Exhibit – Santiago Vanegas

Hagedorn Foundation Gallery presents, “People & Nature”
Photographed at the iconic Stone Mountain, Santiago Vanegas produces a body of work unlike anything he’s done before over twelve year long career. In this series, he explores the intriguing and sometimes odd relationship between people & nature. His photography explores the sharp lines and inorganic colors of manufactured objects conflicting with the natural landscape. The people in his images, although very “normal”, appear outlandishly misplaced. Through his vision, we witness a reality that in nothing short of surreal. Santiago’s People & Nature asks the viewer how and why we relate to nature at a time when our planet is increasingly begging for mercy from our environmental irresponsibility.

October 28 – November 30, 2010
Opening Reception: October 28, 2010, 5:00 to 8:00 pm, with Artist talk at 7:30 pm
Get more intformation at Hagedorn Foundation Gallery.
Visit Santiago’s website here.


“There are as many forms of memory as there are ways of perceiving, and every one of them is worth mining for inspiration.” – Twyla Tharp – The Creative Habit
Still images suggest motion, rather than reproducing it as moving pictures do. Images not only suggest the relative motions of their subjects, they also imply motions of their own. Almost all compositions are filled with lines of force, both visible and invisible, that direct the eye. Find them. And emphasize them.
How? Gesture. Before making an exposure, make the gesture of your composition with your body. Move your body, echoing the composition.
Be bold. Draw in the air at arms length with your shoulders and elbows. Make broad sweeping gestures. Don’t draw with one finger holding the rest of your body still. Focus on the essentials of the composition rather than detail and texture. Include texture in your gestures only if doing so helps you understand the rhythmic structure of an image.
While you are making images, research this moving dimension. Doing this will make you aware of and amplify the kinesthetic understanding your body already has of your subjects. Gesture can enliven any composition, making it seem more expressive and life-like. Gesture and your images will be stronger for it.
Find more online resources here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Eyes Wide Shut

“Seeing with your skin means to use more than just your eyes to observe and listen to others. You can sense with deeper perception and consciousness. Use all of you. The more you can feel, the better you will be at determining how and when to react …” – Joseph Cardillo – Be Like Water
We tap only a small portion of our intelligence. And we have many types of intelligence; visual, verbal, emotional, kinesthetic, etc. Our bodies have a vast intelligence. Tap it. And make your work stronger.
Our five senses are doorways to worlds of wonder. Those who are missing one sense usually developed heightened awareness in the others. You can do the same by closing your eyes.
Close your eyes. Do this for several minutes. What do you hear, feel, smell, taste?
When you open your eyes, make photographs with your other senses in mind. While you are doing this, put your habitual visual routines on hold. Simply experience making images from other perspectives.
Don’t evaluate the images you make in these sessions as you would others. Look for moments that are strongly felt. Successful images of this type are the ones that move you most, not the ones that have the most refined compositions. In them, you’ll find new ways of relating to any subject and the seeds fof many ideas that may bear fruit in the near future, if properly tended.
Later, you can continue making exposures with these previous successes in mind.
The strongest images suggest dimensions beyond the visual. When you look at them, you can imagine smelling Monet’s gardens, tasting a Zubaran still life, feeling the chill of Friedrich’s seascapes, or even hearing Kandinsky’s abstractions.
Your work will be stronger if it becomes equally suggestive.
Find more online resources here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.


It’s easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees.
We’re capable of seeing a lot of detail. Sometimes detail is distracting. Eliminating it can help us see fundamentals more clearly.
Here’s a quick way to make sure the foundations of your compositions are strong.
1    Frame an image.
2    Defocus the camera. Defocus enough to lose sight
of the details (line and texture) but not the broader com- position (light and dark, color, shape).
3    Refine the composition. Move the camera or zoom.
4 Refocus.
5 Expose.
Images that contain well-rendered detail without a solid compositional structure often appear cluttered and confusing. Develop the habit of slowing down and taking the time to make sure your compositions are as strong as they can be.
Find more online resources here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Reduce Color Noise With Photoshop

It’s challenging to reduce the luminance (light and dark) component of noise without compromising image sharpness; often it requires a careful application of specialized software.
However, you can easily reduce the color component of noise using Photoshop.
Here’s how.
1    Duplicate the Background layer and turn the duplicate layer’s blend mode to Color.
2    Blur the layer (Filter: Blur: Gaussian Blur).

Be careful not to use the blur filter too aggressively. If contours exhibit reduced saturation, use a lower filtration
Using this technique, only the color of an image will be blurred, not its luminance; image sharpness will not be compromised. Luminance noise will persist; other methods are required to remove it.
This industrial strength technique is most useful when dealing with serious color noise when a Raw converter’s features can’t go far enough, such as the larger areas of color noise found in some images from Bayer pattern demosaicing.
Find more online here.
Learn more in my digital printing workshops.

How to Sequence & Design Your Next Book Like a Pro – Mat Thorne

How to Sequence and Design Your Next Book Like a Pro from Blurb Books on Vimeo.

Mat Thorne, pro photographer and design whiz, shares his secrets for great book design. Mat was the Art Director at the prestigious Maine Media Workshops and has designed books for some notable figures in contemporary photography. In this webinar, he walks you through book design and layout essentials and touches upon tips and tricks to help you with every aspect of bookmaking, from workflow to typography to final layout.
Learn more in my online Bookmaking resources.
Learn more in my Publish & Exhibit workshop.