surreal

Paint the World….with Truth?

Pigeon on Ledge-IMG 2418, Edit B-np

Yes, wouldn’t the “truth” be nice…

I’m a firm believer in the standard “X-Files” tagline: “The Truth is Out There!” But believe me, fellow brothers and sisters in Art, it is up to you to find it!

Well, as you may already have guessed, this is turning out to be absolutely different from what you thought it would be, at least, according to the “title” of the journal entry.

First, however, let me tell you about this image: It is a pigeon, of course, standing on the ledge of a very old, British Colonial, row house in Penang, more specifically, Georgetown.

These colorful shots of old houses is a new series I’m working on: I’m thinking of calling the series, “Distinctive Georgetown,” or something like that. My file of images is building in this filing cabinet of a photo-series – I better name the Series soon.

This is a macro detail of an old house on the corner of Jalan Irving and Jalan Krian.

As surreal as it sounds to me now, I was interviewed tonight on a local Radio show, and I think what I responded with to this questions, “What is it about a scene that makes you want to take a photograph?” – was pretty spot-on (my ‘approximate’ answer is below).

“For me,” I said, “I think very macroscopically, even when working on this Historic Preservation self-assignment. I look at the details and compose the details, the composition, the context of the image in my heart and mind first. If it seems like a worthwhile scene to work on, then I get my camera out, and I work on the shot I had developed in my mind.”

That’s a pretty close word-for-word, at least as far as I remember. My wife would probably say, “NONSENSE!” Oh…Not “nonsense” to my interview answer, but to my skills of listening and remembering. I think I have remarkable listening skills. She’s perhaps blinded by her own bias: She says I choose not to listen to her sometimes, and I tell her that it is a skill I’ve developed over the years, called “Selective Listening!” She’s not amused! I think it’s a hell’of’a skill and I’m considering offering it as a Short-Course for husbands of all time zones!

My Photography is not necessarily the “truth” – it is more closely linked to my Painted Version of the Truth! After all, there is only one reality, but for Photographic Artists, we provide the context for which that “truth“, that “reality“, is presented in the frame of a single shot at a particular time.

In my “Distinctive Georgetown” photographs, it is a close representation of “reality” but with my twist on each scene. That is what artists do, right, reveal their own personal vision to the canvas, the rock, the film, the print, or whatever.

In my next journal entry, I may discuss another type of “truth” that ALL Artists need to be on the lookout for and protect themselves against, and that “truth” is the sugar-coated kind, where the people you come across could be your savior, or the devil that stabs you in the back! And sometimes, if you’re not careful, they appear as your savior, then reveal themselves to you as the devil, their real identity.

Like I said, MAYBE, I’ll cover that topic next time. If I can perhaps, save one (or more) artists/photographers, from making mistakes that I’ve made, by telling a simple, if not, hard-learned tale of misery and the agony of deceit and treachery, then, it may be a tale worth telling…or at least I may highlight the finer points of the lesson….Mysterious? Yes… That’s OK…

More later.

NWD

NWD, originally uploaded by fine-grain.

Layers of Abstraction to make a single image: It is not really layers at all. A riddle or reality?

Abstract Photography or an Abstract Mind!

Updated Post: 4 March 2009:  Well, if I can’t find a way to change the url for this post, then I guess it will remain as is, but the topic of this post has drastically changed.

Yes, these are my Abstract Photographs.  And yes, if anyone has the desire to contact me for a purchase, I am very happy to discuss details:  Please send me a note.

Nevertheless, I once heard a photographer advise, “don’t do abstracts because no one loves them but the artist.” 

Is this true?  I don’t think so, but it may just take like-minded people to enjoy particular types of abstract work.

I could say the same thing about people photography:  I see an overabundance of really horribly (technically and interest-wise) designed people photographs, but I don’t go around telling people “don’t take photographs of people because no one will love them but the artist.” 

Perhaps it is just important to have an “abstract mind” to appreciate abstract work?  Could be…

These are abstract times…maybe people will start loving my work.

Just a few abstract thoughts for this update…

Lanterns, Flowers and Fountain – Nighttime Botanical Gardens Image

Lanterns, Flowers and Fountain photograph by Nawfal Nur

 

The image above was taken at the Penang Botanical Gardens during the Annual Flower Festival (2006), and I felt this was maybe a better image for the Dreamscapes category. Please have a look and vote for my image if you like it – thank you!

 

Seeing Differently

Grass in the Rain, by Nawfal Nur, 2007, All Rights Reserved.

  “Grass in a Rainstorm”
© 2007 Nawfal Nur
All Rights Reserved

Much about being a creative photographer is the ability to see things differently.


 

Maybe you are seeing the same thing, the same object, or the same landscape that thousands of other photographers have seen and photographed before; but are you seeing it differently through your viewfinder? Or, is it just another re-creation of what has been done a hundred, or a thousand times before?

 

With digital photography technology so viral and widespread, almost everyone has access to photography through one type of device or another. That doesn’t mean, however, that everyone knows how to take a photograph worth its electrons!

 

Reality offers us such wealth that we must cut some of it out on the spot, simplify. The question is, do we always cut out what we should? While we’re working, we must be conscious of what we’re doing. Sometimes we have the feeling that we’ve taken a great photo, and yet we continue to unfold. We must avoid however, snapping away, shooting quickly and without thought, overloading ourselves with unnecessary images that clutter our memory and diminish the clarity of the whole.” -Henri Cartier-Bresson, on photojournalism, American Photo, September/October 1997 , page: 76

 

Three cheers for H. Cartier-Bresson! Avoid being a “snapper” if you want to become a great photographer.

 

Like any other professional pursuit, great photographs are created by Photographers who think carefully before pulling the trigger, so to speak. Forget that digital is cheap and that you are not spending cold hard cash on film and development any more. Forget that your newfangled digital camera can set everything for you so that maybe you’ll get lucky with an interesting photo once in a while.  Photographic-Economizing and Luck just don’t quite cut it!

In my humble opinion, great photographs come from photographers with great eyes for a scene, purposeful compositions, good timing, fantastic sense-of-place, and superb technical know-how of their craft.

Seeing Differently is what can set you apart from the thousands of other photographers who take photographs of similar subject matter. It’s easy to blend in: It’s challenging and rewarding to set yourself apart and be different.

Water, Lime & Glass, v.2

“Water, Lime & Glass, v.2” is the latest addition at my Imagekind gallery…just click on the link or on the picture to take you to the sales page. You can navigate from there to see my other works at Imagekind.