Amazing how small the web is!
It is always interesting to read or hear honest discussions about my work, but I have a few points that I would like to make, both about my photography, and my site.
The main point is this. I make landscape photographs primarily for myself. From a very early age, I have had a deep love and respect for the light, land, sea and sky, and was never at ease working in an office as an engineer. Photography gives me a chance to be creative, maybe even artistic, but that is merely semantics and I care nothing for it. The photographs are mine, and the experience of making them whilst part of the landscape is the most important thing, some days I don't even get my camera out, I just sit and watch and think. Being bathed in the light, stood up to my waist in the surf, watching otters walk right past me with tears streaming down my cheeks at the beauty of it all can only ever be a personal thing. However, nobody is more surprised than me that my work is popular, and if I can make a living doing this, being outside doing something I love, rather than sitting in an office popping anti depressants then I'm going to explore that opportunity and see where it leads. If people want to buy my work, then I am fine with that, if not, I'm still happy doing it for myself.
But yes, I am aware that this is decoration for some, not for all though. Many is the time I have been asked "Do you have anything in 'some colour' it will match my living room furniture?" Does that bother me? No. Any sale, for whatever reason is more fuel in the car to take me to another place, and as off last month a proportion of my web sales go to environmentally concerned charities, this year it is the John Muir Trust, so I think that is a win for everyone.
And people buy for many reasons. So long as my photography gives people pleasure at some level then why not. And I'm trolling here, but I think a lot of art is just decoration for walls/foyers/dining rooms etc. And personally, given the choice between making/looking at a lot of contemporary art, then I'll stay with what I'm doing thank you.
Personally I would disagree about Christopher Burkett being subtle. I've spent the last two years trying to track down one of his books and found Resplendent Light the other day. It was like an acid trip colour wise. I'm not saying this is good or bad, it is certainly interpretive, but it is not subtle in the use of colour. I've never seen any of his prints, but I would think that he has the attention to detail that would make him want to ensure his books are good quality reproductions. Maybe I misunderstand what you mean by subtle. Maybe you mean his compositions and appreciation for nature?
> Perhaps a real understanding of what's going on with color in the image is a prerequisite for any pretension to 'art'.
Maybe, but I know a lot of 'artists', both with a fine art background and self taught and I don't think they always have a greater understanding of colour, or any other technical aspect. Their mark making is often intuitive, from within, so does that make it more or less art? I sometimes wonder if a lot of photographers (and watercolour painters) mistake technique and science for art, because IMHO they are very different. Ansel Adams was the ultimate technician, but that is not what makes his prints art. Henri Cartier Bresson's prints are relatively unremarkable (very little science in the printing?), but they are still art. Science can be art, but art is not science.
Rob C, regarding ImageBank etc, I don't think there are many photographers who can claim to have a genuine original style anymore. There are too many of us to be unique in any way. Although I did go to see an exhibition of Ansel Adams prints at the w/e and I've got to say, even 50years on, he was a genius and possibly unique? All I can really say about this, is that my style is a reflection of me, it is the way I see the world and at my very early stage in this journey, I'm happy to make photographs that match the way I see. Often, faced with a crushing dislike for life and the human race's desire to obliterate everything, beautiful images of my own and other photographer and artists are the only things that keep me sane. I'm not sure I can deal with challenging.
Finally, on my own journey through photographic styles, I'm currently spending a lot of time producing monochrome prints. No particular reason, it just feels right at the moment. I always thought of my colour work as feeling slightly monochromatic (yes, I know that is a slightly crap statement in reality, but it is how I feel) as I try to keep prints and colours very subtle in keeping with how I felt about the scene and how I usually previsulaise most scenes and I tried to place more emphasis on form and tone, rather than in your face colour and subject grandeur. But you never can tell. As one fine art student said to me one day "Your work has no composition at all" and then spent half an hour criticising it! C'est la vie.
The credit for my site, both design and SEO must go to my designer Brian Coult at www.scandinaviandesigns.co.uk
. He sorted the all the tech stuff and he ensured that my chatty nature and need to be open and share information was part of the sites look and feel. I'm really pleased at the positive response to the site, and I love it, and the google ranking is worthwhile too. The term 'landscape photography' is actually not that popular a search when looking for photography. Have a play with keyword optimisation sites like http://www.submitexpress.co.uk/
to see for yourself.
ThomasK, what advantage is hidden within ExpressionEngine? This is surely a part of it, but fresh and relevant content and a few other tech things are also important.
I'm with Rob C on pricing. Too many people sell work far too cheaply which makes it hard for anyone who is trying to make a living rather than pay for another box of paper. But that's how it is, especially with digital. At once it allows more people to explore creative photography without worrying about the science/technical but the market is now flooded. I'm thinking in ten to fifteen years time there won't be as many stock agencies as the web will be awash with free high quality photography, just look at flickr. Yes, there is crap, but there is also a lot of good work with people happy for their work to be used commercially for a credit! Maybe if you want the best or historical then Getty et all will survive, but as for Alamy, I do wonder. As for art photography (or photography for decoration), I hope it will always be around. People always need something to spend money on and things to hang on their walls ;-)
I hope I've not sounded too defensive above. It is now really late and I've had a long day, so apologies for rambling on, grammar etc. At the end of the day if you like my work fine, if not also fine. There is always your own work to enjoy making and a myriad or other artists out there for us all to find someone who really speaks to us deep inside. Have fun in your search.
PS If you enjoyed David Fokos, check out www.josefhoflehner.com
. I bought his new book Iceland and it's stunning. Great photographs, lovely printing and binding.