The Darkmoon Collection – Exploring Tucson with Her

Art Gallery Submissions: How to Prepare and What to Send

This is really good

The Practical Art World

So, you’ve decided that you want to submit your artwork to a gallery. Fantastic! Although it can seem like a daunting task, creating a professional and complete submission to send to galleries is a huge step in getting your artwork “out there” and progressing your artistic career.

Before you even begin gathering and preparing your materials for submission, you should make a decisive plan to streamline your effort and decide which galleries you want to submit to. I have written a post to help you with just that– please read Which Gallery Should I Submit To?

Once you have decided which galleries you want to submit to, take this most important step for each:

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“The Day it was Quiet”- My Inadvertent Photo Series

Hello Everyone,

About two weeks ago, I was downtown in Tucson, AZ taking some street portraits of strangers.

Eventually, you will see some of those pictures.  Not today.

Today, I want to talk about how I ended up with these particular images instead and decided I liked these more than any of my portraits.

It was a Monday around 9 am.  Usually, in most cities, this is not a time of peace and quite in any downtown.  That is simply not the case in this Southwestern city.  As I walked with my camera hanging around my neck, I realized there was ABSOLUTELY NOBODY outside.

So me being me, I got bored looking for humans.

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I started to deviate from the couple of main streets that make up what is considered downtown Tucson and wandered off exploring down some smaller streets.  This is when I started to become fascinated by these small details in Tucson architecture that suddenly were popping out at me left and right.

There were red windows, rust colored walls, green doors, purple and blue house shutters, rugged bricks and brilliant splashes of white all over the place.  I was seeing textures, colors and patterns everywhere I looked.

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I work downtown as a bartender, and I can honestly say I have walked around this area over a hundred times in the past year, yet never have I noticed all of the amazing things there were to take pictures of.

Why was I seeing it all so vividly on that day?  Before I knew it, I had taken over 300 pictures, completely engrossed in what I was doing and nearly two hours had flown by.

In the meantime, I had of course stumbled onto a few people who had been willing to pose for a quick portrait but honestly, those pictures are a side note of that day for me.

My real success in my opinion was not the reason I had come downtown, but the images I walked away with that had nothing to do with Portraiture.

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I took every single one of these photos plus many more on this exact day.  The thing I remember so clear about it was that it was so quiet and empty outside that day that I could hear my own thoughts.  It was incredibly beautiful out, a perfect Southern Arizona fall day.  I could hear every click of my shutter (one of my favorite sounds in the world).

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So as usual I learned a few things about myself.  I take better, more composed pictures when I am engrossed, alone and in silence without any time constraints.  The reason for this I think is because I was having FUN doing this.  Peaceful fun.  Also, I was able to control and restrict my framing a lot more than when I am working with people.

I also learned – and this is the big one – that if your creative focus shifts subjects on a particular day, into a particular mood; then go with it!

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If you are drawn to something as an artist, follow that instinct and forget TIME.

The end result will always speak for itself, to whoever comes close enough to hear and listen.

The Importance of Keeping every Photograph from a Photo Shoot – Why? Editing. That’s Why.

Hello Everyone,

Today I want to talk about something really important that many photographers (even just hobby photographers) do, that is a terrible habit.  This terrible habit I speak of is called….DELETING YOUR IMAGES that you think are unsuccessful from a shoot.  

If you are one of these people…stop it.

The only images you should ever completely delete right away without any future consideration of its value are images that are;

  • Completely underexposed and it is basically a black image because your camera settings were     incorrect for that shot. 
  • Shots that are really blurred or completely out of focus (unless that was your goal).  
  • Test lighting shots that do not include your subject
  • Incredibly unflattering shots like eyes half closed, bad angle. etc..

The above are usually safe to get rid of.  However any other image that contains your subject, EVEN if you think you will never ever use it…keep it.

WATCH…

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Original Image I considered unusable… Overexposed He was not posing, just getting ready There is a HAND in the shot I never thought this would be something I use.
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Finished product – redone over a year later, removed hand, sharpened colors and interesting contrast, model looks like he WAS posing. Completely different photograph

I want to say that as artists we tend to evolve frequently, and our projects and interests sometimes can take such different turns from what we originally planned.  As we grow, we also start to view things differently both in out eyes and through our lenses.  Our minds change, our hearts break and life throws everything it has at you and sometimes just one year later your artistic perspective is completely different from before.

The more important thing is that you should constantly be getting better and improving upon your skills and knowledge.  This includes editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.  The more photos and images you edit and create, the better you get at it…obviously.

Editing is an incredibly powerful a tool to photographers in today’s technology driven industry just as much as the precious DSLR strapped around their necks.

Recently I was looking through my photography galleries just because I can, when I came across 2 images, both over a year old.  Both images at the time I considered unsuccessful for several reasons and truly they were….then.

So I fixed them, and that is when I realized I have ALOT of old photos to look through because I have missed some good stuff.

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Original image – shot in a cave, underexposed, unflattering angle to the model on the right, terrible framing, and just not enough detail
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Finished Image – redone, cropped properly, exposure and contrasts adjusted, took out the model that I messed up on shooting right, and sharpened features and colors. Much better 🙂

With my improved editing skills, I was able to take the two images in this blog that did not work for me previously and turn them into images that I happen to think work very well now.  I think I would slap myself if I had deleted these because of what I just could not see at the time.  

Like I said, my vision changed and my skills improved.

So as you go forth taking photographs both successfully and unsuccessfully, do not be so quick to hit that DELETE button when reviewing your images.  You just never know!

– B.B. Rebel

Behind the Album Artwork: “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness”-The Smashing Pumpkins

Hello world,

I have to start this post out by just saying of course what a huge fan of the Smashing Pumpkins.  I have been forever – seeing as I grew up in the 90’s 🙂

They were definitely, by far, one of my favorite bands to listen to when I was in my “teen angst” mood.  As life developed into a series of serious events, serious losses, difficult choices to make and problems beyond the scope of an angry and hormonal 15 year old – the power to some of the lyrics grew for me, the songs didn’t fade irrelevantly into time, instead they made more sense and felt more important to my life than ever.

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel
Believe, believe in me, believe
That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain
We’re not the same, we’re different tonight
Tonight, so bright…

Mellon Collie‘s figurehead is a girl who never really existed: a daydreaming star nymph with a split personality.

Her creator is John Craig, an illustrator from Pittsburgh who is known for his work with collages and his talents at the time developing them.  Please keep in mind some of this stuff was before digital manipulation was really simple to do, none of this work was simple as it would be to pop into Adobe Photoshop CC.

Craig had spent the majority of his professional career as an artist doing editorial commissions for magazines.

For the star nymph he worked based off of Billy Corgan’s (lead singer of the band) handwritten scribbled notes and hand drawn conceptual incomplete sketches, most of which arrived through the horrible print of older fax machines.

She is assembled, like all of his images, from scraps of paper ephemera, but she but doesn’t look like a collage at all.

I think it is really important to look at music artwork if you really enjoy the band or artist.  My reasoning for this is because even though the work (whether collages, strange paintings, photography, digital illustration) is not necessarily created by the artist you like but it is DEFINITELY a reflection of them.  It’s like how some music, if you told somebody to listen to the words……your soul will be exposed to them almost.

In my opinion, if the musicians truly have a passion for their music than their album art strongly tells you exactly the image they want to reflect upon themselves into the public eye.  Personally, that matters to me…

I like this artwork because of the vintage and surreal qualities they posses. The color palette is very muted and low key yet comes together in a strangely uncomfortable yet soothing way.  I say uncomfortable because the images themselves are weird.

The characters like the floating three headed relationship, all the flying angels in their surreal quality, the bird-human flying over a city, etc.  None of these images look like they would be real obviously.  But it doesn’t have a cartoon feel either.

Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness is to this day still one of my favorite albums of all time, not just by The Smashing Pumpkins. ❤

“Left Alone to my Own Devices” – A Fine Art Project done by Yours Truly – B.B. Rebel

Good day to everyone!

This post will have some of my more personal work in it…I hate to ruin it with my giant stamp but you just can’t be too careful these days.

I categorize these images as fine art, not because I think they’re so fine but because I simply don’t know what other category best suits them except “weird photos” which is not a real category…

As you look at these images, please keep in mind that in one way or another, each of these images expresses something about myself, my thoughts, and my deepest darkest secrets.  The best of me and the worst of me are represented in these photographs.

These are some of my favorites from different projects….I will briefly talk about each one, but please decide for yourself what you feel about them.  Whether they bother you or irritate you, stir something in you, or you hate them; it is alright.  Just feel anything. 🙂

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“Drip, Boil and Bubble” 

This image to me is about confusion, chaos and all the beautiful things that make no sense but come together in an inexplicable warmth.

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“Shiver”

I will leave it to you to try to figure out what the hell this is a picture of…I felt so cold when I should have been warmest.

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“Reflection”

Reflect on this: Fuck you.  Take it however you want.

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“Shimmering Vortex”

All that glitters is gold.  Actually, it rarely ever is gold….just a shiny distraction from reality.

When I take photographs like these, I usually feel at most relaxed, my most comfortable.  I am never worried about the opinion of others, their judgement, or whether they can see my vision.  That, to me is what truly makes this my “fine art” –  because it really is so unrefined in its own way, which makes it truly mine.  This is me at my happiest, Nikon in hand and only the physical world requiring my attention.

There are no models to move or position, no makeup to do, no images that are interesting because some beautiful human is in them.

These images made me think about deep things – from the time I clicked the shutter through selecting them and editing them until I finally watermarked them.  I thought of art, abstract beauty, how deceiving something can look if you need it to, and how simply beautiful the most ordinary objects can be when the right eyes fall upon them.

My Critique of Two Photographs by Charles Harbutt

Hello Everyone!

Welcome to another day in life.

I had the pleasure a few months ago of seeing an exhibition of photographer Charles Harbutt’s work at the Center for Creative Photography in Tucson, AZ.

Although I am not a professional art critic obviously, part of my education requires me to be able to look at art and discuss it.

Critique is often so misused as a negative term, really it isn’t simply criticism but just somebody’s evaluation of someone else’s work.  CRITIQUE CAN BE A VERY POSITIVE THING. Or it can suck.

As a photography student, I am required multiple times a week to stand before a class and show my work to my peers and instructors and have to take whatever comments they dish out.  Sometimes I want to smack someone and sometimes I feel proud, either way though, I take something away from every thing people tell me regarding my work.

Even if it’s just to make fun of them behind their backs later 😉

So it is only fair that I get to dish out some of this “critique” onto known photographers.  I have studied and chosen (for my own reasons) two images from the exhibition that I want to discuss.   I hope you enjoy my thoughts on these…or comment if you have your own…:)

Woman and Train – Providence, RI 1976

Upon entering the Creative Center for Photography exhibition gallery the first thing that catches my eye on the wall is a huge black and white (all of his work is black and white as I came to see) print of this photograph directly on the wall, seamless.

There is a cloaked woman with her face hidden by a great deal of shadow on the verge of getting on a train with an incredibly rich, thick, brilliant white fog rolling out from underneath the train, rising up from the tracks.  The fog is so thick that it makes me feel like if I was there I could step on it, like when I was I child in an airplane I thought I could walk on clouds.  The rising fog also creates a smoky effect through the entire image making it very mysterious and intense.  Many questions arise in my head, like is she leaving somewhere she loved?  Is she leaving someone behind?  Does she want to arrive at her destination?  I get a melancholy feeling from this photograph, like she is leaving someone she may have loved but things just did not work out and now she is headed back to wherever she may have begun.

There is an actual flaw in the image itself caused by something going wrong in the developing of the negative and there is a slight imprint running diagonally across the bottom right hand corner where the train of the edge of the negative but instead of taking away from the photograph it actually enhances it.  It is not distracting enough to take away any of the power or mystery from the image because it somehow manages to blend in without blending in and instead it acts like a foreground that slightly frames the image in a crooked way.

Perhaps this is the image they chose to display in the entry to represent his collection because like me, other people also agree that it his strongest image.  Woman and Train is well composed, with leading lines, rich textures and mysterious shadows that leave me wanting to know the story but allowing me to fantasize my own story as well.   

Collapsing Building – Hamberg, ND 1995

This image was one of the smaller ones in the exhibition and my first thought as I walked up to it is how much more effective the photograph would be if displayed about three times larger than the size chosen.  Small as it was however, it was still poignant and interesting enough to attract my attention, obviously.

Collapsing Building shows a typical North Dakota plains setting featuring an open landscape and clear skies with a completely crooked and severely leaning little house that looks decayed and rotted and probably about thirty seconds away from falling over into a pile of rubble.  The paint is peeling and worn, gone in most spots and the windows are busted out.  The house is framed on the right by a completely vertical and straight telephone pole and the grass framing the bottom edge of the photograph is completely straight as well, giving the photograph with a collapsing house this immaculately neat framing which provides for a great deal of contrast in the photograph.

The most striking component and perhaps arguably the strongest part of this image is the little boy walking in front of the house stopped on the sidewalk and notably looking at the house.  You can only see the back of his head so you cannot see his expression, but as a viewer I can only imagine that he probably looks astonished and very fascinated, perhaps even scared that the house might fall on him.

This image speaks to me, with its clean lines and perfectly, patiently framed composition and contrasting subjects and subject matter.  It reminds me of the power of destruction, the loss of innocence when something is obliterated or taken from us as a child, the desolate and empty feeling of watching something decay and slowly fade away, for example your childhood. 

If you liked these images, please check out the work of Charles Harbutt…it is interesting for sure.

-B.B. Rebel

The Legendary Aldo Rossi – Architect or Artist? BOTH

Hello everyone!

Today let’s commemorate the innovative Italian architect Aldo Rossi and what made him so inspirational and different from other architects…not with just the structures he designed but the actual sketches and designs he created. For those of you who don’t know him or have never heard of him, it is my pleasure to introduce you to his work.

I just want to say that I truly admire the way his mind worked and the way his sketches translated into his architecture.  You can see something truly magnificent if you look at these as more than just architectural drawings but as abstract artwork.

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Aldo Rossi was born on May 3, 1931 in Milan, Italy and died on September 4, 1997 and although I do not want you to stop reading THIS IS NOT A HISTORY LESSON…there are 2 main pieces of knowledge I would prefer if you take away about him.

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1.  He accomplished the unusual feat of achieving international recognition in four distinct areas:

theory

drawing

architecture

product design

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2.  He was also a writer, painter,and published theoretician who used the most basic forms of geometry and simplified shapes in his building types and designs

This postmodern technique is known as NEORATIONALISM.

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With time, his architectural sketches and drawings have become recognized as works of art in themselves and have been exhibited in major museums throughout the world.

His use of color to emphasize certain moods and concepts really draws me into these some sketches.

Some of them look more like abstract art rather than site plans or building drafts, and it takes the viewer a second to actually recognize some of the meaning in the drawing.

In fact I honestly believe that if nobody knew him and had displayed this artwork up without talking about any of its context or revealing the artist, 90% of people would have no clue that it they are actually architectural plans.

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This above hand sketch is one of my favorites even though it lacks color – it gives you something so detailed and I have honestly looked at this image for hours and still see new things.

A large quantity of drawings document the stages of a project’s stages and refinement and most of these drawings are done freehand.  He hand sketched and colored these himself, these are literally hand renderings which would have taken him hours.

Many of his sketches also have his notes and annotations on them as well as he got ideas while working.

I get this impression that his brain probably never stopped working and calculating things.

Quartier Schützenstrasse – Berlin, Germany

The picture above is one of his actual drawings come to life and although he has so many buildings that are impressive and it was NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE for me to choose, to me this is one of the best examples of the things I talked about in this article.

The Quartier Schützenstrasse is a collage of icons and archetypes with several obvious references to other Rossi buildings as well as historical references

Obviously the thing that strikes me first is the color of the building and the incredibly clean symmetrical aspect even though it is placed on a street corner.

Two of the buildings are residential apartments the rest are a mixture of residential and commercial use. The plan, inspired by the building blocks of 19th century Berlin, is organized around two large and two small interior courtyards that fill the block with beautiful light.

His work and life truly inspired me as a photographer and an artist because he was a visionary, a rare talent, and a man who believed that the most basic forms could accomplish the most beautiful things – and he was CORRECT. 🙂

References

  1. Zukowsky, J. (2013, May 20). Aldo Rossi (Italian architect). Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  2. Boegl, T. (n.d.). QUARTIER SCHÜTZENSTRASSE. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  3. Juxtapoz Magazine – Drawings and Sketches by Italian Architect Aldo Rossi. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  4. Aldo Rossi Archive collection. (n.d.). Retrieved October 30, 2014.

Workers from all over the World – Beautiful Award Winning Photographs

Happy Monday everyone!

Last week I was sitting in class not paying attention (shocking) and I was on my phone looking on my Flipboard App when I came across this amazing article and honestly was so instantly captivated I couldn’t wait to share it with everybody.  Thank you Flipboard!

I really really hope you guys all appreciate these images as much as I do and go check out some of these photographer’s work because it is truly phenomenal.  I’m jealous 🙂

Most visually stunning to me was this first one I am showing.  I fell in love.


Asia-Pacific winner: “Net Mending” by Ly Hoang Long, Vietnam

As I was looking at these images it struck me ( not for the first time ) how exceptionally different our lives are all around this world everyday.  During the very same moment in time, somewhere in the world there is a man in a suit sitting in an office in front of a computer in New York City and a group of Vietnamese people fishing in a small village living in houseboats and huts.

I don’t really mean this in some negative way, please do not misunderstand.

I actually think there is a peace and absolute beauty to the way that the world comes together through millions of people performing completely different tasks not realizing how each of them really contribute to the other.


00:00 hours winner: “Last Train” by Chris Jongkind, Japan


05:00 hours winner: “Dawn with Donkey” by Somenath Mukhopadhyay, Turkey

After all, where would the world be if everyone had a similar job?  Is it fair to say one person’s career or job is more important than another?

Are you more important because you are a doctor or a lawyer than the garbage man?  What would we do if there were no garbage men?  If there was nobody willing to take our trash out, weave our fishing nets, serve us in restaurants, wake up at 4 am to bake us fresh bread, milk cows and farm crops and animals so we can eat, what would we do?

So, I guess what I am trying to do is use these photos to make you think about the world in a different way.  A way that is more than just pictures or fascinating images.

Although these are awesome.


10:00 hours winner: “Fish Market” by Saumalya Ghosh, India

I want people to think about roles in life, the role you play in the world.  What do you think?   Are you important?  If I came and took a picture of your job, what would it look like?

The truth is….you’re probably more important to the functioning mechanics of the world than you realize.

Sincerely,

B.B. Rebel

P.S. – to see more of this work please visit

http://designtaxi.com/news/370121/Fascinating-Photographs-Capture-Working-Life-In-Cities-Around-The-World