The Freedom Project: Free Art for All

The Freedom Project: Free art for all

I’ve decided, in the interest of promoting photography as an artistic medium and inspiring others with my work, to offer all of my photographic catalog for free. This is limited to twenty 4*6 prints per household, and is valid through 2008-05-31. I’ll cover the shipping (USA only).

You can add prints to your shopping cart; fill out your address and email and I’ll send them to you.

If you’re finding it too hard to choose, click below and I’ll pick for you. You’ll get the ten in the banner, plus ten others I select.

Thank you and enjoy,

Leaving deviantART Forever

Yesterday I was contemplating what’s been holding me back in my photography and online publishing of my photography, and I’ve decided it’s maintaining my gallery. Since I started my own website at in December, I’ve continued to post photos to deviantART, because of my many followers there. Unfortunately, this kind of multi-casting derails too much of my time. I post each photo as prints for sale at deviantART, such as Bubble in the Sea, and that takes fifteen minutes because of their tedious interface for cropping and presentation (no one buys them). The other inconvenience is making keyword lists and linking between photos on each site (which I do manually). While I could continue to post photos to deviantART without these frills, the root of the issue is having to go to two places when I should be putting all my efforts here, my home on the Internet forever.

So, I’m breaking it off. I’m never going back to deviantART again. This is a huge step forward. I won’t be hassling myself to publicate my photos, and I’ll be focusing my efforts in one direction instead of splitting them in two. I’ve been at deviantART for two and a half years, and have had 116,000 views for my artwork. But if I’m every going to become solvent here, that won’t cut it. My last photo at deviantART was Night Meets Day. The end.

I’m finishing up my classes for Spring; last day is May 9. If you read my back to school entry from the start of the semester, you know all the crazy courses I’m taking (sixteen credit hours). Unfortunately, most of the assignments are bunched up now, with tests, essays, and projects due every class day. That’s my excuse for my limited appearances here. I wanted to take the summer off, but in order to enter Florida State University’s computer science studies (my intention, as mentioned in the about me page), I have to go through pre-calculus, calculus one, and calculus two. Since I’m learning trigonometry now, and those must be done in order, I can’t do the classes by spring of ’09 (my deadline for my AA degree) without taking pre-calculus this summer. Six weeks in May and June. I’m paying out of pocket (BrightFutures doesn’t like summer-schoolers), but at least the book is the same as trigonometry (college textbooks cost hundreds of dollars per semester). And I’ve chosen my fall ’08 courses: calculus / physics / speech / biology. It’s nice to have a plan.

I’ve mostly abandoned digital photography in the last two months, as my film photography teacher demands undivided efforts. I’ll post a couple some time (scanning them in and removing the dust specks is time-consuming; even if they look fine by eye, the scanner seems to add dust). I’m elated to be abandoning film forever in a couple weeks. There will be nice, shiny digital photos only. I’m glad I’m not subjecting myself to Daytona Beach College’s photography program; I couldn’t put up with such a structured approach.

my photos on my bookshelves

I’ve cleared the junk in my room and dedicated my bookshelves to my photography. My Dad (God bless him) added the shelves on the left recently, where I house my best prints. There are stacks of them, because I have many and give them out all the time, to promote photography as an art form (too often, photographs are cooped up in big frames with $200 price tags to look respectable). I used to be unable to keep track of them, but now I can just wake up and pick up one of each to give out on a walk whatever. Life is clear.

On my about page, I talk about why I’m going into library science. I’ve been employed at the Holly Hill library since 2006-11 (part of Volusia County’s libraries). In January of this year, Lisa (the librarian of three years) was transferred out, and the assistant librarian (Sharon) retired last week. Those were the only full-timers, so it’s interesting to see people come and go. Sad too when they’re friends, like here. The new lady doesn’t like photography (it’s a shame, because photography should be beloved by all :wink: ). I did have a table set up in February, like the bookshelves above. I gave away nice photos such as Leafy Droplets and Simplicity. The ones in my shop are nicer because I mat them on white cardstock and put my signature on the back.

I still get comments from our patrons now about how they enjoyed my work and have it on their fridge or in an album. That’s why I love being a photographer.

The Return + Film is Pointless

I’m coming back. I mentioned way back on the 7th that I had a sore throat, but was recovering. That turned into a cold; I’d recovered by the 11th, but on Wednesday, March 12, I woke up with an awful sore throat, headache, and fever. Two days later, I noticed the white patch at the back of my throat, so Dad took me to the doctor (it’s expensive without health insurance), who proscribed one gram of amoxicillin (a sister of penicillin), twice per day. He assumed it to be strep throat, skipping the test. My Grandma notes how large the dose is; it’s interesting to read that doctors now proscribe super-doses to everyone because the bacteria has mutated, developing antibiotic resistance from decades of being slaughtered. Obviously, this can’t be a long-term solution, as just like with the Borg, the enemy’s adaptability requires an ever-changing attack strategy.

I’ve been on antibiotics since Friday; I wasn’t well enough to go to school today (Monday), though. The white patch is down to specks, and it hurts less to swallow, so I’m targeting Wednesday to return (no classes on Tuesday, though I’ll miss work). No school missed last week, because it was spring break. But plenty of lost money and grades. Instead of studying, I spent five days suffering on a couch, watching the shameful wart that is network television, sipping from a bottle of dry ginger ale when the pain of dehydration would surpass the pain of swallowing.

I’m thinking I’ll get a B in photography class (there’s no formal feedback, though). I need Monday to develop film and print, but missed today, and my teacher said I was below the standard last week because I developed one roll of film instead of two. Apparently it doesn’t matter that the roll is 36 exposures instead of 20 or 24, or that I put time and/or creativity into each image instead of shooting three dozen images of a tree. I’m so glad I’m not going into photography as a career. Not in the neo-traditional, professionalized sense. Or perhaps, I should trudge through the program, commanding worship and respect for graduating from a community college. Then, I can open a studio, get a little plaque saying I’m a Certified Professional Photographer to hang on the wall, and then print up plain-white business cards saying that I’m a qualified professional photographer and imaging specialist. There will be no images on the cards, of course. That would be unprofessional. There will only be promises of terribly professional conduct.

What I do hate most, is being told that film unlocks my creativity. It’s a lie. It LIMITS my creativity. If you use it, you’re being held back, too. It’s terribly expensive, dust-prone, time-consuming, et cetera. Non-zooming (prime) lenses limit your creativity too. Not doctoring your photos in Photoshop limits your creativity. But we’re fed the same rubbish argument from higher math: “it teaches you how to think.” Would we put up with four years of classes of brain-teasers? If any subject does anything, “teaching you how to think” needs to be secondary, lest the whole thing be a diversion. When Jefferson proscribed reading, writing, and arithmetic, he didn’t mean algebraic theory and calculus.

So how do they say film teaches us to think? First, we’re forced to learn the basics of metering, aperture, shutter speed, etc. Then, we put more time and thought into our compositions, because of the terrible expense of film. This logic is putting the cart before the horse. It’s like trying to first learn the alphabet backwards so you’ll be more prepared to learn it forwards. What we need to do, is to take a ton of photos on a digital camera (even a cheap one), without reading dozens of technical pages from textbooks. If we’re making our photos horribly blurry, or overexposed, or off center, or there’s a trash can in the background, we see it right away and correct it, and from practical experience comes expertise. What could be better for teaching us to think? The professionalized model for “learning” photography is like learning how to drive a car from a year-long technical course. It’s hard to believe that standardized education can make fascinating subjects so boring.

One note on the site: I out-sourced to FeedBurner for my email newsletter, instead of running software on my server. I’m on shared hosting, so this will be more reliable, and free up computing resources for visitors. Sign up today; it’s the same stuff that’s in the RSS feed, which is the same stuff that’s on my website.