Just quickly, wanted to tell you about a post I have written for Digital Photography School. It is a big article on Fine Art Photography.
Last week I mentioned that I want to find a new direction with this blog and now I am ready to share with you what my plans are. I want to get back to this blog being more about my art practice and how I go about it. As I said last week, I don’t want to compete with all the other photography blogs out there and in the end I think of myself as an artist who uses the medium of photography. I’ve always been an artist, I can recognise that, and there will be a blog post about that at some stage. Please note that Monochrome Madness will continue as it has.
Last week I spent a wonderful day at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show. One of the things I love about going is the range of flowers that are there that you can photograph. The day was perfect for taking photos. The sun was shining and there wasn’t too much wind, sadly the weather didn’t stay that way.
No one looks at you weirdly as if you are ripping them off because you are taking photos. It is a comfortable environment to do it, and I think it is almost expected.
I can take as many as I like. There are so many people there doing exactly the same thing. Everywhere you look there are people with cameras around their necks. Some are there to get shots like me, and others just to record what they are seeing.
I love doing macro flowers but if you don’t have a great garden then opportunities to take some of these flowers is incredibly hard. I don’t have one, I don’t have the patience to look after one, so events like this are perfect for me.
It is great getting lots of photos and then coming home putting them on the computer to see what I can do to them. I love the opportunity to play with them. I sometimes feel I don’t do it enough.
I don’t think I did a great job of getting the flowers this year. I thought I would an opportunity to go back so I didn’t spend as much time as I should have. Unfortunately, I didn’t get back. Still there is always next year. I did make contact with a nursery and there might be the possibility of going there to get some more macro photos. We will see.
These images were all taken with the Tamron 90mm macro lens.
Nothing has been done on this blog for quite some time, but I’ve decided to try, where I can, to do the 31 day challenge from Pro Blogger. The challenge is designed to help you get a better understanding of why you blog and to help it along. The challenge is 31 Days to Build a Better Blog. Since this blog has been inactive, I thought perhaps it could be a good one to do the challenge on.
Accompanying the challenge are some podcasts by Darren Rowse that you can listen to and get some ideas. The podcasts give you a better understanding of what you need to do and tips on how to achieve it. It is hoped that you can help your blog be a lot more successful.
The first day is about doing an Elevator Pitch for your blog. The link is there so you can go and listen it to it as well.
We have been given lots of tips on how to do this and now I really need to work out what this blog is going to be about and where I want to take it.
My elevator pitch:
This blog is about fine art photography, how I go about it and what I photograph to make my images. I will write about my experiences, whether they are good or bad. It is also about challenging myself to get out there and just try things to share with you as well as an artist.
Perhaps my tag line could be Fine Art Photography in Action.
Here is an image I took with my phone yesterday along the Black Spur Road on the way to Bonnie Doon. It was a very foggy morning and the challenge was all about trying to capture that fog. So maybe the fogginess is symbolic of what this blog has been like and perhaps the challenge will help me come out of the fog.
The other day I went to an event and it was about creative portraiture, or conceptual photography. I tend to call conceptual photography Fine Art Photography. The event was to teach people how to do conceptual photography. I didn’t stay for it, I realised after a while that it really wasn’t for me and is something I have been doing for many many years.
Over the last couple of days since I went I have been thinking about the word conceptual and how it applies here. It is one thing to do it, and another to be able to explain what it is to other people. I thought in this post we could look at what conceptual photography is, or rather my understanding of it. It really isn’t as complicated as it sounds.
You start with an idea, that idea can come from anywhere. You see a scene in a movie and suddenly ideas for images are bouncing around your head. Maybe you open a magazine and more ideas start happening. You start thinking about how this image could come together. What do you need to make it happen? Where are you going to take the photos? Do you need some props? Do you need a model and who will that model be?
You have a concept of what you want, now you just need to make it happen. That is conceptual photography, at least how I understand it to be.
I have included an image with this post, the image is called “The Woodland Bride”, an image I took last year. I am going to talk about how the idea started, and how I made my conceptual image a reality.
I had been watching some things on the internet with an artist who was using cheesecloth to make costumes. I liked the idea of it, but didn’t want to do exactly the same. I was also fascinated with the idea of brides. I think it was because I had been asked to photograph a wedding. I wondered what it would be like to photograph someone dressed like a bride, but use the cheesecloth and make it all raggedy. When I got married I didn’t have a traditional wedding, I didn’t really have a wedding dress, and this idea has been festering in my head, the idea of the bridal gown, that was never worn, but keeps coming out. Worn out by time. There was the basic concept.
I talked to a friend and she said she would model it for me. She said that there was this beautiful spot up at her fathers house that she thought I would like. She was right, I did like it. I dressed her, or rather put the fabric around her to make her wedding gown. I tore it more as I was doing it. Then I gave her the veil. I put it over her face because I wanted her to be anonymous. We realised we didn’t have a bouquet, every bride should have one. We looked around and I started picking up sticks. The sticks were perfect with the concept. While not originally part of the concept initially they worked well with it.
During the shoot I took many images, but this is the one that seemed to work the best. I am very pleased with how it came out.
This is how I come up with my ideas, and I am sure many of you have been doing conceptual photography for a long time and didn’t realise that you were.
Sorry, I can’t get the comments here working, but feel free to email me if you have any questions.
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