Kodak

Yesterday I posted a quick #selfie from the 2012 archive showing me with some classic Gevaert paper from my grandfathers collection which triggered Shelly to ask for your influences in a very strong post (do read the full story on the buffalo posting as it gives a great insight in the political inspired photo work that also this generation is not afraid of).

For me one of my key foundation influences is that I grew up in a family of passionate photographers and spent quite some time in supporting developing film in the dark room or long afternoons in diapositive working sessions.

So photography has always been there as a medium and became a natural language for me.

A language which further developed into a way of expressing myself.

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 9 in my personal challenge (soon we are in double digits)

This is only the first post in who influenced me, but for sure Kodak and Gevaert did contribute like a toddler gets formed by kindergarten games.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …

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

Who are your influences?

We are all influenced in our work, whether we are aware of it or not.

Last fall I had to write an artists statement about my work that included its origins and influences. I named the usually suspects like Sally Man and Jock Sturges because I am first and foremost a figure photographer. These two photographers have been very influential in my work over the years, but I needed to bring my figurative work around to toy photography. As I wracked my brain one image came to mind immediately. 

Untitled (falling buffalo) 1988-89 by David Wojnarowicz

I remembered when I first saw this image in Aperture Magazine and it’s always stuck with me.  I think it may be the original seed planted way back in the dark ages of my youth that has blossomed into my current plastic passion. When I revisited this image I was startled to find out it was not a toy photograph at all. I had originally misinterpreted (or conveniently forgot) its origins. This was an image taken by David Wojnarowicz of a museum diorama in the late 1980’s. (For an excellent analysis of this deceptively simple photography go here.)
The humanity, agony and tragedy captured in this one off image quickly taken in a museum with a film camera with poor lighting before a guard stopped him is a very powerful image to me.  It’s one I turn too over and over again in the hopes that I too can create an image as powerful and simple as this one that will stand the test of time. 
So the question I ask you to consider is this: who inspires you? Who are your influences? What are the images that you have seen (in any relevant medium) that inspire you to do your best work?
If you care to share please leave a comment. I would love to know what stokes your creative fire.  
~ xxsjc

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

Gevaert

It has been hectic this week.

All three winners of the Easter Egg Hunt have been announced on IG (no more pink posts today) and the proof printing has been succesfully completed amongst others.

No big, long or deep posts from me today (I think I may have a few interesting topics lined up for next week) just this old #selfie from 2012 which really felt right to close this weekend from my end.

Old and new paper coming together.

I will leave the deep thoughts for Shelly post later today …

Me2

Footnotes to self:

Day 8 in my personal challenge.
As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice …

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

Big Is Better

When Shelly mentioned a while ago you should shoot in RAW on the largest format of your DSLR she was of course completely right, but she left a critical piece of information hidden from all of us.

You should not only shoot big, you should also print big on a regular basis.

Printing your pictures on a reasonable “big” size (so not the IG 620*620 size) is your own best and hardest judge.

It will tell you if your shoot really holds out and is ready to be put against your wall.
From your own bedroom over your local coffee shop to your spotlight in the MoMa.

Blowing up your pictures to a reasonable A4 or US letter (we all have a vivid HP printer somewhere to start with and then we can use local print stores as well) and have them printed out on paper not only for that art exhibition we all dream off but also for our own education and continuous improvement.

Prints will give you direct (harsh) feedback on the quality of your shoot you may not see directly on your digital media of choice (iPhone, iPad, iMonitor, …).

We have been doing some extended proof printing here over the weekend on our latest addition and even blow up some shoots beyond the A4 size, and what looks good on a 620*620 canvas on IG is not always that attractive on a full blown A2 printed size and will need rework.

So, if your only goal is to share pictures on a 72 dpi screen on the internet, printing big is maybe not for you, but if you secretly (or openly) want to fill some walls and conquer the real word you should not only shoot big but also print big on a regular base …

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 7 in my personal challenge.

Our Ski Trooper came along to check out the paper and ink we will be using for the limited edition Easter egg print we organized and saw everything was under control (the above image was just a working proof picture and not the final result)
Image shot with iPhone 5

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

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

Cliff H.

TGIF …

I always thought animated GIFs was a cool thing of the future and PNG sounded pretty much like an X-rated movie to me, but I never understood TGIF.

Until recently …

Another fantastic roller coaster week has flew by, and some may have wondered what happened to the Easter Give Away we started a month ago.

And yes, this weekend it is all coming together.

We have the three names of the Easter Egg Hunt safely tucked away and Thanks IG it is Friday for all of us, so we have the weekend to get everything under control.

Three winners, three prints, I am just not sure if I should go for the signed limited edition of our Stormtrooper above in an exclusive 3 printed and signed version, or should let the winners choose their print.

If you would be one of the three exclusive Winners what would you prefer ?

A dedicated, exclusive 3 prints only Stormtrooper signed for you exclusively, or choosing a print from the collections ?

Let us know in the comments below or on your preferred social media platform of choice what you would like to see happen if you are one of the winners …

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 6 in my personal challenge.
A hectic weekend ahead of us …

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

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

Ouch

Yesterday I shared with you my near win of Captain James T. Kirk and explained why I had recovered it from my mental trash bin after seeing the TED of Sarah Lewis.

As part of my little workflow I had uploaded it to Flickr so I could share it here with you, but could not be bothered by adding tags, sets or submitting it to groups.

Is was after all a near win.

When I returned later today from a set of successful working sessions buried away miles under the sea in a Faraday cage and I unlocked my screen I was surprised to see a lot of favs on Flickr.

Was my Easter Bunny still popular, or did I had a good friend who decided to take a personal like tour on some of my older shots ?

I can tell you I was completely flabbergasted when I discovered James T. Kirk made it to the explore page and I had friendly strangers congratulating me on the “explore” and reached a good 4K views and 59 favs (my average is normally around 400 views and 5 to 10 favs on Flickr).

And this was my near win.

Sweet success on the mystery road to mastery …

Thank you, mystery Flickr algorithm for selecting me on your explore page today it was a sweet experience !

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 5 in my personal challenge.
Picture above shot with an iPhone 5S
Don’t forget to check out the near win of Shelly, but please note that viewers discretion is advised.

As always, stay tuned and leave your view in the comments below or on your social platform of choice … 

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

Day IV

James T. Kirk

Day IV.

A difficult one.
A big personal challenge to get this post out as all my original plans went down the drain and I got stuck in other challenges I cannot talk about.  Remember the NDA

Day IV is not an easy one.

I am sure Shelly will recognize the feeling, yet at the same time have a smile and a little “I told you so” in the back of her mind and wonder why I already show the symptoms at day IV and cannot wait another XXIV.

The Personal challenge.

Why would someone sign up for a 365 days challenge, or even a 30 day challenge like Shelly did here when we get every single day other external challenges thrown at us ?

A most challenging question … indeed.

Only yesterday I was discussing the latest TED with Lara at the gym on Mastery versus Success and the impact of near wins or just not reaching the perfect circle.

And I believe that is why it is important we try to achieve mastery through near wins.
Just not being able to reach perfection, and continue to strive through our personal challenges.

365 days in a row … trying to reach mastery, not success.

While the above image I shot when meeting Captain James Tiberius Kirk may to some of you appeal as  a great shot, it was in my book a near win and I decided not to post it.

I virtually put it in my mental trash bin.

Sarah Lewis TED post made me (re)visit my near wins and actually share it with you.

So, tell me, what was your near win you encountered recently ?

Me2

Footnotes to self:
Day 4 in my personal challenge (a difficult one).
Picture above shot with a DSLR and minimal edits made in post processing.

Stay tuned and leave your near wins 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 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.