PHOTOGRAPHY LINKS

Lots of great information which should improve your photography, whether you are a newbie or a pro. Photography techniques, composition, equipment and much more.

And you can be sure they are all appropriate family oriented sites. We have personally gone to each site to check it out. We want your web surfing be fun and safe.
We are proud to have been approved by "Family Friendly Site" and "Safe Surf".






This is some of our favorite music.
You can pick which song you want to listen to, or just let it play random songs.
If you don't want to hear it, just hit the off button, which is a nice feature.
And you can make your own Playlist at , using other people's music.



PHILOSOPHY OF PHOTOGRAPHY AS AN ART

"What is artistic autonomy?"
This was a question I read recently, in an e-mail from Sue Fliehman, of the St. Louis Artists' Guild, as she was quoting from "The Artist's Way", by Julia Cameron. Does our work stand on it's own, by itself, or should it be judged by other opinions? Is there anything wrong if we try to copy someone else's style or make commercial art to make money? Is it really possible or worth the effort to develope our own unique style and vision?

It is worth a look at the definition of at thefreedictionary.com. (I love hitting the pronunciation button.) The key words in the definition are "not controlled by other or by outside forces; independent; self directed..."

As an artist, credibility lies within ourselves. We cannot base our value on sales or reviews. It doesn't really matter if anyone likes or understands our work. Self respect comes from doing work, one photograph at a time. If you like it, thats what matters the most. We should be open to criticism, particulary from other artists. But we should always be striving toward our own vision.

I have been surprised that people are more interested in the abstract images than in the flowers or landscapes. I believe people enjoy trying to understand what they are looking at rather than looking at the obvious, which they immediately understand. The abstract image brings out emotion and curiousity, which follows through with joy and contentment. But is that our goal when we are composing our images, or do we just click at the first thing we see?

At most of the shows we do, there is always someone who wants to talk about photography and they tell me about this one image which is really, really good. It is usually a sunset. They seem to want to share that one image with the world. Maybe even sell that one image. But they never manage to do anything with it. Are they just exagerating about that picture? Are they too lazy or just not motivated to do anything? Why is there only one picture? Why haven't they been out looking for more subjects and experimenting with composition, light or exposure? Why will that one picture be the beginning and the end?

A person with a camera can point it at the obvious sights and get a nice image. An artist must look beyond the obvious and find the abstract, the sublime, the humor, the curiousity, the interesting, the emotion and the life all around them. We can only find these things if we are looking with that third eye. Everyone else walks right past the same place, but they are totally oblivious to what the artist sees.

It should be our goal to improve each time we click the shutter. We can appreciate what we have already done while striving to improve every day. We must build on our previous work. Don't get lazy and just point the camera. Keep yourself inspired. Get out there and look for something amazing, because it really is right there.

Usually, the hardest part is getting outside of the house with the camera in your hand. Once I get out there, I start to see. I start to look closely, at everything and anything, with an eye for something different. When I walk to work, I carry my small camera, because I never know where I might find that amazing image. Often they are simple and obvious items; a rose in the neighbor's hedge, a broken window, a cloud formation. Then there are the hard to see items, hidden on the back streets, alleys and parking lots, off of the beaten path. I love to walk through an abandoned lot, with weeds hip high and covering over man's attempt to control his environment. That is where the wild flowers grow, which attract the butterflies and bugs, which attracts the birds and reptiles. Also, there is another world just ten feet off of the regular paths and roads in any park or forrest. The animals know that we stay on the path, so they keep just beyond eyesight, nice and safe. So, how will you find that amazing image if you aren't out there? Make it a prioriety. Put it on your calendar. Maybe you are not attracted to nature, but rather you like architecture, or people, or urban scenes, or pets, or farm life, or fashion, or really weird abstract. No matter what it is, you still have to go and get out there and click away. Don't forget, you love this stuff.

Creativity is an intimately personal practice, it feeds the drive to continue. The more creative you allow yourself to be, the more you will enjoy it, the more it will lift you up and encourage you to find your own style and your own vision. Creative style and personal vision, that is what makes artistic autonomy.

"With the basic principle that creative expression is the natural direction of life, Julia Cameron and Mark Bryan lead you through a comprehensive twelve-week program to recover your creativity from a variety of blocks, including limiting beliefs, fear, self-sabotage, jealousy, guilt, addictions, and other inhibiting forces, replacing them with artistic confidence and productivity."
"This book links creativity to spirituality by showing how to connect with the creative energies of the universe, and has, in the four years since its publication, spawned a remarkable number of support groups for artists dedicated to practicing the exercises it contains."
This is a "must read" book for any and all artists. In fact, it is probably helpful for anyone who wants to develope their creativity in any field, yes, even management.

For more inspirational information to get the creative juices flowing, go to . She has written several books, but the her best is "The Artist's Way", which is also the main subject of the web-site. It will help to motivate creativity and eliminate lazyness. Not as good as the book, but you get a taste of what the book is about.

Some more philosophy about photography as art. Actually, the blogger is criticising Christian artists not being good at abstract art. Food for thought.



PHOTOGRAPHIC TECHNIQUE

Includes technical articles about cameras and equipment. But I really like the articles about how to take portraits, weddings, Halloween, Autumn, Spring, the beach, and much more.

This site has changed focus and the layout is different. There is still good and practical info on photographic techniques and composition.

Many articles covering a wide range of topics. But, I am not too sure about the "photo contest".

Lots of things to learn: For Beginners, Taking Pictures in a Specific Location or Situation, lots of Technique, Caring for Equipment, Buying Equipment, Interviews, History, Optics. Very nice and professional.

The SimCam is an online camera simulator designed to teach basic photographic principles. Whether you are interested in film or digital photography, the concepts are the same. Includes:Shutter and Aperture, Film Speed and Camera Shake. This site doesn't always work, but it really is cool when it is working.

New to photography? Just got a new camera? Maybe you're brushing up on your theory. In any case, you have found a wonderful creative outlet. Photography is an art that can be picked up in a day and continue to inspire as the years go by.

If you are new to taking pictures, or looking for ways to become more professional, the "Focus on Photography" pages will give you some basic tips and link you to other resources on the Web.

Whether you want a little information about taking and shooting pictures, or a lot, it's all here! Look up a quick photo tip, follow the steps for e-mailing a picture, or explore black-and-white photography.

A vast collection of quotations about photography, photographs, photographers and art in general. This is great reading. You can learn a lot about what an artist and photographer must endure, what drives them, their approach to art and life, and what makes them tick.

"Putting your heart and mind to work in photography can elevate the endeavor beyond the realm of craft and into the realms of art."

This is a very high-end, artsy, black-and-white magazine, which focuses on photography and the creative process. They allow you to open an Acrobat file, which shows some of the content of this magazine. It is definitely worth reading the articles and looking at the photographs. Very, very nice. I don't think I would subscribe to the magazine, though. But I really don't take the time to read any magazines. Yet I love to read. A personal problem, I guess.

"One-stop-shop online do-everything” photographic site! “A veritable Swiss Army Knife of a site, ePHOTOzine has everything a photographer could wish for”. Forums, gallery, competitions and techniques.

"Visit one of internet's largest, most informative photography web sites, with over 1200 pages of photography related topics including tips, news, equipment reviews, test reports, 35mm, digital, medium format, large format, and darkroom, covering all the basics to more advanced techniques with hundreds of color images. You'll also find the best deals on photo & electronics as well as best selling photography books."

"A FREE online magazine designed to inform and entertain photographers of all ages and levels." Has articles and columns, articles specifically for young people, equipment purchasing guidelines, contests and more. There is a very handy list of Camera Clubs from all over.

In its basic form digiscoping is holding a digital camera up to the eyepiece of a spotting scope, viewing the scope image on the camera's LCD screen, and pushing the button. Check it out.

Ideas to improve your photography. Includes: How to photograph Sunsets, Dusk Shots, Skylines, People. They are grouped by Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced. And has a few articles by Bob Couey, Photo Services Manager at SeaWorld San Diego

"For avid photographers, finding photos on a stuffed hard drive can be a daunting task. Learn how to get organized." A nice article by Dave Johnson on "PC World". A few tips on organizing those files so that you can find them again without going crazy.

"Profotos.com is a premier professional photography website, specializing in the online promotion of photography and photographers."

The Photography Directory Project - A free, searchable, categorized, online, international directory of photography sites. Add your site for FREE!

Great discounts on many magazines, including: American Photo, Aperture, Camcorder & Computer Video, Digital Camera, Outdoor Photographer, Photo Techniques, Popular Photography, Shutterbug, Videomaker and more.

A great site that offers inspirational quotations, e-mailed to you each day. They will lift you up and get you moving. We enjoy this one daily, also.

Photographic Technique/ Nature Photography/
Photography Equipment/
Mat Cutting and Custom Framing/ Fun Stuff

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