Nawfal Nur Fine Art

“SHELLS & SANDSTONE” – My new e-Folio

“SHELLS & SANDSTONE” Fine Art Photography, ebook by Nawfal Nur, now available!

Hey, sorry for the blatent self-advertising, but if I don’t toot my own horn, I know for a fact that no one else will, so I hope I’m tooting a loud enough horn to get a least a few folks to hear me.

Hi All!

I have released a new work, out into the world…

You can get to the site where I’m offering this work, by clicking this link:
SHELLS & SANDSTONE

SHELLS & SANDSTONE,  a new e-Folio photography ebook by Nawfal Nur.

"SHELLS & SANDSTONE" by Nawfal Nur, 2010

Advertisements

HOT STUFF v6 Scanography

HOT STUFF, v.6, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

 

PHOTOGRAPH DETAILS

Title: “HOT STUFF, v.6”
Creation Date: 26 Nov 2009
Location: Penang, Malaysia.
Genre: Scanography.
Equipment: UMAX ASTRA 5600
PPI: 1200.

A FEW THOUGHTS ABOUT SCANOGRAPHY vs. PHOTOGRAPHY

Scanography is the opposite of photography. The same rules hardly apply to the other. Being a photographer for so long, it is tough to think in the opposite – and that is an odd feeling.

  • Subject Placement & Lighting

In Photography, you shoot with the subject facing you (usually), and your goal as a Photographer is to apply lighting to the surfaces of the subject from whatever direction you think will get you the best results. Often times, this is from the front, overhead, the sides, and maybe in addition, from behind the subject.

In Scanography, the side of the subject you want to capture is placed FACE DOWN (on the glass) toward the optical lens of the scanner. The main light, and most of the time the only light, is coming from the scanner. For special effects, you can attempt to use additional lighting on the opposite side of the flatbed surface, but the way a scanner captures an image is WAY DIFFERENT FROM A CAMERA.

  • How the Subject is Captured

The camera captures what is seen through the camera lens. The scanner captures the image as the optical lens slides along, underneath the flatbed scanner glass.  The scanner slides (captures the scene as it slides) and lights in progression as it moves across the subject.  Thus, the same lighting rules do NOT apply for photography and scanography.

Scanographic images also work best, in my opinion, with the lid down over the subject to reflect as much light back onto the subject.  Although, for creativity’s sake, other materials and colors can be placed over the subject to create a background other than white.

  • Scanography as an Addition to Your Creative Tools

Scanography can be used as an additional tool in your creative tool kit.  Scanography is a rewarding art form to use to create art pieces that are different from those created with photography.  Scanographs definitely resemble photographs, but as you can see from my “HOT STUFF, v.6” scanograph, the results are different.  For example, notice in the scanograph of the chillies and silver fork the location of the water:  The liquid settles on top of the chillies, as if to defy gravity (settles in the foreground). This experience is the exact opposite of what happens with a photograph setup, where you will see the moisture settle down on to the background material.

In this way, scanographs can create a bit of an optical illusion that makes the viewer’s brain wonder, “What is it that is different in the scene?”  You know something is different but it may take a couple of moments to figure it out.

You can kind of get the same visual results (as a scanograph) with photography if you placed the subject on clear glass and photographed from the bottom upward, but it would still appear different, maybe in subtle ways, but different all the same.

  • File Size and File Dimension Differences between a 1200 ppi Scanograph and a ‘typical’ Digital Photograph from a Digital Camera

Another marked difference between Scanography and Photography is that scanographs, at 1200ppi create HUGE digital files with BIG dimensions. This image ended up (in the original before cropping) at around 6000 pixels wide by 8000 pixels high, and the TIFF file size was around 150MB!  You won’t see that much information captured in one shot with the majority of modern digital cameras.  Of course, the optics of fine photographic equipment is superior to scanner optical lenses, but it is a different tool used to create a different type of visual.

Another interesting item about scanography is that the Scanographist (not sure, but maybe that is a made-up word) has a wide range of settings to play with when creating a scanograph:

  • You can set your desired ppi – I like starting with 1200ppi.
  • You can set your desired file type – I like TIFF output.
  • You can set your desired file dimension – I like A4.
  • Scanography as a way to be Creative when You Feel ‘BLAH’ about Photography

For myself, Scanography is a kind of refuge, especially when I’m feeling distressed with the sameness and the madness of digital photography, where the ‘industry‘ comes up with the next best digital cameras that you MUST purchase or dare you be obsolete, and this seems to happen every six or nine months.

When these feelings of, well, for the lack of a better term, “BLAH“, happen, then I swerve off the road of what Brooks Jensen says is ‘the hamster wheel of digital progress.’  For me, I like to know that I can switch things up a little, and work on some scanographic imaging, so I can be creative in a different way.

Abstract, No-5, 2009

Abstract, No-5, 2009, originally uploaded by N. Nur.

I don’t have very much to say today.

At times, I think a lot of words are wasted on saying nothing of importance, really.

However, I heard something very insightful the other day from Jay Maisel (from an interview on the Internet), he said something to the effect of, ‘you don’t capture pictures, they capture you.’

This makes a lot of sense to me. If I’m not captured by a subject, then it is probably not a subject that I would want to photograph. If that photo is not formed in my minds eye first, then for me, there is no photograph there.

That’s just a short thought for the day.

Sobering Iritis Realizations

Coffee Splash. Stop Action. White & Coffee.

I’m 15-Days into Iritis. Anyone who has experienced even one episode of Iritis will know how HORRIBLE IT IS!!! Triple Exclamation Points.

It got me thinking about how it would be, to be, “The Blurry Photographer.” And, I came to the conclusion: “That would suck!”

Well, I took this photograph today because I am so super bored, because I’m still dilated in the right eye, super blurry in vision, and on a 3-day headache. However, I just wanted to show myself that I can still photograph when blurry. Yes, it was possible.

Was it very fun? No, not very fun.

Part of the thrill, part of the fun of Photography is being able to see the results in all their CLEAR GLORY!

Having Iritis allows a photographer to see all their results in a hazy blur.

I guess I came to a sobering realization today that A BIG part of the thrill of accomplishment in photography is seeing and enjoying the results…CLEARLY!

There are a lot of things that become more clear to me as my eyesight is threatened by Iritis.

And that reminds me…I have outworn my welcome here at the computer and need to go rest my eyeball.

Thanks for your visit.

SUPER RED HOT M&M!

SUPER HOT RED M&M, v1, Edit J-btl3

TITLE: “Super Red HOT M&M!”
GENRE: STUDIO STILL LIFE
CREATION DATE: 03 DEC 08
ARTIST / PHOTOGRAPHER: NAWFAL NUR
COMPANY: NAWFAL NUR PHOTOGRAPHY
OWNERSHIP: NAWFAL NUR
RIGHTS: ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

PHOTO DESCRIPTION: A single, red MINI M&M (about 50% smaller than normal M&M’s), sitting atop a tablespoon full of VERY, VERY, VERY BURNING HOT Vietnamese Chilies. You can see how small they are, but so very potent. The good thing about these chilies is that you can eat them raw like this and they don’t have very many seeds! ;^) HOWEVER, they will make your teeth melt!!! LOLOL!!! I like to put these in Nasi Goreng (Fried Rice).

TECHNICAL DETAILS:

CAMERA: CANON POWERSHOT A620.
LIGHTING: METZ 32 Z2 STROBE (HAND HELD).
DIFFUSER: TESCO (LOLOL) HUGE SALAD BOWL.
SUPPORT: bogen 3001 Professional Tripod, bogen 3025 Head, and MANFROTTO #352 Ball & Socket Head.

SOFTWARE: PHOTOIMPACT X3.

PHOTO NOTES: I wanted to create an image with extreme subjects: The chilies are SUPER HOT; and, the Single M&M is SUPER SWEET. And, I wanted to get in really close to show how small these tiny chilies are. Also, I wanted to capture a still life with complementary color matching: Shades of green and red.

Side Note: MINI M&M’s taste NO DIFFERENT than regular sized M&M’s! Hahahahahahaha!!!!

REALLY RED ROSE, NO.1

STUDIO FLORA PHOTOGRAPHY

STUDIO FLORA PHOTOGRAPHY

“Life will bring you pain all by itself.  Your responsibility is to create joy.”
 – Milton Erickson, M.D.

BLADE BLUE HAND-667, No.1, Edit F

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Blade Blue Hand, 667, No.1, Edit F, by Nawfal Nur

Title: “BLADE BLUE HAND, 667, No.1, Edit F”
Series: “BLUE HAND”
Number in Series: No. 1.
Genre: Abstract-Geometric-Expressionism
Mediums: Painting & Photography

Painter: Nawfal Nur
Photographer: Nawfal Nur
Art Direction: Nawfal Nur
Model: Nawfal Nur

Investment in Time:
* Prep Time for Equipment Set up: 1/2 Hour.
** Painting: 5 1/2 Hours.
*** Photography: 1/2 Hour.
**** Clean-up: 1 Hour.

Paint Supplies Used:
-1- Schmincke PRIMAcryl (Feinste Künstler-Acrylfarben).
-2- ZIG – KURECOLOR Permanent Alcohol based Ink.
-3- BUNCHO Water Colors.
-4- ALBRECHT DÜRER, Watercolour Pencils by FABER-CASTELL (8200 Series).
-5- Crayola “Brush Tips” Markers.
-6- Artline 70 High Performance Markers.
-7- MonAmi ACCU Liner Permanent Markers (Metallic Series).
-8- Pentel Permanent Markers (N850 Series).
-9- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Eye Pencil – (01 SOFTSMUDGE BLACK).
-10- ESTĒE LAUDER Artist’s Lip Pencil-Crayon – (08 SPICE WRITER).

Camera:
CANON Powershot A620 with Modified Internal Flash Bounce Attachment. Aperture @ f/8.0 and Shutter Speed @ 1/80 sec. (I think…) ;^)

Lighting:
One 600-WATT SYSTEMS IMAGING Studio Flash with 2′ x 2′ BOWENS Softbox. MIRA Hydraulic Light Stands. Modeling on Cont., Power @ 1/16th Output. Distance to Subject, approx., 3-feet.

Additional Lighting or Lighting Aid Gear:
One 3′ x 3′ White Foam core bounce.

Support:
* bogen 3001 Professional Tripod.
** bogen 3025 head.
*** Manfrotto #352 Ball & Socket.
**** 3kg weight.

Computer Software:
* PhotoImpact X3.
————————-
As I mentioned in the text of the photo above, this will be my last photo addition to my Photostream at Flickr.

I have made a promise (to myself) to keep the “F-DEPRESSION” Series Images as close to the TOP of my Photostream as possible. Because with each new image addition, the older images get pushed deeper and deeper into the photostream. And that means, that these “F-DEPRESSION” photographs would eventually get lost in the masses of photos.

The ONLY way these images may help someone who is suffering from Depression, Anxiety or Chronic Pain is to see them, feel the shock value, read the text and GET HELP!!! And, that was the main reason I ventured into this very negative and self-expressing Photo & Text Series.

One of the key components of this type of work (body art), and one that I experienced firsthand, is that IT (the artwork) IS NOT LASTING!

Paint – Photograph – Wash – Rinse – Repeat the Wash & Rinse. Then, the painting is gone for ever! The final product, the actual artpiece is the Body Painted Photograph Portrait: The photograph – that is the lasting art work. The Painting is just part of the preparation! Get it!

This is NOT Airbrush, so the artwork is NOT smooth or finely detailed. I used Acrylic and Watercolours, along with Art Markers and applied them normally, and also with brush and artist’s knife. Some parts of the artwork are smooth and other textured. As the paints dry, the work cracks, so speed is important.

It was extremely painful for me to stand for that length of time – the arthritic A.S. types like myself usually can’t sit-stand-walk-or lie down for very long periods. However, I had to see if I could do it. After the completion of this work, it felt like someone had tortured me (kind of), like someone had been hitting the bottom of my feet with a metal ruler. If you have A.S., you may know that feeling: It’s No fun!!!

5 and 1/2 hours for one Right Arm! It’s the first work like this I’ve done. And, I can say that it was a really good experience and quite interesting to attempt painting oneself and working the camera. Strange feeling!

FROM NOW ON, PLEASE VISIT ME AT:

“BEHIND THE LENS!” (My Photography Journal where I’ve been writing, and where I’ve been exhibiting my Photography, since 2005).

smokephotographist.wordpress.com/

Nawfal Nur
“Behind the Lens!”
smokephotographist.wordpress.com/
27 Nov 2008

PS: “667” refers to what I ‘have seen’ termed as, “Neighbor of the Beast!” HOWEVER, my interpretation is different than probably the person who thought up this novel saying. Here’s how I see it:

“This world is Where the Wicked NEVER Rest, and the Righteous Struggle to just Stand their Ground!” Therefore, I am a ‘neighbor of the beast’ – evil that surrounds us all, daily – it is there, you don’t have to go far to find it.

Of course, perhaps it is much better to pretend that the world is a perfect place, so that you can sleep well at night, but this is just what people who don’t do anything to change it, want you to believe! Or, perhaps, it is what people who have it “made” want others to believe because they have all the resources available to them to ‘escape’ most of the evil that perpetuates itself daily, and around the world.

All you have to do is pick up a newspaper: There must be a lot of “evil” out there, or, the newspapers would NOT be so thick! News of Disasters, Crimes, Chaos, wars, famine, cruelty, and Injustice…this shit sells the News! I STOPPED reading the news a couple of years ago because it just perpetuates in a bad way, whatever stuff you got going on, that isn’t so good.

It is time to go…

Good night Moon!

Good night People!

pss: BTW: The “667” tattoo, I designed by computer software, but I may just have to ink myself with it one of these days!

Aurora Borealis over Ice, v1, Edit C – Small Colored Light Source Streaks Photography!

Aurora Borealis over Ice, v1, Edit C, originally uploaded by Nawfal Nur.

A small-scale, tabletop version of the Aurora Borealis. Green streaks of light shine and flare over a large cup of ice.

INGREDIENTS FOR THIS PHOTOGRAPH:  a.)  a tabletop, b.) dark room, c.) some sort of BLACK material for the background – I used a black plastic material, d.) sturdy tripod, e.) camera, f.) small light source(s) – I used penlights, g.) some sort of transparent colored material – gels, colored plastic, etc., h.) a large metal cup – I like the Zebra brand metal cups made in Thailand (very nice), i.) ice cubes filled to the top of the cup, j.) patience! 

This is an example of what you can do with long-exposures, small light sources, and some experimentation, in order to get colored light streaks in your photographs.

This is an “available” light photograph, meaning, that I used what small light sources were available to me, to create the streaks of green light during a long (1-second) shutter speed.

Don’t expect amazing results at first:  It may take a few (or 20) tries until you get good patterns that are pleasing, and enough streaks to fill the frame.

A flashlight (torchlight) with a colored bulb, or covered with colored transparent plastic material (gels), even powerful, colored LED lights may work well to create the special light necesary for this work.

Of course, “tripod” your camera and get it ready to go:  On this shot, I used a 1-Second shutter with an f/8.0 aperture.  

You may need to punch up the contrast and saturation of the streaks to make your final touches on the photograph:  I used Paint Shop Pro to saturate the colors, and this is a personal preference.

You don’t need to use green…use any color, use several colors, combine final images, GO CRAZY!

 

“The Magic Pill” – RA DAY, 6 July 2008, Edit F

“The Magic Pill.” Well, there’s really NO “magic pill”, but for me with combating Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), my weapon of choice is Voltaren, thus the big-“V”. It is an OK choice for AS.

However, there are OVER 100 types of Arthritis out there now!!! One source claims 171 types of Arthritis exist. Thus, depending on what you have, certain drugs may or may not relieve the swelling and pain.

Here in Malaysia, there is a launching of National RA Day…6th July. This is good because it will help bring awareness to the general public as well as help those who suffer from arthritis, and in this case, Rheumatoid Arthritis.

I wanted to do my part to spread the word, make people aware, and do something creative with my art photography to advertise the National RA Day.

If you are concerned about, experience RA, or know someone who suffers from RA, then please, get yourself educated on this disease so you can help yourself, or someone you care about!

What I couldn’t quite understand, however, was why would they hold an Arthritis talk-event in the early morning, and 8:30am is early for many of us, because it takes longer than that, some days, to start feeling halfway human and moving looser.  1PM  or 2PM would be a better time to have an Arthritis event, well, in my general opinion.

On a different note:  If you publish a blog from Flickr, DON’T believe it when it says it failed to publish the blog.  It told me that three times, and I came to WordPress and it was published three times.

Opportunities & Preparedness…

Yellow Line, by Nawfal Nur, All Rights Reserved

“Yellow Line”
From the “Distinctive Georgetown” Portfolio
Bishop Street, Pulau Pinang, Malaysia
© 2008 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

Opportunities & Preparedness…

Always being prepared, having your camera with you, actively seeking out photographs with your eyes wide open, and seeing things differently are some of the major keys to taking better, and more interesting photographs.

Earl Nightingale said many things that I always want to strive for, and here are a few snippets of those things:  ‘Study and Prepare Yourself…Your mind is your richest resource…Look at your work with NEW Eyes…Serve the customer better than anyone else serves the customer…

Earl also said:  “We become what we think about.”

J.B. Matthews wrote:  “Unless a person has trained himself for his chance, the chance will only make him rediculous, a great occasion is worth to a man exactly what his preparation enables him to make of it.”  I’m sure that Mr. Matthews meant all people in his statement (as Earl N., mentioned), and Matthews’ statement is indeed, very profound, and very humbling.     

This is why knowing as much about your field, whether it is photography, or computer science, or WHATEVER, that you are a first-class professional in your chosen field.  Also, that you are constantly educating yourself about your profession, keeping up with the times and surpassing your competition.

Special Note:  See…I wasn’t prepared just now, I lost all my tags and categories for some strange reason…I should have saved all first.  Even when you think you are ready, you may not be ready.

The following video link is of one of my favorite guitarists, and perhaps, one of the best guitarists in the world (at this point in time).  The video was not recorded in a studio, but rather, at the NAMM show/exhibition, so the audio quality is a bit off, but if you listen to the playing and observe the technique, you will soon see why I believe Jeff Loomis, of the band NEVERMORE, is one of the best players around.  I have mainly put this video up here, to demonstrate someone in the field of music, who I believe is a first-class, prepared, professional.  You can substitute anyone of your choice in this type of exercise.  Pick someone you know is skilled in their field, it can be your field or another one.  Just watching someone who is at the top of their game, pushes you a little (or a lot) more, to improve yourself.

 

 

Evolving an Online Policy…

Dance Photography by Nawfal Nur - Bharata Natyam Hand Gesture

Bharata Natyam Dance, Hand Gesture
Indian Classical Style
South Indian Classical Dance
Nikon F5 (film – shot back in the day…) with
natural lighting and use of a large (like 4’x3′) fill card material.

Evolving an Online Policy…

After some extra time thinking and planning my online photography policy, and where I spend my time showing my photography, I have not totally discarded the vanity sites (believe it or not). Even though, in one of my previous entries, it appeared I was heading down that road, I have just modified my position. This, I would consider, is evolving.

At the photography websites that I perceive as being more vanity than business, I have reduced the numbers of contacts I have. I see people with hundreds, if not, thousands of contacts/friends at these sites. Speaking for myself, I simply can not keep track of so many contacts’ photographic works: It would complicate life too much for me.

Therefore, my new policy has become to keep only those people who I truly want to keep a “photographic-tab” on. People whose photography is of interest to me.

Of the contacts I have kept, there is a handful of people who I authentically consider friends, and I have my own definition of what makes a “friend” – your definition will most likely differ.

But moreover, my friends are people who I really want to keep up with, whose work I respect, whose work is interesting to me, whose work shows vast potential, and whose work inspires me to do work myself.

My friends also reciprocate, and they comment constructively on my work and they push me to continue working on the subjects that I excel at. There is a considerable give and take among my small listing of friends. And, there is considerable mutual respect.

In addition, as Brooks Jensen said recently in a LensWork podcast, he’d much rather appeal to the small minority of folks who appreciate [and respect] fine art photography, than to the 6-billion other people who may not have any interest in the work that goes into the art of Art Photography (or something to that effect!)

Right ON, Brooks! I totally agree with you on that point!

The main point is, IF you have been having these same thoughts, dilemmas, or time constraints with showing your work online, then perhaps it is time to evolve your own online policy…one that works specifically for your needs and fulfills your goals.

Good Luck!

Getting Dust-Free

Gold Case with Dust

BEFORE SHOT: Gold Case before editing the dust & fluff.

Here is the “dust-free” image (below). Six hours later, of cloning and other tools used, to get rid of the dust and fluff from this product. There are a few more things I would change to get rid of manufacturer defects and even smaller dust spots, but I’ve had enough! Even a “perfectionist” has their limits.

I forgot to mention, that yes, I always use micro-fiber cloth and air blower to get rid of AS MUCH DUST AS POSSIBLE, but dust is a rather evil creation and has the tendency of coming back over and over and over again. Sometimes, you just have no choice than to shoot the image and clean up with some software solution, after the fact.

Estee Lauder Gold Cosmetics Case as

AFTER SHOT: GOLD CASE after editing dust and fluff.

Homemade \

LIGHTING: A single flash setup. METZ 32Z-2 Flash with homemade “Tupperware” diffuser coated with metallic black and silver paint. I also used a single sheet of A4 white paper (80gms weight thickness) to flag-diffuse light in areas where it was blowing out the highlights. I attempt to keep lighting as ‘simple’ as possible, when possible.

Was there any particular reason to paint the diffuser with black and silver metallic paint? No, not really, it is all experimental for sure. The inside of the device is silver metallic and the outside, sides are black metallic.

The goal was to make a translucent light modifier to use with this METZ flash, to get a wider spread at closer distance that gives off a good, softer, dispersed light source. I cannot use the METZ “Winder” Mode with this (not enough power), but I can use the “A”perture settings, and still place the light within 12-inches from the subject. This flash modifier is good for Cat (Pet) Portraiture (see below).  You can see the squarish highlight in Jamilah’s eye – a very nice catch-light.

When it comes to small flashes I’d take METZ over any other type of flash, any day of the week, and TWICE on Sunday.  Someday, I may check out their bigger flash units and Wireless Triggers.  I find METZ to be  über-Dependable!

Jamilah Bee Portrait taken using Homemade Light Diffuser - Modifier.

“Vanity” or “Business” Photography Sites…

I’ve been thinking about the time spent on the Internet regarding my photography. For those of you who are pursuing Photography as a business, this may be something that you ponder also.

“How much of your time is spent at the so-called, “Vanity” Photography Sites?”

I looked up the etymology of the word “vanity” as I am interested in the origins of words.

Vanity

c.1230, “that which is vain, futile, or worthless,” from O.Fr. vanite, from L. vanitatem (nom. vanitas) “emptiness, foolish pride,” from vanus “empty, vain, idle” (see vain). Meaning “self-conceited” is attested from c.1340. Vanity table is attested from 1936. Vanity Fair is from “Pilgrim’s Progress” (1678).

After considering the history and meaning of the word “vanity“, I thought again about the use of time spent on vanity photography websites, and I had to ask myself the question, “Why the hell am I doing this?

There is so much wasted time slipping by putting up my photographs at these sites. And for what purpose? To gain praise from other photographers; so in turn, I will traverse the ‘slow-assed ‘ broadband service here, to visit other peoples’ galleries, and to give them the obligatory “Atta’boys“.

For me, after some careful consideration, and knowing that time is relatively short, it didn’t make much sense.

After all, if you want to make photography part of your “income-life”, then the majority of time spent on your photography should be networking with “Art Buyers”, not other “Art Makers”. Marketing your work to art buyers is where the majority of your marketing time should be spent.

Sure, it is good to get feedback from your peers about your photo work. These vanity photography sites do serve a certain purpose in that instance. However, very quickly, your time spent adding photos, adding “friends”, getting comments, sending comments, etc., can quickly suck the marketing time out of you, time better spent in other places.

I might as well mention it here because all kinds of people will have all kinds of different criteria when labeling photography sites as “vanity sites,” or “otherwise.”

That being the case, I won’t mention the ones I consider vanity sites because I’ll probably get at least 50% of my readers saying: “You’re Crazy! That’s not a ‘vanity’ site, I don’t care how many people comment on my photographs with statements like, ‘Wow, that’s fantastic’, ‘Beautiful’, ‘What a hot babe!’, ‘Incredible Color’, ‘Amazing!’ , or, ‘Your focusing is spot-on!'”

But come on…Most people love to be praised for their photography, even if comments don’t say much about the technical details and intricacies about making a photograph.

And I’m fairly positive that most people probably don’t like comments like, “Wow, that’s a CRAP Photo!

LOLOL!

You don’t often see those types of comments at the vanity sites unless if the “CRAP Photo” commenter wants a “CRAP Photo” comment given in return, or being barred/blacklisted by the other person.

The funny thing is, however, that sometimes, “Wow, that’s a CRAP Photo” is so much closer to the true description of a photograph, rather than, “Wow, that’s really a swell photo!

So, what’s the point in giving inflated, and/or, false comments like that at these vanity photography sites?

What is important, is that if you spend the time at a vanity photography site, that you get something in return. Learning something new about photography from more learned photographers would be the most obvious benefit from these sites. That would be gained through constructive conversation about photography.

That does not always happen…

AT THESE VANITY WEB SITES…It is obviously no fun to be a selfless giver of good will and a constructive commenter to other photographers, and then in the end, you get NOTHING in return from all those “friends” you give nice, and or, actual constructive comments to.

There should be some sort of “reciprocal commenting:”

1570, from L. reciprocus “returning the same way, alternating,” from pre-L. *reco-proco-, from *recus (from re- “back” + -cus, adjective formation) + *procus (from pro- “forward” + -cus, adjective formation). The verb reciprocate “to return, requite” is recorded from 1820.

This thing that I term, “reciprocal commenting” happens quite regularly at these vanity photography sites, and that is nice.

Ye giveth, and ye shall receiveth!

HOWEVER, you will see many people at these vanity sites who love to receive comments, but rarely give return, reciprocal comments.

You will soon become fed up with these types of people, as it quickly becomes apparent that the ‘balance of commenting‘ has become overly side heavy in favor of those who don’t return the favor.

And you know, this can’t be tolerated in terms of Physics, or the stability of the world, because for every action there MUST be an equal and opposite reaction. Therefore, I see these people who love to receive comments, love the attention, and rarely, if ever, return equal comments, as being like black holes: comments are eagerly sucked in from all parts of the universe, or at least, the vanity photography Internet universe, but no comments ever escape and return to the givers.

So, this post has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous all too quickly. Nevertheless, there is a point here.

Be very clear on where you want to spend your valuable time regarding your photography. If you only want to pursue photography as a hobby, then perhaps sharing photographs on photo sharing websites is an ideal way of pursuing and sharing your interest in photography. There is a value received by seeing multitudes of photographs from thousands and millions of photographers from all over the world. It is an interesting way to see the world, to comment on other peoples’ photographs and to learn new things through an incredible amount of visual input. There’s nothing wrong with that!

However, if your goal is to earn money and become a working photographer, wanting to channel your marketing time more effectively to network with art buyers and potential clients, then perhaps networking websites (on the Internet), and ‘real world’ distribution of photo samples would be a better use of your “free time,” which should be considered an oxymoron – there is no such thing as free time – your time is something that you can never get back, so use it wisely!

Here is a partial selection of one of my Marketing Portfolios at Facebook. This is a site that I feel is worth some time if you are a photographer. The results are not coming fast, but you have a considerable chance of hooking up with photo buyers, or someone who may know someone who may want your imagery. AND, you can search out people strategically who you could connect with and form a mutual, beneficial alliance.

Nawfal Nur\'s Photography Portfolios at Facebook.

There are a few details I could mention about Facebook, but will save that for another time. I’m going to leave these ideas behind for my readers to ponder: To agree or disagree. The important thing is that you decide for yourself where your time is best spent.

I’m not in any way saying that Facebook is lacking vanity from its content. There’s plenty of vanity to go around in the Internet world. However, it’s HOW you structure your profile at Facebook that makes the difference between if you are there to gain attention, friends, fans…or, if you are there to network and improve your business, no matter what business you are doing.

Good luck!