Posts tagged ‘photography’

Sorry it won’t save you

I think we’ve all tried it at some point, especially if you are a Photoshop user, you think if you purchase those brushes, actions or gradient maps your work will get better. Sorry to burst to your bubble it won’t.

We all want short cuts in achieving desired results, be it art or anything we do. It’s just human nature and it seldom works. 

The most important recommendation I can suggest is to get the basics right. It’s the foundation everything is built on. If you get the basics right these “extras” will add a bit of panache to your work. Conversely if the basics are off, no amount of custom brushes in Photoshop or unique photography technique(s) will make the work any better. 

Focus on the fundamentals, I can’t stress this enough. Use what you already have to get better. Talking from experience you’ll just waste money on things that you don’t need & wonder why your work isn’t any better, especially in this day and age where all your favourite artists are selling brushes, actions and so on. You just don’t need it, at least not yet.

So how will you know when you need it? When your work is good enough and you don’t really need it; that is the time. A bit contradictory, I know, but it is.

So have you wasted money on such? if so share, like & comment below. 

Remember art is subjective.

You need to get comfortable with people not liking or connecting with your work. It’s difficult I know, remember you ultimately do it for yourself. At least I do. You do it because it brings you joy to share something you are good at or at least want to be good at. There is something inside you that needs to be shared with the world. 

In an ideal world, everyone likes or appreciate what we do but the reverse is the reality. We need to be comfortable with this, it’s imperative. When we’re not, we alter our work for others appreciation or acknowledgment. I think this is dangerous having done it in the past. Eventually you look at your work and you just don’t like where it ended up. Trust me it’s a place you don’t want to be. In no man’s land, you’re not happy and neither is your audience. A better scenario, they are happy and you aren’t. 

Get comfortable with the fact that some people will not like your work, no matter how hard you try they just won’t. You just can’t please everyone and embarking on that journey is just futile. Focus more on your fans, they are the fuel you need to go further. I’d say that you should ignore the haters but I think they can also help. How? You may ask, well they can keep you grounded and can be a source of constructive criticisms which can also be helpful. You however want to avoid the toxic ones for obvious reasons. Hope this helps.

So what has been your experiences in the past with fans & haters, please comment below, like & share. 

Keep creating.

It’s one of the closing statements made by Umesh Dinda one of my favourite YouTube instructors. The statement is so apt. You create to put out your vision into the world. To satisfy a burning desire to give back, that which you love that brings you joy and hopefully others. 

You learn, you grow and become overall better.  There is always something to learn, there is always something to aspire to. So what happens when a goal is achieved? On to the next one, I’m afraid. You push your limits as far as you can and as you do, you get that addictive feeling of accomplishment. 

I find the joy is in the creative process more than the accomplishment itself. Achievements are very short lived. In so many instances the moment I’m almost done or nearing the end of a project, another one has invariably commenced, maybe mentally or in my sketchbook. It’s like reading a good book on amazon, the algorithm immediately recommends something similar for your next read or Netflix recommended another similar movie based on your previously watched movies or shows. 

As an artist keep creating. 

What are your thoughts? Can you relate? How do you start a new project?

Please remember to like, share and comment. 

That is a really nice photograph.

“That’s a really nice photograph. You must have a great camera.”

⁃ A well-meaning friend

I love this quote, mainly because people ask this question all the time. Forgetting or not knowing that it’s really the ability to “see” that matters. This is what counts particularly in photography. What do you see ? What is the concept? What are the colours, is it a location shoot or studio shoot? How does the model come across in the image? 

It’s not just the camera, not by a long shot. The camera is just a tool at the end of the day. To help you achieve your artistic vision. Anyone can get a good camera but it takes years of practice & lots of experience to develop the skills you need to be good. It’s more important to spend time experimenting and learning what is relevant to your art than getting a new gear. At the end of the day you’ll just get the same results but at a higher expense. 

There is always something to learn and room to grow. This is a more valuable way to spend your time. I recommend you spend your money on relevant courses, on studying other artists than on new gear in this day and age where your gadget is outdated every 6 months. I mean we all know that artist who makes great art with the most mundane tools. It sure is the way to go. 

What is your take on this? Please like and comment below.

Doniford Holiday Park….

So I went on holiday to the Doniford  Bay Holiday Park at Somerset in the Uk recently and of course I had to take pictures. It was fun, I would recommend it, if  you are looking for a place to really chill out for a while . You can see some of my favourite pictures in the travels section of the website. Enjoy. 

Keep it simple…

Sometimes it pays to keep your image simple. You don’t always have to use all you lights, your strobes, your gels etc the model doesn’t need heavy make up and yes I know you like that dress, but sometimes it pays to just put it all aside and work with the least amount as possible. I like the fact that it forces you to get rid of so many stuff you are used to and go back to the basics of what makes an image memorable. Is it the model herself ?, the colors?, the light & shadow ? or the scene depending on what you’re shooting. It can be liberating in some ways. It reminds you of where it all started from before complexity became the order of the day. I recommend you go back to the basics from time to time you might learn something new. I mean look at Apple products they epitomize simplicity in all their products and that is key in their sales. 

It can be hard to do, especially because it is easier to add than to take away, but I encourage all to do this once in a while & see where this leads them. 

They are all interconnected.

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Try not to work in isolation, I believe everything is interlinked when it comes to art. If you are a photographer or aspiring to be one, you have to study a lot of different subjects. Yes you need to understand your photography stuff like your gear and lights, and so on, but that is just the beginning of your journey. You then have to make what you are shooting interesting, it depends on you, it can be very simple it can be very dramatic. So what other things do you have to consider?

Ever wondered why you love some images and you just can’t tell exactly what it is about the photograph that makes the image tick? Yes it can be beautiful, yes the colors may pop, yes the location may or may not be exotic or grimy or grungy depending on the type of photograph. I believe it’s the subtle stuff that goes unnoticed that make the difference e.g. things like the model’s pose that you never actively noticed, give the image grace, make the image regal, movement, subtle facial expressions like squinting of the eyes, the time of day the shot was taken e.g. the golden hour and so on. Trust me as an artist/photographer you have to be aware of these subtle details, I don’t think you can ever actually master them, but noticing them is alone is the beginning of getting better in the long run.

So going forward learn as much as you can on an ongoing basis, be it posing, styling, makeup, be it communicating better with your subject during the shoot to get “that” expression. e.t.c learn as much as you can because for a fantastic shot all these things come together to make it what it is, so learn as much as you can to be able to tap into them and make your images stand out.

Something to Consider In Photography.

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Are you familiar with the quote “spray and pray” in photography? I think we’ve all done it, at least when we first started out. You take pictures, lots of pictures hoping that by magic you get that good shot through luck. It happens make no mistake, but rarely. Let me recommend an alternative………..

Do it with purpose. Before your next shoot and during your shoot keep asking yourself the following questions.

Why are my shooting?

What are my shooting?

What makes it unique?

What am I trying to say?

What is the concept?

What is the setting?

What angles will I shoot from?

What kind of light will I be using?

What type of light diffusers will be ideal?

e.t.c

By doing so we give the whole experience a sense of purpose, a direction. Thereby controlling the whole experience. Brooke Shaden (check her on instagram) gave us a template to start with, she recommends we consider the following when coming up with a concept for a shoot. They are:

  • Color
  • Prop
  • Wardrobe
  • Setting
  • Theme

I think that they are a great starting point for any shoot and we should consider them when next we are shooting. So for your next photography session you may want to consider or incorporate these suggestions. So get out there and start shooting.

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The Importance of Museums & Exhibitions

Gallery Image

Still on the topic of inspiration, I cannot stress enough the importance of visiting museums and galleries, especially art galleries. You can find links (October Rain 2017 and Art X Lagos) of the last two exhibitions I attended which may or may not be a source of inspiration. There is nothing as inspiring to an artist as seeing the work of others, galleries and exhibitions have an uncanny ability to bombard your sense of creativity that I feel you can’t get anywhere else.
If you can’t, for whatever reason physically visit a museum or attend relevant exhibition you can always do so online. I however I recommend you  get out of your comfort zone and physically go to one. I think there is a certain feeling you get when you attend galleries as opposed to just checking out art in the comfort of your chair or sofa. Such as interacting with others, speaking to the artists themselves who can actually give you insights into what was going on in their mind while creating that particular piece of art, and so on. You just can’t get that online, yes you can communicate via messages depending on the online exhibition, but I feel it is fairly limited.
So find out about upcoming exhibitions  and visit galleries in your area and whatever you do constantly bombard your senses with inspirational images/art/sculpture and so on to get your creative juices flowing.
Side note:
If you are ever in Lagos, Nigeria; I highly recommend you visit the Nike Art Gallery, you won’t regret you did. Their instagram handle is nikeartgallery. So check them out.
Below are  some of my favorite artists works on-line, check out their work. Spoiler alert, they are amazing.
Brooke Shaden –https://brookeshaden.com/
Stanley Lau (Artgerm)  – http://artgerm.com/
Justin Dingwall – http://www.justindingwall.com/
Aleksei Vinogradov – https://avvart.deviantart.com/
Sergey Muzlov – http://muzlov.com/
Now tell me after checking out out these artist that you are not inspired to create. So get out there, be inspired and go create!!
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Inspiration

You can get it from anywhere at any time. Try to keep a log, a note, a drawing, anything to help you remember for the future, especially when you are void of it. Like I mentioned in the past I use Evernote for so many things especially to help me remember things. I keep inspirational images for the future, be it something I clipped on-line that can inspire me to creating something new. I noticed that if you don’t keep a record you forget and invariably it is gone forever. So keep notes, keep images, keep ideas, keep concepts and you will have stock pile of inspirational stuff for when you lack any sense of creative ideas which you are guaranteed to get from time to time..
So what do I do when I lack inspiration? I keep busy? Huh you ask? Let me explain. You see by keeping busy it takes my mind to other things that are important say, improvements to my website, writing my blog, e.t.c. You see I noticed that when I keep busy I find that my subconscious mind goes to work for me, and at odd times I get something. If I don’t get anything from my subconscious mind, at least I have been productive in a different aspect. So either way I don’t lose. Try to keep, busy doing productive work and you never know what may come your way. What is however critical is you have a means of recording your ideas when you come across them, for if you don’t record it you lose it. Heck if you are driving find a safe place to park and record it. You’ll be glad you did.
Keep moving, persist, and never stay still. Who knows when you’ll get that million dollar idea, concept, or work that you’ll be proud of.

Below is one of my artistic portraits from a raw photograph I wasn’t a fan of.

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