I have been talking(and writing) alot lately about the creative process and what it means to pursue making a piece. I've been explaining to students that the making is the 'art' and all that goes into it, including the failed pieces are all a part of the creative process. Very important parts of it. Even the successes are more or less by-products of the art process. I was thinking about this today as I walked around a church in Cambridge Springs today looking for a good angle to photograph the building. In the parking lot were these long arrows and I saw a picture using my own feet. I thought that much of the creative process is just seeing--probably hearing and feeling too, but seeing is a pretty big thing. Especially in photography where most of the process is the ability to see a picture and navigate your way to making it. Photograph by Richard Sayer
I also took this picture today at the third soccer game in three days I covered. There was a collision in the middle of the field and the two players locked arms and sort of wrestled a little before the whistle blew to break them up. As they separated a punch was thrown. Apparently the punch wasn't visible to either referee because after the player pushed back a red card was pulled and the player that pushed back, not the one who threw the punch was ejected from the game. It can't be easy being a ref, I admit, but its also hard being a kid in the heat of battle to get thrown out of a game for retaliating for being slugged in the jaw. It is just a game afterall and I guess thats the best thing to remember when you're playing. No need to get your tempers so out of hand you lose control and get tossed out. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
I like to photograph soccer, but I usually feel like I can never quite get it right. Even today I just really felt like it wasn't happening when all of a sudden I saw the goalkeeper come out of the net and I followed him to the ground when the ball and opposing player came into the frame. I wasn't really close enough I thought but I saw the collision and shot it. I had to crop in quite a bit but this sort of thing you don't get very often, a foot in the face. Luckily it wasn't a hard kick at that point and the goalkeeper wasn't even injured--maybe he's just a tough kid? Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
Photography has many many different ways of working. We often teach our students to 'clean-up' their compositions. Simplify what you're showing by not putting too much into the picture that can be distracting. As a practicing photographer everyday I find myself remembering this, but often trying to break the 'rule' to see what works and what doesn't. I took these two pictures today--they are both virtually the same picture, one I sought to 'clean-up' the composition and the other I tried to include more information hoping to show a lot more of the exhibition. Both show other artwork besides just the main drawing which the frames glass allows the reflected world to be seen and recorded. I chose the top picture for the paper because I thought it might grab people's attention to look deeper into the image and it looked more like the workers were hanging a show. The one below really focuses on the drawing, but there isn't as much of the story being told. I'm not sure which I like more or which is even better. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer. By the way these are from the setting up of the October Evenings juried exhibition at the Meadville Council on the Arts. Harmony Motter had a photograph(See Sept. 25th featured picture of the day) accepted into this exhibition which opens Friday night at 7 p.m. and continues throughout the month of....yep you guessed it ... October. Congrats Harmony!
I mentioned how Saturday was a treat for me, I photographed three football games and had no other assignments. My friend thought it was funny that I considered that a treat. I like to photograph sports because all it is is me and the game and I can capture what I can, there isn't a great deal of thinking about ethics or deciding what to or not to photograph to tell the story--oh there is some of that(you don't want to have nothing but a team celebrating a touchdown when they eventually went on to lose the game). It is pure capturing of moments and actions of people who don't even notice you're there. Today was a little different. I was playing catch up to get the Meadville Football pictures done. I still had some of the ninth grade team and all of junior high to make their memory mates and 4x6's and team photos etc..... I had planned on having it done by now but then got incredibly busy and was told that most of the time, the pictures never got handed out until near the end of the season. So I'm still ahead of that at least. I also began working on a concept of action posters that I will try to work out something with The Meadville Tribune, who own the images I take for the newspaper so we can begin to offer these to families in the area. Our training and access to the sidelines lets us get a little better action shots than most parents in the stand, so it would be nice if these could find their way into homes in the area. I made up two mock-ups for possible posters and I think these could work out great for all sports in time. Meadville Tribune photographs by Richard Sayer
So, I am always horrified when I show personal work. I mean, I can post, print or show photographs of someones face or life anytime or anywhere. Most of the time it really doesn't have much to do with me at all. I am simply the button pusher. The photo above has me written all over it. I entered this piece in the 'October Evenings' show at the Meadville Council on the Arts and I titled it 'Growing Fields." Take from it what you will. I know what it means and that is all that matters.
Photograph By: Harmony Motter
I was surprised watching Max Berkstresser seem nervous before the start of the game Tonight. He is a senior captain and seems confident. Then I remembered how it felt to get on the field or court in front of people and it is something you don't, or can't take too lightly. People come to see you perform and perform well. Now I didn't ask Max if he was nervous or was just psyching himself up for the game, so I'm not sure. But I did like this picture I took of him tonight as the national anthem was being played. I thought it showed something about what an athlete goes through. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
This is Burt and June and they have been married for thirty years now. Burt is 80 years-old and June is 83. They met each other at a hospital and they have lived happily ever-after since. I had a lot of fun with this shoot. It was refreshing to see that even after all of these years that they still have love for each other.
Photo By: Harmony Motter
I've been a bit under the weather, I usually get sick the end of August when all the late summer allergies kick me and knock me out--this year it was late, but here it is. I slept nearly all day. I tried to finish a few things, but ended up napping mostly. Here is one of the images that at least made me feel better. Its of Sara smoking a cigarette that I took a little more than a week ago. Most of the pictures I took of Sara ended up black and white, but the color in this one seemed to hold up enough to keep. The one thing I've managed to accomplish with my pounding head was to get Sara her pictures that I actually finish toning before I started feeling like crap. SayerMotter Photograph by Richard Sayer
Volleyball, to me is one of the hardest sports to photograph. The lighting usually isn't really good enough to stop the action, especially the faster paced action and the 80-200 lens I have to use isnn't the best. It is frustrating capturing the action, but not having it turnout right either through equipment not functioning at 100% or the light doesn't allow a fast enough shutterspeed to stop everything and give sharp pictures. Using a flash can help, but then you get unnaturalistic light and a lot of red eye to contend with. So when I do get it, it feels good. I'm still waiting for a great volleyball photo--in 13 years I haven't gotten a great one yet. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer