January 28th, 2014
I'm currently working on my second book of photographs to be released soon. "The Last Resort" will contain black and white photographs of Maui, Hawaii by Hawaiian born photographer Edward M. Fielding and is inspired by the Eagle's song "The Last Resort".
January 10th, 2014
NEW - Four images from this series will be shown at the Whitney Center for the Arts in the March 2013 Photography Show.
I've just uploaded a small series of images taken around New Hampshire and Vermont during maple sugaring season. The images depict the traditional methods of gathering raw maple tree sap and boiling it down into sweet liquid gold. The maple sugaring season runs at the end of winter, beginning of spring when the nights are still cold but the days begin to warm and the trees start to wake from their hibernation.
Maple syrup is an all natural product and buying the real stuff contributes to a traditional way of life that has supported generations of farmers in rural areas. Don't by the mass produced sugar water produced by the national chains! Buy the real stuff! Each image in the series has information about the process, please stop by and enjoy the series! Thanks, Ed
November 2nd, 2013
Anyone remember a little book called "The Bridges of Madison County"? Never read the book but I saw the romance movie by the same name with Clint Eastwood as the Life Magazine photographer sent out to Madison.
As photographer Robert Kincaid, Clint wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s and while hubby and the kids are off at the Illinois state fair, Meryl Streep and Clint make the most of the old claw foot tub if I remember the movie correctly.
Well I've been acting a bit like a modern day Kincaid lately. Minus the asking lonely, horny farm wives for directions of course. I mean I've been driving all over the New Hampshire and Vermont area, crawling down steep banks and setting up tripods on slippery rocks in order to capture the romantic covered bridges that we have in abundance in these here parts.
Yup, in this neck of the woods - the Upper Valley - we have a bunch of classic wooden bridges. Some original and some restored after nearly being lost in Tropical Storm Irene.
At one time there were over 10,000 covered bridges in the United States, and today 54 of the remaining 750 are located in New Hampshire. Located throughout the state, each bridge is unique to its town and design. Because of their beauty and the history behind them, covered bridges became the first type of historic structures specifically protected by state law in New Hampshire.
Vermont has the highest concentration of covered bridges at an astonishing 114 for such a small state. Why covered bridges?
Wooden bridges with exposed superstructures are vulnerable to rot. Covering and roofing them protects them from the weather, and so they last longer.
In one sense, that just puts off the question. Why so many wooden bridges? And why in the U. S. Northeast?
In eighteen hundred, the northeastern United States was a country in need of bridges. It is a fairly narrow coastal plain cut by many short rivers and creeks. In the "tidewater" region, these little streams and the great estuaries such as the Chesapeake and Delaware Bays had been highways and lifelines. But now the population was surging beyond the tidewater region, drawn both by the growth of agriculture and the call of water-powered industrialization. Inland farmers needed overland transport, and that meant fords or bridges. But the water-powered mills sought out the very places where the streams could not be forded -- the falls and rapids -- and they too needed transportation.
So bridges were needed. The American northeast was a forest country: wood was a plentiful building material, especially in the remote areas where the smaller bridges were needed. And the climate favored wooden construction. The climate of the region is harsh, by European standards -- hot in the summer and icey in the winter, with a freeze-thaw cycle that would overturn stone pavings. But this sort of climate is less destructive of wood than the mild, moist climate of Britain (or Oregon). So wooden bridges there would be.
The young United States had one other necessary ingredient in plenty: ingenuity. Lewis Wernwag, Theodore Burr, Menander Wood and the rest were just as essential as the material and the need. Without them, there would be no historic covered bridges.
As we enjoy our heritage, we honor the memory of those agile minds who created it.
November 27th, 2012
I love old things. Like this old television studio camera for example. Look at the size of this beast! They just don't make them like they used to. This example of 1950s technology came out of the John F. Kennedy library in Boston, MA. The original shot was taken in terrible museum lighting. In order to get a workable image I painstakenly cut out the television camera with Abobe Photoshop and then massaged the image in Topaz Labs using some High Dynamic Range (HDR) effects. The result is kind of hyper real, almost illustration-like but I like how it brought out all the details in this old workhorse of a 1950s television studio.
November 27th, 2012
If you're looking for a good movie with a photography theme check out Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (also known simply as Fur). I've had this film on my Netflix movie "q" for years but never got around to seeing it until now.
Fur is a 2006 film starring Nicole Kidman as iconic American photographer Diane Arbus, who was known for her strange, disturbing images and the always wonderful Robert Downey, Jr. as a neighbor who leads Arbus out of her straight laced world into the world of strange, bizarre, forbidden people.
I've always been a big fan of Arbus's square format, black and white images of midgest, circus perormers, nudiest and mental patients in Halloween masks and have read Patricia Bosworth's biography on Diane Arbus so I have a good idea of the real life work and storyline of Diane Arbus. The fictional movie uses the real story but embellishes the events and characters that formed Arbus's journy towards the strange.
The movie is gripping and full of mystery, from its startling opening showing a nervous Arbus visiting a nudist colony to the scenes of her discovering a full completment of freak show characters living in the neighborhood.
For someone growing up in a wealthy, protected, perfect world the desire for the damaged, torn, imperfect lead her on a journey with her photography of the under belly of society and in the end it claimed her life as she could not merge the world she was groomed to live and the life she desired to live.
This movie was interesting with all of its vintage photography equipment and strange characters but it left me yearning for a true documentary about Diane Arbus.
November 15th, 2012
Sean Broihier: I'm the only programmer, and built the entire business. The only people full time on Fine Art America are myself and two women who do customer service and tech support for me via phone and email. That's three of us full time on the payroll. In addition, we outsource the actual production of prints to companies around the U.S. For example, we have a company in North Carolina that does framed prints and stretch canvasas for us, and in Atlanta we have greeting cards, and a company in Hawthorne which is doing our acrylic prints. I worked for ten years as an engineer, and my job was factory automation, which is designing automated machinery to assembly cars, food, beverages, packaging, pharmaceutical packaging, and so on. I am obsessed with automation. I built this business to be fully automated. I built the website, so that it's all do-it-yourself. Artists can control all the content, set the prices, and it's all fully automated with no need for a staff to interact with. The whole order process is fully automated. We process credit cards or PayPal, and instantly transmit orders to fulfillment centers around the U.S. Their staff takes care of the order, and it ships in two or three days, and it's all fully integrated back into our system which ships, tracks the information, and sends out an email confirmation to the buyer that their order has shipped, and so on and so on.
Everything in a transaction, from start to finish, is fully automated. Thirty days later, the payment is all fully automated to the artists. Half of our artists receive their payments via PayPal, and at a click of the button on my end, thousands and thousands of PayPal payments are sent out. The other half is paid via business check, and we mail them out using a checkwriting service, where with a click of a button we send out thousands of checks. The whole thing, start to finish, is fully automated. The beautiful part of that it allows us to do X dollars of sales currently, and we could ramp to 20X tomorrow and we wouldn't have to bring anyone else onto staff. Our fulfillment can handle any volume sent through them.
November 15th, 2012
Success on Fine Art America is up to you! FAA just provides the fulfillment.
Sramana: What accounts for the success of some artists and the lack of success of others on FineArtAmerica?
Sean Broihier: There is a disproportionate distribution of wealth because we do not have a huge bulk of buyers relative to artists. There are some artists who are making an enormous amount of money and some who are making relatively little money. It all comes down to how the artists take advantage of the tools we give them and how they market themselves. The artists who are making $5,000 to $10,000 a month are putting in the required time and energy to generate their own sales. They are doing email campaigns, they are going to art fairs, making TV appearances, and attending trade shows. We are just doing fulfillment orders for those types of artists.
We are a marketplace that gives you tools to be successful. With so many artists on the site, we cannot provide them all with individualized sales and marketing attention. All we can do is give them tools to help them be successful. People who sit around and take the wait-and-see approach will have one or two sales a year. As for anything in life, you will not be successful unless you put effort into it.
November 1st, 2012
There is something about a smile that is contagious, isn't there? Humans must be programmed to read a friendly smile and react positively. People don't seem to smile enough these days. Too much anger around. But you'd be surprised how many tough masks can be melted away with a little smile.
There are plenty of great sayings revolving around the smiles:
- "Smile and the whole world
“You haven't lost your smile at all, it's right under your nose. You just forgot it was there.”
“If you see a friend without a smile; give him one of yours.”
“Smile - It's the second best thing you can do with your lips.”
“Smile, even if it's a sad smile, because sadder than a sad smile is the sadness of not knowing how to smile.”
"It is almost impossible to smile on the outside without feeling better on the inside.”
I couldn't help being attracted to the nice smiling man on this vintage tobacco box package. He must be a tobacco farmer beaming with pride as he puffs away on his pipe full of tobacco that he grew on his own farm. The complete satisfaction of a hard job well done and the satisfaction of sitting back and enjoying the fruits of your labors.
I find myself drawn in to some dark themes so it was refreshing to work on this piece that will hopefully bring a smile to everyone who sees it. I think it would be perfect to place by a door way so that each morning you could leave the house with a big smile on your face and hopefully come back at the end of the day with the same smile, while along the journey spreading the cheer.
Smile - it makes people wonder what you are up to!
Artwork - Smile by Edward M. Fielding
November 1st, 2012
Back in the mid-80s when I took a high school photography course, the school's camera stable was filled with Pentax K1000s. These were very basic cameras with no bells and whistles. They were toughly constructed out of heavy metal, leather and glass. They were ugly and not all that exciting but for learning the basics of black and white photography they were great for teaching photography. For schools they were perfect because they were inexpensive, tough and easy to operate.
Everything on this basic 35mm film camera was manual - manual film advance, manual shutter speed, manual focus - nothing automatic here.
The only thing electronic in these cameras was the light meter. The light meter was a simple needle that went up and down as you adjusted the shutter speed or aperture. But the camera itself didn't have any intelligence so it was up to the operator to change the shutter speed and/or aperture to get the needle to line up in the proper exposure setting.
In so many ways it was the perfect way to start learning photography, capturing light on film with the least amount of distractions between the photographer's vision and the subject.
November 1st, 2012
Someone sent me this lately...
1. The later you are, the more excited your dogs are to see you.
2. Dogs don't notice if you call them by another
3. Dogs like it if you leave a lot of things on the
4. A dog's parents never visit.
5. Dogs agree that you have to raise your voice to get your point across.
6. Dogs find you amusing when you're drunk.
7. Dogs like to go hunting and fishing.
8. A dog will not wake you up at night to ask, "If I died, would you get another dog?"
9. If a dog has babies, you can put an ad in the paper and give them away.
10. A dog will let you put a studded collar on it without calling you a pervert.
11. If a dog smells another dog on you, they don't get mad. They just think it's interesting.
12. If a dog leaves, it won't take half of your stuff.