Bathroom Mermaid

Bathroom Mermaid

Key: R20120327-211324-master

I was reading a long-winded article on “artistic license” the other day.  The only part that really got me thinking was a couple of comments about establishing your own style. I generally don’t worry about developing a style because I think (as the article states) that that comes naturally from following your own vision and trying to stay true to it. This I have done for many years–making pictures for me, that I like to look at. Sometimes I get sidetracked though, experimenting with my style. Take artificial vignetting. It’s gotten so popular over the past few years that I couldn’t really help experimenting with it myself a few times. What I found was that it generally does not “fit” my style. I look back on those images and they don’t feel quite right. Once in a while I will add some very slight vignetting now–usually only in rare cases where I feel that the background tones blend too much into the paper in a print. A way to keep the eye in the frame. But I seldom do it for any other reason now, especially for “that look”. Another one is B&W toning. I have tended to use this more frequently than vignetting, but I am beginning to feel that generally that does not have a prominent place in my style either; these days my toning tends toward the subtle, and really is mostly in images that will end up as prints. Somehow B&W prints can often really benefit from some toning.

It was interesting to contemplate on that for a bit; to think about what was or was not a part of my style. Style is hard to pin down, and maybe the best I can understand, or say about my style is what it is not.  What do you feel about your style?

2 thoughts on “Bathroom Mermaid

  1. My style is like a shotgun blast, with pellets all over the place – in other words, I’m still searching for the style that says “me”, though it does seem to be leading me towards HDR converted to monochrome. I use the term monochrome instead of B&W simply because I do some toning – usually fairly subtle. The most impactful images I see are almost always monochrome, my favorite contemporary photographers specialize in monochrome (Nick Brandt, Mitch Dobrowner, Chris Raecker), my favorite magazine is Lenswork. Yeah, I guess I sort of gravitate to monochrome images so it follows that my style will probably plop me down in the monochrome category…

    • Hi John!
      Sorry you are having trouble with leaving comments (as per your email). I have no idea what wordpress is up to these days. I haven’t changed any settings on the blog and yet somehow I’m having to approve a bunch of comments from people who have been regularly commenting for years on the blog. Really irritating! If you hear of any solution to this let me know.

      Nice to hear your comments about your style, and some photographers I should check out! I think monochrome is a better word for it as well, although these days with split toning, tri-toning, quadtoning, etc. it is not really all about monochrome either. I wonder what a decent term would be that covers the meaning of “just a few colors, but a lot of tones”?

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