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Paul Chepikian


Member Since: 2005

BIOGRAPHY

First and foremost, let me say how difficult it is for me to critique the work of others. I try not to critique as much as observe, suggest or comment. I try to the best of my ability not to say, "here's what I would have done." I think it best to comment on the image as it has been taken and presented, not how I would have done it. It is, after all, very subjective. Certainly there are some rules that have been established in terms of traditional photography, cropping, color, focus, etc. But we also know that throughout history, artists have broken the rules to achieve greatness and create truly inspired work that led the way for others. And with this in mind, I mention Photoshop to my "purist" friends: When photography first came along, our brothers and sisters who were painters didn't accept photographers as artists either. Like all things, Photoshop can be used and also abused. It's like the little boy and that big box of crayons, he feels compelled to use every color. By the same token, for me personally, I felt it was very important to learn the rules before I went about breaking them. I am old enough to say my background is traditional photography. I've inhaled the chemicals and loaded the film cans. Like many others, I've had it suggested that I crop this in or crop that out, or pan up or down, left or right, etc. What we have to take into consideration is: Was there the ability to do that? Sometimes panning to one direction or the other, up or down means we might get the shot of the trash dumpster in the frame, or the chain link fence just off camera, or the telephone line and the phone booth or one of a hundred other things. If we're not the individual at the location, taking the image, we're not entirely aware of the facts. We shouldn't pretend to know the situation the photographer was in when he/she took the photograph. And always, and I believe this is the most important thing to remember, I make it a point, first and foremost, to try and be encouraging, supportive and constructive in all my comments. Only later, if necessary, possibly follow up by suggestions and observations for future efforts. If I slip up sometimes, in advance, I ask for your forgiveness. Many years ago, I made a living as a photographer. For a time, I walked away and eventually sold my equipment. I don't like "instruments" to be sitting in a closet collecting dust. I'd rather someone make use of them. Then digital came along and for some reason I had a renewed interest. I'm on my third generation of digital cameras. They've come a long way since I started with my 4-mega-pixel camera (for all you old timers, my first 35 SLR camera was a Petri). I now shoot for myself with a Canon 20D and two lenses. I make a living as, for a lack of a better term, a "creative person." It's official, my business card actually says that. I have been an art director, creative director, a photographer, a videographer, taught and performed improvisational comedy for fifteen years, written and produced a half hour sketch comedy for the Showtime Network, well, let's just say what I've done in my life is as diverse as the subject matter that's in my portfolio. I know one thing for certain, I would die if I were not being creative. I want to take a moment and thank Terry, my wife/my angel, for all her love, support and encouragement. Thanks to her, I recently had my first formal exhibition of my work. Thanks also to my dear friend, Vanessa, who not only has been kind enough to sit for me, but also took the fun image of me that I'm using in my bio. Thanks so much for visiting and feel free to contact me. I am located in Southern California. All the best and feel free to get in touch via email.


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