I can’t tell you why you’re here, but I can tell you why I’m here.
I’ve been writing in a journal for years now. Not entirely consistently, but enough to create a life story out of a few thousand pages of musings, stories and remembrances. I had been doing most of my writing on a tiny netbook — those little bargain laptops that are so stripped down that they are only good for word processing and checking email. (They may be weak, but damn, they’re convenient!) I used mine as a replacement for the Read more…
This summer has been a bit slow for me for photography and even slower for Art sales. Usually this time of year is booming with real estate clients, portrait clients and summer events. But I’m not seeing it yet. April and May were decent, but June is falling behind. And I’m marketing like crazy (including a 20% off coupon to all my clients and Facebook fans). Maybe it’s me, but it seems like the more I market, the less work comes in. If I don’t do anything at all, the volume of work doesn’t seem to change. And I don’t understand that. I’ve been reading lots of articles about how to boost business, but haven’t seen the rewards yet.
So, what do I do? Well, I do what I do whenever I hit a creative block in my artwork… I switch gears, put the problems aside for a bit, and “distract” myself with a different creative outlet. This time it’s my novel.
Yes, I’m writing a novel. It’s intended to be a fictionalized account of my travels during my Vanishing America Project. Now, this is nothing new. I’d been planning to write about my project since it began. As a matter of fact, I’ve already published several articles about my journey and have dozens of pages of character ideas and vignettes that I collected over the past few years.
My original intent this year was to do a coffee table book (or two or three). But after speaking to experts in the publishing field, the consensus pointed to a novel having more potential. I guess art books just aren’t big sellers anymore. Anyone have any input on that?
So, when I get burned out on marketing, I pick up my netbook and start writing. And it’s actually quite fun. I write until I get stuck, then I work on getting un-stuck for a little bit. If I get un-stuck, I continue to write. But, if I remain blocked, I don’t get frustrated. I just put the computer down and get back to it later (sometimes days later). It’s a good release, and helps me approach the rest of my work with a fresher attitude.
Maybe I’ll post a sample chapter here soon.
Back in college at the University of Georgia, I was experimenting with lighting the human figure. I used a single lamp, a chair to create shadows and worked to create an almost three-dimensional sculpture in two-dimensions. I called the project, Bodyscapes, and hung 25 images from the new series in my senior exit show in the main gallery of the Art Department. After school, making a living took most of my time and, I shelved the artwork and hit the job market.
Now, more than 20 years later, I am revisiting the Bodyscapes series and modifying it a bit as I experiment with new techniques and lighting.
The latest evolution in the series is titled, Pastelè. That’s Italian for “Pastel” (at least according to Google).
Each image is essentially as it comes out of the camera. No crazy Photoshop techniques. Just pure Photography. I do use Photoshop to clean up and color balance each image, but that’s about it. The effect (making each image look like it was sketched with oil pastels) is done with… wait a second… you almost got me to tell you my secret! LOL.
Looking their best on large canvases, these Fine Art images represent a new, more expressive direction in my work. I’m proud of this collection and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
Here is the link to the current gallery (I’m still working on the project, so I will continue to add images): http://holtwebb.smugmug.com/Projects/Bodyscapes/28713933_C6jqfJ
I love being an artist. I look at the world a little differently. And sometimes I’m rewarded with what I find.
This is what I found hiding under my peanut butter lid…
Looks like it’s going to be a nice day.
Sunday, my good friend Jim came up to work with me on a home shoot for a real estate client. We shot two amazing homes on the top of Lookout Mountain. One house was on the East side of the brow overlooking the city and four states and the other home was on the west side of the ridge overlooking the valley and the sunset. Beautiful.
It took us almost 5 hours bouncing back and forth between the two homes to make sure we got good light on the interiors and captured the unique illumination only available at dusk. But we did it. And we had fun doing it. That’s the most important part, I think.
Here is a little sampling of the home overlooking the sunset. And… if you like the home, it’s for sale…
Oh, and I shoot my homes without any additional lighting. All images are shot with natural, ambient and local lighting. I don’t use studio strobes, hot lights, umbrellas or on-camera flash. I do turn on most of the lights (and a few candles) in the house for accent effect, but that’s it. How can it be done? More on that another time…
Image of the week
From my emerging Bodyscapes series, “Pastella”
Coming soon to a gallery near you.
Image of the Week:
In 2010, BP f-d up. They caused irreparable damage to an already fragile ecosystem. In the confused efforts to “clean up” after the tragedy, thousands of men and women were recruited to assist in the effort. There were transients looking for a quick buck, there were out of work fishermen trying to make ends meet and there were do-gooders trying to make a difference. The work was hard, but the pay was good.
Tom was a traveler. He arrived in Grand Isle, Louisiana with his nephew to work on the cleanup crews. Each day, they would come back to their small camper tired and dirty, but with that look of accomplishment. They were happy to be working. And as long as a person is willing to work for their living, no matter how crappy the job, I respect them.
You can see more portraiture at: http://holtwebb.smugmug.com/Portfolio/Portrait-Portfolio