“How much do you sacrifice? What’s best left included? What’s better left out? That sums up the whole photographic process for me. It’s about what survives and what doesn’t.

This image is like a poem. There’s a lyrical quality to it. There are echoes and rhymes within it. Though one is dark and one is light, the shape of the cloud is similar to the shape of the tree. The darkest and lightest values are linked through shape. The eye travels back and forth between the two. The common language found in their contours sets up a visual dialogue between the two. The image is bathed in a warm light, almost red, an appropriate color for both the earth and a heart. The limbs of the tree branch out contained within the body of stone, like veins. The image breathes. While there may be only a few visible signs at first, still, life persists, even in wastelands …”

Read the rest of this Statement here.

Read more Statements here.

Increasing Color Accuracy

Can color accuracy be increased? Yes. In many ways. Targets like gray cards and color checkers can help to a limited degree; they’re useful in idealized lighting situations (5000K) but not others (the gray card isn’t gray in the ‘golden hours’ – it’s golden). Add ambient light readings (amount, temperature, spectral distribution) for more precision. Written observations on site about colors and color relationships can help too, if the language used to describe color is precise. (I recommend LHS.) And, onsite verification and adjustment; compare the image made with the subject at the time of capture.
Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.

Precise Language Leads to Better Perception

A precise language for color (LHS)(Luminosity-Hue-Saturation) can increase not only the precision of color communication but also color observations. There are too many flavors of RGB and CMYK. Lab takes too much calculation. But LSH is a great language conceptually (and you see it in the interfaces of Lightroom and Photoshop). Luminosity and Saturation are both specified on a scale of 1-100. On a scale of 1-10 (10 high) how light or saturated is a given color? Now multiply by 10. Simple. Hue is more challenging because it’s plotted as a color wheel or circle with 360 degrees. 0 is cherry red. Add 30 degrees to the next color family (30 is orange, 60 is yellow, 90 is yellow green, 180 is cyan, etc). Learn this one variable and you’ve got a new language for color which is precise and simple enough to use. (Or you can memorize all the numbers in the Pantone swatchbook.) You can quickly learn to specify these numbers within plus or minus 10%. That’s a lot more accurate than linguistic observations. What color is mauve? How green is seafoam? You’ll also find that better language leads to better perception. Learn this language and you’ll begin to see color more precisely.
Want proof? The color above is 50/0/100 in LHS.
Now go mix that color in Photoshop.
Enter the values into the Color Picker in the HSB field.
Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.

Color Memory is Fluid

A lot of photographers set an objective to match color the way they remember it. But how reliable is their color memory? Not very.
Try this. Look at this color. Then hide it. Mix it in Photoshop. Then compare your results with the original. Were you too light or dark, warm or cool, saturated or desaturated? Do this with 50 different colors and you’ll start to be able to identify consistent errors, which indicates your color tendencies and preferences.
Find out more in my downloads , DVDs, and workshops.
See the results my workshop students generated this week. Read More


“The stunning presences, within the series Allies, reminiscent of Native American totem poles, African sculpture, or Hindu figurines, had been pursuing me for months. There were, and still are, dozens waiting to find homes. While the majority of the images I had created featured solitary figures, I was drawn to explore the effects of many within a single image — group dynamics …  Most leading actors need supporting actors, all save the soloist need accompaniment. But, when supporting actors compete with main actors, the thrust of the drama is confused …”
Read the rest of this statement here.
Read more statements here.


Each summer my we go to Italy to visit my wife’s family. My son and I share point and shoot camera’s and make whimsical interpretations of our experiences there. I’ve learn a lot when I take time to play. I become more versatile and improvisational. I take interest in and see things I never would have seen otherwise. I see things in new ways. The reasons I make different kinds of images and the expectations I have for them become clearer. Play’s valuable. Really valuable. And fun! Take time to play.
Check out my Creativity workshops here.

Family Albums

I make family albums every year. If I didn’t have the project and deadline and a commitment to others I might not take the time to find, finish, and print the best images. Without identifying the use for them, I might not make many of the images. Now we have a useful a family record. How important is this? I hear these kinds of things are the things people take with them first if they have to evacuate their houses in a disaster.
One of the keys to the success of any project is to make it easy and fun to do. Make it easy to make the images. I use a point and shoot that’s always nearby. Make it easy to store. I’ve got one place I keep all the material that I organize as it accumulates. Make it easy to process. I use many automation features such as Lightroom’s Export function and Photoshop’s Actions and Image Processor to get the job done fast. Make it easy to produce. Lightroom generates contact sheets in seconds. Blurb makes putting books together a matter of hours not days or weeks; they can even deliver the books to family members.
These days, I imagine some people have online family albums.
What’s your family album like?
Check out Blurb here.
Check out my Creativity workshops here.

Earth Day

It’s Earth Day! What are you doing today to celebrate? Do something to contribute! Plant a tree. Make a donation. See the new movie Earth released today – $1 goes to planting trees. Or one of so many other things.
Check out the great resources on earthday.net.
Check out Earth Day TV. Hear what Thomas Friedman (Hot, Flat, Crowded) has to say about the current state of affairs, including what he thinks would be good areas to invest in. And many others.
For a list of great environmental organizations see my Environment page.
What will you do today? Comment here!