Something hit me the other day on the way into work. That happens quite often. I mean I didn’t get hit by a car or anything. I got hit by an idea. And the idea this time is that there are four types of photographs. In this blog post I want to illustrate what I have in mind by showing you the same raw file rendered four different ways.
Continue reading “Four Types of Photographs” »
Tags: art, believable, capture, creativity, document, interpretation, personal style, photography, realistic
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Personal style. What is it? I like to bring up the topic of personal style in my workshops. I think it’s important to understand that each of us has a personal style whether we know it or not. It comes from the fact that each of us is a unique individual and sees the world in our own personal way. Our skill levels are different. Our life experiences are different. Our interests are different. And that leads to each of us having our own individual world view.
Continue reading “Making a Photograph – Personal Style” »
Tags: landscape photography, out-of-the-box, personal style, photo, photography, photography workshop, Workshops
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“Did you manipulate your photograph?” “Did you use a filter?” “Do you use a Mac?” “Do you crop your images?” “I’ll have a nicer day than you; I’m not shooting a Canon.” Yes, someone actually said that to me at Bridal Vale Falls in the Columbia River Gorge of Oregon in response to my cheery, “Have a nice day.” I guess when you take the entire population of photographers you will always find those that are prejudiced and closed minded just like any other population. They think they are right and anyone that disagrees with them is wrong. It’s that simple.
The current issue of Lenswork magazine, the premier journal for black and white photography, has an article by guest contributor Jim Kasson titled “Previsualization in the Digital Age.” I couldn’t wait to read it. In my workshops and lectures I’ve always advocated that an artist interprets reality and communicates that interpretation through her or his art. In landscape photography I’ve encouraged our workshop attendees to leave their camera gear in the car until they connect with a location and only then set up their cameras to try to capture what is is they are experiencing. Previsualization, the anticipation of what the finished work will look like, is a big part of communicating what you are feeling.
Continue reading “Taking Your Photography to the Next Level” »
Tags: Ansel Adams, anticipation, artists, California, Canon, Carmel, communication, constraining, crazy, creative vocabulary, Darkroom, decisive moment, delightful, experience, Filter, grow, Half Dome, Henry Cartier-Bresson, impressionistic, inspirational, interpretation, Jim Kasson, journey, lecture, Lenswork, Lightroom, Mac, moving, Nikon, open minded, PC, personal style, photogrpahy, PhotoShop, playfulness, possibilities, previsualization, reality, self-discovery, skills, spontaniety, stifling, unpredictability, view camera, William Neill, workshop, Yosemite, Zone System
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In the previous post in this series I presented the idea that calendar art is a worthy first goal for serious photographers. (Read Taking Your Photography to the Next Level.) And aside from the fact that the subject matter of calendar art may be fairly run of the mill, the technical and aesthetic qualities are generally excellent.
In that post I ended with this thought:
Calendar art is about the subject of the photograph. The photographer is transparent. In fine art photography the influence of the artist becomes more apparent.
Continue reading “Taking Your Photography to the Next Level – Fine Art” »
Tags: art, artist, communication, creative vocabulary, fine art, interpretation, personal style, photography, Workshops
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I’m a professional nature photographer. I not only take and sell photographs but also conduct workshops in some beautiful locations around our world. Admittedly I’m relatively new to the business and am not one of the big names of outdoor photography – yet. But I have a loyal following that continues to grow.
Like I said, I lead workshops, both on my own and teamed up with other great photographers. I believe my workshops have a lot to offer photographers of all skill levels from novices and amateurs to professionals. And our attendees confirm that with their comments.
First of all, we get to great locations and we photograph them in the best light. Location and light are the two most critical elements for exceptional outdoor photography.
Second, we provide lots of one-on-one attention. The primary reason most attendees sign up for workshops is they want to become better photographers. So we really focus on working individually with each photographer on the areas in which they want (and need) to grow. I say ‘need’ because often the attendees don’t have a clear idea of what areas to focus on and we can help with that.
Third, my partners and I have our own unique personal styles of photography that we share with our attendees, both overtly and in more subtle ways. If an attendee knows our work, presumably they like it and may want to learn how to do what we do for themselves.
So, with all that by way of introduction, that’s why I attend workshops. I can photograph unfamiliar areas of our earth with someone who is intimate with the location, its best views and light. Second, I may feel pretty comfortable with my technical and creative skills but, let’s face it, there’s always more to learn. Happily, it’s a never ending process. Thirdly, the workshop instructor’s personal style is just that – personal, unique to that individual. Working with them for three to five days is a wonderful way to absorb some of their magic and stretch my own personal style. After all, simply put, our personal styles are our means by which we express yourselves through our art. It is something that is growing all the time. Working with other skilled photographers just helps it grow faster.
To sum it all up, life is too short and there’s too much to learn. I could approach photography on a do-it-yourself basis and grow by trial and error. And while I never stop exploring and discovering new things on my own, it’s slow. Or I can accelerate the learning process and work with other photographers whom I admire. They have a lot to offer and workshops with them gives me the chance to soak up as much as I possibly can in a short, concentrated period of time. And, I get some great photographs.
Join me on an upcoming workshop.
To see more of my photographs click here.
Become a fan on Facebook and follow along.
Tags: fine art, personal style, photography, Ralph Nordstrom, workshop
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Ever since I attended my first workshop two years ago I’ve been pondering personal style. At first I had no clue as to what my personal style was. But as time has gone by and I become more aware of the kind of work I produce, the idea of a personal style is starting to become clearer. So, I plan to write a number of posts on personal style and my journey of self discovery.
Continue reading “Musings on Personal Style #1” »
Tags: DxO, Lightroom, LightZone, personal style, PhotoMatix, PhotoShop, techniquies
Posted in Journal, Photographer as Artist | Comments (3)