Jun 28

How Album Art Defines Country Music in Recent Times

album-art2013 is the year when country artists released their records with album covers looking like a fashion editorial photo or a magazine advertisement. Though this is not a new thing, it seems like there was a sudden burst of album beautification and it instantly became a trend.

This pattern wherein they will do shots of an artist like it’s a still from a TV commercial, a shot from a lifestyle magazine or something high fashion is quite prominent with the biggest names in country music. Just take a good look at Luke Bryan, ACM’s Entertainer of the Year Awardee, and his album cover of Crash My Party. He definitely made an improvement from his past album covers and upped the ante on 2013 with a more carefully groomed hair, an open shirt and a shot of him looking away from the camera similar to fashion advertorials.

Before, conceptual photography has been the recurring theme of album covers. They will shoot something that conveys the message of some songs, or the album in general. Though it’s still used by some artists, portraiture has become more dominant in the recent years.

A crossover between the conceptual and portraiture has been also done by Carrie Underwood in her album cover for Blown Away. In the photo, she is wearing a gown which is being blown away by the wind. The execution, however, seems to favor portraiture still because of the high fashion vibe.

Even in cases when the stars are dressed in simple clothes, the covers still feel like it’s an ad for clothing brands. During the Justin Moore Off the Beaten Path preview event, a glimpse of his album cover was seen and true enough, his simple button down, denim pants screams like it was an advertisement for The Gap.

Although this trend is not really bad, it is suggestive that maybe, country music’s target demographic has been widening over the years and that is becoming more mainstream. The glitz and the glamour associated with present album covers imply that this genre is not anymore confined to the south and that it matches up with the now diverse audience of country music.

May 11

Arts Can Save You

Pop-Art_-Mick_Jagger-_Öl_+_Acryl_auf_Leinwand_von_Silvia_KlippertEver felt like the world is a spinning machine ball that will torpedo any time soon? When it does, it will throw you thousands of miles off grid, never to be found again. This is such a depressive thought, and if you’re thinking of it, you’re depressed on some levels. While all of us experience low moments, it is not healthy to let it continuously gnaw into our inner beings. We need to confront these feelings.

One way to do this is to create art. An obvious observation is that arts can contribute to a better sense of psychological health. But this is not a mere heresy you heard from your aunt. This is actually scientifically-backed. So whether you’re painting a striking scenery or photographing Blake Shelton in concert, you’re doing fine to fight anxiety and depression.

Arts in Mental Health Care

Recognizing the therapeutic potential of arts, several researchers have investigated and evaluated the effectiveness of using arts as therapies for mentally disturbed patients. Arts give these patients a new platform to express themselves and also to establish relationships with other people. This is true for the most of us, even those with no mental disorder.

Using arts in therapies can be active or passive. In active involvement in arts, patients participate in the actual creation of the artwork, allowing themselves to explore with artistic elements and create images.  It is theorized that creating art can provide a room for aesthetic and artistic outlet which can make the patient feel better about themselves.

Passive involvement, on the other hand, is where patients are simply given art works. A certain study on 58 psychiatric patients showed that they improved in verbal communication once they participated in a creative arts program.

Effects of Arts to Mental Patients

A study involving patients with Alzheimer’s disease evaluated the effects of creating arts to the patients. Results indicated that they had a higher sense of self-esteem and a more positive attitude towards their families and psychiatric staff.

Because of the ability of arts to induce relaxation, memory, and emotions, you should carefully select the types of arts that you will create. Create those that you know will bring a positive effect to your emotional well-being.

Apr 20

Tips to Capture the Best Rock Concert Photo

As you browse the Imagine Dragons tour setlist, your inner photography geek is anticipating how awesome your concert photos will look like. You fantasize on capturing signature moves of Dan Reynolds and how Wing will look cool with his guitar. This guide is here to help you realize these fantasies at every rock concert you will ever attend.

It’s All About the Right Exposure

7825300262_1c22f783f2_oLet’s face it: perfectly composed concert photos are crap if they have crappy exposure. Unlike photos taken outdoors or in any other event, you can’t easily Photoshop your way to better-exposed concert photos.

Capturing the artists’ movements in perfect blend with the background glare of lights is challenging. Basically you have to determine the right exposure settings by trial and error. Shoot at different parts of the stage, determine how much under or over-exposure it needs, then set your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture settings accordingly. Remember that higher shutter speed is preferred because it minimizes shakes and motion blur. So cameras that can take clean high-ISO photos definitely have an edge.

Study Performers’ Moves

This is crucial if you want to capture the artist’s famous facial expressions, signature moves, idiosyncrasies, postures, etc. If a rock star is famous for doing a back flip during climax of performance, watch out for it. Familiarize yourself with the performer’s timing, habits, and moves so you can capture these unique little things that highlight the performer’s individuality as an artist.

Get Ready

Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the performer’s moves, anticipate when they will do it. Imagine how you would compose the photo, what exposure settings to use, and where to position yourself. This will help you capture the best moments in perfect timing.

Eliminate Foreground and Background Clutter

Watch out for those microphones, amplifiers, wires, and other equipment that may ruin your photo. Locate yourself in areas that have minimal foreground clutter. Avoid shooting directly in front of the singer, too, because you get a microphone where a mouth should be. You can eliminate unnecessary background by using shallow depth-of-field. You can use wide aperture to achieve this.

Mar 22

Digital Photography and its Contribution to Modern Art

music3Photography enthusiasts in this cyber age are very lucky to enjoy the convenience of digital photography. In the past, photographers had to be contented with crude instruments especially during the earlier years when cameras were as huge as an icebox. You can just imagine the inconvenience for people who needed to have their photos taken. They had to go to a studio for this purpose because photographers could not possibly lug around their heavy cameras all the time when taking pictures.

Modern photography techniques

Digital cameras are equipped with many photography techniques and tools that you just have to press the buttons and adjust the settings to achieve your desired visual effect. Making photo prints is very easy as well inasmuch as state of the art printers are now available. You do not need to soak negatives and hang them to dry for printing because film cameras are hardly used anymore these days. You can even print your photos without using any connecting wires from the camera to the printer because wireless printing is now possible. Just link the camera to the printer via network link and presto – you have your prints ready in no time.

Modern art

Photography is considered an art. Photos possess distinctive beauty of their own and they evoke messages from both the point of view of the cameraman and the viewer. It serves as a medium that interprets nature, life, ideas, emotions and thoughts. Even a simple photo of a single leaf can mean something when photographed artistically and treated with special effects. Digital photography has become one of the most important mediums in modern art and many art lovers are getting drawn to this craft.

Exhibits

If you are a true lover of art, you will go out of your way to attend photo exhibits that showcase the magnificent works of famous and budding photographers. However cultivating an interest in photography can be expensive because immersing yourself into it means you need to travel now and then to expand your choices of location and subject. Nonetheless this vocation is very rewarding as eventually, you can get photo shoot projects for performers on tour. Get in touch with handlers of performers like Daniel Tosh and get a copy of Daniel Tosh tour schedule so you can track down his agenda.

Mar 13

Appreciating Visual Arts

love,vintage,car,kiss,retro,couple-7a7c0a3ca0cbce36a4a5adbf812da896_hForm and Content

There is a wide range of visual arts. As the name implies, visual arts are forms of art that are in the main visual in nature. Examples may include, but not limited to the following: painting, sculpture, photography, printmaking, drawing, ceramics, design, crafts, and film-making. In this era of computer technology, the output of a photo-shop may even be considered as an example of visual art.

While visual art may take in different forms, it can also be both a reflection and a manifestation of the artist’s subjective perceptions of the objective truth or reality. Here, I am referring to the content of visual arts. Suffice it to say, the content of any visual art, or any art work for that matter, is an expression of the artist’s outlook about himself and that of society, and/or the existing relationship (or lack of it) between him/her and the environment.

One important component of the content of any artwork is the answer to this question — to whom does an artwork serves? For the artist who produced the artwork? For his or her own self-contentment and satisfaction? Should an artwork contribute to the betterment of society? Should it serve an existing order, or should it contribute to change and development?

Types of Visual Arts

In whatever form a particular visual art is, it could be classified under a specific type of visual art: representational, abstract, and non-objective. Representational art shows actual object and/or subject based from reality. This specific type of art has several sub-categories which include realism, impressionism, and stylization. When an audience see a painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, etc one can easily recognize the subjects and/or objects.  This nature of representational art makes it widely-accepted to society in general, especially to the hoi polloi.

Abstract art is a type of visual art which also shows subjects and/or objects but presents these in ways that are different as seen in reality. There is an emphasis in lines, colors, and shapes that alters a particular subject or object. Cubism is an example of abstract art. Of course, Pablo Picasso is one of the most famous and brilliant cubist artists this world has ever produced. He was not only a painter, but also a sculptor, ceramist, stage designer, and a printmaker. Talk about being an all-around visual artist! Minimalism is another sub-category of visual arts. Minimalism as a type of visual arts only aims to show and describe what is essential. It eliminates the non-essential forms and contents. Minimalism is also called “minimal art” and/or “abc art”.

Another type of visual arts is called “non-objective” art. This type of art, many believe, got nothing from reality. In fact, many say that “non-objective art” is only for aesthetic purposes. The only reason to produce of this type of art is to take art form as visually stimulating as it could be.

Appreciating Visual Art: A Combination of Both Form and Content

All these and more represent different forms of visual arts and how these are presented to the audience. As stated, visual arts are presented in different forms. For example, a painting could be really well-presented in its form. A film could have very good cinematography, musical score, editing, the performances of actors are highly-appreciated, etc. Ceramics and sculptures could have polished edges. A photograph could be well-lighted and framed too well.

The content of visual arts could be plain narrative or descriptive of a subject. It could be considered propaganda of a particular outlook, events, etc. It could even be an illusion of what is aspired and/or attainable. It could be so abstract that only the artist knows the interpretation of his or her own work, or the audience may have a different explanation. It could either be for maintaining the present order, or changing what needs to be changed. Visual arts, in short, are basically about art for the self and for society shown in different forms.

Artists have different interpretations of how they see things – how they perceive society, the existing relationships, etc. These interpretations are determined by a particular artist’s outlook in life. In the end, these interpretations are seen in the different output — in canvasses, frames, carvings, films, performances, and a lot more. These forms can be presented in different main types of visual arts  — representational, abstract, and/or non-objective.

In other words, an artist’s interpretation of his outlook and beliefs, about  himself/herself, and of society and the existing relationships, are presented in the content of his or her art work/s. Ultimately, there is no such thing as art for art’s sake. Any art form and how it is presented is always an indication of an artist’s feelings and thoughts either about himself or herself, and that of society. A combination of both the form and content should be considered when one wants to appreciate any visual work. One can’t do without the other.

A particular visual art could be visually stimulating. The form of presentation in whatever type of visual art is used could be so aesthetically outstanding that the content is set aside. This should not be the case. The appreciation of visual arts is not just about the form or how a particular output is presented. The content is an integral aspect of any visual art form. Both the artists and the audience should give premium both to the form and content when it comes to the appreciation of visual arts. In other words, to fully appreciate a particular visual art, its totality should always be considered.

Appreciating Visual Art: To Whom Does It Serve?

This is a basic question when one wants to take into account the content of any art work. An appreciation of art should always consider the purpose embedded on the output. An artwork may be visually good to look at but could only be self-serving to the artist or to a particular group of individuals. It could be so refined and polished but only serves an existing order and defies change and development.

Ultimately, there is no such thing as art for aesthetics’ sake, or art for art’s sake. A particular art work should be beneficial to society in general. It should reflect the truth and the ways to make this world a better place to live in.

Jul 03

Pit Bulls are Trainable, They are Not Bully

o-PICTURE-OF-PIT-BULL-WITH-BIRD-570Do you know how the power of photography can have a huge impact to help our commonly neglected canine buddies?

A New York-based photographer has launched a campaign called Not a Bully to challenge the common view of pit bulls as a ‘bully-breed’.

Douglas Sonders, himself as an owner of a pit bull mix called Emma, feels compelled to speak up for a dog breed that’s often neglected, mistreated and stereotyped as mean, aggressive or viciously dangerous.

In a stunning collection of photographs, Sonders captures a pack of noble and gentle looking pit bulls, all of whom have touching stories to tell and are now blessed with their loving humans.

Although it started off as a photo campaign, NotaBully.Org is growing. National Geographic recently featured it with Cesar Milan, the known TV dog whisperer, who posed for Sonders with his Pit Bull Junior, and is now an avid supporter of Not a Bully’s mission. Sonders has also been donating his time and efforts to Cesar Millan’s foundation for abandoned and abused dogs.

‘I have since learned that “pit bull” is a bad word in the society, which is a real tragedy, adding that over 40% of dogs in dog shelters are ‘bully-breeds’ and 22% of pit bulls are under euthanized regardless of their disposition.

How to train a pit bull?

Give it lots of exercise.

Use a crate. IT should never be used as a punishment, but simply as a place for them to sleep or to go to if they’re feeling overwhelmed

House-train your pit bull.

Learn to read your dog’s body language.

Use positive reinforcement. When you train a pit bull, focus on teaching them rather than aiming a result.

Establish dominance.

  • Give him praise/treats so he knows that you own him. (http://www.playsafedogs.com/category/best-dog-food/)
  • If he does something wrong, quickly correct him without dragging it out. Dogs have an attention span of 5 sec; they live in the now moment.
  • Give and deny him permission to do things like eat food that’s bad for him (includes food he’s allergic too) or go outside. Do this to demonstrate your dominance.
  • Upon entering the house, your dog should follow you and allow you to go first.

He should obey you on your first command if you have established dominance.

Jun 26

Garden Architecture

Did you know that visual arts have been a part of the human system since ancient times or probably ever since we are first created? Our innate ability of appreciating details, beauty, and particular structure holds a big account to what we are right now in the area of visual arts. Surrounded by breath-taking nature and beautiful people; wonderful thoughts and imaginations always pushes us to strive for excellence. Visual arts open doors of opportunities to express our deep appreciation to the creations once given to us.

What is visual arts? According to Wikipedia, the visual arts are art forms that create works that primarily are visual in nature, (or something we see) This art form includes ceramics, painting, drawing, sculpture making, printmaking, design, crafts, photography, videography, filmmaking and also architecture.

Garden architecture is a great way to express our visual artistry. A simple flower or grass arrangements, for example, is a good way to show our appreciation to our surrounding as well as the benefits and the life it gives us. We can also;

  • Plant a herb garden. Most herbs blooms pink and purple flowers, they will scent your yard, and a plus thing is you can eat them.
  • Plant an assortment of lettuce. The colors and textures of the folliage make a nice display and again, it’s edible or,
  • Put up a trellis and plant some beautiful climbing vines.

The art we share through our lawn and garden arrangements inspires our neighborhood to exercise their own visual ability to see the beauty of art has to offer. This helps our mind grow deeper to what matters most our in lives– love, beauty, passion, and nature care are some of the best things we can do to contribute to the betterment of the world we live in, the people we live with, and the life we need to share.

Taking care of your lawn is the first step before thinking of beautifying your lawn. You have to know how to properly take care of it. In order to have the most appealing lawn or garden you have to have the best care you can get. Puremowers offers a great help by providing the best zero-turn mowers to help you with your mowing needs. Everyone knows that a properly mowed lawn is a beautiful lawn. Puremowers also accept yard card payment to give their customers flexible payments and terms.

May 02

Using Art As A Kitchen Makeover

kitchenArt lovers not only love to visit galleries, they even go to the extent of bringing the gallery to their own home. If you are one admirer of the different works of art, revamping your living space, specifically your kitchen, by adding up some artworks can ultimately bring you satisfaction. For some ideas on how you can infuse art to your kitchen, read below:

  • Out with the blanks. Sometimes our kitchens are just so dull with unfinished kitchen island, blank walls and dull paint. But we can easily transform it using a simple artwork. Just hang one of your favorite pieces on the blank wall of your kitchen. You will be amazed by how this simple addition can give an overall visual improvement.
  • Your favorite art piece as a kitchen inspiration. Loving an artwork is easy but owning one is hard because of its very expensive price. This, however, does not mean that such cannot be yours. By analogy, you can own such artwork by using it as an inspiration in one of the rooms in your home like your kitchen. For instance, if you have an unfinished kitchen island give it some makeover patterning the colors depicted by the artwork you love.
  • Keep it warm. Sometimes the very popular modern interior design is just too cool. A better way to add warmth to a very modern kitchen space is by adding a good piece of artwork. Whether it will be a painting or a sculpture, the effect would just be the same.
  • Complement your kitchen’s interior design. Adding art to your kitchen can be hard if you don’t know how to properly mix and match distinct masterpieces together. If your kitchen already looks perfect as it is making it your personal masterpiece, it does not mean you can no longer add any form of art in it. Just choose an artwork that will complement your kitchen’s design focusing on the color or even its texture.

In conclusion, adding art to your kitchen not only changes its visual appearance but it also gives a positive effect on your cooking. Art pieces can serve as a good backdrop which you can enjoy while you are preparing your meals.

Apr 28

Sharing Experiences Through Musical Photography

music3When technological photography advancements and love for music combine, the result is musical photography. There are professional photographers who specialize shooting photos during big musical events, capturing the action at rock concerts and documenting the reaction of the crowd. Photographers are considered artists themselves, for they have an eye to see when a subject or moment can be picture-perfect.

Now is an exciting time to be a music photographer, with the variety of  available equipments and accessories to produce the best photos. The digital age has certainly created an avenue for the works of picture lovers to be seen. Successful music photographers usually started with taking pictures during concerts using point and shoot cameras. What used to be a hobby can be turned into a career, after taking time to learn about the technical side such as the lighting, focusing, and many other aspects.

Music photography involves any photos that document musicians and the live event as a whole. Many photographers expertly take portraits of artists such as Justin Bieber or Kanye West offstage. However, the most unforgettable images are those captured during the live event itself.  Bruno Mars is one of the best subjects for candid shots, because he sings with so much passion. His punky look combined with his talent to groove and sing makes him astonishing to watch and shoot. No wonder why his crowd enjoys every single performance he has.

Successful professional photographers who specialize in musical events enjoy having big bookings for prestigious events. They display their works through exhibits that are attended not just by colleagues in the industry but by music fans as well. Success is relative, but for most music photographers, their joy is to be able to bring people to the event by merely sharing their photos with them.

Many popular photographers have already made big names in the field. Some of them also do fashion and other forms of photography, but there are those who really belong to the music scene. What they do is follow certain artists through their concert series. There are music photographers who have even been able to release books to display their photos. If you think that this profession is for you, try it out by following popular artists in their events series and take the best pictures. You may begin by checking out Bruno Mars Jungle Tour and see how you do with capturing the artist’s best antics during his performances and documenting how the crowd accept him.

Apr 08

Celebrity Photography: Its challenges and rewards

Pop-Art_-Mick_Jagger-_Öl_+_Acryl_auf_Leinwand_von_Silvia_KlippertCelebrity photography is a branch of photojournalism, only that the usual subjects are celebrities, mostly from the field of entertainment. Celebrity photographers are commonly referred to as paparazzi, although not all of them may engage in the same technique of taking celebrity photos. When you mention the word paparazzi, the common notion is that of a sneaky photographer who goes to the extent of invading a person’s privacy just to take scoop worthy pictures. To reiterate, not all photographs practice their profession in this manner.

Rewarding career

Photography is a difficult career to follow. For one, it does not become lucrative until the time that the photographer has made a name of his own and earned the respect of celebrities. Another reason why photography is not easy is for the fact that one needs to invest a lot of money on state of the art gadgets in order to carry on with his craft. Nevertheless, photography has its rewards and if it comes, it strikes on two sides – financial and prestige.

Return of investment

The return of investment in celebrity photography depends on how hard a professional works to attain success. There is a tough competition in photography especially these days when digital camera has become the main tool. However, one’s ROI can be had quickly if one is determined to hone his talent and to follow the ethics of his profession. Sometimes having connections in the industry is a plus factor for fast ascendancy to the ladder of success.

Challenges

There are many challenges that a celebrity photographer may encounter throughout the course of his career. The major setback comes when he experiences a slack in his job for want of clients. But this problem normally comes only at the onset of one’s career. As time goes by, he will be able to pick up and gain momentum in his profession.

Photographers on the go

Photography entails a lot of mobility. You need to find the subjects and pursue them in their locations. Right now, the Florida Georgia line concert Nashville is on tour, and if you are interested in covering their concert, you have to be physically around in the venue. Unless you have a staff that can do the job for you, your presence in the location is imperative.

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