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What happens when a street photographer moves from the streets of New York City to a small town in southern of France? Joel Meyerowitz’s Once More Around The Sun answers this question in the form of a visual diary. It’s a fascinating look into the life, the heart, the mind and the approach how a master street photographer.

Written one year after the fact Meyerowitz now posts one image a day and his thoughts.

“Of the more than 15,000 images I made that year I will select an image every day, or perhaps two, maybe even three, who knows? Whatever keeps the blog interesting and might provoke some discussion. I may feel inclined to write something about what I saw, or describe some aspect of engagement with the moment, or share what came up for me after I made an image. At this point it is an open ended opportunity which will be shaped by time and the work. Much like Photography itself.”

Visit Joel Meyerowitz’s Once More Around The Sun here.

Find out more about Joel Meyerowitz here.

Read 18 Quotes by Joel Meyerowitz here.

View 8 Videos by Joel Meyerowitz here.

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Congratulations! Alumni Andy Batt’s new book Camera & Craft was voted one of the best photo books of 2014 by photo.net! (Yes. Many of my alumni are or become working pros.)

“An instructional photography book at heart, Camera & Craft is refreshingly conversational. It does dive into the nitty gritty of professional workflow, but it also throws working photographers from a variety of disciplines into the mix to share their stories and working preferences so that you can build the foundation to move your photographic work to the next level. Once you understand and harness the power of the technical tools at your disposal — combining your camera with your craft— you will become a better artist too.”

Here’s what Andy shared about his new book.

“As a way of going about this backwards, let me start with something that happened at the end. After a year of writing the book Camera & Craft, I went to Argentina with JP and Seth. This was a gift from my wife and business partner Therese. It was a perfect gift—it was an immersion in getting my head back together, and finding time for my own photography. It was an amazing time, and the work I created there is still influencing me and moving me forward. This much needed photographic adventure came right on the heels of delivering my final draft of Camera & Craft to my co-author Candace Dobro so she could do an amazing job of polishing my words and making sure that our book was readable and grammatically correct.

The book was a project that came directly from my teaching the online Digital Masters of Photography program for SVA. My experiences there gave me a good idea of an audience for this book: the inspired amateur and the dedicated student of photography. I wanted to craft a book that was conversational and technical, and meant to be read like a class, from front to back. To be blunt: these days anyone can take a good picture. Smart cameras, good automatic software, Instagram and iPhones—all of these enable anybody to call themselves a photographer. So what qualities drive the rest of us? What is it that distinguishes the professional and the fine art photographer from everyone else? One of the answers to that question—in my opinion—is mastery over the tools you use. Whether it’s cameras, lenses or software, I believe that understanding how they work leads to mastery, and mastery opens doors to creativity. My hope is that emerging photographers will learn to put their cameras on manual and take charge of their photography, and become better artists. ” – Andy Batt

Get the book here.

Find out more about Andy Batt here.

Connect with Andy on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more Alumni Success Stories here.

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My free February desktop calendar features an image from Antarctica’s Plenneau Bay the “iceberg graveyard”.

Download your free copy here.

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“Issue 11 of PHOTOGRAPH magazine celebrates the power of movement, from the strength and elegance of African beasts, to heading across town via public transportation, to the muscular physicality of dancers, to traveling across the country and documenting it all in black and white.

Portfolios and interviews feature the work of Ken and Michelle Dyball, who open up about how they find life—and wildlife—on the savannahs of the Maasai Mara; impressionistic photographer Valda Bailey, who found unexpected grace and beauty while riding the No. 8 bus; Thomas David, who took a concept of dust and dance and created a powerful series; and Russell Grace, who—in trying to impress a girl—inadvertently switched to infrared photography, with beautiful results.

Regular contributors John Paul Caponigro, Bruce Percy, Guy Tal, Chris Orwig, Martin Bailey, Piet Van den Eynde, Adam Blasberg and I discuss seizing time, the strength of numbers, the starkness of nature, creative flow (and getting unstuck), the art and science of photography, depth of field, telling the story of your subject through lighting, and how to create a photo panel.”

This installment in my column Creative Composition explores the power of Number.

Get 20% Off through Tuesday Feb 3.

Get PHOTOGRAPH Issue 11 here.

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David Reinfeld’s new photography exhibit Ideograms opens Jan 29 and runs through Feb 15 at the Piermonts Fine Arts Gallery in Piermont, NY

David Reinfeld describes the work in his new exhibit.

“Intention,  Randomness, and Meaning. This is the central theme of my upcoming exhibit Ideograms at the Piermont Fine Arts Gallery from Jan 29- Feb 15, 2015.  It is a series of images about all and nothing, the source for finding meaning and inspiration in my life. This latest series of composite images traces back to my first attempt to make a composite photograph at JP’s workshop several years ago.  His workshop was transformative for me- finally a way to express my imagination as jazz.  I’ve made thousands of composites since that time and my thinking about the composite process has come full circle.  Making a composite now feels the same as walking down the street taking traditional photographs.  Looking back, I think the idea for Ideograms came to me when I was very young; I remember going to the movies just to see the credits.  The photographs are very much a part of two aesthetic constructs- letters that intersect to create new shapes, and letters pasted on the abstract walls of our culture.  The pictures are large, up to 30 x 40”, organized by the interactions of shape and color across the span of each wall area.

When I make Ideogram images, I look for shapes and colors to create new shapes and colors, sometimes all by themselves.  At first, I felt it was important to use photographs of mine that stood strongly on their own.  Now I am more receptive to using any image, looking for constructs hidden in plain sight. Somehow pictures seem talk to each other in this process regardless of how I intervene.  My role seems to be as a guide with an ill formed idea.

I’ve always been intrigued by how letters and symbols create meaning, something from nothing, imagine that!  It’s a curious endeavor, a bit obscure, but endlessly intriguing. It’s like seeing a print come out of the developer for the first time, each time.”

Read more Alumni Success Stories here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite photographs by Josef Koudelka.

Read a collection of quotes by Josef Koudelka here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by Josef Koudelka.

“What matters most to me is to take photographs; to continue taking them and not to repeat myself. To go further, to go as far as I can.” – Josef Koudelka

“I am not interested in repetition. I don’t want to reach the point from where I wouldn’t know how to go further. It’s good to set limits for oneself, but there comes a moment when we must destroy what we have constructed.” – Josef Koudelka

“If I am dissatisfied, it’s simply because good photos are few and far between. A good photo is a miracle.” – Josef Koudelka

“I have to shoot three cassettes of film a day, even when not ‘photographing’, in order to keep the eye in practice.” – Josef Koudelka

“Sometimes I photograph without looking through the viewfinder. I have mastered that well enough, it is almost as if I were looking through it.” – Josef Koudelka

“When I photograph, I do not think much. If you looked at my contacts you would ask yourself: “What is this guy doing?” But I keep working with my contacts and with my prints, I look at them all the time. I believe that the result of this work stays in me and at the moment of photographing it comes out, without my thinking of it.” – Josef Koudelka

“I don’t pretend to be an intellectual or a philosopher. I just look.” – Josef Koudelka

“I photograph only something that has to do with me, and I never did anything that I did not want to do. I do not do editorial and I never do advertising. No, my freedom is something I do not give away easily.” – Josef Koudelka

“I don’t like captions. I prefer people to look at my pictures and invent their own stories.” – Josef Koudelka

“I never stay in one country more than three months. Why? Because I was interested in seeing, and if I stay longer I become blind.” – Josef Koudelka

“My photographs are proof of what happened. When I go to Russia, sometimes I meet ex-soldiers… They say, ‘We came to liberate you….’ I say: ‘Listen, I think it was quite different. I saw people being killed.’ They say: No. We never… no shooting. No. No.’ So I can show them my Prague 1968 photographs and say, ‘Listen, these are my pictures. I was there.’ And they have to believe me.” – Josef Koudelka

“The changes taking place in this part of Europe are enormous and very rapid. One world is disappearing. I am trying to photograph what’s left. I have always been drawn to what is ending, what will soon no longer exist.” – Josef Koudelka

“It never seemed important to me that my photos be published. It’s important that I take them. There were periods where I didn’t have money, and I would imagine that someone would come to me and say: ‘Here is money, you can go do your photography, but you must not show it.’ I would have accepted right away. On the other hand, if someone had come to me saying: ‘Here is money to do your photography, but after your death it must be destroyed,’ I would have refused.” – Josef Koudelka

“When I first started to take photographs in Czechoslovakia, I met this old gentleman, this old photographer, who told me a few practical things. One of the things he said was, “Josef, a photographer works on the subject, but the subject works on the photographer.” – Josef Koudelka

“I would like to see everything, look at everything, I want to be the view itself.” – Josef Koudelka

Find more Quotes By Photographers here.

Explore The Essential Collection Of Photographer’s Quotes here.

Short. Sweet. Simple. True.

Find more Creativity Videos here.

Browse my Essential List Of Creativity Videos here.

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Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes by artist Chuck Close.

“I don’t work with inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work.” – Chuck Close

“Inspiration is highly overrated. If you sit around and wait for the clouds to part, it’s not liable to ever happen. More often than not, work is salvation.” – Chuck Close

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” ― Chuck Close

“You don’t have to reinvent the wheel every day. Today you will do what you did yesterday, and tomorrow you will do what you did today. Eventually you will get somewhere.” – Chuck Close

“I’m not by nature a terribly intuitive person; I need to build a situation in which I will behave more intuitively, and that has really changed the life of my work – I found a way to trick myself into being intuitive.” – Chuck Close

“I was never one of those people who had to have a perfect situation to paint in. I can make art anywhere, anytime — it doesn’t matter. I mean, I know so many artists for whom having the perfect space is somehow essential. They spend years designing, building, outfitting the perfect space, and then when it is just about time to get to work they’ll sell that place and build another one. It seems more often than not a way to keep from having to work. But I could paint anywhere. I made big paintings in the tiniest bedrooms, garages, you name it. you know, once I have my back to the room, I could be anywhere.” – Chuck Close

“On a typical country day I am painting by nine, and I usually work until noon. Three hours in the morning. I will have lunch either at my desk, or if it’s nice I will go to the pool. Of if it’s really nice I will go to the beach for an hour. Have lunch on the beach perhaps, and then I come back and I paint from one to four, another three hours, and about then the light is failing, and I am beginning to fuck up. So then my nurse usually comes at four, and I stop working, clean up, have a big drink, and that’s a typical day. I work every day out there, every single day.” – Chuck Close

“Every idea occurs while you are working. If you are sitting around waiting for inspiration, you could sit there forever.” ― Chuck Close

“All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself.” – Chuck Close

“Far more interesting than problem solving is problem creation.” ― Chuck Close

“See, I think our whole society is much too problem-solving oriented. It is far more interesting to [participate in] ‘problem creation’ … You know, ask yourself an interesting enough question and your attempt to find a tailor-made solution to that question will push you to a place where, pretty soon, you’ll find yourself all by your lonesome — which I think is a more interesting place to be.” – Chuck Close

“Get yourself in trouble. If you get yourself in trouble, you don’t have the answers. And if you don’t have the answers, your solution will more likely be personal because no one else’s solutions will seem appropriate. You’ll have to come up with your own.” ― Chuck Close

“Never let anyone define what you are capable of by using parameters that don’t apply to you.” – Chuck Close

“If it looks like art, chances are it’s somebody else’s art.” – Chuck Close

“I am going for a level of perfection that is only mine… Most of the pleasure is in getting the last little piece perfect.” – Chuck Close

“Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.” – Chuck Close

“A photograph doesn’t gain weight or lose weight, or change from being happy to being sad. It’s frozen. You can use it, then recycle it.” – Chuck Close

“What difference does it make whether you’re looking at a photograph or looking at a still life in front of you? You still have to look.” – Chuck Close

“The first thing I do is take Polaroids of the sitter – 10 or 12 color Polaroids and eight or 10 black-and whites.” – Chuck Close

“Sometimes I really want to paint somebody and I don’t get a photograph that I want to work from.” – Chuck Close

“A face is a road map of someone’s life. Without any need to amplify that or draw attention to it, there’s a great deal that’s communicated about who this person is and what their life experiences have been.” – Chuck Close

“I wanted to translate from one flat surface to another. In fact, my learning disabilities controlled a lot of things. I don’t recognize faces, so I’m sure it’s what drove me to portraits in the first place.” – Chuck Close

“I think I was driven to paint portraits to commit images of friends and family to memory. I have face blindness, and once a face is flattened out, I can remember it better.” – Chuck Close

“There are so many artists that are dyslexic or learning disabled, it’s just phenomenal. There’s also an unbelievably high proportion of artists who are left-handed, and a high correlation between left-handedness and learning disabilities.” – Chuck Close

“I’m very interested in how we read things, especially the link between seeing two-dimensional and three-dimensional images, because of how I read.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is the frozen evidence of a performance.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is the most magical of mediums. The transcendence is truly amazing to me every time I go to a museum and I see how somebody figured another way to rub colored dirt on a flat surface and make space where there is no space or make you think of a life experience.” – Chuck Close

“Painting is a lie. It’s the most magic of all media, the most transcendent. It makes space where there is no space.” – Chuck Close

“Part of the joy of looking at art is getting in sync in some ways with the decision-making process that the artist used and the record that’s embedded in the work.” – Chuck Close

“I always thought that one of the reasons why a painter likes especially to have other painters look at his or her work is the shared experience of having pushed paint around.” – Chuck Close

“It’s always a pleasure to talk about someone else’s work.” – Chuck Close

“In my art, I deconstruct and then I reconstruct, so visual perception is one of my primary interests.” – Chuck Close

“I build a painting by putting little marks together – some look like hot dogs, some like doughnuts.” – Chuck Close

“I discovered about 150 dots is the minimum number of dots to make a specific recognizable person. You can make something that looks like a head, with fewer dots, but you won’t be able to give much information about who it is.” – Chuck Close

“I can’t always reach the image in my mind… almost never, in fact… so that the abstract image I create is not quite there, but it gets to the point where I can leave it.” – Chuck Close

“There’s something Zen-like about the way I work – it’s like raking gravel in a Zen Buddhist garden.” – Chuck Close
“I knew from the age of five what I wanted to do. The one thing I could do was draw. I couldn’t draw that much better than some of the other kids, but I cared more and I wanted it badly.” – Chuck Close

“Ease is the enemy of the artist. When things get too easy, you’re in trouble.” – Chuck Close

“You know, the way art history is taught, often there’s nothing that tells you why the painting is great. The description of a lousy painting and the description of a great painting will very much sound the same.” – Chuck Close

“It doesn’t upset artists to find out that artists used lenses or mirrors or other aids, but it certainly does upset the art historians.” – Chuck Close

“I think the problem with the arts in America is how unimportant it seems to be in our educational system.” – Chuck Close

“Most people are good at too many things. And when you say someone is focused, more often than not what you actually mean is they’re very narrow.” – Chuck Close

“The reason I don’t like realist, photorealist, neorealist, or whatever, is that I am as interested in the artificial as I am in the real.” – Chuck Close

“In life you can be dealt a winning hand of cards and you can find a way to lose, and you can be dealt a losing hand and find a way to win. True in art and true in life: you pretty much make your own destiny. If you are by nature an optimistic person, which I am, that puts you in a better position to be lucky in life.” ― Chuck Close

“Like any corporation, I have the benefit of the brainpower of everyone who is working for me. It all ends up being my work, the corporate me, but everyone extends ideas and comes up with suggestions.” – Chuck Close

“If the bottom dropped out of the market and the artist was not going to sell anything, he or she will keep working, and the dealer will keep trying to find some way to convince somebody to buy this stuff.” – Chuck Close

“Art saved my life” ― Chuck Close

Find the book Chuck Close Photographer here.

Explore The Essential Collection of Quotes By Photographers here.

View The Essential Collection Of Photographers Documentaries here.

 

 

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Whether used subtly or dramatically, Photoshop’s Gradient Map color adjustment tool can open up new ways of seeing and working with color for any artist. Photoshop’s Gradient Map assigns new colors to existing brightness values. With it, you can enhance existing colors, transfer colors from one image to another or create entirely new color relationships. It can be wild!

The Gradient Map interface looks difficult to use, but with a few pointers, you’ll find it surprisingly easy to use. While you can apply a Gradient Map directly to a layer (Images > Adjustments > Gradient Map), I recommend you apply Gradient Maps as adjustment layers (Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map) to take advantage of both the greater flexibility and control you’ll gain over the final effect.

Once activated, there are a number of default presets you can experiment with, but it’s most likely that you’ll want to create your own. Simply click on an existing gradient in the Properties panel to activate the Gradient Editor. Click New. Click at the bottom of the gradient to add new colors. A pointer will appear; double-click it or the Color box to choose a color. You can move the pointer to direct the color into different tonal values. (Move left to target darker values and right to target lighter values. Alternately, enter a new number in the Location field.) The diamonds left and right of it will control how each color fades into surrounding colors. You can add dozens of different pointers/colors, but for most applications, I recommend you restrain yourself to as few as possible. You can delete a pointer/color by clicking on it and clicking Delete or by pressing the Delete key. When you create an effect you’d like to use more than once, type a Name and click Save; you can easily store, retrieve and share these GRD files.

The color effects you can generate with the Gradient Map are so powerful and so varied, you simply must spend a little time experimenting with it to truly understand both how far you can go and how subtle you can get. Consider this kind of visual research time well spent.

After you’re done experimenting, then it’s time to deliver. Working with the Gradient Map often takes a little finessing. You’re likely to be a little disappointed if you try and get the perfect colors with the Gradient Map alone. You can spend a great deal of time picking and re-picking colors until you get it just right. Instead, try working more broadly, getting close to a desired effect and then fine-tuning the results.

Read details on how to do this on Digital Photo Pro.

Once you’ve mastered the interface, the real challenge begins—visualizing color possibilities. Previsualization can only go so far; instead, use software as a tool for visualization. Instead of rushing to a single finished result, I prefer to work on multiple copies of an image to make side-by-side comparisons of a set of variations. The possibilities are seemingly so limitless that you must perform experiments to find the best solution. If your experiments are both targeted and iterative, you’ll generate many solutions that are more likely to be optimum.

Here, a little color theory can be useful. Use dark colors in shadows and light colors in highlights; otherwise, you may posterize or solarize. Use analogous colors (similar color families) to create transitions; transitions between complementary colors tend to get muddy. Variations on earth tones work well for both realistic and antique effects. Variations on warm colors can add intensity, even fire. Variations on cool colors can generate nocturnal and even aquatic effects.

Photoshop’s Gradient Map is an exotic color adjustment tool that can be a real game changer. If you truly understand the possibilities this tool opens up, you’ll have learned to see in new ways. What could be more valuable?

Read more at Digital Photo Pro.

Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.


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