A few photographs from my recent trip to Italy including Florence, Rome, Volterra, Lucca and the Cinque Terra region of Tuscany.
A special collection of 5″x7″ matted signed art prints by Edward M. Fielding
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
Peony Still Life with Old Suitcase. A floral still life with old canning jar, white peony flowers and a vintage suitcase. Fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com
This fine art photograph of beautiful white antique peony flowers in an old vintage canning jar on top of an old leather suitcase is available for Rights Managed Licensing for your next book cover or magazine editorial project via Arc Angel Images at – http://www.arcangel.com/search/preview/a-floral-still-life-with-old-canning-jar-white/0_00392964.html
This image is a still life featuring an old vintage leather suitcase, fresh picked white peony flowers and an old Bell canning jar with beautiful soft side lighting like you might see in an old masters painting against a dark background.
Available for Rights Managed Licensing via Arc Angel images #00392964
Peony flowers are my all time favorite flowers to work with, they evoke such a classic look, to me they say Victorian age. Something about their full petals. We have several peonies planted on our property and recently moved and divided several plants. They are some of the longest lasting flowering shrubs or plants that you can purchase but they don’t like to be moved or divided so we might have to wait a couple of years before these ones come back to their full splendor. A couple years ago we visited a peony farm in Vermont where the owner admitted to a full on peony passion and the inability to control himself when it came to purchasing new and rare varieties. One plant on his farm cost him something like $4,000. While many of his offerings were common and sold for $20 to $50 some of the higher prices plants fetched upwards to $400 per cutting. Peonies – its a passion!
Besides photography and creating artwork, we do a lot of gardening around here in the summer as well as cooking. Here is a collection of fine art prints perfect for the gardener or cook on you list. Small matted prints of colorful vegetables would look fantastic in the kitchen or large canvas prints for the market or restaurant.
Earth is here so kind, just tickle her with a hoe and she laughs with a harvest.
– Douglas William Jerrold
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
Newly released fine art photography images of classic steam trains from the Valley Railroad in Essex, Ct and Heritage Park in Calgary. To see more train photographs visit the gallery at: http://tinyurl.com/ocx3o83
A steam train emerging from a cloud of steam in the middle of the night. Fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com
A vintage steam locomotive thundering through a dark valley. Essex Steam Train, Valley Railroad, fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding – www.edwardfielding.com
Night time in a rail yard with a red caboose at the empty station. Photography by Edward M. Fielding
Old worn out train tracks and ties in the Connecticut River Valley. Essex Steam Train, Valley Railroad, Essex Connecticut. Fine art photography by Edward M. Fielding
Jonathan Luther “John” “Casey” Jones (March 14, 1863 April 30, 1900) was an American railroad engineer from Jackson, Tennessee, who worked for the Illinois Central Railroad (IC). As a boy, he lived near Cayce, Kentucky, where he acquired the nickname of “Cayce,” which he chose to spell as “Casey.” On April 30, 1900, he alone was killed when his passenger train, the Cannonball Express, collided with a stalled freight train at Vaughan, Mississippi, on a foggy and rainy night.
His dramatic death, trying to stop his train and save lives, made him a hero; he was immortalized in a popular ballad sung by his friend Wallace Saunders, an African-American engine wiper for the IC.
In the old days of film photography, photographers often carried around a handful of filters. Because white balance was baked into the film, one would often have to correct for various light sources using filters. The film itself was balance for the yellowy warm indoor lighting or the cool bright white of sunlight. Going from indoors to outside or visa verse required changing film or adding a filter to your lens to cool or warm the light.
Black and white photographers would use colored filters to effect certain color ranges. For example a red filter would be used to make some serious tonal changes: pink and orange go almost white while the deep red displays similar values to the original orange. While the blue and green become very dark.
In the age of digital photography, white balance is not longer a worry and can be changed in post production if you are shooting RAW files. Other filter effects can be achieve using software such as Adobe Lightroom, Photoshop or OnOne Perfect Effects.
A polarizing filter is used to cut glare off windows or water just like a pair of polarized sunglasses. A UV filter doesn’t do anything in the digital age except add a layer of protection to your lens.
A polarizing filter can increase color saturation in landscapes it removes glare off leaves. A circular one allows you to dial in the right effect.
A UV filter can be used all the time. A polarizing filter should not as it takes away one stop or so of light. Also in wide angle shots you can get an uneven effect across the sky.
Just bring out the polarizing filter when you need it to cut glare.
Other Useful Filters for Digital Photography
Here are some other filters you’ll find useful for digital photography:
Graduated filters – If the sky is too bright you can use a graduated filter to darken the sky.
Neutral Density or ND filters – Neutral Density filters darken the scene without changing the light. You can get them in various strengths or get a circular one that can dial in the intensity. Why would you want to darken a scene? The primary reason is to be able to use longer exposures for smoothing out waterfalls to get that silky water look.