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 “Unlocking The Secrets Of The Creative Process – Part 1" A Conversation With Photographer Eric Meola

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Photographer Eric Meola and I share our insights on the creative process in this three-part conversation. In the first installment, I share the influences of my parents and meetings with many remarkable men and women including Eliot Porter, Ansel Adams, and Georgia O’Keeffe. Then we discuss the power of words.
“Words can be powerful tools. Think of all the things you can do with words. Generate ideas. Clarify a response. Determine a goal. Frame a question. Evaluate strengths and weaknesses. Make comparisons and contrasts. Identify an influence. Select an approach. Test a theory. Explore alternatives. Identify what’s missing. Solve a problem. Advocate. Motivate. Evaluate. Find a new direction.
No matter what discipline you’re in, why wouldn’t you use these powerful tools we call words? Try not using them! Can you? So why not use them well and unlock as much of their power as you can?
Many linguists have explored how language influences thought, going almost as far as saying language is thought. Benjamin Whorf said, “Language is not simply a reporting device for experience but a framework for it.” If a culture has a lot of words for something, it indicates those people have a highly developed relationship with it. If a culture doesn’t have a word for something, it indicates either a very different relationship to a subject or a blind spot. Certain tribes in the Amazon jungle have many words for green, but none for blue. The Inuit have dozens of words for snow. We currently have too few words for photography. (At best, we amend the word photography with other words—photojournalism and photo illustration.) Look at all the words we have for various kinds of writing: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, journalism, journaling, interview, biography, autobiography, screenplay, short story, novel, trilogy, epic, lyric, etc, etc, etc. The photographic community and culture at large would do well to repurpose many words drawn from our literary traditions and use them in our visual traditions.
The question is not, “Should I manipulate a photograph?” Since the invention of photography, all kinds of things have been done to photographs. The question is, “What happens when I do or don’t manipulate a photograph?”
Limited language wastes time and results in less productive debates and diverts attention away from more productive discussions. One of the fundamental things I’m trying to address through my work is complicated by limited language. Our culture often talks about people versus nature; we use words like “us” and “it.” We draw lines and take sides. Our current use of language psychologically distances us. This makes it harder to describe people as parts of nature. If we enter that mindset, we think about ourselves and act in our world differently.”
Read the rest of Part I here.
Read Part II here.
Read my interview of Eric here.

14 Essential Tips For Night Photography

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The high ISO capability of today's new camera models is a true game changer. It opens up a range of light previously unexplored in the history of photography. Fearing noise, many people unnecessarily limit themselves to the lowest ISO setting and never explore this incredible range of light with all of its unique qualities—and surprises. (Don't fear noise. Instead, read my series of articles.) Try night photography, and you'll quickly realize the camera eye now can show you more than the eye can see. There have been many times now when I make exposures just to see what's out there. Practice the art of night photography, and you'll learn to see in new ways.

What settings should you use when making exposures in low light or at night? Use a tripod and cable release, set ISO to 800 (or higher), open up to ƒ/5.6 or wider, focus at infinity, and keep exposures below 20 seconds. While this is a good starting point, that's all it is, as you'll need to modify settings based on the specific light(s) in a location, the equipment you're using and the effect you want to produce. Instead, ask yourself what concerns do you need to be mindful of, and what points of control do you have when making low-light or night photographs? Develop your sensitivity to these factors, and you'll know why and when to improvise and even what more you can explore. These tips will give you a solid foundation from which to begin your explorations in low-light and night photography.


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My enews Insights broadcasts today at 3:15 pm EST.
In this issue …
I’m announcing our next Fly Antarctica / Sail Across The Circle Workshop. Participants were thrilled this winter and we can’t wait to go back! Space is limited so reserve yours now! There’s 1 space left in our Greenland Ice Fiords & Auroras Workshop.
Seth Resnick and I have released a new ebook Antarctica / Two Visions. In addition to inspiring you with images of Antarctica, it will give you many insights into how much we’ve influenced each other by working so closely together and yet still remain so different. It’s free for a limited time only!
Three Raw Processing Resources and 21 Recommended Books On Digital Processing will help you make the most of your files.
Find out about photographer Wynn Bullock – a new exhibit, new book, and classic quotes.
Sign up for my enews Collectors Alert and get a one time only 50% print discount.
There’s more … exhibits, lectures, articles, calendars, green actions, etc.
Enjoy!
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New Improvements to Camera Raw 8.2 in Photoshop CC – Julianne Kost


“Julieanne takes a close look at the feature enhancements and refinements made to the Crop tool, workflow settings, and batch saving capabilities in Adobe Camera Raw. In addition she also covers improvements made to the Spot Removal Tool, Noise Reduction, Local Adjustment Brush, and Histogram.”
View more Photshop Videos here.
Learn more in my digital printing and digital photography workshops here.

Book – Wynn Bullock Revelations

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“Wynn Bullock was one of the most significant photographers of the mid-twentieth century. A close friend of influential West Coast artists Ansel Adams and Edward Weston and a contemporary of Minor White and Frederick Sommer, Bullock created work marked by a distinct interest in experimentation, abstraction, and philosophical exploration. Bullock’s photography received early recognition in 1941, when the Los Angeles County Museum of Art staged his first solo exhibition. His mature work appeared in one-man shows at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris; the Royal Photographic Society, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the Art Institute of Chicago, among other prestigious venues. Bullock’s pictures Let There Be Light and Child in Forest have become icons in the history of photography, following their prominent inclusion in The Family of Man, Edward Steichen’s landmark 1955 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art.
Despite early acclaim, however, the true breadth and depth of Bullock’s career have remained largely in the shadows. Wynn Bullock: Revelations shines new light on this major photographer and offers the most comprehensive assessment of his career in nearly forty years. Produced by the High Museum of Art in partnership with the Center for Creative Photography this retrospective traces Bullock’s evolution, from his early experimental work of the 1940s through the mysterious black-and-white imagery of the 1950s and the color/light abstractions of the 1960s, and to his late metaphysical photographs of the 1970s. The book presents 110 images, including some from the Bullock Estate that have before never been published. An essay by the High’s curator of photography Brett Abbott explores the nuances of Bullock’s approach to photography and its fascinating relationship to the history of science and philosophy. The volume also includes an illustrated chronology, a bibliography, selected collections, an exhibitions history, a list of plates, and notes.”
Get the book here.
Find out about the exhibit here.
Read a collection of quotes by Wynn Bullock here.
Find out more about Wynn Bullock here.

Exhibit – Wynn Bullock at High Museum Atlanta

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June 14, 2014 – January 18, 2015
“This exhibition represents the most comprehensive assessment of photographer Wynn Bullock’s (American, 1902-1975) extraordinary career in nearly forty years. Bullock worked in the American modernist tradition alongside colleagues and friends Edward Weston, Harry Callahan, and Ansel Adams. This show presents the rare opportunity to see over 100 works of art by this innovative photographer.
The arc of Bullock’s innovative achievements is surveyed in Wynn Bullock: Revelations through more than 100 prints, from his early experimental work of the 1940s, through the mysterious black-and-white imagery of the 1950s and color light abstractions of the 1960s, to his late metaphysical photographs of the 1970s. Wynn Bullock: Revelations coincides with a major gift from the Bullock Estate to the High Museum, making Atlanta one of the largest repositories of Bullock’s work in the country.
Bullock’s work was guided by an intense interest in the mid-twentieth-century dialogue about the structure of the universe and humanity’s place within it. Drawn to the spirit of experimentation that marked scientific and philosophic endeavors of his day, Bullock used knowledge about quantum physics, special relativity, and the space-time continuum as a reference point for his own intuitive and deeply personal explorations of the world. Photography for Bullock was a way of meditating on the frightening and exhilarating idea that there is much more to the world than is commonly understood through ordinary perception, and he was passionate about conveying that revelation to others through his work.”
Find out more about this exhibit here.
Find out about the book Revelations here.
A concurrent exhibit Radiant Energy in Atlanta at Lumiere Fine Art Photography Gallery  features contemporary prints from three Collector Edition Portfolios produced by Lumiere in cooperation with the Bullock family estate – Classic Black & White, Color Light Abstractions, and Seascapes.
Find out more about this exhibit here.
Read a collection of quotes by Wynn Bullock here.
Find out more about Wynn Bullock here.