.

Ocean Nova Aground in Margueritte Bay, Antarctica


Quark Expedition’s Ocean Nova ran aground in Margueritte Bay, Antarctica. This is the very same boat we were on last month, in the very same location. We had much better weather and much better luck. Find out more at USA Today. And the Telegraph.

Check out my other Antarctica posts – type Antarctica into Search.
Stay tuned for new Antarctica images and an updated Antarctica Blurb book.
Sign up for Insights for advance notice and discounts on upcoming international workshops.

VSE – Visual Search of Extremities

During our South American Cruising Through Life workshop, Vincent Versace asked us all to get into the habit of performing VSEs. What’s a VSE? A Visual Search of Extremities. Vincent has spent a significant amount of time training military photographers so the language he uses is sometimes influenced by those experiences. He recommends performing a VSE every time you encounter a new shooting situation. Check the scene. Check your location. Check your camera settings. This quick process helps reduce mistakes and missed opportunities dramatically. Of course, sometimes you have to move fast and don’t have time to check everything. That’s when good habits come into play. But, too often we move fast when we don’t have to; we shoot first and forget to check, discovering unexpected mistakes or missed opportunities long after the moment has passed. Whenever possible perform a VSE before shooting. It’s a great habit to form.
Plans are brewing for future international Cruise workshops.
Sign up for Insights for pre-announcements and special offers.
Find out more about Cruising Through Life here.
Find out more about Vincent Versace here.
Find out more about my upcoming workshops here.

Learn From Your Mistakes

I made a lot of mistakes on our South American Cruising Through Life workshop. It could have been that I was getting used to a new camera – Canon 5D Mark II. It could have been that I was out of my element and trying new things. Am I kicking myself? No. I’m learning from my mistakes. Sometimes I feel like I learn more from my mistakes than my successes.
Here’s one example. Shooting hand held bracketed bursts (one scene, 3 exposures, 1.5 stops apart), I often found I hadn’t set or reset the bracket function correctly. It takes setting the mode and then confirming the settings on my 5D Mark II. I often missed the confirm step. And if I got distracted, I often forgot to take it off auto bracket mode, which means single shots were varying exposure unexpectedly. After repeating the mistake several times, I’m now on alert every time I slip in and out of these modes. In fact, I think this camera and this experience has made me more vigilant about all of my camera settings.
Failure is only failure if you don’t learn from your mistakes. And making mistakes in situations where the pressure’s not on and stakes aren’t high is ideal. I recommend you make a little time to shoot and use it to become more conscious of your equipment and your habits.
Plans are brewing for future international Cruise workshops.
Sign up for Insights for pre-announcements and special offers.
Find out more about Cruising Through Life here.
Find out more about Vincent Versace here.
Find out more about my upcoming workshops here.

Cruising Through Life in South America


I’m just getting back from my Cruising Through Life (run by Sean Perkins and Andrew Tepper) South American workshop with Vincent Versace. (Internet limitations made posting difficult during the trip. Stay tuned for coming highlights.) Sean and Andrew, always ready to help, did a great job organizing the logistics of the trip – facilities, scheduling, locations, guides, etc. We had a really nice group of people who learned a lot. It was a smaller than expected group so Vincent Versace and I made the most of this intimate environment and quickly customized the curricula to their needs. We provided many of our Acme Educational DVDs to supplement our lectures. We did more shooting exercises and reviews than planned, which made the learning even more concrete and practical. The Star Princes was a huge boat and despite the 2600 passengers and 1200 crew, we never felt overwhelmed by people. Still, a private balcony is a must for a trip like this for private quiet moments and for constantly monitoring the weather and quick shooting. There was always so much entertainment – spa, yoga, pilates, dance lessons, music, shows, movies on tv, in the theater, and under the stars – we were only able to sample a small portion of the offerings often choosing to miss the onboard activities to focus on our photography. Boats really reduce travel logistics enabling you to focus more on shooting and processing. All in all, it was an incredibly comfortable way to sample South American ports.
This was our itinerary.
2/2    Valparaiso, Chile
2/3    At Sea
2/4    Puerto Mont, Chile
2/5    At Sea
2/6    Punta Arenas, Chile
2/7    Pio Xio Glackier, Chile
2/8    Ushuaia, Argentina
2/9    Cape Horn, Argentina
2/10    Port Stanley, Falkland Islands
2/11    At Sea
2/12    At Sea
2/13    Montevideo, Uruguay
2/14    Buenos Aires, Argentina
Stay tuned for more thoughts from the trip.
Plans are brewing for future international Cruise workshops.
Sign up for Insights for pre-announcements and special offers.
Find out more about Cruising Through Life here.
Find out more about Vincent Versace here.
Find out more about my upcoming workshops here.

Exhibit – Holbert and Steinhardt in Seattle


Last night presenters at the Epson Print Academy (Caponigro, Gorman, Holbert, Resnicki, Schewe) attended a gallery opening in downtown Seattle at the Benham Gallery showcasing images by members of their own ranks – Mac Holbert and Dan Steinhardt. Also on display were works by Robert Wade and Esther Sirotnik. Also in attendance was permanence expert Henry Wilhelm. Not surprisingly, the gallery talk quickly moved from early inspirations to a spirited discussion of process and permanence. “Giclee is meaningless!” “Archival is meaningless and no longer used by the ISO!” “C prints are no longer considered for collection by the Getty! They fade too fast!” “Color is now permanent!” You’ve got to see and hear it to believe it. What’s worse than being in a room with an expert? Being in a room with ten experts. Seriously though, it’s always interesting.
Mac Holbert described what it was like to leverage his 18 years of experience printing other people’s work when printing his own work several years ago for his first exhibit and more recently for this follow up. Dan Steinhardt also made interesting comments about why he chose to ask Mac Holbert to print for him. After a lifetime in photography, first as a photographer, then as a marketing expert for both Kodak and Epson, and recently in the last 5 years becoming more active in making his own images, he still decided to have an expert make the finest possible prints from his images. It’s an interesting decision that every photographer faces. Do you make your own prints? Do you have the time and knowledge base to do this? Or do you enlist master printmakers to make prints for you – a time honored tradition both within and without photography. Do you have the financial resources to enlist them and are you willing to engage in a collaborative process? There’s no right answer. It’s an individual decision. And you may make different decisions at for different projects and at different times in your life.
Mac also shared a story about his work. In the image above, he saw the Bible and the little girl when he made the exposure. But he didn’t see the ironic 666 written on the box in pencil until he made the print. So often, new things come to light when you make prints of your images.
The exhibit Placement of Place is on display from January 7 to February 14.
Find out more about Mac Holbert here.
Find out about the Benham Gallery here.
Improve your printing skills at the Epson Print Academy.
Learn to make master prints in my workshops.

Epson 9900


My Epson 9900 just arrived. I’ve been using the 7900 at the Epson Print Academy. What’s new? Incredible yellows and oranges with improved blues. The best dot structure ever, better than my 11880. Great detail and smooth gradations. Epson HDR ink isn’t a quantum leap but it is a signficant evolution.
Stay tuned for more details.
See the 7900 in action at the Epson Print Academy.
The Epson Print Academy is in Seattle tomorrow.

Henry Wilhelm will make a special appearance.

Antarctica Images – Preview




Here’s a preview of four images from my recent trip to Antarctica. There were many surprises on this trip. There’s a quality to the trip and the images made during it that defies easy description. It’s going to take finishing the editing and processing and writing about the work to better understand it. Work teaches you. And every stage of the process teaches you something new. There’s no substitute for doing it. Stay tuned for images and text in the coming months. You’ll see them here first.
Check my previous posts to learn more about the trip.
Enjoy my Antarctica galleries, book, and statements.
Learn more about my workshops here.
Early registrants get discounts at home.
Members get discounts abroad.