Video Tutorial: How to Create Award Winning Fine Art Photography

The Story Behind the Sundial Bridge Series

 

Master the Skill not a Tool.

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  • Teaching you the Creative Method so you can master it yourself rather than just learning a tool.

  • Creating a Series of images rather than a one shot.

  • Learn how to see with LINES.

  • Developing Vision

  • Post Processing of all three 1st Place 2013 Sundial Bridge Images.

 

In this extensive 2 hour Video tutorial I will explain my creative process in creating the Sundial Bridge Series.  People ask me what my workflow is. It is hard to answer that question without explaining my mindflow, as the workflow is just one element in the big picture of the creative process.  Throughout this video I explain and elaborate on each one of the steps in my creative process, be it an internal artistic vision or a technical a Photoshop phase.

I will explain and elaborate on how they all play a key role and come together as an integrative whole to create fine art by following the framework of the classic Creative Process:

 

Preparation -> Problem -> Incubation -> Insight – > Evaluation -> Elaboration

 

However, this classical analytic framework leading from preparation to elaboration as a linear and step-by-step process gives a severely distorted picture of the creative process if it is taken too literally.  A person who makes a creative contribution never just slugs through the long last stage of elaboration.  This part of the process is constantly interrupted by periods of incubation and is punctuated by small epiphanies.  Many fresh insights emerge as one is presumably just putting finishing touches on the initial insight.

 

Preparation

“Chance favors the prepared mind”

 Louis Pasteur

 

As much as it is important to master the technicalities of a camera or Photoshop when being a photographer, it takes more than that to be an Artist.  Creating fine art images is not just about being a photographer but more about being an artist. And as an artist the preparation part also means the growth of your soul. Since art reflects the internal vision of the artist, the more evolved and aware you are the more evolved the way you see the world will be and that in return will reflect in your work.

UNDERSTAND THE PREPARATION PHASE ON THREE DIFFERENT LEVELS, TECHNICAL, MINDFUL AND EMOTIONAL AND WHY SELF GROWTH IS MORE IMPORTANT TO BEING AN ARTIST THAN MASTERING THE LATEST AND GREATEST TECHNIQUES.

 

 

Problem

“Let the crack in things become a source of light”

Jonah Lehrer

 

Creativity is about being novel, coming up with an original idea.  Changing the existing.

But order to create a change you first have to see that something is wrong.  You need to see that there is a problem with the current state, a sense that there is a puzzle somewhere perhaps something is not right, somewhere there is a conflict, a tension, a need to be satisfied.  In art, that problematic issue is ‘how can I be original’ / ‘how can I show this subject in a way that it has never been shown before’.

UNDERSTAND WHY ENCOUNTERING A PROBLEM IS CRUCIAL TO THE CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW I USED IT AS A STIMULI TO EMBARK ON A CREATIVE PATH TO FIND A NOVEL SOLUTION TO A PROBLEM.

 

Incubation

“Creativity is the residue of time wasted”  

Albert Einstein

 

The Incubation phase is about Letting go.  When you hit a wall and struggle to find solution to a problem, that is a good thing. It is a sign that you need to let go because the thought process you are using isn’t working and a change of gears needs to occur.

UNDERSTAND THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS PHASE IN ANY CREATIVE ENDEAVOR AND ESPECIALLY IN THE ROLE IT PLAYED FOR ME IN PRODUCING THESE IMAGES.

 

Insight

“If you only look at what is, you might never attain what could be.”

Anonymous

 

Most of our creative solutions come from a aha moment that is not part of out linear intentional thought process.  It is an insight that just pops into our awareness we are not thinking about the problem.  By letting go and surrendering from intentional thoughts, we prepare the stage for creative solutions to come to the fore and into our awareness.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO HAVE MOMENTS OF VISUAL INSIGHT, HOW TO CREATE A MENTAL ENVIRONMENT FOR THESE A-HA MOMENTS TO EMERGE.  SEE THE WORLD THROUGH MY EYES AS I ILLUSTRATE THE LINES AND COMPOSITION OF MY INSIGHT MOMENTS.

Evaluation

“No one is perfect, thats why pencils have erasers”

 

Just because we had an insightful idea doesn’t necessarily mean that it is worth pursuing, we tend to be attached to our thoughts and ideas and this is even more true in photography.  The ego kicks in we think that ‘Just because I took the shot, it must be a wow shot!’. If only this could be true.

JOIN ME AS I WALK THROUGH ALL MY RAW FOOTAGE AND CRITIQUE WHY SOME IMAGES WERE BETTER THAN OTHERS, WHAT MAKES A GREAT COMPOSITION AND HOW TO CHOOSE IMAGES ON THE MERIT OF THEIR STAND ALONG VALUE AND AS A FAMILY IN A SERIES.

 

Elaboration

 

Ideas do not work, it is YOU who has to do the work”

 

This phase of the creative process probably takes up the most amount of time and involves the hardest work.  This is the part we need to prepare a warm cup of tea sit quietly, roll up our sleeves and simply get to work.  This is the part where we need to be able to focus our attention and concentrate at the problem at hand.  This is what Edison was referring to when he said that creativity is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.

AN EXTENSIVE STEP-BY-STEP TUTORIAL AS I WALK YOU THROUGH ALL THE PHASES OF MY PHOTOSHOP POST PROCESSING!!!

 

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Testimonials:

 

I just watched Sharon’s latest video tutorial and it was a blast to watch. I am inspired by her vision and how she sees her image all the way through the end. I will practice her framework and I hope to mature with my work.

Michael de Guzman, Mikati, Philippines

 

Sharon brings us uncluttered, serene and powerful black and white images that have caught the eye of international judges who have rewarded her with awards.  I was captivated from the moment I first saw her work, which she was exhibiting herself at Vancouver’s East End Culture Crawl.

Sharon now extends herself beyond being an award winning photographer to mentoring aspiring fine art photographers through her new video tutorial – How to Create Award Winning Fine Art Photography through the story behind the Sundial Bridge Series.

Sharon generously shares with her audience the development of her creative thinking followed by the many steps she takes in post processing to achieve award winning photographs.  Sharon selects a series of three of her images on the Sundial Bridge, Redding, California to pilot us through her flow from planning & concept, capture, winnowing, selection through explicit step by step work ups in Photoshop to arrive at exquisite pieces of art.

The phases Sharon has selected to lead us onto higher achievements in our art work are; Preparation, Problem, Incubation, Insight, Evaluation and Elaboration.

At the outset of the video, Sharon declares through her statement ‘ideas do not’ work – it is you who has to do the work’   implying that the video is not for the faint of heart or those who are not prepared to put in the effort required to achieve the finest of results.

I found her tutorial a pleasure to watch and to listen to and most of all enlightening.  The tutorial is a must have for those aspiring or accomplished fine art photographers who want to better their work in one giant step.

 

Royden Heays, Vancouver, BC

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