George Warren Ziegler is our judge for October 2nd 2017.
George, a fine art landscape, "astroscape", and architectural photographer, is a native of Long Island, New York. Growing up around relatives who were avid photographers and cinematographers, he developed a love of photography at an early age. During military service in 1968 he purchased his first 35mm camera, a Minolta SRT 101. Since the turn of the century, George has been shooting almost exclusively digital and currently uses a Nikon D800. He does his own printing on a large format Epson printer.
After an early retirement George worked several years for ExpoImaging, Inc. where he wrote much of the technical support manuals, user manuals, and FAQs for the company’s ExpoDisc and ExpoAperture products. George was instrumental in redesigning the ExpoAperture Depth-of-field Guide for the digital age and developing a metric version. During this time he obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography from San José State University in 2010, graduating Magna Cum Laude. His thesis project California Vision was exhibited in the Herbert Sanders Gallery in late November, 2010 and was favorably received by the University.
In the past George has been a member of the Light and Shadow Camera Club and has won several club and 6C awards. He is a charter member of the Morgan Hill Photography Club, serving on the club's Board of Directors since its inception in 2008. He is also the facilitator of the club's Lightroom Special Interest Group and the club's webmaster (http://morganhillphotographyclub.org). He was recently appointed as its new President.
John Gardner, in his book The Art of Fiction, discusses the importance of creating for the reader what he calls "a vivid and continuous dream." I believe that this concept can and should be applied to photography as well. A successful image should draw the viewer into the visual world created by the artist and keep him/her within the borders of the image until the complete pictorial story is told.
To accomplish this an artist uses compositional elements and other photographic techniques, including selective post-processing, to tell a story. However the artist should not be so intent on following the so-called "rules" that he/she ends up producing a "formulated" image lacking interest or feeling. It's true that successful images for the most part contain elements that adhere strictly to the "rules" however, there are many noteworthy images that break the rules. In many cases the ones that break the rules tend to be more memorable. Therefore, in order for the artist to effectively tell his/her story, it's okay to break the rules when necessary.
Finally, technical excellence in capturing an image, producing a final print or projected image, and in presentation, such as matting, is very important. The artist needs to present his/her work by applying the highest technical standards. Nothing detracts more from an excellent image than poor presentation or execution.