About Clayhaus PhotoBlog

jefe-bonneville(300)More of generalist than a specialist, my photographic explorations range from color to black & white, infrared to visible light, landscapes to architecture, travel to local studies, film to digital. A firm believer in controlling the entire photographic process – from composition to output – I take meticulous care in processing my images and print them myself on archival papers with pigment inks.

6 thoughts on “About Clayhaus PhotoBlog

  1. I appreciate you taking the time to converse with me last Friday (2/21) at gallery stroll night. That was the most conversation I’ve ever had with a Wasatch Camera Club member in 2 years. And I love your photos.

    • You are very welcome: I enjoyed our conversation as well. I took a look at “Bismallih” and it would be interesting to hear some critiques from club members as well as pros on the image, don’t you think?

  2. Yes, I could submit it to a club competition night for critique, but I admit I’m conflicted about doing so. I am aware of the imperfections in the photo already, I don’t want you to think I believe my work can’t be improved upon. Of course it can. But technically nit-picking that particular photo is not going to be a better experiance than knowing 2 museum curators loved it. It was the only photo in the show (about 175 works of art) to win an award, and it was also featured in the color brochure of the show. The curators even told me it was placed in a certain position in the room so that it would be the first thing people saw when they entered that particular gallery. And that was because of how they said the photo made them feel (peaceful, prayerful). Having experts tell me my lighting should be improved would be accurate, but also miss the point about emotional response and art -which in this case, was apparently achieved.

    What I wish I could know is why it wasn’t good enough for the Language of Light show (I submitted it for ‘Human Experiance’). Good enough for a museum but not good enough for the camera club? That’s a mystery I doubt if I’ll solve. As I said before – it was a lesson in the subjectivity of art. But if I knew the answer to that – it might matter just as much as a critque. For the museum show (juried), one was only able to submit 2 pieces. I strategized concerning which 2 photos to submit, out of all my work. My strategy worked and both pieces were accepted. The other one sold very nicely. I wish I knew the “strategy” for submitting to Language of Light, or club competitions. I’m really not trying to be shallow and say technical expertise doesn’t matter. Of course it does. But what people are looking for (the stategy) matters too. This can be as simple as not submitting a portrait for a landscape category. I’ve received so much feedback on that photo that I know it’s not boring. So I just wonder why.

    OK, that’s my rant for today. Wait till you see my 2 submissions for “Faces.” They’re definitely not the pretty faces of other photographers. However (I’ve checked this out with multiple people) they do carry a certain emotional impact.


    • I believe art works — or doesn’t work — on two levels: the intellectual (i.e., technical) and the emotional. Often an emotionally impactful image that is technically not ‘perfect’ (whatever that is) will trump the technically ‘correct’, but soulfully cold image. Often, but not always. You submitted images that were themed for that show and I would guess that the judges were emotionally primed for the topic and the works they would see. That takes nothing from your work, but they were pre-disposed for “spiritual” imagery whilst our judges were not. They were instead looking at close to 500 images ranging from landscapes to abstracts, travel photography to portraits. It could well be that the judges — all being photographers — were leaning more to the technical side of things than to the emotional. I can only guess. You would have to individually poll each of the judges to determine what did or did not work for them with your photo. Hence the suggestion about having it critiqued.

      Here is another thought: judges from other mediums bring different value systems and expectations to the table. I was involved in another photographic competition and the judge was a water colorist. He could care less about straight horizon lines and technically clean images. He wanted splashes of color and emotional content!

      I have been accepted and unaccepted into shows/festivals using the exact same images. I gave up trying to figure it out a while back. As you say: Art is Subjective.

  3. I appreciate your comments. My 2 submissions to the winter SM of A show definitely has a strategy – and it worked. Also, given the number of total entries to that show, I am confidant neither of my photos would have been accepted if they didn’t meet reasonable technical standards. I am always working to improve myself. To that end I’ve entered 4 photos (2 assigned and 2 open) to the club’s competition this month. I’ve entered the last two competitions in November and January, but so far have never heard all my submissions critiqued – the meeting just runs out of time. I really would have liked that personal critique, but so far that hasn’t really happened. However, I look up my scores online afterwards, and am tracking those as a learning experiance. In January I was gratified when people laughed at my photos. At least I was communicating humor (in the absence of perfection). If I keep submitting, perhaps conceptual photography will become a little more common. In the meantime, the club competition themes have stimulated my imagination and motivated some fun photography.

    Thank-you, GF.

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