One of the things I noticed last night, was that my artwork is hard to classify.
A lot of the photography on display, and even the image that won in the best photograph, were, what I call straight photography. Now I am not saying they were not good or did not evoke emotion (as good art should), but the idea of the photo was based in the subject matter. For example, the best in show image was a very good shot of a fire pit somewhere outside some slums. For me, the image only said anything in relation to the poverty and political situation in the middle east. My works tend to be “placeless” and “timeless”. The location of the work is less important than what the image conveys to you.
I am neither complaining, nor jealous. I am just trying to figure out how to market my own work. Since much of my work is quite abstract, or explores themes deeper and/or different from the nominal subject, can I really call it photography?
I also am a bit afraid to call my work digital Imaging (even though I tend to spend a lot of time in PhotoShop), because there is still a stigma about digital art.
I guess I need to worry less about labels, and what other people think. I am going to stop calling myself a photographer (largely because I don’t want to get asked to shoot weddings) and start calling myself an artist.
Ok, I haven’t been giving much love to this website lately. for large values of lately…
My excuse is that I have been working hard at school. To my credit, I have been working on a few other projects (hopefully more details soon).
My big news today though is that I have been accepted into the Sooke art show. I submitted two photographs, nd they chose the one I thought was the weaker of the two… goes to show how hard it is to second guess jurors…
Oh the image chosen (I am naming it Angel Hair):
A friend inspired me to call my latest image “By Myself”
She said the first word she though of when she saw it was “lonely”. As I have said before, I work my images to reflect my thoughts and emotions. Obviously it worked here, at least for Barbara…..
OK, I don’t normally do this, but I want to be able to find this video when I need a kick in the pants….
A while ago, a friend suggested that I call my prints limited editions. The argument is that I always try to create new work and never go back to old images, therefore I, by default, create limited editions.
A discussion recently prompted someone to say that I cannot have limited editions unless I declare at the outset how many prints I will make of an image. I agree with this sentiment, but it made me think:
1. Do I have the right to destroy beauty?
Lets say, for argument sake, I create something that is beautiful, for some definition of beauty. Do I have the right to destroy the original (either negative or digital file)? If I created it, it would be quite selfish, but I think I should be able to delete it. In the same way that if I purchased the Mona Lisa, I do have the right to burn it. Some people might be quite pissed off, I would be depriving human culture of a great work, but I do have the right.
2. What gives me the right to artificially inflate prices by artificially limiting the number of copies of a piece?
If I create a one of a kind something like a painting, any extra copies will not be as good (or at least the same) as the original. The piece with the original brush strokes is unique. The whole argument falls apart for photography*. Each print is the same as the last. Now I know that in 20 years it will be very hard to copy the same printer settings, especially if I am printing on a newer, better printer. but for a short time I should be able to reproduce any print exactly. All I need to do is print the final file. Why should I tell someone that I just sold the last copy and I do not want to print any more? Again it is a decision on my part to not print another copy, not any limitation in the media. To me that sounds selfish. But again, I guess I do have the right to not sell a print.
Digital media has changed a lot of things. Copies are no longer expensive. The only way to create a limited market is to decide to create a limited market. Is this morally right? Is it morally wrong? I don’t know, but I think I will still produce prints from an image for a while, and then no more once I get bored with it….
*An argument could be made that a print from an analogue negative is more unique, especially if there is a lot of burning and dodging of the final print. Other photographic processes may have random uncontrollable elements as well, but I am more concerned with digital, since that is what I shoot.
I just came back from Serious Coffee on the Colwood strip, where some of my photos are on display. I think, for the most part, my photos stand strong, but I will do a few things different for my next show. For one thing, I will try to have a more cohesive group of photos. I think I will also (on the advice of a friend) do a bit more publicity, ie a couple of press releases, and a bit of media exposure.
I have some images up at the Serious Coffee on the Colwood Strip, across from the casino.
This is my first show in about 10 years. Please have a coffee, and let me know what you think of my photography.