The LinkedIn Set – A Convenient Retrospective

Viewers will find these posted as LinkedIn posts and status line statements as part of an effort to garner some love in that community.

How is it going?

It’s like drowning.  Items that should garner positive attention for any number of reasons just aren’t attracting click-and-look efforts.  The set plus others have been displayed on LinkedIn but a look or two doth not make for exciting marketing.

One’s enjoyment and pursuit of an art, or several, should not hinge on social approval or enthusiasm.  I think it perfectly legitimate to strive to make beautiful things and to make things beautiful.  Let the audience come and go.  God, nature, and the universe remain ever present and all artists present with them in the making of art.

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Business, Preparation, Yearning, Learning, Karma, and Plain Dumb Luck

Maryland Commemorative Plaque, Thomas Kennedy and the "Jew Bill", Studio Photography, Hunter Hill, Hagerstown, Maryland, June 17, 2015I’ve described my interest in photography as the “hobby that became an avocation that grew into a profession”.

While part of that narrative involved spending on the nifty cool stuff promoted by the industry’s magazine — I had started with American Photo, and was among the first subscribers (I wish I had kept the first issue) — the enthusiasm, one of three lifetime pursuits, eventually brought calls to shoot weddings, which I did.

Oh the many paths in preparation: for photojournalism (acquired: wide, normal, and long fixed lenses; later: wide-aperture zooms); for portraiture (50, 85, 105 — Nikon classic f/2.5 manual — 180/2.8); for sports (80-200); for events (battery pack); for advertising (everything plus backgrounds, rolls of seamless paper, stands, lamps, umbrellas, softboxes, whatever might be needed, right down to the gaffer’s tape).

Missing: dedicated commercial space.

The bronze plaque, which was heavy and large, was placed on seamless on a dining room table and propped near to vertical by the back of a chair.  Behind the photographer, a dark muslin suspended on the bar of a background stand — with reflective items, one tries to damp the reflections from objects in the vicinity, in this instance, glassware on the glass shelves of a hutch; light source: three 5000K fluorescents with umbrellas mounted on stands; shooting gear: 60mm macro, Nikon D200, tripod.  All may have been easier in a low key (black walls) studio with an easel ready and strobes on tracks — but then how often does one shoot bronze plaques?  And to what specifications?  And does one enjoy that work?

The inner artist here — and the studio — were happy to get the work and to have been prepared to shoot a reflective and three-dimensional object (the text has been cut into the bronze and had to be brought out with directional lighting), but the arrival was rare — and there are other ways to approach technical reproduction.

The client: happy.

On the horizon: more entertainers.

Tresa Paul fronts Grand Point Station at "Blues, Brews, and Barbecue," Capitol Theater Center parking lot, May 7, 2011, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Tresa Paul fronts Grand Point Station at “Blues, Brews, and Barbecue,” Capitol Theater Center parking lot, May 7, 2011, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

As with music — and because I play and present music quite well — the talent in intuition remains always suspended in time — it doesn’t disappear.  The body ages; intellectual life becomes more complex in some ways: still, where opportunity appears, whether to take a snapshot or produce one or more panels of art, one chooses an instrument and method — from lens to software to delivery — and goes to work.

I think art-making with modern media always deceptive in how simple it looks to get to something good.  Reality, amazingly, begins with footwear — it’s true!  — and works its way up to the whole toy box (where all the elements supporting the art are kept), the vehicle (sports car, SUV, van, or truck), the business of the business items known to all businesses, the calendar, the computing environment, and, at last, some economics.  By the time a photographer and an object – subject – person – organization get together, an awful lot of issues have been pre-resolved — just the same as having lights and lenses at hand when called — and then I think it still a miracle that everything works all the way through!

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Communicating Arts to Photograph Studio Catalog of American Abstract Surrealist William A. Roberts

Descent of Neptune, Watercolor, February 2007. (c)2007 William A. Roberts.


Deep Sea Phenomenon”, Watercolor and Gauche, February 10, 2007. (c)2007 William A. Roberts.


Cavern Forms, Watercolor, December 18, 2000. (c)2000 William A. Roberts.


William A. Roberts has an art story that starts in childhood with talent and a devastating fever, suffers in the shadows of a triple murder, and begins anew after a long hiatus.  Aided, abetted, perhaps, by the local coffee shop scene here in Hagerstown, Maryland — just us “old guys” gabbing over coffee and newspapers at the counter — Communicating Arts has agreed to photograph the artist’s collected and still resident works.


Canery Row, Harvey’s Inn, Watercolor, 1994. (c)1994 William A. Roberts.

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Crazy Business (And Wishin’ and a Prayin’)

Sailing, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, May 5, 2000.

For what it’s worth — we shall see — I posted this morning nine images from the sailing days to my Fine Art America account, and I took my pricing to where I didn’t want it to go, i.e., less than half the cost of production — and those media, printing, and framing costs are getting up there.  About the best I’m going to do is $100 on a $400 (or so) order.


Perhaps I should have kept “Bertha”, the Big ink-sucking HP B9180 printer, going, huh?

Maybe not.

I’m out a little time at the virtual fine art store, but it’s not sucking me dry while checking itself out daily.

* * *

The big question is . . . even if you’re a buyer armed with a million bucks, what is that pretty picture on the wall in the den, or the waiting room or the lobby of the building housing the practice, worth?

What is one buying these days?

I happen to like the above image quite a bit.

If I were flush and printing, I’d make an edition of it (signed, limited — yesterday: 13 x 19 inches; next round: 24-inches on the short side, single sheet feed).


* * *

The system has logged visits from Beverly Hills, so . . . you never know.

However, one wishes not to die of encouragement while waiting for The Big Score!


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ISO: Work!

I don’t know whether the skills — and by inference the capital in equipage and knowledge — exhibited in this space are going to work for me, as it were.

This morning began with my editing a friend’s resume — yes, I can do that too even though approaching my own (there’s a new section on the above tabs) plainly scares me.

Oh my God, what have I done with my life!?

From one perspective, I can answer that without cringing: if deflected, discouraged, or inhibited early on,perhaps, I’ve nonetheless spent my life reading, writing (well, “journaling” at least), playing music, and engaged with photography.


Of course.

From another perspective, I may not be anything like what America’s combined accounting, engineering, and political cultures want.

Had I gotten any kind of smooth launch into music (one with much less other traditional intellectual enrichment), I’d have hoped by now to have transitioned to underscoring films.

In another life — that train needed to take me to Boston.

This other organic thing, less one-track minded, has sprawled a bit, and here am I squeezing it back into form, casting for “tasking” and otherwise molding it, kneading it around projects.

A combination of the two — direct service relationships and income; independent creative entrepreneurship — comprise my needs.

Offered: a terrific broad editorial and research capability bounded by English only and not by geography at all, such may be the “life of the mind” on the World Wide Web; general photography, where one indeed has to go somewhere with a camera, making the same an east coast (mid-Atlantic, New England, southern states) sport from my location close by two major American Interstates: I-70 and I-81.

Troubled manuscripts — academic, business, creative — may be welcomed here!


Also, schedule permitting and pony car willing, speeding with Nikon glass away from this desktop on a client’s mission would be welcomed here too.

It has to happen.

All kinds of things are just ready for it.

Saving “Bertha” — The Printer

I’ve allowed my printer, an HP-B9180, to run through hundreds of dollars of archival “Vivera” inks without printing a sheet!

I suppose a narcissist needs a narcissistic printer, for she does this to me by way of checking herself out once every 24 hours and keeping tabs on the functioning of her microscopic ink-spitting nozzles.  Printing with such a touchy behemoth scares me, and yet, every time out, with some allowance for cleaning the jets, she prints a brilliant and precise photograph.  That’s why I don’t trade her in, but given the expense of  her breathing just once a day, I hold out hope for serious art sales, either in volume or by the production run.

Starter bid: per 13×19-inch print: $95 plus shipping; Maryland residents pay 6 percent sales tax; cleared check or Paypal transaction.

Editions: open unless stated closed.

Licensing: priced according to usage.

Third-Party Publishing: negotiable.