Posts Tagged ‘Fine Art’
Michael Zhang, PetaPixel:
Every few months, it seems, a fine art photograph is sold at auction for an astronomical price and then takes its place among the world’s most expensive photos. The price tags are large, but pale in comparison to the hundreds of millions of dollar shelled out for the world’s priciest paintings. One reason for the price discrepancy may be due to the fact that art collectors are more wary of fine art photography’s long term value, and the fact that any reprints of the same images made in the future could drastically affect the value of their investments. However, a new report has found that confidence in the photography market is steadily rising, meaning we’ll likely see prices continue to balloon.
Fine art photography is a very good financial investment.
BY DOMINIQUE JAMES
On Facebook, my friend Danny recently asked me a couple of interesting questions that I believe needs to be answered.
Here are Danny’s two questions: “Dominique, what in heaven’s name are Hipstmatic Prints? Where in the moon do you get them?”
For sure, these are interesting questions that I cannot ignore. These must be answered properly. And so, I aimed to answer in full and with clarity here.
This is my response to those two questions:
Danny, “Hipstamatic Prints” is the title of my digital photo albums here and here where I post daily all sorts of mostly artistically-inspired B&W photos on my Facebook. (By the way, I also have a similar online photo album on Facebook called “Pixelpipe Photos” here.)
Anyway, of course the matter of “artistic merit” is largely subjective, depending on each of the picture and also on who’s looking, among other things, but hopefully you’ll find a few that will prick your fancy.
Anyway, these photos have all been shot using the camera of my iPhone 4 (I’ve gone through all of the iPhone models since it became available) with an app (or application) called Hipstamatic.
The album’s name is not my own choosing. It is the album name automatically created by Hipstamatic when I linked (and authorized) this app to post to my Facebook all photos that I deem worthy or interesting of sharing. By linking, these pictures that I share are automatically and directly posted from the Hipstamatic app in the iPhone 4 to Facebook (either through WiFi if available or through the regular AT&T cellular network).
Hipstamatic, as you can imagine, is one of the most popular iPhone photography apps where images that has been shot are processed using different types of “films,” “lenses,” and even “flashes.” The combination of these films, lenses, and flashes creates enchanting, almost sometimes, otherworldly or unreal images that looks quite different but still familiar and the same from actual real objects or scenes we see that has been photographed. My objective is to show these objects or scenes or even people in a different but still familiar way. I thought it’s an interesting thing to do and a lot of my Facebook friends seem to “Like” it very much
I’ve been shooting all sorts of iPhone photos for more than 2 years now, and I’m happy to share them day after day here on Facebook with appreciative friends like you. If you like the photos, please press “Like.” And also feel free to comment. I read, and sometimes reply, to comments posted. In fact, I’ve had a great many thought-provoking, funny, interesting, serious, joking conversations with friends from all over the world on Facebook through these photos.
If you are interested, there are many fantastic resources available online about Hipstamatic, and also on iPhone photography in general.
For starters, more information about the Hipstamatic app, can be found here -http://hipstamatic.com/the_app.html.
Or, you can also check this out – http://hipstamatic.com/.
And then there’s this that you might find interesting – http://community.hipstamatic.com/.
Wikipedia, of course, has something on it too – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hipstamatic.
Then there’s a whole, thriving group about it on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/hipstamatic.
And not to be outdone, on Flickr as well – http://www.flickr.com/groups/hipstamatic/.
Then, there’s this controversial thing about a seasoned war photographer who recently won a major international award with nothing more than a Hipstamatic to create the pictures – http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/21/finding-the-right-tool-to-tell-a-war-story/.
And this is how and why he did it – http://lens.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/11/through-my-eye-not-hipstamatics/.
So that, Danny, in heaven’s name, is what my album “Hipstamatic Prints” and the Hipstamatic app is all about.
And where in the moon did you ask to actually get them? That’s a very good questions because, well, you can actually buy online a real limited edition, signed and numbered fine art photographer’s photographic print (that comes with a certificate of authenticity) from here – http://www.zatista.com/store/index/Dominique-James.
These frameable fine art photographic prints are available from as low as $49 each to as high as $10,000 each (shipping and handling not included). As you can see, whatever your budget, there’s one that’s suitable for you. And, you can choose from almost a hundred available fine art photographs. And the collection is growing.
You can frame and decorate your homes and offices with these awesome (if I may say so myself) fine art photographic prints.
These fine art prints, like any other fine art such as paintings and sculptures in museums and art galleries, are not only a beauty to behold, cherish and covet, but they do appreciate in value over time which makes them a very good and stable financial investment.
Anyway, Danny, thanks for asking. And feel free to ask more questions any time. It’s good to keep “conversations” like this going.
I am guessing that for most people, Monday is not a favorite day. It is possible that one’s favorite day could be any other day of the week—Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, but rarely if at all, is it a Monday. If only to avoid the stress, tension and anxiety that accompanies jumping right into the first a pressure-filled week, a whole lot of people would probably want to skip Monday and move right ahead into Tuesday.
Of course week after week, Monday has to happen. There’s absolutely no escaping it, and different people do all sorts of things to make the most and the best out of it with the hope that the week starts out at least smoothly, if not right.
Sometimes though, Mondays can turn out to be more than just smoothly or right. It can actually turn out great. My Monday this week, for instance, turned out to be surprisingly awesome. Early in the morning, I got a very uplifting email from Christine Clark of Zatista. In her brief message, she wrote:
Periodically Zatista has a guest curator who picks their favorites from the site, and we pull them together in a nice feature. Our next guest curator is Robert Verdi, and he has chosen one of your pieces for his collection. Congratulations on being chosen.
It’s a very simple and straightforward message. But it’s one of those messages that Zatista artists don’t receive every day. Since I just woke up when I read it, I had to read it several times to make sure that I really understand what it meant. When I finally and fully absorbed the good news, I know that my week will be all right.
I joined Zatista, an online store, in December of 2009. To date, I have about a hundred fine art photographs available for sale. I have managed, so far, to attract a number of buyers and has made good sales.
Every once in a while, some of my works will be prominently featured in Zatista’s website. I always think it’s a big deal whenever any of my pictures are featured. This means that more potential buyers will be able to notice what I have to offer. But this is the first time that a guest curator has proclaimed one of my fine art photographs as a “favorite.”
Eleven industry insiders have so far been invited as Zatista’s guest curators. This includes prominent names such as: Michelle Adams, Sasha Adler, Laura Kirar, Abby Larson, Amy Preiser, John Robshaw, Kim Seybert, Jason Oliver Nixon, Elizabeth Bauer, Ryan Korban, and Anthony Cochran.
Robert Verdi, this week, is the twelfth to be invited. Verdi is the head of the very exciting Luxe Laboratory in New York.
According to Zatista, Robert Verdi “is a leading lifestyle expert, celebrity stylist and television personality. Verdi stands alone as the sole expert to bridge all-three major style categories: fashion, entertaining and home design. He is the go-to style guru for celebrities like Eva Longoria and Tony Parker, Bethenny Frankel, Kathy Griffin and Hugh Jackman. Famous for his wit and wisdom, Verdi has become one of the most highly recognizable faces in the world of fashion and design today.”
As a guest curator, he selected 6 favorite pieces from the roster of Zatista artists. Other than selecting my work, Verdi also chose the works of Nina Fuller, David Page, Chris Horner, and Justin Wheeler. And in an interview, he talked about his selections while sharing his bright ideas about art, design, photography, among other things.
Looking at Verdi’s choices and looking at the choices made by the previous guest curators, I cannot help but wonder how a work of art is chosen from among thousands and thousands. Zatista artists are never really told when, how and what goes on in a curatorial process such as this. I’m inclined to think that a whole lot of factors are involved, including pure luck. In any case, I’m very thankful that someone such as Robert Verdi decided to pluck out one of my pictures as one of his top picks.
For an artist such as myself, I am deeply humbled when someone of great esteem, impeccable taste and exquisite aesthetic perception such as Robert Verdi bestow approving appraisal of one of my works. In all humility, can only view such affirmation as an honor.
[Note: To view Robert Verdi’s selection, please click here. To read the entire Zatista interview with Verdi, go here. To check out Verdi’s website, Luxe Laboratory, visit here. For free professional advise and consultation on advertising and commercial photography and visual media design, contact Dominique James at email@example.com. Also, you can view and purchase the fine art photographs of Dominique James online at Zatista’s website. Thank you.]
Every now and then, as I sometimes foray aimlessly into the endless wilderness that is the Internet, I stumble upon gems that serves to enrich my experience as a photographer and as a visual artist. I’m sure my experience is not unique.
What with the incredible wealth of information all around, it is hard to imagine anyone in today’s world living a sustained creative life in a vacuum. However, I can still say that the way I go through the morass of materials, the meandering path that I take, the serendipitous nature of my discoveries, the mental coagulation that takes place and whenever things fall into place, are all uniquely mine.
Creativity, like most everything in life, must be nourished and nurtured in order to grow. And what with the Internet’s big pipes, among other things, we are mercilessly subjected by the strong currents of great swirling forces of creative influences all around us—all the time. There’s almost no way of turning it off.
About the only reasonable thing we can do with the deluge of information is to allow ourselves to open up to the countless bits that scurry along and pluck upon those which we feel matters the most. It’s almost like picking the pieces of huge puzzles floating aimlessly all around in a huge vat of information pool.
So, we build our lives today by bits and bytes, actually just like for the most of our past, but in a more intensely interesting way than ever before.
[Note: To view some interesting results of the visual, and sometimes philosophical, mish-mash of such “influences,” visit the Dominique James online gallery of fine art photographs over at Zatista. Thank you.]
“Great minds think alike!”
No doubt, it is a positive and uplifting truism, one that is said out aloud and a lot—mostly as unbridled expression of happy coincidences in moments that warrants it. Simple and direct, it is a phrase that aptly punctuates, with a significant exclamation point, many of life’s suddenly joyous eventualities.
However, woe unto us mortals, because unfortunately, no one actually remembers or knows from whom and from where that oft-quoted phrase originally came from. Lost in the mist of time is the definitive identity of the one wise man who first uttered it. In a sense, the very idea in itself, has become public domain. There has been a number of brave attempts at mindful attribution, but in these days of the wild and wooly Internet, such can be deemed half-hearted and none too credible. So, reliably, whenever it comes up, it is best generally attributed to none other than “Anon.”
I bring up this fascinating phrase because it was what immediately came to mind, perhaps as a matter of rightful inspiration, when not too long ago I was absently browsing the Internet, that I saw, for the first time, a picture that struck a deepest essence of my core.
It was a picture of a building.
I’ve seen countless pictures of buildings, some ornate, some historic, some, well, looks like—a buildings, or not. This picture of the building I saw was quite simple. But what struck me with this particular photo was that it looked almost the same as the picture of a building I recently photographed. It’s not exactly the same, as you can see in the photo above, but despite the obvious differences in angle, theme, point-of-view, color, treatment, among others, I couldn’t help but be struck by its somewhat uncanny and essential similarity.
As such, I find it fascinating. To me at least, it’s a marvel of coincidence. I mean, how often can such a thing happen? Having been a professional photographer for more than 25 years, and I have photographed all sorts of things, and I actually can’t remember when was the last time something like this has happened.
The image I photographed (on the left) was for a commercial assignment, the facade of a newly named Filipino restaurant in Jersey City, New Jersey, called “Side Grill.” Using an ultrawide, full-frame lens, I photographed it right in the front corner of the restaurant’s facade, in the middle of winter, as the last of the day’s light was about to be enveloped by darkness. The image was post-processed on Apple’s Aperture 3 and Adobe Photoshop CS5. The image that looks oddly and strangely similar (on the left), is a fine art photo taken by another photographer whom I personally do not know, with an iPhone’s camera that showed a similar angle and composition, but of a different building, in a different location, and post-processed in an entirely different way.
When confronted with two or more similar-looking photographs, it is but natural to make immediate comparisons and judgements. That seems to be the natural tendency, at least when looking at comparable pictures. And, I can understand and see why viewers might quickly decide which one they like best. But, I just want to make sure and say that I’m not showing these photos side-by-side because I am asking for you to decide which photo you like best, other than to share with you its striking similarity, perhaps in the same way that I first saw it when I did.
If you think about it, it actually doesn’t make sense to decide if one is better than the other. That kind of judgement, to say the least, is subjective. Not only is it notoriously dependent on the individual eye of the beholder (acting naturally as its own curator), but we also have to take into consideration the circumstances and the primary purpose with which the photograph was taken. In all and in particular cases, enveloped in a properly defined context, one will always be suitably better than the other.
In any case, it is not every day that I come across an amazing serendipity such as this. I’m happy I came across the other photographer’s picture, and I don’t mind discovering more similarities among my work with that of others.
And so, just to paraphrase the line, “great minds think alike,” at this point I’m inclined to say that “great minds visualize alike!”
Note: I’ve had the delightful pleasure of photographing Side Grill’s delicious food for their first major promotional campaign. The entire shoot project was done and completed with a collaborator, Dennis Altobar. Together, we’ve photographed (on site) almost 50 mouth-watering dishes prepared by noted Filipino chef, Herman Villadolid, within the span of a week. (And that was quite a treat!) We’ve also photographed Side Grill’s restaurant interior and exterior during the day, and at night time. Many of the pictures are now featured in Side Grill’s beautiful and elegant website, serving as a counterpoint to the fantastic logo designed by Mark Gonzales. Some of the food photographs are individually featured as the main visual element of full-color posters and all other collateral promo materials designed by the creative artists of The Studio. These posters and promo materials has been professionally printed by Marisse Panlilio of MPGrafx. Which, if you think about it, isn’t a bad idea at all!  Anon, if you must know, sands for anonymous.  Ok, that’s definitely hyperbole right there, but I can’t resist.  Together with Dennis Altobar.  Side Grill Restaurant is located at 561 West Side Avenue, Jersey City, New Jersey 07304. You can call 201-360-2161 for inquiries. Visit their website at http://www.sidegrillonline.com for more.  I saw the image on Tumblr.  Including the works of my collaborators such as Dennis Altobar.  You can view the works of Mark Gonzales at his website http://www.smallzinc.com and you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.  Marisse Panlilio can be reached at email@example.com.