The SmartPhone Photograpy Workshop for Bloggers, Writers, Designers and Social Media Managers is here!

SmartPhone Photo by Jorge Parra
Shot on iPhone by ©Jorge Parra

ABOUT SMARTPHONE PHOTOGRAPHY:

What begun as an interesting trend has now become a powerful form of expression, as millions of users now always have a smartphone in their hands/pockets/purses This has becomes the easiest way to register, document and keep track of events, situations and beautiful moments that would otherwise would get lost just as a memory.

Remember the now “classical” saying: “The best camera is the one you have with you”? That means the Smartphone Photography is no longer a trend or a passing fever, it is here to stay and get better and better!!

The cool thing about this workshop is that participants will greatly improve their skills at shooting with their smartphones, so these snapshots will have a much greater visual impact!

Bloggers, Writers, Graphic and Web Designers, plus all Social Media Campaign Managers will also benefit from upgrading their visual skills using their smartphones better, therefore, their online content will greatly improve!

– First, we  are going to start by learning the professional tricks and tips, plus hidden smartphone features  to better use the “native” capabilities of your own smartphone.

 – We move on to the basics of photography, composition, lighting use of texture, shapes and forms, in order to show the participants how can they “upgrade” their images with basic visual arts knowledge, applied to shooting with the smartphone

– We will – obviously- embark in shooting new images with our new knowledge and capabilities, as part of the workshop.

 -Then, we go some extra miles by further improving the images without ever leaving their phone, by using free editing apps which will enhance the quality of your final images, without turning then into “eye candy”, this is, keeping a very realistic and professional look to your pics.

 You can  register and pay on the day of the workshop, or you can easily register and pay online here:

 http://jorgeparra.com/pages/advanced-workshops-registration-and-payment/

 Register, have fun and learn!

artist jorge parra participates in the show: “mutations of the medium in contemporary photography” the show has been extended until August 15th!

MutationsinContemoraryPhotography-PROMOLAYOUT

Photographer Jorge Parra is participating in this interesting exhibition called, “Mutations of the Medium in Contemporary Photography” at the Oscar Ascanio Gallery in the Winwood Art District of Miami .

The soft opening was on June 11th and the show is going public on Saturday the 13th, during the June Gallery Walk, from 6 pm to 11 pm, and will enjoy extended exhibition time!

New date:  The event will close doors on August 15th.

Everyone is cordially invited to explore up until early August the works on display of 4 interesting artists( Vieri Tomaselli, Anabella Borges and Lidia Teixeira, plus Hester,) and Jorge Parra is showcasing images from 2 of his series, the “Dressed in Green” Series and the “Body Alchemy” Series, showcasing non-conventional Chemo-Digital Prints plus alternative prints on Industrial materials.

Cheers!!

Click here to go back to Jorge Parra's main site.

is the royalty-free business model entering the fine art gallery market?

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The recent situation with self-appointed artist Richard Prince, in yet one more of his appropriations of intellectual property of real artists and creators, centering his defense, first and foremost, in powerful attorneys, and secondly , and yet more important, using small yet exploitable loopholes in US Copyright Law, mostly arguing and “extended version” of the Fair Use Doctrine to justify the appropriation, are leading the discussion to varied and controversial positions.

Some experts in copyright and patent law argue that MAYBE there is a possibility Prince would not loose if an infringement lawsuit is finally going to court, due precisely to what could amount to a technical glitch, basically an ironical glitch, in a situation which has never happened before, therefore, there are no precedents as to what would happen in court, possibly rendering the complaints of original authors useless on legal grounds.

Those interested in hearing some of the many positions on the matter, may check links like:

https://fstoppers.com/business/latest-richard-prince-controversy-clarified-patent-and-copyright-attorney-john-71927

That said, and there is still much to hear about this, what called my attention for real, is the reaction of one of the creators affected by the recent appropriation by Prince of images from different Instagram accounts, via screen shots or whatever technical method.

Mr. Prince managed to get well known Gagosian Gallery into running this show, where stolen shots went for sale for huge amounts of money (US$ 90000 per print), and sales were going great! But the Suicide Girls, a brand username used in their Instagram account, found some of their images as part of the Prince’s show.

When asked what was she (Missy Suicide) planning on doing about it, she mentioned the many times her images have been stolen before, knowing full well copyright law only protects powerful corporations, but does little for individuals, but in addition to that , she did something that, in my personal opinion is PURE GENIUS!!

 The Suicide Girls printed their own images, the ones on display at the Gagosian, exactly in the way Mr Prince printed them, and now the prints are for sale at 99.9% discount, this is, you can get exactly the same print for only $90, if you buy it directly from her, instead of paying $90 K at the gallery.

 Here’s an excerpt from the suicide girls on the matter: “Do we have Mr. Prince’s permission to sell these prints? We have the same permission from him that he had from us.” wink emoticon I’m just bummed that his art is out of reach for people like me and the people portrayed in the art he is selling.

 “I hope you love them. Beautiful Art, 99.9% off the original price.” “We will be donating the profits from sales to EFF.org. Urban art publisher Eyes On Walls (EyesOnWalls.com) is supporting the project by fulfilling the large canvas reproductions at cost.”

 Read the Full Statement at:

  https://suicidegirls.com/members/missy/blog/2837632/tuesday/ 

 Now, my point: I find it very interesting to see how the market is going to move, after finding out that what is being sold at a Beverly Hills gallery, on a -supposedly- exclusive basis, for large amounts of dollars, is now available for almost nothing, and in endless amounts. The art world has based the perceived value of artworks, among other things, in the scarcity of the product, and whatever Mr Prince thought he was doing, might eventually backfire, when collectors and people who can afford $90k for a print, realize they could have bought it for just $90 (and still can!!)

 This would be some kind of Royalty Free business model entering the Art Market, and I am positive the can of worms that has been opened will still bring more surprises!

 I have previously discussed the repercussions of digital technologies in the Fine Art Market, and this is one extreme case, one more case, where Copyright Law is being attacked by all fronts. In recent years, Corporate America, has made a strong lobby to see the rights of individuals reduced to zero or close to it, while their rights are enhanced to absurd levels (if in doubt, check the penalties for copying any one movie in a DVD or BluRay disk, as the FBI stamp and logo threatens the infringer with prison and fines of up to $250000, while ‘individual creators just end up empty-handed when infringed and abused.

 So far, the only thing creators can do is to register their work at the Copyright Office BEFORE making the images publicly available. Many artist, and of course, the regular Facebook and Instagram user does not remotely think about it when getting ready to post their best shots, but visual artists should seriously consider investing a little money (with $40 you can register hundreds of images in one shot), as to, at least, expect the possibility of fighting a real fight in court when infringements and abuses happen with their work.

 Stay tuned, as the re-appropriation of the appropriation of intellectual property will keep giving us surprises!! 

 Cheers!

 Jorge

#richardprince #gagosiangallery #copyrightlaw #copyrightinfringement #suicidegirls #appropriation

The Digital (and Conceptual) Crossover in the Visual Arts

ChemoDigital image by Jorge Parra Photography
©Jorge Parra

This discussion comes out of a real aha! moment, after attending the presentation of Howard Herring, President and CEO of the New World Symphony America’s Orchestral Academy , during one of the fantastic Creative Mornings Miami events, under the efficient leadership of Maliks Benjamin

I have previously started a discussion on the impact of digital technologies in the way we do business, and it’s implications in the Visual Arts (see for example http://linkd.in/12i2K0Z), but there is still more to talk: a critical conceptual and relevant element in the discussion was very clearly exposed by Mr Herring in his presentation: the fact that many artists and creators are still having issues embracing digital technologies as the way to create new work.

 Of course, we are the generation dealing with the transition process, and that is already hard and harsh. Many of us learnt our craft the “analog way” and many are reluctant to just switch over to digital technologies.

It was impressive to hear Herring talk about the problems in the music world, all the more so in classical music ( Mr Herring is in charge of developing the right digital tools and strategies to teaching classical music to young musicians, whose interests are mostly elsewhere) and the experience has been quite challenging and yet, successful.

Many other artists, and specially photographers, have had troubles in embracing digital cameras, computers, software, plug-ins etc, etc, after having lived for decades under the analog technologies, shooting in film, chemical processing, chemical printing, manual retouching of both negatives and prints, tons of darkroom techniques to produce “alternative” results, and then, in the scope of less than 10 years, it all changed. Film manufacturing is going to minimum amounts, Kodachrome ceased to produce new film, ( actually, Kodak went out of business!), Polaroid closed doors, and , while still a few artists keep shooting in film ( just the same in the movie industry), most shooters from older generations have had to forcefully adapt, in an attempt to not go down the drain.

It is then when Herring’s presentation brought in a fantastic insight to the state of things, bringing back from the past no other than Marshall McLuhan, a well respected communications visionaire from the 60’s and 70’s. Herring recalls one of the most remembered phrases, “The Medium is the Message”, and even though McLuhan did not even foretold the advent of the internet and the digital revolution, the relevance of his words resonate today more than ever.

Basically, in current terms, we have to understand, absorb and digest the fact that EACH NEW MEDIA IS MEANT FOR AN INTRINSICALLY NEW MESSAGE.

 And here’s a simple train of thoughts I offer to explain this:

Back when the telegram was invented and put to use, communications were brief and to the point ( probably, the first iteration of Twitter). Then comes the Radio, and now the message is not just written word in a few characters on paper, there is now audio, and conversation is “streamed” through the airwaves. Then comes Television, and now the message involves both audio and moving images, generating an altogether new message (or type of messages), that no telegram or radio program could provide. You can, of course interject photography and movies in between.

So here we are, with each new media, a new message was intrinsically created and developed.Then we jump back to current times, with the Internet and all the digital technologies popping out.

We then have to question ourselves: for these new media, which are the new messages?

For the initial years, the term Disruption has been used over and over. Digital is destroying our way of life, or at least the one we have lived through several years/decades. The Digital Crossover is right there, in front of us.

But disruption is the initial stage and things just change and move on. Most everyone was convinced at the onset of the 20th century that Painting was going to die, due to the disruption created by Photography, but then again, Painting just took another, less pictorial, representational road, and thanks to that we have contemporary Painting, well away from Photography.

We then have to deal the realities of living the “disruption era” of digital technologies, the Digital Crossover. As a sad reality, among the visual artists, I see so many photographers still entangled in this recurrent and pointless drama. The fact that so many shooters are just trying to emulate analog photography, while using their digital cameras, is merely a disappointing way to deny the new message that is implicit in digital photography!

The fact that cameras look almost exactly the same may be part of the issue, but when I see so many of my colleagues, for example, longing for grain (and actually, adding noise to digital captures, in order to make them look like grainy film) and so many other complaints about how film photography was soo much better, I only have one solution to their longing: get back to film photography. Use the old media in the context it was developed. Artists and creators can still go a long way creating interesting images in film ( some movie directors, like Tarantino have sworn they will stop shooting movies when they run out of film), but in the meantime, if you are going to embrace digital technologies in your visual art, then get ready and curious to explore a new media, create and produce your own, new/revamped message.

Recently I tried to sit with my teenage daughter, to explain to her the basics of Photoshop, and she flatly refused to go there. She quickly showed me all the editing she does directly on her smart phone, and even challenged me to do it as fast as she does. For her, Photoshop is already old school!

So, for this coming generations, who were born in this digital/technological environment, for them the new media and it’s new message are matter-of-fact. Looks like once again, and more than ever, we have to keep learning from our kids, and stay in touch with the ever-changing technological landscape, as we learn to embrace the new world we are crossing over.

The same applies to so many other careers and professions, from lawyers to architects, to engineers, etc., meaning, we all have to stay in learning and experimenting mode, in order to stay relevant, as the business models also keep changing, sometimes in unexpected and aggressive ways.

My question/challenge to the Visual Artists is: are you willing to explore and craft your new (or revamped) message, as a way to stay relevant in this digital world we are crossing over, full speed ahead?

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About the Author: Jorge Parra is a Photographer who shoots mainly Fashion, Beauty and Portrait  for Advertising, and based in Miami, FL. He is also an Advanced Photography Instructor at the Miami Ad School.  

Jorge’s photographic work can be seen in his spanking new website,  

www.JorgeParra.com.