Tag Archives: resolutions

The 1st Element of Art. What’s the Point?

cc by zigazou76
CC by zigazou76

 

I find it amusing that while I learned about points in 6th grade art class it never had an impact on what I was doing until I started teaching computer skills to 5-8th graders.

When my students would create a project in the computer lab they would always try to copy the images from Google and paste them into their PowerPoint or Word documents. This would usually end up in a blurry mess when the student printed. If you attempt to print an image on a computer at a larger resolution or DPI, dots per inch, than the image physically is, you will have a picture that will become pixilated. The image will fail to show or reproduce correctly because there are not enough “points” in the picture at that size for the computer to make it correctly.  The effect is usually a blurry mess that the students would end up with.

I’d tell the students that we go to art and math to find the answer to the problem.

When I create a picture of a vase, I am taking a 3 dimensional object, the vase, and representing it on a 2 dimensional media, the picture.  This concept is true whether you are using a camera, paint, pencil, or even a crayon.

The brush, pen, pencil, or camera is nothing more than a tool that creates the basic element of the visual art. The basic element consists of a mark, point, spot, dot, grain, or pixel.  Each term represents the most fundamental part of any picture or painting.  If you put enough dots together in the correct pattern, shape and color you get the entire image.   In digital photography, a dot is a pixel because of the computer technology used to put the picture together.  In film photography, the word used is grain because a chemical reaction creates the image and not an electronic one.

Either way, you get the most basic beginnings of image creation. When you are discussing images in digital photography the term of resolution becomes part of the discussion.  Resolution is the total count of the number of pixels in an image.  So a picture could be 800X640 or 1064X768 or even 1920X1080.  I find it interesting that the subject of art, photography, math and computer science all combine to give us the tiniest of detail.  After all, that’s the point.

The Final 3

As I hinted at in the last post, once you start thinking of various ways to change or resolutions to make for the New Year, an avalanche of ideas can strike.  After further contemplation, I’ve come up with a short list of the final 3  resolutions to make during the year.

 

I want to spend more time with other artists.  I feel that this is a necessity for photographers.  I think one of the ways that photography will get rid of this shackle of “is it an art?” is to work with other artists.  Other artists will discover that the camera is as much a tool in our hands as a brush or a chisel in theirs.   The doors for more opportunity will open once this dialogue begins.   Art will flourish, business will flourish, photography will flourish, and everyone wins.  I like wins.

 

I want to try a new form of photography.  Why?  Because it’s fun!  Also, because the chance that I may discover something I’ve never known.  What if I’m the world’s next greatest microphotographer?  How good am I at astrophotography if I’ve never tried it?  Imagine taking pictures of the rings of Saturn or the moons of Jupiter. Other forms of photography will inspire my creativity to try new things and techniques in the forms of photography that I’m currently involved in. I would like to try various other styles and formats to see what I can do and where it will take me.

 

I want to spend more time with clients.  This resolution is important as a business.  If you take the picture of a sewage treatment plant, but you’re the only one who thinks it’s a great picture, you are not going to sell it well.  While I’m sure there is a market for excrement (literally) hanging on the living room wall, I can’t imagine it’s a big market.   I want to spend time talking with other people about what pictures they not only want to see, but want to buy.  This will lead to not only better sales but also a better experience for both my customers and myself.

 

Naturally, I have more resolutions to make.  However, I’m not going to share the ones about how I achieve world domination or healthcare that actually works.  I’m afraid they will be too boring.  So, I’m going to grab my camera and practice.  What are your thoughts?

 

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What Are Your 6 Resolutions For 2013?

The New Years holiday is one of the most challenging holidays for photographers.  Some photographers will work tonight, others, like myself, will spend the last waning hours of 2012 opening a bottle of Asti Spumante and celebrating quietly in the peaceful bliss of my living room. While sipping the Asti, I’ll be thinking about last year, this year, and the year to come.  It’s the most dangerous time of the evening when people start thinking about their New Year resolutions.

New year resolutions are like promises that you make to yourself. Oh, there is the typical promise to exercise or to lose weight.  But let’s be real here.  Those will probably last a few weeks and then be forgotten.  It’s the small resolutions that count.  Here are some examples.

  • I want to use the equipment I have on hand to make better pictures.  I would love to buy a new macro lens and a wide-angle lens this year.  Realistically, I’ll be fortunate to buy a lens cap.  So, I need to use the equipment I have to the most effect.

 

  • I want to ask one of my friends to take a portrait of me.  I need a new picture for social media and other functional things.  This one is hard for me.  I’ve always liked taking pictures because I’m the one behind the camera and not in front of it.  I’m not camera-shy, I just don’t like my picture being taken.  Kind of weird isn’t it?

 

  • I want to go someplace new this year, like Savannah, Georgia or Yosemite National Park.  Adventure!  Excitement!  Alaska!  Of course, there is always Bora-Bora and Italy.  Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big! I’ll have to see what my lens cap budget says.

 

  • I want to spend more time with other photographers.  I have a friend that shoots weddings and fine art.  He has invited me to go get coffee and just talk.  I’m going to take him up on the offer.  I also want to meet other photographers and start talking more.   I have a lot to learn about photography and a book will only get you so far.

 

  • I want to take advantage of opportunities as they become available.  People do not take advantage of the opportunities that are given to them.  Most of the time it’s because our thoughts are “in the clouds” and not concentrating on what is important at that moment.   I want to become more aware of those personal and business opportunities so that I can use them for others and mine benefits.

 

  • I want to spend more time with my wife. This one is the most important resolution. This New Year will mark 20 years of aggravation and financial uncertainty that marriage can bring.  It also marks my magic 5th year of being a cancer survivor.  All of which my wife has been there for and supported me during all of it and I am the better for it.

 

I’m interested in what your resolutions are.  How are you going to help yourself or others become not only better photographers but better people?  Comment below!

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