Harry Sandler – The Fine Digital Print Expert Workshop Finding Your Voice

(The above images are after and before.)
This is just one of the many reasons to teach. You make a real difference for some really great people. Harry Sandler had a breakthrough last week. He connected emotionally and intellectually to the work he was doing with a level of clarity he hadn’t achieved before. It’s given him a better sense of himself, the reasons he does the work he does, and how to approach both his old and new work. Mastering any tool (especially Photoshop) means more than knowing how to use it; it means knowing how to apply it to achieve specific results. To achieve those, you first have to know what you want to achieve – and why.
Here’s the letter Harry sent me after he left the workshop.
“John Paul,
First of all many thanks for a wonderful experience at your Fine Digital Print Expert workshop – it far outweighed my expectations. I am most appreciative of how technical information was balanced with the idea of discovering one’s artistic voice.
Having dabbled in imagery for most of my life without ever fully realizing what moved and in turn motivated me I enjoyed being pushed a bit toward finding a technical solution to being able to express myself physically, a breakthrough, albeit just a start, that happened on the third day of the workshop.
When asked to stretch the limits of one image (an image that we felt to be a cornerstone for a body of work) by taking it in various directions I had an epiphany of expression within myself. In particular it would appear that I connected this photo (and the way it was printed) with some inner turmoil from my childhood that opened during this exercise, and, that sense of discovery continued after working on another file from the same body of work. The instant feedback from the print resonated deeply and appears to be the catalyst for moving farther down the road to more self-discovery.
A quote came to mind that evening while viewing the image: “Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence” – Minor White
PS: On my drive back on Saturday I also noticed myself drifting off into the cloudy sky noticing small shifts of saturation and color so maybe there is hope for this old time black and white brain of mine.
Harry Sandler”

Download my PDF Portfolio Review here.

Download my PDF Aesthetics of Printing here.
Find out about my Fine Digital Print workshop series here.
Find out about The Fine Digital Print Expert workshop here.

Jane Davenport – Alumni Success Story

Australian artist Jane Davenport returned this week for a second workshop with me – The Fine Digital Print Expert. I love to hear success stories from my alumni. Jane’s is exceptional. “In 2001 I took my first workshop with John Paul and decided to follow my bliss. Since then I’ve published 4 books, had 30 solo exhibits, and over 4,000,000 people have attended my large scale outdoor art installations. I know how incredibly lucky I am to be doing this. I also know that you create your own luck.” Jane’s passionate, committed, works hard and smart. It’s a winning combination. She’s gone very far in a relatively short time.
“Workshops make me reassess what I’m doing and why I’m doing it. If you don’t stop and take the time to discover new tools you could miss out on something amazing, something that adds a new dimension to your work. Getting feedback from peers is extremely helpful, particularly people who don’t know you and your work.”
Jane’s created a unique niche focussing on insects. She works with zoos and environmental organization to raise awareness of and promote affection for her subjects. She also licenses her images in interesting merchandising opportunities giving here cause a broader reach.
This week she explored a new developing theme – kites.
Find out more about Jane Davenport here.
Find out about my workshops here.

Test Your Palette – Fine Digital Print Expert Workshop

One of the exercises we do in my Fine Digital Print Expert workshop is to test our palettes. Take your signature image, or the strongest image in a body of work, and make many variations of it. Neutral, semi-neutral, low saturation, average saturation, high saturation, super saturation. Ideal color, ambient color, synthetic color. Etc. Compare the results side-by-side. By process of elimination choose the best solution. Then take your second strongest related image and see if the same palette is equally strong for it. If it is, you’ve found your zone for a body of work.
Many students are astonished at how much potential their images have. Consider John Myer’s image here. He’s torn between the fully saturated and semi-neutral versions. So he’s testing those two palettes on several other related images. With a just little more exploration, he’ll soon have his answers. Too often we commit to a solution before we explore our options. Sometimes we’re too timid with the kinds of explorations we allow ourselves. Take these steps at the beginning of every new body of work. The time you take to explore your options is well spent. It’s extremely rewarding.
Find out about my Fine Digital Print Workshop series here.
Find out about The Fine Digital Print Expert workshop here.