Competition - Exert from Art & Fear by Ted Orland & David Bayles

I get comments, questions and statements about “competition” all of the time while teaching photography. It is a discussion fraught with fear, anxiety and self worth. I find this excerpt from the book ART & FEAR by Ted Orland and David Bayles very insightful and helpful.

There’s no denying competition. It’s hard-wired into us. It’s chemical. Good athletes bank on that surge of energy that arises in the instant of knowing they can overtake the runner just ahead. Good artists thrive on exhibit and publication deadlines, on working twenty hours straight to see the pots are glazed and fired just so, on making their next work better then their last. The urge to compete provides a source of raw energy, and for that purpose alone it can be exceptionally useful. In a healthy artistic environment, that energy is directed inward to fulfill one’s own potential. In a healthy artistic environment, artists are not in competition with each other.

Unfortunately, healthy artistic environments are about as common as unicorns. We live in a society that encourages competition at demonstrably vicious levels, and sets a hard and accountable yardstick for judging who wins. It’s easier to create artists in terms of the recognition they’ve received (which is compared) then in terms of the pieces they’ve made (which may be as different as apples and waltzes) And when that happens, competition centers not on making work, but on collecting the symbols of acceptance and approval of that work - N.E.A. Grants, a Show at Gallerie d’jour, a celebrity profile in the New Yorker and the like.

Take to extremes, such competition slides into needless (and often self-destructive) comparison with the fortunes of others. W.C. Fields became enraged at the mere mention of Charlie Chaplin’s name; Milton suffered lifelong depression from ongoing self comparison with Shakespeare; Solieri went a bit more insane each time he compared his music to Mozart’s. (and who among us would welcome that comparison!?) Fear that you’re not getting your fair share of recognition lead to anger and bitterness. Fear that you’re not as good as a fellow artist leads to depression.

Admittedly, few of us are above feeling a momentary stab of pain when someone else wins the fellowship we sought or a secret rush of triumph when we scoop up the same prize. (Kingsley Amis allowed that when he’d start writing a new novel, part of his motive was,” I’m going to show them this time!”) But occasional competitive grousing is a healthy step removed from equating success with standing atop the bodies of your peers. If nothing else it’s hard to claim victory when your imagined competitors may be entirely unaware of your existence - after all, some may have already been dead for a century. Quite plausibly they don’t win, while you - sooner or later - will lose. In some forms of comparison, defeat is all but inevitable.

But regardless of the yardstick used, all competitors share one telling characteristic: they know whee they rank in the pack. Avid competitors check their ranking constantly. Obsessive competitors simply equate with self - a chancy gambit, but one that works (when it does work) by tapping a source of energy that makes them work harder at their art, and almost always makes them good careerists. When sense of self depends so directly upon the ranking bestowed by the outside world, motivation to produce work that brings high rating sis extreme. In not knowing how to tell yourself that your work is OK, you may be driven to the top of the heap in trying to get the rest of the world to tell you.

In theory this is a perfectly valid approach - the tricky part is finding the right yardstick for measuring your accomplishments. What makes competition in the arts a slippery issue is simply that there’s rarely any consensus about what your best work is. Moreover, what’s important about each new piece is not whether it is better than you previous efforts but the ways in which it is similar or different. The meaningful comparison between two Bach fugues is not how they rank, but how they work.

When things go really well in your art making, all the pieces you make have a life to them, regardless of how they stack up as personal favorites. After all, they’re all your babies. It can even be argued that you have an obligation to explore the possible variations given that a single artistic question can yield many right answers. Productive times encourage you to build an extended body of work, one where all the pieces (even the flawed sketches that will never see the gallery wall) have a chance to play. In healthy times you rarely pause to distinguish between internal drive, sense of craft, the pressure of a deadline or the charm of a new idea - they all serve as sources of energy in the pieces you make.

Exceprted from Art & Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland

Observations on the Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking ©1993

Typos are made in error by the transcriber, Barbara Moon Batista

HELP - BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY CLASS NEEDS 3 MORE STUDENTS BY FRIDAY

The Basic Photography Class at Pacific Grove Adult School needs 3 more students for the class to go by Friday, October 5th. Please let your friends and family know if they have been looking for a basic course to review skills or getting their camera off of Auto. I have met the 3 students who have registered and they are eager and ready to go. The class meets on Monday afternoon from 1-4 PM. We do work with high school and college age students. You can register online at https://www.pgadulted.com or call a human at 831-646-6580. The fee is $150 for the course. Questions: Reply to this email. Thank you. Barbara Moon Batista

Pacific Grove Adult School Fall Class- Registration Open

Pacific Grove Adult School classes began this week and registration is not over. My classes start October 1st as follows:

Advanced Photography: Monday, Oct 1, 1-4PM Fee $150

Basic Photography Skills, Oct 2nd, 1-4PM, Fee $150

Lightroom Classic CC, Oct 4, 5:30-8:30, Fee $150

You can still register for one of these classes until October 5th. Thank you and hope to see you in class. Barbara

VOTE PRACTICE - REGISTER FOR PG ADULT SCHOOL OPEN SEPT 10TH

PRACTICE VOTING BY REGISTERING FOR A CLASS AT PG ADULT SCHOOL:

1. WE HAVE MULTIPLE CANDIDATES IN EACH CATEGORY,

2. DESCRIPTIONS ARE PROVIDED FOR EACH COURSE. PRACTICE FOR READNG ELECTION ISSUES ON THE BALLOT.

3. LEARN TO EXERCISE YOUR RIGHT TO VOTE BY PRACTICING CHOICE. 

4. EDUCATION LEADS TO A HEALTHY AND INFORMED CITIZEN. 

SEE YOU IN CLASS. BARBARA

REGISTRATION, FALL CLASSES PG ADULT SCHOOL OPENS SEPT 10TH

REGISTRATION FOR FALL CLASS OPENS MONDAY, SEPT 10, 2018. WE ARE OFFERING THE FOLLOWING CLASSES:

BASIC PHOTOGRAPHY SKILLS, TUESDAY 1-4 PM, Improve your camera skills and get off of Auto. Learn Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Depth of Field, Focal Length, Auto Focus, Color Temperature, Composition, and more. Weekly assignments, critique, fieldtrip, prints. 10 WEEKS,FEE $150,  CLASS STARTS OCT 2ND.

ADVANCED PHOTOGRAPHY, MONDAY, 1-4 PM,in Basic/Intermediate Photography. Introduction to Auto Focus, Historgram, RAW, Bracketing, HDR and Pano Concepts, as well as Compostion, weekly critiques, Fieldrip. 9 WEEKS, FEE $150 CLASS STARTS OCT 1ST.

LIGGHTROOM CLASSIC CC 7.3. Learn to Import, Edit and Develop your images in Lightroom. This is a basic course, some Mac Skills recommended. Textbook: Lightroom Classic CC by Scott Kelby. 10 WEEKS, FEE $150, CLASS BEGINS OCT 4TH. 

REGISTER AT  https://www.pgadulted.com or call a human at 646-6580.

I LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN CLASS. PLEASE EMAIL ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS AT barbara.moon@batistamoon.com. Thank you. 

New features in Lightroom Classic CC release on August 22, 2018

New Features in Lightroom Classic CC
Book Module Updates & Improved Blurb Support

The August release includes a number of important improvements to the Book Module, including supporting new Blurb book styles, including Layflat, Magazines, and Trade Books. Layflat books make unique layouts possible thanks to its seamless spreads. Magazines provide a high-end look with semi-gloss cover and velvet finish paper. Trade Books are affordable books ideal for distribution.

We’ve also added in additional features to refine the layout with custom-sized cells within a page. Add multiple cells, move specific cells to the front or back, and drag the cell exactly where you want with the help of new grids and guidelines. You can even save the custom layout to use it in another album in the future.

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Import Presets and Profiles

This release also adds in the ability to import a zip archive full of presets and profiles. Select Import from either the preset panel or profile browser and select the zip file and the application will place the presets and profiles each in the right place, saving you time.

For a full list of features and bug fixes found in the August release of Lightroom Classic CC desktop, read the New Features Summary. https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/help/whats-new.html#lr-classic-cc-7-5

Adobe News

Adobe won't support older operating systems with its next major Creative Cloud update.

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If you're not one to update your computer gear often, you might want to reconsider. Adobe has issued a notice future releases of Creative Cloud programs will no longer support older versions of MacOS and Windows operating systems.

'As we prepare for our next major release of Creative Cloud, we wanted to share some information on updated operating system requirements,' says Adobe. 'To take advantage of the latest operating system features and technologies, the next major release of Creative Cloud will not support Windows 8.1, Windows 10 v1511 and v1607, and Mac OS 10.11 (El Capitan).'

Adobe notes all past and current versions of Creative Cloud applications will continue to work on the aforementioned operating systems. Creative Cloud Desktop — the management application for all Creative Cloud apps — will continue to be supported on Windows 7 or later and MacOS 10.9 (Mavericks) and later.

According to Adobe, 'focusing [its] efforts on more modern versions of Windows and Mac operating systems allows [it] to concentrate on developing the features and functionality most requested by members, while ensuring peak performance that takes advantage of modern hardware.'

Fall Classes Survey

Pacific Grove Adult School is where I teach photography skills, Lightroom and related topics. Fall classes start Sept 24, 2018 and run through Dec 22, 2018. This is an informal survey to see what people think about. 

I have had classes in basic, intermediate and advanced photography skills, iPhoneography, Portfolio Development and Lightroom as well as  local field trips. 

These classes are designed for a 10 week cycle during which we  meet for 3 hours per week and we learn the skills relating to the subject.  It has become increasingly apparent to me that busy schedules keep people from enrolling. One concern I am aware of   is missing class sessions for various reasons. Missed opportunity?  How do they makeup the class missed? Can they catch up? 

I have observed a class structure I want to propose. Intensive learning.   The class meets for longer periods of time. One example is Lightroom. The intensive learning period would be for 1  seven or eight hour day that meets once a month for 3 months OR 3 consecutive weeks. 

Problem: Missing classes. Solution: Lightroom Lab once a month with instructor for review and catchup of missed material. Additional fee would apply.  

Idea: Remote teaching. Instructor offers student remote teaching with TeamViewer where the lesson is taught through the app while the instructor watches the student perform the missed lessons. Additional fees apply.

Idea: Webinar. Instructor provides online video of the missed class. 

My other question is more about content. What classes do you want to take in the photographic area and be specific if you can. 

Looking forward to comments, suggestions, ideas. Thank you in advance. 

 

 

 

 

Lightroom Class Opportunity this Summer

We have one chair open in a new private Lightroom class. The class starts on July 12 2018 from 6-9 PM at our studio. The class is limited to 4 and the fee is $250 for 8 sessions. Dates the class will meet is July 12, 19, 26, Aug 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. We cover the Import and Develop Module basics. Please contact me by email or call 831-905-0461 if you have questions. A laptop is required, PC or Mac. Thank you. 

Invitation to the Exhibit at Center for Photographic Art, Sat July 7 5-7 PM

I am honored to have one of my images selected for the gallery wall. Please join us to celebrate photography at the local level. I am sure you will be pleased to see the variety  of work and find one that speaks to you. Barbara Moon Batista

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Our annual Members Juried Exhibition is here! Nearly 1,100 entries were submitted from around the world, so our esteemed juror, master printer and popular workshop mentor Charles Cramer, definitely had his work cut out for him. He has selected forty-five photographs for display in the gallery exhibition and forty-five more for our online exhibition.

Please join us for what is sure to be an exciting opening reception on Saturday, July 7 from 5:00 – 7:00pm. Mr. Cramer will announce the first, second and third place awards, plus five awards of merit, for a total of $2000 in prizes! The exhibition catalog will be available for purchase at the reception.