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15 Colorful Things To Look For During Maine's Fall Season

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Find out about my Maine Fall Foliage Photography Workshop here.

Maine is beautiful! And it’s never more beautiful than in the autumn during harvest season. The air is crisp and the place comes alive with color. It’s extraordinarily picturesque. Here are a few highlights to look for this fall.

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Mountains of color

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Color on the water

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Color in the air

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Color on the ground

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Fields of late season wildflowers

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Blueberry fields so red they look like they’re on fire.

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Sometimes they actually set the fields on fire.

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Rocky quarries

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Tumbled beach stones

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Playful cairns

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Quaint lighthouses

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Working harbors

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Rugged island life

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Mysterious misty mornings

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Rich evening after glow

And this is just the beginning. There are so many more reasons to visit Maine in autumn! Who knows what you’ll find.

Find out more about my Acadia Maine Fall Foliage Photography Workshop here.

Photoshop Does The Work For You With Magic Wand & Quick Selection Tools

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 Get sophisticated selections quickly.

Photoshop offers two great selection tools that use pattern recognition to make the process easier and faster – the Magic Wand tool and the Quick Selection tool. They get complex jobs done quickly and the results they generate can be quite sophisticated. But which one do you choose?


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Photoshop’s Need To Know Lasso Selection Tools

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The Lasso tool is best for defining highly irregular selections manually.

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The Polygonal Lasso tool is best for defining rectilinear shapes.

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The Magnetic Lasso tool uses pattern recognition to define existing contours.

Photoshop’s Lassos (Lasso, Polygonal Lasso, and Magnetic Lasso) are go to tools for drawing irregular selections.
Which Lasso tool you choose depends on the job you need to get done.
The Lasso tool is best for defining highly irregular selections manually.
Just click, hold and drag to define a selection. Draw selections in closed loops from beginning to end; if you let go of a selection half way through a shape you’re drawing a straight line will automatically be drawn from where you let go to where you started; on rare occasions this can be useful.
The Polygonal Lasso tool is best for defining rectilinear shapes.
The Polygonal lasso tool differs in that it only draws straight lines. Click, don’t hold, drag to the point you’d like to draw a straight line to and click again, then repeat until you define a closed shape. While drawing a selection, you can alternate between the Lasso and Polygonal Lasso tools by holding the Option key.
The Magnetic Lasso tool is best for taking advantage of pattern recognition to define existing contours.
The Magnetic Lasso tool is different; it uses edge detection to draw. You simply guide it roughly along a contour you’d like to define and if the contour has enough contrast the tool will find it. (Using an adjustment layer, you can temporarily boost the image’s contrast, while making a selection to help the Magnetic Lasso tool find edges more easily … and then delete the adjustment layer after the selection is complete.) If you draw too quickly with the Magnetic Lasso tool it becomes less accurate. If you find you’d like to refine the line it defines you can press the Delete key to eliminate the anchor points it makes along the way, one at a time, in the order they were made.
Remember, if you plan to feather a selection substantially you don’t need to be precise; close enough will do, so don’t waste your time making perfect selections for very general applications.
Read more about masking here.
View more in my DVD Drawing With Light.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Two Powerful Keys That Will Help You Combine Photoshop’s Selection Tools

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A simple Rectangular Marquee selection.
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A second selection is added using the Shift key.
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A second selection is subtracted using the Option key.
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The intersection of two selections is created using both Option and Shift keys.
There are so many times when you make a selection in Photoshop and it’s not quite right. But if the selection just needs a little more here and/or a little less there, there’s an easy fix.
You can press the Shift key to add or the Option key to subtract a new selection to any existing selection, no matter how the existing selection was made or what tool you’re making the new selection with (Lasso, Marquee, Magic Wand, Quick Selection). Hold both the Shift and Option keys at the same time and you’ll get the intersection of the new and old selections. You can do this as many times as you like.
It’s that simple.
Sure, you can use the Add to selection, Subtract from selection, or Intersect with selection options in the top toolbar, but these key commands are easier.
Read more about masking here.
View more in my DVD Drawing With Light.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Photoshop’s Marquee Tools Make Surprisingly Useful Geometric Selections

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Photoshop offers two Marquee tools (Rectangular or Elliptical) for making simple geometric selections. They’re easy to use.
Click hold and drag to define a selection.
Hold the Option key to draw from the center of the shape.
Hold the Shift key to constrain the shape to a perfect square or circle.
You might question how often you’ll use simple geometric selections, particularly in complex photographs, but you’ll be surprised. They’re excellent for quickly selecting large areas of a canvas, which can be further refined with any of the other selection tools. They’re extremely useful if you feather them heavily; targeting the center of an area then fading off gradually to create vignetting effects, either for the entire image frame or a small portion within it.
Read more about masking here.
View more in my DVD Drawing With Light.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

The Difference Between Painters' and Photographers' Color Wheels

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The photographers’ color wheel rendered by Apple.

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The painters’ color wheel painted by Johannes Itten.

In color theory, one of the primary uses of color wheels is to plot complementary colors.
Painters and photographers use this information to create neutral colors. Painters mix complementary colors to get more neutral hues. Photographers add complementary colors to remove color casts, making neutral colors appear more neutral.
But photographers and painters apply different complements. Photographers identify three primaries and complements; red and cyan, green and magenta, blue and yellow. Painters identify three primaries and complements; red and green, blue and orange, yellow and purple. Why do they use different complements? Painters have to address the impurities in the pigments they’re mixing. Photographers deal with pure light.
From a practical standpoint both types of artists learn to achieve the effects they want to achieve. From a conceptual or theoretical standpoint the difference is significant – and they share the same theories but their application of those theories differs. Photographers and painters should talk to each other more.
Photographers can enrich their understanding of color if they become familiar with the longer richer history painters have had with color; and at the same time painters can refine their theories and produce stronger effects by using photographic complements.
Physically and biologically our eyes do specific things. By using maximum hue contrast, complementary colors in close proximity to one another create optical effects: they make each other look more intense; any lines between them becomes more pronounced, often producing a light line, which can appear to flash if the eye moves back and forth across it; if made very small (like scanned pixels or printed halftone dots) they average to a neutral color. Artists use these effects to make more powerful visual statements.
Optically photographic complements are correct. You can test and prove this yourself. To do this, take advantage of the retinal after images your eyes produce. Simply stare at a solid patch of color for more than twenty seconds and then shift your gaze to a neutral field of color, like a white wall. The color you’ll see will be the photographic complement. So, if you want to take maximum advantage of the optical effects generated by complementary colors, choose photographic complements.
Finally, color theory can be very useful. Artists frequently create consistent color structures (some call them color harmonies), much like the tonal structures or scales musicians. They often use color wheels to plot these relationships (not unlike a musician plots a circle of fifths to identify musical harmonies). They draw geometric figures inside a circle of color to identify regular intervals between the colors chosen; straight lines for pairs, triangles for trios, rectangles for quartets, etc. There’s no ideal structure. Different structures generate different effects, both optical and psychological – and it’s useful to know what those are. What matters most is that a color structure is created, rather than color chaos. The colors identified as complements define a color wheel. Once again, because of the impurities in pigments, painters distort their color wheels (expanding the oranges and reducing the cool blues) to help them identify which colors to mix to make neutral or more neutral colors, but the unintended consequence of doing this is that they plot color structures on a distorted color wheel. Their ideal theories are skewed by physical imperfections.
Long after his death, it was noted that pointillist painter Seurat, who started a whole school of painters who used broken bits of complementary colors rather than blended less intense colors, could have achieved even richer visual effects if he had adjusted his color choices. Viewers experience visual effects with their eyes. And the photographer’s color wheel is aligned with our eyes.

Learn more about Color Theory here.

Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops.

The Care & Feeding Of Your Authentic Vision

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I create and curate a lot of content on creativity, art, and photography.
Here I’ve collected some invaluable resources for finding, energizing, and deepening your creative vision.
You’ll get a great taste for the content on creativity we offer in our Digital Photo Destinations Workshops.
Seth Resnick @ B&H – Seeing Color & Enhancing Creativity
John Paul Caponigro @ TEDx – You’re Created To Be Creative
John Paul Caponigro @ Google – The Creative Process
John Paul Caponigro @ Austin Talks – Find Your Way
Gregory Heisler highlights the importance of doing things your way.
Gregory Heisler @ Creative Live – Embracing Your Uniqueness
David Duchemin writes soulfully about cultivating your vision.
David DuChemin – Your Next Step : Authentic Work
David Duchemin – Finding Vision ?
David DuChemin – Chasing Photographic Style
David DuChemin – Vision And Voice
Hungry for more? Savor this book.
Thomas Moore’s – Original Self
Want to find out more about my creative process?
Check out my ebook Process.
The big take away? Creativity is an evolving process of discovery. If you simply engage the process with an open mind and a willingness to try new things, you’ll be uplifted by the surprises it holds for you. And, with mindful practice, you can start to influence the courses your creative life takes to make it more likely that you’ll get the results you desire most. Dream, act, fulfill them.
You’ll find more content like this in my newsletter Insights.
Sign up for my newsletter Insights here.

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" | Daniel Kahneman – Talks at Google






“Daniel Kahneman, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his seminal work in psychology that challenged the rational model of judgment and decision making, is one of our most important thinkers. His ideas have had a profound and widely regarded impact on many fields—including economics, medicine, and politics—but until now, he has never brought together his many years of research and thinking in one book.
In the highly anticipated Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman takes us on a groundbreaking tour of the mind and explains the two systems that drive the way we think. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional; System 2 is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Kahneman exposes the extraordinary capabilities—and also the faults and biases—of fast thinking, and reveals the pervasive influence of intuitive impressions on our thoughts and behavior. The impact of loss aversion and overconfidence on corporate strategies, the difficulties of predicting what will make us happy in the future, the challenges of properly framing risks at work and at home, the profound effect of cognitive biases on everything from playing the stock market to planning the next vacation—each of these can be understood only by knowing how the two systems work together to shape our judgments and decisions.
Engaging the reader in a lively conversation about how we think, Kahneman reveals where we can and cannot trust our intuitions and how we can tap into the benefits of slow thinking. He offers practical and enlightening insights into how choices are made in both our business and our personal lives—and how we can use different techniques to guard against the mental glitches that often get us into trouble. Thinking, Fast and Slow will transform the way you think about thinking.”
View more Creativity Videos here.
Explore The Essential Collection Of Quotes On Creativity here.

New Interview – Find Your Way

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Shortly after the opening of my new exhibition Land Within Land, Scott David Gordon recently interviewed me for his podcast Austin Talks. He picked up on many of the ideas I shared during my gallery talks … and ran with them.
As he said, “If you are looking for a technical discussion on Photoshop and cameras to choose this is not the one. We had a fairly philosophical conversation about many subjects including defining a mission in life, being present, nature, spirit of place, creativity, play, and how to find your own way as an artist and a human. I love how thoughtful and specific he is with his words and wisdom. It’s no wonder he is a sought-after lecturer and teacher.”
I hope you enjoy our conversation!
Find out more about Scott David Gordon here.
Listen to more Austin Talks here.