Capturing the world with Photography, Painting and Drawing

How do people see Photography, Commercial or Creative?

Commercial or Creative and Photography ?

Commercial or Creative Photography ?

How do people see Photography and creativity?

During my time here, in the WordPress blogging community the one thing I have loved the most is to see images and posts from around the planet. It is an amazing thing, how quickly you can take this for granted but this is a very recent ability!!

Before the internet with its blogs, you had to visit a book shop and look for international photography publications in order to to see images from other places around the world. These images however as a standard were highly processed and you only got to see a hand full of photographers images.

Personally I have been taking photographs for most of my life and I feel I have a reasonably good idea how this medium can be used, yet its only in recent times that I have attempted to earn some money from images, working with weddings, commercial agencies with landscape images for commercial purposes. I think the oddest job I have been asked to do is to be working in the castle at Enniscorthy, taking pictures of some 7000 historic Irish items from photographs to physical items that go back many years.

As an outsider, attempting to make a living in a small Irish town has not been the most simple of tasks, I have ever taken on in my life, I could tell a story or two for sure ( Things said and done!! ) but I move on very quickly – simple as that !!! πŸ™‚

I think that the factors I have found to be the most limiting are in the way that local people see the subject of photography itself , photography as a medium locally here is mainly viewed as being for Weddings or for Family pictures , yet I know this not to be the case in many other parts of the world. To myself photography is a socially creative medium, one that can be used for much more than (Babies and Weddings,or is it Weddings and Babies ?) and even more so in current times with digital photography offering so many more options.

Digital photography at the same-time however has created some new problems and it does not relate to the problems that some long standing professional photographers have, in that they would love to be back in the days when they were viewed as something special, with skills that actually anyone could do but just did not want to – Sorry old pro’s but maybe its time to face facts Hay !! , anyone could do what you did and since they all went out and purchased a digital camera they have proved it , filling the world around them with wonderful images !!!

To me the problems that digital photography has created is with the drive for pure image perfection, this is the world of the photography purists who would spend a lifetime trying to achieve the unobtainable so that they can die happy ?

It is not that you should not care how good your image is , its that its not the main factor in taking images at all !!!

Personally I feel that photography as a medium is as artistic as any other art form, to make it artistic however you have to let go of pixel peeking just to check how much detail you have, along with as many areas as you can think of that drive for perfection. Where digital cameras truly come to life is in the hand of a creative mind not a perfectionists one , after all some of the best and most creative photographs in history were taken using cameras from the 1900’s that few today would even dream of using , yet the images they created still standup today!!

20 responses

  1. I have learned I never know how “it” visual images are received…love the questions you raise.

    February 25, 2015 at 1:11 am

    • Hello Sb πŸ™‚

      Great comment πŸ™‚ , I think maybe we should all not try to hard to understand how things are perceived !! but use images to tell their story πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 11:26 am

      • Ok thank you … I am intentional in creating a visual narrative on my sloppy buddhist blog…my Alberta blog…is a simply upload of where i live…not all images tell stories…some are just pictures…thanks kindly for your comment and thoughts Nigel πŸ™‚

        February 25, 2015 at 2:40 pm

  2. Great post, Nigel. I agree completely. I can’t imagine how difficult it is to be a professional photographer these days. Yes, weddings and babies, and a lot of people shooting them both! It seems the only way to distinguish ones self is to follow your instincts and be original.

    Wise words you shared. Thank you!

    February 25, 2015 at 1:24 am

    • Hi Sharon πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      What a great comment !!

      Yes it’s not a very stable business at all these days and to be honest unless you only love the business side, some may wonder if it works seeing as a business at all !!!

      What I have little time for though is photographers who would almost rubbish peoples images because and only because they feel they need to.

      To me if you have a love of Photography then that love is all inclusive, relating to the process of capturing images. The process of vision and how people see the world around them and then capture it πŸ™‚

      Saddly I far to often find that many people go down the path of perfection in order to elevate themselves, Not Perfection in order to improve themsleves !!!!

      The art of photography for some needs to return to its roots some-what IMO !!!!! they need to embrace what it is – The process of capturing the world around , the act of anyone capturing the work around them πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ :).

      But sadly we live in the world of the X-factor and Pop idle, a world where unless you get first prize then why did you even bother ?

      You bother because you have a basic right to just enjoy self expression πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      A Strong IMO to close this reply Sharon πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 11:44 am

  3. This was a powerful post and I can see why you’ve positioned it as you have. There is something special in the raw talent of the photographer, it’s seeing the visual that no one else can see – equipment sometimes doesn’t much matter. It’s the photographer being able to see the soul of the subject – that’s what you do Nigel.

    Yes, it’s a form of creative art and you are very good at bringing it to its finest form.

    February 25, 2015 at 3:37 am

    • Hello Mary πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      What a great comment Mary , Absolutly YES !!!

      I have painted a little, not often enough to be honest and to me its all like brushes i.e. do you get on and just use them or keep replacing them alll the time just because you can !!

      in the end don’t they just help produce the painting !!!

      Thank you for the kind comment, I know you know I was not looking for it – but well a big Thank you πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 11:49 am

  4. It all starts with ‘The Eye’ … indeed!!!

    February 25, 2015 at 5:22 am

    • Hello Herman πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Absolutly yes ,- and I am a big fan of your vision πŸ™‚

      – Please go check out Hermans Blog if you read this message πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 11:52 am

  5. I absolutely agree with you…The same conversation we had last week…Some agencies reject images saying “This is not well focussed,..This I do not like…” Ok…If you want a calendar sheet it is not my work…I can not do what I do not feel…Because, to me, my camera and the post production Are led by my heart and my soul..

    February 25, 2015 at 10:27 am

    • Hi Ilargia πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      This is a great reply and thank you for it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      To be fair to people in agencies , they see images as products only to be sold as many times as possible, they don’t even have an interest in finding a focused (Sorry πŸ™‚ ) area for an image (a niche!).

      I think that an image should always be sharp etc, but how you define this at a creative photogaphy level is completely different than from a commercial point of view !!!

      Commercially its ( F8 and a Tripod or Flash !! ) the widest depth of field and fastest shutter speed you can get, if you could purchase a camera fixed at F8-11 and 1/160 – 250 of a second you may as well do so in this area most of the time !!

      You do get some Creativity in commercial images but not to often !!!

      If you want to deal with agencies maybe ask if they will let you present some more creative options ??


      IMO – go with that Heart of yours way before anything else !!!

      February 25, 2015 at 12:07 pm

  6. Well put on all accounts. Most of my photography happens through my car window and 60+ mph. I also do portrait work, weddings and landscape-wildlife-nature photography to. I do not subscribe to any purist notions. I am my own person and photographer. When I am on the clock working for someone else, I follow their rules and expectations.

    February 25, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    • Great comment Dan, so I am just going to let it rest here πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 1:01 pm

  7. Thanks for sharing your thoughts about photography and art. I really enjoy your posts where you bring pictures and poems together. That enriches and enhances the experience of both πŸ™‚

    February 25, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    • Thank you Hanna πŸ™‚

      And it a pleasure to share πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      February 25, 2015 at 5:35 pm

  8. Without a studio I have focused on digital art for about the last twenty years. Now I have a good sized working space I want to get back to working in print and other physically malleable materials, and find I am often trying to re-do interesting and striking digital photo art in a more ‘artistic’ medium. Why? Because I have a feeling it may be seen as more desirable, more precious, more crafted, more skilful than ‘just a photograph’. I’m afraid I may be pandering to the mistaken clichΓ©s of an only mildly interested public ( who seem still generally fixated on art as a ‘good likeness’). Like you say, anyone can take a high resolution photograph these days. The ease and ubiquity of photos creates the illusion that ‘anyone can do that’. And yet they cannot. It is not the machinery that chooses the image, that chooses the exposure, the contrast, the meaning. There are a lot of useful documentary photographs out there, but still relatively few great photographs or great photo art. The photographic medium could be correlated to the use of verbal language: everyone speaks, everyone knows words and can put them together to convey a meaning. It can be utilitarian, it can be simple, it can be complex, it can be elusive, it can be economical or evocative or metaphysically metaphorical. But in order to be remembered, to be considered significant it must stop the mind, make a silence, a stunned, puzzled, awed, or frightened silence. It has failed if the observer just catalogues and identifies the elements, ticks the ‘yes, I know that’ box before swiftly moving on……

    March 2, 2015 at 10:26 am

    • What a great comment Simon , I think you should always go with your personal passions , not what people would like you too do, I get your feelings here !!

      It takes a long time to complete a journey is art , most of the time its only the steps of the journey than have any link to its starting point.

      The Language ref, is so great – yes I feel images do tell a powerful story , I guess that Photography is just a part of this as spiritual and church based art only become so well used and formed, because few could write or read when it was at its historic highs.

      Great points and thank you for adding so much to this post πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      March 3, 2015 at 6:02 pm

      • There is much to consider,of course…it is interesting to see how many artists on Behance, for example, use photography as their base, but add graphic overlays and gestural strokes….

        March 3, 2015 at 9:06 pm

  9. When I look at your pictures…I see a deep love for what you do…and it shines forth radiantly with each image you share!

    March 16, 2015 at 10:21 pm

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.