“Creativity is not a talent. It is a way of operating.” – John Cleese

Among the many gems John Cleese shares, he outlines “The 5 factors that you can arrange to make your lives more creative.”

1 – Space

“You can’t become playful, and therefore creative, if you’re under your usual pressures.”

2 – Time

“It’s not enough to create space; you have to create your space for a specific period of time.”

3 – Time

“Give your mind as long as possible to come up with something original.”

4 – Confidence

“Nothing will stop you being creative so effectively as the fear of making a mistake.”

5 – Humor

“The main evolutionary significance of humor is that it gets us from the closed mode to the open mode quicker than anything else.”

View more creativity videos by John Cleese here.

View more creativity videos here.

Learn more with my creativity resources.

Learn more in my creativity workshops.


Huntington Witherill offers quick candid answers to 20 questions.

Here are some highlights.

How do you know when an image doesn’t work?
It will fail to communicate anything beyond the fact that it is a photographic record.

How do you know when an image doesn’t work?

It will fail to communicate anything beyond the fact that it is a photographic record.

How do you know when an image is good?
I know an image is good when it exhibits the following three (3) attributes:

#1- An interesting and effective use of light has been captured.

#2-  A visually stimulating and well-balanced composition has been employed.

#3- The technique and craftsmanship used to render the photograph itself demonstrates sufficient proficiency  so as not to disrupt or distract from either #1 or #2.

How do you know when an image is great?
I know an image is great if I am brought to tears.

How did photography change your world?
It caused me to view myself, and the world around me, in a much more personally effective and fulfilling way.

What are your answers to these questions?

Read the rest of his short Q&A here.

Read our extended conversation here.

Read more of Huntington’s favorite quotes here.

Find out more about Huntington Witherill here.

Huntington Witherill shares his favorite quotes.

This is my favorite from his selection.

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique… just like everyone else.” – Margaret Meade

Which is your favorite of his selected quotes?

Read more of Huntington’s favorite quotes here.

Read his short Q&A here.

Read our extended conversation here.

Find out more about Huntington Witherill here.

Combining images of music with other images has added a rich new dimension to my creative life and thinking. I don’t mean sequencing a soundtrack to a slideshow; I mean adding the graphic notation found in sheet music.

So that I can make these types of images on the spot, I’ve gathered a collection of photographs of music that I can draw on at a moment’s notice.

Doing this has not only yielded a growing number of compelling images, it has also raised a generative set of questions. In particular, the question of what’s missing or has been eliminated in still images and how that can be either more strongly felt or implied leads to many new ideas and insights.

I find that because I’m engaged in this experiment I notice the ambient sound of the places I’m photographing in more frequently and even photograph different things. My perception of the world becomes richer because I’m paying closer attention to it and to my responses to it.

What experiments will help you add a new or missing dimension to your images?

Read the full article on The Huffington Post.

Visit my iPhone learning center here.

 

Different sharpening techniques make the world look different. A world of difference can be seen between the thin hard line of Unsharp Mask and the broad feathered line of High Pass Sharpening.Can you choose a combination of both? Yes, you can! You can choose the texture of one, the halo of another, and the line of yet another, applying them either globally or selectively. You can customize the look and feel of detail in any image or image area with astonishing precision and flexibility.

Double Pass Sharpening

Results will differ if you filter the same image layer twice. Why? First, either the technique or the settings can be varied. Second, having been filtered once, the state of the pixels will have changed before a second pass is applied, generating a different final effect. Consequently, not only the type and amount of filtration matters, but also the order in which the filtration is applied.

Are there benefits to filtering more than twice on the same layer? Maybe. Maybe not. You get diminishing returns with each additional pass of filtration. You may also run the risk of producing more unintended artifacts. Furthermore, as complexity rises, your ability to both predict and interact with the final effect diminishes. In general, I recommend you to be cautious of highly complex routines and urge you to ask yourself if you derive significant benefit from them.

Hybrid Sharpening

Sharpening results also will differ if you apply varied filtration techniques to separate layers. Here, the order of the layers in the layer stack matters.

To combine the effects of the different layers, use Blend modes. Darken will display the only values on a sharpening layer that are darker than values on layers below it, such as the dark line. Lighten will display the only values on a sharpening layer that are lighter than values on layers below it, such as the halo.

High Pass sharpening layers (or any technique that reduces an image layer largely to gray values) combine easily with other layers using Blend modes (typically, Overlay); they do this so well that many times it doesn’t matter whether they’re placed above or below other sharpening layers.

Read the full article on Digital Photo Pro.

Find more sharpening resources here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Sometimes you find your own voice through observing your responses to other people’s work.

One of my visual journals is a collection of images that I appreciate. When you bring enough images together new patterns emerge. This was certainly the case for me when I sifted through my favorite photographs of nudes and found a thread that tied together works by Jerry Uelsmann, Emmet Gowin, Harry Callahan, and Ruth Bernhard. All four of the photographs I had selected used double exposure to merge the figure with the landscape. It wasn’t that these works were typical of each artist’s work; Jerry Uelsmann who would be best know for this kind of work offers many such images; Harry Callahan was highly experimental and offered only a handful of these kinds of treatments; Ruth Berhard produced fewer; Emmet Gown only produced even fewer. What had been revealed through the process of creating this collection was my own interest in a specific kind of imagery and a particular theme.

Overtly stated in my own photographs of nudes in varying degrees of transparency, the theme of man and nature as one runs through all of my work. Whether subtly or dramatically, directly or indirectly, I’m interested in all types of imagery that challenges conventional notions of separateness and offer a vision of unity.

What shared themes can you identify when observing your own influences?

Read more about my influences here.


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