People keep asking Seth Resnick and I why we keep returning to Antarctica.

We’ve made four trips and every trip was different. We visit new locations; there are over 40 locations cruises land at and with each visit we get to visit an average of 12. The ice conditions are always different; one month can make a big difference. Surprisingly, the thing that we’ve found makes the biggest difference is the weather, which affects the light dramatically. We saw riotous colors during four hour long sunsets on our 2005 Peninsula trip and “nights” where the sun only skims the horizon but never truly sets south of the Antarctic circle in 2009. Every time we go, we keep wondering how much more could there be to see and how different could the conditions be and every time we’re surprised that we discover so much more and that locations we know look so different. Each voyage has had an entirely unique character.

The two most sublime landscape experiences I’ve ever had were at Sossusvlei, Namibia and in Antarctica’s The Gullet. The Gullet was the remotest, purest, whitest experience I’ve ever had. It felt like being in a frozen heaven. Quietly cruising on mirror calm waters through the dramatic mountains of Crystal Bay to find the narrow channel through The Gullet (like seeing clouds cascade off high peaks to touch the water and be frozen in place) and through to Margueritte Bay lit up by endless hours of midnight color was one of the most beautiful 24 hours of my life. Many of us didn’t sleep that ‘night’ because we didn’t want to miss anything. We knew while we were there that few people on earth had ever had an experience similar to the one we were having.”

See more images from Antarctica’s The Gullet here.

There are still a few spaces available in our Antarctica 2013 workshop.

Email me at jpc@digitalphotodestinations if you’d like to join us.

 

I love to draw. I began drawing before I could speak. I’ve never stopped. It took me decades to learn to draw the way I wanted to. I spend less time drawing than I used to, now I rarely draw to produce finished results, but hardly a day goes by when I don’t draw, to record or refine ideas.

Drawing is a way to understanding. There’s a difference between knowing things mechanically (with a camera) in 1/125th of a second and knowing it manually (with a pencil, pen, or brush) over the space of hours or even days. Both ways can inform one another.

People often ask me, “Do you draw before, during, or after I photograph?” I respond, “Yes.” There are different benefits to drawing at every stage in the process of creation.

I sometimes draw before arriving at a location to structure my visual explorations. I sometimes draw while on site, to record ideas that cannot be photographed. I sometimes draw after visiting a location, from unfinished photographs made there, to identify the many ways they can be combined with other photographs. I sometimes draw on finished photographs to identify patterns of thinking and ways to develop them further.

There are many reasons to draw and many ways of drawing.

I take the definition of photo-graph literally – light-drawing. For me photography is one more way to draw.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

“There are several advantages to the newly redesigned Crop tool in Photoshop CS6. In this video tutorial, Julieanne demonstrates the refined interface, new features, customizable presets, enhanced tools and essential shortcuts that will make cropping easier than ever.”

Plus find Julianne’s list of crop tool short cuts here.

View more Photoshop videos here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


Walter Chapelle’s Metaflora series is the kind of photography that fascinates me most. Rather than portraying things as we see them, it uses photography to extend our senses, providing new windows into the universe.

Chapelle uses Kirlian photography to look deeply into the world of plants. Kirlian photography (named after the Russian inventor Semyon Kirlian) is a form of camera-less form of photography, akin to a photogram, that records the effects of high voltages of electricity applied to objects in contact with light sensitive material. An electric current separates the electrons from atoms and objects become ionized and glow, albeit faintly. Typically, nothing is seen by the observer during exposure, but an image appears when developed. The size and shape of the energy field is related to the amount of water, a prerequisite for life, in the object as well as the surrounding atmosphere. Plant life loses moisture after it is harvested so the length of time between picking and exposure affects the intensity of the effect. Electromagnetic radiation penetrates beyond the typically opaque surfaces revealed by reflected light, itself one manifestation of a broader spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, and renders both the interiors and the immediate exteriors surrounding objects.

This glimpse into the invisible electro-magnetic fields that surround all objects, including our own bodies, generates visual effects that are reminiscent of the age-old idea of auras or the spiritual bodies of living things. Part science and part poetry, Chapelle uses this unusual perspective to speak metaphorically about seeing into the hidden dimensions of our selves.

Who are your influences and what do they mean to you?

Find out more about my influences here.

Read more

“Who are your influences?” It’s a question often asked by professors to help artists grow, critics to place artist’s work and ideas in context, and audiences to understand artists’ creations. It’s also a question we can ask to do all of these things for ourselves.

It’s one thing to list our artistic influences, it’s another to clarify how we are responding or what they mean to us. Moving beyond questions of what influences us to how and why they influence us deepens our understanding of and our connection to the things we are moved by.

When you have a realization, write it down. Writing not only creates a durable record you can refer to later, it also makes it far more likely that you will remember what you write down. List all of your influences in one place and you’ll see connections between your influences by making comparisons and contrasts –sometimes finding these insights requires asking follow up questions like, “How does the relationships between these things indicate shared qualities and themes within my own work?” and “How can the difference between these things be used to create something new?” Date the times you are influenced and you’ll see how chain reactions of thoughts and feelings start, grow, and change. You can expand your understanding by writing more than lists. Write a simple line stating the essence of what the work means to you. Write a few paragraphs to outline more and reveal connections to other things.

Sometimes an influence, rather than coming another artist’s entire body of work, comes from a single piece, perhaps even an atypical work. Sometimes an influence comes from an artist working in a seemingly unrelated discipline. Sometimes an influence even comes from something we don’t like or resist. Of course, there are many other things that influence us besides other artist’s works and they’re worth tracking too.

Being self-aware is different than being self-conscious. During this process, silence your inner critic. The voice(s) that helps you evaluate ideas or results is not the same voice that sees new possibilities and generates ideas. This critical aspect of ourselves can be very helpful, selecting and refining and strengthening the best ideas drawn from many, but it serves us best after a process of observation and generation, if it is active during those processes, it can stop the flow of thoughts and feelings.

Observing our inner world, our thoughts and feelings, our associations and disassociations, our fixations and aversions, and their interconnections moves rich material from the dark corners of our sub-conscious into the light of the conscious mind. If we do this, we can find more material to work with, we can ask generative questions to help us grow, we can make clearer/better choices, and it’s very likely that we will be more productive and more fulfilled. When awareness is present our artistic process becomes a journey of personal discovery, which is sometimes challenging but always rewarding.

Who are your influences and what do they mean to you?

Find out more about my influences here.

Veteran National Geographic photographer Sam Abell offers a look inside the heart and mind of a master photographer.

Then go behind the scenes and hear Sam Abell talk about his career, what inspires and influences his work, and his most memorable adventures.

View more photographer’s videos here.

A majority of landscapes include the horizon line. (It would be fair to say I’m obsessed with the horizon.) How the frame is divided (creating an aspect ratio within an aspect ratio) by this line speaks volumes. It directs the gaze up or down. It also creates an expressive ratio. Every proportion has a particular psychological inflection.

The ‘rule of thirds’ is an effective way of encouraging people to make images more directed, by prioritizing one element over another, and dynamic, through imbalance. But overlooking the power of other proportions is limiting, if not simplistic and insensitive. So too, is avoiding the middle or balance. Proportion is a visual force to be applied, rather than a rule to be adhered to.

There are a number of ways to achieve a desired effect; distort, crop, copy, or combine are four. Each method brings other effects with it.

How many ways can you think of dividing the frame for effect in your images?

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Distortions of the same image explore aspect ratio expressively

The proportion of an image’s frame is a fundamental part of its statement.

Unlike many documentary photographers who keep the proportion of their image frames constant to reduce their presence and suggest that their images haven’t been altered, I do the opposite for precisely the opposite reason, to more clearly highlight that my images have been altered by me. The question of whether an image has or has not been altered is a misleading question. Every image, whether documentary or artistic, has been altered, but to different degrees, in different ways, and for different reasons. Questions of method, extent, and intent are more revealing and interesting.

I use the proportion of the frame expressively. Because different proportions each add something different, I don’t standardize, I customize the proportions of my images. I distort the frame, crop the frame, and/or extend the frame through compositing and sometimes retouching, before settling on a final solution that creates the strongest statement.

How do you use aspect ratio in your images?

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

39 pages of strategies and insights to improve your website’s search engine rankings and attract more clients – free.

Download it here.

Find links to more useful guides by Photoshelter here.

 


Noiseware 5 did an even better job than Noiseware 4 at reducing noise on a new series of images I’m printing now.

Noiseware 5 is now available.

- New algorithms are 25% more effective and retain more detail
– 64 bit compatible (Mac and Windows)(CS6)
– 4X faster with multi-core support
– New History feature with unlimited undos
– New Preset Manager for presets, notes, and import/export

The upgrade is free for registered users.
New users get a 20% discount with this code JPC2007.

Read my review here.

Download Noiseware 5 here.

Learn more about controlling noise in digital images here.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


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