I had a photography teacher at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh and his name was Tom. He was my favorite! On the first day of class, July of 1995, I was 18 years old. He walked into the room, wearing black sunglasses and a black long coat. He looked at us and said, "If there is no light on you...you are nothing." I loved him ever since then. I was thinking about Tom when I snapped this photo in my bathroom.
Photo By: Harmony Motter
Half balance---compositions that cut the frame in half diagonally creates an equal balance to the frame. I don't use this means often in setting up my frames, but sometimes it works well if the subject is strong and the tones are rich enough. More photographs from this session can be seen by clicking Portraits on the website menu to the left. Photograph by Richard Sayer
I went to photography school, but my degrees aren't in photography, there were achieved with a concentration in painting. I still paint, but not nearly as often as I did in pursuit of my masters. I still use a lot of the ideas of painting, layering for sure, mark making , color and design to make my work outside of my journalism and commercial work. I make a lot of work combining painting and photography now. I do it by photographing my paintings and even my mixing table to then combine with photographs to achieve something beyond what either one can do on their own. Just recently I thought about doing this with some portraits and figures to see what might come of it. This is a quick one that came together in a matter of minutes tonight as I needed a break from toning a large commercial assignment. Photographic manipulation by Richard Sayer
I do not know the political views or how successful of a township supervisor Norm Cronin has been over his 24 years serving Vernon Township, I've only recently met the man. I had photographed him before, but never really took the time to meet and speak with him. He is a nice man, soft spoken and seems quite genuine in person. I understand I'm making an impression based on brief encounters, but when I was given the task of making a portrait of him on Saturday for a story about his 24 years of public service, I enjoyed trying to find his personality in a photograph. I'm not sure if I did 100%, but I took three separate photographs of Mr. Cronin that I thought touched on who he is. This one I felt showed his humble pride and was quite pleased to have pushed the button when I did because I intended to work for a much different portrait, which I did and one of the others will probably accompany the story we do on him later in the week. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
I was discussing composition and design with a friend the other day who will be teaching a design class. I told her that I have a difficult time talking about composition and design with students because I have dedicated myself to trying to make images that work while breaking the 'rules' of design. As soon as I'm told something is a certain way I begin to see flaws in it and see if there are ways to do the same thing in a different way. Its just the way I'm built I guess. One thing I try to explain is edge activation and balance. Edge activation is easier to explain, but always easier to do. Balance is tough. Visual balance takes on several forms--an even balance is easy--equal parts of one thing balance equal parts of another. But what about a balance that isn't obviously equal. This pict above I consider balanced and yet the majority of the picture is empty--so how can I explain its balance. I use terms like visual weight, asymmetrical balance, subject/non subject story balance and so on, but does that explain it. And is it actually balanced or do I just think it is because its a different way to crop a picture of a referee and I was happy I thought to see it and snap it this way? Composition is tough to explain because all the basic rules, rule of thirds, the golden mean, symmetry, asymmetry and on and on are just that, 'basic' rules and there are so many more ways to make a picture successful. Meadville Tribune photograph by Richard Sayer
Well its not even Thanksgiving yet and I've already photographed my first Christmas tree decorating story which, if years past are any indication, will only be the first in a very long list of them. They are great community stories with people, in this case and many others too, decorating them for a cause, usually raising money and awareness for an organization or event. Yesterday I photographed one at Homestaed Oaks, a model home dealership. Each year the business invites charities to come in to decorate their model homes and in return they hold raffles etc... to raise money for each charity. It is nice for the business having they models look even more homey and it brings people in to see the latest they have to offer. Its the old win win situation. While at the photo shoot yesterday I decided to use one of the reflective ornaments on the Relay for Life tree for a self portrait and a possible Christmas card photo.
So I had a project to do today. I was to look through all of my photographic images and find fifteen to twenty images that I love. So, I started sorting through the past seven years of photography and all I kept finding was the ocean. The ocean in South Carolina, the ocean in Georgia, the ocean in Maine. The ocean, the ocean, the ocean!!! There is something about this giant body of water that sorta kinda keeps me wanting more. Sometimes I long for it. So today, I am there and not here.