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Expressing our Vision or Collecting Gear?

December 30, 2012 Art, Success, Technique 1 Comment
Zabriskie-collage-3-600

Expressing our Vision or Collecting Gear? 

Collecting gear or completing projects?
There is a sort of obsession in photography and that is the desire to collect camera gear – cameras and lenses- beyond any reasonable quantity.  This is particularly interesting today with digital because much of what can be done with various lenses can be done in Photoshop through image processing.  For example, using Photoshop Photomerge allows you to take multiple captures to widen the field of view without having to carry extreme wide angle lenses.  Focus stacking replaces tilt shift lenses by allowing you to create photographs that are in focus from foreground to background with any lens.  And distort, warp and perspective functions allow you to mimic the movements of a 4×5 view camera without having to carry cumbersome equipment in the field.

All this saves you from buying and carrying more gear. Of course manufacturers don’t want to hear about that since they will sell fewer lenses and cameras if the majority of photographers suddenly said ‘thanks but no thanks because I can do all this in Photoshop.’ Certainly, both photographers and manufacturers are watching for their best interests, which makes sense.

For me the issue is personal focus.  Over the years I noticed that the more I focus on getting new lenses and cameras, the less I improve my photography. My best photographs were all created when I used the equipment I had at the time while focusing on projects instead of focusing on acquiring more gear.  To name but a few projects I successfully completed, in Paris I worked on several year-long street photography projects using a Leica CL and one lens, the standard 40mm that came with the camera.  In 1983 I completed a six month project working with an Arca Swiss 4×5 and two lenses, a 90mm and a 210mm Rodenstock.  More recently I have been working on several landscape photography projects using a Phase One digital back and 4 lenses mounted on a Hasselblad V.

Each time, while working on these projects, I did not purchase any gear . This is because while I can do many things I cannot do everything at the same time effectively.  When it comes to photography I can either focus on acquiring equipment or  focus on using this equipment to complete projects that are important to me. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with either approach.  I know because I have done both.  It is simply a matter of knowing what the goal is and of focusing on reaching this goal.  For me when the goal is to create effective photographs I need to leave the equipment acquiring process alone for a while.

Moonset at Sunrise, Zabriskie Point, Death Valley, California
Five P45 captures collaged using Photoshop Photomerge

I love gear
Don’t get me wrong.  I love camera gear  just as much as you do. I also love good gear, which often turns out to be expensive gear. To introduce but one piece of evidence, I used to subscribe to Shutterbug Magazine to have access to the multitude of ads and gear reviews featured in it.  I wouldn’t read any of the essays unless they were about gear, which most of them were, and that made Shutterbug a worthwhile investment at that time.  There was just one caveat: the heydays of my Shutterbug subscription were also the least productive days of my photographic career.

My purpose here is not to put down the magazine.  It achieved its goal which was to focus on gear. My purpose is to put down my own shortcomings.  While my goal was to create exciting photographs I instead spent my time lusting about gear.

I also had a moment of illumination, an epiphany if you will, after moving to the house where we currently live.  The house is very large and for the first time I was able to put all my camera, lenses, tripods and other ‘stuff’ in one place.  I selected a two-doors closet, 5 shelves high and about 6 feet wide, and by the time I was done I had filled all the shelves. It was then that I realized I had gone too far with gear acquisition. Until then the gear was spread out throughout the whole house and I couldn’t tell how much I really had. Now that I could see it all at once I realized it was time to stop.

But I got help
The good news is I got help.  I met the right people who pointed to the futility of my endeavor and reminded me that using gear was more important than owning gear.  I also did not have enough money to purchase the gear I wanted so eventually reality set in. Making good use of my time meant using the gear I had instead of lusting after gear I could not afford.

And I learned
Eventually I let go of my gear obsession and started photographing seriously again.  What could have been a life-long rut ended up being an interlude that taught me an important lesson: using the gear you have is more important than lusting after gear you do not have.  I realized that I am not a collector of gear.  I am a user of gear.  I need gear to complete projects, not to impress others.  I want to impress myself with my photographs, not impress others with my gear.

I also learned that this lesson applies to software as well.  While testing all HDR apps, all stitching apps, or all sharpening apps (to name but a few) may have some value, doing so ad infinitum is similar to collecting all the lenses from a specific manufacturer.  While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with doing so, and while it will extend your knowledge of software packages, it will not foster your creativity.

Understanding this made me realize that systematically testing everything that is available is unnecessary for me.  One example is stitching software.  At this time nearly 75% of my images are created through stitching, or collaging as I prefer to sall it.  Yet, the only stitching app I have ever used is Photoshop Photomerge.  Why?  Because it does everything I need and it does it well.  I could not improve on the results, so why test other software?  At best I will find out that they do just as well.  At worst I may find out that they don’t work as well, or are more difficult to use, or are flawed in some other way.

I don’t work with manufacturers
I have an ace up my sleeve when it comes to selecting which gear and software I use and that is I don’t work with any photography gear or software manufacturer.  This means that I don’t have to review their gear or software, I don’t get sponsorship money from them, I don’t have to feature advertising on my site or anywhere else, and I don’t get free gear or software.  Everything I use I paid for by myself and the reason why I use specific gear is because I like it not because I have a personal relationship with a company.  Certainly, I have friends in the photographic industry.  This is inevitable when you have been a professional for decades.  However, these friendships are not  influencing my decisions.  I just like freedom.  This is why I do this.  I don’t like having someone telling me what gear or software to use.  And I prefer to make money selling prints rather than getting money from sponsors.

Photographing what matters, not everything we see
The key element here is the necessity to focus on a project instead of taking photographs of ‘everything that catches our eyes’ which is what we naturally do if our energy is not channelled in a specific direction.  This specific direction is working on a project that we design, plan and complete within a specific time frame.

When we focus on a project we let go of the obsession to purchase gear because our attention is focused on completing the project instead of looking for more gear. Working on a project is rewarding because the outcome of a project is a body of work that is coherent, focused and ready to be shown to others without the need to explain what it is about. If the project is done well, which it will be if you follow my teaching, then it is self explanatory. It stands as testimony to our vision, our skills and our passion for photography. It is something we can leave behind. It becomes part of our legacy. It stands as a body of work that we are proud of.

A project is also something that non-photographers can relate to.  Only other photographers know the difference between an f 2.0 and a f 2.8 lens, or between a P45 and an IQ180, or between a Nikon 800 and 800e.  Non-photographers may know what an f-stop is but won’t see the point of getting a lens with a wider opening.  And I can guarantee you that none will know what a P45 is, let alone what the difference between P45 and IQ180, or between a Nikon 800 and 800e might be.  It’s all Greek to them and while they may act as if they can relate to it, they do so only because they are afraid of revealing their lack of knowledge.  Fact is, the only thing they can truly relate to are your photographs, because photographs have an emotional appeal and can therefore be enjoyed by anyone, with or without specialized technical knowledge.

Vision
In the end what we are talking about here is vision.  Vision is expressed through projects and therefore the completion of a project is what we are after.  If this rings true with you you need to take a look at my Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD.  This tutorial is equivalent to a college course on the subject of expressing your vision and completing a project.  A 20 pages eBook is available free at this link together with a detailed description of the course:

http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVD-Master-Class-SPO.html 

Make completing a project and expressing your personal vision your 2013 resolution.  You could do worse to start the year in Style!

Alain Briot

Vistancia, Arizona,
December 30th, 2012
www.Beautiful-landscape.com

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Proust, Art and Photography

December 26, 2012 Art, Technique 2 Comments

Proust, Art and Photography

 Thanks to art, instead of seeing one world only, our own, we see that world multiply itself
and we have at our disposal as many worlds as there are original artists.
Marcel Proust

1 – Introduction
I recently spent time reading Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, his most famous work, which was written in France at the beginning of the 20th century.

To say that Proust is difficult to read is an understatement.  A more accurate statement is that Proust is difficult to read. So much so that one of his readers, frustrated by the beginning of his book in which the first 17 pages are used to explain why he cannot sleep, wrote to him in despair asking to ‘please tell me what your book is about.’  Monthy Python made a sketch in which contest participants were asked to summarize Proust’s In Search of Lost Time in 30 seconds.  No one succeeded in doing it so the prize was given to the participant with the largest breasts.  This sketch points to the absurdidy that many assotiate with Proust’s work.

Reading Proust can certainly be challenging.  Yet, it can be rewarding as well.  More to the point in regards to photography, reading Proust can help us create better photographs. I know this probably sounds like an overstatement however it is not.  Let me explain.

The central concept in Proust’s work is the belief that while life goes on we are unable to bring back the true nature of past experiences intentionally. To better explain this inadequacy Proust separates memory in two categories: first, intentional memory which refers to that aspect of our memories that we access intentionally. Second, unintentional memory which refers to that aspect of our memories that we cannot access intentionally. Unintentional memories are emotional memories and we can only access indirectly. For Proust there are only two ways to access unintentional memories: through ‘chance’ events that are out of our control and occur accidentally and through art because art provides us with visions of the world that we could not otherwise access because they are those of artists and not ours.

For Proust intentional memories are simply ineffective at bringing back the true nature of an experience.  This is because the memories we are able to recall intentionally are essentially factual.  The aspects of life that we remember intentionally consist of places, events, names and other facts.  While those may be useful to describe a past event, they are ineffective at bringing back the true nature of that event. This is because only emotional memories can allow us to recall a past event in such a way that we can feel as if were living this event again.  The problem is that emotional memories are stored in our unconscious and can only be recalled by accidental events or by works of art.

Why art? Because Proust believed that art lives on forever and that its purpose is to bring an emotional response to the viewer.  Because of this emotional quality, art can bring back past experiences through unintentional memories and thereby allow us to relive past experiences to an extent equal, if not superior, to the original experience.

2 – Art as mnemonic device
It can therefore be said that art, for Proust, is a mnemonic device, a place where memories are stored and preserved.  Proust believed that trying to recall memories intentionally is futile and pointless and that memories can only be recalled two ways: first, accidentally through what he called ‘unintentional’ memories brought back by accidental events out of our control.  Second through art, because art is showing us the world as seen by another person, and as such is an unexpected, and unintentional, window onto the world as seen by that other person.  Art therefore is a reliable key to unlocking memories because unlike accidents, art is available all the time.  As evidence of the important art played in Proust’s life, over 100 works of art are listed in his oeuvre In Search of Lost time.

3 – Escape through art 

It is only through art that we can escape from ourselves and know how another person sees a universe
which is not the same as our own and whose landscapes would otherwise
have remained as unknown as any there may be on the moon.
Marcel Proust

As Proust says in the above quote, It is only through art that we can escape.  I believe that ‘escape’ for Proust did not mean avoidance of ourselves.  Instead, it meant going beyond the limitations of our intentional memory.  Proust was concerned, if not obsessed, with lost time, hence the title of his book: In Search of Lost time.  Proust believed that we cannot intentionally recollect memories because memories are not factual but, instead, emotional.  Therefore, the only way for Proust to recollect memories is through an emotional experience.  This experience cannot be created; it has to be accidental.  Art provides such an accidental event because art is a window onto another person’s view of the world, another person’s experience and memories.  As such art allows us to ‘escape’ the limitations of our own memories by providing an emotional ‘trigger’ that enables us to bring back what we forgot.

4- Why read Proust in the context of art?
Reading Proust while involved in artistic activities is helpful because Proust lived at the same time as the Impressionists.  The world that Proust describes in his novel is therefore the world that the Impressionists painted.  There is, in Proust’s writing, the essence of Impressionism and of other art movements.  There is the account of the life they lived and of the world they painted.  Therefore, reading Proust can, indirectly, help us understand Impressionism better.

Proust also lived at the time when Impressionism made room for Cubism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Fauvism and other art movements.  Proust socialized with the artists that were at the origin of these movements, artists such as Picasso, Jean Cocteau, Dali and many other.  Here too reading Proust can help us better understand these movements as well as the motivation of the artists who created them.

While the paintings created by the artists working in these different movements show us their visual representation of their world, Proust’s text gives us an intellectual representation of this world through the characters that fill the pages and through the descriptions and remarks that Proust makes about them.

5 – Proust and Photography

 Pleasures are like photographs: those taken in the beloved’s presence no more than negatives,
 to be developed later, once you are at home, having regained the use of that interior darkroom,
access to which is ‘condemned’ as long as you are seeing other people.
Marcel Proust
A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleur (Within a Budding Grove)

 Proust is a latent image. His unconscious memories are waiting to be developed.  This was done by writing his book.  Because his book, when we reach the last page, calls for a second reading, it can be said, to paraphrase Ansel Adams, that the book is the score and our reading of the book  is the performance. While the text of the book stays the same, each new reading produces a slightly different understanding, or performance if you will.

Similarly, we are latent images ourselves when it comes to memory because we all have unconscious memories waiting to be developed.  These memories can be ‘developed’ or made ‘visible’ accidentally through ‘happy events or accidents’ that occur unwillingly.  Or, they can be made ‘visible’ as well with a certain level of control by developing a passion for the arts.  While through our own experience we can only have one vision of the world -ours- through art we can have as many visions as there are artists, each work of art presenting either the vision of a different artist or a slightly different version of the vision of a specific artist.

Art therefore provides a path to our unconscious memory by presenting us with emotions, expressed in a variety of medium, be it visual, auditory, olfactory or other.  While we may have experienced some of the emotions that art presents us with,  we would have been unable to recall these experiences consciously.  This is because our conscious memory is logical and therefore only able to recall places, names, events and other factual information.  However, the emotions attached to these facts and events are stored in our unconscious memory.  Unfortunately, we do not have access to it through intentional recollection and trying to bring back these memories intentionally is both futile and frustrating.  Only through accidental events and through the admiration of art can these memories be brought back.  At such times our logical mind gives way to an emotional response and it is through this emotional response that unintentional memories are recalled.  It is in that sense that we are latent images ourselves, or latent memories if you prefer, and it is through this process that these latent memories are ‘developed’ and made accessible, or visible, to us again.

6 – The challenges Proust offers to the reader

A – The book is composed of seven books
In Search of Lost Time is not the title of the book but the title of the oeuvre.  This oeuvre is divided in 7 volumes, each with a unique title,  as follows:

1 – Du cote de chez Swann (Swann’s Way)
2 – A l’Ombre des Jeunes Filles en Fleur (Within a Budding Grove)
3 – Du Cote de Guermantes (Guermante’s Way)
4 – Sodome et Gomorrhe (Sodom and Gomorrah)
5 – La Prisoniere (The Prisoner)
6 – La Fugitive (The Fugitive)
7 – Le Temps Retrouve (Time Regained)

B – The last book ends where the first book begins.
At the end of book seven (Time Regained) the writer understands his life’s purpose and decides to write the seven books we just read.  This means we have to start all over again, at page one of book one and read all seven volumes a second time, this time with the awareness of the writer’s goal.

C – The number of characters is very large.
The number of  characters featured in the book is so large that it is difficult to remember them all and to make sense of all the relationships among them.

D – Locations and characters are organized spatially
The characters are organized in a spatial fashion, essentially around how Proust visits them.  When he goes out of his Aunt’s house in Combray, if he goes through the gate on the right side of the property he goes to Swann’s house because the right side gate leads to the side of Swann’s house.  To go through the other gate would mean making a huge detour and therefore being impractical and senseless. This fact gives us the title of book 1: Swann’s Way, a literal translation of the original French title.

The same approach is used for the second book, Guermante’s Way. Here Proust leaves the house at Combray through the left side which provides the most direct path to Guermantes’ house.

Another example of spatial organization is during Proust’s recovery when he goes to the ‘Champs Elysees’ which in the book means the gardens located at the bottom of the Champs Elysees, just before the Champs de Mars, and not the avenue itself contrary to what the term means today. Here the location is where Proust meets with his nurse and therefore the place comes to represent the person.  However, the name of this person also represents the place because the name of the person brings back memories of the events that took place there.  People and places are thus another form of latent image, because through their names one can recall memories of things past.

E – Proust writing style is extensive
Another challenge is Proust’s writing style, which is extensive, sometimes having a single sentence run for an entire page or longer.  Part of the reason for this style is Proust’s dislike for common or ‘dead’ metaphors, metaphors that have been overused and have lost their ability to surprise us and to create an emotional response when we hear them.  It is said that Proust would go into a rage, one of the few instances in which he would lose his composure, when presented with dead metaphors, and that he would complain about the speaker’s or writer’s lack of imagination and about the worthlessness of their prose, or speech, as the case might be.  Proust’s solution was to create his own original metaphors.  The problem is that he does so by constructing extremely long and complex sentences, which, as I mentioned, occasionally run for a page or more.

But there is another purpose, and outcome, for Proust’s writing style and that is to cause us to become immersed in the text, to forget what the exact context is, and to generate the type of dream-like state that is most propitious to recalling unconscious memories.  I therefore believe that his style helps achieve the very goal that his book sets to achieve, and that the difficulty of reading the text is, metaphorically representative of the difficulty of recalling emotional memories.

Just like we cannot recall such memories intentionally, neither can we benefit and enjoy Proust’s prose intentionally, by applying ourselves and being ‘studious’ readers.  Doing so is futile, no amount of ‘studiousness’ can allow us to read Proust without losing track of what we are reading at some point.  Instead, a better way to read Proust is by to let our mind wander as we read.  A better way is to let go of our concerns for lengthiness, to put aside our resentment for his overly complex prose, and to let the text flow in us, as if individual words were events leading collectively to the recollection of forgotten memories.  It is then, in my opinion, that we can truly appreciate his work and benefit from his message.

Proust’s prose works well for me when read that way. I often read Proust as if it was disconnected from the story, enjoying each word and each sentence  for the memories and the emotions it brings back to me.  I do not try to understand the story, or to follow the ‘plot’, if plot there is, because for me those are secondary in importance.  Instead, I approach the text as poetry, reading single lines as if they were precious in and out of themselves. Rather than try to understand the story told by Proust, if story there is, Proust’s writing creates my own story, the story of memories lost and found again through his prose.

7 – Conclusion
Proust understood that all human experiences are exposed to the destructive effects of time.  As a result, over time the memories associated with past experiences fade away until they are totally forgotten.  Furthermore, attempts to bring back these memories are futile and bound to be unsuccessful.

However, and this is the discovery that Proust brings us in his novel, these memories are stored in our subconscious.  While they are not available to us through intentional efforts, they can be recalled through the enjoyment of a work of art. For Proust art is therefore a “translation” of our worldly experiences.  Through art these experiences are transformed into ‘something’ — be it a painting, a musical piece, or other —  that can be accessed by anyone if we take the time to appreciate works of art.

As artists Proust’s discovery is highly valuable to us because it brings a new importance to the creation of a work of art.  Knowing what Proust discovered gives a new purpose to art.  Art is not just about aesthetics, or about sharing intellectual ideas, or about expressing artistic visions.  Art is also about providing a vehicle to help bring back forgotten memories, memories released through the emotional experience of appreciating a work of art.

Proust therefore brings us good news and bad news.  The bad news is that time is our enemy because it causes us to forget our experiences.  The good news is that time can be defeated because these memories are stored in our subconscious and we can recall them, either accidentally or through the contemplation of art.  Dipping a madeleine into a cup of tea can bring back memories associated with a past event. Similarly, admiring a work of art can give us a glimpse into how another person perception of the world and, in turn, surprise us by bringing back memories we thought were long gone.

Alain Briot
Vistancia, Arizona
December 2012

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Happy Holidays from Alain and Natalie Briot

December 21, 2012 Art, Success, Workshops 2 Comments

Happy Holidays from Alain and Natalie Briot.  May 2013 be filled with the creation of fantastic photographs and the completion of exciting projects!

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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Grand Canyon posters by Alain Briot

November 26, 2012 Art, Marketing, Technique No Comments

I have 2 different Grand Canyon posters available:

1- The Bright Angel Trail Grand Canyon Poster

2 – The Yavapai Point at Sunset Grand Canyon Poster.

Both posters are available at this link:

http://beautiful-landscape.com/Poster-list.html

A special offer is available as well.

 

Alain Briot

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

 

Why I Photograph Cars

October 28, 2012 Art, Cars, Technique No Comments
Car-cover-200

Why I Photograph Cars
by Alain Briot

Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment
to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal –a commitment to excellence-
that will enable you to attain the success you seek.
Mario Andretti

1 – Introduction
My primary photographic subject is landscape photography.  I came to photograph cars not as a professional occupation, but because I wanted beautiful photographs of my personal cars for my own enjoyment.

In short, car photography was, and still is, a hobby. I enjoy photographing cars to change my mind from landscape photography.  I find car photography to be fun and relaxing.  I photograph my own cars, as well as cars that I like and cars in historical, racing or other interesting settings.

2 – Why I photograph cars
We all have cars.  Or we will all have cars.  That is, unless we committed ourselves to public transportation for the rest of our lives, or resolved ourselves to using a bicycle, or decided that walking will be our only form of locomotion.

While we may own the cars we photograph, many of the cars we want to photograph are not owned by us.  They are either too expensive, too unique, or simply not for sale.  This is the case for race cars, in particular those being raced at the present time, because they are the sole property of the race teams.  It is also the case for unique vehicles that belong to museums or to private collectors and of cars that are simply too pricy to purchase.  Finally, regardless of our level of income, we simply cannot own all the cars we like.  While some succeed at assembling a fascinating collection over many years, doing so is not commonplace.  Furthermore, no matter how much we try, there will always be certain cars that stay away from ownership reach.

Because of this, for many car enthusiasts seeing cars in person and bringing back photographs of these cars is an important aspect of enjoying the vehicles we like.  I should say ‘bringing back good photographs’ or better ‘bringing back great photographs. ‘ This is what this is all about.  Owning a great photograph of a great car is almost as good as owning a great car.  Not quite the same, I agree.  You cannot drive the photograph, you cannot hear the scream of the engine when looking at an image and you do not have the scent of leather, oil and gas. But when you have seen and experienced the real car, a good photograph has the power of bringing this back to you when you look at the image.  Why?  Because a great photograph captures not just the look of the car.  It also captures its soul.

A great photograph captures not only what the car looks like but also, and most importantly, how the car feels. It has the power of bringing back the emotions generated by the car.  It represents what the car means to you, both on a factual and an emotional level.  It also offers the opportunity of sharing your vision with others through your photographs, and of making them see and feel what you saw and felt.

3 – The eBook
I do car photography for my personal enjoyment, my primary photographic activity being landscape photography. However, this series of car photographs has been very well received and I have had a lot of questions about how I created them. I therefore created an eBook to explain how these photographs were created, to express my approach to car photography and to describe my vision.
The Car Photography eBook is avaible for order at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

4 – The Folio and eFolio
I also decided to create an eFolio, an electronic version of a Folio, to present a  selection of my favorite car photographs.  Ninety photographs are featured in the eFolio.  These ninety images represent my initial selection from hundreds, if not thousands, of car photographs.

Later this year I plan to release a Folio, a physical collection of 5×7 images printed on 8×10 fine art paper, accompanied by an artist statement, a biography and a colophon and presented in a die-cut Folio enclosure. This physical Folio will feature 15 car photographs.  Therefore, from my eFolio initial selection of 90 images, I will have to remove 75 photographs to get to the final selection of 15 photographs that will be included in the Folio. This will be a tough process since I will have to eliminate about three fourth of the images featured in the eFolio.

The Cars eFolio is available for order at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

Alain Briot
Arizona
October 2012

 http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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New Car Photography eBook

October 26, 2012 Art, Cars, Technique No Comments
Latest News:


New Ebook on Car Photography by Alain Briot

November 27th

A new eBook is available. It is titled Car Photography by Alain Briot.

For a limited time this new eBook is offered at a special offer price 20% lower than the regular price. Plus, you receive the new Car Photography eFolio, featuring 85 pages of stunning car photographs, free when you place your order.

All the details are at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

If you are not sure why I photograph cars, the answer is in the free sampler taht you can download for free at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Ebooks-Books-1-2-3.html

Alain Briot

Composition notes #1/6

October 25, 2012 Art, Composition, Technique No Comments

Composition Notes
#1/6 

1 – About Photographers
A great photographer has, above everything else, a great eye.  Camera gear is important, but secondary. Great photographs are the result of acute seeing abilities.  If anything, the best gear is the one that frees the photographer from thinking about technique and lets him free to concentrate on seeing.

In landscape photography, the photographer must be able to follow changes in the light, the weather, the clouds, the shadows, etc. as they happen and shoot continuously, while exposing, focusing and completing other technical tasks properly.  Only then can the photographer follow his inspiration and work his way through the multiple opportunities offered by the changing light and weather.

Alain Briot
Arizona

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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Grand Canyon Bright Angel Trail Poster by Alain Briot

September 5, 2012 Art No Comments

Bright Angel Trail poster,
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

20″ x 39″
$35 only  – Free Shipping

I received your print today and just want to say: WOW! Yes, it is breathtaking.
I get some ooohs and ahhs from some of the work I print
but your print was awesome.
Keep up the good work. Thanks for running the special to entice some of us to sample what is possible with
current technology, skill, and a strong dedication to excellence. From the matting to the packaging it was a first class job.
Carl Fountain, Lakewood, California

The Photograph
The photograph on this poster shows the entire length of the Bright Angel Trail, from the South Rim to the North Rim. The photograph shows the trail starting near the El Tovar hotel, then going down through the Bright Angel Trail Switchbacks to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd resthouses and finally reaching the RedWall formation. Once past the Redwall the trail takes you to Indian Garden, where a campground and Ranger residences are located. From Indian Garden you can take a dead-end trail to Plateau Point, a breathtaking overlook over 1000 feet above the Colorado River and the Inner Gorge of the Grand Canyon. Or, you can continue your journey down Bright Angel Creek to the Colorado River which you will cross on the Suspension Bridge. From there it is a short hike to Phantom Ranch where you can spend one or several nights, either at the Ranch or at the campground. From there you can hike back to the South rim the way you came or via the Kaibab Trail. You can also hike all the way to the North Rim by hiking the North Kaibab Trail to Roaring Springs and then to the North Rim.

The Poster
This poster showcases this unique photograph showing the entire length of the trail from the South Rim to the North Rim. The poster faithfully reproduces the colors of the original fine art print. The size of the poster is 20×39. The lettering is particularly attractive and stretches the whole length of the poster.

Order this beautiful poster now for only $35 including shipping anywhere in the world!
a) Order with PayPal by clicking on the Paypal button above

b) Call toll free at 800-949-7983 or 928-252-2466 and place your order directly on our toll free hotline using any credit card.

c) Use the pdf order form. Click here to download your pdf emailable order form, fill in your shipping and credit card information and email it back 24 hrs a day. You can also return your order form by mail if you like.

Shipping
Shipping costs for this poster are included in the price. US orders are shipped via US Priority Mail insured and trackable. International and overseas orders are shipped via US Airmail insured. Your package is normally shipped the day after we receive your order.

Packing
Each package is professionally packed and insured for its full value by us. We guarantee that you will receive your poster in perfect condition. If you receive your poster damaged simply contact us and then return the damaged photograph to us. We will ship you a new piece right away upon receipt of your returned poster at no extra cost.

One year, 100% Money Back Guarantee
All purchases are covered by my unique 100% Take one year to decide money back guarantee. If you are not satisfied with your purchase for any reason just return it (in original condition) for a refund or credit. Take one year to decide.

Order Now
a) email your order form. Click here to download your pdf emailable order form, fill in your shipping and credit card information and email it back 24 hrs a day. You can also return your order form by mail if you like.

b) Call toll free at 800-949-7983 or 928-252-2466 and place your order directly on our toll free hotline using any credit card.

c) Order with PayPal by clicking on the Paypal button above

.

Orders shipped to Arizona are charged sales tax. No tax is charged on out of state orders.
Copyright © Alain Briot 2012

Alain Briot
http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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Alain Briot Mastery Workshops on DVD Limited Time Special Offer

September 4, 2012 Art, Technique, Workshops No Comments

Mastery Workshops on DVD Updates
and Special Offer

New updates are available for all five Mastery Workshops on DVD:

1 – Composition Mastery Workshop on DVD: New Composition Example
2 – Layers Mastery Workshop on DVD: Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom LR4 quickstep updates
3 – Marketing Mastery Workshop on DVD: Valiani Matcutter
4 – Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD:
Can software help you create a personal style?
 – How can you find out if you have a personal style?
5 – Printing Mastery Workshop on DVD: Photoshop CS6 and Lightroom LR4 quickstep updates

Log on to the update area for each DVD to download these updates. They are free to all Mastery Workshops on DVD owners.

If you do not own one, or any, Mastery Workshop on DVD, a special offer is available that will save you a lot of money: click here to see the specifics of this special offer.

NEW – Pay in 3 equal instalments
We offer the option of paying for your Mastery Workshops in DVD in 3 equal installments instead of all at once. The three installments will be placed on your credit card a month apart. The first installment will be applied the day you place your order, the second a month later and the third two months later. To take advantage of this option simply email alain@beautiful-landscape.com or call us with your credit card, phone number and shipping information. There is no extra cost for this option and your order will ship immediately.

NEW – All 5 Mastery DVDs are available on USB Flash Card Drive
Just let us know that you want your order shipped on a USB Flash Card Drive after you place your order: alain@beautiful-landscape.com The contents are exactly the same whether you choose the CD/DVDs or the USB flash Card option. You also receive all the same benefits and have access to the free updates area. We offer both options because some computers, such as the MacBook Air, do not have a CD/DVD drive and also because some students prefer this option for other reasons.

Discover the Special Offer at this link:
http://beautiful-landscape.com/Articles-DVDs-Collection-2.html

Alain Briot
Arizona

http://www.beautiful-landscape.com

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Using Color Harmonies in Photography, Part 1 of 9: Monochromatic Color Harmony

August 26, 2012 Art, Composition, Technique 1 Comment

Using Color Harmonies in Photography
Part 1 of 9: Monochromatic Color Harmony
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1 – Introduction: The Nine Color Harmonies
In order to create a specific color palette for a photograph, colors need to be organized. This is done by using one of several color arrangements. These different color arrangements are called Color Harmonies. They are called harmonies because the goal of these arrangements is to create harmonious color palettes.

There are nine different color harmonies. In this series of essays, we are going to look at examples of all nine harmonies. In doing so I will go over what each harmony consists of and provide examples of each harmony.

2 – The Three Variables of Color
Color is influenced by three variables: hue, saturation and luminosity. To create a specific color harmony, all three variables of color need to be modified. This is done in the software, either in the raw converter or for a higher level of control, using layers in Photoshop.

Here is a short description of the three variables of color:

  • Hue – refers to the name of a color. For example blue, red, yellow, etc.
  • Saturation – which is also called chroma, is the intensity of a color. High saturation colors are bright and colorful while low saturation colors are less colorful and appear dull.
  • Luminosity – which is also referred to as value, is the lightness or the darkness of a color. Any color can be made lighter or darker. In painting. this is achieved by adding black or white to a color. In photography, it is achieved by increasing or lowering the exposure of the image either in the camera or in the software. In a photograph, areas that receive a lot of exposure are more luminous than areas which received little exposure.

3 – Monochromatic Color Harmony
The first color harmony we are going to study is the Monochromatic color harmony.

In a Monochromatic color harmony we use any single color plus tints, shades and tones of the same color. For example, orange with black, white and grey added.

A tint is a color to which white was added, a shade is a color to which black was added, and a tone is a color to which grey was added.

In a monochromatic color harmony, the hue stays the same in the entire image. Only the saturation and the luminosity of the color changes.

Very delicate effects can be created with this harmony because the use of a single color lends itself to subtlety and refinement in art.

4 – Example: Bryce Canyon Sunrise Fog
This photograph was taken at sunrise in Bryce Canyon National Park. There was a heavy layer of fog over the canyon. The sun was rising behind the fog, giving the fog an orange glow. The whole scene exhibited a natural monochromatic color harmony, the color being composed of variations of orange tones, some lighter, some darker, some more saturated and some less saturated.

5 – Remarks on this Color Harmony

  • This color harmony is found frequently in nature on overcast, pre-dawn, or post-dusk lighting conditions
  • Only 1 color is present but in luminosity and saturation levels
  • This is a very effective and artistic harmony
  • In this harmony, as with many aspects of art, less is more
  • This harmony is minimalist by definition

6 – Continuing Your Studies
Color harmonies are one of the most important aspects of a personal style. If you are working on developing your style take a look at my just-released Personal Style Master Class Workshop on DVD. A FREE 20 pages ebook table of content is available. All you need to do is email me at alain@beautiful-landscape.com with the words ‘Master Class’ in the subject line and you will receive the link to the free eBook immediately.

Alain Briot

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About Alain Briot

Alain Briot creates fine art photographs, teaches workshops and offers DVD tutorials on composition, conversion, optimization, printing and marketing photographs. Alain is also the author of Mastering Landscape Photography. Mastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style and Marketing Fine Art Photography. All 3 books are available from Amazon and other bookstores as well from Alain’s website.

You can find more information about Alain’s work, writings and tutorials as well as subscribe to Alain’s Free Monthly Newsletter on his website at http://www.beautiful-landscape.com To subscribe simply go to http://www.beautiful-landscape.com and click on the Subscribe link at the top of the page. You will have access to over 40 free essays by Alain, in PDF format, immediately after subscribing.

Alain welcomes your comments on this essay as well as on his other essays. You can reach Alain directly by emailing him at alain@beautiful-landscape.com


Text, diagrams and photographs copyright © Alain Briot 2012. All rights reserved

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