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1 – Simplify

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2 – Clarify A Structure

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3 – Show A Process

 

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4  – Visualize A Concept

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5 – Create A Pattern

To one degree or another, every photograph is abstract. At a minimum, photographs are flat rather than three-dimensional. Some photographs are more graphic than others, and the origins of a few photographs are virtually unrecognizable. Determining to what degree a photograph is abstract, how it is abstract, and why it’s abstract will help you understand more about it and its creator’s intentions; this might be you.

Abstraction can serve many functions: it can direct, structure, inform, and express.

Whether you use it a little or a lot, abstraction is a vehicle that can help you strengthen your stories and clarify your point of view. As every image is abstract to one degree or another, ultimately, the question is not whether you will use abstraction but how you will use abstraction in your images. Exploring abstraction is time will spent.

Read the full article on Craft & Vision.

Learn more in my creativity and digital photography workshops.

 

 

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“Issue 16 of PHOTOGRAPH magazine highlights the diversity of vision and creative expression. Issue 16 is a stylish send off (It’s the final issue!), featuring the work of Cynthia Haynes, Karen Divine, David duChemin, Takashi Kitajima, and Alain Laboile, and articles from regular columnists Martin Bailey, John Paul Caponigro, David duChemin, Chris Orwig, and Adam Blasberg. We hope this magazine inspires you to see differently as you continue to hone your vision.”

I discuss Using Psychology To Strengthen Your Composition.

Get your copy here.

Marc Silber’s Advancing Your Photography Show is in Monterey, California with former “Artist of the Year” photographer Huntington Witherill to bring you photography composition tips. Witherill’s unique photographic style will be sure to spark your imagination!”

Read my conversation with Huntington Witherill.

View more on Huntington Witherill here.

Visit Huntington Witherill’s website here.

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Get 20% off PHOTOGRAPH 12 through Wednesday, April 21, 2015 here.

“Issue 12 of PHOTOGRAPH magazine celebrates diversity of expression, from imaginative portraiture, to the sensual canals of Venice, the solitude of dales in snow, and the joy of telling stories about oneself.

Portfolios and interviews include John Keatley (interviewed in Episode 5 of the C&V iTunes Podcast), who lets us in on the behind-the-scenes nerves and excitement of photographing celebrities, and what it takes to come up with ideas to keep portraits interesting and entertaining; David duChemin, who opens his heart—and his portfolio—about his ongoing photographic Venetian love affair; Doug Chinnery, who explains why sharpness is overrated and that there are no rules (or police) in photography; and the Instagram stylings of Pilar Franco Borrell, who—despite her claims of “being a bit of a mess”—creates light and fun photographic stories in which she is often the main character.

Regular contributors John Paul Caponigro, Michael Frye, Guy Tal, Chris Orwig, Martin Bailey, Piet Van den Eynde, Adam Blasberg and David duChemin express themselves with articles on discipline, position, knowing where to stand, letting go of perfectionism, choosing risk, metering modes, the evolution of a portrait, the power of persistence, and creating a presentation folio.”

In my column Creative Composition I discuss the importance of Position within the frame.

Find PHOTOGRAPH 12 here.

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PHOTOGRAPH 7 is out. This issue showcases portfolios from David Baker (Sea Fever), Michelle Morris Denniston, Mitchell Kanashkevich (Vanuatu), and Dave Morrow (nightscapes). The featured article is from Bret Edge, and the usual columnists are here, including Bruce Percy’s Natural Light column including a new column by Guy Tal.

In my column Creative Composition I discuss Pattern.

Here’s an excerpt.

“Many of the mysteries of the universe have been discovered by recognizing and describing patterns. The Golden Section/Ratio (8:5), the Fibonacci Series (1,2,3,5,8,13,21, etc), and the Mandelbrot Set (a shape characterized by repetitions of self-similar forms at all scales) are three examples of patterns that have been used for many different purposes – scientific, industrial, architectural, aesthetic, etc. Discover the type of repetition or change associated with a pattern and you too will unlock the key to understanding it – and possibly a universal principle.

People are pattern seeking / making animals. Even when patterns are absent, we experience them through our own projections. Making images is all about sensing and creating patterns. The same could be said of making any form of art – including life. Life itself follows patterns. You can make your images livelier by using the power of pattern; the clearer you make the pattern, the stronger the image. Increase your powers of pattern recognition and you’ll increase your visual versatility. Increase your sensitivity the unique qualities of each pattern as well as its differences from other patterns and you’ll increase the depth of your expression.

The modernist painter Josef Albers said, “A pattern is interesting. A pattern interrupted is more interesting.” Interrupting a pattern is a visual strategy that tends to produce strongly organized yet dramatic images. The pattern provides the organization. The interruption provides the drama. The pattern makes the images easily grasped, setting up expectations that are reversed by the interruption, like an unexpected plot twist in a story. An interesting distinction can be made between two different kinds of interruption; accents simply interrupt patterns; counterpoints not only interrupt patterns but they do so in ways that contrast with either the pattern or the main message of an image; both accents and counterpoints often become the new focus of the image.

Once you start seeing patterns you won’t be able to stop – and neither will anybody else. Understand the patterns you are naturally drawn to and you’ll better understand your visual voice and creative intentions – and if you make those patterns clear to others they will too. Because pattern is so powerful, it doesn’t take much; some artists have spent a lifetime exploring just one of these universal, organizing principles. Of course, you’re not limited to one pattern and there are so many to choose from. Simply use the power of pattern in your images and you’ll make your images more powerful.”

There’s more similar content in this and every issue of PHOTOGRAPH.

Download PHOTOGRAPH 7 here.

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Issue 4 of PHOTOGRAPH (quarterly add free emagazine) is now available.

It’s packed with Portfolios / Q+As (this time from Nick Hall, Kathy Beal, and Sam Krisch – two of whom are members of my Next Step Alumni) and columns / articles (including contributions by David duChemin, Martin Bailey, Michael Frye, Chris Orwig and more). My Creative Composition column focuses on using Space in compelling ways.

Purchase PHOTOGRAPH issue 4 for $8.

Subscribe to PHOTOGRAPH for $24 (save $8).

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