#thoughtsonphotography and the business of being an Artist

Technology seems to be hassling me again…..Vivien !!!

If you are familiar with “The Young Ones”, then you may remember the episode where Neil is being hassled by technology!

Well, Vivien, Technology is hassling me too!

I tried to call up my blog….in two different browsers, and I get error pages.


I’M SURE, this too will pass. Nevertheless, why is it when I want to do something (with technology), it finds a need to hassle me?!?

Oh well………


NOW, I’m having trouble publishing this post…..SERIOUSLY…..GREAT!!!

OK….Positive Nawfal, trying to reason with the WP Gremlins.

So….how’s that working for me? Let’s see….hit the Publish button again….and….

Great! Positive Nawfal…..it isn’t working.

“The squeaky WordPress gets the Grease!”

Would someone please get WordPress some WD40!


So, what is one of the GREATEST GIFTS you can give yourself as a Photographer?

☆ No…it is not a new fancy expensive camera!

The “greatest” gift you can give yourself as a Photographer is actually FREE! YES, FREE! But, it is a bit difficult to use without the skills to use it.

☆ The Answer: The ability and skill to edit out, and trash, ALL of your Crap-Photos!”

Yes, you read correctly—Your Ability and Willingness to Trash Your Sucky Photos is one of the best photography skills you should give to yourself (learn)!

You are doing yourselves a disservice if you do not learn and stick by this priceless skill of editing your photos like a beast! You will also be doing your part as a Green Photographer, by not polluting the overpopulated country known as InternetPhotoLand, with photo-garbage. Everyone should do their part, but so few seem responsible enough.

So, if you were hoping I was going to say, go out and gift yourself a new camera, no, that’s not the answer to horrible photography.

Here’s what you can do:

1) Learn to take good photographs with whatever equipment you have now. That means, learn the basics, train your eye to see more interesting subjects, learn to compose better in the frame, and learn about lighting.

2) When you are editing your images, be an Editing Beast! If the photo is not in-focus, not composed well, has HORRIBLE lighting, is BORING, and any other number of minus-qualities, then trash it and move along. Editing software can save some poor images, but it is better to start with a pretty good image to begin with, and then tweak it to your desired results.

There are simply too many bad and boring photos out there, so why settle by adding more to that depository. Instead, be a better Photographer….Take better photographs.

So there….

A few of my thoughts on a great gift to give yourself if you are a Photographer.

Much Work Completed, Backlogged, and not Exhibited Yet, But that is soon to Change



I constantly have new artworks…in the works.

Thus, I have many completed works that I have yet to exhibit here on my blog. That is soon to change: I just need to focus! Use the Force, Nawfal! LOL!

I think the main reason I am backlogged on the exhibition of my work here, is simply, because that is the final step in my process of working.

In simplified terms, my Work Process is thus:

  1. Planning / Cognitive Creation.
  2. Putting Ink to Paper.
  3. Completion of Work and Final Processes.
  4. Photographing the Work.
  5. Basic Editing of Photographs.
  6. Complex Editing of Photographs.
  7. Creation of Photographic Artwork.
  8. Uploading Art Photographs to My Art Gallery Sales Website, at http://nawfalnur.imagekind.com/ , and doing ALL the text detailing needed to prepare each photograph for sale.
  9. Composing Blog Posts at https://smokephotographist.wordpress.com/ to explain, exhibit, and market each new art photograph.

These are complex steps, and much of the time I get stuck at Step 4; and leave it to say, I am frustrated with this fact because I’m a Photographer! This should not be happening, but it does. Therefore, I complete a lot of works, and only then do I photograph these completed works, in batches.

  • Therefore, Steps 1 thru 3 are easy for me, but Steps 4 thru 9 are done only occasionally.
  • And thus, I need to work on photographing my artworks on a more regular schedule.

It is a Good Idea to Identify Where in Your Work Process You Have Problems

Steps 8 and 9 are also slow-going much of the time. Perhaps because Steps 8 and 9 are more like Administrative Tasks, and I find them not so fun, or maybe, too redundant. I have difficulty concentrating on repetitive tasks—I find repetitive tasks very boring.

All that I know for sure, is that I’m aware of where I get clogged-up in my work process. That is a good start. That being the case, I know where in my process I need to improve and streamline, or make it less redundant.

How BACKLOGGED Am I with Publishing and Exhibiting My Pen Artworks and Art Photography?

I think my Backlogged Artwork Period is from about 19 June 2017 until the Present. I didn’t count the number of artworks, but it is approximately 30 artworks, and probably 200 photographs.


1) Work more efficiently.

2) Avoid unproductive distractions.

3) Focus!

4) “Use the Force!”

Red, Black, Weeds, Blue Dot, Edit B, Environmental Still Life Photography by Nawfal Johnson

Title: “Red, Black, Weeds, Blue Dot, Edit B”.

Date: 26 April 2018.
Copyright 2018 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
Penang, Malaysia.


Collection Years: 2017 – 2018.

Collection Description:

This Collection is Still Life Photography, designed while walking around Penang. To be more specific, this photography is essentially ENVIRONMENTAL STILL LIFE PHOTOGRAPHY. It is a record of capturing serendipity as it presents itself to me, as I go around Penang, to photograph. The subjects are colors—paints of abstract designs interacting with environmental objects, like tree leaves, water puddles, rain drops, dry and cracked dirt, colourful rocks, and anything that catches my attention and presents itself as good still life subjects.

☆ Purchase Fine Art High-Quality Photographic Prints, and Gallery-Quality Canvas Artworks:


Abstract, still-life, environmental, colourful, leaves, shells, dirt, rocks, macro, Nawfal, Johnson, Nur, active, vibrant, red, black, blue, white, expressionism, vertical,

We Do the Work, To Do the Art, And Aim for Perfection!

Brooks Jensen once said something like,

“We do the work, to do the art, not for any particular financial reward, even though that is important, but because the creative must do the work, with the aim to attain excellence.” (I am paraphrasing, and hope I came close to Jensen’s general idea.)

At first, when I heard him say that, I disagreed—slightly.

I was thinking, we spend all the time doing the artwork, to naturally advance our profession, and as any business venture, to make a profit—that is the reason people have businesses, to make profits.

Yes, making money from all of our hard work creating paintings, jewellery, sculptures, or photographs, is important. It is ESSENTIAL to make money to survive.

Needing to make a profit—I think that is something that most people do not understand about professional and freelance artisans.

We, LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, need to make money, to make profits from our hard work, our products, and our services. My products are my art-photographs and I REALLY NEED PEOPLE TO PURCHASE FINE ART PRINTS OR GALLERY-QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHIC CANVASES— WHY don’t people understand this simple concept? I need people to hire me and pay me my required services’ fee for whatever photography job is required—WHY don’t people understand the Art Business Sector? It’s similar to all the rest—we all do work with the expectation of being paid for products delivered, or services rendered: Correct!?!

☆ Do Doctor’s work for free? No! Do Electricians work for free? No! Do Plumbers work for free? NO! So why does the general public often feel like Photographers should work for free, or for peanuts? It is ridiculous!

YES! All Artisans work toward perfection in their creations, and profits are not the most important aspect in the creation of artworks; nevertheless, making profits from your hard work, and creating artworks to be sold, is essential to your survival as a businessperson.

THUS, aim for perfection in all your artwork creations; however, NEVER UNDERCUT your value, or you will soon not have a business.