Pilobolus Dance Theatre

I just saw Pilobolus Dance Theatre’s Lanterna Magica this weekend. It was an inspiring performance! Two hours evaporated!
Honestly, as interesting as the video clips here are, they don’t do a full performance justice. (In two hours you get to know each dancer. Each experience builds on the previous one generating a big final effect.) But don’t let this stop you from watching more. They’re great!
You can see more Pilobolus on YouTube.
Find out more about Pilobolus here.
I’ve been intrigued with dance since I was very young. The Nutcracker and Firebird ballets captivated me at the age of 4. Mumenshantz modern dance / mime at 5. The Whirling Dervishes at 6. At 7, I moved to New Mexico and began attending native american ceremonial dances. Martha Graham’s Rites of Spring at 19. Cirque du Soleil at 40. And recently Alison Chase (former creative director of Pilobolus) was a guest instructor during a weeklong workshop on creativity led by Sean Kernan. (See my posts between June 9-13, 2008.)
I enjoy seeing anyone do anything really well. But watching other creative people engaged in different disciplines is particularly interesting to me. I learn about creativity. I learn about communication. I learn about myself. Often, I’m asked what does work in other fields offer me directly for my own work. Ideas. Ideas that I can apply to my own work? Yes. I find that if you don’t get stuck on specifics but make more generalized or abstracted statements about quality and perception that these become vital wellsprings for new ways of thinking. Here’s an example. Dance and sculpture have been increasingly influential to me with respect to representations, expressions, and experiences of two essential elements in my work – time and space. The stimulus in these two other disciplines has led me to develop many new images (For just one example, see my series Allies here.)
The other question that often arises is once you’re inspired by another discipline, should you engage it professionally. Yes. No. Maybe. You have to weigh many things before making this leap – talent, passion, means, etc. My recommendation is to sleep on it long and hard. Personally, take a little time to be stimulated and energized by a wide range of experiences, free of professional pressures. Professionally, stay focused on your core passions. I don’t plan to do dance or yoga professionally. Sculpture on the other hand … well stay tuned. It’s a long standing desire of mine to work with sculpture that goes way back to early childhood and simply won’t go away. That impulse is about to bear fruit this summer. It may well become a very strong current in my work for the foreseeable future.
Stay tuned here this summer.
Sign up for my enews Insights for alerts here.
My wife made the comment that we should all make it a habit to spend a little time each year getting out and experiencing new things that will inspire and motivate us. I agree!
What was the last or most inspiring creative event you’ve attended? Comment here!

A Vision of Students Today

Feel like it’s hard to keep up with the R/Evolution? You’re not the only one! We’re going through a major global paradigm shift – technologically, environmentally, culturally.
Education isn’t keeping up. This video on YouTube highlights many aspects of the issue. (It’s hit a nerve and has been viewed almost 2.5 million times.) Here are some stunning statements you can find in it. “My average class size is 115. My neighbor paid for this class but she never comes. I buy $100 text books that I never open. I will read 8 books this year. 2300 web pages. 1281 Facebook profiles.” And the list goes on. It’s 4 minutes and 44 seconds well spent.
I felt education was falling behind when I went to college – and that was before the web.  Now? Well, I can do more than imagine. I lecture a lot at universities. I know the issues. I see the problems. I sympathize with both administrators and teachers, but mostly with students. Bold moves are necessary.
My contribution? Share knowledge. Teach well. I’m constantly educating – website, publication, dvds, lectures, seminars, and workshops. It’s one of many ways I can make a difference.
We all have different resources and strengths. Think about what you can do to contribute.
Make suggestions here. Comment.
Check my calendar for upcoming dates.

Color Management in Firefox 3 Browser

A majority of browsers have not been color managed. That’s starting to change. Apple’s Safari has been color managed for some time now. Firefox 3, Mozilla’s most recent browser version is now color managed. Color management is not on by default. Here’s how to turn it on.
1    In the address bar type in about:config.
2    Ignore the warning and click “I’ll be careful, I promise!”
3    Scroll to gfx.color_management enabled. (The default is false.)
4    Double click on this to change it to true.
5    Restart Firefox.
These new features help ensure that color management savvy users can see color as it is intended to be seen online.
I look forward to a day when all software is color managed by default.
And to a day when monitors are self-calibrating/profiling.
(And printers.)
Check out my DVDs 6 Simple Steps to Good Color Management and The Art of Proofing. Check out free color management resources in my Downloads.
How important do you think color managed monitors and browsers are? Comment here.

William Neil – Landscapes of the Spirit

Landscapes of the Spirit is one of my favorite landscape books. It’s out of print. But now it’s available in a digital edition. You can download a PDF version of the book for $15.
Its 120 pages offer 72 images arranged in portfolios introduced by texts from writers such as Wendell Berry, Rachel Carson, Annie Dillard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Terry Tempest Williams, and many others.
It’s pure inspiration.
Find out more about William Neill here.

R Mac Holbert – New DVD!

R Mac Holbert joins the Acme Educational with his DVD series R. Mac Holbert’s “Nash Editions Master Class”. Preorder prices ($39.95 until it ships, $49.95 thereafter) for the first DVD – The Dirty Dozen: Eliminating Common Imaging Mistakes – are available for a limited time only. Order here.
Mac and I have presented the Fine Art sessions of the Epson Print Academy Track 2 together many times. And I was there during the recording of this DVD. Mac’s material just keeps getting better and better. You might have to watch the DVD more than once to get Mac’s subtle dry humor. But, in a flash, you’ll get the no nonsense techniques born out of years of in the trenches that he presents here. I highly recommend it!
Here’s more from the Acme website.
When it come to fine art printing R. Mac Holbert along with Graham Nash started it all. If it was not for them fine art inkjet printing would not be what is today. Simply put Nash Editions is THE name in fine art printing and R. Mac Holbert is the talent behind that name. This DVD is the first of R. Mac Holbert’s Nash Editions Master Class. This is a truly unique opportunity to have access to the knowledge of one of the pioneering innovators of digital imaging.
Have you ever printed an image only to find you’ve overlooked a minor but critical mistake? Or have you made a small print, only to find a larger print shows issues that need to be fixed in Photoshop? Whether you print your own images or send them to a service, this Nash Editions Master Class DVD is an invaluable lesson on eliminating twelve common imaging mistakes. Distilled from 18 years of printmaking experience these elementary mistakes are made routinely, not only by the neophyte, but by the seasoned professional as well. Learning to avoid them will save you time, printing costs and ultimately will enable you to more precisely realize your vision on paper.
Learn how to correct contaminated neutrals with only one layer, doing the work of 4 -5 color correction layers. Learn how mid-tone contrast can add dimension to your images. Get these and other techniques on your workflow checklist, integrate them into your workflow and take your images from the ordinary to the extra-ordinary.
Topics include …
Destructive Workflow
Midtone Contrast
Image Alignment
Imprecise Cropping
Bad Masking
Contaminated Neutrals
Unreasonable File Size
Untagged Files
Cross Purpose Layers
Incorrect Layer Stack
File Extension Issues
Read my conversation with Mac here.
Find out about the workshops I coteach with Mac here.
Stay tuned for our joint PhotoPlus East seminar Fine Art Workflow.

Arctic Butterfly® 724 (Brite) Sensor Brush

The Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly® 724 (Brite) features a bright LED that illuminates the sensor while it’s being used, making it even easier to use and easier to see when your sensor is clean. Light makes locating dust easier and it reduces the possibility of smearing from contaminated fibers (generally with oil picked up from oil in the chamber).
(It’s not recommended for use in dental cleaning, nose hair removal, or as a flashlight.)
Here’s more information off the Visible Dust website.
The DC rotary engine has been modified to meet a certain RPM standard. It generates an optimal centrifugal force that enables speedy dust rejection while increasing the charge enhancement of the fibers. These combined patented features also include SCF (Super Charged Fibers). By implementing nano-coating technology for charge enhancements and by using super thin fibers for maximum lift capability along the AB-724’s rotary motion for cleaning/charging (without the use of canned air) makes the Arctic Butterfly® 724 (Brite) a superb sensor cleaning tool. Because of its safety features all models of Arctic Butterfly® can be safely used on ITO (Indium Tin Oxide) coated sensor and DLSR’s with built in sensor cleaning systems
Key Features
– Three Stage Power Button On/Off – Equipped with Bright LED light
– Requires 2 AAA batteries (not included)
– Enhanced fiber cleaning through patented rotary motion
– No canned air – completely travel safe
– Super-Charged Fiber Technology
– Metal ferrule is attached to the body of the Arctic Butterfly through a non-conductive joint
Price: $109.95 CAD  |  $109.95 USD*  |    €79.47*  |   ( * approximate price )
Check out my Visible Dust Sensor Cleaning System PDF here.
What do you use / do to clean your sensors?

The Most Expensive Photographs Ever Sold

Have you ever wondered what photographs are worth at auction?
Here are three photos that won the highest bids to date.
Andreas Gurky’s 99 cent II, Diptych, the first photograph to sell for more than $3 million, sold for $3,340,456 at a Sotheby’s auction in London, February 2007.
Edward Steichen’s “The Pond – Moonlight”, once the world’s highest selling photograph, was sold for $2,928,000 at Sotheby’s in New York in February, 2006.
Richard Prince’s “Anonymous (Cowboy)”, the first photograph to reach $1 million, sold for $1,248,000 at Christie’s in New York in November 2005.
See what’s at auction at Sotheby’s.
See what’s at auction at Christie’s.
The live auction benefit for Maine Media Workshops is happening now on eBay Live Auctions.
Tell us what you think about the prices of photographs today. Comment!

Benefit Auction for MMW Goes Online

Tomorrow, July 1, 2008 the Maine Media Workshops hosts an online Benefit Auction of Photographs, the school’s first public fundraiser since achieving non-profit status in 2007.
Auction items include generous gifts of work from many Workshops photography faculty and friends. Artist’s contributing include Dan Burkholder, Paul and John Paul Caponigro, Robert Farber, Micheal Grecco, Greg Heisler, Connie Imboden, Stephen Johnson, Sean Kernan, Jay Maisel, Sally Mann, Andrea Modica, Elizabeth Opalenik, George Tice, William Wegman, Maggie Taylor, Joyce Tenneson, and many, many more.
The live auction preview is currently available on eBay Live Auctions. The auction will take place July 1. You can either bid real-time as the auction unfolds or leave absentee bids for your favorite pieces. All bidders, even current eBay customers, need to pre-register online for this one-day live auction prior to July 1. Workshops alumni, friends, and collectors of fine photographs will not want to miss this sale!
Tell us about your favorite photographic treasures. Comment here.

Apple iPhone 3G – Big Just Got Bigger

One year ago today, the first Apple iPhone was released. Since then, with over 6,000,000 sold, we’ve all come to realize that the iPhone is big – really big. It just got bigger. This is a new era in mobile. David Pogue of the New York Times wrote, “You’re witnessing the birth of a third major computer platform; Windows, Mac OSX, and iPhone.”
Last year, Time named the iPhone the best invention of the year. “The phone that has changed phones for ever.” 90% customer satisfaction. 98% browse. 94% use email. 90% text message. 80% use 10 or more features.It’s touch screen alone promises to revolutionize the monitor, keyboard, and mouse.
Available July 11, the iPhone 3G (8G $199 and 16G $299) offers 3X faster (approaching Wi-Fi) wireless technology, built in GPS, support for enterprise features like Microsoft Exchange, and the new App Store, and new Mobileme services. Audio is improved. Battery life is improved to 300 hours in standby, 10 hours in 2G talk 10 hours, 5 hours in 3G talk time, 5-6 hours browsing time, 7 hours video, 24 hours audio. This year, it’s expanding from 6 to 70 countries (22 on July 11). iPhone 3G puts even more features at your fingertips.
New features include …
Contact search
iWork document support
Supports Microsoft Office documents
Bulk delete and move
Save images into your Photo library
Scientific calculator
Parental controls
(You can switch between languages of the fly. It’s one great advantage of not having plastic keys.)
Find out more about the iPhone 3G’s new features and specs here.
Jobs quickly identified Apples next challenges … and addressed every one of them.
3G networking (faster)
Enterprise support
Third party applications
More countries
More affordable
Jobs addressed enterprise announcing full Microsoft Exchange support with security.
Jobs went on to announce Apple’s new service Mobileme, offering push email, contacts, and calendars with all of your favorite Mac applications (Mail, Calendar, Address Book, iPhoto, etc), which are now web based. Everything is up to date everywhere. All of your devices are automatically synced wirelessly with the data stored in “the cloud”. It’s exchange for everyone. And it’s implemented so it doesn’t use battery or CPU resources. Mobileme replaces .mac – .mac members will be automatically upgraded.
Apple has made it incredibly easy to develop and bring new applications to market. The iPhone Developer Program provides a complete and integrated process for developing, debugging, and distributing your free, commercial, or in-house applications for iPhone and iPod touch. Complete with development resources, real-world testing on iPhone, and distribution on the App Store, you have everything you need to go from code to customer. The seventh beta version of the iPhone SDK includes Xcode IDE, iPhone Simulator with Open GL ES support, Interface Builder, Instruments, frameworks and samples, compilers, and Shark analysis tool.
What’s this mean for the user? An incredibly feature rich computing environment that is capapbel of (and is) developing at blazing speeds. Simply put, more applications. Incredible convenience. Convergence. Users will get automatic alerts when Applications are updated. The new iPhone software will be compatible with all existing iPhones.
What can you do so far?
You can search, bid, and track Ebay auctions (with 84,000,000 active users) on an iPhone, the #1 mobile device for eBay.
You can mobile blog in seconds with Typepad, the largest professional blogging service in the world.
You can get AP (Associated Press) news, servicing more than half the world’s population, on their mobile news network, automatically retrieve news from local news sources and downloaded it so you can read it even when you’re out of range, and upload your own content so you can literally make the news by sending images to AP.
Loopt combines location and social network showing you the location of friends on a map with one click directions to them, share public journals in real time, and read comments..
Oh, and gaming is outrageous without needing to buy an additional device.
Expect an explosion in this new arena.
Check out the Apple App Store here.
One of the key evolutionary features in the iPhone 3G is built in GPS. Expect an explosion of location based features and services. For instance, you can track yourself on maps while you move. You can even locate your friends!
You can watch Apple CEO Steve Jobs keynote address where he unveiled iPhone 3G, the App Store, MobileMe, and more at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2008 in San Francisco.
You can see the new ad here introducing, “The first phone to beat the iPhone.”
I use my iPhone as an essential business tool. Sure there’s phone and email and browsing and music. I also take photographs with it, not for exhibition but for family, friends, notes, and blog entries. I carry most of my professional images with me on my iPhone, for quick display. For years, I’d be in public and get asked, “What kind of images do you make?”. I’d reply, “Cross Salvador Dali and Mark Rothko with photography.” Heads got scratched. Now I simply pull out my iPhone and show them my images. Sometimes you don’t have time for a thousand words. Sometimes pictures are worth more than 1000 words. (I’d love to see my iPhone’s GPS data synced and inserted into my photographs and later be used to launch Google maps for anyone wanting to learn more about them.)
How do you use your iPhone? Tell us by commenting here.

Black Balloons – Climate Change

Climate change? Green house gases? Black balloons? How do you discuss and display what’s invisible? These public information commercials by the Victorian Government, Melbourne are simply first rate. They’re a testament to the power of images to concentrate big ideas into tiny packages in truly memorable ways. They’re artfully done. Art and socio-political relevance? Incompatible? Tell it to William Blake! Better yet, tell us what you think here. Comment!
Today, you can attend my Canon sponsored lecture “Antarctica” at the Peabody Essex Museum (Salem, MA) today at 3:15-4:15pm. It’s free!
Read my Antarctica essays here.
See my Antarctica images here.