I just discovered a quote by one of my favourite artists (Vincent Van Gogh), which so clearly, without a doubt sums up my online existence, and sharing my work with the Internet World for these last (at least, and even more than) 13 years.
Without further ado, here’s the quote by Van Gogh:
“A great fire burns within me, but no one stops to warm themselves at it, and passers-by only see a wisp of smoke”
― Vincent Van Gogh
How true! I see it fits my “Online life” so well, literally and figuratively. I am also, “a wisp of smoke” in the competitive Internet Art World game, or business, or maybe it is an unholy BATTLE!
I’m not happy about it, of course. However, maybe there is much less ‘liking’ (yeap) and enthusiasm for my Abstract Photography Style(s) than I thought. Yet….I have not given up hope (Oh boy! Positive-Nawfal!) I continue to fight on, and I continue to design my images and offer fine art photographs for sale at Imagekind (and other places), where I currently have a collection of 2,580+ photographs.
One Abstract Photographer recently told me, “There is an audience for every style of Photography.” I knew that already, but it was good to hear it again from someone else.
☆ Anyway—Here’s the Link for my Gallery at Imagekind:
You will find many definitions of “Still Life Photography” on the Internet. It can be a little confusing if you are new to this type of photography, or photography in general. This is NOT a post about “HOW” to do Still Life Photography—that topic is huge. This post is mainly to help familiarize you with knowing the ingredients of Still Life Photography, and knowing the difference between photographing Still Life subjects in the Studio compared to “Finding Still Life Subjects in your Environment.” (That is an important statement that I will touch on soon—below).
There are MANY definitions of “Still Life Photography” on the Interwebs; nevertheless, many of these definitions of the Still Life genre include the following similarities:
1) Your subject is an inanimate object
2) Your subject can be one, or more than one. It can be one or more subjects — a grouping of subjects.
3) You, the Photographer, control the subject (Or not — depending on the type of Still Life Photography you are undertaking — This is to be explained below in the Environmental Still Life Photography section).
4) You, the Photographer, may control the lighting (I will explain soon, my difference in approaching Studio Still Life Photography and Environmental Still Life Photography).
5) You, the Photographer, may control the background and foreground materials and props (Again, there is a difference for me when approaching Studio or Environmental Still Life work).
Those are five good aspects of Still Life Photography that the Photographer may, or may not manipulate, depending on the type of Still Life Photography, your intent, and your goals in creating still life images.
Here is where the River Parts Ways when Discussing Still Life Photography
These Photography Genres (Styles, or Specialties) have already been mentioned; nonetheless, I will officially state now that there are two types of Still Life Photography—Let’s go over what they are, and the differences:
1) Studio Still Life Photography.
2) Environmental Still Life Photography.
Studio Still Life Photography:
In Studio Still Life Photography, the Photographer controls EVERYTHING, or that is, IF skilled enough, will attempt to control every aspect and part of the still life photography shoot. If you are working for a client, then THEY MAY ATTEMPT to control everything! That’s a WHOLE OTHER can-of-worms, and it does not concern this post.
Invariably, in Studio Still Life Photography, the Photographer will (or should) formulate the still life shoot before it even begins, perhaps, by drawing sketches and making notes on the set-up of the shot, and the desired outcome. At least, this is something that I ATTEMPT to do so I have some idea of which direction I’m heading with the shoot, before I begin.
In the Studio Environment, the Photographer can control the subject, the foreground, the background, the props, the equipment, and the lighting—Basically everything can be manipulated by the Photographer to get the desired outcome.
What Question Do I Ask Myself Before I Design a Studio Still Life Photograph?
I have one question I ask myself before I begin work on a Studio Still Life Photograph:
“I have this subject (or, a subject & a concept), and now what can I do with it to make an interesting composition?”
I start with the subject, and only then do I know where my thinking needs to go regarding table-top materials, background materials, foreground materials, accessories, props, lighting, and camera equipment.
Here are some Examples from My Studio Still Life Photography Collection
☆ See my Studio Still Life Photography Series at this #imagekind link:
“For me, Environmental Still Life Photography is more individualistic in its process: I do NOT start out with a subject—and typically, the shoots are NOT planned. Studio Still Life Photography is meticulously planned! If anything, Environmental Still Life subjects appear to me as Pleasant Random Encounters!”
Environmental Still Life Photography Subjects “Just Happen!”
I would say that Environmental Still Life Photography subjects come to me out-of-the-blue, by accident, random, and unplanned.
I will be walking along some road, hopefully, having my camera in hand, and then I see it — an interesting subject strikes my eye and I know that I can design an Environmental Still Life Photograph out of it.
I have certain rules I go by when creating Environmental Still Life Photography, which is different from my Studio Still Life Photography approach:
I DO NOT manipulate the subject(s). If I don’t like the angle or point-of-view, then I move myself, but not the subject.
I rarely use artificial light to design Environmental Still Life Photography.
I use the natural foreground and background in the photographs (include them or exclude them, but DON’T add to them artificially), and I don’t add any extra props to these settings.
What Question Do I Ask Myself Before I Design an Environmental Still Life Photograph?
I have one question I ask myself before I begin work on an Environmental Still Life Photograph:
“That is an interesting subject — Now that this great subject has found me, how can I compose a thought-provoking image?”
☆ I may, or may not, use computer software “magic” to change the look of Studio and Environmental Still Life photographs.
Examples from My Environmental Still Life Photography Series
Title: “One Slipper in the Rain.”
Creation Date: 17 January 2019.
Series: Environmental Still Life Photography.
Series Years: 2017-2019 (On-going).
Copyright 2019 Nawfal Johnson
All Rights Reserved.
“There isn’t very often, a time when I want to rush and quickly take out my camera and take a shot. However, when I noticed the lonely slipper in the rain, with raindrops, leaves, and vertical shadows, I did rush for an umbrella so I could go out in the rain and make this image.”
☆ You can buy a High-Quality Print, or an Art Canvas of this Image, from my Fine Art Sales Gallery, at #Imagekind ! Please click on the following link to see your many fine art photograph options:
There are definitely differences in Studio and Environmental Still Life Photography.
Studio Still Life shoots are very strategically and painstakingly planned and executed. Environmental Still Life shoots, for me, are glorious discoveries, which are not pre-planned. Not just any subject will catch my eye and “force” me to take out my camera and photograph it. The subject must have some special quality, or produce some interesting effect (e.g. cool shadows, etc.), for me to be interested enough, and to spend the time to compose a shot.
Modern Life in a RUSH, and the Photographic Life with High Quality Prints Availability almost Lost and a Fire Portrait of “Logi”
☆ This blog post has been hatching (in my mind) for seven days. In other words, I had not decided to release it to the world. However, I will anyway…now.
Today’s Repeat Song, “Regular People (Conceit)”—Classic PANTERA—this song shows just how amazing PANTERA was, and Dimebag’s riffs in this song really groove….Fantastic!
“Logi” is my newest addition to my Fire Portraits Series : This fire portrait is Number 82 in this quite substantial Photography Series. I am very interested in photographing fire, so more photographs will be added as I design them.
Creation Date: 31 October 2018.
Fire Portraits Series, by Nawfal Johnson (2016 – 2018).
Fire and Smoke-Art Photography.
Influenced by “To Reign in Hell“, by Steven Brust.
Copyright 2018 Nawfal Johnson.
All Rights Reserved.
☆ Purchase Fine Art Photography Prints of this Artwork at my Sales Gallery at Imagekind:
Logi is a Norse god of fire. Not to be confused with Loki, who is a different Norse god.
“In Flateyjarbók, there is a mention of Logi’s family:
There was a man called Fornjót. He had three sons; one was Hlér, another Logi, the third Kári; he ruled over winds, but Logi over fire, Hlér over the seas.”
(Source: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logi )
I make that statement, in the title of this blog post, with some exception—it depends on where you live.
Daily, over One Billion digital, artifactless (no physical prints), files are uploaded to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Those are just three of the thousands of social media websites where tons of digital photos are uploaded.
Physical Prints are Becoming an Endangered Dinosaur, in some Geographic Regions—that statement is true in my situation:
I will make another quick, broad, and debatable statement: physical prints have become less important today, or so it would appear. The Photographic Artifact, a physical print, has become so much less available, and less important, because it is NOT quick, it is not instantaneous, it is not at hand.
People today, demand instantaneous, quick, and available anytime, and in your hand on demand. Physical Prints take time, take money, take traveling to a shop that makes physical prints, which is inconvenient in the “#RushSociety“.
~ I said that. ~
To get true art prints has become somewhat extinct because everyone is in a hurry. Life is defined by “Rush”! Not the great Rock band, RUSH, but that everyone is in such a hurry they do not find the time to consume physical prints of great quality. You almost need to have your own big art printer if you want, or need, high-quality art prints.
Yes, of course, you can still buy a photo printer and make your own prints, or you can go to a mall and maybe find a photo shop that still prints physical photos, or you can go online and visit an online photo printing site, order a physical print and have it delivered to you, such as, my favourite online Fine Art Printer, http://nawfalnur/imagekind.com/ , #IMAGEKIND. THE BEST online Fine Art Printers in my humble opinion. I’ve been a member of #Imagekind since 2006, when they started business.
However, the availability of finding a good, skilled, Fine Art Printer in YOUR GEOGRAPHIC AREA, can be problematic.
In my area, Penang, Malaysia, it is Hard as Hell to locate a Printer who still uses very good #EPSON Fine Art Papers; or #Hahnemühle Papers—these are the Fine Art Papers I prefer. I have an excellent Printer in Kuala Lumpur, but why should I need to seek out a Fine Art Printer who does excellent work, over 500 kilometers from me? It is rather inconvenient and causes extra costs and headaches.
I suspect that if you live in New York city, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Beijing, Berlin, Paris, London, Milan, Athens, or any city that has an aesthetic tilt toward Art, and has a larger population, which will provide a highly skilled Fine Art Photography Printer with continuous business, then you will disagree with my statement about difficulties finding a Fine Art Printer. That is fine with me.
If you have a high-quality mechanical printer of your own, and you have the skills to create your own Fine Art prints, then you may also disagree with me—That is ok with me too.
All I know is my situation regarding the extinctness of Fine Art Photography Printers in my geographic location, and that appears to be true.
This is just one of the major changes we face in our Art Photography Life.