"What always comes first, in my view of photography, is the concept or idea. How the idea is executed depends on the photographer's visual vocabulary."
|Hands Grabbing The Sun||©1999, Al Francekevich|
The image displayed, "Hands Grabbing The Sun" by Al Francekevich, has been sold over 30 times in less than a year- for use in many different kinds of media.
"To make this work," recalls Francekevich, "I had the model hold a little Morris Mini-Slave Wide Plus Strobe which has a built in photo-slave that triggers it when the other studio strobes are fired. It proved pretty powerful, so I wrapped it in two layers of handkerchief to make it less intense."
"At the time I created this part of the eventual photo I wasn't sure what the background would be. (The hands were shot on a black background.) I had a vague idea it would be some kind of sky or cloud background. I started working on it in Photoshop and a found a nice sky from a trip to Florida's Sanibel Island and then realized what I really had was an image of hands grabbing the sun! Apparently this final concept has appealed to a number of clients and I expect it to appeal to many more."
"I feel that this image crosses the borderline between commercial photography and fine art. Many stock photo themes are so very obviously stock because of the subject matter involved- money, computer keyboards, business people on cellular phones and so on. While I still do some of these, my interest has broadened in the direction of universal themes. The fine art business (especially in photography) has often geared itself to the bizarre and sensational, but I think there is a need for beautiful, interesting, and expressive images."
Al Francekevich has learned to adapt during the past 35 years and is a perfect example of Darwin's "survival of the fittest" theory in action. If he hadn't been flexible, he'd just be another famous out-of-work photographer who'd stayed in a state of denial until it was too late.
As one of the country's top advertising photographers, he's done assignments for all the biggies...AT&T, Kodak, GE, IBM, Polaroid, American Express, Nikon, Olympus, and practically every pharmaceutical company in the country. He's no slouch at editorial work, either, having bagged Newsweek, Time, Reader's Digest, Forbes and many others. And to top it off, his fine art photography is in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian.
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