28 February 2011

this is NOT a trap

Ok, this is not a trap, really, this is what I think I heard someone one time call 'market research'. (..shudder...)
I have a little field trip to take you on and at the end you'll be asked to give me your impressions, opinions and suggestions. This won't take too long and I promise, despite the direction we'll be going, not to try to sell you anything. If any of you forgot to get your parents to sign the paper, you have to stay here.

So, I've been searching to find an online service to use to do the back-end stuff (printing, mounting, shipping... etc.) and I think I've come across the site that I like. I like it because it offers the widest variety of options. From giclee prints on standard photo paper to cotton rag to stretched canvas, framed, unframed... the works. My only hesitation is it's functionality. It's layout. How easy it is for you, the art savvy consumer, to navigate and not get frustrated. It seems mildly convoluted to me, but then again the laptop from which I write this is really just an abacus with some wires taped to it.

So, this is the point of the field trip. Anyone who wants to click on this link will be directed to the page on my website that I'm using to test this new endeavor. You then need to click on the big white link & navigate around on the other end. Play around with all the different formats & frames & just have a ball. Then, if you'd like to be a help you can pop back here (leave a trail of breadcrumbs) & let me know what you think by leaving a comment below. I'm specifically looking to find out about ease of use. If you were looking to purchase some of my yummy yummy art, would you through this service. I know many of you know me & would just contact me direct to be all '...yeah, so I know the artist, I'll just call his personal line...' but just pretend you were a stranger.

And, as thanks, every response will be entered into a draw to win an 8x12 of the image in question (a shallow grand) or take a chance and ask Monty Trout for the 8x12 print behind door number 3! I'll do the draw on March 15th.

Now go on! (and don't go getting lost on the internet!)

21 February 2011

Take The Trout Challenge!

New stuff over at the Mothership Kreddible Trout Connection (my website) which includes this piece & the story that follows:
Cherry Tree & The Blue Bins

Very little of my work, as I often rant and rave about, is digitally augmented. Occasionally I use the photoshop, but I try not to. I feel that it's a lie.
The reason I'm so adamant about it is that I learned to see the world through the lens, not the photo-editing software. Before digital I'd line up the shot, sometimes giving myself a cramp doing so, shot it & hope that it turned out & wasn't slightly off center or just wrong.

There was magic.

Since I sold out and went digital I've lost some of that feeling. Like I said, I still try to do as little 'post' as possible but, with digital there is another cheat that we don't talk about...
When I first got a digital I visited one of my best friends, Pam, and was excited (if somewhat embarrassed) to show her my new toy. She had been around when I was first courting my K1000 & watched my passion grow. So, there we were sitting at a cafe on Main Street in Vancouver & I was showing her some shots off the back of my shiny new Rebel XT (x-tra trout, baby... oh yeah!) that I'd taken that day. I scrolled and scrolled and amidst her always encouraging 'oohs' and 'ahhs' she had to take a jab as we passed three or four almost identical shots.

'Wow' she said, 'so you can just keep shooting until you get it right then, huh?'
'oh shaa-aa-daap!' I said and kept scrolling as she punched my arm and cackled.

...but she was right.

I used to believe that 'if I get it I get it, if I don't I don't'. Sometimes I'd take two shots just to be sure I got it but, until it came back from the developer, I had no idea.

There was magic.

The immediacy of digital is definitely helpful but it is a cheat. To me anyway. Yesterday I was reminded of the purity and faith of just taking a shot and walking away. The above was the shot. I set it up (& let the two people [who always find their way into even the most deserted streets just to look at me like I'm a weirdo for taking pictures of walls] walk by.) like in the old days, taking my time, and shot it. I looked at it on the display & began, instinctively, to raise the camera to my eye again... then I stopped.
"Hey dummy, the shot is fine. It is what you wanted anyway. You don't need to take it again.
...Uuuuse the Force...

So I walked away and gave myself a new challenge: shoot like you used to. Not always. Not religiously. Just from time to time.

It's nostalgic.

It's magic.

If anyone out there can relate, I'd advice trying The Trout Challenge yourself. It'll bring that old spark back. Now get out there and take pictures of garbage! Cos someone's got to do it!

...or, like me, you can always take the ol K1000 out for a stroll from time to time... it'll appreciate it. So will you.

15 February 2011

... a little something while you wait...

I'm gonna just start just ploppin random stuff all over this blog. Spend too much time pontificating on what should go here that nothing actually goes here, so...

this is a shot I call

To an actor, the feeling of walking onto a bare stage for the first time and looking out into an empty house is second only to performing to a full one. An empty house holds promise. The seats feel alive with anticipation and are not vacant at all. You can feel them yearn for the ride you’re about to take them on. Your best monologues clamor and lurch to the tip of your tongue only to be stifled by the reverence of the moment. This silence, this anticipation, you imagine placing in the palm of your hand with Iago’s slightest inflection. The silence of ‘I got you’. The silence all actor’s live for. An empty house promises it.