I recommend you seize every opportunity to photograph a location in the air.

When you go , take two cameras with different focal lengths. Use high shutter speeds (1000 plus). Ask your pilot to circle the most interesting areas and vary altitude. If possible, go doors off to reduce reflections. If it’s not, wear a black long sleeve shirt. Keep your lens/shade out of the wind. Shoot fast. As you fly, so will time.

Photographing the Sossusvlei dune fields by helicopter was a highlight for all of us during my recent workshop in Namibia. The views were simply divine. These images are all panoramic merges. We did a full 360 degree pano from the helicopter, just for fun.

Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Walk With Someone

October 5, 2010 | Leave a Comment |

Walk with someone and photograph together. Then compare the results. You’ll see a different way of looking at the world. You’ll also have an opportunity to see how you see more clearly. Even when the images you make are the same you’ll learn that some results are driven by convention and this can prompt you to push further, to find something new, and to make your images more personal. The comparisons and contrasts you’ll see by photographing with someone else can be extremely insightful.

Paul Tornaquindici (top) and I (bottom) walked together more than once in Namibia. Standing a few feet apart, we made very different images.

Try this in my digital photography workshops.

Listen to the Words You Use

August 27, 2010 | Comments Off on Listen to the Words You Use |


You can learn a lot just by listening to yourself. When you speak about yourself, your creative life, and the works you produce, the words you use can be very telling. Do the words you use share common themes?

When I review someone’s work I listen carefully to the words they use to describe themselves and their work. One person was particularly concerned with mortality, his family’s and his own, and he kept using words that had to do with time, often in a limiting way. These concerns were reflected in the images he was making but he wasn’t consciously aware that any of this was taking place. Often it’s best if these kinds of observations are simply stated, without any evaluation or judgement attached. With nothing more than one important observation, he gained new insight into and control of his life and his life’s work. Becoming more aware of how pervading his concerns were allowed him to consider his choices more clearly – actions, reactions, emotional responses, self-image, and the images he made. He felt energized.

I’ve had many similar encounters.

I know that I can learn a lot about myself, simply by listening to how I speak.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.

To truly touch your viewers you may have to touch someone or something else first.

We have many intelligences (intellectual, emotional, physical, etc), but when it comes to making images we often leave many of them out of the mix. Try energizing your creative process by using all of your intelligences.

Get physical. The power of touch can reveal volumes. Imagine how much and how quickly an extended hand or a pat on the back can say. This doesn’t only apply to interacting with people and animals. If you physically make contact with any subject, even inanimate objects, you’ll come to understand it better; its scale, texture, density and much more. You may even decide to make contact with more than your hands. Press your face up against a window. Step into the currents of swift flowing waters. Lay down in shifting sands. Experience your subjects from many perspectives. As your understanding of your subjects grows, your images will take on new dimensions and new depths.

Find more inspiration in my Creativity Lessons.

Learn more in my Digital Photography Workshops.

Breaking the Rules

August 17, 2010 | Leave a Comment |


In his book Photography and the Art of Seeing, Freeman Patterson offers excellent advice. List all of the rules of photography. Then break them. If you do this, you’ll develop a better understanding of the medium.

I recommend you take this advice one step further. List all of your rules of photography. And break them. You’ll either find confirmation that what you’re doing is right for you or you’ll make new breakthroughs. You’ll develop a better understanding of your personal relationship with the medium and your unique way of looking. Keep going. And revisit this list frequently.

Find my lists in my PDF Breaking The Rules.

Find more resources in my Lessons here.

Find out about my digital photography workshops here.

Tag Galaxy offers an interactive way to search Flickr visually.


1    Type a tag and a galaxy of related tags will appear as orbiting planets.
TagGalaxy2 2    Click on a planet and images will be assembled in an interactive orb.
GalaxyTag3 3    Click on an image to see the whole image with title.
GalaxyTag4 4    Click again on the image to learn detailed information about it.
GalaxyTag5 5    Click Flickr Page to go to the source file and see comments and more.


Visually find images on Flickr and connections between them with Tag Galaxy.

Try it now!

See my Namibia and Antarctica galleries on Flickr here.
Stay tuned for more.

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