What Is This?

July 31, 2008 | 8 Comments |


What is This?

It’s a part of my Annual Exhibit 8/2-3.

Click your browser’s refresh button until you find the image in the top right corner of my blog.

Find out more in an upcoming post.

You can see my Annual Exhibit in person 8/2-3. Find out more here.

Stay tuned for online releases all weekend long.

What do you think this is? Comment here!

Jay Tomioka visited with me last winter for a video interview. He’s doing a very interesting project on photography that includes extensive video interviews. Other photographers he’s interviewed include Jerry Uelsmann, Maggie Taylor, Steve McCurry and many more. One of his themes is the relationship between eastern and western sensibilities and uses of photography. It’s an important theme for me. We spent hours talking. It’s an interesting series about to be released. You can preview video excerpts here. (Each video is just under 10 minutes long.)

Read the interview here.

See more Jay Tomioka videos here.

You can hear me speak about my new work during my Annual Open Studio Exhibit 8/2-3. Learn more here.

Read more of what I have to say in interviews here.
Read my conversations with other artists here.
Sign up for Insights to receive alerts on new content here.



It’s a r/evolution. You produce the content, Blurb produces the product. Design your own book with easy to use software. Update it whenever you want – even after it’s gone to press. Order as many copies as you want whenever you want. Let other people purchase as many copies as they want whenever they want. Print only copies that are sold. Warehouse nothing. Let someone else handle and ship the product for you. No publisher or distributor necessary. Artist to client with only one entity in between – Blurb.

Having watched my mother shepherd the creation of some of the finest photographic art books of the 20th century, I know what goes into creating a great book. Blurb’s production values aren’t the finest on the planet – but they’re surprisingly good! Blurb won’t make you a great photographer, a great picture editor, a great writer, a great graphic designer, a great book printer, or a great book binder. But you can do it all yourself. And there can be something unique about having a singular vision controlling all aspects of a book’s content. Blurb’s about getting the job done. It makes things possible that were never possible before. For instance, you can quickly revise or expand a book. You can make unique one of a kind books customized for an individual. You can even make a book by collaborating remotely and independently with other people.

If you’d like some help producing your book, Blurb offers BlurbNation, a community of expert bookmakers available for you to hire to help make your books.

You can also make a GroupBook. Invite people to contribute photos to your book. Your contributors can simply upload photos to Blurb’s Web site (via a personal email invitation that we help you send). Then you can access the photos directly in BookSmart. Then, when you’re making a book, instead of “hooray for me!” you can cheer “go team!”

The most important thing about this r/evolution is it empowers you. You don’t have to wait for a publisher to sign on to your project. You don’t have make a big investment in producing a large inventory to self-publish. You don’t have to warehouse and distribute the books. You, the artist can create your own book – from start to finish. And that means more books are being produced. It also means different kinds of books are being produced. These kinds of books can span a wide spectrum from family album to artistic journal to community project to artists collaborations to monographs to thematic essays.

It’s a r/evolution. We’ve seen it coming for over a decade. It’s finally here.

Check back here soon for an upcoming announcement on the release of my first Blurb book.

Check out Blurb here.

Get a signed copy of my book at my Annual Exhibit 8/2-3. Find out more here.

Sign up for Insights for alerts and special discounts on new resources.

For years I’ve used Epson printers to print custom promotional materials in limited quantities.

Recently, we just finished printing posters for my Annual Open Studio Exhibit. I post them regionally to promote the exhibit and I sell a limited number of signed posters during the event.

Owning your own inkjet printer is like having your own offset press – only better. While each item takes longer to produce and costs more, the quality is better; resolution, color, and durability are exceptional. While this approach isn’t optimal for high volume production (thousands of copies), desktop printers are great for short runs. Because you don’t have to produce a large number of units to make a project cost effective (you don’t have to invest in the materials to produce a project or the time and space to warehouse a large inventory), inkjet printers make it possible to make certain things that might never have been made before.

Like what? Come and see! And stay tuned for more posts.

What do you use desktop printers to produce? Comment here.

Find out more about my Annual Open Studio Exhibit here.

Find Epson printers here.

Check out the Epson Professional Imaging website here.

Check out my Printing downloads here.

Find out about my digital printing workshop series The Fine Digital Print here.

Now, for a limited time only, you can get cash back when you purchase select Epson printers.

Get …
$200 back when you buy an Epson Stylus Pro 4880
$300 back when you buy an Epson Stylus Pro 7880
$500 back when you buy an Epson Stylus Pro 9880
$3000 back when you buy an Epson Stylus Pro 11880

It takes 4 easy steps.
1  Make Your Purchase
2  Attach Your Receipt and UPC Code
3  Check Product Name and Code
4  Write Your Serial Number Down
5  Mail in your rebate form.

Claims must be postmarked 30 days from purchase date.

Get more information in PDF format here.

Find Epson printers here.

Check out the Epson Professional Imaging website here.

Check out my Printing downloads here.

Find out about my digital printing workshop series The Fine Digital Print here.


The Dirty Dozen: Eliminating Common Imaging Mistakes – Mac Holbert’s first DVD is about to be released by Acme Educational.

Mac’s a pioneer in the field of digital printing. He’s also a dear friend. I can’t think of another person I’d rather teach digital printing workshops. We do it twice a year in special workshop sessions sponsored by Epson – The Fine Art of Digital Printing. (We just finished a great five day session at the Hallmark Institute of Photography.) Mac’s presentation on fine art workflow is first rate. I do similar workflow sessions in all of my workshops. We’ll be presenting a session on the topic together at PhotoPlus East this year. We also cover it in our Epson Print Academy sessions. It’s a corner stone of our workshop. And his new DVD covers many of the topics Mac demonstrates during these sessions.

Here’s what you’ll find on his DVD.

“When it come to fine art printing R. Mac Holbert along with Graham Nash started it all. If it was not for them fine art inkjet printing would not be what is today. Simply put Nash Editions is THE name in fine art printing and R. Mac Holbert is the talent behind that name. This DVD is the first of R. Mac Holbert’s Nash Editions Master Class. This is a truly unique opportunity to have access to the knowledge of one of the pioneering innovators of digital imaging.

Have you ever printed an image only to find you’ve overlooked a minor but critical mistake? Or have you made a small print, only to find a larger print shows issues that need to be fixed in Photoshop? Whether you print your own images or send them to a service, this Nash Editions Master Class DVD is an invaluable lesson on eliminating twelve common imaging mistakes. Distilled from 18 years of printmaking experience these elementary mistakes are made routinely, not only by the neophyte, but by the seasoned professional as well. Learning to avoid them will save you time, printing costs and ultimately will enable you to more precisely realize your vision on paper.

Learn how to correct contaminated neutrals with only one layer, doing the work of 4 -5 color correction layers. Learn how mid-tone contrast can add dimension to your images. Get these and other techniques on your workflow checklist, integrate them into your workflow and take your images from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.”

Topics include …

Destructive Workflow
Oversharpening
Midtone Contrast
Image Alignment
Imprecise Cropping
Bad Masking
Contaminated Neutrals
Unreasonable File Size
Untagged Files
Cross Purpose Layers
Incorrect Layer Stack
File Extension Issues

It’s $39.95 until it ships and $49.95 thereafter.

Check out Mac’s DVD here.
Find out more about The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop here.
Find out about my The Fine Digital Print workshop series here.

For Ollie it all came together on the final day of our workshop The Fine Art of Digital Printing (this time at the Hallmark Institute for Photography). He was able to untangle his workflow and his file structure and produce better results in less time.

Here are a few core concepts he absorbed. Keep it simple; amid multiple methods that offer equal quality, the simplest way is best. Work globally first, then regionally. Don’t fix problems created during the editing process, fix the adjustments that created the problems. Organize and label your layers.

Now that the technical issues have been answered and simplified, Ollie’s freer to direct his energies in more important areas of his creative growth – finding and developing his own authentic voice.

These are the kinds of dialogs Mac Holbert and I have every day with participants in our the Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop during our extensive One on One and Review sessions.

Look for future workflow sessions from Mac and I at PhotoPlus East and the Epson Print Academy.

Check out my workflow PDFs here.

Check out Ollie’s website here.

Find out about the Hallmark Institute of Photography here.

Find out more about The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop here.
Find out about my The Fine Digital Print workshop series here.

What’s it take to succeed in fine arts? Perseverance, smart work, hard work, information, luck, talent, and friends – in that order. Oh, and it’s not pick two out of eight, it’s all of the above.

In my workshops I not only show my students my work (professionally presented), but I also discuss presentation practices, packaging, marketing, and the business of fine art. There’s an art to the business of fine art. And high quality sources of information on the topic are sorely lacking in this area.

Mary Virginia Swanson does a better job of outlining the business of fine art and identifying opportunities than anyone else I know.

Check out her blog here.

Find out about the Hallmark Institute of Photography here.

Find out more about The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop here.
Find out about my The Fine Digital Print workshop series here.


Marc creates multimedia prints and installations. He uses a wide variety of media for their material characteristics. So naturally he’s particularly sensitive to the look and feel of his images. We tested sharpness (low, medium, and high) with one of his images. Then the whole class had the opportunity to see the results side-by-side. Consensus wasn’t instant. Some like it sharp. Some like it soft.

One thing became clear, sharpness influences spatial relationships – especially when applied selectively. Typically, sharper image areas appear closer to the viewer, while softer areas appear further away.

So sharpness not only involves aesthetic choices, it can also be used to control spatial relationships within an image. Texture and contour are essential elements in visual vocabulary that you can use to further your personal expression.

Test it for yourself! On your images! Do it! While you can imagine the results, there’s nothing like experiencing it.

How important is sharpness in your images? Do you like your images sharp or soft? Comment here.

Find out about the Hallmark Institute of Photography here.

Find out more about The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop here.
Find out about my The Fine Digital Print workshop series here.

Christine’s been working on images of projected light and screens. So she decided to explore presenting her images as screens with projected light. She found some alternate substrates – transparency, transparent material with a translucent backing, tissue paper, glossy film. We did a little brainstorming about presentation. We played with light and shadow. The light and shadow itself took on a presence in the presentation. Essential elements of photography, light and shadow, what photography represents and uses to represent, are beginning to be incorporated into the presentation – sometimes abstractly and dynamically. A whole new set of doors opened up. It’s important to explore the potential of new materials. After all, this is what has propelled photography all along, including fueling the digital revolution.

How many ways can you think of extending printmaking for your work?

These are the kinds of dialogs Mac Holbert and I have every day with participants in our the Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop during our extensive One on One and Review sessions.

Find out about the Hallmark Institute of Photography here.

Find out more about The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop here.
Find out about my The Fine Digital Printing workshop series here.


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