Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Failing Gracefully....

It would seem it's been a while since I was last here. Busy, I think, though, half the time I'm busy doing nothing but thinking. Thinking and never expressing, or writting it down....

Early posts from this year promised big changes; but as governements changed policies, money grew tighter, and reality set in, things have had to be postponed.

I have yet to travel, but it will happen. Maybe a year later then planned, but it will.
The house I am living in is for sale, the place I call home will no longer be mine.
I have also revamped the look of my blog, and my cahnge it again soon, as my old mash up of darkend images for my background no loger sufficed.
I am also studying a certificate of Greek and Roman Mythology form the University of Pennsylvania; its awesome.

And yet... with changes big a small now toying with my once stable world, I have finally noticed what it has done to my work. I hadnt noticed, but I bet others have. Sometimes the master cannot see the creation. The series I have called "Failing Gracefully", a collection of beauitfully melencholly images, all gorgeoues, but with titles thst suggest they are all doomed. Maybe a subconsious expression of how my world has changed...

"Where I belong"

"Idyllic Longing"

"relax, this is normal"

"stuck in a world i don't belong"

"a beautiful tragedy"

"Empty promise"

"Rain, rain come this way, make the sun please go away"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Art Takes Times Square: Eating Strawberries

On June 18th, 2012, art took over times square...
And I Was A Part Of The EXHIBITON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

thankyou to eveyone who helped get my work exhibited in times square.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Copyright issues- some answers for photographers and some clarity for models

It's a nice feeling when people like your work. They want to share it, show it off, tell the world, but somethimes thats really irritating, even if the person ment well.

Since 30 July 1998 the photographer owns full copyright in their images, even if they were commissioned by a third party; so if a photographer tells you as a model want they expect, gives instructions or asks you not to do something, then you do as you're told. I understand, having worked both behind and in front of the camera the process, but unfortunantly when you are working for a fine art photographer, you have no claim over the photos that are being taken. The photographer doesnt actually have to acknowledge you AT ALL.

I am usually quite happy to exchange time for print, but even then, my models have to understand that I need to know where my images are going, and for what use, before its okay to do so. Every photographer works differently, so a model needs to check before they do anything with any images they recieve. As my models agree for me to use the images commercially, it decreases the value of my images if a model uploads them everywhere, especially on facebook, twitter, myspace and tumblr. To some extent, I want to be able to help my models by getting more work, but trying to explain that they don't own the images, and therefore it is not cool to upload them all can be very fruastrating, especially when I'm working on photographs for a gallery exhibition. People dont want to buy works they've seen as your profile pic.

So keep this in mind, next time you're working with a fine art photographer- they dont have to ackowledge you as a model, but if they do, you know your work was spectacular, so maybe return the favour by respecting their wishes and instructions.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The nusance of a pet peeve

As an artist, I create art works. As a portrait artist I make works about people.
As photography is my chosen medium, I take photographs of people.

But, over the past few months I have truly discovered the ignorance of people, who, unbeknownst to them, don’t understand what fine art photography is all about.
If you get a painting, the person who modelled for it will exclaim, “What’s-his-name did a good job painting me.”
If you get a sculpture, the person who modelled for it will say, “So-and-so did a fabulous job, I’m proud to have been involved.”
If you get a drawing, the person modelling for it will declare, “The way the artist can capture me with a pencil is astounding.”

But with a photographer, they get from the model, “That’s my face.”

Well, I hate to burst your bubbles, but if it is a fine art photograph, then it has nothing to do with you. This is becoming a pet peeve of mine, and I think it about time I addressed it.
You’re probably thinking that sounds selfish and self-centred, but hang on a minute while I explain.

“Fine art photography refers to photographs that are created in accordance with the creative vision of the photographer as artist. Fine art photography stands in contrast to photojournalism (which provides visual support for news stories, mainly in the print media) and commercial photography (the primary focus of which is to advertise products or services).” (From Wikipedia)

If you model for a fine art photograph, then the end image is not about you. It doesn’t reference you as a person; it doesn’t include your interests, hobbies or attitudes. The end image is about a much larger issue, the “bigger picture” if you will. You may very well support the concept, you may even have help develop the idea in the artists head, BUT that doesn’t mean you get to ignore that fact that the photograph is the artist’s work. You may have to hold a pose, but they have to come up with an idea, a location, a way of lighting the image, a costume, the makeup, the hair, they then have to take the image, then edit the works, then name it, then print it. There’s more work involved then just pressing a button and making you look pretty.
The artist may include your opinions and your ideas to get a final piece, but chances are the artist already knew what they were doing, even if they don’t say much. You also have to remember that no two people see that same object the same way. Especially with fine art, it could be more about capturing the light then your face, which makes it even less about you as the model.

The art of photography is more than just what is in the image, it’s about how it makes you feel, what you can’t see and the concept, and the more I branch out of my comfort zone, the more I have been discovering the ignorance of people, and the genuine confusion of trying to explain that you may be in the image, but it is not you!
You see, a fine art photographer is not trying to capture a singular person, but is trying to capture an image that connects a group of people together. Imagine a room full of people listening to the same song; in the same way they are connected, a fine art photographer is trying to connect people with their work.

If you want a pretty picture that’s all about you from someone who says they are fine art, then be prepared to fork out some money, because it will cost you.

So maybe, from now on, when you work for a fine art photographer, and you see then end result; perhaps instead of whining, “But I’m not like that, I don’t look like that in reality,” or proudly uploading the artists work on the net, telling everyone, “Look at the work I did. Aren’t I beautiful? Did you see my face?”, you’ll think, “wow, I’m so glad I got to be a bigger part of Such-and-such’s works” or “Doesn’t Such-and-such photograph me beautifully” or “Did you see Such-and-such’s photograph of me”, because after all, just because it looks like you, doesn’t mean it is you...

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pondering the perceptions of others

It’s interesting sitting in a gallery, watching people come through; pausing to reflect on a piece, to comment on the art to a friend.
What’s even more thrilling, in a self torturous kind of way, is sitting in on your own exhibition anonymously.
Even though I announced last week via Facebook and Twitter that I would be minding my current exhibition “Mental Monsters” this past Sunday, many people still wandered in without knowing who I was. 
This kind of secrecy allowed me to eavesdrop legitimately on what people thought of my work; not something many others can claim to have done.

Similar descriptive words repeated themselves:






And yet, all this could not top off the best “questions” of the day.

One woman came in, who stated she enjoyed the intensity and theatrics of my work.  She asked me what medium of photography I worked with, to which of course I replied with digital.

“But you have to be really careful with that, don’t you?” she asked me, “As there’s a certain kind of superficiality to digital photography.”

Ironically, I was asked this question twice in one day. The first time was actually by someone i knew, and I understood she was just challenging me in a mentor-ish way, but the second time was someone who genuinely thought she had a point. Many people I could imagine, would get very upset by a comment like this, but this is an argument I have become used to. To me, this argument is akin to the debates over white bread verses grainy bread; both are good, both are relevant, both are bread, it’s simply a matter of preference.

I smiled. “I suppose that is true. But that is true of any art form, regardless. I could argue that I’m not manipulating the photo, I’m manipulating the mood.” The woman smiled and nodded at me. If I was convincing her, I’m not sure. “What people need to remember is that artists like me aren’t trying to convince you that this was how it was anymore. We are quite happy to tell you that we manipulated it to enhance a feeling, to show a way the light moved or to bring out something that you wouldn’t have seen otherwise; unlike darkroom photographers, who can quite rightly say they didn’t use Photoshop, but we all know they edited their image in a darkroom.”

Another man came in, and wondered if what I was doing was just twisting the truth.

“Because that’s not how it was, is it?” he asked pointing to one of the pieces. It’s very good how you’ve finished it, but doesn’t manipulating it in Photoshop just twist the truth?”
“Well that really depends,” I answered. Many hobby photographers (not all, but many) have a common belief that a true photo is one that captures EXACTLY what was there at that moment. But I have never agreed with that, based on the simple principle, no two photographers will photograph the same subject the same way. “These works are not about you. I invite you to find meaning, I want you to walk away with something, but these are how I reacted to something. These photographs show more than anything how I view the world. That makes them truer than any photo I could take with perfect lighting and perfect clarity.”

I hope that both these people walked away with a deeper understanding for digital works, if not a respect for a young artist, who knows what she’s talking about.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

lets talk about some work...

so, 2012 is well underway, things are looking up, the universe has declare "yes, now its your turn!"
in May, I will be heading to Los Angeles for a year.
my 2nd solo show "Mental Monsters" has finally opened at the Briagolong Gallery in Victoria (it was supposed to happen in october to match halloween, but due renovation on the place it got put back)

and a new year means some new faces to the strawberry team.
the first is Sarah Louise.

the second is Chantel.
and long time friend and model Jessica Hooper is branching out, hoping to become a proffesional model. you can contact her via Model Mayhem,

now i was just wanted to share some of my editing work, which i havent done for a while (mostly becuase i'm lazy)
This is my piece "incoherent reality"
believe it or not this peice actually involved very little post processing.

 I know it looks like i've done alot, but believe me, I really didnt LOL.
firstly, the image was cropped. the photo was taken with th intention of being square, but where i was shooting didnt alow me to take the photo that way so i had to compensate. I then cloned the line on the left out, which i felt was distraction.
The image was then converted to black and white, given a green filter, and then I added the grunge texture over the top. instead of making a transparent layer, I reduced the strength of my eraser tool untill I had a variation of strengths with the texture to get my final image.
see, simple really. =)
this new work has a basis in the idea of reality, possibility and dreams. I'm not sure where its all going yet, but watch this space, im sure it will all come together eventaully, like it normally does!