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Social networks can be wonderful ways of sharing events in our lives, with or without images. Most posts are seen, commented on, and shared more if they include an image.

Some posts are just images. And there are social networks just for images. This all creates an insatiable demand for images, specifically photographs. Now, over one trillion photographs are made every year. (For the past several years, each year more photographs are created in the current year than in all previous years combined.)

Usually when photographs are shared there is no indication of what kind of photograph it is. They’re all shared equally, almost as if they’re all equal and all made for the same reasons, which they’re not. Never mind that some photographs are of higher quality than others. Making this kind of value judgment is another matter entirely – and not the point here. The point here is that we make many different kinds of photographs for many different reasons. (We quickly disregard the imperfections in family snapshots, sometimes they feel more real and immediate because of them, favoring instead their accuracy and spontaneity. We evaluate and use formal portraits in entirely different ways.) How successful photographs are is determined by how well they do what we want them to do. There is no one set of criteria that can be applied equally to all photographs; instead we apply different criteria to different kinds of photographs.

They shouldn’t all be read the same. If we looked at all photographs as being the same, and if we looked at all photographs in the same ways, we’d make many inaccurate conclusions and miss many important points.

So it’s important to ask, “How do we want the photographs we share to be received?”

Can we make it easier by taking some of the guesswork out of it all and tell our viewers more about what we’re trying to say by telling them more about how we’re trying to say it? There aren’t standard conventions for this – yet. (And we need them.)

In an attempt to embrace the challenge of communicating what kinds of photographs I share, I’ve started using specific language to describe and ways of presenting different types of photographs differently.

Here’s my current solution.

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Documents are shared bare with no border.

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Studies made during the development of more resolved work are shared with a textured paper border.

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Fine art is shared with a matt and frame.    

It takes a little extra time to add these touches but I think it’s worth the effort. In the end, I feel I’m communicating more effectively. I also find making the distinction between these types of images personally useful. I become clearer about what I’m trying to do, often while I’m making photographs. I’m better able to assess how well I’ve done what I’m trying to do and don’t waste time and energy applying an inappropriate set of criteria; sometimes this affects both productivity and how I make photographs. And finally, because I ask these questions I find new ideas – and that may be the most rewarding part of this process.

How do you share images in social networks?

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New Series – Incubation

January 16, 2014 | 1 Comment |

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 Incubation II, 2013

20121204__SAARGpumice-_0437-Edit Incubation I, 2013

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Incubation IX, 2013

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Incubation XIII, 2013

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Incubation III, 2013

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Incubation V, 2013

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Incubation IV, 2013

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Incubation VIII, 2013

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Incubation XI, 2013

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Incubation XII, 2013

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Incubation VI, 2013

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Incubation VII, 2013

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Incubation XIV, 2013

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Incubation X

My newest series of images Incubation uses a dynamic approach to representing both spaces and objects within those spaces, blending images of the same subject taken from multiple angles – panoramics, duplications, nestings, symmetries, tesselations, etc – that take on complex perceptual responses and psychological overtones.

Currently, all of the images are drawn from the same location made during two separate adventures (2012 and 2013) to the Atacama Desert in Argentina.

View more featured image collections here.

Search my online gallery for specific images here.

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01_paulcaponigro 02_paulcaponigro 03_paulcaponigro 04_paulcaponigro 05_paulcaponigro 06_paulcaponigro 07_paulcaponigro 08_paulcaponigro 09_paulcaponigro 10_paulcaponigro 11_paulcaponigro 12_paulcaponigro Paul Caponigro, Inner Trilithon, Sunrise, Stonehenge, 1970, Gela

This is a selection of my picks of my father’s top 12 images.

This doesn’t reflect sales, publication, or web views.

It simply reflects my opinion.

It’s challenging to choose so few images – but it’s insightful.

Try it with your own images or artists’ work that influences you.

I had a marvelous time in Uyuni, Bolivia with Seth Resnick and Eric Meola after our recent Atacama desert adventure in Argentina.  (Find out about our Dec 6-14, 2013 Atacama workshop here.)

These three new images are the first of many. They’re quite similar to several continuing bodies of work – Reflection, Exhalation, and Refraction  – and they are also distinctly different. (Preview the Blurb books for each series here.) They are also related to another series currently in development that I’ll share soon. Which series are they a part of? Are they a part of many series?Are they a separate series?

Two previously released images are from the same location, but they don’t have the light effects. Are they a part of the same series?

Why don’t I just title the images with a place and date? Because these images are statements about internal truths rather than external facts.

(You can read more about How I Title My Images here.)

(Read my advice on How To Title Your Images here.)

It would be easy to say, “Use any title you want. You’re the artist!” While it’s harder to do, I think that titles work best when they honor the content of the work and communicate that effectively to others.

It takes time to work these things out. There will be more new images. And, my understanding of this work will grow. How long this process may continue is unknown. But I need to title these images – soon.

It’s Untitled for now. But, not for long.

What would you title these images?

Illumination VI

Reflection LVIII

Reflection LVII

Illumination VI

Illumination II

Illumination VII

Illumination III

Illumination XVII

Suffusion XV

Suffusion  XIX

Suffusion XXVI

Suffusion XXI

Suffusion XX

This is a selection of my top 12 images of all time. This selection doesn’t reflect sales, publication, or activities on the web. It simply reflects my opinion. Click on the titles to find out more about each image.

Geography

These images are drawn from three locations – Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats, Namibia’s Sossusvlei dune files, and Iceland’s Skogafoss waterfall.

Process

These images were all drawn from three separate hour-long sessions each yielding complete individual portfolios. I used to think I’d be lucky if I got one really good image from a shoot, but after a few experiences where more than one really good image was made from a single subject, I cast aside my limited thinking. Now I ask, “How far can I take this?”

Concepts

All of these images come out of a way of relating to the world (all of it) as parts of a living thing into whose fibers we are deeply woven. In addition to changing organic forms, they all have a strong suggestion of breath.

Magnificent Moment

They’re all nominees for my list of most sublime landscape experiences. While standing silently focused on Iceland’s Skogafoss waterfall was the fulfillment of many years of looking for my own original response to a classic subject, and walking in the clouds reflected on the surface of Bolivia’s Uyuni salt flats was the realization of a long-standing dream, few landscape experiences compare to the hour spent flying over Sossusvlei Namibia’s 1,500 foot high coral dunes after a sustained sandstorm – the experience was so penetrating it took me quite some time to clearly see the new directions and new levels it offered.It’s challenging to choose so few images from so many – but it’s insightful. Try selecting your own top 12 images. Try selecting the top 12 images of your favorite artist(s).

View more of my Annual Top 12 Selections here.

ReadThe Benefits Of Performing An Annual Image Review here.

Read The Benefits Of Selecting Your Top Images here.

After Seth Resnick and I finished our recent Digital Photo Destinations workshop (See our itinerary here.) we scouted possible new locations with Eric Meola in Bolivia’s high deserts guided by the first rate Daniel Portal of Another World Photography. The highlight of the trip was a 24 hour session on the Uyuni salt flats. Afternoon storms added an electric drama to the edges of the playa and turned other parts of it into a mirror. Whether at sunrise, midday, or sunset it was like walking on/in the sky. It was truly one of the most sublime landscape moments of my life ranking right up there with hellcopter aerials over Namibia’s Sossusvlei, cruising through Antarctica’s The Gullet, or quietly watching the evening colors change from sky blue to gold to dusky gray behind Iceland’s Seljalandsfoss waterfall.

These images are a few of my quick iPhone sketches.
It will take some concentrated time to finish my final images.

Digital Photo Destinations is returning to all of these locations in 2013.
Email jpc@digitalphotodestinations to be the first to hear about these workshops.

Every year I travel with my son and wife to visit her family in Italy. In between moments at the beach, visits to family members houses, and long meals I steal a moment here and there to make photographs, sometimes lagging behind, sometimes rushing ahead, other times ducking around a corner. The environment is very different from the ones I work in professionally. I use this as an opportunity to explore other interests. I find periodically getting out of my comfort zone and exploring other subjects in other environments helps me be a more versatile artistically. The things I learn along the way can later be transposed to my professional work.

How does play inform your image-making?

Here’s a selection of recent images of Italian walls, doors, and windows.

(All of these images were taken and processed with an iPhone.)

 Learn more about iPhone photography in my column on the Huffington Post.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

 

 

What is it about Monhegan Island that gets your creative juices flowing? Maybe it’s the how beautiful it is; ocean, cliffs, forests, gardens, island life. Maybe it’s the sense of getting away from it all; the island is 12 miles out to sea. Maybe it’s the creative community on the island; it’s had a long history as an artist’s colony. Whenever I’m on the island I give myself license to play – writing, drawing, photographing and dreaming.

Here’s a selection of my iPhone images made on recent excursions to Monhegan Island.

Find out more about my Monhegan Island photographic workshop here.

Read more

Charles Adams (my assistant both in the studio and in the field) is having his first exhibition this coming Friday, May 4th at Asymmetrick Arts in Rockland, Maine. It will run until May 25th.

24  of his images will be on display, along with sculpture from artist Vic Goldsmith. For those that cannot make the opening, there will also be an Artist talk on May 19th.

May 4 – 25
Asymmetrick Arts
405 Main Street, Rockland ME
207.954.2020

Learn more about Charles Adams and view his images here.

Visit Asymmetrick Arts here.


These images came together quickly – after a lot of gestation. I sketched the idea several years ago during a workshop with Focus On Nature. I made the shots last summer, scouting for another workshop with Ragnar th Sigurdsson and Arthur Meyerson. The first time I visited this location, (Skogafoss, Iceland) I took a few shots in less than half an hour, looking for major compositional variations. After looked at those shots and identified this idea, I shot very differently the next time, standing still for the better part of an hour and watching the water for significant variations within just a few compositions.

I wasn’t certain, but I suspected I’d want to add an accent to the abstract composition, deciding on smoke during processing. While I processed the files, I also sketched out a number of significant variations to test location of symmetry/assymetry, positive/negative space, light/dark, and location/angle/value of smoke. Doing this revealed more options than I had initially pre-visualized. And that means there are more related images to make. It also clarified a few outstanding ideas and connections to other images, some made and some still in development. That means I have some ideas about how they’ll can be integrated into existing projects and new things that will come out of them. I find the seeds of future work are usually planted in current work and if tended will yield more fruit.

I think about and plan series of images, often for quite some time before and over an extended period of time during their development. While I’m focussed, I look for surprises and modify my plans based on the new insights they introduce at every creative stage – planning, exposure, development, reflection, redevelopment, metamorphosis.

Find more images here.

Find out about my Iceland workshops here.


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