The Dark Room

Yesterday I went on a smaller rant and shared my view on what a photo does to me.
Regardless if it is a newspaper headshot, a selfie with an iphone or an artistic fine print.

The picture should tell me a story.
The story of the Misty Mountains or the sexy bathroom in that six star dining place you wanted to share with us.

One picture tells me more as the standard thousand six hundred words in an optimized blog.

So we should get it right, yet not the dentist way (no pun intended as I do have some great dentists in my circle of friends) as I want to feel the emotion in the picture and not just a histogram perfect image.

An image with guts.
An image with a story.
An image with scratches.
An image with pain (and laughter).

Your story.

Emotion, regardless if its is right the photographic way.

And that is what we want to address in the dark room on G+.
Get the emotion right across with the audience.
Does it touches us.
Does it make us smile.
Does it do what you want it to do when you are Stuck In Plastic.

Footnotes to self:
Day 3 in my personal challenge (a milestone).
Picture above shot with a DSLR and minimal edits made in post processing.
Picture above was trying to share the emotion of the last day of the Spring Equinox

Stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below …

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Typewriter

Shelly recently wrote a long and passionate post on why you should use your DSLR and if you missed it, I really suggest you read it.

I fully agree with Shelly on the advantages of a DSLR equipped with a great prime and set to capture RAW when shooting your adventures, yet it is not the camera that makes the shoot.

You will not tell better “stories” because you have a full frame (the FX stuff) body or you have the latest greatest prime.

I am not going to write a long well documented post like Ken did here (I do recommend you read the full post) but will just quote him: “If you can shoot well, all you need is a disposable toy camera or a camera phone to create great work …”

So it does not matter if you only have your iPhone at hand to make great creative photography and turn what you see in a master piece.

Composition, light, focus, eye for detail, and finally the message you want to share, or like Ansell told us: “The single most important component of a camera is the twelve inches behind it…”

So, yes, a DSLR with a great prime on a tripod shot at ISO 100 will help you in getting better print quality and lower your chances for chromatic abberation (or fringe) in your pictures, but that is all secondary.

First and foremost it is about you, and how you see the world and what you want to tell.

This is what photography is about.

The art of telling your story with light.

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 2 in my personal challenge.
Picture above shot with an iPhone 5S
I will continue this story tomorrow as it links back directly to what we want to achieve with the dark room. 

Stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below …

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Spring Equinox

With the Spring Equinox in full force and the Bunny Crew out and about in the garden to hunt for eggs and candy it is time to sit back.

Sit back, and reflect at some of the postings Shelly made earlier this week here on Stuck In Plastic and the discussions we had in The Foyer and The Dark Room over at G+.

The use of DSLR, the search for the inner self, or the challenge of becoming a better photographer, artist or even brick. 

All very valid questions and challenges and part of the dialogue we want to create with our work here at Stuck In Plastic.

And this is where the problem starts. 

I am not always part of that dialogue and push Shelly in a monologue by being stuck in board rooms on the Death Star and other crazy adventures my NDA does not allow me to talk (let alone blog) about it.

So, let me take this equinox and birthday celebration of Ēostre and Freya and accept the challenge Shelly so clearly lays forward in her latest post.
 
One post a day here at Stuck In Plastic, not for 30 days but until the next summer solstice is upon us …

Wish me luck !
Me2

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Happy Easter …

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, Young Ones !

As most of you know, Sweden is always a day ahead of the rest of the world and we celebrate everything on the eve of … including Easter Eve, Christmas Eve and Midsummer Eve.

I guess this must go back to the times we sent our Vikings™ down under and wanted to be able to share our drinking songs with Australia with a loud and clear “andra sidan är ni klara” and be in the same time zone …

So, while the Easter Bunnies were pole dancing here in the Stockholm Archipelago at full force, we want to wish you all a Happy Easter egg hunt when you wake up tomorrow morning !?!

Happy Easter !

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Buy Two Wookie Burgers …

Are you looking for an exclusive Art piece to make that wall of your board room or penthouse flat just perfect ? 
The easiest is to get a Wookie burger ordered and get an exclusive limited edition signed Me2 print to adore your walls.
A Wookie burger may not be in your sweet spot, but don’t worry, you still have a chance to win one of the exclusive prints Me2 is giving away with Easter …
Just go over and like #stuckinplastic on Facebook and you automatically enter the great Easter egg hunt … without hurting any Wookie in the process …
Here is the full background story

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Green Room …

We find our Fellowship™  ashore in the Stockholm Archipelago discussing the Stockholm Syndrome and the Big Blue Marble in great detail. The Fellowship™  is trying to answer the question some of you have been asking here, on twitter, email, phone, smoke signals and even snail mail:

“How can you actually join this #stuckinplastic …”

And so both Shelly and myself patiently awaited the consulting advice of The Fellowship.

And here it is …

Simple, straightforward and fully inline with number 42 and the KISS principle.

Find #stuckinplastic on G+
Join the G+ community we created.
Go into the green room, and make your (in)formal introductions.
Include a representative picture in your post (we are after all about photography)

Et voila, you entered the green level of #stuckinplastic and can call you a proud member of our SeaCow™ Crew (*). 

No strings attached, a small step in getting completly stuck in plastic and the first step in reaching the next level.  

So who is first to post in our green room ?

(*) While Ye all are signing up in the green room Shelly and me are working on how we can best virtually connect in the coming days based on your introductions …

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Stockholm Syndrome

While Shelly is obviously struggling with the Imposter Syndrome and is rightfully exploring the inner workings of the meaning of live, art, photography, plastic and faking it all, I feel more close to home (ouch, one of my long sentences).

I like to sympathize with the Art crowd out there (they have soup after all) and just stick the label of Stockholm Syndrome on my back and move on.

I agree to be an arrogant Artist™in the 21st century.

Art in the 21st century is still very much the same as it was 25 centuries ago. The means have changed and the world has turned flat, and we moved on from binary art to (the next level) of binary art, yet we are still asking the same questions and researching the same inner workings of the big bang.

This does not mean we are imposters as we explore our boundaries and see where we are stuck in plastic together with you.

And this is what this post is all about.

Finding you.
Yes You™.

Regardless whether You are close to the Imposter or Stockholm Syndrome, if You™feel you can be that partner in crime here at Stuck In Plastic and join Shelly and me in our journey of conquering the world (phase one, Universe is following in a second stage) and join us in our Art™collective where we try to find our place, do speak up. It is about You as an Artist™, as a Photographer, as a brick stuck in plastic … and about Us™as a collective (pun intended to that other strange collective called Pink Floyd).

So You™wanna join OurJourney ?

(ok there is no official solicitation form, but that is part of the journey and You™know how to contact
Us™)



 

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Flow – Part I

https://flic.kr/p/mRqwpa

Last weekend I was stuck in a small city called Leuven exploring some of the secret portals they have hidden in plane sight and I was really struggling with my on the road workflow (hence the reason I did not post a blog or a quick selfie on instagram) as there is more to the flow than just point, shoot and post …

So this morning, back in The Studio, armed with a cup of coffee I decided to upload Stargate™to Flickr when my happy flow and the rest of the day was ruined.

Flickr and Yahoo decided to have a battle with my identity provider and no longer offer a trusted sign on with Google (and Facebook) or at least a big pop up told me that soon my login would no longer be possible …

And so my early morning post on Shelly stealing topic and some of my on the road workflow musings got canned and this posting turned into a little rant.

I can understand the need for Yahoo (who owns Flickr) to try to regain a piece of the identity puzzle, but why they have to enforce this on the existing (paying) user base is beyond my understanding and I don’t understand why I am forced in a yahoo email address.

There is no incentive, no clear explanation, just the need to register yet another email address I will never use. 

I do like Flickr, and I stayed away from uploading my pictures into Picasa (the Google Flickr) but given the road Flickr and Yahoo have choosen (removing the blogger integration, removing the Google Identity integration, …) it is clear that Flickr wants me to choose between the Google ecosystem and theirs on the long run.

A choice that may not be in favor of Flickr after all … 

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

Agree to disagree …

When my partner in crime wrote  “… if this doesn’t prove my point that photography has been rendered valueless by the sheer volume of images being produced, I don’t know what does …” I could not disagree more.

I actually would argue very strongly that the sheer volume of images and the same sheer volume of possibilities to take these images actually is the exact reason why we have this discussion and is in essence the reason why I disagree.

The mass production of crayons in the early 1900 by Binney and Smith did not turn the graphical artist using pencil and paper valueless.

Art and the artist in itself have always struggled (and embraced) and will continue to struggle with their own contempary challenges taking into the account the context of its own age (which is what we are doing at this exact moment here).

When S. mentions you can purchase a picture for 250 € all in (and I dont even want to embark on the flawed offering here and all faulty legal assumptions), we are talking about the fundamental difference between stock photography (a craft with sometimes a spark of genius) versus the art, the emotion, the engagement, the creativity, the spark of genius that is not aimed at making money at any cost and want to engage on its own right.

I am sure if I want to make money as a commercial photographer, I can work on my skills as a stock photographer and choose to create iconic photography that looks at the market demands, see what colors are hot, and play the game, … and sell. Sell my skill set and craft.

At the same time I can choose the try to become a journalistic photographer, an illustrative photographer, a snapshot photographer, a landscape photographer and work my skills or I can boldly state that I am an artist and my photography is no longer a technical craft (remember that chromatic aberration) and I am taking it to the next level where the photo is the message on itself.

An artistic statement.

So, when D. censored the art work of Daniel Josefsohn to protect the integrity of IG users he was making both an artistic and political statement. (see accompanying image) 



So I disagree with S. that volume has rendered photography valueless and it is up to us to step up and define the new standards …

New standards that do include plastic and toys, just as my good old buddy W. included soup cans of Campbells

So, who wants to join the plastic  revolution ?


Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.

The Journey has just begun …

Just back from outer space where we enjoyed a fantastic 24 hour light show where environment and art were coming together. And so now it is time to wonder on great questions mankind and bricks alike have been asking for centuries, like where are we coming from, where are we going to and things like what is art ?

When I asked this question to Lady G. she told me I was lucky and that art is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as a painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

So when Meg explained in the comments section of Shelly quest for live after IG ” … that the value of images like this are simply to put a smile on someone’s face. That’s what it does for me …” I do think that a smile is for sure an appreciation or sign of beauty or emotional power and we at least make one part of the definition.

An appreciation, a smile, a like …

The discussion then continues with Mike throwing in the other side of the discussion that likes and being popular is not what it is all about.

And I agree.

I agree completely with Mike and Banksy quote about being famous and the eternal question why one goes to a restaurant (which is after all more as just getting the basic nutrition in and the waste out) .

Now, how does one measure success in triggering this appreciation or emotional power, the smile on Meg face ?

How does one measure his or her engagement with the audience ?

How do we know we are doing something more as just pasting time away or developing our own skillsets for our own pleasure ?

And this is where likes on IG do come in to play.

It is the recognition of other people (and bricks) that what we are doing is putting a smile on their face, or triggers an emotional power within strong enough to move that tumb so slightly up to hit the like and show some appreciation or engage in the discussion.

Other people.  Strangers to us and we share our work with these people, with the world.

Not to become famous, but to be able to engage.

And there are some numbers and rules out there that give a deeper insight in these engagement ratios and some people and services are taking these numbers into a mathematical game, but if you dont try to play the number game, 500 likes on a 2.5K follower base (the Shelly example) tells you that the picture did trigger a smile and an engagement with its audience on 620 by 620 canvas.

But is that enough ?

Is 5K likes on IG the end game ?

No, and here I am completely with Shelly, we have to storm the walls outside IG and make sure our art bring that smile also inside the real house, not just in a fantastic app.

The framed in print, signed and stuck against a brick wall, triggering that smile everytime someone walks by the image.
 

Stuck In Plastic is all about that.

Taking our work to the next level of the journey …

Taking plastic places.
Exploring my inner child and following Me2’s wanderlust into untold stories for generations to come.
100% Stuck In Plastic.