Tag Archives: art

Stationary and Serene-ISH

Stationary (for now!) — and serene-ISH (heavy on the ish!)…

Since we returned to Australia, purchased a house, and are knee deep in renovation dust (there’s a plan — trust me — there’s a plan), I am temporarily stationary in one town. What a change from the 2010 through early 2013 years of being on the road through multiple countries and living in several parts of France. And yes, we would both tell you in a heartbeat that we miss it ever so much. The evolving plan involves a revisit of that European lifestyle — but not quite yet.

One thing that I didn’t particularly enjoy was never having the time to adequately keep up with photo editing. So one of my tasks for now is to diligently work through my back catalogue of images, edit them, and then forward them on to my various agencies.

My sleeping hours are incredibly skewed right now, so I’m taking my inspiration today from this lovely bit of sculpture. It was actually a decorative element on the corner of a larger statue’s plinth in Dresden, Germany.

See that serene face? Note to self — soak it in, Deborah — soak it in!

 

A sculpture of a serene woman at one of the 4 corners of the Friedrich August I monument in the Schlossplatz in Dresden, Germany.

A sculpture of a serene woman at one of the 4 corners of the Friedrich August I monument in the Schlossplatz in Dresden, Germany.


 

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Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris – Part 3

In the final part of the visit to the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris, we’ll look at some of the more industral objects and end with a room setting.

There were some truly wonderful and historical objects in this museum, but the largest percentage of them were enclosed in glass cases for their protection since they are quite valuable and culturally significant to the history of French design. However, since the museum galleries are splendidly well lit, that made it practically impossible to take a picture without some sort of glare or reflection, so I’m sticking to a few last pictures of things that were not encased in glass.

I don’t often share pictures of industrial objects, but they do quite often make me say “Oooo!” out loud. And there’s something quite wonderful about the technology of the early to mid 20th Century that I find especially appealing. Here are two examples.

The first one is a 1910 airplane engine — the inside — the structural elements that hold that set of propellers in place as the power zooms through the engine. I just think it’s gorgeous.

 

Close-up sideview  of 1910 French designed airplane engine.

Close-up sideview of 1910 French designed airplane engine.


 

Then there’s this early sound system for a movie projection set up in a cinema. The French were pioneers in film technology and they were quite early adopters of this new form of entertainment.

 

An early movie theatre sound system.

An early movie theatre sound system.


 

Finally, we were surprised to see just how many schoolchildren, from primary school age through high school age, were in the museum on the weekday that we attended. The museum is a fantastic educational resource for these students to learn about the wonderful inventions through the ages that their fellow Frenchmen have been either involved in or directly responsible for.

 

Students at a lecture inside the newer wing of the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.

Students at a lecture inside the newer wing of the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.


 

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Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris – Part Two

In this second part of our visit to the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris, today we’ll take a peek at some of the LARGE items that are displayed within the converted medieval priory portion of this extraordinary museum.

Designed to mimic the shape of a bat’s wings, this very early airplane by Clement Ader was designed between 1893 and 1897. The very fragile piece of engineering is suspended from the rather ornate ceiling inside the stairwell.

 

Very early aeroplane (airplane) designed by Clement Ader between 1893-1897

Very early aeroplane (airplane) designed by Clement Ader between 1893-1897


 
Ornate staircase in the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.

Ornate staircase in the Musee des Arts et Metier in Paris.


 
The high vaulted ceilings and ornate arches of the old church create the most impressive of the exhibition spaces. It’s quite stunning to walk into this vast area and look up to see several vintage airplaces hanging from the ceiling. On the floor below are old steam engines in a variety of sizes.
 
Planes above, trains below, automobiles in tiered racks on the side.

Planes above, trains below, automobiles in tiered racks on the side.


 
On the side of the large chapel are several levels of metal platforms, reached by stairs, which contain a variety of vintage automobiles — all perched high above the ground floor below. It could be a bit of a challenge for anyone with vertigo!
 
Vintage cars on suspended racks high above the floor below.

Vintage cars on suspended racks high above the floor below.


 
A timeless glimpse into the past.

A timeless glimpse into the past.


 
Hope you have enjoyed a peek at this wonderful museum which should be on everyone’s ‘must see’ list when they visit Paris.

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Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris – Part One

 
One of the best days out we had in Paris was at the glorious Musee des Arts et Metier. This wonderful museum opened right at the end of the 18th Century in what had been an abandoned medieval priory — Saint Martin des Champs. The museum has been expanded, most notably with a more contemporary addition in the 1990s, but the elegant old priory contains some of the most beautiful of the displays under those ornate and vaulted ceilings.

 

Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris, France. Housed in a converted medieval priory, this is one of the landmark museums of Paris. Made famous by the novel The Da Vinci Code, it contains a Foucault pendulum.

Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris, France. Housed in a converted medieval priory, this is one of the landmark museums of Paris. Made famous by the novel The Da Vinci Code, it contains a Foucault pendulum.


 

One example of the treasures within is the room that houses a Foucault Pendulum. I know that the former purpose of the space was reverential, but it still maintains an air of ‘sacred space’ in that hushed room with the pendulum right in the center.

 

Foucault Pendulum beneath the vaulted ceilings of the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.

Foucault Pendulum beneath the vaulted ceilings of the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.


 

 

The Foucault Pendulum within the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.

The Foucault Pendulum within the Musee des Arts et Metiers in Paris.


 

When we were there, I noted that the glass table which has the pendulum suspended above it and the glossy flooring all around it appeared to be quite contemporary. That was a bit of a surprise. But as I was doing the research for this article, the information that I discovered explained all of that.

In 2010, the cable that held the pendulum snapped, damaging it badly and shattering the ancient marble floor beneath it. So the more contemporary appearance is a result of the reconstruction in the museum.

All of the photos above are available in my ZENFOLIO PORTFOLIO You may find them in the Portfolio tab under FRANCE — then under PARIS.

Enjoy!

 

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The NEW Website for Photo Sales is LIVE!!!

I have to say, this past month or so has been both thrilling and exhausting. And it’s a whole other kind of learning curve to be creating a new website that is not WordPress based.

 

Expresso in the Cafe Horta in Brussels, Belgium.

Expresso in the Cafe Horta in Brussels, Belgium.


 

For quite a few years, people have been asking me where they could buy prints of my work. Due to all of the moving around we have done, especially since 2010, I simply didn’t have the time to set up an entire new site with a Shopping Cart and then deal with all of the banking aspects and photo printing.

For a decade now, I’ve also had a steady trickle of digital sales to publishing houses — producers of everything from textbooks to travel guides to retail non-fiction. I’ve also been selling images through advertising agencies that are used on packaging and which have been in magazines and brochures.

Working with various photographic agencies in Europe, the UK, and New York has been convenient, but those agencies take a hefty chunk percentage-wise. Now I have the ability to deal directly with publishing clients because there will be a new one-stop-shopping site for digital files as well as retail goods.

You’ll be seeing a lot of tweaking in the week ahead — both here and over on the new Zenfolio site — as I link things back and forth. Then over the coming weeks, you will see lots of new images appearing on the photo site as I continue to wade through thousands, seriously thousands of images on my hard drive.

There has never been one specific genre that I stuck to — so you’ll notice that my images contain everything from art and architecture to travel and tourism to human interest to ‘just because’ sort of shots. There are about 400 images on there currently with many, MANY more to come.

So for now — tah-dah! Just click on this link below and have a look around.

Enjoy!

Deborah Harmes Photography | A Wanderful Life

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An Art Deco Beauty In Cincinnati, Ohio

 
Another happy announcement! Here’s my latest book — Midnight In The Station — and you can find it by clicking on the title to the left.

Again, this book, like the others, is available in iPad ebook, softcover, hardcover, and downloadable PDF file for any electronic device or computer.

This was a midnight visit to the Union Station in Cincinnati, Ohio and it’s truly one of the loveliest Art Deco buildings I have ever been in. It’s a tribute to that city that it has been restored so beautifully and, in addition to the Amtrak service that still operates several days a week, it also houses several museums.

I have created a new widget on the right sidebar for Ebooks and Print Books. Just click on that link and it will take you straight to the online store! All books may be purchased by either credit card or PayPal.

Enjoy!

 
MidnightInTheStation-760
 

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Sad, Bad Changes To ‘The Good Old Days’ of Photography

Once upon a time in the land of photography and photojournalism, there were these amazing things called JOBS and proper PAYCHECKS for people who had a trained eye and a degree in the arts or journalism. Those are practically non-existent in media now unless you are a fresh-faced intern straight out of university and willing to work for slave wages or you are in a specialty category such a sports.

Is there still a market for glorious human interest photos or breaking news shots? Not unless the digital or print news publishers can get them for free or practically free!

Several years ago, when we were still living in the small Central Victorian town of Clunes, an hour and a half north of Melbourne, I had a very informative afternoon coffee break with a charming man who had been an award winning photographer for The Age — Melbourne’s big daily newspaper. We laughed and talked about ‘the good old days’ when you’d get your assignment, do the shoot, and then even do the darkroom work on occasion.

All of that is gone now as the newspapers around the world have phased out full time photojournalists and frequently rely on everyday people who take shots with their camera phones and upload them (for free!) to a newspaper so that they can say, “Wow! I’ve been published!” Newspaper publishers also use stock photo agencies who have stringers, freelance photographers, who send them images from around the world each day which get sold on to daily newspapers for mere pennies.

Finishing our coffee and our commiserations about the state of the industry, we both agreed that the ever-improving digital cameras that were sold to every Tom, Dick, and Harriette had been the death of a huge segment of the photographic industry since everyone fancied that they were able to shoot equally as well as the pros. In some cases they were correct since some of the more expensive Nikon and Canon cameras were practically goof-proof for things like scenic shots. And scenic shots still sell well, but cheaply, to stock agencies for calendars and greeting cards.

There are still large companies who pay a professional photographer to come shoot their annual report images and yes, wedding photographers are still out there fighting for every dollar. But even wedding photographers have been eliminated at times by a family friend with a decent camera and the lack of expertise and inspiration truly does show in the final results.

As my loyal readers know, we’ve recently returned to Australia from living in Europe for several years and I have profiled weekend markets in quite a few countries. These weekend markets are always awash with simply beautiful photos, lovingly matted and placed in clear plastic protectors, stacked in a display area or perched on small easels. And those photography booths are walked by again and again as you hear the passers-by saying, “Well I could take that same image with my camera. Why should I pay for that?” Back when we all worked with film and we printed our work in the darkroom on various types of specialty papers, fine art photography seemed to be regarded as more interesting and valuable than today’s digital products.

Along came another death knell in the form of microstock agencies who sold images uploaded by the Tom, Dick, and Harriette brigade for those previously mentioned pennies per image. And here’s an example of how deadly that was to professional photographers. If I had a premium image at a premium agency that was listed for several hundred dollars for one time use with copyright restrictions and a microstock agency had Harriette’s similar-yet-not-perfect image for sale for lifetime use for a $3.00 download, just GUESS which one an advertising agency would pick? Right you are! Harriette’s image gets chosen more and more often in this day of cheap-cheap-cheap or free-free-free.

I’ve been registered with several agencies for several years and up until recently, I was making a decent side income from that. Unfortunately, the state of the industry now is in such shambles that even formerly reputable agencies are selling off images in ‘package deals’ to their larger clients and leaving the poor (and getting poorer every day!) photographer with a handful of dollars for a hell of a lot of work! For that reason, I have de-registered with all but two agencies and both of them are in the UK. They are still full service agencies that sell images for premium prices. But I’m not holding my breath about the revenue stream from them since they too are in crisis as more and more of their work slides away to the cheapened ethic of using $3.00 microstock downloads.

Somewhere on my List Of Things To Do will be creating an online database of images so that I can sell my OWN stock images at a fair and reasonable price — not a giveaway price. And I guess I’ll have to go back to actually pitching story and photo packages directly to publications. What a pain in the patoot!

However, the bottom line is that we do no credit to ourselves as self-employed artists if we allow our work to be so devalued by the big commercial agencies who toss a few pennies our way and then rake in the profits for themselves. And it certainly doesn’t help when behemoth media corporations continue to put their smaller scale competition out of business altogether by buying them out and then systematically lowering the commissions to photographers.

Our costs of running a business go up each year — not down. And I’ve been reading some of the professional members on one of my LinkedIn groups who have, after 30 years on average in the industry, actually given up trying to make a living from photography altogether. We’re all in a state of mourning for the way we used to work and the income that we formerly could depend on. And truly, isn’t it a sad state of affairs when iPhone pictures sent to the Internet via Instagram are now considered to be professional. (sigh!)

I’m a Lady Dinosaur and I’ll admit it. But gads, my dears, I do miss the ‘good old days’ when art and creativity and a level of craft were actually things that were valued and respected.

Ah well — end of rant…

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