You are currently browsing the Mikhail Lavrenov Photography archives for June, 2008

About my posts

While I am blog reader for several years, I started blogging just a few months ago. One thing I noticed about myself is that most of my blogs require some preparation – process/post some photos, find some links to other sites or forums, etc. As I am constantly running short of time I tend to postpone writing in my blog, even when I know what I want to say.

Another thing is that sometimes I don’t have anything worth sharing for several days; but sometimes I am getting to more than one post a day.

So taking that all into account I will start using the technique widely used by more experienced bloggers – I will start a draft post when I just get something in my mind that is worth sharing, and I will complete my drafts as time allows. This should help to spread my posts in time more evenly.

P.S. The readers of this blog will not see any incomplete drafts until I finalize them and “publish”.

Lighthouse in Marken

Lighthouse in MarkenLast Friday I managed to get to Marken in North Holland. Marken is a former island now connected to the mainland by a causeway. Its main attraction is the traditional Dutch houses in this little town but I was interested to see the lighthouse. It is called Paard van Marken and it looks very nice.

Cars aren’t allowed there, so it’s about 2km walk (or bicycle ride) from the car parking. I was there around 10 pm, right after the sun went behind horizon. The sky was still painted in nice sunset pink hues, but unfortunately it was right behind me when I photographed the lighthouse. So for the next time I need to get there before sunset. That way I will also get some time to visit the village of Marken 🙂

The weather was windy, so it wasn’t very easy to avoid camera shake despite the tripod. Simple workaround helped though – I holded my jacket just like wings, so most pictures came out sharp.

The lighthouse is automated and people living in the house attached to the lighthouse aren’t lighthouse keepers! They maintain the website (check “fotos”).

Selling fine art photo prints online

I keep learning new things and exploring new opportunities. Selling prints via print-on-demand service is one thing in my “to try” list. I don’t give it a high priority because my main focus is stock photography and I don’t have that many pictures that would fit as “fine art”, but it is still something I would like to try.

A few months ago I checked the possibilities and I found not too many options. DeviantArt provides on-demand service, but it’s much more a social network than print service. RedBubble is one of such places but I found it was criticized quite a lot (frankly speaking I can’t recall the details now, but the registration process doesn’t work there anyway). One site that I liked was imagekind – it has a nice interface and nice team. The site is relatively new and doesn’t seem to generate much sales. Also, I’ve got an impression (possibly wrong) that it is making more money from and putting more efforts towards payed contributor accounts, rather than focusing on external art buyers. I did sign for a free account and uploaded a few photos – but I didn’t give it an attention since then. Apparently the interface was significantly updated a week ago. Free account implies many limitations – the gallery size is limited to 24 pictures; and the number of keywords (or tags) is limited to only 10 per picture. I am not sure if it is really worth to upgrade to a paid account if there are not that many external buyers…. Perhaps I will give it a try for a couple of months, but I think I need to extend my fine-art portfolio first.

Another print-on-demand site generates more sales but it doesn’t keep the doors open for the artists from street. However it has a daughter site that is open for everyone. It has fewer limitations for free account comparing with imagekind (50 pictures vs 24, and more keywords), and the images submitted to the gallery need to pass through the approval process (which is rather good sign – preventing the site from being flooded with garbage means better focus on buyers). I have just registered with artistrising but my first submitted pictures are awaiting approval.

From what I have read in various forums, fine-art print-on-demand business doesn’t seem to be very successful for most contributors so far. However this is still very young business model and I think it does have a chance to develop.

Power of photoshop

Looking at digital art works I often wonder how they were made. Some artists give an idea about their work process. When I saw pictures made by Erica Leighton I liked many of them.

I just picked one relatively simple example of her work. Here are 3 photos she used as a source. Before looking further, what do you think can be done with these 3 pictures? –
carriage sea bed
These pictures are stock photos, clicking on them you will get on corresponding stock agency pages.

That’s the work of Erica based on the above 3 photos:
work by Erica Leighton
I don’t know Erica so I can only guess how she works… I suppose she first has a picture in her mind and then looks for appropriate source photos. Even with this simple example (I mean technically it’s not too difficult) it looks very impressive what can be achieved with very average source material.

another interesting blog

I’ve been busy all week with various personal/family things and my mind stayed too far from my blog. So I will keep it very short for this time – I just want share one more interesting photography blog that I recently discovered: John Paul Caponigro blog.

Apart from that, are you familiar with Strobist? I found that video quite interesting: