This bed doll with her poodle skirt comes from Td Creations Crochet on Etsy. I’ve also seen these dolls called boudoir dolls, a fancier sounding name for sure.
The doll is not meant to be a child’s toy. She was a fancy girl, dressed up with her hair in a complicated style and her clothing immaculate. She was a glamour girl.
Once you had made your bed the doll was posed on the bed, likely in the middle of your pillows – a place of honour.
Have you ever had a bed doll? Would you like one?
The nice thing would be creating new fashions for the doll. Though not all of them were meant to be undressed and re-dressed. If you buy or refurbish a doll to become a doll fashionista, make sure her arms and legs bend enough to be redressed in new outfits.
Many bed dolls I have seen online are wearing crocheted outfits. But, the doll my Mother bought me was all dressed in white satin and lace with ribbon flowers.
Beanie Babies may have lost value as a collectible but they do make nice art. It helps that you can pick up a dozen of them for a quarter these days. I find them in the thrift shop and second hand toy stores. At times they are overstocked and bagged up, 25 cents for the lot of them.
So, what can you do with a lot of Beanie Babies taking up space in your closet, under your bed, or trapped in the attic?
Have some fun with Beanie Baby rogue taxidermy. Take apart the Beanie Babies and recreate them as different, unique creatures. What a unicorn body looks like with the head of… a lion, a mouse, or a teddy bear and leave it at that. Or, you can turn them into morbid, weird and grotesque creations. Give them four different limbs and half the body of something with wings and the head of something else.
Remake them as something a little practical. Pluck all the stitches out, remove the stuffing then attach all the flat bodies together as a piece of fabric. Create Beanie Baby blankets, pillow cases, purses and hats. Anything you could make from fabric can be made with Beanie Baby pelts. You may decide to stitch the pelts to a fabric backing rather than trying to work at fitting them all together like a jigsaw puzzle.
You can turn individual Beanie Babies into change purses, any sort of small container (even something to hold water if you work out the right liner). Leave the head, arms and legs attached or take them off and sew the holes shut – either way you can have a colourful small purse. Just attach something to work as a strap. (A lot of Beanie Baby arms and legs could be sewn into a long strap if you can get over the mangling factor).
There are options if you don’t want to unstuff them. Think upholstery. Martha Stewart has made a chair out of upcycled Beanie Babies.
Turn your Beanie Babies into a seasonal wreath decoration. Add some extras like cotton for white beards, little Christmas hats and other bits you can get at craft stores then sew the decorated Beanie Babies to a big metal ring, add lights, some fake pine boughs, etc. Use darker coloured Beanie Babies and add decorations like skulls, witch hats, gravestones to make a Halloween wreath for your front door or a big window. Pick all the red and pink Beanie Babies, add some hearts you can cut out from coloured paper or find cheap at the thrift store and you have a Valentine wreath.
Need to make some extra money? Host a street fair and run games with your Beanie Babies as small prizes. Simple kid games like Pull-the-String are a great way to make a few dollars and give yourself some extra space once the Beanie Babies are gone.
Of course, you can also give them away to children still young enough to enjoy stuffed animals. Take a look at SAFE, Stuffed Animals for Emergencies as another way to donate them. They also work well for people with pets.
Let me know if you find a great way to recycle Beanie Babies.
If you have read (or watched) The Hunger Games, you will enjoy The Beanie Baby Hunger Games.
Sharks in art. I am a Shark Collector in the way of collecting shark art online. I used to have a shark art book. Now I don’t. But, each great shark image or shark post (including the cause of shark conversation) I post to Snip.it: Sharks. Above is a shark done in text art. It’s not the only text or ASCII art shark I’ve seen. Tonight I’m creating a post to display a whole gallery of ASCII art sharks.
This pixel art shark comes from Sixteen Colors.
This was in an email from my Mother.
Have you ever seen a reborn baby doll? They are dolls that look like real babies and are created/ bought by women and treated like real babies. Dressed up, taken for walks in the park, have birthday parties, given a car seat of their own and so on. I’m sure not every woman who keeps a reborn doll is going as far as taking them out in public. But, it’s those who do who have stirred up controversy or at least gotten people talking.
If you had always wanted a baby but didn’t have one (or had lost one) would you consider a reborn doll? On the plus side the doll won’t need diaper changes, it won’t wake up for a midnight feeding, no squirming around while you dress the doll up, and it won’t ever grow up and become a teenager (if you count that as a good thing).
I have my own Raggedy Ann rag doll, made by my Mother when I was a kid. I still dress up Raggedy Ann a few times. I like to keep her around, give her a spot in my bedroom where she can see and be seen. But that’s where she stays. I don’t take her to bed with me – even when I was a kid I wasn’t bringing dolls into bed with me. It is nice to keep her though. I do like giving her something new to wear. It’s pretty easy, and cheap enough, to find second hand clothes at the thrift shop. Just about anything in the baby sizes will fit her. But, she does have a thick neck for the length of her body. Of course, she’s all doll, not a baby (reborn) doll.
Is is weird for a grown woman to keep dolls? In general I would say no. It could be a bit much if the dolls are taking over, like an obsession. However, anything which becomes an obsession isn’t good.
Are the reborn dolls creepy? I’ve looked at lots of photos of reborn dolls since deciding to write about them. Some are a bit creepy, the skin is a bit too real – like a baby just born, still on the purple/ blue side. A bit too much reality, especially when they only look like that such a short time. Some of the dolls have really adorable faces, cute and soft, a very romantic version of a baby. No doubt there must be some percentage of people who will find that creepy. I don’t.
In the end it is up to the beholder. Would you make a reborn doll? The process is interesting. The designing of the clothes is fun, if you want to make them yourself.
Maybe your books were damaged beyond repair. Maybe the second hand book store wasn’t interested in books you took to trade because they already have a lot of the same book. Maybe you’ve got a lot of books with outdated information. However you come across books which no longer have a real use as books, like old phone books, there’s a way to repurpose them and turn them into book art.
Artists and crafts people and all round generally creative and thrifty people have turned old books into everything from chairs, shelving, birdhouses, sculptures and fashion accessories. The book art sculpture is appealing to me. I love the ideas for folding pages into new shapes. I also like how the whole book can be use in a new way. Not just repurposed, but completely re-imagined. In all, an old book can be given a new purpose.
At times it is a bit sad to see the title of an old hard cover book, now repurposed into someone’s handbag, all the pages scooped out like a Halloween jack-o-lantern. But, I cheer myself up by looking for another copy of the same book for sale on eBay or at the book stores I can see what else the author wrote and if they are still around writing new books to come. So even though that one book is no longer available for a good read, there are more out there for the finding.
Sometimes I see a lot of book art and I like to look at it, I’m glad to have seen it… once. What happens to it beyond that? What purpose was it given beyond the one time interest in seeing it? I think this is the mistake a lot of people make with book art. It’s not really upcycling or repurposing in a real way if it isn’t practical as well as creative. A lot of book art doesn’t seem to have a real future ahead of it. If you consider buying something wouldn’t you want to still need it a week, a year, or longer? It’s too sad to see book art which may be fascinating or beautiful in the moment but will just become clutter to be gotten rid of somewhere down the road.
What to do with Broken Books
Snip.it | Bookish Things
Paris-born, Lisbon-based artist Joana Vasconcelos takes everyday objects and transforms them into life-size replicas of high-heel sandals in her aptly titled series Shoes. My question is, if an art critic negatively reviews this piece made of stainless steel pots, pans, and lids, will it a pan? Via; via.
Another thrift store find; this time a signed Picasso. Purchased for $14, the man sold the Picasso print designed to advertise a 1958 Easter exhibition of his ceramic work in Vallauris, France, for $7,000.
Aside from being a reminder that real art can indeed be found in thrift shops, there’s this tip on the value of numbered linocuts from Lisa Florman, an associate history professor at Ohio State University who has authored a book on Picasso/a>:
There’s certainly some collectors who really place a premium on a single-digit number because it indicates the artist’s greater involvement with the actual printing, so those particular prints can fetch a higher price.
We’re coming up for another Earth Day/ Earth Week. I’m glad to see the awareness for the environment and our planet continued. When it began I wondered if the whole thing would just be one more fad, soon forgotten. So far it seems to be something people are giving importance to and listening, even thinking about still.
One Earth issue which I’ve been thinking about lately are all those disposable coffee and tea paper cups we use. Most people writing about this will jump on the bandwagon for the “paper cups are evil” campaign. I’m looking at it from a different point of view.
I know paper comes from trees which (in my opinion) should be classified as a non-renewable resource because we need more trees giving us oxygen rather than more trees giving us paper products. If possible the trees should be left alone to grow in the wild and we should only use trees from tree farms – even harvesting farm trees should be scheduled.
Anyway, I’m also looking at the paper cup issue as someone who does not drive a car to work and around town. This means, anything I need to use during my day has to be carried around by me all day long. A china mug is not practical, they break. A plastic mug I would not feel safe trusting for more than one use before I run it through a good wash at home. (Some people might work in a place with a kitchen available to them, I don’t). In this way the paper cups are the practical option. Unless someone has a better plan which I haven’t found yet.
So what does all this have to do with art and/ or collectibles? Everything. Change brings new art forms, new appreciation for old art forms too. Think about coffee pot and mug cozies and paper cup sleeves. Yes, we had tea pot cozies for a few generations. Not many people did much for their coffee mugs. Now there are so many arty, cute and beautiful coffee mug cozies. Then there are the sleeves to fit over your paper cup. The paper sleeves offered at coffee shops are just the beginning. I may buy a fresh paper cup each time but I do bring along my own coffee cup sleeve. I bought one last year. At the time it was the first I had seen of them and I bought it for practical reasons, it’s not pretty but it works.
Most of the coffee I drink during the day is coffee I make myself, at home. I use a French press and a very large china mug. Too often I get busy and forget to actually get my coffee. When you use a French press you first wait for your water to boil and then you pour the water over your coffee and wait for it to brew. That’s two steps of just waiting. I almost never just sit and babysit my coffee during that time. The kettle I use to boil the water keeps it hot for a pretty long time. But, my French press doesn’t have anything to insulate the hot water. It can get lukewarm in half an hour and I have been known to forget I made coffee until more than an hour later even. Well, once it’s cold it just isn’t the same. I usually drink some of it anyway. It’s never the best cup of the day.
The coffee pot warmer in this photo comes from Sunny Decor on Etsy. This particular item is no longer available in the shop. I bought it! So I’m doing my part for Earth Day and supporting a (fairly new) art form.
These pressed flowers come from a shop on Etsy: Forever Flowers by Amy. They’re gorgeous, with vibrant colours. My Mother and I pressed flowers when I was a kid. I haven’t done much of it since then. Usually, it’s for a special occasion and I’m using flowers someone sent me, or those I collected at the time.
Right now it’s still Winter, not the time of year to gather flowers and leaves for pressing flowers. But, maybe the weather out there today has put flowers on my mind.
Use a very heavy book (my personal favourite is an old dictionary) and wax paper to squish your flowers flat. The book pages can get stained if you don’t protect them. Wax paper works but you shouldn’t use it again for the flowers you press with the warm iron.
Drying the flowers in the book first helps preserve them longer in the wax paper. Moisture is what will cause them to rot after all. My Mother used to place flowers between sheets of wax paper and then iron them. Don’t use steam.
Make sure the wax side is on the flowers to seal them inside. I did see double sided wax paper but usually it seems to be waxed on one side and not the other. The iron does not need to be at a very hot setting. Try touching it to the wax paper and see how it looks. A setting too hot can make the wax look white when it dries.
Pose your flowers as you want them to be preserved, before you iron them. You might decorate with wax crayons, just draw something on a layer of the wax paper before you iron it. Try adding glitter, feathers, finely ground coffee, a bit of sand – anything that lies flat enough to not cause the wax paper to rip when you iron over it all.
You can turn your wax pressed flowers into something useful, like a bookmark. Add a cardboard backing or something else stiff that will give them a bit of durability.
I’ve found a few links with some variation in the idea and extra tips I haven’t heard or thought of before:
Jennifer Belgard interviews Dirk Hays, carver of kitsch critters, in Carving Critters with Uncle Daddy Dirk Hays.
When I first spotted the thumbnail photo for this ebay listing for a James Wallace Pondelicek nude, I thought that the lines were illustrated legs…
Turns out, the “lines” are not drawn upon the photo, but thin pieces of vegetation on the beach
The photo, titled The Bather, is rare hand signed original double-weight sepia gelatin silver photograph, circa 1924. Taken along the shores of Lake Michigan, this vintage nude was used as the cover for James Pondelicek sampler catalog.
The cover, and other pages, which graced the Coilhouse, issue 03, are from of a series called Avatars photographed by Gustavo Lopez Mañas, featuring the wearable metal work of Manuel Albarran.
A stunning collaboration, these photos; but today I’m all about Manuel Albarran’s works.
Called “Metal Couture” by some, but described by the artist as “Heavy Couture,” it might prompt the knee-jerk response of dubbing his work “Heavy Metal Couture” — but full or partial metal jackets aside, I first fell in love with the artist’s work from this photo (via) in which the metal piece on the face is more reminiscent of some quack medical device — or something from a future society. Steampunk-esque. The fact that the model’s hair is coiled like brains only further emphasizes the look.
In a November 2010 interview with Dazed, the artist said he’d most like to collaborate with Guillermo Del Toro and Ridley Scott. Which makes sense as Manuel Albarran’s main goals are to use his fashion work to further not only his art exhibitions but his film projects.
More images here.
Scissors. At least that was my first thought upon seeing this work by Louise Bourgeois.
One of the things I like best about altered art is the absurd possibilities. You can make a bunch, photographing as you go along — and then play some more. Lambsy and a made-to-order textile bird’s head so you can make your own altered art doll.
Continuing my interview with Robin Blum, founder of In My Book® — the bookmark and greeting cards in one…
Happy Ending In My Book Bookmark & Greeting Card
How do you go about getting the art for the bookmarks and cards?
I am fortunate to work with illustrator (and Brooklyn neighbor) Meredith Hamilton. I found her on a wonderful listing of artists for hire called The I Spot. I love the New Yorker-y style of her pen and ink illustrations and feel that they are perfectly suited to the slightly irreverant nature of the cards.
How do you select the images? How tied to literary themes — and puns — are they?
There are presently fifteen styles of In My Book. When we first worked together in 1999, I gave the text of the greetings to Meredith and we brainstormed what type of images would work. In My Book, you’re a classic ended up with marble busts of distinguished and scholarly types, reading books of course; you’re a mystery clearly called for one of the great wonders of world (Stonehenge) and you’re some dish was teamed up with a red-hot mamma having fun cooking up a storm. More styles are presently in the works and will be available in Spring of 2012.
Are there any designs that seem most popular? Any trends in terms of the art, or it is mainly a matter of book genres?
The most popular styles are the ones that seem to suit the greatest number of people. Who wouldn’t be flattered by the notion of being ‘rare’ or ‘a classic’?? Publishers Weekly says: “Multi-tasking as both bookmark and greeting card…illustrated with charming pen-and-ink drawings by artist Meredith Hamilton, these sentimental greetings make endearing enclosures especially when the present is a book.”
How often do you add new designs? And when you add new ones, do you discontinue any older ones?
The line began with twelve styles in 2000 and added three more styles in 2003. Next year three additional styles will be added, so there will be a total of eighteen styles. Although obviously some sell better than others, I have chosen not to discontinue the older ones. This is different than most greeting card companies who base their inventory on sales; I tend to think that book readers are more or less traditional and that “you’re a character”, “you’re a hero”, “you’re the last word” will never go out of style.
I think so too, Robin.
The cards have sold for $3.95 (including envelope) since the company started in 2000; buy them now and get a jump on holiday gift giving –and the upcoming price increase in 2012!
I spotted this piece at a thrift shop on Sunday. The “Madonna” appears to be a contemporary image created from an scan of an antique photo which was digitally enhanced, colored then printed. The “My Rosary” seems to be text from an old piece of paper. Together they were simply matted (with an especially nicely beveled cut window for the text) and placed in an old metal oval frame painted black. All together, it has the appearance of a period piece.
While writing my unorthodox review of The Runaways (2010), I found Cherie Currie’s chainsaw art site.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the original Ch-Ch-Cherry Bomb girl and a chainsaw, I do not think of cute country bears…
Or toucans painted on tables, for that matter.
But she did put a mosaic tile mermaid in her pool, along with a turtle, and I think that’s really cool.
I don’t usually post the Doodle Weeks; and, like too many of you, I am a sad participating in them as well. (Shame on all of us!) But, as coincidence (or my weird psyche) would have it, I had a bad dream last night — so bad I had to blog about it at my nearly dead dream blog. And the rule at that blog, such as it is, is that I’m to sketch or doodle a little part of the dream or otherwise illustrate the post. (Perhaps this is where my self-direct art therapy comes into play; why this art moves me so and maybe even why I was prompted forced to have such a strong dream, one strong enough to force me to post and therefore doodle.) So anyway, I had to draw a basset hound.
Amazing facts about the doggie doodles: One, they are done in pen! Amazing feat for anxious me. Two, the first one, posted at the dream blog, is the one I like best.
Perhaps these were so easy today because I needed this art therapy so badly; it was easy to bark away the bad spell. Or, perhaps they were easy because I used to doodle dogs all the time. Some sort of muscle-memory thing. As a kid (what we’d call a “tween” today), I used to doodle dogs like this:
In any case, I do seem to have shaken the worst of the after affects of the nightmare.
In fact, I feel rather light and — dare I say it! — joyful.
So, kiddos, I challenge you to doodle your bad dreams away. Doodle something little that cheers you up. It could be a dog, something you once doodled as a kid, or whatever pops into your head.
When you doodle, be sure to share it with us as part of Doodle Week. (Come back here and leave a comment, a link to where we can find it!) You can share your doodle, share your thoughts on the doodle exercise — both! I look forward to seeing and hearing how the doodle drawing works for you!
At The Cat’s Pajamas, Jessica shares an art assignment:
For my art class we had to come up with a commentary to explore and create 12 pieces based around this written statement. I’ve been working on it since September and I’m really excited that it’s finally all done! It’s pretty neat seeing everything come together as a series. My commentary is: a visual interpretation and psychological exploration of awkward quirks and tendencies. They’re all mixed media, done by hand, using old books and magazines and all sorts of other materials I’ve found.
The series of awkward quirks and tendencies includes, titled by quirk or habit, Nail Biting, Hair Twirling, OCD and Grinding Teeth, which are shown below.
I find this all incredibly inspiring! Not just the assignment of art based upon written statements, but the idea of dealing with your quirk, compulsion, habit — or the fear of it. Just think of all the possibilities… Art therapy anyone can do! Cool concepts sure to start conversations when the artworks are on display.
And, as if that weren’t enough excitement, you can purchase prints of (most all of) these works too.
I remember when I was little and my parents, aunts and uncles took each of us children to get our silhouettes done as gifts for the grandparents. My parents even had a second set of my sister and I done for our home. It certainly is a quaint and charming way to preserve our childhood appearance.
If you’d like to preserve those memories — in a sweeter and more stylish way than those annual photos taken at school — here’s instructions for making your own silhouettes from SEI Art Studio.
Siamese Twin Bear made of Belly Button Lint
Rachel Betty Case made another appearance on Oddities; instead of the Human Ivory works, she presented a teddy bear made of belly button lint.
(The example shown here is of her Siamese version.)
Incredibly creative? Yup.
Nice way to recycle or reuse things that exist? I suppose…
But still rather creepy? More than you probably know…
Check out just how gross belly button lint is in this article at New Scientist: Belly Button Biome Is More Than A Piece Of Fluff.
I’m guessing that’s why Rachel keeps the little teddy bears in glass vials. (I hope the vials are free of the, umm, “artist’s residues” on her hands.)
Go see the incredible sneaker art of Sean Paul. You might never toss your old shoes in the trash again.
After enjoying the landscapes and nature portraits by Alexander S. Kunz, I wanted to talk about photography with him; the self-taught artist graciously agreed.
Photography — in it’s original concept, anyway — was the means by which to capture a precise moment in time, the way a person, place, or object was. But your works capture something less literal and more ethereal, more emotive and fanciful than a documentation. Before we get to the philosophy, let’s address the issue of “how”… The photos are taken with digital cameras, but are they digitally manipulated or “photoshopped” as well?
Yes, my photos are definitely digitally manipulated. I’m using only raw data – and I process it only in Lightroom. That’s the short answer. But it’s not easy to keep that apart from philosophy.
Forgive me if I get a bit techno-philosophical right away: in my opinion, every photo is “manipulated” somehow. There is no such thing as a “pure” and truthful depiction of reality in general (no matter if it’s film or digital). Reality is simply very different from that what we can and will capture on a photo.
Without getting into too much detail, and oversimplified: the digital sensor records nothing but luminance (and then color through a filter array), and my personal take is: everything that comes after that is part of the manipulation already. Even contrast, saturation, sharpness, color hue are just parameters of that manipulation (different films are different in that regard too). The only fix point in the world of digital photography is the light that the sensor captured. So why should I bother to NOT manipulate anything else if it’s in favor of my perception and what I want to convey with an image? It’s a mindset that frees me from being bound by the “realistic” and documentary approach to photography.
The term “photoshopped” often implies cheating. My alterations are limited to, for example, removing small unwanted elements in the frame, like a piece of paper in the grass of an otherwise unspoiled scenery, or the tip of a twig, a power pole sticking into the frame somewhere. That might be cheating to some of course. And I manipulate color, contrast, light and dark without shame. And needless to say, it also includes creating the balance between that what our human eye can see, and that what the sensor is able to capture.
What’s your photographic or artistic philosophy? How would you describe the process of developing the photographic technique to match your philosophic vision of photography?
My philosophy: I want to show beauty, and I picked landscapes and nature because I love being outdoors, I love hiking, walks at the beach, forests and deserts all alike. The beauty that I look for is often found in “small scenes”.
And while I always liked making photos, using film and polaroids or my first digital compact camera was… too static. I felt like not being in control. Having grown up as part of the “generation C64″ (one of the first widely spread home computers), and also being something like a computer freak ever since, the marriage of photography with the digital darkroom on the computer was probably the best thing that could happen to me. I’m a digital child.
I quite often find myself looking at some beautiful scenery and making a photo of it, but at home I find that it just doesn’t transport the entire beauty and emotion that I had seen and experienced when I released the shutter (and I also think that’s something that happens to almost everyone). And it can’t – it’s just a photo! A 2D snapshot of a very very short moment in time that lacks the sense of movement, depth, smell, sound… I find that what the camera captures often needs to be refined, increased, idealized, reduced, distilled… to the essence of what actually made me lift the camera and release the shutter.
So, to conclude… it’s this technology that makes my photography possible, and that what my camera captures is the starting point. Sometimes, it’s a long way from there to the final image and requires and includes heavy manipulation, sometimes it’s a light path with just some touches here and there.
“Creating the balance between that what our human eye can see, and that what the sensor is able to capture” is an interesting statement… I want to say something very clever about Le Petite Prince, by Antoine de Saint Exupéry — about how “The essential things in life are seen not with the eyes, but with the heart.” How do you feel about using the “cold” sensor of photographic equipment to move the human heart and emotion?
I find the attribution of “cold” a bit odd. The camera with that sensor is just a tool. Like a chisel, or a brush. Using “technologic devices” to create something that (hopefully) stirs the beholders heart and creates an emotion is common in many art forms, isn’t it? But we have this tendency to refuse anything that is new or modern it’s acceptance at first. Our grandparents didn’t like music made with electric guitars, it was “only noise”, and so on…
As long as it works, it doesn’t matter what that tool is, or how old or new the technology is that we’re using when we create something. (but needless to say, “seeing with the heart” and the wish to capture that what you love with a photo is what makes any passionate photographer get the camera out and make a photo first place.)
What prompted me to contact you was this image, Ask The Mountains:
I continue to be amazed by the crisp nearly pristine quality — something, which when coupled with the cool color tone, I normally would regard as “mechanical” and “cold” — how it moves me in a very good, elated, way. …I guess there’s no real question there. *wink* What were you trying to create with that image?
I wanted to create something that was “more than just another layers” photo. My question to you would be: why does it move you?
I can tell you why it moves me: I’ve been there, and I had this feeling of wide, open spaces, I understood the history and the (in human terms) “infinity” of these mountains, of nature in general; the promise that the world is big and has something new for us every day, the temptation of the unknown and the longing and the thrill of exploration, to find out what these ridges and mountains are, hear their call, go there…
And well… it can serve as an illustration to what I said regarding my philosophy: if you take all that what I felt away, you’d end up with the hazy and somewhat dull original scene that my camera captured. That’s why I bumped up the contrast and the blue saturation so much. I wanted it to look “over the top”, it had to “pop” just that much to give me back that feeling. And hopefully transport some of it to others as well.
Back in the days of film photography, photographers would joke (or ruefully muse upon) the number of shots or even rolls of film they took, wasted, before they took the “good one.” Do you think that’s still true in digital photography? (Minus the rolls of film, of course lol) How many photos do you think you take, even manipulate, before you have “the good one”?
To answer your first question: I think that it’s even WORSE with digital photography. Being freed from the “every click costs” thinking with using film, one tends to simply make more photos. That includes me. We’re not wasting rolls of film, we’re wasting shutter actuations. That’s not a bad thing, but culling has become the most important thing for the digital photographer. Very very rigid and extensive culling. (wishful thinking here *grin*)
And to the second question: That’s really hard to answer. If I’m really hard on myself, maybe it’s 1 “long term portfolio quality” photo for 1000 shots taken. I’m happy if I can find 10 really really great photos for my personal selection of a year’s top 10.
A little background. Let’s say I’ve been on a hike for a day and I come home with… 100 photos? Only some 30 of them might actually be different enough to keep them apart – the rest is experiments with different exposures, depth of field, compositions. (It’s the luxury and curse of digital photography. A curse because it’s a lot of material that one SHOULD get rid of and delete pretty soon. The problem is: we’re not doing it.) Of the 30 individual photos, maybe 10 are keepers (for whatever reason). Sometimes, one of them might be “the good one”, portfolio quality. Maybe long-term portfolio quality, ie. it will still stand out in a year or two. Only time will tell that.
Certainly digital photography is much less expensive than film and print photography, and it’s far more instantly gratifying — just slip in the memory card, and voila! No waiting to develop prints. But still many would-be photographers hesitate to begin… What advice or tips do you have for those folks?
Do whatever you’re comfortable with. The hords of tech-gurus that preach things like “if you really want to learn how to use your camera, use the fully manual mode” or “if you want to get the maximum out of your photos, use raw data” might be right, but from a beginner’s point of view, it’s just not the most important thing. If someone decides to get a camera, it should be FUN to use and operate it. Shooting JPEGs in full-auto mode is just fine. The feeling that it might be limiting will come all by itself sooner or later for those who pick up the photography virus.
I learned a lot about the tech-side of photography solely through the internet and with the information that is available there for FREE. That’s awesome!
But I wouldn’t really trust “the internet” (photo forums or platforms) to get good advice and learn about (more than the basics of) design and composition though. I bought books for that. The average internet crowd might know little about photographic design, style and composition, and still put “nice composition!” as a comment to your photo. Or self-proclaimed “experts” criticize your photo while the only thing they ever heard about somewhere somehow was the rule of thirds (and then no one everrrr is allowed to break it!). It’s annoying to say the least, not very helpful quite often, or even dangerous if you really want to grow as an artist.
I’d like to thank Alex for making the time for the interview and invite you all to keep up with him at his blog.