First things first. This blog is about the daily doings of a fine art photographer, myself. (I prefer the term artist-photographer) More specifically, it is about how such photographs are made, on the ground, so to speak, at the experiential level. Not the technology necessarily, but the actual experience. Most fine art photographers show only their successes. Here I plan to show everything I can, from where a photograph starts out, to the captured image as it comes raw out of the camera:
through some or all of the progress from capture to final print.
In this case, the B&W image is not finished. It is just a preliminary workup. I will show images like this one that I am still experimenting with and may never produce as a final print, offered for sale.
My name is David Kachel. I am an artist-photographer working mostly in semi-abstract, always black and white landscape and I live in deepest, darkest West Texas. Until a couple months ago, that was Alpine, population generously estimated at 6500, about 85 miles from Big Bend National Park and nearly 200 miles from the big city, which ain’t very big at all. In Alpine I owned the Red Door Gallery for four years, where I sold my own work exclusively. It was too small to include the work of others. And you would be amazed at how difficult it is to talk good artists into putting their work in a gallery.
On July 1st of this year (2014) I closed that gallery and moved to a cattle ranch about 12 miles southwest of Fort Davis Texas, which is itself 24 miles West of Alpine. The population of Fort Davis is something around 1000 people. The whole county, a fairly large one, has a population of only 2300. The ranch where I am now living has a population of about a dozen or so. There are more isolated places than this in the continental US, but not many.
What I have gained by moving here is something I have never enjoyed before: the ability to step out my door and begin photographing without the expense of travel. I live smack in the middle of some of the most beautiful landscape in America and for the first time in my life, I can work every single day if I want to, without having to consider selling a kidney.
The above photograph(s) is an excellent example. I just wanted a quick snapshot of this unusual occurrence, but out of habit used my serious camera and a tripod. Only later did I realize I might have something more than just a snapshot. This was taken just a few steps outside my front gate. In fact, I expect I will be able to take several very nice images within walking distance of my house. I already have one or two others. Then there’s the rest of the ranch, which offers a whole lot more.
So come along. Share every success and failure, every rattlesnake I step on, every pile of cow dung I step in and every other adventure. Find out what its really like to make fine art photographs full time.
What I will not be doing very much of, is talking about equipment, film, photoshop, lenses, or any of the usual things found on photography blogs. I have already put most of that information on a single page: Equipment & Materials
There is too much of that kind of stuff already and photography isn’t really about any of that. I may occasionally mention a tool I find essential for my work, or an interesting new approach, but that is about all.