Exhalation I

Skip Cohen asked me to share one of my images and answer one question “Why?”.

I gave him four answers.

1   It was a turning point in my vision.

2   It’s still as strong today as it was then and it continues to take on new life through new images.

3    It’s taught me so much.

4    I’ve learned so much from viewer’s responses.

Skip recorded our conversation.

You can listen to more here.

Plus, listen to more in Skip Cohen’s audio series “Why?” here.


“B&H’s OPTIC 2016 Imaging Conference provided numerous opportunities to talk with some of the most respected nature and landscape photographers working today, but the highlights of our two days at OPTIC had to be our chat with Michael Kenna, the event’s keynote presenter, and our conversation with Paul and John Paul Caponigro. It is unnecessary to summarize the work of these three photographers in any quick description but, suffice it to say, each is a master of his craft.

While their work is distinctive and unique, it was wonderful to hear of their common vision, approach—and yes, spirituality—and for this reason, we present their conversations together. With Kenna we spoke of process, why he sticks with medium format film photography and what motivates and inspires his work. With the Caponigros, we touched upon the spirit of art, how to communicate with nature and, with Father’s Day in mind, how to let a child discover his or her own path to artistic expression. Join us for these two inspirational conversations.” – John Harris and Alan Weitz

Michael Kenna (1:30 – 30:05)
Paul and John Paul Caponigro (31:00-57:10)

Listen to it here.

View our lecture at B&H’s OPTIC 2016 Conference here.

Read our conversation here.

View the ebook Two Generations here.

View the Two Generations exhibit catalog here.

Try setting half an hour a day for your creative life. If you did this everyday for one year, you’d give yourself 182.5 hours, roughly the equivalent of 4.6 work weeks. As you can see, it really adds up.

Many find it helps to pay yourself first in the morning. Get up early and get more time for yourself. One advantage to setting time aside in the evening is that the amount of time you spend can often be extended. Try both. Monitor your energy, Strike a balance between what’s practical and what’s ideal for you.

Set up a space that’s ready for you to be creative (even if this is a User setting on a portable computer) and keep it organized, so you’re ready to go when you get your time and you don’t waste it organizing.

Finally, when you’re able, take a trip for a long weekend or week of total immersion. Trips can add many more valuable hours to your creative life, as well as new stimulation, new material, and a fresh perspective.

The biggest challenges are starting and sticking to a plan. Start now. You’re sure to miss a day here and there, just don’t make it a habit. Instead, make a habit of taking some time for yourself.

Listen to more creativity tips here.

Learn more in my creativity workshops.

Recently, I spoke with Scott Sheppard on NIK Radio. Scott wanted to talk about how to avoid “Photographic A.D.D.”. He asked, “So what do you do?” I replied, “You have two choices. You can spray and pray. Or, you can look before you leap.”  I elaborate in our wide ranging discussion on how to focus your creative vision.

Listen to our conversation on NIK Radio.

Find more audio inspiration on my website.

Learn more about creativity in my digital photography workshops.

Nik Radio

August 21, 2010 | Leave a Comment |


Visit Nik Radio and listen to advice and inspiration from top pros using Nik software; the growing list of offerings includes Tony Corbel, Moose Peterson, Rick Sammon, Tony Sweet, Vincent Versace, and many others.

Want more inspiration?

Read selections from 42 conversations with photographers here.


Chris Orwig, Deke McClelland and I talk about the artist’s life.

We all agree. Creativity can be taught. We can all learn to be more creative.

Listen to the conversation here.

Learn to be more creative with my free Lessons.

Learn to be more creative in my digital photography workshop here.


April 8, 2010 | Leave a Comment |



Having trouble coming up with new ideas? Get thousands of ideas with one word. Try SCAMPER. In 1939 advertising executive Alex Osborn, “the father of brainstorming”, first proposed a set of nine strategies for creative thinking, seven of which were later rearranged by Bob Eberle into the mnemonic SCAMPER.

S   Substitute

C   Combine

A   Adapt

M   Modify

P   Put to Other Uses

E   Eliminate

R   Rearrange

What are the other two missing words?

Minify, which I like to think of as expand and contract or put another way reduce and enlarge.

Reverse, which I think is the most powerful tool of all. It’s typified by the 180 degree rule. Do the opposite.

The underlying assumption with SCAMPER is that new ideas are based on old ones. This may not always be the case, but often it is. To use SCAMPER, you have to start with something.

You can use SCAMPER as a list of questions that can be used to generate new ideas. Simply ask, “Can I ____ something?” inserting the words SCAMPER represents one at a time. Next, you might try using two words at a time. Later try three. Classically, the best solutions are the simplest, but not always.

Find over 20 creativity tips here.

Learn more in my workshops.

Jimi DeRouen (Rocky Nook) talks with Harris Fogel (Mac Edition Radio) about the creation of and editorial concerns of Rocky Nook books in this 10 minute interview.

Kathy Ryan (New York Times Magazine) talks with Harris Fogel about curating exhibits for the New York Photo Festival in this 20 minute interview.


Daniel Power (PowerHouse books) talks with Harris Fogel (Mac Edition Radio) about the creation of the New York Photo Festival in this 14 minute interview.

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