Budh

Secret Flower

Spirit of the Squash Blossom

Censered

Enchambered

Jonahs Apprehension

This is a selection of the images that started my series Revelation over twenty years ago. I had been planning on making related images in the arctic and antarctic for more than ten years. The series Revelation was on my mind when I first went to Antarctica in 2005; I started shooting deliberately for it on a return voyage in 2007; material slowly accumulated in subsequent voyages in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015; and then in 2016 it all came together. Part of the reason this work waited so long is that there was other work to do, including the completion of other related bodies of work including Inhalation and Exhalation. Doing that work influenced this work.

The images I recently released (arctic and antarctic Revelations) have a different quality as a result of waiting. they would have been different if I finished them earlier. In part, this comes from sleeping on it; the subconscious does a lot of work. In part, this is is the result of a significant amount of conscious thought; studying craft and composition were only the beginnings, digging into my thoughts and feelings about the subject and the approach were the real keys; related reading and viewing supported it. In part, this is the result of my inner state now; contrary to what some have suggested, I’ve found this isn’t something to overcome no matter what the current conditions but rather something to be nurtured and cultivated. While one needs to guard agains procrastination, one also needs to guard against rushing through content and not developing the necessary depth to fully engage it, fostering an intimate relationship with it. Doing the work develops depth.  And, the work doesn’t just happen behind the lens or in front of the computer.

So when should you make work? This is a question that is best approached with awareness and deep contemplation. Though there are repeatable patterns and common tendencies, there is no one definitive answer to this question for all artists and all situations. I’ve found some work gets produced very quickly, sometimes a whole series is made in one shoot, and some work gets produced very slowly, over decades. Ultimately, I think you have to go with your gut. That doesn’t rule out the possibility and potential benefits of a great deal of research and forethought before you do. The two working in concert together often yield the most powerful combination. However, the single most important ingredient is, not mere spontaneity, which can be short lived, but an effervescence of spirit, and it’s particularly important to pay attention to this quality if it can be sustained over longer periods of time. One needs to be alive to the work to make it a living thing.

In the era of social networks, there is a tremendous pressure to release work quickly and to keep releasing work on a regular basis.  This can create a pace that is unsustainable for most creatives, at least when it comes to releasing work with real depth. Good fully developed work takes time … because developing a relationship with your work and your self takes time, much like creating deeper relationships with people take time. Savor it.

At the same time, the unfinished work we make along the way has it’s own value, a very different value, and it can be fascinating to watch how we get to our final destinations. It’s important to know the difference and make the distinction between fully developed images and unfinished images, between work and play, both when we are producing our own images and enjoying others.

View new images in my series Revelation here.

View more images in the series Revelation here.

View the 360 degree interactive exhibit here.

View related Studies here.

Revelation XLII

Revelation XLIV

Revelation XXV

Revelation XXIX

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Revelation XXVI

Revelation XXVIII

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Revelation XXXVIII

New images from my series Revelation are out!

Find more here.

View the ebook here.

Get the catalog here.

See related studies here.

Find out about the making of the exhibit here.

Hear my gallery talks on Facebook Live.

Antarctica CXCV

Antarctica CXCI

Antarctica CXC

Antarctica CXCII

Antarctica CXCIII

Antarctica CXCIV

Antarctica CXCVIII

Antarctica CXCVI

Antarctica CXCVII

During our 2016 DPD Antarctica Workshop we had beautiful weather – foggy mornings, sunny days, and calm waters. I’d been looking for clear reflections like these for years; it is the windiest continent. All of the eight voyages I’ve made to Antarctica have been defined by weather, which has never been the same twice.

View more images here.

Find out about my exhibit New Work 2016 here.

Preview my ebook Antarctica here.

Get a free ebook Antarctica Two Visions here.

Find out about our 2018 DPD Antarctica workshop here!

NZ_framed_1

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.

IMG_8874

Documents are shared bare with no border.

NZ_3

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

NZ_framed_2_425

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?

Follow me on Instagram.

Like me on Facebook.

Follow me on Twitter.

Circle me on Google+.

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.

Sign up for my free enews Collectors Alert for announcements of new images, discounts, and more.

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.

 

 


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