When it comes to photography and art, the team at APC is in the lucky position to see a lot of head-turning works. And every now and then, along comes a project that’s just totally “outside the box.” This particular canvas print fits that description and then some. With the permission of it’s creator – the fabulously creative Amanda Kern – we’re reprinting her 2009 account of the creative process that led to one amazing canvas.
By Amanda Kern, Photographer & Graphic Designer
Earlier this year I discovered I’d have the opportunity to display some work in Valencia’s faculty graphic arts exhibition. The theme for this year’s art exhibition just happened to be “self portraits squared.” I spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas and came to the conclusion that creating a “mindmap” would be a perfect solution. I attribute the fact that my mind tends to think of most things lately in mindmap form to the time I spent training with O’Reilly. Ever since that experience, I suppose you could say I’ve been corrupted by intertwining thoughts on paper. In the past I’ve been known to mindmap for personal ideas and training, as well as research papers  .
After over 60+ hours of work this past week I am quite thrilled to finally share the process I’ve taken to complete my mindmap project which I’ve dubbed, “The Map to Mind.” Here’s a screenshot of the project:
Insight Into My Process
When I first began this project I envisioned this project ending up similar to my very first 365 photo, just a little more complex and better planned out. I designed the project at 24″ x 24″ and began using InDesign to set my type in small sections. My hopes were that some aspects were hand rendered, yet still resembled some of the qualities in the original fonts used. As I worked I would print out small sheets at a time and would use a pencil rubbed against the back of the print out to act as a “transfer” as I traced each of the letters to maintain similar qualities to the original font used, just hand rendered. This became a tedious process – setting type on the computer, transferring in pencil and then drawing the letters with ink. Other things I chose to just scribble my own chicken scratch. Every time I’d create new type I’d photomontage the type using Photoshop. After I got far enough along, I printed out parts of the project and added my own writing to the project. After a day or two my hand was ready to fall off! Here’s a screenshot of many of the words I hand rendered along with printouts.
RC Concepcion is one of the most generous people I know, so it came as no surprise when he approached me yesterday with his idea to give away some of his own spectacular photography for everyone to enjoy, and – get this – use in any way they please… No strings attached. So was born what I’ve nicknamed “RC’s Totally Free Photos.” I’ll let RC explain in his own words…
“When I was getting ready to go to New York for the Photoshop CS5 Summit, I wanted to take a couple of days to get some shooting done. Not long after I decided to take the time, my buddy Rick Sammon called and asked if I was interested in taking pictures of the Chuang-yen Monastery in Carmel. Monastery… New York? I’m there!
“Rick and I had lunch, and got to walking around the temple. What I originally thought was going to be a hot day of running around all day (I had gotten lost for several hours already – despite being a New Yorker) turned out to be perfect! Shooting in the middle of the day meant that I would be processing most of these images as HDR, but I was totally OK with that.
“Sometimes when you go out and shoot, you just import the pictures and you get to revisit them every now and again as you scroll by them. I figured, why wouldn’t I just give it away to anyone who wants it?
If you follow the big names in professional photography – or have personally sought out photography as a fine art form – then you’ve likely heard about David duChemin. An assignment photographer based in Vancouver, David has shot for non-profit and commercial clients on five continents around the world. His portfolio of compelling and moving photographs – and his advice on discovering and refining one’s own vision in the pursuit of great images – are the subjects of the best-selling books, Within The Frame – The Journey of Photographic Vision and VisionMongers – Making a Life and a Living in Photography.
It’s not every day you encounter a photographer of duChemin’s calibre – and it’s certainly not often that a world-famous photographer decides to give away prints of his work. But as you take in David duChemin’s photography and follow his inspired writings, you begin to understand his personal vision and a portrait emerges that brings clarity to the free canvas print offer he recently announced on his blog…
Says duChemin, “Photography is an aesthetic art. For me, it’s a means of getting out what’s inside and saying ‘Did you see that?’ My photographs are an expression of my vision and my passion and I take great care to create the photographs I do. For years, those images have primarily found their home online, in small print publications, and the occasional print. Increasingly I’ve longed to return to my darkroom days – days when my final output was a print, something large that I could touch, look at from every angle, and eventually give away because at it’s heart I think all art is a gift.”
By Jeff Tamagini, Photographer
As we head into the July 4th holiday weekend I thought I would share some tips for capturing great fireworks photos.
I am writing these based on my experiences in Boston, but the tips can be applied to virtually any scenario. You may not live in a city, or on the water, but – at least when it comes to this national celebration – your experiences are likely to have a lot in common with my own. If you have any tips you’d like to add, please post them as a comment at the end of this post so that we can all join in creating great photos that celebrate our independence.
Part I: The Lead Up
1. Location, Location, Location
I cannot stress enough the importance of finding a good location. Not only a location that is going to give you the best vantage point, but also one that is going to provide you with ample space in crowds of people. If you can, do a little recon on some places you might like to set up. Don’t just recon during the day. Fireworks shows are at night, so it’s important to see what your environment’s ambient conditions will be like. Annoying things like street lights are not on during the day, so while some locations you scout might have a perfect view and seem like a great places to set up, what will you do when you get there and a bunch of ambient light is spilling into your lens and screwing up your exposure?
Have a back up location – or better yet, several backup locations.