that I really like:  it allows me to make light fluid and I can make it twist and turn however I wish to get the effect I want.  There are some happy accidents too with this kind of photography. 
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LOCATION:

All of these photographs were created in Penang, Malaysia.
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Photography Genre:

  I would classify this as something I call, “Active (or Fluid-Light) Abstract Expressionism Photography.” 
Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson.

All Rights Reserved.

Penang, Malaysia.

NO UNAUTHORIZED USE!

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● MY IMAGEKIND FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY PRINTS & MUSEUM QUALITY CANVAS, AT THIS SALES GALLERY LINK:

http://www.imagekind.com/Abstract-Light-Streaks-354-4-April-2017_art?imid=2ca7fc84-a2b6-4bed-b133-f87d1d98c2cb

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Imagekind Art Photo #.
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TAGS:

#1-percenters, #abstract-expressionism, #Ankylosing-Spondylitis, #battleship-galactic, #Bilderbergers, #blue, #Bohemian-Grove, #brain-waves, #bug, #butterfly, #centuries, #Centurion, #chaotic-otherworldly, #copper, #Cylon, #Depression, #digital, #electric-rectangular-mandala, #energized, #even, #fluid-light, #FLYING-ANT, #Free-Masons, #gold, #illuminati, #insect, #INSECTA, #I-Robot, #Johnson, #Knights-Templer, #light, #LOTUS, #lowlightphotography, #Malaysia, #masonic-art, #Morningstar, #moth, #mystical-art, #Nawfal, #New-World-Order, #nighttime, #nighttimephotography, #No-way-out, #Nur, #Penang, #photography, #psychedelic, #purple, #red, #Secret-Societies, #silver, #streak, #symbiosis, #symmetrical, #symmetry, #urban-lights, #violet, #white, #yellow, #abstract, #light, #streaks,

Abstract Light Streaks #353

Title:  Abstract Light Streaks #353.

Creation Date: 4 April 2017.

“ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS” SERIES.

Series Years:  2015 – 2017.
———

SERIES DESCRIPTION:

This is a collection of nighttime, time-exposure, light streak photography.  There is something about nighttime photography that I really like:  it allows me to make light fluid and I can make it twist and turn however I wish to get the effect I want.  There are some happy accidents too with this kind of photography. 
———

LOCATION:

All of these photographs were created in Penang, Malaysia.
———

Photography Genre:

  I would classify this as something I call, “Active (or Fluid-Light) Abstract Expressionism Photography.” 

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Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson.

All Rights Reserved.

Penang, Malaysia.

NO UNAUTHORIZED USE!

——————
● MY IMAGEKIND FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHY PRINTS & MUSEUM QUALITY CANVAS, AT THIS SALES GALLERY LINK:

http://www.imagekind.com/Abstract-Light-Streaks-353-4-April-2017_art?imid=206066b0-e6dc-4d51-8e86-e9dafc0e90c4

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Imagekind Art Photo #.

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TAGS:

#1-percenters, #abstract-expressionism, #Ankylosing-Spondylitis, #battleship-galactic, #Bilderbergers, #blue, #Bohemian-Grove, #brain-waves, #bug, #butterfly, #centuries, #Centurion, #chaotic-otherworldly, #copper, #Cylon, #Depression, #digital, #electric-rectangular-mandala, #energized, #even, #fluid-light, #FLYING-ANT, #Free-Masons, #gold, #illuminati, #insect, #INSECTA, #I-Robot, #Johnson, #Knights-Templer, #light, #LOTUS, #lowlightphotography, #Malaysia, #masonic-art, #Morningstar, #moth, #mystical-art, #Nawfal, #New-World-Order, #nighttime, #nighttimephotography, #No-way-out, #Nur, #Penang, #photography, #psychedelic, #purple, #red, #Secret-Societies, #silver, #streak, #symbiosis, #symmetrical, #symmetry, #urban-lights, #violet, #white, #yellow, #abstract, #light, #streaks,

MARBAS, EDIT B Fire Portrait

Title : MARBAS, EDIT B.

Creation Date:  8 June 2017

“Fire Portraits” Series.

Year:  2017.

Influence:  “To Reign in Hell” novel by Steven Brust.

Art Photographs:  Photography of fire shaped into Portrait-like imagery, of the characters, angels, in “To Reign in Hell”, written by Steven Brust.

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Note  1:  After doing the first art photo, I said to myself, “I’m seeing some faces from Brust’s novel in this image, and I need to investigate, and work this out further to see what develops.”  Note 2:  One very interesting aspect of Brust’s story is that all of the angels were essentially good until a conflict and deception arose among the angels.  On top of that, the three “evil” angels in the story ( evil according to many ‘modernised’ views…modern being several thousand years for Satan/Lucifer/Devil, and hundreds for Mephisto ) — Satan and Lucifer are the same entity,  and Mephistopheles is the name invented for the historical Johann Georg Faust (c. 1480–c. 1540), and in demonology, Mephistopheles was “one of the seven chief devils and the tempter of Faust”.  Nevertheless, in Brust’s story, Satan and Lucifer are “First-Borns”, and Mephistopheles is an archangel, not devils or demons. Note 3:  My Brust angels are a contradiction because they are made of fire.  Angels of fire, I think is a contradiction.  

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Note 4: “MARBAS” is a fallen angel that takes the form of a lion.  Marbas is not a character in the Brust story but there are many angels in the story, and not all are mentioned by name.

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☆ Purchase Fine Art Photography Prints of my Fire Portraits at Imagekind!  

http://www.imagekind.com/MARBAS-Edit-B_art?imid=8496c1a6-6723-44a8-8c29-5cedcfaef4d8

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Tags:

Brust, Fallen-Angels, Abstract-Fire, Fire, Flames, Hell, Nawfal, Marbas, Satan, Lucifer, fireportraits, orange, yellow, gold, heat, hot, action, active, evil, chaos, mirrored, ambidextrous, religious-imagery, lion,

Abstract Light Streaks #355

Title:  “Abstract Light Streaks #355”.

Series:  ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS.   Series Years:  2015 – 2017.   This is my largest photography series with nearly 400 photographs in the collection.  These photographs are created from nighttime lights in Penang, Malaysia.

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Influence:  I am highly influenced by my favorite artist, Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), an Abstract Expressionism Painter, some researchers call his style Fractal Expressionism:  he was an important and influential member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism of  the 1950s – 60s.  I take the Abstract (Fractal) Expressionism concept and translate it into abstract photographic art pieces.  Being left-handed, I’ve always been attracted to ambidextrous and mirrored visuals, and I create many ambidextrous visuals—all things equal on the left and right hand sides.

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☆ PURCHASE FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS FROM MY IMAGEKIND ART SALES GALLERY:

http://www.imagekind.com/Abstract-Light-Streaks-355_art?imid=18e67458-8fb6-4107-bae7-d795d1c7d621
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Tags:

Abstract, Expressionism, Mirrored, Complexism, Fractal, Nawfal, Chaos, Order, Modernism, Photography, Lightstreaks, Urban,

Abstract Light Streaks #1 on 28 September 2016 by Nawfal Johnson from the ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS PHOTOGRAPHY SERIES 

Title:  “Abstract Light Streaks #1 on 28 September 2016”.

Series:  ABSTRACT LIGHT STREAKS.  This is my largest photography series with nearly 400 photographs in the collection.  These photographs are created from nighttime lights in Penang, Malaysia.

Influence:  I am highly influenced by my favorite artist, Paul Jackson Pollock (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956), an Abstract Expressionism Painter, some researchers call his style Fractal Expressionism:  he was an important and influential member of the New York School of Abstract Expressionism of 1950 – 60.  I take the Abstract (Fractal) Expressionism concept and translate it into abstract photographic art pieces.  Being left-handed, I’ve always been attracted to ambidextrous and mirrored visuals, and I create many ambidextrous visuals—all things equal on the left and right hand sides.

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PURCHASE FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS FROM MY SAATCHI ART SALES GALLERY:

https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-Abstract-Light-Streaks-1-on-28-September-2016/326658/3634484/view
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Tags:

Abstract, Expressionism, Mirrored, Complexism, Fractal, Nawfal, Chaos, Order, Modernism, Photography, Lightstreaks, Urban,

DISORDERLY-ORDER #9, 1 June 2017

Title:  “DISORDERLY-ORDER #9, 1 June 2017”.

Series: “Disorderly-Order”.

Series Year: 2016 to 2017.

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson 

All Rights Reserved.
● Print Sales Site Link:

http://www.imagekind.com/DISORDERLY-ORDER-9-1-JUNE-2017_art?imid=4057c585-e4d0-4af7-9522-2a9126a14855
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Series Description:

These artworks are photo-creations of Nawfal Johnson’s original paintings, and/or/also, image creations from photographs captured of decaying urban walls.  “Disorderly-Order”, the name of this series, has two distinct meanings. One, there is a method (Order) to the madness (Disorder) in the execution of these artworks.  Two, the artist is taking a “more orderly” painting, or a fragment of an urban wall (photographed), and turing it up-side-down, and inside out, to get to the final photographic art representation.  The disorderly from  within the work, that is the order of the design built into the photographic artwork.  Thus, these are ‘two-steps’ artwork creations—first-step, creating a painting or photographing an urban still-life of a wall; and then, second-step, taking the original creation and designing a final art photograph.  Many of these artworks are Geometric Abstract works, as Nawfal is highly influenced by the great abstract artists Mark Rothko and Piet  Mondrian, who also used a considerable amount of geometry in their works.

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Imagekind Photo Number: 2,255.

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Tags:

Orderly, disorderly, order, chaos, control, abstract art EXPRESSIONISM, Modernism, Nawfal Johnson, Georgetown, Malaysia, all-over painting, ambidextrous, action painting, never-ending, dark and light, Geometric-Abstract, Mondrian, lines,

DISORDERLY-ORDER #8

DISORDERLY-ORDER #8:
Fine Art Photography Series DISORDERLY-ORDER 2016 -2017, by Nawfal Johnson, a Photographist from Penang, Malaysia. DISORDERLY-ORDER Series (2016 – 2017) by Nawfal Johnson. Photographic-Abstract-Expressionism of complex, geometrically orderly, yet, disorderly, subjects. These are photographic artworks made from Nawfal Johnson’s original fine art ink and pigment pen artworks. Nawfal is a keen fan of Mark Rothko, Piet Mondrian, and especially, Jackson Pollock, and draws inspiration from all of these master artists.

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Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson 

All Rights Reserved.

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Prints Available at SAATCHI ART :

https://www.saatchiart.com/art/Photography-DISORDERLY-ORDER-8/326658/3624154/view


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Keywords: Nawfal, space, universe, chaos, circles, control, expressionism, abstract, geometric, order

DISORDERLY-ORDER #5, 31 May 2017

Title:  “DISORDERLY-ORDER #5, 31 May 2017”.

Series: “Disorderly-Order”.

Series Year: 2016 to 2017.

Copyright 2017 Nawfal Johnson 

All Rights Reserved.
● Print Sales Site Link:

http://www.imagekind.com/DISORDERLY-ORDER-5-31-May-2017_art?imid=91aff116-e707-41ba-a635-f53f5863bdcc

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Series Description:

These artworks are photo-creations of Nawfal Johnson’s original paintings, and/or/also, image creations from photographs captured of decaying urban walls.  “Disorderly-Order”, the name of this series, has two distinct meanings. One, there is a method (Order) to the madness (Disorder) in the execution of these artworks.  Two, the artist is taking a “more orderly” painting, or a fragment of an urban wall (photographed), and turing it up-side-down, and inside out, to get to the final photographic art representation.  The disorderly from  within the work, that is the order of the design built into the photographic artwork.  Thus, these are ‘two-steps’ artwork creations—first-step, creating a painting or photographing an urban still-life of a wall; and then, second-step, taking the original creation and designing a final art photograph.  Many of these artworks are Geometric Abstract works, as Nawfal is highly influenced by the great abstract artists Mark Rothko and Piet  Mondrian, who also used a considerable amount of geometry in their works.

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Imagekind Photo Number: 2,253.

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Tags:

Orderly, disorderly, order, chaos, control, abstract art EXPRESSIONISM, Modernism, Nawfal Johnson, Georgetown, Malaysia, all-over painting, ambidextrous, action painting, never-ending, dark and light, Geometric-Abstract, Mondrian, lines,

7 top tips for photographing stage performances at a Heavy Metal Music Festival indoors



INTRODUCTION:

This isn’t a dance photography post, it is a music performance post. Nevertheless, music performance photography and dance photography share the same techniques so it is appropriate to post this photography here, although, probably unanticipated.

THE EVENT: INDIEPG 2017 MAKE IT LOUDER TURN IT ON

On the 20th of May I attended a heavy metal music festival here in Penang: INDIEPG 2017 MAKE IT LOUDER TURN IT ON. This event showcased some of the better heavy metal bands from Penang, and a few from other places here in Malaysia. There was also a Punk band there, Bombräd: reminded me of my Dead Kennedy’s and Sex Pistol listening days. This festival was actually a two-day festival, but I only went one day, and it’s probably good that I did, considering my Ménière’s disease, and how loud-sounds affects my hearing, and in fact, my whole head.


DON’T FORGET HEARING PROTECTION:

Unwisely, I went into the stage area, where the bands were playing, and I was not using hearing protection— that was a big mistake! Concerts in general are very loud, but heavy metal concerts are even louder than you may think. After testing the audible-waters, so to speak, and discovering that it was way too loud for my ears, I quickly got out my ear plugs and put them in, and that quieted down the sound to a tolerable level.

With my ear protection in place, it was time to start taking photographs, and when it comes to stage photography of any kind, I always fight my way to the front to get the photographs that I want.

IT’S EASY TO GET CRAP-PHOTOS IN STAGE PHOTOGRAPHY:

Of course, it is easy to photograph stage photography if you want to get crap photos! That is really easy to do, and here is how: you need to hire someone who’s never done stage photography, EASY, and then, see the results.


IF YOU WANT GOOD STAGE PHOTOGRAPHY HIRE SOMEONE WHO IS EXPERIENCED AT STAGE PHOTOGRAPHY:

Stage photography is a technical type of photography that is only improved upon, and mastered by, trial and error, and also executed by an experienced stage photographist who has good intuition and perfect timing. Your goal is knowing when to hit the shutter button to get good emotional shots, with exciting reactions and postures, of the dancers, singers, musicians, and actors up on stage. Another necessary goal is that you need to be able to capture photographs of these subjects, in combination with quality and colourful stage lighting. Another consideration, and which is also highly recommended, is to get many shots with “pretty good and acceptable focus”.



SUFFICIENT AVAILABLE LIGHTING IS NOT ON DEMAND—A SAD TRUTH FOR STAGE PHOTOGRAPHERS:

Having sufficient AVAILABLE Lighting—that’s also not very easy in many stage performances. If the lighting technician has not properly executed the plans & preparations for creating enough available stage lighting during the performances, a whole new set of problems presents themselves to the photographer.

THE TWO BIGGEST ENEMIES TO A STAGE PHOTOGRAPHER:

Lack-of-light problems and access are the two biggest enemies to a stage photographer. In the most basic terms, you can’t photograph what you can’t see! You also can’t photograph what you don’t have access to. For example, your magazine editor says, “We need high-powered closeups of the singer! Do It!” You get to the show and the organizer has decided that ALL press will be situated in the cheap-seats, far away from the stage. You are screwed! No access.


YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER STAGE LIGHTING!

You have no control over stage lighting and you better understand that fact before you go try to photograph a stage performance. HOWEVER, I suppose we can consider this possibility; perchance, you have the latest and greatest camera with ISO technical advanced systems, where you can set the controls up to ISO32,000, and get great photographs from very minimal light. With great new gear like that, you can get results without much digital noise in your photographs, then you have nothing to worry about! You can photograph in near darkness! That may be the case, but you’ll still get boring monochromized-colour photographs that have NO stage-character because the beautiful, exciting, and colourful stage lighting does not exist in your photographs. Therefore, you can have the latest camera technology, that can shoot in near darkness, and you will still get crap-photos because the character of your photographs does not include the colourful stage lighting.

Sometimes, the lack of proper stage lighting is due to a request by the performers because they want the performance more moody and dark. Dark and moody lighting may be good for the effect the performers want to express, but that is not favorable for a stage photographer. In fact, it is very bad for a stage photographer, for whose quest it is, to capture images that are acceptable, which definitely needs good, colourful, stage lighting. If it’s not the performers who demanded dark lighting, then you can blame it on the lighting technician. If the lighting technician did not do the lighting well, then the photographer still suffers.



TELL A STAGE PERFORMANCE STORY WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY:

You may be thinking, “This is only a concert that you are photographing—people perform—photographers take photographs—there’s nothing more to it.” Contrary to that belief, and in my opinion as a photographer, I feel I am responsible for telling the story from the beginning to the ending, and that is what I try to do—stage photography is more than just taking performance shots! Stage Photography is about telling a story.

To create a story out of a stage performance photography assignment, I attempt to take introduction photographs of the show, ones that introduce the place, the environment, or the people involved in the event. The same goals apply for photographing the end of the event, where I like to take photographs that show the backstage, which includes still life photography of things that are involved in the event, and perhaps, candid portraits of people after the event. Like any story I tell as a photographer, I need to have a beginning, a middle, and an ending, and that’s just the way I prefer to tell a photographic story.



THE SEVEN MAIN TIPS TO GOOD STAGE PHOTOGRAPHY:

The seven main things I think you need to get in good stage photography are the following storytelling types of images. This list also includes things you MUST KNOW to create good stage photography.

1) Look for and Photograph Introductory Shots: Introductory images are those that show the place, and people, and action going on before the event…get these if possible.

2) It is ESSENTIAL TO CAPTURE Action, or Reaction, photographs of the main subjects that you are photographing.

3) Your Stage Photographs MUST HAVE exciting stage lighting. If the stage lighting is minimal, then, I’m not afraid to use flash, if necessary, to capture some action.  We NEED COLOURFUL Stage Lighting in our photographs, but we don’t always get what we need.  However, keep this in mind, the WORST thing to do is get NOTHING! And, if you are being paid to photograph a stage production, the next WORST thing is to get mostly crap-photos.

4) YOU MUST KNOW YOUR CAMERA, LENSES, AND THEIR SETTINGS, and KNOW THEM INSIDE-AND-OUT, and be able to change the settings on-the-fly, and according to what you see on stage with the action, and the ever-changing stage lighting, and do all of this in near darkness! In addition to that, you need to make all of your camera, and, your position changes while getting knocked around, or slammed into, by people who are going crazy or taking part in the chaos and “violence” of the mosh pit.

5) Look for good “Ending” photographs to conclude your story. Go backstage (if possible) and get some still life and candid portraits.

6) If you have any sort of health situations, like I do, with Ménière’s disease and a couple of very painful types of arthritic diseases, then prepare for your personal “complications” beforehand.  You need to survive the event the best you can so you can concentrate on getting good photography.

7) NEVER take your eye away from the viewfinder—the second you do, that’s when the BEST ACTION WITH BEST LIGHTING happens, and you will miss it!


OUTRO:

That’s about all I want to say at this point about stage photography. I went to this event on my own, with no client, because I just wanted to have a good time taking photographs of music stage performances that I enjoy, and to experience being in an exciting crowd. Hopefully, I came away with creating interesting stage performance photographs.

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The Photography from the INDIEPG MAKE IT LOUDER TURN IT ON Heavy Metal Music Festival:

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