“The Earth has a soul. I record the moments when it expresses itself in ways that move me.”
— Karen Hutton — Photograph by Jeffrey B. Ross
For those who have followed my photography posts, I have some information you may find of interest and motivational. In any creative endeavor there are several factors involved. I would like to quickly address just two of them.
Tools of the Trade – If you are a musician, sculptor, quilter, painter, stain glass artisan, etc., you understand that there are tools you will need to be successful. Having the correct tools, however is only a start.
You could place a piano in front of me, even the best, most expensive piano available, and I would not be able to play it. I might be able to learn to play it eventually, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I don’t know the difference between the white keys and the black keys. I am aware that there are pedals on the base of the instrument, but I don’t have the faintest idea of what they do.
You could cajole me, bribe me or threaten me, but no matter what, I just couldn’t do it. That is because I haven’t learned the tools of the trade. I haven’t learned how to apply and use the means of the craft.
The first essential element for any creator, therefore, is to completely understand the tools required and how to use each one of them to their fullest. That is perhaps why Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers, suggested that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice would be necessary to achieve expertise. There is much argument about the number of hours and how Gladwell derived this theory, but suffice it to say that much practice and study would be needed to become an acknowledged expert in one of the arts. And much of those hours would be practicing to effectively use the tools and potentially even inventing new ways of applying them.
Vision – This, in my opinion, can be the more difficult part. Many art students begin by copying the drawings and paintings of the masters and after some time, they become proficient, almost perfect copiers. This, however, does not make them an artist.
To become an artist, one must develop their own unique vision of the world. Once that vision is understood and realized, then it is time to take the tools of the trade and apply them to create their style through their artso the world can appreciate, recognize and enjoy their craft and unique signature.
If this has piqued your curiosity and you are interested in photography or any creative endeavor, then let me suggest you follow Karen Hutton’s series “The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice.” I admire Karen and I have been following her blog for a while. I find her posts very motivating and insightful. Some of the concepts will be “fuzzy” at first until you have tried to apply them to your own creative universe. After you begin to apply them and really think hard about them, the clarity should evolve.
While Karen focuses on the vision and art of photography, the same advice can be applied to most creative undertakings. Once you get to her blog, you will realize how diverse her background is and why she is able to guide people through this process.
I will make it easy to get started. All you have to do is follow these links to the first set of articles in the series. Once at her site, subscribe and you will receive the rest.
All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.comare appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.
As readers of JBRish know, photography is one of my hobbies and it is very interesting to me to find that there are so many subsets of photography for specialists.
Did you ever try to take a good picture of food? It is harder than you might think. Look at a couple of recipe websites and notice how interesting and wonderful most people manage to make the ingredients and finish serving appear.
Besides food photography, there are the more popular categories of landscape, portraiture, travel, etc. Of course there are some very unique categories as well such as astrophotography, medical photography and street photography just to name a few.
Then there are those photographers who are just very creative in what they do. I have often come across an interesting photograph and wondered: “Why didn’t I think of that?” And then again, even if I had, there is a world of difference between thinking of something and the doing. The photograph below is an example.
The only information I could gather is that this photograph was taken to support animal adoption. Some consider it an example of optical illusions. I just think it is pretty darn clever.
Have you seen any interesting photographs that were extremely creative? If so, why not provide that information in a comment for all readers to appreciate?
NOTE – I don’t have the information for appropriate attribution. If anyone can provide the correct data, please leave it in a comment and I will certainly update the post.
When I consider my life experience, I have to appreciate that I was born at a most advantageous time. I am not going to wax philosophical here about economic outlooks, moral changes or political shifts. What I am referring to is the plethora of creative inventions/options that have been brought forth during my lifetime. There are more ways for people to express their creativity than ever before.
The first movies I saw as a child were not even in movie theaters. They were in an open field on temporary benches broadcast on a makeshift screen. If it rained, no movie. In some cases the movies weren’t even black and white. They were sepia toned. One film was blue and white; now that was weird!
Today’s creators have so much power under their control and with the burgeoning field of computer-generated imagery (CGI) rolling full speed ahead, the consumers of entertainment have much to anticipate and should be excited.
Let’s not forget, however, some of the mesmerizing effects of legacy processes like the Phenakistoscope, Zoetrope, the flip book, etc. In their day, they were entertainment.
In the video below, L’illusion de Joseph, Pask D’Amico creates a most mesmerizing piece of entertainment based on a modernization of old school techniques. I found these particularly alluring, but I have to confess, I am also a sucker for Kaleidoscopes, which may seem like a non sequitur, but watch the short film and you will get what I mean. You are going to like this; I can almost guarantee it!
This is the time of year that photography websites start talking about ideas, resolutions, etc. for the New Year. We often hear about a monthly challenge or perhaps even a weekly challenge.
Every once in a while someone steps up and starts a 365 day photography challenge based on a theme or idea that they have. I am doing a modified* 365 day challenge by posting a picture-a-day for 365 days selected from the shots I took during our hiking and exploration trip to Yosemite National Park. This is the link if you are interested:
*NOTE – While I do intend to post 365 separate photos from my Yosemite excursions, I am not doing them strictly on consecutive days because of previous commitments and plans.
The PHOTOBLOG is stepping up to help those who might need inspiration for such a challenge by offering a yearly calendar with a new photography idea for every day of the year. This would be a wonderful resource for those who just want to gather new and fresh ideas or to stimulate ideas of their own. The PHOTOBLOG suggests it might make a nice gift for a phtographer-friend and I agree!
Here are some random examples of suggested ideas:
January 24, Tuesday – Something You made
February 17, Friday – Outside the window
March 20, Monday – Three Things
April 26, Wednesday – Flowers
May 6, Saturday – Street
June 1, Thursday – Together
July 23, Sunday – A Pair of Things
In addition to being a springboard for ideas, the calendar itself has very pretty photography and serves its general utilitarian function of keeping track of the dates. Each page has the main month along with the preceding and following month; a nice touch. See the sample screen shot below.
Check out all of the details and find out how to post some of your own project shots by visiting this PHOTOBLOG web page.
“A solitary dish washing robot living out his life in the back room of a restaurant is enlightened to the world that exists beyond his four walls, with the help of a small friend he breaks free of confinement to pursue his dream of exploration”
I enjoy watching creative videos and the video below is certainly very. very creative. I will include the notes from the website below, but what I find most exhilarating is the skill with which it was constructed.
This was apparently a student assignment and it looks like such a finished and polished project. The animation is superb, the story line is good-cute and it should be a lesson to anyone that they can do what they set out to accomplish if they just stick with it long enough.
I am not the only person to find this quite an achievement as this short video has earned numerous awards and recognition.
From the Vimeo website:
Hum was the film we created for our junior year advanced production class in 2015 while attending Chapman’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. The film was created over one semester (February 2015 – May 2015) with a budget of $2000. We hope you enjoy the film and are compelled to share it with your friends and family, you are what motivates to continue telling stories.
At one point in British history, prisons were becoming so overcrowded that the practice of “transporting” criminals out of Britain to other places arose. This wine label pays homage to this practice and ostensibly refers to 19 crimes, if committed, would get the perpetrator transported to primarily to Australia.
We recently had a bottle of 19 Crimes wine!
“19 Crimes Wine Label”
On this label is the criminal, John Boyle O’Reilly who is a main character on the 19 Crimes website as they tell his story through a series of slides.
“Sometimes the good intentioned get into no good situations. Such is the story of John Boyle O’Reilly. Irishman by birth. Poet and activist by passion and trade.
In 1867 John Boyle O’Reilly was banished from England to Australia on the Hougoumont – the last ship to transport convicts to the down under British colony. He was sentenced to 20 years of servitude for his role in the Fenian Conspiracy – an uprising against British rule in Ireland.”
This seems like the same public domain picture from the Wikipedia website that shows Mr. O’Reilly as well:
“Wikipedia Picture of Criminal John Boyle O’Reilly”
The cork denotes which crime was being punished.
“19 Crimes Wine Cork – The Crime”
With the name of the winery on the other side of the cork:
“9 Crimes Wine Cork – The Other Side””
The winery’s website keeps with the dark theme and is beautifully executed. They have created a YouTube video which is presented below. NOTE– YouTube lists this as an unlisted video which may not be advisable to “share,” but I think this is an error since it is part of their marketing scheme. If this is an inappropriate embedded video, please let me know via comment and I will adjust the web page appropriately upon further verification.
19 Crimes – “The Banished” Video
From the YouTube website
“Published on May 29, 2015
The men featured on our wine labels are not those of fiction. They were flesh and blood. Criminals, artists and scholars. In history, they share a bond – receiving “punishment by transportation” for violation of one of 19 crimes and becoming the first settlers of a new nation.”
In the United States, as in many countries around the world, we have a robust marketing estate that hires some of the best minds to create advertisements that will attract our attention and hopefully motivate us to purchase their particular service or product.
I fully appreciate and understand that there are some down sides to our focus, some would say extreme focus, on advertising and marketing. There is, however, at least one important advantage and that is the unleashing of creative talent.
There are a multitude of creative, innovative and beautiful works of art masquerading amidst the advertising abundance we see on a daily basis. I intend to present some of those images I believe showcase this talent and artistic vision even when used for the mundane purpose of marketing.
JBRish.com’s new category SignEdge will present some of my choices and I hope you will feel free to send me your selections of great art in advertising and marketing either in a comment below or via email: jeff AT jbrish DOT com
To begin, let me share with you one of my recent finds:
Freakshow Wine Label created by Lodi, CA artist Ben Moren
Freakshow is a product of Michael David Winery and is a full-bodied and quite delightful Cabernet. Needless to say, the label is an attention grabber and I believe I read somewhere that it is the largest, non-repeating wine label ever created. If you look at it carefully, you will note that the scene follows completely along the curvature of the bottle.
While this is a story about the artwork and the label, I recognize that some of you may now be interested in finding out more about the wine. Here is one typical review by Dennis Sodomkaof the August Chronicle
“The Freakshow label pays homage to oldtime freak shows found in carnivals with a label that looks like the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album. You could spend a long time exploring the oddities on the label.
I would rather drink the wine, because it is a treat.
In the glass it is a beautiful deep-purple color, with pleasant aromas of plums, licorice and cedar. With the first sip, the fruit explodes in your mouth; there is no restraint, no waiting for the wine to open. I tasted black cherry, plum and a hint of spice. It has a medium finish and very little dropoff in flavor. We finished the bottle two days after opening it, and it still was bright and full of ripe fruit.”
I have highlighted a number of very creative people on my website and I have said it before, but I need to say it yet again. The amount of talent that is “out there” is amazing! It is hard to believe what someone who is focused can accomplish.
Felix Hernandez takes a simple toy car and crafts a very realistic scene using artificial ingredients and Photoshop-type post production techniques. It is truly stunning to watch this come together as a finished project.
Watch the animation below, The Love Car, to appreciate true artistic creativity.
“When I am camera in hand, visiting beautiful places, photographing beautiful things, telling beautiful stories, I am filled with gratitude, joy, happiness, faith, compassion, love, purpose, optimism, empathy, and awe.”