Ghosts of Parties Past

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I’m proud, and honored to have been asked to give a presentation at the two day photography event called Photo SJ here in New Jersey. Two days of speakers, contests, workshops and general gathering of photo enthusiasts. I will present Creative Photography: Concept to Capture, Processing to Presentation. The event will be held June 14-15.

I’ve been working on the concept for this shot, and preparing to shoot it for quite some time. Collecting the bottles was not a huge task. Weathering those bottles to have the look that I wanted for the shot was another story. I knew how I wanted it to look and worked to get that result.

So, the gathering of props and prep work was finally completed. The hardest part was, where will I set this up? What will I use as a base and background. I didn’t have an appropriate table or backdrop in my studio. I looked and looked but found nothing in my props or set-ups. It finally hit me that there was an old workbench in my garage. I cleared off a space and set up for the shot. Processing the file finally gave me the mood and feel that I was aiming for. I will note though that the white background of this page tends to make the background of the image a bit darker than the actual file. Click on the image for a better view

I’ve always encouraged folks to be creative, and that can be achieved in many ways. Always strive to present your vision.

You can read more about Photo SJ by clicking here

 

Thanks for reading and take care

Dave

DWPhotoworks.com

A New Year….And A Step Back?

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A few years back, I had added some canvas giclee prints to my art show inventory. There was a lot of interest in the presentation, and many nice comments. the canvases were not gallery wraps. They were mounted on board and tastefully framed. Sadly, sales were weak. I discontinued printing on canvas and held on to the finished images.

I recently decided to show the prints once again. I hung a few at the gallery where I am an associate. Interest was once again high, and sales surprisingly took a strong upward turn. I’ve decided to return to this presentation style for select images and will print and frame as I had before. I will be using a different brand of canvas which is rated much higher than what I used in the past. The image above, which I will for the moment refer to as “Pear Pairs” will be my first project.

I have always believed that the presentation of a photographic image is just as important as the image itself. I wish you could see the prints in person. I hope you all strive to present your images to their best.

So my question now is, was the lack of sales due to the environment in which I was showing them? Is the gallery a better fit for this type of presentation? Images that were passed over back then are now selling. I’ll never figure this stuff out.

I will still use traditional presentations for most images, but some just seem to work well with the canvas giclee. I’d love to hear if any readers have had experience in viewing canvas framed prints as opposed to the gallery wrap style that has been popular for some time now. Don’t be afraid to let me know. Comments and thoughts have been a bit sparse around the holidays.

Take care and enjoy the new year

Always be creative

Dave

DWPhotoworks.com

 

A Change Of Season

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“A change of seasons” Today we transition from fall to winter. The shortest day of the year. We’re saying goodbye to the last remnants of those colorful leaves and prepare for those white snowflakes to fall. Each season offers different photo ops for us. For my photographer friends, I hope your creativity shines through.

Dave

DWPhotoworks.com

The Entertainer V2

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A while back I had done an image called “The Entertainer”. That image can be seen on my web galleries in the black and white folder. I had tried to get the feel of the old singer/crooner lifestyle in an old theater setting. I was happy with that image and still like it today.

I’ve recently acquired new backdrops and got the urge to re-visit the entertainer theme. I developed a plan of attack and began gathering the props I would need to develop the scene. I had everything ready, but then decided to add the light source itself to the image. I constructed a hanging lamp and found a couple different bulbs to try. The bulbs looked OK in the scene, but were just way too bright. I had to include a dimmer in my set-up and shoot many images to balance things out.

So here you see a final Entertainer V2. I included quite a bit of dodging and burning in the processing step.

My main reason for sharing this adventure is to encourage you, as I always do, to revisit some of your older files. They may spur a new project, or just a few tweaks to that old file. We’re always learning and growing. Our vision can change over time. But most of all it’s cool to see how we interpret things, and how variations can offer themselves to us.

Hope you enjoy the new image. The studio is going to get a workout in the coming weeks. I have several concepts floating around, and I’m gathering props.

I’d love for you to:

  1. Share this post
  2. Follow this Blog
  3. Have a great Christmas
  4. Visit my website
  5. Comment on this post

You can visit my web galleries by clicking HERE

Take care, and always be creative

Dave

Back to the studio

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“Simply Wheat”

Well, here we go headlong into the winter season. The leaves have fallen from the trees. The weather is turning cold. Those beautiful, colorful vistas are all but gone for the year. It’s time to clean up the studio, wipe off the dust and start gathering those props that I call my toys, get the lights fired up, and develop some ideas for still life and studio shots.

Does this mean I won’t be out there gathering images in the great outdoors till spring? Not at all. It’s just the time of year when it’s a bit more convenient to shoot in the studio.I also really enjoy designing and setting up the image, and playing with different lighting.

The image above was my effort to get things started and get the juices flowing. It’s titled “Simply Wheat”. It is an example of focus stacking. The image contains 10 separate files, each with a different focus point that are stacked and blended together. This gives a very wide depth of field range. You can click the image for a larger view.

If the process is done well, the viewer shouldn’t even notice the effect has been applied, but they will somehow feel that wide depth of field. The process is a killer tool to have in macro photography, and I hope to get more of those images done over the winter.

Things are changing for DWPhotoworks. My focus is changing and now that I have finished my involvement with Art Fairs I can feel a shift in my approach and mindset for developing my images. Who knows where this is leading.

Enjoy the image and hopefully you’ll be inclined to follow the page. Take care and as always, Be Creative.

Dave Woeller

 

“Once Proud”….

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My home town, and surrounding area, was once known as the hub of the booming glass industry in Southern New Jersey. Wheaton, Kimble, Owens Illinois, Armstrong, were all names that everyone knew and respected. Here in Millville, at one time, just about every family had at least one member employed by one of these industry giants.

Time passes and foreign competition, changing packaging techniques, and several other factors led to the slow decline of the industry.

The image above shows the sad state of only a small portion of the original Wheaton complex. The property has changed hands several times and now sits dormant. There is talk of a possible demolition to extract recyclable materials. So, why do I post about this facility? Obviously, for some, the decaying structure offers up countless photographic opportunities. Along with that, is also the opportunity for us as photographers to document a slice of history. Capturing what was, as a counterpoint to those creative images that can only spring from our own inner vision, can be a valuable and rewarding experience.

Granted, this image does lean a bit toward the creative side. I could have shot it during the daylight hours, but felt the stark darkness along with the rusted dilapidated structure told the story well. I am working diligently on trying to get permission to gain access to the interior for one final session to complete the story of “Once Proud”.

Perhaps you have a similar story in your own town. I’ll invite you to get out there and tell its story. It can be interesting, educational and beneficial to many.

Take care till next time.

You can visit my web galleries at

www.dwphotoworks.com

Are Art Fairs For You?

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I’ve been missing in action for a while here on my blog. I don’t want to make excuses, but I have been busy with my fall art fair schedule and some gallery exhibits. Having completed my fairs for the year I can reflect a bit on some of the experiences I’ve had, and some thoughts you might consider if you feel this outlet for your art may be for you.

I can’t begin to tell you how many times I hear folks saying , as they leave my booth, “I could do that”. Great! Let’s give you some thoughts.

This will not be a step by step how to by any means. Just some info to hash over.

You’ll need inventory: Will you print, mat, frame your own work or pay to have it done? How much inventory do you need to carry including framed, and bin prints.

You’ll need a tent, and/or display equipment. Tents can go from a couple hundred to a couple thousand $$$. Add tables , bins, covers, credit card processing equipment, some form of container to safely transport your precious art, and a vehicle that will contain all of the above. Don’t forget that you’ll need to store all of this somewhere when not at a show.

Booth fees, jury fees, transportation costs, lodging for distant shows, and many intangibles need to be covered.

Insurance? Yes, liability at a minimum for any damage caused if your booth or equipment causes any damage to others. How about if someone trips and injures their self in your booth?

On the business and legal side, will you register as a business? You’ll definitely need a sales tax number. How about bookkeeping?

Developing the right sales approach with customers can be challenging. You are not selling something they need , but something they might want.

Which shows or fairs should you apply to. I’ve always made it a practice to visit a show, the year before I apply, to get a feel for the crowd and the quality of accepted artists.

This is just scratching the surface. Figuring out which images sell, building up a following, figuring out just how much to charge for your art all take a couple of years to get a handle on. And once you figure that out, it will all change.

You might want to do some reading on a site like ArtFairInsiders.com There’s a lot of info there.

So far this may seem like I’m trying to discourage you. That’s not the case. I’ve done this for many years now and I fuss and fume about the work involved, the decisions to make, the sitting in a field for a weekend with rain and no sales, hauling a ton of equipment, it’s not as bad as I make it sound.

I will say at this point that I could never have done any of this without my wife and best friend Eileen who has been with me every step of the way. Setting up, sitting in the booth to do paperwork and helping with all of the sales and decisions, and also keeping me semi-sane.

While on a brighter note, sales have been very good, and I just love having people stop in my booth to appreciate my efforts and discussing things. The best is when young folks ask questions. I wrote a blog post a while back called “Giving Back” on that subject. You can read it by clicking here.

Age has now brought all of this fun to an end for me as I will not be applying to fairs next year. I will however continue to show at galleries and use other outlets for my work.

So if you are one of those folks who truly believe you can do this, definitely go for it. I wish you all the best. It can truly be a very rewarding experience in many ways. If you have questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. As I said this article does not come close to covering all aspects of the Art Fair world, both good and bad.

I’ve made some changes to my website homepage and added some new images. Why not drop by and browse. Here’s a link

 DWPhotoworks.com

Thanks for reading, take care and always be creative