Strange sky.

There. I did it.

I broke the sky.

Not really. I was just experimenting a little last night and I made this picture. The base picture was a silhouetted building and tree and the late blue hour sky. I started tinkering. I tinkered some more. And, just kept going.

I’m not sure what I think. I kind of like it. That’s the minimum for sharing my work with anybody. And, it is different. Very different.

What do y’all think?

In theory, I’m retired. As of last month. I told you that. I have never been busier. I guess I don’t know how to retire. Just as well. I’d only get bored sitting around and watching Game of Thrones. Or, some show like that. Maybe, House of Cards. They really are about the same topic. Politics as sports.

Let’s talk quickly about contests. I looked at the one in which I didn’t stand a chance. Some of the winners were pure photojournalism. Some was art. The person who picked one of the pictures is a big time gallery director. She selected a picture that looked like a black jagged line on a white background. I thought, “What the hell is that supposed to be?” She didn’t know either. She said she didn’t know what it was, but she liked it.

Silly me.

I always thought that a photograph should communicate something to someone. I’d humbly suggest that if the judge didn’t know what the picture was, than it failed in its most basic test. And yet, she selected it. And, it won.

That may very well encapsulate the state of photography in 2018.

Now that I entered that contest, I’m getting all sorts of contest offers. They all want money to apply and enter. I never do that. Most of them charge fees to make money in order to exist and support the owners of the contests.

By that very nature they aren’t really legit.

They can’t be. After all, the more images the photographer enters, the more money they collect. When you reach a certain point, you have a better chance to win because you — and they — sort of stack the deck.

At least, that’s what I think.

Maybe some of you have entered contests. What do you think?

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20 Replies to “Another World”

  1. I surely missed the post declaring your retirement, Ray. I think the modifier, “in theory,” is probably a good way to transition. As an artist, you will probably gain new insights. I retired two years ago and I’m still threatening to sit down and watch all the seasons of Game of Thrones! I’m half-way through House of Cards.

    I really like your broken sky photo. I think it’s beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, I won’t really retire. What I retired from was the constant marketing campaign to gain and keep clients. That’s a huge draw on my time. I still have plenty to do. Even more than before, it seems. Then, there’s musical miss’ career. She’d kill me if I stopped managing that. Thank you. I’m not sure about that picture. A lot of people think otherwise.

      Like

      1. What also bothers me is for many of these contests, although they copyright remains with the photographer, the organizers can use the image for however they see fit without having to pay. (At least, some of the competitions have explicitly stated this in their fine print) Therefore is a double-blow – pay to enter, and then quite literally provide your images for free from afterwards… 😦

        Like

      2. Most people don’t read the fine print. I’m fine with letting a contest use my pictures as long as I get something out of it… like my name, contact info in about 36 point type and with a link from my website to the advertising. I can be pretty ruthless about things like this. 😎

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Oh yes, absolutely!! It should go both ways – give & take.

        I am surprised if most people don’t read the fine-print (that’s usually the first thing I pore over…but often times the wording gets complicated. This is probably done to deter us from reading the fine print in the first place. It’s a conspiracy!).

        Like

      4. Of course it is… I wouldn’t use her for a contest contract, but I have a contracts attorney. Normally, she reads assignment contracts and photo agency contracts for me. She’s an old friend. If it doesn’t take her negotiating time, I trade her art for a review.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. That’s wonderful you have a professional to help you with the fine print, even better that she is a good friend.

        I personally feel that getting the “business” aspect right is one of the most difficult tasks for photographers & anyone else looking to make a decent career by being creative.

        Like

      6. For sure. You have to have support. I have her, an accountant and somebody who helps me select pictures when that is crucial for bigger assignments. On some assignments I have an assistant, a fixer and production people like a make up artist and stylist. It gets complicated.

        Liked by 1 person

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