I have a degree in painting from Indiana University. Everything I learned there influences my photography. To me all the different ways to make images are pretty much the same thing at a fundamental level, so principles you learn in one visual art are useful in another.

 

My ideas about photography change (hopefully evolve) all the time, and I'm never short on opinions. I apologize if I step on a few toes here, but this is my manifesto space so this is what I've got.

  

Because of my training as a painter I know that cameras will only get me part of the way to a finished image. No amount of AI is going to guide cameras to incorporate all of a painter’s hard won tricks of trade to create the illusions of space. The camera’s representations of color are only suggestions roughly analogous to what the eye and brain interprets, which I am more than happy to rebalance or alter to suit my purposes. Contrast, sharpness, line and form are also aspects I want to control and influence. A raw file is only the first step. So photos Straight Out Of the Camera (SOOC) have no particular merit as far as I'm concerned.

 

Getting the photo right “in camera” is a fine ideal, but many, many of my best photos (some prize winning) are photos that any other photographer would have deleted on first glance. Bad lighting, bad colors, bad exposure, noise are things I've learned to correct for in post-processing. In fact I enjoy bringing a poorly exposed photo to “life” because it reminds me so much of the painting process. If I'm not post-processing my photos what part can I claim in their creation? Buying a camera and lens, pointing it in the right direction and pressing the shutter seem to me to be insignificant contributions to making a picture requiring no particular talent or skill.

 

To people who ask me how they can take better photos I say: draw. You don't have to draw well, but the act of drawing will make you a far better observer. If nothing else seeing better will get you closer to what you want “in camera.”

 

On photographing smokers

Rather than romanticizing, glamorizing young, rebellious people smoking, let’s show the world what it’s like when they are in hospital beds dying of cancer, resembling road kill. Let’s photograph them as nurses suck green ooze from their lungs so they won’t drown in their own bodily fluids. Let’s picture them when their faces plead for someone to please put them out of their misery. I watched my father, a smoker, die that way. Of course, the last thing at the time I wanted was to take a photograph.

 

Sunsets

I've seen about all the oversaturated sunset photos I need to for several lifetimes. Surely there are other subjects worthy of photographers’ attentions.

 

Finally.. Don't follow me on Instagram. Instagram is antithetical to everything I believe in regarding images made by artists.

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  • JoinedAugust 2005
  • Occupationretired
  • HometownMerrillville, IN
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Photos of Glen Bledsoe

Testimonials

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The Girl with White Hood reminds me of Johannes Vermeer Dutch artist work.

December 2, 2018

Glen has been an ongoing inspiration for me since I first arrived on Flickr, his talents and skill in the art of, cartooning, graphic art, traditional art, digital processing, HDR, photography, mentoring, just to name a few, can be described as remarkable, a true magician in every sense. I am so pleased to know Glen th… Read more

Glen has been an ongoing inspiration for me since I first arrived on Flickr, his talents and skill in the art of, cartooning, graphic art, traditional art, digital processing, HDR, photography, mentoring, just to name a few, can be described as remarkable, a true magician in every sense. I am so pleased to know Glen through Flickr. Glen has always provided honest critique, valuable advice, creative collaboration and supportive encouragement for me, and I will always appreciate every word, oh! And let's not forget his sense of humor and northern hemisphere banter, always fun. Thank you Glen, I look forward to see where both our artistic passions lead us through our future in the Flickr environment and in life. Your Flickr pal Rachel

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September 10, 2014

GlenBledsoe is a good photographer, and he's created some really inspiring stuff! It's one of few photostreams I keep returning to every once in a while.

August 17, 2010

Glen has been one of the most helpful of all of my many friends on Flickr!!! His comments are always thoughtful and encouraging!!! His work is excellent and varied. Very skillful with current software!!! His knowledge of both art and basic photography shines throughout his photostream. Treat yourself to a visit! You w… Read more

Glen has been one of the most helpful of all of my many friends on Flickr!!! His comments are always thoughtful and encouraging!!! His work is excellent and varied. Very skillful with current software!!! His knowledge of both art and basic photography shines throughout his photostream. Treat yourself to a visit! You will be glad you did!!!!!!

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July 21, 2010