Tag Archives: artist

Fifteen Fabulous Fantasy Fotos from Flickr

[tweetmeme]Fantasy, fiction, surreal, conceptual, composite, Photoshop… call them what you will. I call them artistic and creative.

Photography in itself is artistic and creative, but using a photo (or photos) for a derivative work is no less appealing to me. I’m actually envious of people who can combine images or add to photos and create something completely new — I can’t do it… and I probably never will.

Jerry Uelsmann has been a favorite of mine for a long time because of his ability to combine images and produce fantastic works of art (and he does it old school — none of that digital stuff). If you’ve never seen his work, go look NOW.

Here are a few others kicking around Flickr, trying their hand at this type of thing. Great stuff in my opinion, and all very different styles and techniques.


Creative Commons License photo credit: Rayani Melo

Easy Going
Creative Commons License photo credit: h.koppdelaney

United Colors
Creative Commons License photo credit: kaneda99

TicTac
Creative Commons License photo credit: movimente

147 of 365 - just dandy
Creative Commons License photo credit: paul+photos=moody

November 15th 2008 - The Rope May Not Be Tight, But At Least It's Wide
Creative Commons License photo credit: Stephen Poff

Beach guardian
Creative Commons License photo credit: neeZhom

食べたい、食べたい...
Creative Commons License photo credit: pulpmojo

She's So Small, She's Cute!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Poe Tatum

Lunar Fantasy
Creative Commons License photo credit: Bill Gracey

elec'trick' Paint
Creative Commons License photo credit: ViaMoi

chim chim cheree...
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mara ~earth light~

Free your crows
Creative Commons License photo credit: Desirée Delgado

model actress fashion x ray hand photojournalism war photography and just plain strange dark evil unusual negative sandwich composite controversial dark sexy and completely new!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Zoriah


Creative Commons License photo credit: !borghetti

[tweetmeme]… oh wait, that last one isn’t a fantasy — you thought it was though, didn’t ya? I’d freak out if I caught something like that by chance.

So what do you guys think? Are you into this kind of stuff too, or are you a “purist”? Anybody have some examples of their own or links to other images like this that you find compelling? Let’s see them in the comments!

Who’s Your Favorite “Undiscovered” Photographer

Over the past couple of years, I’ve mentioned some of my personal favorite “undiscovered” photographers (part 1 and part 2). I say “undiscovered” because these folks are not your mainstream hotshots known by every other photographer on the face of the Earth — but, you never know what the future holds (plus they’re still freakin’ awesome)!

So this time around, I’d like to give all of you the opportunity to highlight an “undiscovered” photographer. Simply leave a link in the comments to the website or portfolio of your favorite non-mainstream artist (please don’t link to just an image file). Limit your choice to ONE photographer — somebody who does outstanding work. Oh, and try to refrain from promoting yourself… this article is about promoting other people (but don’t worry, you’ll get credit for pointing them out!).

When the comments die down (maybe a week or two), I’d like to get in touch with some of these photographers and exhibit their work here on the blog. I can’t say that I’ll show the work from every photographer mentioned, the exact numbers will depend on the number of entries and the quality of their work. So dig deep and find that “diamond in the rough”!

Art From My Favorite Photographers

Day ??? - Frames
Creative Commons License photo credit: margolove

I mentioned a while back that Jim Goldstein was running a project that required participants to acquire artwork from other photographers. The deadline is today (November 2, 2008), and I’ve managed to pick up a few pieces for this project.

Not only did I acquire a few new pieces of art, I also found a long-term project for myself. In the course of this project, I determined that I’d like to start a collection of prints from photographers I associate with. For this collection, I’ll be gathering only black & white prints (preferably signed by the artist), all framed and matted in a similar fashion.

So here are the items I’ve acquired for Jim’s project…

CHASE JARVIS BOOK

Chase is one of the more “popular” photographers that I follow, and I’ve had some limited interaction with him in the past. He’s extremely good at what he does in his profession, but I admire him more as an artist than a commercial photographer. It was just plain luck that he released his first photo book during the course of this project, so naturally, I bought a copy. It’s a great book, filled with amazing photos.

You can find Chase Jarvis on his website, his blog, YouTube, and Flickr.

BRYAN VILLARIN PRINT

Bryan is a photographer who is very close to me. We’ve been hanging out and shooting together occasionally over the last year or so. His enthusiasm for photography is nothing less than inspiring. When he approached me about doing a print swap, I was all for it (in fact, I had planned on asking him to do a print swap). I had a hard time choosing just one photo from Bryan, but I knew that I wanted it to be a photo from the subways because this topic really reminds me of him. I ended up choosing the photo above, and it looks great on paper.

For the print swap, Bryan requested one of my paraglider shots — Wide Open. I had it printed up at my local printer, signed it, and delivered it to him on our recent Venice Beach photowalk.

You can find Bryan Villarin on his website, his blog, and Flickr.

CODY REDMON PRINT

I approached the photographers from the Fine Art Photoblog about doing a print swap for the project and Cody jumped right in. Cody has been a great friend to lean on during the startup of the photoblog, but we’ve kept in touch for things other than that over the course of the last year. He’s a great landscape photographer, and his photos do the Great Northwest much justice. Again, I had a very hard time choosing a photo from Cody, but I finally decided on the one shown above. It has a very simple elegance that I just adore. The swap hasn’t happened yet, because we both still need to have the prints made.

And for this print swap, Cody requested that I choose one of mine for him. This is a daunting task, but I believe that I’ve chosen something he’ll like — It’s Lonely Out Here. This one is an equally simple photo, but with a subject matter that represents my current location. It’s a film photo, so I’ll be printing this one for him with my recently acquired enlarger (thanks to my Dad).

You can find Cody on his blog and on the Fine Art Photoblog.

Graffiti Artists

Graffiti Artists

Brian Auer | 03/08/2008 | Venice Beach, CA | 105mm * f/2.8 * 1/1000s * ISO200
[See it at Flickr]

I’ve been so tied up with film lately, so I wanted to take a look back at a digital photo that had quite a bit of post-processing done to it. This photo was taken at the graffiti walls in Venice Beach, California. I’ve always been attracted to graffiti as an art form, and being able to capture one of these artists at work was a treat. This area is designated for graffiti artists, so there’s no vandalism happening here.

Graffiti Artists Post-Processing

I wanted this image to really pop with color and intensity, while having an “edgy” look to enhance the mood. The photo was shot in RAW and processed entirely through the Adobe Camera Raw software (so no Photoshop). Here’s the process:

  1. Unprocessed RAW
    The RAW file looks pretty bad. It’s too cold, the contrast sucks, and the colors are dull.
  2. White Balance
    First things first, I corrected the white balance issue. The camera was set to “Auto WB”, but it made a really bad decision. So I bumped the temperature from 5500 to 7500 and the tint from +3 to +10 by setting the image to the “Shade” preset (since this was taken in the shade).
  3. Exposure
    I set the exposure to -.20, recovery to 36, fill light to 24, blacks to 17, brightness to +59, and contrast to +34. Not a huge change in the appearance of the photo, but it got my tones and histogram where I wanted them.
  4. Saturation
    I set the clarity to +85, vibrance to +33, and saturation to +11. Again, not a huge difference in the appearance of the photo, but these changes would be amplified in the next step.
  5. Curves
    I set the point curve to “strong contrast” and the values of the parametric curve as: highlights +32, lights +43, darks -49, and shadows -8. This really super-saturated the image and boosted the contrast way up. This wasn’t a linear one shot adjustment either — there was a lot of back and forth between the curves and the exposure/saturation values.
  6. Vignette
    I added some lens vignette with an amount of -75 and a midpoint of 60. This darkened the near and far edges while toning down the super-saturation — which helps to draw attention to the center portion of the photo.

This may be a bit extreme for your tastes, but I wanted to push the photo until it was alive with color.

Five More Fantastic Flickr Photographers

Some time ago, I wrote an article titled “Five Fantastic Flickr Photographers“. The five photographers featured were contacts of mine whose work I really appreciated. Since that time, I’ve encountered many more great photographers on Flickr, particularly those involved with the Epic Edits Flickr Group.

Week after week, as I go through our group pool, I encounter amazing photos from a select few photographers. Without even looking at the photo details, I know who it’s from and I know that I love it. But then again, these are folks that I’ve been following long before the formation of our Flickr group. So pay these artists a visit, add them as a contact, and let them know that their work is appreciated.

Mathias Pastwa

MATHIAS PASTWA

- Germany

100 possible ways don't go to work - that's one the-tube

I’ve been following Mathias for quite some time — I was following him on Zooomr before he even jumped over to Flickr. His work is absolutely captivating, often appearing as though it’s from a different world. He is well known for his eye-catching use of color and form via industrial landscapes. But he’s also well versed in street photography, urban & rural landscapes, abstracts, and many more genres. Mathias also has a way with film that sets him apart from the crowd. In addition to recently joining the Fine Art Photoblog, Mathias has a portfolio website filled with some of his best works.

Gregor Winter

GREGOR WINTER

- Germany

untitled subway moment

Gregor gives the impression that he’s a weathered street photographer from the mid-century past. His photos have a very unique and identifiable style, and they are a true testament to his abilities as an artists. Though Gregor doesn’t post a large quantity of photos, when he does post a photo it’s an instant favorite of mine — well thought out, well executed, and well presented. Having dabbled with street photography myself, I know just how difficult it can be to produce impressive photos such as Gregor’s.

Javier Yanes

JAVIER YANES

- Spain

family; Sailing Dreams Hi...Summer

Javi has one of the most unique and memorable styles. You can typically spot his work by his signature green-cast images — which suit his composition style well. Javier’s eye for composition is his strongest point; creating photos that are simple and interesting to look at. What really amazes me is that you can dig as deep as you’d like into his archives, and you won’t find anything of lesser quality or intrigue. If you do so, you’ll also notice that he’s done a fair amount of travel to some very interesting places. Oh… and he tends to show up underwater quite often — which is another really cool aspect of his work.

Victor Bezrukov

VICTOR BEZRUKOV

- Isreal

wooot on the swing

Victor’s photos come across as being very bold and intentional. With his images typically revolving around human subjects, he manages to capture personal and interesting features of his subjects. Victor’s portrait work is quite stunning, mainly because of the intimacy found in each photo. He also has a unique talent for capturing “portraits” of features other than the face — feet and hands in particular. And the color choice for most of his work — outstanding black and white, of course.

Tom Webb

TOM WEBB

- Australia

The viewing of creation. A ghostly self portrait with the unexpected bonus of a light trail.

Tom is fast becoming something of a “Flickr Legend” due to his amazing social interactions and for his work with film photography. Many of you probably only know him as “the_wolf_brigade” — and those who do know him understand what I’m talking about. His work with film has been a personal inspiration to me. Not only is Tom very good and very capable with film, he’s also very open to sharing that experience with anyone who asks. Lately, he’s been experimenting with long exposures and even a few double exposures. If Tom keeps going at film the way he has, he’ll be a force to reckon with in the very near future. You can also keep up with Tom on his photography blog: The Mediation of Life

Honorable Mentions

In addition to the five I’ve chosen to highlight, I wanted to pick out another five photographers from the Epic Edits Flickr Group who often catch my eye. It was actually a very difficult decision to choose the top five from all ten of these photographers.

Be sure to check out all these great photographers, add them as a friend, star their photos, leave comments on their work, let them know they are appreciated. Following the work of others is a great way to improve your own photography and it’s quite inspirational.

Announcing 3 New Fine Art Photobloggers

Fine Art Photoblog

I must admit that I was a little unsure what to expect when I put out the call for portfolios for the addition of a few new photographers on the Fine Art Photoblog. I was pleasantly surprised to have 44 exceptional photographers submit portfolios of top quality and seriousness.

What I thought would be a simple selection process turned out to be a very difficult and mentally taxing turn of events. The seven of us at the photoblog plus one guest judge spent a good deal of time selecting and discussing these portfolios and the photographers behind them. So here’s the result of several weeks of work from 44 photographers and 8 judges.

A NOTE TO THE ARTISTS

I think I speak for all of us at the Fine Art Photoblog when I say that we’re blessed to have so many great photographers and artists take an interest in our venture. I was completely blown away by many of the portfolios and I knew that the process of choosing only a few would be the most difficult thing I’ve had to do in a long time. If we had the capacity to take on more than a few new photographers, we certainly would have. For those photographers who weren’t chosen in this round, in no way does it mean that your works aren’t “worthy” or “good enough”. For many of you, it was quite the contrary.

So if you’re bummed out that you didn’t make it to the final picks, don’t be. I hope that this process of creating and submitting a portfolio was at least an educational one. The ability to choose a limited number of photos for a specific topic is a seriously useful skill to have. I also hope that you all had the chance to look through the other portfolios, learn from each other, and maybe even make a few new friends. With that said, here we go…

PLEASE JOIN ME IN WELCOMING…

… the following three artists to the Fine Art Photoblog. I’m very excited to have them join the group and expand our body of work from here out.

Mathias Pastwa

MATHIAS PASTWA

Mathias displays a very strong sense of composition and use of brilliant colors to depict a variety of scenes. He’s best known for his very bold imagery of mechanical subjects, mixing strong shapes and colors to create a visual treat for your eyes. Mathias seems to have a good handle on street, urban, and abstract photography — not to mention his very noticeable and memorable artistic style.

Dawn LeBlanc

DAWN LEBLANC

Dawn has knack for simplifying complex objects and she displays an amazing control of light and shadow. Her photos are pleasing to view and there’s no question as to the focal point of her images. Plant and flower photography is such a popular subject, and thus often becomes cliche as a result. But Dawn brings her subjects to the next level and places her work outside of the realm of cliche imagery.

William Fawcett

WILLIAM FAWCETT

William exhibited outstanding panoramic landscapes in his portfolio, both natural and urban. The wide sweeping landscapes, big skies, and attention to detail in every corner of his photos certainly won the judges over. Although we already have a strong landscape representation on the photoblog, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include William in the group, and we felt that his consistent quality in panoramic images would be a nice addition.

ABOUT THE JUDGES

First of all, we had a very special guest join us for the decision-making process behind the scenes.

Elizabeth Cecil is a photographer living on Martha’s Vineyard. She is devoted to the tradition of black and white printmaking as well as alternative processes. Elizabeth currently teaches darkroom courses through the Artist in Residence program on the Vineyard as well as summer classes at the Maine Media Workshops in Rockport Maine. She has an impressive collection of photos and an equally impressive history of experience in art photography. We are grateful to have her join us in the process of selecting new photographers for the photoblog. Thanks Elizabeth!

And now for “the rest of us”.

Andreas Manessinger

Andreas Manessinger a photographer working in Vienna, Austria who spends his weekends in Carinthia, Austria’s most southern, sunny province. Since autumn 2006 he has a photoblog where he posts one image per day, and that means shot, processed and posted at the same day. His work is mostly street photography when he is in Vienna, and landscapes and rural environments on weekends, but these are no hard rules. [personal website]

Andrew Gibson

Andrew Gibson is Andrew Gibson is a photographer who was born in the UK and graduated from the Blackpool & Fylde College with a BA (Hons) Photography in 1999. One region he’s been drawn back to time and time again is South America, in particular Argentina and the Andean regions of Boliva and Peru. It’s for this reason that he’s moved to Argentina to focus on photographing and writing about these countries. [personal website]

Joseph Szymanski

Joseph Szymanski is a photographer based in San Francisco, California. A native of Detroit, his interest in the photographic process began at a very young age. After secondary school he moved to San Francisco to attend college, studying art and photography formally for five years. Today the majority of his time is spent working on personal photographic projects, as well as several web projects with other photographers and designers. [personal website]

Cody Redmon

Cody Redmon is a native and current resident of Montana who fell in love with landscapes at an early age. Growing up in a rural area gave him the access to explore his interest and grow his techniques, while visiting some of the most beautiful areas of the United States’ northwest and southwest regions. As a photographer, his goal is to capture the beauty of a scene and present it in a manner which conveys emotion. He has a deep respect for the wilds and is pleased to present to you scenes and vistas from the back reaches of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Utah. He maintains a personal blog of current works at Cody Redmon – Photoblog, and has additional signed and numbered, limited edition prints on his personal website, CodyRedmon.com. [personal website]

Neil Creek

Neil Creek is a visual person, with a keen affinity for beauty. He is driven to capture sights and emotions that move him, so that he can move others who see his photography. He has a thirst for knowledge, and is always looking to improve his skills and add new techniques to his repertoire. He is especially passionate about panoramic photography, macro photography and pushing the boundaries with experimental and abstract photography. As he pushes photography in an artistic direction, he also continually hones and refines his professional photographic skills, especially portrait, product and travel photography. His web site has many panoramas, and he is participating in Project 365 – a photo every day for a year – on his blog. [personal website]

David Ziser

David Ziser is a professional photographer from the metro Cincinnati area. He concentrates mostly on weddings and family portraits. To relax, he enjoys landscape and fine art photography as well, and puts quite a bit on energy into both when he has a bit of spare time on his hands. [personal website]

Brian Auer

Brian Auer is a photographer currently residing in the San Diego area. He’s been actively pursuing the art of photography since 2003, and his daily quest is to become a better photographer. The Fine Art Photoblog is Brian’s creation and he has selected some of the finest and most enthusiastic photographers to participate in this website. He also blogs about photography at the Epic Edits Weblog and shares his work at Flickr. [personal website]

OUR DECISION PROCESS

Due to the number of portfolios we had to deal with, the process of elimination was broken down into three parts: A narrowing of the field by way of voting, a discussion of our personal favorites, and a final selection via another voting process.

Andreas suggested a method for voting that would produce a combination of group favorites and personal favorites. We each chose 5 portfolios from the original list. We then assigned 1, 2, or 3 points to each of those portfolios in any way we wished. Tallying up these votes gave us the group favorites. In addition to assigning more points to the portfolios we liked more, we each also chose 1 of our 5 to be “nominated” for the final round of discussions — meaning that this portfolio would be included with the top voted portfolios no matter who else did or didn’t vote for that portfolio. It turned out that most of our nominees were in the top 5 or 10 anyways, but it gave each of us the assurance that our absolute favorite portfolio would be looked at a second time around.

Once we narrowed the field, we ended up with two photographers who stood out above the rest based on points assigned. This was actually a bit unexpected to us, and we hadn’t planned on the process being so easy. So rather than call it a day, we decided that we would take on three photographers rather than two because the remaining group of top-voted portfolios were way too good to pass up that easy. So we spent a few days discussing, arguing, and defending these remaining photographers. Some of us may have even changed our minds about our selections based on these discussions.

Once the discussions were tapering down, we wiped the slate clean and cast another round of votes for those remaining by voting for up to 5 photographers using the same points system as before. This time around we still had a few top runners battling for the first spot. By the end of the voting, one photographer was ahead by several points and it was agreed that this would be our third addition to the group.

QUOTING THE JUDGES

Here are a few random quotes from the judges as the discussions wore on. None of these are specific to any one portfolio entry, just some generalities here and there.

Holy crap… we’re up to 42 entries.Brian Auer

I’m impressed with how in line with each other we are, says a bit about us and the artist pool both. I’m happy to consider a 3rd member, it would cool to spring on some lucky winner.Cody Redmon

It is quite difficult to choose favourites from such a varied selection of work… In the end, I decided to look for a consistent style and vision amongst the portfolios, and also for signs that the person has an archive of photos that they can fall back on when they’re not producing new work. I think this last point’s important because it’s hard to post a photo a week, and harder still to post a good photo.Andrew Gibson

When do we start the next round?Joseph Szymanski

We all have our various tastes, likes ,and dislikes. I think that is what makes it kind of fun – what did they see in his work? This guy is the clear winner, etc, etc. You know, I believe the process nearly always works – I mean that as positive remark.David Ziser

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE

I’m so grateful to everyone involved with this whole thing… the artists who submitted portfolios, the visitors who showed an interest, and the great judges who did a superb job at selecting the new photographers. This was truly a group effort, and we’re lucky to be a part of such an outstanding community.

You can all expect to see some great new work from Mathias, Dawn, and William appearing on the Fine Art Photoblog very soon.

New Fine Art Photobloggers… Coming Soon

For the last several weeks, current members of the Fine Art Photoblog plus one special guest have been voting, discussing, voting again, picking, and choosing from a pool of 44 portfolios in search of a few new artists. The process has admittedly taken longer than anticipated due to the large number of high quality portfolios and in part due to the international nature of our team (we’re all on wildly different time zones).

The selected photographers will be announced no later than Monday, June 30. The Fine Art Photoblog team is currently preparing the announcements and a press release so that our new additions can get the welcome they deserve. Rather than just make a quick announcement about the new photographers, we’d like to make a lot of noise and get these folks off to a running start.

To those anticipating the final results of this whole thing, we appreciate your ongoing patience and support.

What Exactly is a “Limited Edition” Print?

And Gone....
Creative Commons License photo credit: SuLeS

UPDATE: As a result of the discussions from this post, I’ve written a follow-up article that addresses more perspectives on this topic. Please visit A Closer Look at Limited Editions for further reading.

A few posts back, I mentioned that I put one of my “limited edition” prints up for auction on eBay. In the comments of this post, Stephen Gray asked a very good question:

One thing that always confuses me, however, is the use of the term “limited” or “limited edition” in the digital age. There’s really no actual limiting factor when dealing with digital photos and printing. I mean, even a good negative can be scanned and then reproduced in large numbers. So how do we as photographers define this? What are our responsibilities or requirements when using such terms? (I’ll be honest, not understand this–along with a severe lack of time due to a show I’m currently working on–was a big factor that kept me from submitting to the recent Fine Art Photoblog call for entries.)

As a consumer, if I’m buying something that’s touted as “limited”, then it comes with the expectation that what I’m buying will remain scarce. After 30, you’ll not sell this photo again or is there some other caveat involved?

To be honest, I was asking the same types of questions only a few months ago. Lucky for me, I work with highly talented individuals on the Fine Art Photoblog who could lend me some pointers on the topic. And to be perfectly clear, the material in this article is based on opinion and personal experience. I don’t believe there exists an official handbook or set of rules for “limited edition” photos. Take it with a grain of salt and offer up your own thoughts if your opinion is different.

And no, the photos shown on this post aren’t necessarily limited edition prints — they’re just “prints” of some sort.

WIKIPEDIA’S DEFINITION

Frosty Triptych
Creative Commons License photo credit: kiddharma

Let’s start with the formal source and see what the Wikipedia has to say about the topic of Limited Editions. Here’s an excerpt from the topic of the Special Edition as it relates to the artistic medium.

Limited editions have been standard in printmaking from the nineteenth century onwards. There is a genuine need for the concept here, as many traditional printmaking techniques can only produce a limited number of top-quality impressions, as copies of prints are known. This can be as few as ten or twenty for a technique like drypoint, but more commonly would be in the hundreds or thousands. But here as in other fields, the use of the concept has become largely driven by marketing imperatives, and has been misused in parts of the market. In particular, lithographic, photogravure, rotogravure, and computer reproductions of prints, derived from photographs of an original print, which are most unlikely to have any investment value, are often issued in limited editions implying that they will have such value. These need to be distinguished from the original artist’s print, carefully produced directly from his work in whatever the printmaking medium is, and printed under his supervision.

So to sum that up: driven by marketing imperatives, produced directly from the artist’s work (film or digital file), and produced under the supervision of the artist or directly by the artist.

CODY REDMON’S DEFINITION

Fingerprint 3
Creative Commons License photo credit: Mr Jaded

Cody offered up his definition of Limited Editions to me first when I posed the question. You can catch Cody at the Fine Art Photoblog or on his personal photography blog.

I treat mine differently than some people, but there’s no definitive way to do this. I sell my prints at whatever size the customer wants and it counts as 1-of-X in the edition length…as long as it’s signed and numbered. I don’t usually go below 12×18″ for mine, but it’s up to you. Anything purchased that does not have my signature is not considered part of the limited edition, but some folks believe that only producing a set number is what creates the value of the print. Ansel Adams’ estate would argue against this point, though, as you can go buy poster prints of his work for a couple hundred dollars, but his originals or prints from his negatives usually start about $10K. So, I sell ‘art’ pieces, and I sell ‘signed’ pieces…the signed ones are what matter to me…the others are for hobbyists and over-the-couchers.

So to sum that up: any size counts as part of the limited edition, must be signed and numbered, and reproductions are okay too and don’t detract from the value of the limited edition.

JOSEPH SZYMANSKI’S DEFINITION

080220_1041
Creative Commons License photo credit: taivasalla

Joseph followed up comments with some of his own thoughts on the topic. You can catch Joseph at the Fine Art Photoblog or at his personal photography blog.

Again, like Cody said, there are a lot of interpretations of this. I’ve known a lot of people that do editions in one size only and that’s all they print, others that do a limited edition in one size and print others indefinitely, and those that do editions in all sizes, as in 50 in 11×14, 50 in 16×20 and so on. There is also a school of thought that believes that after the edition is printed the negative (or the digital file as it were) should be destroyed. If you ask me, thats ludicrous.

So to sum that up: there are a lot of interpretations of this topic and many are acceptable, and destroying the original negative or digital file after the limited edition is over is not necessary.

BRIAN AUER’S DEFINITION

screen printed greeting cards
Creative Commons License photo credit: ‘smil

Since doing my original research on this topic, I’ve come to define the idea of Limited Editions to suit my own needs. You can also catch me at the Fine Art Photoblog or at the PhotoNetCast.

I think I have to agree with both Cody and Joe in their thoughts on this. I consider a limited edition print to require a signature and number at a minimum. The print should be produced directly by the artist, or under direct supervision of the artist (such as working with a professional print maker). Any size is okay with me (but no smaller than 12″ at the longest dimension), and any size counts as part of the same limited edition. Reprints, such as those from ImageKind, are perfectly fine during or after the limited edition and they shouldn’t devalue the signed prints. Limited edition prints are collectible pieces of art and their value should increase over time.

So to sum that up: need a signature and number, produced by the artist, sizes don’t matter much, and reprints are okay.

SO TO SUM THAT UP…

Like I said before, there are no hard set rules on this topic. But after doing a little research and talking with some experienced photographers/artists, I think we can say the following about Limited Edition prints:

  • Produced directly from the artist’s original work (film or file).
  • Produced directly by the artist or under direct supervision.
  • Limited to some pre-defined number of prints.
  • Signed and numbered (X of N) by the artist.
  • Sizing of prints is up to the artist.
  • Unsigned reprints are acceptable and don’t devalue the limited edition.
  • The original work doesn’t need to be destroyed at the end.
  • WHAT ELSE?

What other rules or guidelines do you have for Limited Edition prints? Do you disagree with anything here? Have you found other resources that address this topic? Leave some comments and discuss!

UPDATE: As a result of the discussions from this post, I’ve written a follow-up article that addresses more perspectives on this topic. Please visit A Closer Look at Limited Editions for further reading.

Fine Art Photoblog Opens the Door to New Photographers

I’ve been hinting at this for about a week, but it’s now official. The Fine Art Photoblog will be accepting portfolios for review in search of one or two new photographers to join us. Before you get too excited, be sure to read this entire post and soak in everything that we’re asking for.

Back in December, I posted the first call for portfolios. We had 30 people submit their work, vote on each other, and 6 of the top photographers were accepted. By early February, we had finished building and testing the site and we had a hugely successful site launch thanks to the help of many people in our community. OK, so that’s the history in case you missed it a few months back.

And now we’re doing it again. But this time, we’ll only be bringing on a few new photographers to supplement our existing team. We’re looking for upcoming artists who want to gain exposure for themselves while contributing to something larger.

WHAT WE’LL EXPECT FROM YOU

Before we even talk about portfolio guidelines, we want to bring up a few thoughts about what is expected of a “Fine Art Photoblogger”. We don’t require many things, but we’re very passionate about the guidelines we do set. Here are some basic commitments you can expect within the group:

  • Post at least one new photo per week.
  • Have the ability to sell unsigned prints on your own via “print on demand”.
  • Have the ability to produce signed (and optionally) limited edition works.
  • Participate in our private forum by bringing up issues, voicing opinions, etc.
  • Come up with new ways to market the site and put the plans into action.
  • Plan on sticking to it for at least 12 to 18 months.
  • Be a team player and treat the website as an equal share democracy.

If you’re still interested in being part of the team, read on.

HOW WE’LL RUN THIS SHOW

This time around will be a bit different from the first time. Portfolios will be accepted for a period of two weeks from now (DEADLINE: June 2). The seven of us at the Fine Art Photoblog will judge the portfolios alongside a few guest judges. Then we’ll bring in the selected photographers as outlined by the “Break-In” period. Here’s the basic rundown:

  • You submit portfolios
  • We select up to 2 photographers
  • The new photographers will be “broken-in”
  • If everything works out, they stay
  • If not, they don’t

We know it’s a little different from the first portfolio review, but the site is in a different place too. So if you’re alright with the terms so far, read on.

ABOUT THE “BREAK-IN” PERIOD

Maybe this sounds bad, but it’s just something intended to protect the photoblog and those already involved with it. After some discussion, we all decided that the following plan would be best for any new photographers brought into the website. If you are selected to join us, here’s the process you can expect to go through:

  • You will post 3 photos under a guest account. This will help us evaluate how well you fit in with the blog.
  • After your first post, you’ll be brought into the private forum. We’ll then be evaluating your interactions with the other photographers and getting a feel for your level of commitment to the site.
  • After your 3 photos are posted and you’ve been active with the forum, the seven of us will decide if it’s right to bring you on full time.
  • If you’re asked to join, we’ll make you a full account on the blog and transfer ownership of your 3 photos to your account. You’ll also get an email address and we’ll add your contact information and bio to the website.

I know, it’s probably a bit like a hazing period with a fraternity, but it’s just to give us some options in case things don’t work out. So if this still sounds like something you want to do, read on.

AND ABOUT THOSE PORTFOLIOS

We’re going to be a little more strict with the portfolio entries this time around too. If portfolios don’t meet the requirements outlined here, they won’t be considered for review. In addition to some general portfolio guidelines, here are the requirements:

  • A maximum of 20 photos, and a minimum of 10 photos.
  • The photos must be your own work and should represent you as an artist.
  • Must be accessible in the form of a web address — don’t send us loose photos.

That’s it really… just a small set of photos. We’re limiting to 20 photos because we may end up with more than 30 portfolios for review — even at 30, that’s 600 photos that all of us have to review.

Once the portfolios have been reviewed, I’ll post all the entries we have this time around — that way everybody can see some other portfolios and see all the great work. We’ll also announce the photographers who will begin their trial period.

SUBMIT YOUR PORTFOLIO HERE

DEADLINE: June 2

UPDATE: The entry form has been closed and portfolios are no longer being accepted. Keep an eye out for the results in the days to come!

CURRENT PORTFOLIO ENTRIES

Find Yourself a Local Printer

When it comes to printing, there’s a HUGE difference between producing something on a cheapie inkjet printer and having a professional print your photo on a sophisticated piece of equipment. Don’t get me wrong, printing your own photos is fine and dandy for the family photo albums and whatnot. But when you want to hang something on the wall (especially if it’s somebody else’s wall), there’s nothing better than working with a professional to produce exactly what you want.

Print Room LIght
Creative Commons License photo credit: jhhymas

Some weeks ago, I needed to print a photo that was destined to be signed and shipped off. I found a local printer, went over to his place, and spent about an hour or two preparing and printing the image. I’ve purchased my own prints from places like ImageKind in the past, but that doesn’t even come close to the experience and quality you’ll get from sitting down next to the person printing your photo and working through the details.

We talked about the different papers he had to offer, looked at sample prints on each medium, popped open the image on his computer, sized it with Genuine Fractals, and put the finishing touches on the noise and sharpness. When we were ready to print, we ran a test strip just to make sure that everything looked perfect. Once I was happy with the outcome, we ran the entire image. The little white gloves went on, the photo was trimmed, dried, rolled, and packaged.

In the end, I walked away with a much higher quality image than I could have gotten from any online shop, and it didn’t cost me any more than I would have otherwise paid. The actual print was a little more expensive, but it balanced out with the fact that I didn’t have to pay for shipping (or wait for it). So if you’re considering having some of your work printed for display and showcase, I’d suggest you find yourself a local printer who you can visit in person and work with.

I’ve chosen to go with Oscar Medina from San Diego Photos and Prints. Oscar is a photographer and artist who purchased his own printers because he wanted that extra level of control. Since he doesn’t use the printers 100% of the time, he opens up his services to local artists in need of fine art prints and giclee reproductions. His prices are fair, and he definitely knows what he’s doing with the hardware and software. If you live in the San Diego area, I’d suggest you give him a try — you won’t be disappointed. If you don’t, you can still give him a try — he’ll ship orders too… you just won’t get the one-on-one interaction with him.

What’s your experience with professional printing? Can anybody else out there relate to what I’m saying?