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Q&A With Photographer Chris Orwig

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Chris Orwig provides quick candid answers to 20 questions.
What’s the best thing about photography?
Life is short and time moves too fast. Yet, photography has provided me with the way to try to stop, slow and savor moments that otherwise would have been lost. Even more, good photographs seem to be a concentration of life, a distillation like evaporated sea water where only the salt remains. And photography has become a means and a passport to get out into the world and to live life with more focus, intensity and passion. In a sense, what’s best about photography is that it has saved me. It’s saved me from myself and helped me to focus on others and on the grand mystery of life. And in doing so, photography has given me a new way to see and live.
What’s the thing that interests you most about photography?
The idea that the camera can help you dig more deeply, see more clearly and live life more fully.
What’s the thing that interests you most about your own photographs?
In my own photographs I am always struck by the autobiographical nature of them. In a sense, I can look at a photograph and remember who I was when I took it and how I changed because of it. And collectively, these photographs help me appreciate, remember and make sense of my own life story.
Read more of this Q&A with Chris here.
Find out more about Chris Orwig here.
Find Chris’ new book The Creative Fight here.
Read more Q&A’s with photographers here.

Create Amazing Distortion With Photoshop's Liquify Filter

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Awareness of the distortions produced by angle of view and lens choice is the beginning of using them creatively. Curiously, permission is the beginning of using distortion in post-processing creatively. Many people have been told that it’s inappropriate to do so. Why? Why accept an unintended mechanical by-product, but not a consciously intended effect? Why take such a powerful tool for expression off the table? Even the subtlest applications of distortion can produce powerful results. Once you understand what kinds of distortions are possible during post-processing, you may even find yourself changing your angle of view during exposure.
There are many reasons why you might want to distort an image. Here are four:
1. Correct optical distortion that can be produced by many things, including lens choice, angle of view, motion, panoramic stitches, etc. You can choose to make the selection of a wide-angle lens less about distortion and more about including more.
2. Modify proportion; adjust the height and/or width of objects and/or areas. Just for starters, take off the 10 pounds that the camera adds on.
3. Change proximity; reduce or increase the spaces between objects. Make things feel more or less related.
4. Enhance or change gesture; make a leaning object more tilted or straighten it out. Think of this as adding the words “very” or “less” into a sentence.
When exploring the many distortion tools in Photoshop, you’ll find that the Liquify filter is one of the most powerful. The Liquify filter is so powerful that, when in use, it offers its own toolbar and menus, somewhat like Camera Raw. To get the most of the Liquify filter, it’s worth taking the full tour …
Read all the details on Digital Photo Pro.
Photoshop’s sophisticated distortion capabilities are relatively new to photography and so is the mind-set of using them to photographers. Both are worth acquiring. Everyone can find a use for them, at one time or another, if not on every image. As every photographer uses distortion to one degree or another, ultimately what separates photographers is not whether they use distortion, but when, how and why they use it. The same tools can be used to achieve entirely different effects. There’s a world of difference between using distortion to remove process artifacts for more accurate representations, using distortion to aesthetically refine the formal qualities of images and using distortion to expressively interpret subjects. Intent is everything. Practice is a reflection of intent. Simply asking yourself how far you are and aren’t willing to go and, finally, why, will help clarify yours. Consider these questions seriously, and you’ll find your vision will grow stronger and clearer.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Free eBook – Maine Destinations

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Download your free copy here.

From the solitary summit of Katahdin, to the deeps of more than 22,000 lakes and ponds, to the 3,500 miles of tidal coastline, the wild beauty of Maine is irresistibly beautiful. Inland you’ll find sweeping mountains, rivers, lakes, forests, and farms. Along the rocky coast, you’ll find countless islands, beaches, lighthouses, and fishing villages.
This ebook collects images of Maine made in the locations that I have returned to photograph most often for more than 25 years.
Each image is accompanied by a short description of the location.
Interactive links access Google Maps and additional resources.
This valuable resource will help you make the most of your explorations of Maine.

22 images

22 pages

Download your free copy here.

Find out about my Maine workshops here.

Exhibit – Picturing Maine – Opens Oct 3

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From the nineteenth century on, Maine and its scenic beauty has drawn some of the nation’s most prominent photographers to depict its many natural wonders, and its people, and to look beyond to the realm of the imagination. This exhibition, drawn  The Farnsworth Art Museum’s collection in Rockland, Maine, showcases past and present perspectives by photographers who have worked in Maine including Berenice Abbott, John Paul Caponigro, Paul Caponigro, Eliot Porter, Joyce Tenneson and many others.
Picturing Maine opens October 03, 2015  and closes March 27, 2016.
Plus, see more photographs in the exhibit Maine Collects through March 6, 2016.
Find out more here.

48 Great Quotes On Wonder

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Enjoy this collection on wonder.
“Wonder is the desire for knowledge.” – St. Thomas Aquinas
“As knowledge increases, wonder deepens.” – Charles Morgan
“Wisdom begins in wonder.” – Socrates
“What was wonderful about childhood is that anything in it was a wonder. It was not merely a world full of miracles; it was a miraculous world.” ― G.K. Chesterton
“The capacity for wonder has been called our most pregnant human faculty, for in it are born our art, our science, our religion.” – Ralph Sockman
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Alumni Doug Eng's Exhibit Streaming South

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Alumni Doug Eng discusses his new exhibit Streaming South.
“Last spring, paddling a kayak became the first steps of my journey home. My birthplace and residence is Jacksonville, FL, on the St. Johns River, a 310 mile artery dotted with spring fed creeks. I often photographed a glimpse of a creek from a bridge or trail and always wondered what lay beyond what I saw.
“Streaming South” started as a desire to produce a series of intimate landscapes of individual creeks, depicting remote places in the style of early 19th century landscape painters who visited Florida and found an unspoiled paradise. Florida has changed dramatically since those times but I knew that a version of the “real” Florida may lay deep within these creeks and I wanted to find out.
Over the course of one year, I experienced the seasonal characteristics of the landscape in 33 visits to 12 creeks. I created thousands of images and started a blog, streamingsouth.com, to record each outing with comments and additional writings.
Once I began my explorations, my outward excitement about what I was seeing shifted to a personal introspection concerned with ethics, morality, respect, care, and gratitude. Not only was I given a gift of incredible beauty, peace, and solitude, but I was exposed to neglect, disrespect, and violations that stirred deep emotions. I always appreciated where I lived but never had an attachment to anything specific. I never cried when I saw trees being cut or became resentful of a dock or bulkhead on a riverbank. I never laughed at otters eyeing my passage or spent time collecting discarded bottles lodged in the roots of trees. I never witnessed the awe in a perfect reflection of over-arching trees forming a cathedral in the middle of a stream. Now things are different, I have changed.
When photographing the “environment” you make choices. Do you focus on beauty or despair or exactly what exists? It’s an easy decision for me. Beauty and peace connected me to my home. Not the plastic bottles, beer cans, old tires, and keep out signs. I believe that my advocacy for attention to these rare places must appeal to what is positive and good about our home. First connection, then care. That’s how it worked for me.
As a result of this project, I have developed a special connection to my Home. Connection is about participation, hands on experience, and being present. You must step out your door and cross the line. To really care about a place, to cherish it for what it does to our hearts and souls, to really connect with all that it is, creates the cognizance necessary for responsible, actionable stewardship. These are only pictures, but they represent in a very real way what is here and now and beautiful about our earth and where we live. This work is my advocacy. I am grateful for finding a glimmer of enlightenment through photography for myself and to share with others. The journey continues.”
Find out more about Streaming South here.
Find out more about Doug Eng here.

30 Great Quotes On Depth

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Enjoy this collection of quotes on Depth.
“It is not length of life, but depth of life.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The length of your education is less important than its breadth, and the length of your life is less important than its depth” – Marilyn vos Savant
“You can’t do anything about the length of your life, but you can do something about its width and depth” – Henry Louis Mencken
“What matters is not the idea a man holds, but the depth at which he holds it.” – Ezra Pound
”Like the sea itself, the unconscious yields an endless and self-replenishing abundance of creatures, a wealth beyond our fathoming.” – C.G. Jung
“The greatest explorer on this earth never takes voyages as long as those of the man who descends to the depth of his heart.” – Julien Green
“It’s our challenges and obstacles that give us layers of depth and make us interesting. Are they fun when they happen? No. But they are what make us unique. And that’s what I know for sure… I think.” – Ellen DeGeneres
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