Archive for April 2011

Reading between the lines …

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Miranda Gavin’s Hotshoe blog talks it up on the chatty subject of artist’s statements for photographers:

“An artist (or artist’s) statement is a short text by the artist that helps explain and give a context to the work. It all sounds simple enough but the reality is far from straightforward. One of the recurring debates facing photographers and visual artists in the fine art and art photography arenas today is the language used in artists’ statements.”

This blog post is a clarifying read on the “obfuscatory language in art photography.” Worth reading the whole thing.

Also, David Saxe of Black Star Rising penned a definive statement in a blog form called Why I Don’t Like Artist’s Statements:

“Look at the pictures. It’s not that complicated. The image is a success because the message is understood. So if you need an artist statement to explain what you’re doing, haven’t you already failed?”

A subject, indeed, worth writing a statement about.

Written by dominiquejames

April 9, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Tumbling your pictures out into the net …

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It doesn’t make sense to own and use a digital camera, and not have an online platform or two to share pictures taken with them. Digital pictures yearn to be free. The pictures you take doesn’t mean a thing if they remain stuck in some sort of limbo in an SD or CF card, stored on computer’s internal or external hard disk, or stashed in stacks of optical media, and no one sees them. It’s as if you haven’t taken any pictures at all!

There are a number of excellent websites out there that anyone can sign up to (most of which are free), and post pictures taken with all sorts of digital cameras—from mobile phones to DSLRs. I’ve tried a number of them, and I continue to use many of them—every single day, in fact. Since I constantly take pictures, I just as constantly push them all out into the net.

Of the many online photo sharing sites where I put out my pictures, one of my favorites (and one that I highly recommend) is Tumblr.

I like Tumblr because, over all, it is absolutely fun to use. And it has enabled me to link with communities of very interesting like-minded people from all over the world.

I’ve been using Tumblr for years. My statistics (as of today), will bear this out:

• I’m following 468 people
• I’ve liked 15,859 posts
• I’ve so far made 2,111 posts
• And, I have 246 followers

That’s it, “so far.”

If you’re curious about how my Tumblr called [dj:ny] looks like (where I post at least one photo a day), click here.

But while Tumblr is an excellent photo sharing site, admittedly, it isn’t just a photo sharing site. And although I use it mainly to showcase my photographs (yep, that’s the photographer in me), Tumblr is quite flexible and good for many, many other things.

On their About Tumblr page, it says: “Tumblr lets you effortlessly share anything. Post text, photos, quotes, links, music, and videos, from your browser, phone, desktop, email, or wherever you happen to be. You can customize everything, from colors, to your theme’s HTML.”

In other words, it’s the quick and easy and fast and simple way to put all sort of things out there on the web (specially pictures, if I may say so myself) without being dumbed down and limited by the 140-character restriction or without being intimidated by convoluted long-form blogging platforms. It’s right there safely in the middle. And, did I say it’s fun?

The real added bonus of course is that I get to join in many utterly fascinating online interactions with the awesome members of the growing Tumblr community. These Tumblerites (what Tumblr users are lovingly called) are certainly an intelligent and cool bunch!

Now, this is the part where I have to say that for all the terrific things that Tumblr is, it isn’t perfect. Many long-time Tumblerites will be able to tell you that there are hiccups (also known as “service interruptions”) that you might encounter when sharing or when looking at post. It can get annoying but it doesn’t really happen all the time. You sometimes even forget that it happens at all.

Tumblr explains these mostly small and minor incidents (although there were a couple of really huge ones), as “inherently” part and parcel of their growing pains, which, if you ask me, is just as inherently understandable. Tumblr has been growing by leaps and bounds these past few months, so it’s almost forgivable when they encounter setbacks. But what’s reassuring is that the people behind Tumblr have come out to the online community and have made public their plans in upgrading their facilities, which, in turn, is designed to hopefully improve their service even as they grow. In any case, as much as they and everyone wants everything to work out well, the occasional hiccups are unavoidable.

Still, despite these, I trust Tumblr. They’ve made good on a lot of their promise to upgrade facilities and improve service. And, as far as I know, there hasn’t been some sort of mass defection. Sure, there has been a lot of loud and noisy complains about Tumblr’s occasional erratic and unpredictable service, but it seems they are holding on pretty well. Their service has, in fact, and as far as I can tell, has improved considerably in recent weeks.

So, if you’re curious about putting out your pictures (and yes, other stuff too) out into the net, consider Tumblr as an excellent platform to do so. To sign up with Tumblr for free, click here.

[Note: I am not in any way affiliated with Tumblr. I’m just one happy Tumblerite. Also, for free professional advise and consultation on advertising and commercial photography and visual media design, send me an email at And, you can view and purchase my fine art photographs online at Zatista’s website. Thanks.]

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