#ModesofFlight #Art | I

Black and white BW B&W sepia tone Hamilton Ontario Canada contemporary fine art photography

The Typesetter’s Shop

As we’re nearing the end of 2017, I thought I’d summarize my year, and make a sincere request. Well, I’ve been entering a new educational, creative and marketing phase in the fine art aspect of my career. One that’s a bit more forward in the art community where I live. I have a lot on the go right now. Maybe too much but it’s a welcome challenge.

Creatively, one of my projects is putting together a photography series of sepia and similarly toned photographs. So far, most of the work consists of landscapes but I’m not sure if that will remain the case. I’m keeping developments somewhat spontaneous. Every now and then, I’ll post one of these “experiments”; like this one above (which is a reworked oldie), and some drawings and paintings.

An artist should always be confident in his or her work but it can be useful to receive critique. A long time ago, I used to ask for some but well-intentioned people seldom want to give you that constructive criticism when it’s requested and deserved. So, I stopped asking. I’m trying again.

I’m certainly not inviting insults. Just real and helpful feedback. If you’re an artist, art collector or art critic then great. I definitely want to hear from you but you really don’t have to be any of these. You just have to know what you like from what you don’t, what you can use from what you can’t and be willing to share your honest opinion. I can take it!

If you don’t want to comment openly on a post, certainly contact me discretely through my About page. I’m very much into conversations about the visual arts and artwork — mine or someone else’s, so whether your response is directly on a post, through e-mail, Facebook, Twitter or whatever don’t be surprised if I even have questions for you.

Do not fear, it will be of great benefit to me. I’m always looking to grow.

11 thoughts on “#ModesofFlight #Art | I

  1. I like what to me is a “busy workspace” feel of this photo. I also like the range of light and dark in this image. The most distracting element here is the much lighter (perhaps piece of paper?) that is in the upper right of the image.

    • Yes, that bright object is quite distracting. It’s actually a piece of late 19th century printing equipment. Because of its location in the image, trying to crop it out absolutely destroys too much interesting surrounding detail.

      I’ve tried a version in which I tinted very darkly with a shade of brown that takes the picture well outside of the true sepia range. It worked to subdue that bright spot without hampering the rest of the composition too much. I think I’ll try to replicate what I did. I might repost it to see if you think there’s an adequate improvement.

  2. I agree with Amy that the on the top right, that white element seems distracting. Maybe it’s there on purpose. It looks a bit like a lamp. Apart from that, I like how well-centered this image is, and that distracting element doesn’t take that away.

  3. Hi MM! Don’t know much about photography (or art, for that matter). But here goes..

    So it’s about some kind of letter/number-block making, with racks of differing stages (just guessing). The sepia presentation itself is fine, I think. Still, visual-wise, my [layman’s] eyes could have been more entertained if every ‘slots’ (fifteen in total) did look different (that is, telling a different story).

    I mean, since this is not a closeup shot (which, say, you can play with ‘textures’), I guess ‘shapes’ (or ‘outlines’, perhaps) become all the more important. And that’s not what I see here (like, I don’t see much difference between the rightmost and middle slots on the very top). But then again, maybe that’s just me.

    (PS: I should have refined my English, but that’s just about it. 🙂 Good luck! 🍸 )

    • This is a recreation of an authentic late 19th – early 20th century Upper Canada printing house at Westfield Heritage Village. The racked letters are sorts of Playbill and Times used in the old village printing press that reported on marriages and crimes of that era. The room was set up for an old system of print that was inspired by Gutenberg and survived quite a stint.

      Being both a 2D visual artist and a writer, I was tremendously drawn to this place. Your statement seems to be revealing a potentially large flaw for potentially including it in an ongoing series. That is; the subject only means anything to me. To others, to you, it’s a boring subject. So, on that alone, I must consider not including the image at all.

  4. This is a fascinating box with typesets and other paraphernalia from a time gone by in the print business. The sepia toning brings the viewer visually back to that time. All the details makes is it an image you can keep looking at, but it also requires for it to be big. A few points to think about (in my opinion). The framing seems a little arbitrary. Not all of the box is within the frame, specifically the upper and right side is cropped off slightly. And to the right there is a bit of a white box like something taking a lot of attention. I look forward to seeing more of your project, Allan.

    • Yes! I wish so much that when I shot this, I made enough to merge them together to create a panorama. The shelving of type sorts does extend further to the right where you would see more of the old printing press — that white shape.

      Perhaps I should crop out the parts of the outer edge of the shelving that’s still visible. That might make the difference.

      It’s either that or I return to Westfield and try to reshoot. Hmmm!

  5. Hey mof man – well I sure hope I can chime in with feedback and any tidbits along the way –
    and in this post – I did have one quick comment jump out (even before I read the request for upcoming input)

    as I was reading and i came to the part about the sepia – I thought (just off the top of my head) ‘ugh – not sepia…. so dull….’
    but the funny part was then I read on and you noted the opening photo had sepia
    and as I scrolled back up ) thought “love it – the letters stand out and it is such a clear photo with a calm, dim mood – makes me curious as to who uses this creative (printing) space”

    and so while I don’t love sepia – I am now curious as to what you will share.

    • For a long while I avoided committing to a project of sepia toned photography because so many others have done such on one subject or another. I have always liked sepia to some extent, even though it took me years to really appreciate it, and its history, as I do now.

      I had never seen or heard of a road trip done in sepia, so I got the idea of making carefully composed sepias from some of the sights my wife and I have see on the various road trips we make throughout the province of Ontario.

      I am glad for your input. I hope that you do come back to see more, whether they’re re-edits or completely new images.

      • well I will be back for sure….
        and nice to connect again
        also- sounds like you and your wife are doing this artist thing correct (IMO)
        letting intuition lead and keeping it a passion –
        that usually leads to work that is more original and fueled… ya know?

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