I really don't think about the rules of composition when I'm shooting now. I really feel its intuitive and that I search the edges of my frame to make my images now. But I need to remind myself at times to remember the basics--the foundations and especially now that I teach--i need to put into words what I've come 'feel'. I know things like using devices such as frame within a frame(below) linear pattern(bottom) Rule of thirds and diagonals with emphasis on the golden mean(top). But how do you explain it when the image isn't already taken--how do you teach this in a way that the students see it before they snap the shutter? I was told early on that I had an eye--i didn't know I did and it didn't really register to me--I wanted to know what I was doing--not feel as if I got lucky to make an image based on an eye that I didn't understand. So as I studied art and design and learned the rules, I realized that I saw in a way that rules follow--and in some instances I found breaking the rules to be better. To me photography can be taught, artistic expression can be guided or helped along with some rules, but ultimately you have to find that balance within yourself--the balance between the technical aspects of the craft--that which you need to just make an image--and craftsmanship of your own vision--or the quest for communication through the medium. You can't simply intuitively make and have good results for years and years--there has to be some acknowledgment of and understanding of how you create--how you see. But you need to be very aware of that intuitive eye and not let it slip away. This is what I'm going to talk to my class about tomorrow(later today!). SayerMotter Photographs from a shoot with Janae on Wednesday morning.
Playing an orphan in the upcoming French Creek Community Theatre’s production of ‘Oliver,’ Olivia Radwick practices her ‘pouty face’ during a recent play rehearsal held at the Academy Theatre. Performances are April 1st & 2nd at 7:30 PM and April 3rd at 2:00 PM at the Academy Theatre Tickets are $9.00, available at www.theacademytheatre.com or by calling the box office at (814) 337-8000.
Meadville Tribune Photo By: Harmony Motter
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Every year I try to do at least one story that I write, photograph and produce some sort of multimedia piece. Good years I do two or three. I'm not really a writer and I find crafting these stories in words and audio and images to be time consuming and sort of all-consuming. Its a lot to navigate. But when it works I usually feel the overall presentation has more uniformity than when collaborating with many others on a project. This story I wanted to do much more with but had trouble finding the time to devout to it. I had some snippets of audio that were able to tell the story, but I always wanted more. I also had a few pictures, but wanted more. Finally I knew I had to make it all and just worked with what I had. I had a couple of key photos that anchored it. The audio....well I'm not sure about it, but it does seem to catch your attention...so maybe thats good--maybe not. Maybe its too distracting? In any event here is my story about prayer shawls, I had never heard about these before this project began and I hope my story allows others who were in my boat to now learn what I now do about them. It amazes me how people out there are so actively caring about others. I always feel stories like this sort of give us a hope that maybe mankind isn't so bad afterall---at least there are examples out there to show us how to make ourselves better. Meadville Tribune story, photographs and slideshow by Richard Sayer.
We were asked to photograph the Saegertown Spring Sports team photos for the yearbook. W also do individual shots and make....yes...memory mates(if you recall a year ago I was posting about how I had to google what a memory mate was!). When I do a team photo I like to think about them a little differently, though sometimes you just aren't in the zone. I do some traditional sort of things, but then usually get everyone to fall on each other, make faces or get up and run right at me. I don't believe in running an army like boot camp to get the pictures, I like to have as much fun as possible and try to get the people I'm photographing to have fun--people simply look better when they're having fun. Now most of these pictures of people making faces and jumping up in the air etc... make it to peoples walls--thats ok. If it creates an easier atmosphere to take the rest of the photos they are worth every penny to make. And sometimes people do like to get one or two of these for fun. As I was finishing up the orders today I thought I should share this picture of the 7th grade girls volleyball team and their coach---I think these girls are going to be fun to photograph over the next 6 years! SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
I feel like I am a one trick pony. Seems everything I make in my personal work revolves around one simple question---what if every truth is ...well...not! I began thinking about this years ago when I was talking with my dad about religion. He said that he wasn't sue about most of it, but he did believe in the idea of treat everyone as you would want to be treated. This always seemed the most true thing I've ever heard. Until I met people who like to inflict pain and have pain inflicted upon them. That did seem to confuse things. I then thought--ok if those folks like that and keep it amongst themselves then ok! Who am I to say what is right and wrong. But it is still an interesting question and one we need to always be asking--what if everyone has been wrong up until now? Certainly something went wrong in someone's thinking to have the economy the way it is now. I know many like to blame Obama for this, but believe me--its far deeper than one man--in fact I see things going way back to Reagan that probably led to this. Perhaps even further back. But just look at how we have allowed emotional responses dictate actions over the last 30 years--and if you really look at it--go back to Kennedy winning in 1960----why---because he looked good on TV. I'm not saying he didn't deserve to win--but he was able to take advantage of a new medium like no one before him and the result was---we can craft a person to win an election now because we can reach more people via TV. Now we're cyber-space--so who do we elect??? It is seldom ever the most qualified person---the most qualified likely wouldn't run and put themselves under such scrutiny. So who then? Obviously Obama satisfied enough people to vote for him--but was he the most qualified and will he be this election? What if we were wrong? Do we then revert back to republicanism that has seemingly become more of a religious christian right group than what the party of Lincoln had envisioned. Or do we keep with Obama who seems to not have the backbone to stand up to the masses who think he's not going in the right direction and seems even more fearful of the press than anyone before him? Weird. but what if everyone has been wrong? Look at Japan--someone thought nuclear power plants were the right choice??? Are we really thinking nuclear power plants are a good choice ever?--ok here is where I get a little weird--I feel nuclear power is needed--but not as energy--as a study to understand how to propel ourselves further and faster into space. --we need to explore space--to me this isn't an option. Meteors will someday hit earth again--maybe not for 100,000 years --but they will--and it might take us 100,000 years to figure out how to save humankind by moving us to some place else to live. Whatever we are--we think....so why not try to make this something that never dies. So maybe we need to think that maybe not everyone who is leading us is right, or maybe they are Self portrait on March 26, 2011 by Richard Sayer---my ramble almost made it to March 27--and believe me--I could go on! Right Harmony?
On March 23, 2011 I photographed the Arc of Crawford County's Art Show and it was great! There were so many colors,everyone was smiling and each artist was so proud of the work that they had produced. I really had a fun time and even made some new friends. I have been invited back next week to photograph their annual talent show.
Photos By: Harmony Motter
I read a facebook post from a friend of mine that said something about the need of a personal assistant. Man do I know how this feels--yes--we all need personal assistants don't we. Me I'd have my personal assistant keep the books, deal with all matters financial and most important--make sure the backdrops and materials we use for our shoots are well ironed. I know the difference between slick magazine shoots that are probably costing the magazine about $12,000 with the art directors salary--the talent fees, photographer fees, processing, props, location licensing etc... and what we're doing here in Meadville for a few bucks in order to survive. We make the images as well if not better sometimes, but it would be nice to have the time to get everything just perfect. I'm noticing more and more wrinkles and folds--this will be the next thing I work on to take my photography up a notch. I really like this shot, but the smoothing out of the material will be extensive to make the photograph right--and then it will be too manipulated for me to really appreciate. So I'm going to find my iron and learn how to use it I guess--one more thing to do since I don't have, nor can't afford a personal assistant. SayerMotter Photography by Ri
MASH Cheerleaders had their banquet Tuesday night. We were asked to make something special for the seniors, at first we were asked for 8x10's that I would take a new photo of all the senior cheer sand then it turned into these posters. (organizing 10 girls with busy schedules proved to be too much of a task.) I had photographs of all 10 girls and we thought maybe making posters would be the thing to do. In designing them I just couldn't find something that worked --some of the seniors were taken in football season, some were in wrestling and some where basketball so they all looked different. I wanted to make something that said the class of 2011 cheerleader--so even though it took me three times longer to make , I designed these posters. I hope the girls like them. SayerMotter photographs and designs by Richard Sayer.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania Senior, Victoria Dovensky speaks during a demonstration in support of higher education in Pennsylvania Tuesday afternoon on the university’s campus. The students, teachers and parents are opposed to the proposed budget cuts set forth by Governor Tom Corbett, which would cut funding by more than 50 percent to the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
Edinboro University of Pennsylvania students protest in front of the office of Pennsylvania State Rep. John Evans Tuesday afternoon.
Meadville Tribune Photos By: Harmony Motter