Photography is very much an integral part of my artistic voice, my self expression. Its as important to my art as painting is. Sometimes less, other times more. Even though I’m a ‘hobby’ photographer, I have thousands of photographs in my ‘library’ filled with a myriad of subjects.
If I shoot a great shot that I love, I will print it and frame it. “Lotus” is one that I just loved the photo, had it printed & framed. I usually take photographs with the intent on using them as memory aids to refer back to when I want to paint that particular subject again. The bulk of my photos taken are intended to be ‘springboards’ and I never intend to paint a painting by Replicating or ‘Copying’ from them. A reference source or springboard is different, it is open. It provides me the freedom and latitude to use openly express and convey the pure essence of the subject. Whereas “copying” is closed, limiting one to the finite, seen, tangible. I want to be totally free to express in that moment of time that I am creating/painting. Not to be confined, dictated to by the photo. I do not want my artistic voice denied. So therefore, I choose not to “replicate” when painting.
Painting or photographing – I’d like to express my voice with enthusiasm and with passion to share. I don’t want to be objective or disengaged. I want to inspire and connect through my use of colour, texture, light and shade, imagination, creativity.
Photography is a relatively fast process which, if you have to, can be put down without ruining an image. I like that. Unlike when painting in watercolours – if you are interrupted and pause at just the wrong moment, it all goes south. Although having said that, to be honest, a good shot can not be ‘hurried.’
Nor can a Good Art Work ever be rushed or coerced to obey. They seem to have a mind of their own sometimes!
The Artist – Painter will reap huge rewards by learning 3 simple basics in photography. The 3 Basics I’m referring to are: Depth, Design & Manual mode control. Why Manual mode? When you are taking photos in auto it’s often hit and miss regarding design and depth. If YOU control the aperture, you control the depth and perspective – your soft edges & focus area.So it comes down to control of the things that are important and letting go of what is not so important.
To get more depth, choose smaller number f-stops. Basically, f-stop 5.6 will help focus one small part of the subject leaving the rest progressively blurrier.
F- stop 16 creates sharper edges all around, background, middle, foreground thereby, possibly…. making edges & depth a bit of a dilemma. It depends, too on how experienced and skilled you are in not relying on what the photo is telling you when you are painting, but going ahead and redesigning it according to Art Basic guidelines on depth & perspective and Not the photo!
Design and Composition can be hampered if camera is on auto. The camera may default the focal point to be smack in the centre. This is not where an artist wants their focal point! off centre is best. Divide photo, or paper, canvas into vertical and horizontal thirds…. you will then have 4 intersecting points. Any one of these intersections will make a fine location for your focal point. Beginner painters, getting your camera out of automatic, puts you in control of these important elements.
my tips for Beginners, as an artist you want to Remember:
- not everything you do “must be GOOD” that there is Value in the “not yet resolved” images you have created
- take one step today. pick up your art tools today and give it a bash, that you TRY something even if its small every day
- you will stumble, you will falter, you will fall ….. It happens. To everyone. Pick your art tools up & go again.
- art making is a PROCESS. a Life long adventure full of imagination and creating things – you’ll learn as you go
- LOVE of the Process must outweigh your love of the “Product” for you to persevere
- art is a calling, a gift. the world will miss out if you merely create what you think they will ‘like.’ Create what you love.