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Every Photograph Has a Story: The Photograph Itself, The Photographer’s and The Viewers’: Some of the prints available on the website include the story behind them.  For example,  “The Carnival Stopped” is from one of the “Roadside America” trips along Virginia’s eastern shore where I was regularly exiting the highway to check out the villages, sea marsh and fishing boats.  In Wachapreague, Virginia, population 230, the fishing boats were either all out at work or gone forever. I am not sure.  The docks and handling facilities appeared to be in a state of disrepair, worn out or shut down.  But there at the corner of Atlantic Rd. and Ice Plant Street, was the carnival. Not a soul to be seen.  But there it was…a carnival stopped – a place of fun and community gathering but a little eery and ghost-like.  Much like the fishing town itself.

In Henry Carroll’s new book, “Photographers on Photography, How the Masters See, Think & Shoot,”  I was struck by this quote:

“When a person looks at a photograph you’ve taken, they will always think of themselves”    Jason Fulford

Henry Carroll in is commentary notes, “right after we interpret the literal aspects of the image…we enter into a second, much personal meaning.  The second reading is informed by elements such as our memories, personal experiences, tastes and cultural backgrounds…this second reading is unpredictable and entirely outside the photographer’s control.  For Fulford, this gap between what is pictured and what it might mean is where photographs come alive”

There is an image on the website whose owner described it “art that stirs his soul.”  For yet another owner, their print has an intimate feeling, and a nostalgic tone with a sense of timelessness. It is their views that give the images meaning and excitement.

In a related story from Artsy about Keith Haring, they note,

“The quickest way to kill your art, according to Haring, is to rigidly define it. “There is no need for definition,” he wrote. “Definition can be the most dangerous, destructive tool the artist can use when he is making art for a society of individuals.” That’s not to say an artist can’t have certain concepts or themes in mind when creating an artwork. But the “artist’s ideas are not essential to the art as seen by the viewer.…The viewer does not have to be considered during the conception of the art, but should not be told, then, what to think or how to conceive it or what it means.”
This idea went hand in hand with his belief that artists should consider more than just the art world. “The viewer should be able to look at art and respond to it without wondering whether he ‘understands’ it. It does not aim to be understood! Who ‘understands’ any art?.…Nobody knows what the ultimate meaning of my work is because there is none.…It exists to be understood only as an individual response.”
 

Bringing Images to Life with Real Meaning: It is these kinds of personal reflections that turn the literal stories behind the images into your art.  That is what brings an image to life and gives it real meaning.

 

As the new year begins and the sun rises on 2019…hope you find all your days full of brightness.

I have some equally bright new initiatives coming so stay tuned ( or sign up for the newsletter for the insider track). Hope you join in

Art is very much a personal choice.  Giving art as a gift can be a very memorable and meaningful way to recognize a special someone.  Giving art to a family member, a valued friend or colleague can show how much they mean to you. It can brighten a home or apartment.  It can also be difficult to choose for someone else.

Here Come the Holidays,  Personal and Meaningful Gift Giving

As the holidays approach and we think about others, a work of art can be a unique and wonderful gift.  It is a more personal gift than a tie, sweater, gift basket or kitchenware.  

One of the most memorable gifts I ever received was art from a team I worked with.  They consulted with a friend and artist, Jennifer Dickson, and selected a work called “The Dreamer”.  To this day it hangs in my bedroom over my dresser where I see it every day.  

As a young boy, I wanted to give something special to my parents and siblings for Christmas.  I turned to art.  At that age, I was not buying original art. The gifts of art took the form of a box of Vincent van Gogh cards for Mom, an art calendar or print for Dad’s office and an art poster for my sister.  

How do you select a piece of art for someone else?  You could start by considering their design sense or thinking about things they do with their free time as a way to find some art they might like.  You could take them with you to a local gallery or engage with them in a discussion about a piece of art online to get a sense of their preferences.  For some other thoughts, here is a link to a post on Saatchi art about tips for buying art for someone who means a lot to you. 

However you go about deciding what art to buy, your buying options are plentiful: visit a local gallery or art fair; contact an artist you know; explore new artists and reach out to them on Instagram; or visit online galleries like Artsy,Artspace or SaatchiArt

Making it Personal and Easy
Giving Limited Edition Prints

If you have someone special on your list who you think might like new art, I am making it easy for you to give the gift of Limited Edition photographs. 

If you want to give art as a gift you can buy a gift certificate for a Limited Edition print for that special person and then link them to BinhammerPhotographs.com to pick the print they want. Or they can email me and I will search my archives to find a photograph they love, and deliver that memorable gift you wanted for them.

How it works: You contact me to let me know the size of print and who the gift is for.  I’ll send you an invoice and a gift certificate.  All they have to do is email me the name of the print they want and it will be shipped directly to them, with the certificate of authenticity and ownership in their name.

Book Ideas, Including Roadside America

Art books can also be a wonderful gift.  For some of the best coffee-table art books, you might want to check out these ideas.  For some of the years best photography books, The Wall Street Journal offers thoughts.   If you would prefer to give a different type of gift my Roadside America photography book is available for purchase on Blurb.  

Happy Holidays to You From the Digital Darkroom

Hope your holidays are off to a grand start.  

At this time of the year, I also hope you find some time away from the daily grind of life to  reflect and discover the beauty in our lives. 

Enjoy some special time with friends and family doing whatever it is that this special season means to you

A random little collage, behind the scenes of making prints….

 BinhammerPhotographs, printingBinhammerPhotographs, prints, 

 

Stumbled upon this Epson America video of photographer John Sexton talking about bringing photographs to life through prints.  He notes that he sits with a print and lets it whisper to him.  I, too, often make prints and let them sit for two or three days, going back at them to work on aspects of the image and making sure the vision truly comes to life.

He sees the print as an experience, like a fine meal or theatrical experience.  It is the fulfillment of the photographic image making process and the fulfillment of a photographer’s passion.

You can learn more about my thoughts on prints and about my “small batch” Limited and Personal Exclusive edition prints here.

I hope you too enjoy the video.

In the onslaught of our busy lives – our work, the news, the everyday chores, responsibilities to family and friends, driving from here to there or sitting in traffic, the alerts on our phones – all of these are fragments are part of building a family, career and to get ahead.  People are busy, keeping in touch and moving forward to build and live a life. It can be a world of worries, of fast-paced activities, successes and failures. Life is often busily routine and complex.

But for people/humans, being alive also includes the mystery of emotion, whether that be anger or frustration, or those peaceful reflective times and moments of beauty.  Those quiet opportunities of pensive thought touch our hearts in strange and magical ways. Those times our being is touched and we reflect, even for a passing moment, as we see and feel the quest for meaning and beauty in our lives.

A gorgeous sunset or sunrise, a memory of some event, thing or person, an expansive landscape or a specific place can bring to the forefront moments that are opportunities where we find ourselves pausing to reflect on an aspect of beauty and wonderment in our lives — a moment that evokes emotion and reaches beyond our day-to-day activities to touch our souls and being.

While it is common to base notions of photographic art on capturing that “decisive moment”, BinhammerPhotographs makes and thinks about the photograph as a means of creative expression that is more than just a moment. The image is composed in a manner that turns the familiar into something more. The things we often take for granted have the potential to become a dream and a place where the mind may venture – a journey. The captured moment of reality becomes a place to explore, a path to realization, a spot of quiet solitude, rather than just a specific time and locale. It is that moment of beauty.

Making photographs in black & white with infrared light captures a part of the light spectrum humans cannot see, resulting in different textures and dynamic tones.  These effects beg the question: “what is reality?” Infrared photography reveals the unseen and defeats assumptions about the “reality” in a photograph thus requiring the viewer to respond differently to the image. The infrared image presents a dreamy and new perspective of the known world, creating a new place to visit or imagine.

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