Why It Does Take Time to Create an Art Photograph

When we create artistic photographs, we perform a deliberate, conscious, thoughtful act in pursuit of specific goals. It is a meticulous job before the shooting sessions, during and after. Creating a collection of art photographs requires time, patience and self-sacrifice.

Landscape of Caddo Lake in Texas. Bald Cypress growing in the lake.
Landscape of Caddo Lake in Texas. Bald Cypress growing in the lake.

The Time to Think

As far as we are concerned, the first step in creating a collection of artistic photographs is to define the theme that we will choose. We choose themes that will translate our emotions. But they can also affect messages that we want to convey.

During this phase of reflection, research is carried out in our house. We go through all the art books we have. We browse many websites on the internet to see what has already been done and how. We also use the dictionary a lot to put exact words to define our project and to avoid counter-senses. Our description should be as precise as possible.

Once the guidelines of our collections have been defined, we begin to think concretely about potential photos that we will be able to achieve. We draw on paper very sketchy little sketches with framing and compositions of nature scenes. With all these elements we have a clear idea of what we want to create.

At this stage of the project, our concerns are always artistic. We do not think about marketing or commercial actions. These are steps that will come much later when the products are finished. We are professional photographers. We live on a daily basis selling our works. But the act of creation is always the basis of any project we undertake.

The time of the Shots

This step, paradoxically, is the most random and the strangest one.

The first step, the time of reflection is always at home in the warm and comfortable conditions. After this phase, everything is theoretically perfect.

Once we are in the field, nothing ever happens as planned. For example, the weather may be different from what we had planned. In the case of animal projects, animals may be absent. In the case of underwater projects, currents can be violent, and visibility can be calamitous.

From experience, we know that nothing ever happens according to the established plans even if the hazards were foreseen. We must always adapt to conditions.

When a scene corresponding to one of the photographs we wanted to create comes up, we stop. We always take a little time to feel the atmosphere and make sure that's what we want. Then we install our equipment. Then we analyze the direction of light. We spend time choosing the right point of view, the framing and the composition. It often takes long minutes before the first picture. For us, setting up on the field requires time. This is the essential condition for making a good photo. All these choices must make it possible to grasp the precise moment necessary for the photo that we have in mind. We always know what we want to create.

For the same scene, we will make several photos; sometimes even tens. We vary the points of view, the framing and the compositions.

Often as conditions in nature change quickly, we stop because the light is no longer what we wanted.

Finally, we photograph very few scenes during a photographic session. Each scene will be photographed multiple times, but we will keep only one photo. Often, as the conditions in nature are not satisfactory, we return once or twice to redo the shots.

We do not have a scale for the number of shots taken during a trip. For example, for a trip that will last 6 days in the field, we can make 500 or 600 photos, but we will keep only 8 or 9 because they correspond to the scenes we wanted to transcribe our messages.

The creation of a photo on the field is very time-consuming and very energy-intensive. For us, the financial budgets are very important. We always must plan spending to see if it's viable or not.

The Time of Post Processing

Once the sessions in open spaces are over, we go home.

The sorting of technically bad photographs has already been done during the trip. When we returned, all the photos have been selected, sorted and organized. We perform backups on external disks. We will let the project mature. We will wait several weeks, months or even a year before starting the development. Time is very variable and depends on whether they are projects for clients or personal projects.

The rule we are set is to forget what we have lived to better transcribe our emotions and our messages. Experience has shown us that "hot" development never gives satisfactory results.

Once we feel ready, we move to the editing phase. The most appropriate photos to our collection and our artistic approach will be selected. Then we develop. The time of development also varies a lot. It depends on the complexity of each photo.

The Time of the Highlight

When our photographs have been developed on the computer, we choose the paper that will be most suitable for rendering the chosen tones. It is a complex and difficult step. It took time and a lot of bad experiences to get to know the different papers.

We have experienced a lot in our office with a professional printer. But we have the chance to meet some excellent people working in the different laboratories that are our partners. These specialists in print on paper explained all the subtleties of papers and inks. Even though we are not experts, we have developed skills that are very useful to us.

Once the printed photos have been received, we choose the frames for our collections. We also collaborate with companies specialized in this field. These experts will find us the most suitable products for our works.

Finally, after this last step, when one fine art photograph or a complet art photo collection is completed. We can move to the marketing and marketing phase.

Finally

The creation of an artistic photograph is very time-consuming and very energy-consuming. Financial budgets are sometimes substantial. These are for all these reasons that a beautiful photo art that makes you dream at a high purchase price. We think it is the price to pay for a high-quality work.

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