Daily Inspiration #333 by Richard Edwards

Steve.

Thanks for having the section Daily Inspirations, they are inspirational.Β Firstly I would like to thank you for your reviews of cameras and lenses, they helped me when buying my M9 and lenses.

Attached are my offerings for daily inspiration.

I am an Australian photographer, I started photography back in 1996, in 1998 I studied photography full-time. I tend to focus on seascapes, streetscapes, portraits and of late am focusing on fine art images.

I have held exhibitions of my work, won several national awards, and been fortunate to have had one of my pieces purchased by our then director of our national gallery. I have not done anything of significance for the last 1o years but now want to get my masters in fine art with a view to completing a PHD in fine art over the next 4 years.

These images are part of a series that are rendered with high contrast and veiled behind the wet glass of a shower. The intent is to create a psychological mood that the viewer can relate to. I want them to try to get a an evoked emotion that takes them to some point in their life when they may have felt grief, sadness, sorrow, despair or loneliness. MY titles are not designed to give the viewers any particular feeling, i want them to get their own sense by allowing themselves time to explore the images and hopefully get something personnel for them out of the images.

Thanks for taking the time to look at them and allowing me the opportunity to send them. I hope you like them sufficiently to post the for β€œDaily Insirations”

Best Regards Richard Edwards

Australia

89 Comments

  1. Hi Richard!

    I have checked your portfolio, and this particular series on photo.net, in my opinion images that you have submitted here are the least strongest ones in the series, in my view the photos with person lying down on the floor, sitting in the corner are the 2 strongest ones and they are not displayed here.

    I will let myself post them here for you:

    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=16092137

    http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=16091973

    Those two shots above are just really really good….

    Best
    Max Klimov

    • Thanks Max, I do agree with you, the issue is I had a major crash with my Computer and had to restore it to factory settings, The originals of those images were lost, the ones on P.Net are the only copies of them left πŸ™ I would have included them otherwise. Thanks for posting the link.
      Regards Richard

      • You can be sure at some point your hard drive is going to fail so always backup to an external drive, and to be even safer store your images online as well. It must be devastating to lose those originals.

        I was surprised to see your images on Huffs website as “fine art” photography is not what one usually sees here, so therefore the rather extreme and sometimes rude comments.

        Interesting vision so keep going, and grow a thick skin.

        Best wishes,

        Andrew

  2. Hi Richard,

    I enjoyed your series. I would like to see these printed larger than life hanging in three on a wall, very minimal. I like the subtlety in your highlights and shadows. The images are clean, quiet, graphic, and emotionally dark. Like any project or series it will be interesting to see how the images evolve for you and where they go. Thank you for sharing your vision with us.

  3. I find the above images are somewhat creepy, if an image gets any response, negative or positive… Then the images works in my book.

  4. Hi Richard,

    I don’t now nothing about fine art? Bud 35 reactions! You definitely inspire me and a lot of others πŸ™‚

  5. Hey Richard,

    I really like the pictures, don’t worry about some people being d*cks. Perhaps they don’t understand the pictures are supposed to be fine art, so subtle and all that. I think #3 might’ve been better without the glass (and not showing the lower back), but that’s just me. I really like #2. Kinda scared me lol.

  6. Hi Richard,
    I like these. Nice to see something evocative ‘and’ visually experimental from a Leica user.
    You’re going rubbing against the grain… and its refreshing.
    They’d make strong prints.

  7. Steve.
    Thanks for sharing my images in the Daily Inspiration. It has been great to get all of these responses, the GOOD the BAD and the UGLY. I am glad they generated such polarized responses.
    I am also thankful to those who have exposed me to photographers and artists I was not aware of, and for all the feedback.
    The Daily Inspiration forum is a great tool for photographers to get the oportunity to critique work in a meaningful way, thank you so much for them the opportunity to scrutinize my work.
    Best Regards Richard

  8. John, your response is quite offensive, what gives you the right to anonymously degrade someone because of their physical appearance? Shame on you, perhaps you should stick to your playboy magazines, there you will find your ” pretty girls” with perfect lighting. I don’t like to be negative, but your feedback is distasteful and not relevant.
    And just for the record, the model is a woman in her late 40’s who has experienced both physical and emotional pain in her life, she has a story to tell, and that story is valuable. Some people will relate to it, some won’t. You obviously can’t.

  9. I like these and I’m sure they work even better as prints. There is a melancholy present that appeals to me. Washing our bodies is a private and intimate event that reveals us just a we are, a material mortal body. Showering is like dying.

    Would look even better on Tri-X.

  10. I don’t mind the first one.. I think I get what the photographer is trying to convey. I don’t have anything on the second one, and until I read the explanation, I completely didn’t understand what the circle in the middle was.. I thought it was some sort of reflective metal in a circle glued on top of the glass..

  11. As it’s easy to criticize (as demonstrated once again here), I’ll do that first.

    I can see what Richard was trying to achieve (and applaud him for that), but I think the image(s) would have been stronger as a series, for which they would have to be more similar, in lighting, contrast, framing etc. Then they would really tell a story. Now they appear to be a bit of a haphazard collection, unsure of the direction it wants to take.

    On the positive side, the images have caused discussion and controversy. What (aspiring or arrived) artist photographer could want for more?

  12. Weird comments I guess people here really don’t see light and understand art
    Great work Don’t listen to any of these comments that are negative
    They actually aren’t constructive at all just keep following the light that’s all
    That is important dam noobs

  13. I find the pictures disturbing, they seem to conjure a ‘psycho’ like image in my mind, uncomfortably so, and reflect some innermost fears – they work, and you’ve managed it splendidly.

    • Ibraar, you get it! they are meant to be disturbing, even grotesque to some extent. because the world we live in is not all puppies and roses and pretty girls all in a row.
      Thanks

  14. Nice work Richard, indeed the first one is very emotional for me, though I kinda don’t like #2 and #3 that much. But I LOVE that first pic. Thank you. Really.

  15. Sorry, they don’t move me, or excite any emotional response (is boredom an emotional respose?).

    “Nude behind the shower glass” has been done a zillion times before.

    • Again, what is the point of such a comment..? The first part is ok and probably very useful, as we share (subjective) opinions about one’s (artistic) work.

      But: “…has been done a zillion times before…”: what’s the point RotarySMP ??? Really, don’t you think that “people in the street doing stuff” hasn’t been done zillion times before ? As well as “naked people”, “beautiful sunrises”, “bokeh portraits”, “foggy landscapes”, etc-etc-etc-etc…???

      What do you mean exactly ? That we shouldn’t post anything that’s not 3D, purely modern style or shot on the moon ? All that we do (99% of the time) is reiterating people’s approach to find our own emotional path. Well I guess so.

      You are reducing a personal emotional approach to 5 words. While this is useful to classify pics with keywords in a database, this is completely useless when it comes to talk about someone’s emotions.

      I know that you probably don’t care about my answer, but I can’t stand those kind of gratuitous comments which only effect is botching our nice exchanges. Fed up.

    • Maybe you care to share some of your excellent work Rotary SMP, why it must be very good going by your higher ground insightful critique. Looking forward to it! πŸ˜€

      • This thread was started by Richard stating” I want them to try to get a an evoked emotion that takes them to some point in their life when they may have felt grief, sadness, sorrow, despair or loneliness.”

        The posted photos don’t evoke any of that (for me). Without his description, and mentioning the scar, I would not have looked twice at them. This feedback has been provided by plenty of people here. I thought Richard wanted honest feedback, or he would not have posted.

        On the other hand, a few people are moved by his shots. If only positve feedback is allowed, that will give Richard a distorted feedback.

        I don’t need to be a great photography to see that these posted photos are nothing special. My photos are also nothing special, but I don’t try to claim some deeper meaning or taking people to a special point in their lifes.

        I won’t waste you time with my photos, as they are boring to anyone except those they directly effect.

        • Very true Mark, you make some valid points too my friend.

          I am not against critique in the slightest (quite the opposite in fact), my problem is with those that make all out attacks on someone’s work yet without offering ANY positive advice whatsoever (in their humble opinion) to make improvements. Peace & Love. πŸ™‚

  16. Nice work Richard! I don’t think the 3rd picture really works but I love what you are trying to capture in these. As someone above said, they too remind me also of some of Moryiama’s earlier work in capturing the human form. Keep at it, you’re going somewhere with this style IMHO.

    As also said, ignore the haters. Most only care what the camera used was etc and other pointless nonsense but yet continually resist entering their photographic masterpieces to this column for some strange reason. Could it be they continue to fail to understand the camera rarely matters and instead mainly talk about gear and buying even more gear instead of actually using it?

    • Thanks cidereye, Comments that are negative for the sake of being negative i tend to ignore, I strongly welcme negative constructive critique though, problem is it is seldom constructive. more often than not it is reactive to preference. no substance or analysis is provided. I have the same response to Brussel sprouts, I just dont like them.

  17. I don’t care about equipment. These are great photographs, trying something. For me, the best one is clearly n.3 The hole-looks-like-a-magnifying-glass makes it definitely darker, more sinister, because of the disruption. As for people who cry about M9 and snaps, in this site, weeks ago, we could see a real use of the m9 as a snap camera, in an article on Cuba. I don’t remember anyone complaining about it (I wrote something on the matter and it was never published). Those were snaps. And this is something different, someone trying to say something. And when that happens it’s not important whether pics were taken with an m9 or an ixus 11 years old, or a Lubitel.

    • JJ I agree, I watched a show a few weeks a go where the photographers challenge was to produce images of substance with $10 plastic cameras, some of the work was great, it was not the gear it was how the gear was used, getting the most out of the equipement.
      No where in my narative did i claim these images were taken with the M9. But yes they were. although it is irrelevant, they could easily have also been taken with my Nikon.
      Regards Richard

  18. like a fast prime of a sunny day. taking the time to really see something has become a kind of specialist skill, lazy looking is our habit, and photography is a challenge to our speedy vision. art also, more often than not, gets between us and our subject. as does the easy and distance of online mediation. to really see something is not a question of taste, of judgement or of sophistication; it is to seek out in any thing the invisible cities of its creation, populations of relationships that lie within us rather than the thing observed. every picture is another opportunity see ourselves; once we have done that we will be ready to see the world.

    keep up the good work richard.

    • simon, your comments are profound, they reflect that of someone who understands what it is to create, rather than allowing the creative process to dominate.
      well said! a lesson well worth pondering.
      Cheers Richard

  19. Hey Richard

    Amazing series you have posted here. I have tried to see your site, but as I am currently in UAE shooting a commercial, your site is “FORBIDDEN” … yes, ha ha ha, it’s like that in this part of the world. I will be going back to Barcelona tomorrow and will certainly look at your explorations and work.

    I love image number two – there is a sense of mystery and intrigue that captivates me. The series you present here is very powerful and I cant wait to see the other stuff on your site.

    Regards and “no worries matie” about the few negative comments you have received.

    Jorge

    • Jorge, enjoy UAE, sounds like you are living the dream, doing what you love and seeing the world. I appreciate your looking at my work and hope you enjoy seeing more of it when in Spain.
      Cheers Mate!

  20. @ Richard.

    Hope younwon’t mind the advice of a colleague.
    You may read comments on your work with interest but never get into the polemic πŸ™‚
    Better spent time doing work than trying to explain it.
    When we do Photography, it is part of our private feelings. When we decide it goes public, it hardly belongs to us the way we conceive it…
    Keep well!
    JB

  21. The first time I looked at these, I said they were too subtle for me. (Not a ‘troll’ comment, Jon. Just an honest one that may be taken as me simply not having enough imagination to ‘get it’) .
    But, a number of hours later, and re-reading the introduction, I like #1. There’s real emotion in it. It makes me think the subject is suffering an attack of depression.

    • Harry, thanks for taking the time to revisit the images, I am glad the image gave you the thoughts it did, these are some of the emotions I was hoping to have people take away from this series, Others on the site and in the folio will perhaps give better context to the work. (it is an ongoing exploration for me)
      Thank you so much for your comment.

  22. richard, i visited your site as you posted the link… i thought your images were subtle but strong…. honestly, if you would have posted only number one, or at least one strong picture then most of these guys won’t be hounding ya… it’s just that you posted three images that are very similar… your site has some very strong pics with lots of variety… i suggest the critics to go visit his site… he posted a link above….

    but then again, only the first one really made say, “hmmm, nice…” after that two and three instantly bored me… YOU ARE GOOD… don’t let the detractors discourage you… post some more of those strong images you have….

    • Ryan, thank you for visiting my work and for your comments, you are dead right in that my choice of images may not have been the best choice in this series, however I had a major failing on my hard drive and LOST the originals of some of the others, i am still seething from that loss.
      Regards Richard

      • i really appreciate your attitude after some very pointed criticisms… your work great.. very clean… but truly powerful…

        it could also be that, 90% of us here are men… and a naked man in the shower is not that evocative of a nice feeling at all, maybe one or two and then something else… πŸ˜‰

  23. Those hideous pics are only displayed here because they were taken using a Leica.had they been shot with any other camera, they would already be in the trash can.

    • Really??? You think so??? Perhaps you should send in your ‘pictures’ and we can all make rude, smartass comments about them?

      And, where does it say they were shot with a Leica? He said at the introduction that he bought an M9 and lenses through the advice on this site.

      The only thing that belongs in the trash can is your attitude and your ignorance.

      • Accurate reply Jon. Res, well… you’re a hater. And apparently you can’t stand that people can love or like what you don’t. Sad for you.

    • Res, your response made me smile, the images provoked an emotional response, exactly as they were intended to do.
      Thank you,
      Also as per Jon’s response, no where does it say what camera of mine was used for these images

  24. I was waiting to see something like Alyssa Monk’s amazing paintings. Sadly, I was disappointed with the results. Great idea, just need to work on the execution.

    In case you’re not familiar with Alyssa Monk’s unbelievably realistic paintings…
    http://alyssamonks.com/port.asp

    Cheers,
    M

    • Matt, I had not heard of Alyssa Monks work, I checked out the link WOW! what a talented artist such an extensive folio on a theme, The detail in her work is quite exquisite, they look like photographs, She certainly has managed to capture a range of emotion and expresion with her work.
      Thank you so much for sharing.
      sorry to dissapoint πŸ™
      Cheers Richard

      • There is no need for you to apologise, Richard. You are creating your own art, not replicating somebody else’s.
        Shame on you Matt M.
        Or is Matt M thinking your art it not photo-realistic enough? Hahahaha

  25. Evocative work Richard. Calls to mind David Moriyama’s studies of the human (obviously not his street work). I too find it a welcome change of pace from the (still quite wonderful) street and travel work usually on display here. The fact that your work elicits such vehement debate is a good sign in my book. Keep it up.

      • medsRX
        I am ashamed to say i had not heard of Daido Moriyama, I do now!!, thanks for that, I checked out some of his work and was seriously impressed, I think i will study what he has created some more.. The fact that you drew a comparison to such a wonderful artist made me smile. That’s always a good thing. Cheers and thanks heaps.

        • You havent heard of Daido Moiyama before? I thought someone who studied photography would have! Or maybe Aus dont get much exposure to his work, I highly recommand his photo books. Check out Lu Yuan Ming as well, great lomo photographer

          • The other interesting thing about Daido is that he was reviled when he first hit the scene. His supposed “lack” of technical perfection (overly contrasted, blurry images are the norm with him) was seen as a weakness to be attacked by those with less imagination. But eventually his heart and messages broke through and he’s now given his rightful place in photo history. I wonder why the reaction would be if his photos were placed anonymously here as a daily inspiration?
            Richard your photography also bears some emotional resemblance to the painting of Bacon.
            Interesting, thought provoking stuff.
            Glad I could play a part in introducing you to Daido M.

          • Zheng, I will check Lu Yuan Ming out, thank you. We studdies the so called big names, Adams, Weston, Bresson, Man Ray, etc and quite a few Australian one syou may not have heard of, Olive Cotton, Max Dupain. There are and have been so many great photographers i guess its hard to cover them all. Perhaps the current couse does cover Daido, I dont know. But its great to have you guys give me links to some of these names.
            Thanks Richard

  26. Great work Richard – all three pictures. Don’t let the ‘haters’ and forum trollers dissuade you with their ridiculous (yes….ridiculous..) comments about these pictures. They ARE more worthy than aunt maude’s pictures, and people regularly go out of their way here to be, quite frankly, pretty dismissive and outright snotty about the work that’s often posted. It’s embarrassing. People regularly go out of their way to offer disingenuous comments…if we want to dissect every sentence the way your comments were dissected. As if any of the commenters were artistic authorities. Haven’t any of you actually SEEN B/W prints and visited an art gallery? Or are you all so caught up sitting in front of the monitor in equipment debates or slagging people’s work that you’ve never taken the time to get out in the wide world to see that photography is a pretty broad art field?

    Again, thanks Richard. All three are wonderful pieces and I’m quite sure in larger print form, on a wall, they’re probably quite stunning and – to the attentive person that’s not caught up in themselves or busy making snide comments – they probably evoke a lot of the emotions you’re trying to capture. Great stuff – gallery worthy without question.

    • Jon
      Thank you, I do not let the negative remarks get me down, i totally understand that we can never please all people with images all of the time. I am just greatful for the extremes in views, it tells me the work is not “middle of the road”, it has divided views and hopefully that divide will generate good healthy debate.
      I am so glad you have managed to get something out of the images and and sincerely appreciate your comment.
      Regards Richard

  27. Hi, no 1 is clearly the best, no 2 shows “too little”. I simply do not understand no 3 – what is the circle? I think the optimum would be no 1 without the pattern of the tiles on the floor

    • Spito, Thank you, the circle is a hand lever (a hole in the glass) I used this to get a part of her back with the scar separated from the obscured wet glass scene, I wanted to make it very high contrast, to look broken, this represents the damage to her spine. I hope that explain why it is there and why it is symbolic in the image.

  28. Interesting and unusual work, a welcome change from the usual street shots we see so much of with Leica gear. Whether someone likes your work or not, you cannot deny it’s different.

    • Thank you Gary. I wanted to try something a little different. A link to my work is provided in response above some more of this series can be seen there.
      Regards Richard

  29. I really like these images. I bet in print they will look gorgeous. They provide a glimpse of the person, still hidden behind this layer of glass and water. I especially like the first image with the strong rendering of the water drops. The third has an opening in the glass (at least thats how I read it) but I wish the skin in the opening would render softer, more natural in tones, while the glass ads the contrast and a bit of harshness to the scene. Great series. Thanks for sharing. D!RK

    • Thank you Dirk. The subject has a major scar down her back. the third image exaggerates that scar with the high contrast shadow. The firs image you can see it if you look carefully

  30. Love what you’re doing here. Great detail in each of these photos, and very cool imagery. Want to see more. It definitely feels as if they are part of a larger exhibition, and an exploration at that. Keep it up!

    • Cary, Thank you I am glad they appeal to you and that have managed to get something out of them I have posted in one of my responses a link to my work, the folio is there
      Thanks again

  31. Hi Richard, I really like the first image, do you have website or flickr profile where it would be possible to see more of your work?

  32. I think #1 is the best of the three. I agree with Harry about #2. It’s too high key. #3 would also be good except that I don’t get the circle in the middle. I like your goal but I’m not sure if I’d have gotten it if you hadn’t explained it. That’s not really material though as art doesn’t need to be explained but just experienced. In this case, it either evokes a mood or not as do many photographs and paintings. What it evokes for any given person may not be what you were thinking but is no less valid in my opinion.

    • Rod I think you may be right. Images dont need tittles or explanations. Sometimes its best to just let the viewer get out of them what they want. The circle in the last image is a hole through the glass.

    • Harry it is subtle, perhaps to subtle but that ok. Perhaps the mystery is in having experience an emotion that can be related to this, not all people will have that connection.
      Thanks

  33. Hello Richard

    Taking an M9 and creating B&W pictures does’t mean for me you will get good shots.
    Sorry πŸ™‚

    • Diversity is the Key Wolfgang, not everyone will like these images and i respect your honesty. I dont think the camera necessarily makes it good or bad,

      • “Diversity”, Richard? Well, every time someone takes any snap there is more diversity. But whether the snap has artistic merit is more debatable. There is no automatic equivalence because “diversity” is present. It’s hardly a “key”.

        I think some commenters are trying to find the merit in these shots. Why are they more worthy than Aunt Maude’s snaps of ring-tail possum?

        And what’s this, “respect your honesty” ? I don’t think anyone here goes out of their way to offer disingenuous comments.

        • James, give the guy a break….he was attempting to accept criticism gracefully…which surely isn’t easy given the brutal comments you and Wolfgang offered up.

          I think the pics have artistic merit, especially the first one. Would I want a whole collection of these shots….no, but as a standalone the first image has a unique look and great mood. Anyway, it’s easy to criticize others work, especially when you don’t link any of your own….

          • Clint, because I have not linked any of my own (pathetic!) work, I must find it more easy to criticise someone else’s work? Really? So no comments here unless you first post your own portfolio? Rubbish.

            Good thing art critics don’t hold to your tenet or else there would be almost no discussion of fine art anywhere.

            Mr Edwards’ cloying, “I respect your honesty” , is uneccessary since there is no question between honesty and dishonesty, only an opinion offered in usual good faith. Most people don’t go around making disingenuous comments so there is no need for the patronising – it sounds like, “you don’t understand but you did your best..”.

            I think I’m not alone (as if that matters) in understanding a little bit of pretentiousness.

  34. Hello Richard

    Taking an M9 and creating B&W pictures does’t mean for me you will get got shots.
    Sorry πŸ™‚

    • If this guy’s received the kind of accolades he has received in his home country, there’s hope for us all. Shots feel very contrived; don’t quite know what he’s trying to ‘convey’. Person in a shower, that’s all, borderline peeping tom.

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