New eBook – Atmospheric FX

My ebook Atmospheric FX will help you take control of the weather in your images. Weather can alter the mood of any image. Sometimes weather makes the image. Photographers learn many ways to make the most of the weather. Now, you no longer have to wait for the perfect weather, you can create it using Adobe Photoshop. Learn to do this and you will dramatically expand your creative possibilities. Add an accent or transform an entire image. The choice is yours. Think of the possibilities!
Table of Contents

1 Skies
2 Atmospheric Perspective
3 The Language Of Night
4 Atmosphere
5 Smoke
6 Snow / Rain
7 Illumination
8 Rays Of Light
9 Stars
10 Lightning
11 Rainbows
12 Reflectiion
13 Shadows
136 pages fully illustrated.
Updated from my book Adobe Photoshop Master Class.
Compatible with all versions of Adobe Photoshop.
Buy the PDF here
Download a free preview here.

38 Quotes On Abstraction

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on abstraction.
“Abstraction forces you to reach the highest level of the basics.” – Alan Soffer
“Abstraction is a mental process we use when trying to discern what is essential or relevant to a problem; it does not require a belief in abstract entities.” – Tom G. Palmer
“Abstract literally means to draw from or separate. In this sense every artist is abstract… a realistic or non-objective approach makes no difference. The result is what counts.” – Richard Diebenkorn
“To abstract is to draw out the essence of a matter. To abstract in art is to separate certain fundamentals from irrelevant material which surrounds them.” – Ben Shahn
“One of the most striking of abstract art’s appearances is her nakedness, an art stripped bare.” – Robert Motherwell
“It was only since the turn of the century that one returned to the immense role that abstraction plays in the human mind by its power of concentration upon absolute essentials.” – S. Giedion
“I understand abstract art as an attempt to feed imagination with a world built through the basic sensations of the eyes.” – Jean Helion
“Painting, like music, has nothing to do with the reproduction of nature, nor interpretation of intellectual meanings. Whoever is able to feel the beauty of colors and forms has understood non-objective painting.” – Hilla Rebay
“What does that represent? There was never any question in plastic art, in poetry, in music, of representing anything. It is a matter of making something beautiful, moving, or dramatic – this is by no means the same thing.” – Fernand Leger
“An abstract painting is exactly what it purports to be, whether it be paint splatters or stripes, while a representational painting has to give the illusion of the paint being air, or flesh, or flowers… therefore abstract paintings are rather concrete while representational paintings are rather abstract.” – David Leffel
“The abstract painter considers the realist painter to be the abstract painter and himself the realist because he deals realistically with the paint and does not try to transform it into something that it is not.” – Jimmy Leuders
“Abstract art has helped us to experience the emotional power inherent in pure form.” – Anton Ehrenzweig
“I expect of abstraction as much as what imagery does for me… to carry meaning.” – Kay WalkingStick
“The goal of abstract art is to communicate the intangible, that which eludes the photograph and normal seeing.” – Curtis Verdun
Read More

Less Is More

Condensation II, Rockland, Maine, 2001

Were it not for the massive stones of the breakwater that cuts into the ocean for fully one mile before ending at a lighthouse that guards the entrance to the harbor of Rockland, Maine, you’d feel like you were walking on water as you make your way across it. At sunrise and sunset, you’re surrounded on all sides by aqueous color, unless there’s fog and then you can hardly see. Then, as you walk the stones out into the sea, there comes a point when you can’t see where you’ve come from or where you’re going to. It’s disorienting – and magical. You could be anywhere. You could be nowhere. You could end up in either place.
Sometimes the less you can see, the more interesting it becomes. Then, imagination takes over. It’s clinically proven that when people are subjected to minimal sensory input (such as floating in an isolation chamber) for long periods of time, they begin hallucinating – the inside comes out. Creatives often ask how they can leave room for the viewer, encouraging interactivity and participation, rather than spelling it all out, breeding passivity and detachment, knowing that doing so often creates more powerful and personal experiences for them. There is such a thing as ‘too much’. You want to give people enough to enchant them, but not enough to dispel the magic. This leads to the question, “How much room can you leave for the viewer without losing your message?”
Simplicity works for so many reasons. With fewer elements in play attention is concentrated on what remains. There’s more is riding on what’s left. There are no distractions. Ordinarily, this leaves fewer doubts as to what to focus on. Here, in this image, as there is only vapor and water and the suggestion of a horizon, what is taken for granted and often goes unseen comes forward – light and how it fills the air. Strip things down far enough and you can see what ordinarily is invisible.
This image takes my impulse to strip things down to their essentials to its extreme. It presents an experience of space and light, simultaneously empty and full, that is profoundly simple but not simplistic. It asks more questions than it answers. It takes questions like, “How much can you do with how little?” and “How distilled can you make an experience?” and goes further to “How little does it take to make a representational image?” and “What are the foundations for our understanding of reality?” A chain reaction is started and more questions arise.
In so many ways, not just because of the frames they put on the world, images are always leaving things out. They work best when they do this with purpose. They work best when they leave only the essentials and leave out the rest. Sometimes, more can be said with less. Sometimes some things can only be said with less.
 When is more less?
When is less more?
How can you do the most with the least?
When does simple become simplistic?
Find out more about this image here.
View more related images here.
Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

Satellite Timelapses Powered By Google

See and learn more about these awesome timelapse videos here.
“Spacecraft and telescopes are not built by people interested in what’s going on at home. Rockets fly in one direction: up. Telescopes point in one direction: out. Of all the cosmic bodies studied in the long history of astronomy and space travel, the one that got the least attention was the one that ought to matter most to us—Earth.
That changed when NASA created the Landsat program, a series of satellites that would perpetually orbit our planet, looking not out but down. Surveillance spacecraft had done that before, of course, but they paid attention only to military or tactical sites. Landsat was a notable exception, built not for spycraft but for public monitoring of how the human species was altering the surface of the planet. Two generations, eight satellites and millions of pictures later, the space agency, along with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), has accumulated a stunning catalog of images that, when riffled through and stitched together, create a high-definition slide show of our rapidly changing Earth. TIME is proud to host the public unveiling of these images from orbit, which for the first time date all the way back to 1984.
It took the folks at Google to upgrade these choppy visual sequences from crude flip-book quality to true video footage. With the help of massive amounts of computer muscle, they have scrubbed away cloud cover, filled in missing pixels, digitally stitched puzzle-piece pictures together, until the growing, thriving, sometimes dying planet is revealed in all its dynamic churn. The images are striking not just because of their vast sweep of geography and time but also because of their staggering detail. Consider: a standard TV image uses about one-third of a million pixels per frame, while a high-definition image uses 2 million. The Landsat images, by contrast, weigh in at 1.8 trillion pixels per frame, the equivalent of 900,000 high-def TVs assembled into a single mosaic.
These Timelapse pictures tell the pretty and not-so-pretty story of a finite planet and how its residents are treating it — razing even as we build, destroying even as we preserve. It takes a certain amount of courage to look at the videos, but once you start, it’s impossible to look away.”

Exhibit – Seeing the Unseen: Equivalence in Photography

May 8 – June 1, 2013
Opening Reception Tuesday, May 7, 6-8 pm
Soho Photo Gallery is presenting a special exhibition during the month of May entitled “Seeing the Unseen: Equivalence in Photography” featuring 13 Soho Photo artists and guest artist John Paul Caponigro.
“Equivalence in photography is a term that sprang from the title Equivalents, which Alfred Stieglitz gave a series of his cloud photographs that he felt were like visual music. In this way, a tradition began of using what is seen to express an inner state or feeling that cannot be seen. This aspect of photography continues to evolve. As Minor White said, ‘The equivalent is one of those ideas that in practice grows by the efforts and accomplishments of the people who explore it.’ Today, photographers explore the ability of a photograph to use the immanent to convey the transcendent, expressing what might otherwise be ineffable.”
Preview the catalog here.
Read my essay Equivalence here.