Thoughts on Photography

A Total The Black Dahlia Murder Day so Far! Music Reflections of Mood and Creative Inspiration for Me as a Photographist

It is a total, The Black Dahlia Murder day so far! Music is a Reflection of Mood and a Creative Inspiration for Me as a Photographist—Music is Personal.



MUSIC CAN BE INSPIRATIONAL IN YOUR CREATIVE LIFE

I’m not a fan of all Death Metal music. However, there are certain bands that simply have a great creative-chemistry and great musicianship. I know that Death Metal may sound harsh to some people, but to me, if done with professionalism, like The Black Dahlia Murder (TBDM), then the music, for me, is creatively inspirational, and it may in fact, resonate with my mood and help me to be inspired to get my own creative work going.

Brandon Ellis is probably one of the best lead Death Metal guitarists (IMHO). His riffs and solos are excellent, and technical. I agree with one reviewer recently who said that in TBDM songs, Ellis’s solos could end at one point and be Very Good, but he throws in even more to the compositions that lead to extended GREAT solos. He is, in my opinion, one of the Great Contemporary metal guitarists, and a great member to a band of talented musicians. Their music is aggressive and it creates a wonderful punch, like a melodic, driving wall-of-sound.

An Auditory Nudge

I do feel more motivated to get moving on work when given an auditory nudge with the right music for the moment. Sometimes, the right music may be TBDM, NEVERMORE, The Haunted, and very often, I am inspired by VIVALDI, Mozart, or Klein. I love Classical Violin and Cello Concertos—VIVALDI being my Favourite.

So, I am feeling a bit more inspired now to actually get some work done, and that is much better than feeling overwhelmed and sitting and staring at ALL OF THE tasks needing attention.

Wishing you an inspired and creative day!


☆ You can See and Buy my Photographic Artworks at my #Imagekind Sales Gallery, just Click on this Link:

http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/


What Music Gets You Going? Have you seriously considered this as a way to help you get more motivated? It may help.


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Holy Smokes Batman! Don’t talk to me about Passion and Photography!

Yeah…you heard me right.

Please, Don’t talk to me about Passion and Photography!

How many times have you heard, “Photography is my passion“?

Breathing, is my passion.

Ya’know what…I’m not sure I have a passion.

I know I have a madness, that madness, I think, is that I need to Photograph ‘stuff’ if I have a camera in my hands . I also need to create Abstract Expressionism artwork if I have paper and pens at my ready, and some time to use, to create such “mad” artwork.

Sometimes, I DON’T necessarily want to, or love what I am photographing, but I do it because it seems to just be a part of me, and if I have the tools (camera, some light, etc.), so then, the possibility of discovery is there for me. However, photography is not always good for me, and I think therefore, it is more of madness, rather than a passion. Artwork is something that just happens as a result of the Photography Madness, or, Pen-Art Madness. I knew a long time ago that I have an abstract mind. Abstract for me, is a rather good thing. Thus, not all madness is bad.

For these various reasons, and being rather cynical about things in general, is why I question the millions of times people say, “Photography is my Passion,” “Painting is my Passion,” “Dance is my Passion,” “Singing is my Passion,”….Are you sure?

I’m just sort of tired of hearing “Photography” and “Passion” being used in the same sentence. If you take some extra time to think about it, and be more honest with yourself, maybe your artwork of choice, is actually something other than a passion. Or, maybe it is a passion for real, for you.

Have been lax in my blog posting …

Hi Friends!

I have been quite lax in my frequency of posting new art photography.  I’m so caught up in ‘attempting’ to design a new Art Photography Profile, that it is bogging me down to all ends of the Earth. 

I hope to do better about keeping up with you all and also adding more blog posts.  Necessity is  forcing me to put together a new CV and Profile because of my cut from the contract work at the Aussie University I had been doing work for 15-years.  Consequently, starting new and fresh at the age of 49, is no easy chore, especially when younger people are also out there looking for opportunities. 

I wish I could survive on my artwork and art photography alone, but it is not possible – no where near possible.  I am not sure what the future holds – it is all oblivious and I just feel like I am in a constant haze of drowsiness and blue funk. Being the owner of Ankylosing Spondylitis makes this task 10 times more difficult for me! 

With these current events and the life I’m surrounded by, is it any wonder that is why most of my new artwork is so hazy, dark, and chaotic – it is my mind at this time.  It is not confusing why my art photography is such, at this time, and if you are close to me, then you already know that I have had trouble, long-term trouble with deep depression and GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder) – and I battle this with all my will, and through my art I try to exorcise these demons that infest my spirit. 

I hope to get through this with more positive results.  I appreciate my friends here who have given me strength and encouragement to move forward.  It is somewhat appropriate that one of my favourite quotes is from Brooks Jensen:  “Even if you are falling on your face, at least you are moving forward!”  My face does hurt a lot, so maybe subconsciously, I am failing a lot, but at least I am falling forward as I hurt myself.  I just hope I am learning from my many mistakes and just don’t repeat them too many times. 

Wishing you all, my friends, all the best, and please pray for me and help me with encouragement to not give up hope. 

I know there must be some positive change for me sometime, somewhere, in the future.  One thing is sure – as long as I have even a single colour pencil left in my art box, I will continue making and creating my artwork.  That is a promise and a MUST! At least I do find some happiness in designing artwork.

Take care, my friends,

Nawfal

Title:  "TANGLED MESS, EDIT C". Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson. All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “TANGLED MESS, EDIT C”.
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

Back to some Photography – Seeing Beyond the Surface

I have missed what my blogging friends have been up to for about the last 7-days.

However, I was not on some fantastic holiday – I wish…oh well, let’s get back to some photography.

SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE – PHOTOGRAPHY

Title:  "SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE, No1020673, Edit C." Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved. Penang, Malaysia.

Title: “SANDSTONE ON CONCRETE, No1020673, Edit C.”
Copyright 2014 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.

From time-to-time, I design a photograph that I truly believe fits in my TOP 25 PHOTOS I’VE EVER CREATED List.  I did not think this photograph would be on the list when I took it.  After all, it is just a rock on concrete.  However, when I saw the close-up view of this; and I saw the contrast in light, and texture, and cracky-designs; and how I unconsciously arranged the sandstone and camera so that the thin point of the sandstone pointed toward the lower right-corner; and the repeating texture of the background throughout; and how there is a black & white and a color element in this one photograph; and how the eye directly is brought to the colorful sandstone as it stands out against the rough concrete; and how the long-side of the sandstone magically creates an imaginary diagonal line that goes from the upper left-hand corner, to the bottom right-hand corner.  With all of these things happening in this photograph, it quickly was mentally added to my TOP 25 List.

Some people may just see a rock. Au contraire! I see beauty in the design.

Now…what else…?

 

It’s 5am, It’s Pouring Rain, and I’m outside Soaked, Taking Photographs of Toads!

Taking Photographs of NOISY TOADS, who LOVE the Tropical Monsoon Rains – And did I say it was 5am?

Besides working on some new Abstract Expressionism Photography at 5am, there’s not much else to do at that time in the morning.  I usually do NOT let tropical, heavy rainstorms deter me from taking photos outside…but I take my backup cameras out in the rain for these opportunities.  Being that it was VERY WET outside, AND, VERY DARK, that added a little extra difficulty to the task of Toad-Photography.

Happy Toady Friday!

When it rains heavy, these creatures seem to be the HAPPIEST!  When it gets wet, they are also the NOISIEST!  They sit half-submerged in pools of water, and chat with their toady-neighbors:  That’s what they do!  What are they talking about?  GEEZ, it’s 5am!  Is it “toad-gossip”?

Soaked Man Crawling thru the Weeds with Camera in Hand

I seemed to put the kibosh on some of their toad-antics:  The last thing they expected was some guy with a camera silly enough to be out there in ‘toad-weather’, getting soaked and taking pictures.  Some of these noisy beasts, well, most of them would sink under the water when I slithered my way through the grass (and weeds) to get closer.  A couple of them fatties didn’t seem to care – daring me to take their picture, like “Come on Punk – I dare’ya to take my picture!”  So I did – Here’s a flash for you – POP!  And, one for you…How do you like them apples, Mr. Toad!   Hehehehehehe!  Yes, I am a little delirious from lack of sleep.

How was that weather this morning?

It was wet.  Really wet.  It’s not the type of weather you want to take your DSLR outside and photograph with; therefore, I am glad I have my PANASONIC LUMIX to take outside when it is raining.  The camera is NOT waterproof.  However, as I get soaked, I can shield it slightly, under me as I bend down to look for toads in the pools of water.  I also duck under some cover and wipe the camera down from time-to-time.  Anyways, it was something different to do early, very early in the morning.  Here are some of the shots I got from my 5am-Toad-Photography-Adventure!

Toad Speaking in the Rain - 1

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 1.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

Toad Speaking in the Rain - 2

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 2.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

Toad Speaking in the Rain - 3

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 3.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 4." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 4.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 5." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 5.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 6." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 6.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 7." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 7.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 8." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 8.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 9." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 9.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Toad Speaking in the Rain - 10." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Toad Speaking in the Rain – 10.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

"Raindrop Vibrations - Abstract." (c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur. Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

“Raindrop Vibrations – Abstract.”
(c) 2013 Nawfal Johnson Nur.
Taken around 5am during HEAVY Rain Storm.

Now!  I can get back to my ABSTRACT SMOKE – ETHEREAL, Smoke Art Photography Series.  Sometimes, I get side-tracked with other photo-subjects.  What is that all about?  “Focus-focus-focus – OH COOL, THERE’S SOMETHING ELSE TO PHOTOGRAPH!”  Side-tracked!

Well, that is how my abstract-mind seems to work – sometimes I’m tunnel-vision-focused, and then out-of-the-blue, my eye is drawn to some other subject for a temporary adventure – just like this early morning, toad photography adventure.

LIBERATION thru being FREE FROM FACEBOOK

"GOLDDOOR PADLOCK in ORANGE."  Photographed at the Burmese Buddhist Temple, Pulau Tikus, Penang, Malaysia. Copyright 2013 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.

“GOLDDOOR PADLOCK in ORANGE.”
Photographed at the Burmese Buddhist Temple, Pulau Tikus, Penang, Malaysia.
Copyright 2013 Nawfal Johnson ~ All Rights Reserved.

Liberated, Orange Dead-Bolt Free from Old GOLDDOOR, Rusty Padlock

I deleted my facebook account.

I’m liberated.

Well, I’m free from facebook, at least.

Recently, it became public fact that b i g  b r o t h e r  had total access to facebook.

I believe in the US Constitution:  I know of at least two of my ancestral great grandfathers, and one ancestral great-uncle, who sacrificed and fought in the American Revolution (1775 to 1783):  to me, that is a big deal – it means that my ancestors fought and bled for the very freedoms that are being trashed today by the current political system…this is NOT right.

Facebook is hypocritical, and any other of the major social media and email corporations, who tell you in their Policy statements that your privacy is important to them, yet, they have given free access to b i g    b r o t h e r to   s n o o p   on everyone.   That is a direct violation of yours and mine inalienable rights protected (not so protected any more though) in the Bill of Rights.  This lack of privacy is a direct violation of the 4 th Amendment.

fourth amendment: an overview

The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Ultimately, these words endeavor to protect two fundamental liberty interests – the right to privacy and freedom from arbitrary invasions.  [ Source:  http://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment ]

This is NOT a post on constitutional law – I’m not qualified to cover the topic.  However, I do know that when there is NO probable cause, and there is NO warrant, then there is NO access to your ‘stuff’ – and this SHOULD include digital and online ‘stuff’ too.

Therefore, I no longer wish to be part of a website, facebook, who so blatantly disregards our inalienable rights of privacy.

I only hope that my friends from facebook can continue and wish to visit my blogs to see my new photography because they won’t see it at facebook any more.

“Fake” friends – you know, those people you added to your friends-list.  These are the people that don’t bother to reciprocate your interest in their work, and they never comment and like your work – yeah, those people.  I’m happy to be free of those people.

I fully believe in proper manners and proper and authentic reciprocation.  If I truly like someone’s work, I will “like” it, and perhaps I may make a comment about why I like a person’s work.  However, a one-way relationship gets stale very quickly, so don’t expect a one-way relationship to last very long with me – I simply don’t appreciate it and will not continue those types of negative relationships.

Thanks for visiting my site.  If you like my work, then please hit the “Like” button, and you can subscribe to my blog also – don’t forget that option.

DO NOT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT CHARGING YOUR CAMERA BATTERY – LESSON LEARNED

"Only One Shot, Edit B." For real - I only got off one shot before my battery went dead.  Again, another lesson learned about fully charging batteries before going out to do some photography.  This is the only shot I took on that day, when my battery ran out of juice.

“Only One Shot, Edit B.”
For real – I only got off one shot before my battery went dead. Again, another lesson learned about fully charging batteries before going out to do some photography. This is the only shot I took on that day, when my battery ran out of juice.

Persistence & Your Vision

Applying Makeup, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Applying Makeup, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Green, Blue and Orange Paint Dripping, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Green, Blue and Orange Paint Dripping, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Fingers, Knife, Lemon, Shadow, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Fingers, Knife, Lemon, Shadow, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Lonely Street with Cat & Shadow at Nighttime, Penang, Malaysia, Ah Quee St, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Lonely Street with Cat & Shadow at Nighttime, Penang, Malaysia, Ah Quee St, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Clouds Photography, Penang, Malaysia, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Clouds Photography, Penang, Malaysia, by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Hindu Temple Priest, Penang, Malaysia by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Hindu Temple Priest, Penang, Malaysia by Nawfal Johnson Nur.

Energy and persistence conquer all things.
Benjamin Franklin

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities: It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.
Thomas Carlyle

Film editing is now something almost everyone can do at a simple level and enjoy it, but to take it to a higher level requires the same dedication and persistence that any art form does.
Walter Murch
Paralyze resistance with persistence.
Woody Hayes

Persistence & Your Vision

No one is going to know your photographic vision better than you do.  You may have really stellar photographs, yet, you find resistance from people in the industry, or from outside the industry, or both. 

Do not believe that “they”, meaning anyone else, are the end-all Socratic experts on photography and because “they” do not APPRECIATE your Vision that it is not worthy of notice or appreciation.  Joel Meyerowitz said that when he showed Garry Winogrand his Street Photography, where everything in the frame was the subject, Garry did not like it, he DIDN’T GET IT.  When Joel showed Museum of Modern Art photography curator John Szarkowski, his new work, and told him that Garry didn’t like it and didn’t get it, thinking that the subjects were not close enough, John said, “Well, Garry doesn’t know everything there is to know about Photography.”

Just because someone, or some publication, does not respond to your photography does not mean that everyone will respond the same way.  Just because a magazine art buyer does not select your photography, does not mean that your photography does not have vision, purpose, or value.  If this happens, it means that person does not fit your photography.  It means that maybe, the other person “Does NOT get it.”  It means that they were NOT the right people to approach because of the type or style of photography they adhere to and like.  It does not mean that many other people will have the same reaction, or, non-reaction. 

Just Be Persistent!

I’m at a point in my life where I don’t give a damn anymore if someone does not like my work, or if they do not find it interesting, or if they ignore it for whatever reason.  I know that there are others who do like my work; who do find it interesting; who do want to pursue my work because they appreciate its value and the process and skill it took to achieve the results shown in my work.  

Life is short, and the older you get, it seems like there is less time for you to deal with, especially when it comes to dealing with B.S., ridiculous things! [ Said Captain Obvious!  🙂  ].  Therefore, I no longer waste my precious time on people who don’t appreciate my work – why should I, and that’s not a question, it’s what I adhere to.

As “they” say, there’s no sense in beating a dead cockroach!  If you know a certain magazine, organization, group of people, or person “Do not get your work,” then fine, move on and find those who do appreciate your work. 

  • Do not waste your precious time; however, be persistent in finding those who do appreciate it – they are out there!  You will eventually, find your audience. 

  • People who appreciate your work will be willing to give your work the time-of-day.  They will also be willing to give it praise when they see fit to do that; and, they will also be willing to give you constructive advice that is valuable to you improving your craft.  You MUST find these people, and when you do, APPRECIATE THEM because they are rare gems.

TWO RUSTY BOLTS

"TWO RUSTY BOLTS Go into a Bar, and the Sociopathic one demands of his Minion."  Yeah, so what, strange title for an art photograph.  But, I can name it whatever I want, so there, alright!

“TWO RUSTY BOLTS”

“Most times, we look at objects for their utilitarian purpose. But as photographers, we regard them for their momentary visual appearance.” – Catherine Jo Morgan

Yes, I too see things for their momentary visual appearance and decide if it will make an interesting photograph to me.

The fact that an object attracts my eye is not surprising to me.  What surprises me is that another person will have no appreciation for such mundane objects and totally disregard them, either in real life, or as represented and interpreted in photographs.  They, the close-minded, I fear, just don’t get it.

Getting the Ball Rolling to Avoid Procrastination in Your Photographic Life.

Keeping the Ball Rolling…Heck, just getting the Ball Rolling, is a Great Way of getting things Planned, Worked On, and Completed in Photography and your Photographic Life.

Know the true value of time; snatch, seize, and enjoy every moment of it. No idleness, no laziness, no procrastination: never put off till tomorrow what you can do today.
Lord Chesterfield

Procrastination is opportunity’s assassin.
Victor Kiam

COMING APART, Dance In Motion, Edit C_DSC4303, NJN667
[ “Coming Apart” – Dance in Motion.  2012, Nawfal Johnson Nur]

It is really easy to fall into the trap of, “When the situation is right, then I’ll get to it.”  Or, “When the situation is just right, I’ll continue those photography projects that are lying dormant in my rusty mind.”  Or, “When I get that equipment, ahhhhh, then I’ll have everything necessary doing that photography.”

Those are all great things to say if you never want to get anything done, or accomplish something.

Procrastination kills the creative spirit.  Getting stuck in the damned dam that encircles your comfort zone also kills your spirit!  As the commander of your own life, you have stepped on purpose, or by accident over a long time, into a Major Cluster F&^K!  In fact, if you never make the effort to escape the procrastination villain, then you might as well change your name to Major Cluster F&^K.

Sometimes, you just need to say, “Enough is enough, to hell with it, it’s already in me, and if it isn’t, then I’ll find that out when I’m working on the project, but at least I will have gone out and done something… to discover something about the world, and perhaps more importantly, to discover something major about myself.”

As Brooks Jensen (Editor and Publisher of LENSWORK), says often, if you’re not falling on your face very often, then you’re not doing very much, because it is the photographers who try and fail a lot who are getting places.

Well, these posts are usually just therapy for me, but if you get some good use from them, then that’s an added benefit.  I just modified an old (maybe 17-years old) Vivitar Flash unit and I plan to see what kind of results it will produce with the new attachment mods.  I also plan on looking thru my camera bags and seeing what exactly I use 90% of the time.  That should give me a good indication what is in my bags that are less useful photographically, but are just adding poundage to my pack, and strain on my already strained back.  No need to take paperweights around with me – seriously.

20 Important Points Learned from a Vincent Versace Interview on The Candid Frame

This blog entry is about what I feel are 20 VERY important points that Vincent Versace discussed during an interview on the photo podcast, The Candid Frame.

Some of these points are things you should just ponder for awhile:  You can come up with your own interpretation.

  1. You don’t take photos; photos are supposed to take you.
  2. D MAX:  Do you know what it is?  You can learn about it here.
  3. Do not pre-visualize a shot before you see it:  Be there and be open to the ideas that present themselves to you, when you are there.
  4. All problems should be worked out at time of the capture:  Why?  Because “Photoshop” is not a verb!
  5. Technique should be automatic and this is reached with practice:  Lots and lots of practice.
  6. “Everything happens at the speed-of-life.”  (Vincent Versace).
  7. Photography is experiencing – and there is always more to experience.
  8. The more creative things you do – the more creative you will be, no matter what creative things you do.
  9. Don’t get stuck playing a single note, it will lead you into a rut (i.e. Into a photographic grave).
  10. Don’t assist other people into beating you up – there are already enough people out there who want to beat you up, so don’t help them with this.
  11. Don’t compare yourself and your work to anyone else – you have something to say with your photography and you can only be as good as you are.
  12. Where there is light – there needs to be dark:  Dark is as important as light in a photograph.
  13. Look at “White’s Illusion.”
  14. Strobe light has hard edges, whereas natural continuous light (sunlight) is soft.  Work outside with ambient light with a big diffuser.
  15. Low intensity light is prettier than high intensity light.
  16. Why mimic sunlight?  Just go outside:  Diffused sunlight is prettier than strobe light.
  17. “I photograph portraits like landscapes, and I photograph landscapes like portraits.”  (Vincent Versace).
  18. “If you want to take better photographs, then stand in front of better stuff.”  (This is my favorite point.  Vincent said that Joe McNally said that.)
  19. You must know the concept of what works compositionally.
  20. Everything Matters!  Every small detail dovetails into everything else, even the smallest detail matters in photography, as it does in anything you want to do excellently.

Those were the 20 most important things I learned while listening to Vincent Versace’s interview on The Candid Frame.

How small is your audience?

Pillow, Red Stool, and Shadow on the Sidewalk in Georgetown, Penang.

Pillow, Red Stool, and Shadow on the Sidewalk in Georgetown, Penang, by Nawfal Nur.

Brooks Jensen mentioned in one of his podcasts that it doesn’t matter what size your audience is, that you still MUST do 100% BEST WORK, because that is part of the creative life..living a creative life with integrity is what I would add to that.

I agree with Brooks.  If you are destined to be a photographer, or artist, or speaker, well you give it your ALL no matter what your audience numbers are.  With any good luck and much effort, your audience, the people who appreciate your creativity, will increase.

However, if you slack off, or just do mediocre work because your audience is small, then you are not really living a creative life, you are doing something other than that.

AND BY NO MEANS, does a big audience mean that the “artist” is special, or extra talented.  It just means that perhaps some artists (i.e., talking about photographers here), are shooting subjects that ‘turn on’ a certain popular portion of the demographics.  I know of a few shooters who are not particularly skilled in any extra special way, but because their subject matter is ‘eye-catching’ and ‘popular-with-the-masses’, it appeals to a larger audience.

On the one hand, your audience may be small because you lack the talent and skills necessary to be a good photographer.  Plain and simple, not everyone is suited for photography.  If there is a question of talent in your photography, then these factors will clearly show in your work.

On the other hand, you can be a very talented photographer and have few ‘fans’ and ‘contacts’.  If this is the case, then you need to start asking yourself the right questions about what you are doing wrong with your ‘exposure’, or your marketing efforts, or even with regards to your attitude and people skills.  You need to ask yourself, your trusted friends and your colleagues, what you can do to make a change to increase your ‘exposure’, or to target a more suitable audience.

I think that too many photographers get ultra-inflated egos proportional to the number of fans they collect at sites like flickr.  Not all, mind you, but many do.  After all, they don’t call these types of photo-sharing websites ‘vanity photo sites’ for nothing.  No doubt, the popularity of  many of these photographers are warranted because they have paid their dues and they produce stellar photography.  In other cases, popularity appears to be a case of ‘fan-collection’ with little substance to back up the popularity.

“Is this fair?  Life is not fair.  Never was, and never will be.  So, we live with it, and we find our own audience who appreciates the kind of work that we photograph.  There is an audience for every type of photography.  The audience will come in all shapes, and of course, sizes.  But it is your job as a photographer to define your audience, and to find your fans, those who appreciate your work, your hard work, and the value of your work.  If you do your work and get your work out there for people to see, and appreciate, people who can see the value of your work will be naturally drawn to your photography.”

Photography value is not always determined by money.  There is also a value to your work with regard to how it (and you) contribute to society, how it may benefit other people, and not least of all, your contribution to the photographic arts.

Anyway, have hope, give each piece of artwork you do 100% of your blood, sweat and tears.  Over time, you will see your audience grow.  People will know that you give-a-damn about what you do, that you do your work with all your effort, and that you are not doing the work only to get ‘atta-boys’ at flickr (or wherever).

Because you strive to live an artistic life of integrity, and you love what you are doing, and you do the work to satisfy your artistic needs, these are the ingredients that produce the fuel that drives artistic, dedicated and serious photographers to do what they do.

Of course, we can’t forget about marketing to make our artistic life profitable.  Audience growth can play a major role in the profitability of your artistic life.  However, that is a different subject – also very important – but let’s close for now.

Seriously Impressed with NIKON D3100 Low-Light Capabilities

AVICENNA & ELISAR

AVICENNA & ELISAR

Photo Details:

LOW Light capabilities of the NIKON D3100.
1/15 sec. @ f/2.8 @ ISO3200, and taken inside with shades closed on cloudy day, in a dark room – NO Flash.

I have not written much lately – just haven’t felt like it.

However, I wanted to share this photo with you (whoever is so kind to visit my blog), to show how capable the NIKON D3100 camera is.

I have never been one to buy into the price of a camera equals the “Photography Skill Level” marketing B%&^-Sh%$ that the camera companies have forced down consumers’s throats.

Not very many things irk me too much, but when I hear this such-and-such camera model is ‘entry-level’ and that one is ‘pro-level’, I kind of want to write notes to people at the camera companies and give my 2-cents worth.  WHEN did the price of a camera designate the skill level of a particular photographer?  I must have missed something…somewhere…

In my mind, someone with a Canon 5D Mark II or Nikon D3x can take ‘crap-photos’ just as easily as someone with a lower cost camera.  The photograph quality is based on the skill of the photographer behind the camera, not exclusively the camera.  In fact, a Pro or Pro/Am Photographer should respectively be able to make a really decent photograph with almost any camera that is placed in their hands.

The biggest differences between the various levels of cameras, based on price, are probably better durability, sometimes weight, and a few extra bells-and-whistles.  Of course, if you plan to shoot in really rough terrain or a war-zone, then by all means, go for something with a metal body.

If photographers are labeled based on the type of camera they like, or wish to use, then damn-it-all:  I guess after taking photographs since I was 12 years old (approx), which has been 33 years now, I guess I have demoted myself to an ‘entry-level’ photographer.  That kind of sucks!  Oh Well.  I don’t mind it too much:  I know who I am and what I am capable of (skill-wise) as a photographer.

I like my NIKON D3100 a lot – Most of the time I shoot in the MIGHTY-‘M’ Mode anyway.  I also use a CANON 420EX Speedlite triggered remotely with my NIKON – AND I KNOW THAT HAS GOT TO BE SOME KIND OF MAJOR SIN!

And, I still use my CANON POWERSHOT A620 for candid street photography.  It’s old, 6 or 7 years old, but it still works GREAT!

But, what do I know…

Do I sound a wee tad-bit cranky today?

Well, here is another shot I took with my D3100 – a tricky photograph to say the least.  Sometimes, the shots that seem straightforward are nothing but difficult to make.  To get this shot so that the flames (which are blue) to show up properly, you really need to have a near exact combination of ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed, White Balance, Color Gel and acceptable Background Material.  And, a steady hand to hold the lighter.

HONEST Brand Lighter - Double Flame Still Life

HONEST Brand Lighter - Double Flame Still Life