Tag Archives: pictures

Prominent Posts of 2014

Here is the line up of our most prominent posts in 2014.

Share these with all of your friends!

Red at NightRed at Night : Promise of Tomorrow

 

 

 

The 4Sea Sci-Fi Art Secrets of Successful Anemone

 

The Ugly Side of Holly BerriesChristmas Mockingbird


Breakfast at the Bait BucketBreakfast at the Bait Bucket

 

Friends of A&A Photographic ArtsGMC Truck

 

What were your favorites in 2014?

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Why I Don’t Worry about Posting Pictures on Social Media.

As the owner of an art business, or for that matter just being an artist, I depend upon the selling of my work to make a living. But as I stated last week, that leaves me with a dilemma. In order to sell my art, I want my art seen by as many people as possible. Some artists refer to this as placing “eyes on canvas”. The logic is simple, the more people who see and enjoy my work, the more likely some one will purchase it.

Therefore, the most logical thing for me to do is to place my work in a location where the greatest number of people can see it all day every day.  For this purpose there are few places where this goal is reachable other than on the Internet. But just placing a web page up in the Internet cloud is not enough.   No one will visit your slice of the net if no one knows you are there. So, you need to go where the people are. The place for this exposure would surely be social media.

But, as we mentioned earlier, uploading to a place like Facebook is fraught with dangers. By uploading my work to their site I’m giving them permission to use my pictures for both data mining purposes and for possible advertisement usage. Now, that would give me plenty of exposure, but it does not place food in my stomach or clothes on my back and trust me, no one wants to see me without clothes.

Why then would I endanger my business by placing a picture on Facebook for the world to see if they can do this to me? The answer lies in the technology I use to make the pictures I place on the web.

I have to make each picture web ready. When I take a picture the size of the actual picture is usually somewhere near the 4272 × 2848 range.   This is a good-sized picture and you could format it to be useable in just about any product from a small wallet sized print all the way to a large 30”x30” poster without too much hassle.

I could put this raw file on social media, but then I leave a very tempting target for someone to misuse my picture. So, I want to make a picture that is too difficult for someone to misuse and yet good enough for my potential clients to enjoy, purchase, and brag about.

The first thing I do to a picture is add a watermark. Not a huge lumbering thing across the length of the picture, but something small and out-of-the-way. It simply advertises whom I am, and that the picture is mine.  It’s necessary that it does this without distraction, so I always put it in the corner of the picture.

The second thing is that I cut the picture’s physical size to no larger than 1024×1024. This produces a picture that allows you to use it on the web with no major drawbacks. The picture fits nicely on most monitor screens and is big enough to show all the necessary details a customer would ever want to see. But, if a less than honest person tries to increase the size they would quickly run into difficulty with pixilation, thus making the picture unusable.

Third and finally, I severely cut the DPI (Dots Per Inch). DPI is the lifeblood of printing pictures from a computer file. Basically, the larger the number of DPI the bigger and higher quality of print is available.  Inversely, quality prints cannot come from files with a low DPI. So, by reducing the dots per inch ratio from the usual standard of 300dpi or more to a mere 72dpi or less I can guarantee that the best anyone at a social media company could print would be at best a 4″x6″ copy of the picture.

Could Facebook or any other social media company still use my work?  It’s possible,  like any protection, there are weak points that would allow the unwanted use of my art. It’s a risk I must take so I produce the exposure that will guarantee my business’s success. But, by adding a watermark, physically making a copy of the picture smaller, and reducing each picture’s ability to produce any quality prints, I produce a major deterrent of wasted time and resource use for them to want to try in the first place.

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They Follow the Sun!!!

The first real cold front of the season has finally rolled through the area, meaning we no longer have to suffer in 90 degree or more heat,  and I thought now would be a good time to say goodbye to summer.

During my exploration of the local sunflower field this summer,  I couldn’t help but notice that all the sunflowers were facing the same direction.  It was a curious sight and gave an impression that the entire field was “looking” at something.   After a little research at The Naked Scientists website , I had my answer.

I discovered that the sunflower tracks the sun through the sky during the day. Since the flower has no muscles, if manages to do this by growing cells in the stem on the eastern part in the morning, facing the sun, and the western part in the afternoon, following the sun.  By the end of the day the stem, once re-balanced, repeats the process in the morning.  This gives it the appearance that it follows the path of the sun. This odd behavior helps insects.  Facing the sun with those large flower heads causes the flowers and the seed area to warm up quicker than the surrounding plant.  Insects depend on this warmth to help regulate their body temperature and thus become more active.  So, they visit the flower more often.  Being more active on the flower means a greater chance of the flower being pollinated and reproducing.  It also means you get great fine art!  I love it when everyone wins.

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Pictures, Laundry, and Archival Prints?

 

We have created a system that empowers you to order artwork directly from our site to the printer and have it printed on a special paper called rag paper.  Curious, I did a little research into this popular type of paper.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mt._Holyoke,_Massachusetts_-_Paper._American_Writing_Paper_Co._Rag_sorting_%28Irish%29._-_NARA_-_518336.tif
Rag sorting at the Mt._Holyoke, Massachusetts Paper. American Writing Paper Co. Public Domain

Rag paper has been around for centuries. The normal everyday white papers found in schools and notebooks are made from wood pulp.   However, in the history of paper this is a relatively new way of manufacturing it.  For centuries the world used a paper called rag paper.  Rag paper is not made from wood pulp but, as the name suggests, rags.  Specifically, cotton rags. Though some other fabrics are sometimes used, it seems universal that cotton is the go to fabric for both the ancient and modern worlds.

Cut_rags_after_removing_from_washing_drums,_paper_mills,_Holyoke,_Mass,_by_Keystone_View_Company
Cut rags after removing from washing drums, paper mills at turn of the 20th century Public Domain.

Paper, made of cotton and/or linen is called paper rag.  It is not unusual for cotton fabric to be recycled for this specific purpose.  It’s weird to think that tomorrows fine art could be made using your current pair of undergarments ( there’s a thought ! )   or even your blue jeans.   Any of those materials could be recycled into rag paper.

Rag paper is stronger than pulp paper.  This makes it last longer and be more tear resistant than typical wood pulp paper.  The reason is that the fiber of the cotton rags are longer and more dense than the fibers found in wood pulp.  This gives the rag paper it’s strength and durability.

Why would somebody put artwork on a piece of rag?  Simple, in the manufacturing process, the rag paper becomes Ph. neutral or acid neutral.  That means that no acid or base chemicals are left in the materials.  The pigments and inks placed on the paper absorb into the fabric and stay without any chemical degradation caused by acids and bleaches found in non-archival papers.  This is why most of today’s national paper currencies continue to be made with cotton rag.  You can wash a dollar bill and it doesn’t disintegrate after any money laundering in the washing machine .

800px-Mt._Holyoke,_Massachusetts_-_Paper._American_Writing_Paper_Co._Rag_sorting_(French)._-_NARA_-_518337
American Writing paper Company (Public Domain)

It is this very reason antique documents, like the U.S. Constitution or the Declaration of Independence, and even the Magna Carta are still around today.  Paper rag is naturally archival when made.  It will last for centuries.

 

Here is a video from an Indian paper manufacturing company that makes handmade rag paper.

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8WiU8jyfiw

 

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A Kitten Under a Bush?

I love unusual trivia.  For instance, did you know that the proper name for a baby rabbit is not “bunny”.  It’s proper name is kit or kitten.  This may seem strange, but consider that most Americans refer to children with the term used to describe baby goats.

People tend to get excited about baby animals and Spring is an awesome time to find them. They always make great photographic art that people love to own.

When this photograph happened, It was a comfortable day in the spring and I was walking through a winding trail around some deep green azalea bushes.  I noticed some movement as I came around a small bend and staring at me was this cute little guy.  Instantly I froze, worried that any movement on my part would send him hopping off into the bushes.

At first, I’m not sure who was more surprised, the rabbit or myself, but there he sat inquisitively .   I could tell that he was young because he did not try to run from me.  I guess he didn’t know to be afraid of people yet.

That being said, he watched me constantly as I slowly sat down in a rough nest of bark mulch.  I wanted him to be comfortable with me just sitting there so I didn’t dare make any sudden movements and every few seconds I would move very slowly, like an animated statue, inching a little closer to him.

His response was somewhere between “What am I looking at?” and “Oh, look some green munchy grass!”  I could imagine his little brain try to size me up and he always managed to place himself in a place where he could easily take off into the bushes if I indeed was a threat.

So, calmly, I started taking pictures. I thought that he would become a nice addition to my greeting card collection. I can’t tell you how glad I was that I spent the money on a remote trigger for my camera when it’s on a tripod.  I would setup my shot on the little guy, slowly sit back down and shoot remotely. It saved me from making too much motion and possibly scaring him away.

At one point, he had turned his back to me.  He still kept a watchful glance, but clearly, I was no longer his number one concern.  The picture Oh, I See You is a direct result of spending a wonderful hour in the early morning with a kitten under a bush.

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