I'm thinking a lot about uniqueness and presenting what is the best in what we have. I fear this world has gone to far in relying on making compromises based on money and time. I look at architecture and we all too often read about a building needing to be torn down. Not ancient or even century old buildings, newer building made in a hurry without concern for anything more than meeting budget. We need to build things to last. Even jobs are shipped out because of money--why? Why is it that we let a concept rule the way we do things--the way we progress. I've been asked many times about the memory mates that I make--is it worth it? Well if I answered this based on making money the answer is easy--no. It is much more profitable to ship out two pictures and have them printed and slap them in a cardboard folder and deliver them in a week back to the clients. But if I answer it based on my desire to have my work always reflect my ideals of uniqueness and quality--then by all means its worth it. In everything I believe we should think only one thing--is it the best we can do? Compromising integrity leads to mediocrity. Mediocrity leads to complacency. Complacency leads us to just putting in our time and nothing more. And that leads to....well it leads to nothing...or to being controlled. I always believe that we present our best and that best hopefully gets better. I feel it is important to grow and not just monopolize on past achievement. One of the reasons I like Neil Young so much is he is always making new--same with Bob Dylan. Both could sit back and rely on what they did in the 60's and 70's, but not...they keep trying new things and making great contributions still to music. I was going through my pictures from a recent shoot and was feeling like I just didn't have it that day. I was disappointed in myself because I usually struggle, but find a groove. I didn't really and I've been struggling looking through the pictures to find gems. I liked these two iphone images and decided to put them together and make a pattern with them. Not sure what will become of this--if anything, but I'm searching for something that is mine in it...in hope to grow. Trying to make it unique. SayerMotter Photographs by Richard Sayer.
When I think of young people getting married I think that they are embracing the future, their future and knowing that together....well together that future will be great and much fuller because of the other person. So this lifting of the glass idea is the most beautiful of ideas--yes I'll drink to that!I wasn't sure what I was doing this morning while I was working on some of the last pictures from my niece's wedding...I saw this flower bouquet and thought about making a page design in which I could possibly then use as a template to put the other pictures on. I got lost in the design and it went from that idea into a very bad idea that I then tried to save---it became this. I still want to try the page template idea and will some time, but I made this and thought I shouldn't just disregard it...Cheers Sarah and Mark! Photograph and design by Uncle Dick.
A rare thing happened today. I worked the early shift and got out on time---so I went to the studio to sit for a few moments, I really don't sit with nothing to do anymore and thought this might be nice. I had recently gotten a nice new IPA for the studio and decided it would be good to sit and have a beer and just relax with nothing but my thoughts for a change. Well I immediately started to play around--I guess I just can't sit. I'm working on this idea about texting and the new way in which we communicate. The lol and rotflmao means of communication is just that--communication. One big thing is the smiley face we use at the end of sentances now to let everyone know we're happy and the tone is light. This is created by typing a colon and parenthesis. So my working title is 'colon parenthesis; and I'm making a series of pictures with a smiley face ball I found buried in the ground awhile back---yes it was staring up at me!! I don't know where this series will go, but I keep making images anyway. Today I was just making these pics with my iphone and I realized i could maybe make a kaleidoscope sort of thing with a video...so this is my raw video of one of my attempts. I made it with two mirrors and two flashlights. This will be explored further someday. For today it was a nice break from my work---a diversion with a purpose!!! Work to take my mind off work! Photo and video by Richard Sayer.
There is always something special that goes on between a bride and her bridesmaids during a wedding day. I hung out with Sandra and her ladies all morning and afternoon leading up to her wedding ceremony. It was neat to just keep quiet and listen while they sipped their mimosas and ate their donuts. There was talk of hair and make-up, engagement rings and wedding proposals. There was laughter and there were tears. But, mostly just pure and simple, good old fashioned, girl talk.
SayerMotter Photo By: Harmony Motter
I recently photographed the wedding of Keith and Sandra Pietrowski. It was a beautiful garden ceremony with perfect weather. I have photographed a lot of weddings. One of my favorite parts of the ceremony is the ending, when the pastor announces the man and woman as husband and wife. The couple then face their guests and walk back down the aisle, arm in arm. I like to watch the expressions on their faces. It usually is a look of pure contentment. In this case Sandra and Keith look pretty darn happy! Congratulations to you both.
SayerMotter Photograph By: Harmony Motter
Years ago I was organizing my new garage--my feeble attempt at becoming a real man who works on projects in the garage with tools etc... As I was haging things up on hooks and nails I saw something a decided to draw a little mouth. I had totally forgotten about this until recently and I made a picture of it with my iP4. Photograph by Richard Sayer
To me a picture isn't just a record of how someone looks, but it should convey what they are feeling at the moment as well. I joke about not taking posed pictures, I do take them, but nearly everytime I do I feel as though I'm missing something so much better. Usually the posed picture is followed by a genuine exchange between the people posing, so I shoot the posed picture and then drop my camera long enough for the subjects to know I 'm done and then raise it back up again to catch the real moment. These two photographs from my niece's are two totally different emotions captured, but both have emotion captured and we can either wonder what they are reacting to or thinking, or if we were there we can remember it more clearly seeing the expressions on the faces. Moments Thats what recording life is about. Photographs by Uncle Dick
I end up on a stage with a band about 6-12 times a year--always before the actual show during rehearsal which allows me to walk around the stage where I couldn't during the actual performance. I always have to look at the brass instruments for reflections--in fact I catch myself spending far too much time doing this and I am missing some great moments. A few years ago I went to one of the practices and I refused to allow myself to even look at these and spend time looking for a story telling expression or moment. That day ended up making a picture that won an award---you think that lesson would be enough--but then I go back and find myself making more reflection pictures. I do keep it in mind to try to balance what I'm doing and tonight I was able to find a little of both. I really liked this reflection because it reminded me of a background musician in a Degas or some other impressionist. It would hld up as the main figure in a painting, but I thought it was quite interesting how the swirls marks, maybe from years of polishing the brass, distorted the tuba player next to the player holding it. I always used to say focus is overrated--and this is the sort of thing I meant by it--when an image has something that compels you to look at it and the distortions or lack of focus do not act as a distraction--then it isn't a problem. I won't judge this image at this time--today I like it. It is actually in focus--just no way to sharpen the player in the reflection. Photograph by Richard Sayer
One more reflection and Duck picture from last week. It really was mesmerizing staring at the water looking like swirl molten metal--the picture actually doesn't do that part of it justice. The shine on the male Mallards head added a little to that when the ducks swam closer to the docks away from the reds of the paddle boat. One of the things I really like about what I was seeing and getting on the back of my dslr was that I was able to almost capture a history of abstract art. I was seeing Miro paintings, DeKoonig slashes, Twombly and Klee and Kandinsky and in the more subdued waves behind the boat were even Rothko's. It was amazing. Sight is really a gift--even poor vision such as mine allows me to have some incredible experiences. Photograph by Richard Sayer
I looked at a magazine today that is the--sorta-official magazine of photojournalism. Its like a trade mag in a way that provides us with news that affects our business and promotes photojournalism and the good that it can do(it also provides important stories about when we're not doing what we should.) This particular magazine featured this year's Pulitzer Prize winners one of which is a very close friend of mine Craig F. Walker of the Denver Post. So I'm pretty familiar with Craig's images possibly looking at them more than anyone beyond Craig, his wife Jamie and his boss Tim. So if something doesn't look right I notice it. The signature photo from his story on Scott Ostrom was cropped from a horizontal into a squarish vertical in order to fit some layout scheme. The photo which was also a centralized composition now appears in the magazine as this sort of off-centered unbalanced photo. The space around Ostrom in Craig's photo was important---soooo important. There was a line in an old photojournalism book I have somewhere compares creating photos to fit a specific shape or size in a newspaper is akin to the impossibility of trying to fill in the whole that exists in the editors head that made such a request. I believe the same thought applies to poorly cropping a photo that works perfectly uncropped. I chose to write about this today and use the example of a picture I took at my niece's wedding. Here is a reason--a good reason to crop a photo. I shot this angle wide in order to get the feel of the couple entering the reception hall filled with their friends and family. But, the original had a lot of ceiling and floor in it---unnecessary information that took away from really seeing what was happening in the photograph. All of the important information was centralized in the composition and by cropping out the exit signs and the ceiling lights and the baron dance floor, we can zoom into the most important elements, the bride and groom. Its really that simple and yet ever since photographers began making pictures we have had the same damn debate over and over and over again. It seems that we should've learned by now--but we haven't and its even more frustrating when an editor of a magazine about photojournalism doesn't get it. Photograph by Uncle Dick.