Monday, March 31, 2008

Showing Improvement

In my previous post I mentioned that every winter, in which there are usually periods of photographic dormancy, I consider the possibility of changing the direction of my work. In a similar vein I also review how and what I present at the various art fairs and shows throughout the year. I don't do a tremendous number of shows, mainly because of personal time constraints. But I am very critical of myself. I did not start my art fair participation with a large investment, so it is a gradual process of improvement for me.

Here are a few things that I will be working on for this year's shows:
- Better quality of frames
- Better selection and presentation of notecards
- Better method of transporting prints and frames
- Better signage
- New images

Each item is pretty self-explanatory and is geared towards either making my shows a better success financially, or streamlining the set-up/breakdown process without risking damage to my product.

In addition I have changed my schedule from previous years. I have kept the shows that have performed well for me and I have replaced the rest with shows that I believe will be a success.

This is a never-ending process. The art-fair circuit is becoming more difficult every year, with entrance fees going up and attendance (generally) flat or going down. And 2008 promises to be a rough year with the economy hitting a rough patch. We have to constantly look for areas of improvement. Unless an artist is very successful we cannot simply repeat the same process every year.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Getting Back Out Again

Winter was a little disappointing this year (so little snow), so I am very glad to see spring arrive. While I sat inside, doing very little photography I contemplated many things. As always I think about going in a different direction with my work. Over the course of a few months I view hundreds if not thousands of images, online and in print. I am constantly impressed by the originality and quality I see in other people's work. My tendency is to get a feeling of mediocrity, especially since I am unable to do much work for myself.

Although someday I will probably take a course change, I still feel like I have a lot of work to do on my current course. In my resurgent years of photography, starting about 5-6 years ago, I was enamored with digital equipment and relied on my own innate ability to make nice, technically acceptable photos. For much of that time I was merely producing a lot of "pretty pictures". It is only in the past 2-3 years that I think I have moved past that phase, albeit at a slow pace, and begun to challenge myself to make images that are many things: pleasing to look at, technically superior, and meaningful at some level. So for this reason, and others such as the fact that I really enjoy outdoor scenic photography, I will continue for some time perfecting my skills in the same arena.

The following image was made this weekend at Ralph Stover park in Bucks County. I am really pleased with the composition, the shapes and forms of the moving water, and the color tones. When I arrived at the park around dawn the hills around the creek kept the surroundings in flat, uninteresting light. When the sunlight began to hit I was rewarded with some beautiful tones and colors. Enjoy.