A few photographs from my recent trip to Italy including Florence, Rome, Volterra, Lucca and the Cinque Terra region of Tuscany.
Driving around my former hometown of East Haddam, Connecticut (one of many since I was an army brat), I came across a glorious site. Right next to formerly grand home in need of repair, parked along the railroad tracks of the Essex Steam Train and Valley Railroad and right across the street of the old train station now gift shop was this vintage beauty – a pink Ford Edsel.
The Edsel was an automobile marque that was planned, developed, and manufactured by the Ford Motor Company during the 1958, 1959, and 1960 model years. With the Edsel, Ford had expected to make significant inroads into the market share of both General Motors and Chrysler and close the gap between itself and GM in the domestic American automotive market. But contrary to Ford’s internal plans and projections, the Edsel never gained popularity with contemporary American car buyers and sold poorly. The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsel’s development, manufacturing and marketing. The very word “Edsel” became a popular symbol for failure.
Despite the negative connotations of the Ford Edsel, it really is a beauty of a car. Decked out in all manner of extravagance from the excessive chrome, the elongated lines and distinctive shield like front grill.
I have to thank the owner for parking this beauty for me to discover. A few days later I returned to the same spot but alas it was gone. If there is one truism in photography it is to stop and take the shot when you see it. Don’t expect your subject to be there the next month, next day or even the next hours.
I’ve had countless experiences where I’ve returned to a spot to find my subject moved, demolished or otherwise just gone.
More car photography featuring Ford, Chevy, GMC and other American classic cars. http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/edward-fielding.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=193562
Classic cars in black and white – http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/edward-fielding.html?tab=artworkgalleries&artworkgalleryid=475432
A trip to Florida’s version of Legoland was the perfect excuse to pull out the fisheye lens and take some unique perceptive photographs of the iconic American landmarks created out of toy Lego bricks.
Washington, D.C. sports faithful re-creations of the White House (including the first family and “first dog”), the U.S. Capitol building, Smithsonian, Washington and Jefferson monuments and parts of Georgetown. An animated marching band parades in front of the Capitol and tiny cherry trees blossom every spring.
For this photograph I was using a micro four thirds mirror-less camera the Panasonic with a Rokinon manual focus wide angle lens.
The Rokinon is a well made, inexpensive fisheye lens that is manual focus only but because the depth of field is so deep on such a wide angle lens you basically don’t even need to focus. Just dial in the distance to subject on the focus ring and shoot at F8 and you are pretty much guaranteed to get the shot. Colors with this lens are especially vivid which was perfect for a day at Legoland even with cloudy skies.
Off the top of my head I made this list of thoughts about what makes a good photograph vs a bad photograph after looking through a rather mundane portfolio of snapshots offered for sale on an online gallery. Open for controversy, feedback and discussion!
Good photography is clear and to the point. Painters add to the canvas, photographers subtract. In a good photograph you know the photographer took the time to eliminate distracting elements to provide a clear message. In a bad photograph you know immediately that the photographer stood in the most convenient spot or maybe never even bothered to get out of the car.
Good photography is purposeful. You know immediately why the photograph was taken.
Good photography isn’t boring. In a good photograph the photographer brings something new even to familiar subjects. Boring photographs are always taken with the same boring angle at the same boring height and aimed at the same boring subjects. “When finding the right angle for a shot…’Move your ass.’” – Jay Maisel
Good photography shows consistency. You know a good photographer when they consistently bring the goods. Each photograph in their portfolio is presented with care and attention to detail.
Good photography evokes an emotional response. Good photography grabs you deeply. Bad photography makes you wonder what attracted the photographers attention in the first place.
Good photography is selecting only the best to show. Bad photography is lulling you to sleep with every shot off the camera.
Good photography makes you want to be there, bad photography shows you places to avoid. In other words the bad photographer takes a great dramatic place and makes it look boring. A good photographer could take a boring place and make it look interesting.
Good photography shows the photographer got up early, stayed out late, has their camera with them always. Bad photography is the camera dusted off for vacation.
Good photography brings back a few great shots on every outing. Bad photography is the lucky shot.
Good photography is a unique vision. Bad photography is being satisfied with the same shot everyone else gets.
Good photography shows you something you never saw before or makes you stop and see something you’ve walked by a thousand times without even noticing. Bad photography shows you what you’ve seen a thousand times before. – Edward M. Fielding – http://www.edwardfielding.com
WHAT SAY YOU?
How do you frame your prints?
Modern DSLR cameras produce images in an 8×12 format which is a bit more rectangular. In comparison an 8×10 print looks much squarer. The tricky part is finding mats and frames for 8×12 or 13×19 which is the largest size many people’s home photo printers can produce.
4×5, 5×7, 8×10, these standard sizes that you would get from a photo studio or school photo day photographers are easy to find in your local Kohls, Target, Walmart or any other store that has a home decorating section. But try to find a non-standard size and it gets trickier and expensive.
Let’s face it. Framing outside of standard sizes gets expensive. Rarely does one save as much money as they think they might framing it themselves. Often it better to simply order a framed print when ordering a unique from size from my gallery. Or ordering a canvas print. Canvas prints are basically always made to order and the labor is less than having a mat cut and a frame made to size.
Where did these photographic ratios come from?
Some say that the 4 to 3 ratio comes from the printing industry. 8.5×11 inch was a common paper size even before the first photo was ever made; and goes back several centuries. 4×5 inch film was popular back in the day of large format camera including those press cameras you see in the movies. 8×10 is simply a multiple of 4×5.
35mm format is 3:2 and there are not a lot of 6×4 frames or mats out there. One solution is to shoot with cropping in mind. Give in today’s cameras large megapixel counts, as long as you are not producing billboards, one can easily crop to fit a more standard ratio.
35mm still is 8 sprocket holes on 35mm movie film; which makes about a 24x36mm frame. “regular” movie film running vertically is 4 sprocket holes. Still 35mm cameras evolved from 35mm films used with 35mm movie cameras. Mechanically it easy easy to make the film advance an intergral number of sprocket holes. Thus 8 was used with most 35mm still cameras; one sprocket hole is 45 degrees of sprocket rotation. – Kelly Flanigan
Hip to be Square
Shooting, cropping and formatting for a square aspect ratio has a lot of advantages. There are ready made square frames in smaller sizes like 4×4, 8×8, 10×10, with the popularity of Instagram, frame manufactures have created a lot of ready made frames for this ratio.
Another advantage is the square online often gets shown larger on certain websites. Because the square is easier to layout on a page, photos are often cropped willy nilly into squares, you by creating a square yours is less likely to be cropped in a strange way when displayed in certain situations.
The downside is composing in a square format can be challenging. Square frames and mats:
Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black:
Kiera Grace Langford Wood Frame, 14 by 14-Inch, Matted to 7-inch by 7-inch Opening, Black
16×16 black frame:
Framing the 13×19 Print
I recently had the chance to prints some photographs on an Epson photo printer at the arts center where I teach. Now what to do with the output without spending an arm and a leg on custom framing.
If you print with a 1/2-inch margin all around (12×18), and then mat with 3 inches all around, you will have an 18×24 matted print, which is a stock frame size found in most art supply stores.
You can choose to frame casually without a mat (poster style) or buy a mat and then a frame.
You can get pre-cut mats here:
13×19 Frame (no matting):
Art To Frames Picture Frame, 13 by 19-Inch, Black
Free to read online or download! The latest issue of Arcangel Magazine featuring the artwork of fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding.
Arcangel specializes in licensing highly creative rights-managed and royalty free images and video clips. The collection is highly respected and used by designers, art directors and picture researchers around the world with the international publishing industry being at the core of the Arcangel business.
The Arcangel collection currently stands at just over 250,000 carefully curated images, covering an extensive range of themes, subjects and styles.
Arcangel are full members of Bapla (British Association of Picture Libraries), PACA (Picture Archive Council of America) and the BVPA (German Association of Picture Agencies).
About Edward M. Fielding
Fine art photographer and digital artist, Edward M. Fielding has been working with Arcangel since 2012 and currently offers over 500 photographic works for image buyers.
Fielding’s subjects range from still lives, dogs, people, food, objects, situations to composites and compelling landscapes.
Rights Managed, or RM, in photography and the stock photo industry, refers to a copyright license which, if purchased by a user, allows the one time use of the photo as specified by the license. If the user wants to use the photo for other uses an additional license needs to be purchased. RM licences can be given on a non-exclusive or exclusive basis. In stock photography RM is one of the four common licenses or business models together with royalty-free, subscription and micro.
Some of Fielding’s rights managed licensing work can be seen here.
Free Photography Magazine
The free photography magazine available to download or view online has been produced and offered by Arcangel as part of an ongoing series of free publications highlighting artists in who license artwork and photographs through the Arcangel agency to the publishing industry. Designer and image buyers looking for high quality imagery with a unique perspective can browse through this carefully curated collection at the new Arcangel website or browse the free subject and artist publications offered on the “Inspire” site at http://www.arcangel-inspire.com/
Edward Fielding’s Arcangel collection can also be purchased for individual use as greeting cards, wall art, framed art and photographic canvas or metal prints from the Arcangel Collections on Fine Art America.
The free photography portfolio magazine featuring selections of work by fine art photographer Edward M. Fielding, from his 500+ image portfolio with specialty stock agency Arcangel is available to professional image buyers as well as simply those who enjoy quality photography.
I’ve been heading down to Westbrook, CT these past few weekends to help my parents clean out their house for a permanent move to Florida. Its a three hour drive and I’ve been trying to make the most of it by stopping along the way at some of the exits which have promising signage. Places that I wouldn’t stop with the family (got to get home do homework or make it to a game) or with the dog in the car. Far too often photography is a solitary endeavor when one can have their mind free and clear to see the images.
This time I got off at Greenfield, MA, my “check engine” light flipped on and my “cruise” control light started blinking so I figured I might want to stop and check things out. Oil was fine, gas cap screwed on tight, nothing leaking under the car. So I figured I’d be alright but maybe I should let the car cool off a bit.
I saw a sign for the Hallmark Museum of Contemporary Photography (which the photography school in Turner Falls, MA) and decided I might as well point the car in that direction so I put it on the GPS. Never did make it. An old factory caught my eye as well as a local sculpture park. I can never pass up funky artwork or abandoned buildings so I walked around and checked things out.
While I was photographing the old abandoned and fenced off factory building a guy who was mowing the lawn motioned me over – “Are you photographing for work or hobby?” he asked.
Kind of a strange question but my spider sense told me that hobby was the less threatening of the two choices. I didn’t know what was going to come next. Did I have a permit or something?
He said “Come here I want to show you something” and motioned over to the bushes. Hmmm, I was getting a bit nervous at this point. It was a rather out of the way and crummy area. But it turns out he just wanted to show me the newly hatched snapping turtles that he nearly decapitated with his mower.
I thank him for showing me his discovery and went through the motions of photographing the cute little buggers. I hadn’t brought my macro lens but I did have my Panasonic LX5 which has a great macro capability.
Freshly hatched baby snapping turtle already escaped death by lawn mower.
I put the baby snapping turtle safely back in the brush on the river side of the road. Then it started to rain so I decided it was about time to get back on the road, that’s when I discovered on of my favorite shots of the day – a classic Ford Galaxy 500 parked on an empty street with classic New England triple decker houses. It was just too perfect. Empty street, the rain, classic car, classic background!
I just love seeing vintage cars “in the wild” as my engineering friend and car buff says. The rain put an extra bleak look on the whole image. You just never know what you’ll find around the corner.
This whole area of western Massachusetts has that old mill town feeling that photographer Gregory Crewdson loves to use in his work – like in the books Twilight, Beneath The Roses and the documentary about his work – Brief Encounters.
If you get a chance to see “Brief Encounters” do so! It’s fascinating.
Gregory Crewdson’s riveting photographs are elaborately staged, elegant narratives compressed into a single, albeit large-scale image, many of them taken at twilight, set in small towns of Western Massachusetts or meticulously recreated interior spaces, built on the kind of sound stages associated with big-budget movies. Shapiro’s fascinating profile of the acclaimed artist includes stories of his Park Slope childhood (in which he tried to overhear patients of his psychologist father), his summers in the bucolic countryside (which he now imbues with a sense of dread and foreboding), and his encounter with Diane Arbus’s work in 1972 at age 10. Novelists Rick Moody and Russell Banks, and fellow photographer Laurie Simmons, comment on the motivation behind their friend’s haunting images. — (C) Zeitgeist
Edward M. Fielding is a fine art photographer in the Upper Valley region of New Hampshire.