Soon it will be a paperless society. Books, newspapers and magazines are now available and read online. Yes folks, in my continuing search for new digital platforms to share and showcase my works using today’s innovative technology, I will soon launch the interactive online photography magazine edition of this blog. It will be published monthly and the first issue will come out this December. I am currently filling the magazine with content and testing the site that provides this service for free. I’ll come out with a review, assessment and recommendation in my next Tried & Tested article series. Meanwhile, here’s a peek at the cover of Issue # 1.
Book Excerpt: “Vision is the beginning and end of photography. It’s the thing that moves you to pick up the camera, and it determines what you look at and what you see when you do it. It determines how you shoot and why. Without vision, the photographer perishes.”~David duChemin, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision
Art helps us see with new eyes what we knew was there but never really recognized.~Robert Hall
In your photographic journey, you may arrive on a crossroad and choose the direction that some masters and professionals have taken – fine art photography. Would we, humble enthusiasts, amateurs and hobbyists, ever qualify as fine art photographers? What would it take to create images of this kind? In the first place what is fine art photography? Oh, I’ve read countless definitions all over the Web and they are all mayhem, subjective, each to his own meaning. Whenever there is the word “art” you know it will attract notice and emotional responses. Some say if its worth hanging on a wall its fine art. Fine. It’s not fine art if it is only viewed on a computer monitor. Fine. Some say its a matter of opinion if an image is a fine art piece. Fine again. I read something somewhere that made sense: “a fine art photograph is an image that is made in a manner suggesting great care, ingenuity and skill.” I will not add to the melee and just stop at that definition which is somehow along the line of how Wikipedia defines it: “Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist.” With that done, let’s tackle what it takes to create a fine art image. There are quite a lot of tutorials and tips out there but I found this article Fine Art Photography by John Maxymuik most interesting and appropriate since some of the items listed have already been discussed in my previous posts. There are 11 items the author suggests we follow and some of these include pursuing the goal, developing our “seeing” skills, developing our imagination, incorporating “expression” and “meaning”, and employing the basics of good composition, among others. Can we cut it? Of course my dear friends! Our photographic journey is a progression. We need to level up. We got the eye for “seeing”, we know what image has meaning, we think before we shoot, we are adept in composition and we have practiced all these years. We can make the grade. Now whether our works get the attention of curators and gallery owners is another matter. Enough said.
See the subject first. Do not try to force it to be a picture of this, that or the other thing. Stand apart from it. Then something will happen. The subject will reveal itself.~Bill Brandt (Photo location: Baclayon Church, Bohol province)
I have around five previous posts regarding pictures of churches and how to photograph them. I can’t get enough of them so here’s another one which is probably not the last since I have a whole collection of them. My country the Philippines has a population of 95 million and 90 percent of them are Catholics. It is the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia, brought about by 300 years of Spanish colonial rule which started in the 1500s. The influence of religion is thus ingrained and pervasive in the peoples’ psych and culture, and most evident in the places of worship. From the far-flung towns to the urban centers, church structures abound, from the modern to the centuries old. They stand as symbols of faith, much like the Muslim mosques and the Buddhist temples. To individuals like me, churches, basilicas and cathedrals are profound photographic subjects. They have this visual grandeur and alluring solemnity. They invoke an aura of mysticism, serenity and of course spirituality. Those are intangibles that are represented in what we can see – the shapes, form, patterns, details, lines – elements which are in the microcosm of the physical church structure whether in its cavernous interior or its towering exterior. When you get the chance to tour my country, make it a point to visit the churches. First give thanks to the Almighty for all the blessings he has given you in this life, then pray that all the pictures you’ll take afterwards will be sharp, vivid, clear and in focus. Amen. (Photo location: Dauis Church, Panglao Island)