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Influences – Four Nudes





Sometimes you find your own voice through observing your responses to other people’s work.
One of my visual journals is a collection of images that I appreciate. When you bring enough images together new patterns emerge. This was certainly the case for me when I sifted through my favorite photographs of nudes and found a thread that tied together works by Jerry Uelsmann, Emmet Gowin, Harry Callahan, and Ruth Bernhard. All four of the photographs I had selected used double exposure to merge the figure with the landscape. It wasn’t that these works were typical of each artist’s work; Jerry Uelsmann who would be best know for this kind of work offers many such images; Harry Callahan was highly experimental and offered only a handful of these kinds of treatments; Ruth Berhard produced fewer; Emmet Gown only produced even fewer. What had been revealed through the process of creating this collection was my own interest in a specific kind of imagery and a particular theme.
Overtly stated in my own photographs of nudes in varying degrees of transparency, the theme of man and nature as one runs through all of my work. Whether subtly or dramatically, directly or indirectly, I’m interested in all types of imagery that challenges conventional notions of separateness and offer a vision of unity.
What shared themes can you identify when observing your own influences?
Read more about my influences here.

Earth Day 2012


It’s Earth Day 2012!
Find out more about Earth Day here.
The first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, activated 20 million Americans from all walks of life and is widely credited with launching the modern environmental movement. The passage of the landmark Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and many other groundbreaking environmental laws soon followed. Growing out of the first Earth Day, Earth Day Network (EDN) works with over 22,000 partners in 192 countries to broaden, diversify and mobilize the environmental movement. More than 1 billion people now participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world.
But Earth Day Network does not stop there.
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Why I Must Speak Out About Climate Change – James Hansen


Top climate scientist James Hansen tells the story of his involvement in the science of and debate over global climate change. In doing so he outlines the overwhelming evidence that change is happening and why that makes him deeply worried about the future.
James Hansen has made key insights into our global climate and inspired a generation of activists and scientists.
Find resources on climate change recommended by top scientists here.
 

Creative Sharpening With NIK’s Viveza and ColorEfex Pro




Both NIK’s Viveza and Color Efex Pro offer useful additions to a digital artist’s set of detail enhancement tools. Viveza provides Structure while Color Efex Pro provides Tonal Contrast. Consider them both useful variations of the types of effects you can produce with Photoshop’s High Pass filter. So what specifically are the visual differences?
Like Photoshop’s High Pass filter, Viveza’s Structure provides a single slider but offers more options with the inclusion of negative values for soft focus effects. In contrast to High Pass, Structure enhances contours with a line that is not as pronounced as Unsharp Mask (Structure is almost incapable of producing artificially hard contouring.) and thinner than High Pass (Structure can’t be used for enhancing planar contrast like high values of High Pass.). Structure accentuates texture somewhat, which can enhance noise as well as detail, but not as much as Unsharp Mask. When Structure is applied, luminosity contrast increases, more so in shadows than in highlights where very high values stop just short of compromising shadow detail. Think of Structure as occupying the visual territory that lies between Unsharp Mask and High Pass.
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Mobile Retouching Wizardry At Your Fingertips With App Touch Retouch


The iPhone app Touch Retouch performs the kind of stunning magic that first appeared in Adobe Photoshop only a few years ago. Adobe introduced this type of instant retouching based on pattern recognition under the name of Content Aware Fill. Now a similar technology is available for smartphone photography. You can also use the Clone Stamp tool to copy specific information from one part of an image to another, either to cover over an unwanted element or duplicate it.

With a little practice, you’ll start seeing photographs that you once might have ignored or passed by because of minor imperfections, which can now be convincingly removed in instants with the tap of your fingers. (It’s great for filling in the gaps in panoramic stitches too.)
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