05 January - Art, bigotry and philistines

Yesterday I heard that one of my friends, who is a very talented landscape photographer, had been criticised for trying out new techniques of recording his vision of the world. Recently he has received the accolade of LRPS. He posted to his website some ICM (intentional camera movement) images that are beautiful. They remove the detail and concentrate the mind on the colours and light and their interplay together.

These critics commented on lack of focus (part of the idea of ICM) and I gather were negative about his exploration of new techniques. One of them was a professional photographer who runs photography courses, who should be encouraging promotion of vision and interpretation and not demoralising those that do not wish to continually produce what I call Cornish pastiches. If photography is an art we should aim for diversity and promote different interpretations of the world.

So what is the definition of art? According to Wikipedia:

Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging symbolic elements in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect.

So if you look at someone else's images and you do not like them ask yourself why and then be glad that they have stirred up an emotion in you, because that is art. When I look at many of the images that photographers create now I see Cornish pastiches and I hear people say "Isn't that nice." well nice is neither here nor there and it certainly is not art.
Those that drive for us all to constantly mimic or aspire to the art of the masters, should be encouraging development of personal vision and interpretation, after all if I wanted to see Joe Cornish like pictures all the time I would actually visit his website, or better still his gallery in Northallerton, where I could marvel at the genius and ask myself why are his images more aesthetically pleasing than all of those mimics that I see all over the web on a daily basis.

So those critics of my friend should perhaps look at their own websites and ask whether their images stir up emotions, or do they generally get the response "That's nice!".

Here are some images that I have taken in the last few months that have received comments saying that they are fantastic and yet other comments have said the same image is rubbish. All comments please me because that means someone need stimulated by them in a positive or negative way.

These images can all be found on my website.

04 January - The Humber Bridge at New Year

Spent the New Year with family in Hull and managed a walk by the Humber Bridge in Hessle. What a magnificent achievement this bridge is.

I only took the Canon G12 and did several shots playing with ICM. At one stage the sun almost appeared and provided a few minutes of amazing light.

These two images were uploaded onto my iPad, with only the ICM above having been processed with the Photoshop Express app, brightening it a little and adding a frame.


Last photos of 2010

Having gone away for the New Year here are the photos of the last trip to the coast in 2010. Scarborough North Bay was lit by early morning light and there was at last variation in the cloud, with the mist having cleared here.


Interface VIII

From road to sea
These are three different types of image depicting the variation in my photography over the last year. The first was taken with the intention of being a minimalist monochrome, but when I converted it to black and white in Lightroom, I realised that the cloud formation was far to good  to develop high key and therefore the above image emerged.
The second image is part of my interface series and is a long exposure of the sea and sky.
The third is an ICM (intentional camera movement), which I often use when humans or their impact on the environment are in the shot. This simplifies the landscape and allows the play of light and colours to come through. The first two were taken with a Canon 7D and the last was with a Canon G12 compact.

I hope you all have a Happy New Year and that yours is as prosperous as I hope mine will be.