Alignment VI

Alignment VI

Alignment X

Alignment X

Alignment XXIII

Alignment XXIII

Alignment XXII

Alignment XXII

Alignment XXVIII

Alignment XXVIII

006_20150913_GRNnordvestfiord_0371-Edit-1

Constellation XV

Constellation_XIV

Constellation XIV

009_Greenland1

Untitled

008_Greenland2

Untitled

20141119_AFRskeletoncoast_0002-Edit-1_425

Illumination XXIV

20141103_AFRsosssusvlei_0117-Edit-2_425

Illumination XXXV

This is a selection of my top 12 images of 2015. This selection doesn’t reflect sales, publication, or activities on the web. It simply reflects my opinion. Click on the titles to find out more about each image.

Geography
My obsession continued with places defined by water (either an abundance of it or a lack of it) in the polar-regions of Greenland and Iceland and in the deserts (an absence of water, yet often shaped by waters long gone) of Namibia, Argentina, and California.

Process
Half the images I released in 2015 were exposed in other years. Several of the other images were processed on location or the day they were exposed. I date “straight” shots based on the date they were exposed and composites on the date they are completed.

Concepts
There were several new twists on old subjects and themes: amid sensual dunes multiple moments / perspectives became conjoined; levitating stones became ice; below reflective water surfaces instead of closer details full landscapes are seen; seeing through things to what lies behind them shifted from skies to landscapes.

Magnificent Moment
Once again, flying over the 1,500 foot coral dunes of Sossusvlei for more than an hour was simply divine, especially when coupled with the hours spent walking its shifting surfaces in constantly changing light.

It’s challenging to choose so few images from so many – but it’s insightful. Try selecting your own top 12 images. Try selecting the top 12 images of your favorite artist(s).

View more of my Annual Top 12 Selections here.

Read The Benefits Of Performing An Annual Image Review here.

Read The Benefits Of Selecting Your Top Images here.

20141103_untitled_0628-Edit

20141103_AFRsosssusvlei_0117-Edit

20141108_AFRserracafema_0397

20141108_AFRserracafema_0376

Having previously produced a portfolio of aerial views of dunes, I’ve been chasing dune images that are more up close and personal. Here’s a first look. There’s more to come!

Find out about my Namibia digital photography workshop here.

Find out about my digital photography and digital printing workshops here.

My Top 12 Photographs

September 18, 2013 | Leave a Comment |

01RefractionX_2005_501_johnpaulcaponigro

Refraction

02ExhalationIV_2006_47402_johnpaulcaponigro

Exhalation

03inhalation103_johnpaulcaponigro

Inhalation

04nocturne1204_johnpaulcaponigro

Correspondence

05oriens105_johnpaulcaponigro

Oriens

06correspondence306_johnpaulcaponigro

Correspondence

07path107_johnpaulcaponigro

Alignment

08procession108_johnpaulcaponigro

Alignment

10ReflectionXVIII_2008_510_johnpaulcaponigro

Reflection

11SuffusionVIII_2007_511_johnpaulcaponigro

Suffusion

12Constellation_VI12_johnpaulcaponigro

Constellation

093_Illumination_VI_2012_47409_johnpaulcaponigro

Illumination

This is a selection of my top 12 images of all time. This selection doesn’t reflect sales, publication, or activities on the web. It simply reflects my opinion. Click on the titles to find out more about each image.

Geography

Read The Most Sublime Landscape Experiences Of My Life here.

Process

20% straight. 80% composites.

Poetry, by any means necessary.

Experiment to find out what’s possible.

Concepts

A profound shift in consciousness arises when we relate to the world (all of it) as parts of a living thing into whose fibers we are deeply woven before birth and after death. Just as every individual has a unique spirit, every location has its own unique spirit (Genius loci is the latin translation of what the Greeks called this.), which fits into the larger world spirit (Anima mundi is the latin translation of what the Greeks called this.) We are not apart from nature, we are a part of Nature.

Magnificent Moment

Read The Most Sublime Landscape Experiences Of My Life here.

It’s challenging to choose so few images from so many – but it’s insightful. Try selecting your own top 12 images. Try selecting the top 12 images of your favorite artist(s).

View more of my Annual Top 12 Selections here.

ReadThe Benefits Of Performing An Annual Image Review here.

Read The Benefits Of Selecting Your Top Images here.

IlluminationII_425

Illumination II, Sossusvlei, Namibia 2012

 In 2010, during my third trip to one of the oldest desert’s in the world, Namibia’s Sossusvlei dune field, I enjoyed one of the most sublime hours of my life, from a helicopter. Moments of grace like this fill you with reverence for the miracle world we live in and a deep abiding gratitude to be a part of it all. I was prepared for it, but nonetheless surprised.

Before arriving, to plan where to go and how to maximize my time this magnificent dune field, I had done a considerable amount of virtual aerial research with Google Earth, zooming and panning images made from the combination of thousands of satellite images at various magnifications, to familiarize myself with where it started and stopped, how it changed in character, and the relative location of landmarks such as the dunes Big Mama and Big Daddy and the famous clay playa Deadvlei. This was a new way of scouting a location for me and it paid dividends making the limited time I had there more efficient and productive.

None of that could have prepared me for the changing angle of light or weather. On site, I had to assess the impact of current conditions. We were on the second flight of the day, an hour after sunrise. All week long, the air was filled with dust from far off sandstorms that scattered the rays of the sun, permeating the sky with a white gold light. Was this a liability or an asset? How could I make it one and not another?

Even at an altitude of 3,000 feet, twice the height of the largest dunes, I found I couldn’t fit the vast dune field into my viewfinder. So I improvised and started making multi-shot exposures for panoramic stitches while moving. It seemed like a bold move, if the two or three shots did not merge successfully then both would be lost. Then, one of my companions, made an even bolder move, requesting we do a 360-degree stationary rotation so that he could make a panoramic image of the entire dune field. Would it work? To my delight both methods worked.

Neither experiment would have been successful were it not for new image processing software that provided better image stitching capabilities. (Not long ago, it wouldn’t even have been possible to convincingly combine two separate exposures.) More new image processing features aided the final realization of this image. I used new lens profile corrections, designed to remove optical distortions, to expressively distort the image. Quite different than a change in angle of view, which reveals and obscures information, these distortions offered complementary but distinctly different visual effects, changing relative proportions and spatial relationships within the image. This furthered my ongoing experiments to compare and contrast the two and so learn to fully utilize them in tandem with one another intuitively.

Ever since that day, I don’t see things in the same ways. Now I also see in new ways. It’s important to try new things. Trying new things stimulates new growth.

Questions

How do new developments change your experience?

How do new developments change your thinking?

How do new developments change your actions?

How can you use new developments to innovate?

Which new developments are likely to impact your creations most?

Find out more about this image here.

View more related images here.

Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

Illumination II, Sossusvlei, Namibia 2012.

In 2010, during my third trip to one of the oldest desert’s in the world, Namibia’s Sossusvlei dune field, I enjoyed one of the most sublime hours of my life, from a helicopter. Moments of grace like this fill you with reverence for the miracle world we live in and a deep abiding gratitude to be a part of it all. I was prepared for it, but nonetheless surprised.

Before arriving, to plan where to go and how to maximize my time this magnificent dune field, I had done a considerable amount of virtual aerial research with Google Earth, zooming and panning images made from the combination of thousands of satellite images at various magnifications, to familiarize myself with where it started and stopped, how it changed in character, and the relative location of landmarks such as the dunes Big Mama and Big Daddy and the famous clay playa Deadvlei.

None of that could have prepared me for the changing angle of light, we were on the second flight of the day, an hour after sunrise, and the atmospheric conditions, all week long, the air was filled with dust from far off sandstorms that scattered the rays of the sun, permeating the sky with a white gold light. On site, I had to assess the impact of current conditions.

Even at an altitude about 3,000 feet, twice the height of the largest dunes, I found I couldn’t fit the vast dune field into my viewfinder. So I improvised and started making multi-shot exposures for panoramic stitches. It seemed like a bold move, if the two or three shots did not merge successfully then both would be lost, until one of my companions, Paul Tornaquindici, made an even bolder move and requested we do a 360 stationary rotation so that he could make a panoramic image of the entire dune field. To my delight, this method worked.

The images lay simmering in my unconscious for more than a year before I found my final solution, to render an effect of light as if it were originating from within the land to complement the light that showered down outside it. Often, a period of gestation is necessary to distill the essence of rich experiences to their essentials and connect them to others.

New image processing features informed the final realization of this image. The body metaphors, latent in these images, were intensified with creative perspective adjustments, using lens profile corrections, designed to remove mechanical optical distortions, now used expressively. Quite different than a change of angle of view, which reveals and obscures information, these distortions offered complementary but distinctly different visual effects, changing relative proportions and spatial relationships within the image. This solidified my previous experiments to compare and contrast the two and so learn to fully utilize them in tandem with one another intuitively.

Unexpectedly, the dynamic explorations made during the creation of this image suggested an entirely new alternate solution – one not fit for print. Animations of progressive distortions made the images appear to pulse and breathe, an effect that is perfectly in sync with my view of land as a living thing with a spirit of its own.

Making this image required pre-planning and then allowing that plan to evolve while responding to new input at each step in the creative process.

How can planning help strengthen your creative efforts?

At what stages and in how many ways can you encourage the evolution of those plans?

When is it better to abandon an old plan for a new one?

What are the positive and negative effects of having no plan at all?

View more related images here.

Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

I’ve just completed a new suite of images from Sossusvlei, Namibia.

You can view previous images from Namibia here.

You can find more images here.


keep looking »

Subscribe

Get the RSS Feed  

Subscribe by Email