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Cthulhu is Still Calling

Wed Feb 29, 2012, 10:40 PM by techgnotic:icontechgnotic:





    



Cthulhu


is Still Calling




:icontechgnotic:
by techgnotic
Wed Feb 29, 2012, 7:00 PM

Having been thinking a lot about the origins of our globally held Dragon mythos in a recent article
"Reptilicus Infernicus,"
I couldn’t help but notice the Cthulhu legend was always lurking at the edges of my mind as I was researching the subject matter.


The Enemy at the Gates, the “Other”, forever lurking in the darkness and plotting an
invasion most evil and an enslavement most hideous, is probably the original seminal “narrative” that was born when humans first
acquired self-awareness and began trying to explain themselves to each other as they sat around their fires built at the mouths of their caves.






Cthulhu by veprikov















These scary “cautionary tales” were not simply the superstitious nonsense of ignorant caveman minds. They served an
important purpose. They taught clan members to stick close, to not wander to far from the firelight.  Survival depended
on creating a fear of the dark. The “invaders at the edge of our world” story has remained deeply imbedded in our human
subconscious for the 10,000 years since we left the caves. In modern times, the invasion has become as paranoiac as the
paranoid modern man, the invaders becoming “invisible” and walking amongst us: Who is secretly a space alien in human form?
Or a vampire or werewolf?  Or a carrier of the spreading Zombie plague?


This month IDW Publishing buries the needle on the Mad Mash-Up Meter by unleashing Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics titles with storylines mining the Cthulhu Mythos, injecting what's sure to be heart-shocking dose of tentacle fueled intergalactic Lovecraftian menace into both these beloved series.







LivioRamondelli, khaamar, mytymark, AlexGarner and GuidoGuidi have created some of these fantastic covers for the IDW Infestation cross-over storyline.
















Science fiction and horror literature has long been the most fertile field for paranoid invasion narratives – and one master of all masters stands alone above all the others.


H.P. Lovecraft wrote some of the greatest horror fiction ever created during the 1920s and 1930s...


He published in the cheap pulp magazines of the era, including his mostly short story masterpieces that would come to be known collectively as “The Cthulhu Mythos”.  I think the Cthulhu stories are so enduring not only because they are simply the best written and most terrifying of their genre, but because Lovecraft’s overarching narrative so perfectly fits the universal and eternal “lurking invader” paradigm. Cthulhu, one of the Old Ones – gods who once ruled the world but now mostly lie dormant in sunken cities beneath our oceans – is the ultimate invader: not from another land or even another planet, but an invader from beyond our universe.














Cthulhu himself has been a favorite of visual artists since his inception, described by H.P. Lovecraft as a sort of enormous intergalactic winged squid-headed deity.  Most artists’ renderings of him remind me of the Hindu god, Ganesh – if Ganesh had an octopus head rather than an elephant head.  It was a special talent of Lovecraft that he always managed in his writing to lend just enough but not too much detail in describing his shadowy lurkers – just enough to stoke the fires of his readers’ imaginations, making his creations, in their fertile minds, far more horrible than anything he could have rendered with more descriptive illumination.





Cthulhu by telthonaCthulhu by AlMaNeGrACthulhu by rafael-tavaresThe Key of Cthulhu, faux bronze by SkinStripper


ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn












Questions for the Reader




1

If you have encountered Cthulhu in your literary wanderings, would you agree he is the Elder God supreme monster of all horror lit (and H.P. Lovecraft the supreme horror writer), or are there others you would propose for these Grand Champion of Horror?





2

What is it about the god Cthulhu that you think has made him such an enduring subject for artists?  Is it merely the aesthetics, the many possibilities, of his simply-limned description by Lovecraft?  Or is it the shudder-inducing fearfulness of the stories that are evoked by seeing any depiction of the fiend?





3

A cult of Cthulhu “believers” has been born since Lovecraft first created the stories in the 1930s – fans who claim to have become actual acolytes in a very real dark religion.  Do you think this sort of thing is all in good fun?  Or can it be dangerous? What if the “belief” is in a “good” force rather than an evil one – like the 70,000 Australians who wrote in “Jedi” as their religion on the 2001 national census?









Cthulhu Rises by OdinoirCthulhu by illgnosisAttack of Cthulhu by PixelObsessionCthulhu by SharksDen



4
What scares you the most?
  • The Great Lord Cthulhu
  • Vampires
  • Ghosts
  • Possession
  • Zombies
  • Aliens
  • A Jedi - Cthulhu War
  • Having to spell Cthulhu on command with your life hanging in the balance
  • Voldemort casting Imperio on Fluttershy
  • Commitment











Site Update: Thumbs, dA Muro, Sta.sh

Thu Feb 23, 2012, 6:21 PM


In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes that have been made, including new features and bug fixes. In the "Your Feedback" section, you'll find suggestions and known issues that were brought up by members in the last Site Update.

What's New


Comment Counts Under Thumbnail Images
Two weeks ago, we released comment counts under thumbnail images to Beta Testers. Today, the feature has been rolled out to everyone. We believe that this feature adds more context to the experience of viewing artwork on deviantART.  You'll now find comment counts underneath the thumbnails of deviations -- they can be seen when browsing or searching art, and also display in your Message Center.  We hope this feature will help bring to light the fact that there is a whole world of activity that takes place behind thumbnails.  In some cases, when a thumbnail displays many comments, it can be a trigger to join the discussion.  While in other cases, if a deviation is in need of comments, it can be a call to action for a viewer to provide feedback or encouragement.

Comment Counts Under Thumbnail Images by danlev

Gallery Folders Under Thumbnail Images
When browsing an artist's gallery, the folders that their deviations are categorized under are now listed under the thumbnails, giving viewers more context to their artwork.

Comment Counts Under Thumbnail Images by danlev


"Flip Canvas" Tools in deviantART muro
In deviantART muro, we've added the ability to flip your canvas horizontally or vertically. These two options are located in the "Edit" menu.

Flip Canvas Tools in deviantART muro by danlev
Requested by ^alicexz , added by $mudimba

File and Edit Menus in Sta.sh (Beta Testers Only)
To make managing your Sta.sh easier we've added File and Edit menus into the header of Sta.sh. This feature is currently available to Beta Testers. If you have feedback on the feature, please leave it on the #devbug blog.

Premium Members, if you'd like to test this new feature, you can enable Beta Testing in your Settings.

File and Edit Menus in Sta.sh by danlev

Stack Descriptions
In Sta.sh, all members now have the ability to add descriptions to stacks. Write some notes for yourself or write an introductory description before you share a stack with your friends.

Stack Descriptions by danlev


General


:bulletblue: What's New
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:bug: Bug Fixes
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  • Gifting prints through Wishlists was broken for short period. Fixed by $ZombieCoder
  • Changes were made to category structure of emoticons. Fixed by $lendrick
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  • The "give" menu button on profile page was not responding to clicks in the newest versions of Chrome. Fixed by $lendrick
  • The highlight feature went awol from the Shoutbox, but now it's back! Fixed by $mpsb
  • Over a period of several hours, some deviations' full views were not always loading. Fixed by $allixsenos
  • Fixed a Fair Exposure bug with the order of results for all-time popular browse results when viewing a single category. Based on a comment by ^pica-ae and Joe-Roberts, fixed by raincoastchris
Sta.sh


:bug: Bug Fixes
  • When selecting items with the keyboard, the browser wouldn't scroll to follow the selection. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • When selecting items with using the keyboard, pressing enter now allows you to open the stack or the item. Fixed by $kouiskas
  • The page could break when clicking "Back to Sta.sh" quickly before the stack had enough time to load. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Improved the behavior of the Files tab in Sta.sh. Fixed by $adahacker
  • The top menu used to flicker in IE8. Fixed by $adahacker
  • An image in the top menu was causing a mixed HTTP/HTTPS warning when the page was loaded in IE. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Under some circumstances, cancelling the renaming of a stack would have caused an false error message. Fixed by $adahacker
  • The Sta.sh login form was unexpectedly switching background colors throughout the login process. Fixed by $adahacker
  • The short URL fields displayed on thumbs for copy and pasting purposes no longer allow you to accidentally type text into them. Fixed by $adahacker
  • Fixed some display issues when uploading a stack in Chrome and Safari. Fixed by $kouiskas

Sta.sh Writer


:bug: Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an IE8 bug that occurred when hovering over the header. Fixed by $Alisey
    • Safari and IE weren't stripping out hidden data when copy and pasting from Microsoft Word. Fixed by $Alisey
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    • Undo didn't work after adding an image. Fixed by $Alisey
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    • There was a brief Firefox bug when editing old documents. Fixed by $kemayo
    Your Feedback
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    • An analytics tool that can give you more detailed information such as traffic to your deviations and profile, daily stats, and tools to analyze your audience. From =Mary-Jane-Stokely and TimberClipse
    • Journals in Sta.sh Writer can be labeled as "mature content." Some deviants would like to do the same with Journals submitted outside of Sta.sh Writer. From `vsconcepts
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    • When using Sta.sh Writer to compose a Journal, your work is automatically saved to Sta.sh. Deviants would like this functionality on Journals submitted outside of Sta.sh, since sometimes it's easy to accidentally leave the page and possibly lose your progress. From `TimberClipse

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    Last Week's Discussion


    Last week, we asked for people's feedback on the new Artist Types listed in the new deviantID widget. We'd like to thank you all for providing your feedback and contributing to the conversation. We are taking all the information into account and we are still discussing this matter internally. Thanks!

     Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
    :bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)












    The Street Photography of Chris Weeks



    :icontechgnotic:
    by techgnotic
    Wed Feb 22, 2012, 6:20 PM






    It was only after many long frustrating hours of trying to describe what’s so special about the photographs of cweeks...


    That I finally realized I was trying to describe something that wasn’t there.








    I finally realized that the magical something that sets cweeks’ works apart from others is that his camera disappears. There is no sense as you look at his photos of street scenes and other captures that you are looking through a lens, even the lens of a particularly talented photographer.  There is a sense of simply walking through a town and seeing what you happen to see – without the usual subtle “commentary” of the photographer winking back at you with his framing, his lighting, his signature technique.





    cweeks has no need to announce his presence in his pictures, letting his lens be the viewer’s own eyes with no separation from the subject. Photography becomes art when all trendy technique and “stylization” disappears and the viewer absolutely believes, knows, he or she is seeing what “is”, believes he or she is seeing a capture of what has just “happened”, thanks to an unbiased, un-opinionated reporter.





    A series of seamless artful strokes in front of and behind the camera.















    Such ego-less presentation and sharing are rare in our times of self-promotion, especially when the artist is quite talented enough to be
    allowed such indulgence if he chose to partake of it. cweeks photos have such a purity and sense of immediacy that after perusing them for a while one
    doesn’t feel a sense of “documentary” but of having been on an actual journey. I’m sure people often “remember” `cweeks’ photos as being from their own
    experiences rather than being photos they saw.












    colin farrell by cweeksmr. west by cweeksmiss cruz... by cweeksi heart charlize... by cweeks



    Weeks creates celebrity portraits as well as street scenes, but manages to bring his street sensibility to the photos even when the settings
    are relatively intimates, e.g., celebrities’ living rooms and backyards. Again, there is no feeling of the expected posed portrait. Again, the camera disappears.
    Somehow he “disrobes” his subjects, cajoling them into dropping the façade of their “posed identities”, so that it feels as if the viewer is a member of the
    family just glancing over at the subject, who just happens to be famous. This is something I find unprecedented. (O.K., have at it, deviants: Here’s where you
    slam me with other photo artists who achieve a similar effect.)





    Even the best “celebrity” celebrity photographers are unable to present truly naturalistic presentations of their subjects – there always being that identifying
    patina of “demi-god” glow about a rock star or movie star. Instead, cweeks allows us the experience of looking at stars as if we were one their best friends
    or family members.  The effect is far more startling than the rowdiest shock shots.


























    cweeks exemplifies the best street photography, which is not the capture of the most ultra-hip moments in the hottest of hot spots, but rather the selfless recording of a place and time as it was and would have been experienced by any person had they been there at the time, no matter how distant in time or geography the photo is separated from the viewer experiencing it.





    There is a real magic to photography that comes when the artist is able to “disappear” his camera and equipment, and even his own presence...



    And let himself be our eyes, the eyes of all those lucky enough to discover the places he’s been and the moments he’s seen. cweeks is one such street magician who hopefully will inspire many to emulate his achievement.







    Interview with Chris Weeks




    Bio:


    cweeks is an editorial photographer with an emphasis in entertainment based in Los Angeles covering assignments for the world’s most recognized brands, wire services, magazines, advertising and public relations agencies.  His work has been published all over the world in newspapers, magazines and websites such as InStyle, Vanity Fair Italy, USA Today, People and hundreds of other publications both in print and online.








    techgnotic:
    What is there in the experience when a person looks at a photograph that determines the artistic or human value, the success or failure of that photograph?


    cweeks:

    Photography, much like so many other mediums, is personal.  What moves one person may not affect another in the same way.  I’m pretty crass:  If a photograph moves me – in whatever way – the photograph is successful to me.  I mean, really, what is artistic value?  If something speaks to you, it speaks to you and really doesn’t need any other explanation.


    I remember covering the opening of an “important artist” hosted by a very important art dealer.  He saw me looking perplexed at one of the “pieces” and I said, “How does this move you?”  Curtly, he replied “It’s 3 million dollars and I sold them before this show was even open.  That’s how it moves me.”  He’s not a very nice guy.


    Art can mean many different things to many different people.  I prefer to be emotionally moved in some way, shape or form.






    techgnotic:
    What is it in a photographer’s aesthetic sense (his “eye”), in his expertise with his technical craft (his camera), and in his years of labor capturing moments and images that makes him as truly an artist as any fine arts painter?  (i.e., What is your response to pre-Stieglitz cavemen who still denigrate the idea of photography as genuine artistic expression?)


    cweeks:

    I think photography and fine arts painting are wholly different and I’m not so sure even though they are both art, per se, can be compared.  In mentioning Steiglitz I think he explained it best, “"Photography is not an art. Neither is painting, nor sculpture, literature or music. They are only different media for the individual to express his aesthetic feelings… You do not have to be a painter or a sculptor to be an artist. You may be a shoemaker. You may be creative as such. And, if so, you are a greater artist than the majority of the painters whose work is shown in the art galleries of today."


    Stieglitz when he had one of the first shows of photography in New York back in the day had other photographers, not painters, as was the norm, as the judges.  Photographers and painters and sculptures all have different sensibilities in the context of their respective “eyes.”  There is cross-over for sure, though.  I do think that each kind of artist sees work in their own medium differently than artists in other mediums.


    I don’t think that Henri Cartier-Bresson ever wanted to be known as a photographer but rather a painter.  Don’t think it worked out that way for him.


    When I look back at the part of your question that says “…years of labor capturing moments…” it’s hard for me to imagine any labor at all doing what I’ve done since I was 11.  Not gonna say my exact age but it’s been a long-ass time.  Decades.  No matter if I’m shooting a commission for a magazine, an assignment for a wire service or a public relations agency … whatever the situation may be … I know exactly what they need.  I give them exactly what they need.  Many times what they need is straightforward illustrating whatever they need illustrated.  Sometimes, though, they’ll see something else in the edits that they may not have known why they needed it but they did.  I’m always happy when that happens.


    It’s funny.  My friends – yes, they’re mostly working photographers – will always share the story of the beautiful ambient light photograph or the not-so-common juxtaposition that plays (our parlance for being published) over the other photographs we’ve moved or file that are more straightforward or “expected.”


    You also mentioned “technical craft.”  Like other mediums that use different size brushes or whatever it is they use in their craft we know our equipment and exposures without a camera telling us what to do.  For me given an ISO I know the pair (shutter speed/aperture) within a half-stop just by looking at the light.  Knowing what’s there allows me to adjust that so that the moment I want to record is properly framed.  Usually, within an instant.


    That isn’t to say some photographers can’t do as well or even better although they use programme or automatic settings.  I know at least a few photographers who shoot big commissions who use less-than-desirable glass and have their cameras set to programme.  One doesn’t always have to know everything in a technical sense to be a photographer.  That having been said when you deal in moments like I do most of the time if you’re going to rely on the camera to be tricked by some element of exposure it didn’t know how to handle, a guy like me may possibly make a beautifully exposed photo of a moment someone else botched.


    I’ve watched that happen.  On several occasions.










    techgnotic:
    What is the difference between taking a picture and real photography?  What is “photography” for the genuine practitioner?


    cweeks:

    For the most part “taking a picture” is what you see being done by people on Facebook with their Blackberries or iPhones.  If it’s a picture of their friends, there’s too much head space and they cropped above the waistline making people amputees.  It’s a picture of their dog cropped at its knee.  It’s a picture of their girlfriend with an unfortunate tree growing out of their head.  It’s a picture of a family vacation of which they spent ten thousand u.s. to see some of the wonders outside of their own city … and they take one picture.  Someone looks wonky.  Someone photo bombs them.  And all they have is that one photograph.


    I’m not saying beautiful photos aren’t made with smart phones.  In fact, many of my favourite personal photos are made with my iPhone 4.  Then again, I know the difference between a picture and a photograph even though there is no difference because technically each word is interchangeable for the other.  In this context I’m talking about the difference between “taking a picture” and “making a photograph.”


    When one makes a photograph they’re making sure a group shot is balanced.  They’re making sure they’re not making people (or animals for that matter) amputees.  They’re making sure that there’s nothing unfortunate growing out of their subject’s head.  And they’re making more than one photograph so they have “insurance.”  The list could go on and on.


    I’m not saying that when someone makes a snapshot or making something look like a snapshot they’re not really making a photograph.  Making a photograph is more thoughtful than taking a picture.


    For me I like a well-balanced frame.  I like my subject to be positioned in the golden section but I also like other elements, whether they are in-focus or part of a beautiful blur, to balance the frame.  I like to give the frames some sense of their environment … sometimes only a kiss of the environment.


    Photography for the general practitioner is probably different for each individual general practitioner I would think.  It’s hard to make a blanket statement about someone’s current level of desire of knowledge about a subject, passion or whatever motivates them to put viewfinder to eye.










    techgnotic:
    What is the most gratifying response you’ve ever received from someone particularly affected by one of your photographs?


    cweeks:

    Because I do what I do because I love making photographs this kind of question has different answers for different situations.  Is it absolutely lovely to hear the creative director for a worldwide ad agency tell you how beautiful the selects are?  For sure.  Is it equally as beautiful to make photographs of your aunt’s aging champion dog with a puppy-glint in his eye at 16 years and then he dies the next week?  Seeing her face when she looks at that photograph is very gratifying knowing you recorded a moment of her personal history that means a lot to her.  Is it hearing when you go to pick up your new reading glasses – yes, because you’re getting old – “I went to your website.  I love café’s.  I love cafés exactly for the reason you seem to like them.  Your photos took me back to Paris and make me want to fly there next week.”  Or could it be when you’re showing your own child how to edit photos on Apple’s Aperture and you start browsing old personal archive frames that bring back memories for her?  Fond I’m hoping, of course.


    There are many gratifying responses and all of them are unique and special.  Honestly, it’s one of the best parts of being a photographer.






    techgnotic:
    Can you explain to the clueless why there is a yawning abyss between what you or Annie Leibovitz does and what paparazzi do?  Does the ubiquitous presence of paparazzi present problems for you in trying to record events?


    cweeks:

    First off, Annie is an editorial/advertising God and when she’s on set she’s usually a bigger name than the subjects, which is one reason people commission her.  I’m not all that comfortable putting my name in the same sentence as hers.  I enjoy the work of Norman Jean Roy or Douglas Kirkland much more than hers.  Yet, I wouldn’t want my name in the same sentence as theirs either.  I get plenty of play on my commissions and assignments but I’m not in that league.  That league requires more time than I’m willing to give to “work.”


    In the context of making sanctioned and commissioned photos we try and make the subjects look as good as possible.  Paparazzi on the other hand try and make someone look bad.  Compare a cover of Vanity Fair or V and that of the National Enquirer.


    Even with street photography I’m not down with shooting homeless people.  I want to represent the human condition as dignified.  Whether that human condition in front of my lens is an editorial context or a personal context I’m not okay with making people look bad.


    Perhaps the “paps” as we call them in L.A. have a whole different motivation for making photographs?  Perhaps they’re in it for the money as I suspect they are.  Honestly, I don’t think they’re very good photographers.  They represent – to me, at least – a sub-genre of photographers.


    The funny thing that I recently found out was that Ron Gallela – the same guy that Jackie Kennedy won a restraining order against and who is known as the grandfather of paparazzi –graduated from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.  I mean, really?  Certainly in his education there he learned how to make a photograph in an editorial context but got sucked into the dark side of dogged pursuit of the famous in their private time.  I will say that his black and white photographs from back in the day are far more beautiful than most of his contemporaries.


    Paps are everywhere in L.A. and N.Y.C. and London for that matter.  They make it a bit more difficult to go from my car to my assignment if my equipment is on my shoulders.  Tourists ask “Are you a paparazzi.”  No matter how you answer that you know they don’t believe you because of the coverage the paps get.  And then they generally have a bad tourist memory of the “asshole they met in L.A.”  Whatever.  They have only a surface understanding of the photo world.  Sometimes they’re corrected.  Sometimes it’s not so nice.


    I’m hired as a house photographer for big fancy events on occasion.  Sometimes, even if the party is low-key, the paps find out from the wait staff or valet guys.  If a celebrity is swarmed before they come in, they need some time to decompress.  If the paps weren’t so aggressive, perhaps that wouldn’t be the case.


    But what is a pap?  To me a pap is a exploitive mindset.  I know legitimate photographers with killer credentials that when you see them enter “your event” where you are the official photographer and you’re doing the dance with the talent to get your client the right photos that will play and make the talent (celebrities) look great … I cringe.  I know that they see A-listers and see dollar signs.  They don’t care what they have to do to get any photo.  Whereas someone like Scarlett Johansen can see me at a party and say, “I’m really not feeling well and don’t think I look too great…”


    “Don’t worry I want you to feel great about how you look even though you always look amazing.”


    Some of the others don’t give a rat’s ass and will “get the photo and answer questions later.”


    No, I don’t need to be a starf*cker like others in my world but I also don’t want them to hate me when they see me.  I don’t know how some of these guys masquerading under proper credentials live with themselves knowing they made someone feel horrible.  It really sucks.


    Thing is … paps are only a part of the equation.  The other part of the equation is the median reader of publications or sites that feature celebrity gossip.  Your sister, your mom, your aunt … they’re all guilty of buying the magazines or visiting the sites thereby employing the paps.


    Vicious vicious circle that whole thing.











    techgnotic:
    What was the recent legal ruling about concerning the rights of street photographers that your document was a contributing factor to?


    cweeks:

    One day when checking my dA notes I saw something interesting.  I opened it, went to the link, saw it was in Slovenian and kinda shook my head.  What ~tjaz told me was that the Privacy Commissioner, because of “Street Photography for the Purist” and other references, was able to make an exception for street photography as an acceptable artistic expression.


    That’s the first time I’ve gotten that type of email about something I’ve put on the internet.






    techgnotic:
    Can you share with us a little bit about the current state of laws around the world regarding street photography?


    cweeks:

    The laws concerning street photography are different country-by-country.  In the U.S. we’ve been pretty happy about the decision in the Supreme Court case Nussenzweig v. DiCorcia. Basically, it says that as long as someone is in an area designed for public egress and ingress there is no reasonable expectation of privacy and as long as there is no commercial intent behind making the photo you can pretty much do whatever you’d like photographically, of course.  You can’t sell a photo of someone for use in a Herpes advert because the subject of the photo is tacitly endorsing the product in some way.  If it’s art and someone wants to pay you tens of thousands for a print, it’s all good.


    That’s really not the case in many countries in the E.U., though.  I don’t know the specifics but from what I understand the citizens of France or Germany own the copyright to their image and cannot be photographed without their permission.  If one publishes these images, there are damages to the subject.  Again, I don’t know the exact laws as I don’t live there nor am I a citizen there.  In those countries I’m either working or just “a dumb tourist.”


    Even though street photography is legal in the U.S., there are situations like the one in Long Beach, California wherein a police officer can stop you from taking pictures if he feels “there is no artistic merit” to the picture and feels you could have other motives for taking the picture.   That’s a slippery slope for a law enforcement officer to also act as an art critic.  He could stop me from making a photograph of two longshoremen having a funny moment together if they were around some kind of infrastructure that the police felt had no artistic value.


    I know other street photographers who have been harassed whilst making photographs in and around public transit. Unless it is specifically posted otherwise you have every right to make a photograph anywhere you choose in the U.S.  Sadly, that’s not the case in other countries because of “privacy fears.”






    techgnotic:
    What is your position on laws to curb paparazzi vs. those laws infringing upon artistic expression?


    cweeks:

    I believe that celebrities should have some kind of protection against stalkers with cameras.  There are no laws I know of that specifically target the stalkerazzi and infringe upon artistic expression.  I know that some news/media outlets are opposed to some laws that could infringe upon freedom of the press.  Those laws have nothing to do with me so I don’t pay a lot of attention.  I’ve never had a situation where I was stopped from completing a news assignment or even an entertainment assignment.


    I have gone through some pretty serious background checks to be able to be credential to certain news and entertainment assignments and commissions.  Last July I was introduced to a guy from Scotland Yard.  I extended my hand and said, “Hi, I’m Chris.”  To which he laughed and replied, “We know exactly who you are.”  I was “in the bubble” with Will and Kate during their California visit as their photographer; I’d hope to high hell they knew who they were putting in the bubble.


    Legitimate guys with a non-exploitive mindset have nothing to worry about no matter what laws are considered or passed.






    absurdity by cweekssolitary but ... by cweeksparis stare... by cweekst




    techgnotic:
    What is your advice to a young deviant wanting to pursue photography as mostly an art form? Is there any great difference in your advice for someone wanting to pursue photography as a career? Is there really any line between the two at all? And where in your opinion with 30 years of experience as a photographer is that line drawn?


    cweeks:

    First off, there is no difference between being a working photographer – I hate the term “professional photographer” because it doesn’t mean shit – and pursuing my own artistic expression.  I know that’s not the case for many.


    If you are interested in photography, I’d look at a lot of photography and see what you’re drawn to.  Then I’d look for more photographers who do work that you’re drawn to.  I would buy a simple camera.  I would buy a simple lens.  I would buy simple books about the mechanics of photography.  You don’t need the latest and greatest piece of bullshit published by supposed photographers who are only in it for the money.  Again, it’s the motivation behind the photography.  Is it because one loves it or because they want to make a lot of money?


    Without copying the photographers you like attempt to emulate the work you’re drawn to.  Practice.  Get to know exposure pairs for whatever ISO or film stock you like given whatever lighting scenario that’s thrown at you.


    Once you decide you really want to pursue making better photographs you can even take a workshop taught by someone who photographs material you like.  Stay away from Photoshop-jockeys, bloggers and others in it for the “paid meet-up masquerading as a workshop.”  Research the photographic background of the organizer and make sure they’re proper working photographers.  Stay away from manufacturer-led workshops.  Although my friend and partner Severin Koller and I put on the Street is Serious series of workshops, we don’t do it for money alone.  We genuinely want to coach street photographers who want to know more about making better photographs.  So far we’ve lead workshops in Los Angeles, Berlin and New York with an upcoming date in Rome next month.


    Practice more.  Post work on sites like dA or flickr.com – avoid gear-heavy forums as the saying “birds of a feather” couldn’t ring more true – and see what feedback you get.  Comment on other work and ask questions.


    And practice some more.  Never stop.  I don’t.


    The word amateur means one who does what one loves.  I may get paid for what I do but I do it because I love making photographs.


    Pursuing photography as a career is a whole other issue but is rooted in the above.  Although talent isn’t always requisite – especially considering some of the people I know who’ve “made it” – you have to be a people-person and be able to market yourself.  If you think “I’m good, they’ll find me,” well, you’ll probably suffer from that entitlement issue.  There are A LOT of talented people you’re going to be competing with.  And I guarantee they’re going to know how to market themselves.


    No matter if you’ve gone to art school or a photographic technical school you’ll want to assist.  You’ll probably assist for free in the beginning.  Get as much experience as you can.  Shoot when you’re not assisting.  Build your book.  Edit your book.  Let your book always evolve.


    Whatever you do don’t fall into the trap of buying “How to Make it as a Pro Photographer” books because they’re written by guys who don’t have the first clue how to make it.  They make money by selling books … not by actually working as photographers.  Sites with accompanying workshops will most likely not result in an aspiring photographer’s success.  The enthusiast photo world is filled with imposters selling snake oil.


    Hopefully, an art buyer or whoever is hiring you will see “your style,” like it and hire you.


    It’s a tough road but it’s not impossible.  I’d do this job for free but luckily I don’t have to.  I’m fortunate to have amazing clients who assign and commission me to travel to places I wouldn’t normally go, to document world class events and make photos that will be seen by millions of eyes.  That’s one of the reasons I’m there:  I’m taking the place of millions of people and showing them what I saw.  I have a responsibility to those people to show them exactly what happened.






    sure, you're blind. by cweekspigeon attack by cweeksproud homeless vet by cweeks




    techgnotic:
    How do you feel about “political” photography and trying to express a message in one’s pictures? Is this a corruption of the art of street shooting if the scene isn’t one hundred percent “natural” and spontaneous? Does the presence of a photographer at a political demonstration automatically heighten tension and provoke people to do things they might not otherwise have done? By the same token, does the presence of cameras curb police malfeasance as well as making documentation of such abuse possible?


    cweeks:

    If you are a photojournalist or visual journalist as they like to call it today, you cannot insert your own personal views in your reportage.  Your job is to document and tell a story which isn’t imbued by your personal bias.  A Reuters stringer was “not used any longer” over his reportage in Beirut.  He wanted to make the smoke resulting from Israeli bombing more prominent to call attention to his particular view by enhancing the photo in Photoshop.  His smoke looked like American footballs.


    Interestingly, the same photographer a few days before his “big mistake” was placing an item near a woman he was photographing in a heavily bombed area.  A friend of mine was covering the same area and saw him doing what he was doing and called him out.


    “It makes the photo better; there’s nothing wrong with that.”


    I doubt he works for any major wire services any longer.  Perhaps he teaches others how to Photoshop.


    If you are doing a particular theme such as “The Plight of the Itinerant or Homeless” in a street photography context as a personal project I don’t see anything wrong with showing their plight.  Just be upfront about it.


    If you want to make rich people look stupid because you’re either jealous or against materialism and you go photograph in posh areas only to make the more affluent look bad, I’m not down with that.  Your motivations would be more in line with what I think of the paparazzi.


    I believe that all street photography should be spontaneous.  I don’t like the kind of photographs that someone like Bruce Gilden does by getting in someone’s face with flash.  I’m sure some people love it.  I’m sure some who want to exploit street photography and plagiarize someone’s style in search of their own could disagree with me, though.


    I prefer to be unseen as much as possible so that my camera or presence doesn’t influence the way a subject acts.


    I think that a camera can, in fact, record a moment that is more of a reaction to the camera itself than the events going on around the subject.  It doesn’t automatically heighten the tension but it mostly depends on the sensibilities and motivations of the photographer behind the camera.


    Because cameras are so cheap they are everywhere.  Back in the day police could kind of tell who was legitimate and who wasn’t.  As was seen during the 99% protests all over the U.S. it didn’t matter if your state, county or outlet-issued credentials said “New York Times,” “Associated Press” or anything, the police didn’t care in many situations.  They didn’t know who was who and pretty much didn’t care to differentiate.


    Interestingly, we still got to see plenty of police abuses play in dailies and weeklies as well as online.  Pepper spray cop.  Jerky NYPD bashing someone in the face.  From NYC to Berkely.


    Did it do any good, though?


    I mean you can go buy a press pass from people like www.ia-pp.com for USD $60.  How does a cop know it’s usually just purchased press credentials?











    techgnotic:
    What first drew you to photography and what it is that continues to give you the most pleasure in shooting? Which photographers should deviants who want to learn more about the art form immediately google?


    cweeks:

    My first experience making photographs didn’t even involve a camera.  I remember sitting in the backseat of my parent’s car and blinking to record an image in my mind.  I blinked and made photos all of the time.  I think I wanted to remember things as I saw them and bugged them endlessly until they bought me a camera.  That was 30 years ago and I haven’t stopped since.


    I’m drawn to moments primarily but I’m also drawn to bringing out the “real person” that I’m photographing.  I’m obsessed with making photographs.  I don’t remember the last time there hasn’t been a camera on my shoulder.  If I’m not able to make a photograph of something I see, it drives me crazy.


    Google people like Norman Jean Roy, Barbara Davidson, Kwaku Alston, Kevork Djansezian, Adrees Latif, Jaimie Trueblood, Randall Slavin, Doug Menuez, Riccis Vallardes or Douglas Kirkland to name a few.  Those are real working photographers who do really nice work.  And, they’re incredibly nice people as well.






    techgnotic:
    Can you please share with us your top five photographers on deviantART?


    cweeks:

    Hmm.  Honestly, it’s hard to think of usernames when I know some people in their real lives and have kinda forgotten.  Let me think.


    I don’t know if I have a top five on dA rather than people I’ve known for a long time as good people and who make really nice photographs and post on dA.  I love the aesthetic of Gonzale.  I can tell there’s a caring heart behind her photography.  banxter makes lovely frames.  coxi kicks ass in any genre he shoots.  londn is a great photographer but I see he hasn’t posted for years. claytes makes photographs I like to look at as does SimonSawSunlight.  I also know every single one of these guys/girls in real life.  And I wouldn’t have gotten to know them if I wouldn’t have met them on dA.


    dA can be a wonderful place.













    San Francisco deviantMEET Wrap-up!

    Tue Feb 21, 2012, 5:46 PM


    :target: DeviantMEET in San Francisco!


    On Saturday, February 18th, Heidi, mattdanna, thesmallwonder, draweverywhere, and I headed up north to San Francisco, California for our Seven Deadly Sins deviantMEET. We were there to celebrate Anarki3000's winning work from the Seven Deadly Sins contest, recreated as a billboard -- and we have to say, it looked amazing!

    SF devMEET 2.18.12 by killjoy72 San Fransisco DeviantMEET 1 by calanjackal Deviants Galore by Ayame-Kenoshi
    Photo credit: killjoy72, calanjackal, and mattdanna

    Unfortunately, Anarki3000 couldn't make it, due to difficulties receiving a passport and visa in time for the trip. As hard as we tried, the Romanian embassy couldn't process his paperwork quickly enough. Though he couldn't be there in person, we celebrated with him in spirit. By the time 2:30 came around, we already had over a hundred deviants packed into our tiny parking lot!

    Each deviant in attendance received a Trollface knapsack full of deviantART swag, including a deviantWEAR t-shirt, stickers, stressball, and a complete set of bumper stickers, featuring all seven finalists of the Seven Deadly Sins contest.

    DA Meet SF: DA Goodie Bag 1 by starpachirisu STUFF by DuckyDeathly
    Photo credit: starpachirisu and DuckyDeathly

    After mingling around the billboard, we headed to Yerba Buena Gardens to keep the deviousness rolling. It was a gorgeous afternoon for hanging out at the park. Deviants created new works of art, collaborated with others, took photos, and shared their sketchbooks.

    Drawing Circle2 by Ayame-Kenoshi
    DA Meeting: Peeps 2 by ChibiGuardianAngel Drawing together by exklamationmark San Fransisco DeviantMEET 3 by calanjackal
    After awhile, draweverywhere commandeered the group to announce a game of exquisite corpse, which is not as morbid as you may think. The game starts by folding a piece of paper into thirds, representing three sections -- a head/top, a body/middle, and legs/bottom. Each participant was to draw one section, then pass the paper to another to continue the piece by drawing the next section, but without knowledge of what the previous person drew.

    Exquisite Corpse by Ayame-Kenoshi
    Da Meeting: DrawEverywhere by ChibiGuardianAngel DSC_9653 by exklamationmark
    Photo credit: mattdanna, ChibiGuardianAngel, and exklamationmark

    The result? I think these images speak for themselves. Check out a few of our favorite creative mashups!



    As the end of the day drew near, it was time to say goodbye. With over 180 deviants in attendance, our San Francisco deviantMEET was a huge success!  

    We hope that everyone who attended had an excellent time meeting staff, hanging out with fellow deviants, and sharing in our common love of art.  If there are any deviantMEETs in your area, we encourage you to go to one!  It's a great time to hang out with new friends.  Not to mention, we've been known to bring swag bags for all attendees. :eyes:

    And if there aren't any in your area, consider hosting! DeviantMEETs are a great way to bring the vastness of deviantART to your doorstep. If you're interested in hosting a meet in your area, feel free to contact me (Ayame-Kenoshi). We'd be happy to hear about your meet and support it anyway we can. 

    :heart: Thank you!


    We sincerely thank everyone who came and showed their support. Below you'll find a list of attendees who signed our guestbook. If your name isn't listed, let us know and we'll add you!

    TagoTarTogus, jayji062, Franco-Prussian, dpangel1215, charlietheunicorn711, gpfer, nekonotaishou, chronosven, ryanINaTREE, exklamationmark, MaxxieFoo, twexler, pinkplastik, animecid032, drackar, Quailheart, AgentSlytherin, gymnosophist, comixqueen, Reba-chan, killjoy72, MistressAru, WolfDeityProductions, Dieoxide2, felicity-dream, Evelar, florfang, xXoriigamiXx, bigred, Crickatoo, OakMyth, Pokeaday, starpachirisu, blahed, BrokenTutorials, InuyashaFanLover, Anthony-aggro, Cyderath, Rydie, AbsoluteApril, Beeju, ashti7, aacrell, Clockworkquark, awaicu, AndreaHarper, AM-Nyeht, Number-36, sykosys, hawk5, Jmuir, DuckyDeathly, AdeleReeves, AG-08, psuedomattmatt, Resaturatez, K8extreme, mirzers, Ravenskysong, Stella6, Anfiny, cimaman, spike360, LearlessFeader, silverava, life-dance, Lizzy-boots, Koukouvayia, rpgfan34, SapphirexBlue, ReiXJune, hellcorpceo, Bailiwick, daendusk, linkluibymon, Teddywangdoodle, Dark-Lord-of-Sith, chuyito007, delespi, McSketcherson, CuddleFish124, Aros2, xelanesque, ChibiGuardianAngel, AL3X-B, Netdeviant, panduhhbear, SpiritStrife, DigLebowski, calanjackal, anguselvisbeef, ShiniYami1985, Camel51, jinxme13, zeruch, tinkerpaws, ZekroRaptor, MaxxieFoo, raiinysummer, CaliforniaClipper, Antandr, muse99mb, InuyashaFan4-ever, NoodleRubber, sakuramoon17, narutokunobessed, JamesHoppy, Jmuir, stoneclaw


    :star: But don't just take our word!

    Check out these journals written by attendees!



    Until the next meet! :blowkiss:
    -Ayame-Kenoshi







    In our continuous effort to improve the deviantART experience, we're publishing Site Updates to keep members informed and to gather feedback. Below is a list of recent changes that have been made, including new features and bug fixes. In the "Your Feedback" section, you'll find suggestions and known issues that were brought up by members in the last Site Update.

    What's New


    More Characters in Deviation Titles
    By popular demand, the following characters are now allowed in titles of deviations: =~`@#%^*[]()/{}\|

    Screen shot 2012-02-15 at 3.48.54 PM by danlev

    Sleek, New Prints Pages
    We've heard feedback that some members wanted a simpler and clearer interface when ordering prints. This week, we enhanced the modules on the Prints pages to simplify the process of configuring a Print and made the options more clear. These changes have been rolled out to a number of users and will soon be rolled out to everyone.

    Shop by danlev

    Fair Exposure Applied to "Popular All Time" 
    We recently published a Journal about Fair Exposure, deviantART's algorithm for determining Popular results. As we mentioned before, changes to Fair Exposure and Popular browse are in the interest of highlighting the best from a wide range of deviants and showcasing an array of styles and genres. Today, we're continuing our rollout of the new algorithm and applying it to the "Popular All Time" Browse mode.

    Whereas the previous "Popular All Time" Browse favored digital art and fan art, Fair Exposure allows the most popular deviations in a variety of categories, such as literature, sculpture, fractal, jewelry, architecture, and artistic nudes, to take a more prominent spot. This is to highlight the best from our diverse community.

    General


    :bulletblue: What's New
    :bug: Bug Fixes
    • Fixed an issue that made the browser scroll to the top of the page when previewing a note and then switching back to editing mode. Fixed by $Nodren
    • On a mobile device, Writer deviations -- which are too large to fit on the screen -- are now always rendered in desktop mode. Fixed by $lendrick
    • Pressing "tab" while writing comments now behaves consistently in all browsers. Fixed by $helloandre
    • Fixed various display issues on Group galleries that displayed for logged out users. Fixed by $helloandre
    • Fixed the search box's display in Chat.  Fixed by $ZombieCoder
    • Improved the display and performance optimization of the Llama Trading Game page. Fixed by $knightar
    • Improved the display of the username entry on Premium Member gift page.  Fixed by  $ZombieCoder
    Sta.sh


    :bug: Bug Fixes
    • Updating a title on a Sta.sh item from the inline editor could break auto-saving under some conditions. Fixed by $kouiskas
    • When updating the title of a Writer item in Sta.sh, the title inside the scrolling part of the thumb now updates immediately. Fixed by $kouiskas
    • Fixed a bug that disabled uploading from Opera. Fixed by $adahacker
    • Improved responsiveness of thumbs going back to their original position during drag & drop. Fixed by $adahacker
    • Selection was overwriting the displayed title inside stacks. Fixed by $adahacker
    • Fixed several bugs with selection, including displaying the item's title rather than "Selected (1)" when a single item is selected. Fixed by $adahacker and $aMoniker
    • Fixed several bugs related to the "Move to Sta.sh" button. Fixed by $aMoniker
    • The "Save and exit to Sta.sh" button would redirect even when validation errors occured. Fixed by $aMoniker
    • In IE9, the dark grey bottom of hovercards were 2 pixels too narrow. Fixed by $aMoniker
    • Fixed a long-standing issue where some deviations would be marked as being Group-exclusive when they weren't. Fixed by $kouiskas
    • Fixed an issue in the Sta.sh API with a replace file operation. Fixed by $samshull
    • The delete button was not working on the Sta.sh item page (Trivia: we call this the "Stashiation" page). Fixed by $kouiskas

    Sta.sh Writer


    :bug: Bug Fixes
      • Embedding a video was often causing Writer to stop working correctly. Fixed by $Alisey
      • Non-literature category thumbs from Writer deviations had incorrectly sized shadows. Fixed by $inazar
      • Fixed several small bugs in Internet Explorer. Fixed by $Alisey
      • Clicking the Writer margin would change the selection that the toolbar acts upon. Fixed by $Alisey
      • $kemayo briefly broke and then fixed deviation thumbs all disappearing when opening a document to edit. Fixed by $Alisey
      • Many times the ">" selector didn't work in CSS. Fixed by $kemayo
      • Keyboard shortcuts for the WYSIWYG toolbar actions weren't working. Fixed by $Alisey
      • Improved click-to-add images across browsers. Fixed by $Alisey
      • Dragging a thumb from the sidebar will now have the editing cursor follow the mouse much more accurately to indicate drop position. Fixed by $Alisey

      Your Feedback
      • When visiting a member's profile, display whether or not the member is watching you. From =shardwind, =deshardiii, and many others in the Suggestions Forum.
      • Add shortcut keys to remove deviations from Message Center or add the deviation to your Favourites. From =fenyxdesign
      • When browsing, add a star icon next to deviations to show that you've favourited them. From ~UnsealedSpiral
      • Add the ability to drag and drop Journals into Collections from the Message Center. From ^pica-ae 
      • Increase the max character limit of literature deviations from 64k. This feature surprisingly poses some technical challenges, so we'd like to get an idea of who wants this and what the limit should be. From *BellicoseBreakfast and ~balarious
      • Allow members to continue writing comments while the emoticon modal is still open. From *Dizzyatdizumnl
      • Add the ability to Watch a forum thread and be notified of any replies. From ~NeonSilks in the Suggestions Forum
      • On Group blogs, all admins should be able to hide comments, rather than just the admin who submitted the Journal. From *Drache-Lehre
      • Remove Journals from "Random Deviation" button. From =chaoskomori and several others in the Suggestion Forum
      • When you start to have many Collections, the Collections dropdown on the header becomes harder to use since it requires scrolling. From =Luna--Rose  
      • Add a "hovercard" that displays more information when you rollover someone's avatar and/or username. ~Cenit-v provided a mockup:
      DA suggestion: pop-up information by Cenit-v

      Last Week's Discussion


      Last week, we asked for input about the new deviantID widgets. Members gave feedback about the specific artist types listed, asked for the ability to select multiple types, and made some suggestions about the visual style of the widget.

      Some members have expressed that they missed the old "member type" dropdown list, and that the new types are too serious. The old list of member types become too long with way too many "types" to pick from -- many were comical, random, and inside jokes. The original intent of this dropdown became lost. Our intention with this new dropdown is for members to use the "Artist Type" feature as a serious description of themselves as an artist. Everything else that you'd like to express about yourself, your skills, and and your personality can be described in your bio or tagline.

      We received some suggestions on different artist types that should be added, but we'd like to pose the question to everyone: Which specific artist types would you add?

       Lightbulb Have a suggestion, idea, or feedback? Leave a comment on this article!
      :bug: Find a bug? Report it to the Help Desk(Be as detailed as possible!)




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