One Thing Leads To Another – The Story Behind The Image

Incubation II

Incubation II, 2013 – Atacama Desert, Argentina

 With Incubation II, I got everything I wanted – and more.
I’ve been working on a line of thought for some time, planning to make a series to fully develop it. Make multiple exposures of the same subject from different angles and combine them seamlessly. It’s like Cubism without the artifacts. Show what’s hidden by one angle of view by combining many angles of view. Show many sides of the same object simultaneously. Show the background that an object hides. Make a visual experience that more powerfully presents the experience of moving around, in, and through a space.
Not knowing what I wanted to do ahead of time would have changed the way I made exposures. I would have selected angles that offered the best relationship between object and environment, often prioritizing one over the other if any compromises were necessary, instead of selecting the optimal angle for both in two or more exposures. I wouldn’t have made as many exposures nor would I have know which alternate exposures to make – and why. Despite my best plans, I never could have planned for this magnificent moment of light, where its shape, split by a crack, echoes the shapes of the two cracked halves of the rock below it.
On my first visit to Argentina’s Atacama Desert I was able to gather several exposures that once combined served as proof of concept. They results, not just for one image but for multiple images, were successful enough to show that this idea and approach had lasting value.
My initial concept didn’t work entirely as planned. I tried a solution that looked similar to double exposure and while I was (and still am) interested in the way this made the objects look like they were vibrating (a new idea), it was too busy and unclear for the effect I was looking for here. On impulse, while I was processing the images, I tried nesting the stones within themselves and it was immediately clear that this was a powerful new solution. The technique served more than a visual device. The psychological dimensions of the work were heightened. The work was challenging me to expand my vision.
Finishing the first few images brought both clarity and productivity while photographing the location for the second time. I was able to make many related images, aware of what was different and what was similar. I was even able to rephotograph several subjects. Now, in addition to single images displaying multiple angles of the same subject, multiple images in the series do the same. It’s surprising how different things look from different angles of view – sometimes they’re unrecognizable.
The questions arose “How many images will this solution hold for?” and “What other related solutions will I find?” One thing led to another. Along the way, duplication, reflection, and distortion were also used. So new questions were posed, “Is this one series or many?” and “Will one series title hold them all?” (The working title for the series is Incubation.)
I’m not sure all of these images belong in the same series. While they’re all from the same location and they look similar stylistically and are related thematically, they also explore different ideas. Some are diverging significantly enough to make the case for placing them in several interconnected series. What’s the answer? Right now, it’s a mystery. I simply have to do more work to find out more about it.
I’ve found that the best plans are clear enough to stimulate productivity and flexible enough to evolve.
See related Contact Sheets from 2012 and 2013 here.
What are the benefits of working without a plan?
What are the benefits of working with a plan?
How do you create a plan so that it is generative rather than restrictive?
What mindset do you need to approach plans with to maximize productivity and insight?
When should you abandon one plan in favor of another?
Read more The Stories Behind The Photographs here.

39 Quotes On Goals

Here’s a selection of my favorite quotes on goals.
“There is one quality more important than “know-how” and we cannot accuse the United States of any undue amount of it. This is “know-what” by which we determine not only how to accomplish our purposes, but what our purposes are to be.” – Norbert Wiene
“I respect the man who knows distinctly what he wishes. The greater part of all mischief in the world arises from the fact that men do not sufficiently understand their own aims. They have undertaken to build a tower, and spend no more labor on the foundation than would be necessary to erect a hut.” John Wolfgang von Goethe
“Vision without action is a daydream. Action without vision is a nightmare.” – Japanese Proverb
“You can’t hit a target you cannot see, and you cannot see a target you do not have.” – Zig Ziglar
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time. ” – Zig Ziglar
“When a man does not know what harbor he is making for, no wind is the right wind.” – Lucius Seneca
“If you don’t know where you are going, you might wind up someplace else.” Yogi Berra
“This one step – choosing a goal and sticking to it – changes everything.” – Scott Reed
“You must take action now that will move you towards your goals. Develop a sense of urgency in your life.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
“Begin with the end in mind.” Stephen Covey
“If what you are doing is not moving you towards your goals, then it’s moving you away from your goals.” – Brian Tracy
“Goals are dreams with deadlines.” – Diana Scharf Hunt
“Goals help you channel your energy into action.” – Les Brown
“I don’t care how much power, brilliance or energy you have, if you don’t harness it and focus it on a specific target, and hold it there you’re never going to accomplish as much as your ability warrants.” – Zig Ziglar
“The shortest distance between two points assumes you know where you’re going.” – Robert Brault
“A straight path never leads anywhere except to the objective.” – Andre Gide
“The road leading to a goal does not separate you from the destination; it is essentially a part of it.” – Charles DeLint
“You must have long-range goals to keep you from being frustrated by short-range failures.” – Charles C. Noble
“Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off your goals.” – Anonymous
“We are kept from our goal not by obstacles but by a clear path to a lesser goal.” – Robert Brault
“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius
“Many are stubborn in pursuit of the path they have chosen, few in pursuit of the goal.” – Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
“One half of knowing what you want is knowing what you must give up before you get it.” – Sidney Howard
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” – Brian Tracy
“A goal is not always meant to be reached, it often serves simply as something to aim at.” ― Bruce Lee
“Sometimes the path you’re on is not as important as the direction you’re heading.” – Kevin Smith
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” ― Ernest Hemingway
“Establishing goals is all right if you don’t let them deprive you of interesting detours.” – Doug Larson
“Success is 10% inspiration, 90% last-minute changes.” – Anonymous
“Map out your future, but do it in pencil.” – Jon Bon Jovi
“Without some goals and some efforts to reach it, no man can live.” – John Dewey
“What keeps me going is goals.” – Muhammad Ali
“If you’re bored with life – you don’t get up every morning with a burning desire to do things – you don’t have enough goals.” – Lou Holtz
“People are not lazy. They simply have impotent goals – that is, goals that do not inspire them.” – Tony Robbins
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.” – Henry David Thoreau
“Goals determine what you’re going to be.” – Julius Erving
“If you go to work on your goals, your goals will go to work on you. If you go to work on your plan, your plan will go to work on you. Whatever good things we build end up building us.” – Jim Rohn
“If you set goals and go after them with all the determination you can muster, your gifts will take you places that will amaze you.” – Les Brown
“Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another.” – John Dewey
Find more Creativity Quotes here.
Read more quotes daily on Twitter and Facebook.

Photoshop CC – 1 Click 3D Printing

“See Photoshop Product Manager, Stephen Nielson, demonstrate the powerful and exciting new 3D printing features in Photoshop CC. Visualize your 3D designs in the real world thanks to new support that allows you to easily create, refine, preview, and print your 3D designs directly to a locally connected 3D printer or online service.”
View more Photoshop Videos here.
Learn more in my Digital Photography and Digital Printing Workshops

Resurrect Shadow Detail In Your Photographs With the App InstaFlash

Instaflash_combo copy
“Are the shadows in many of your images so dark it’s hard to see detail in them? Would you like to see more detail in shadows without making highlights overly bright? Who doesn’t have this problem? There’s a quick and easy cure. Use InstaFlash to bring shadow detail out into the open.
Of all the flash simulation apps, InstaFlash can produce the strongest results and unlike many of its competitors it generates results that are surprisingly free of digital artifacts, like haloing …”
I consider InstaFlash a must have app.
Read the rest on The Huffington Post.

The Essential Collection of Documentaries On Photographers Online

It’s insightful to learn about and from the photographers who make the classic photographs.
Here’s a collection of videos on photographers that I’ve enjoyed most.
You’ll find them inspiring!
Where do I recommend you start? With the classics – in red.
Sam Abell | View 
Ansel Adams | View 1 | View 2 | View 3
Robert Adams | View
Diane Arbus| View

Richard Avedon | View

James Balog | View 1 | View 2 | View 3

Ruth Bernhard View
Yann Arthus-Bertrand | View
Phil Borges | View
Bill Brandt | View
Edward Burtinsky | View
John Paul Caponigro | View

Paul Caponigro | View

Harry Callahan | View
Henri Cartier-Bresson  | View 1 | View 2  | View 3  | View 4  | View 5
Chuck Close| View
Anton Corbijn | View
Gregory Crewdson| View
Bruce Davidson | View
William Eggleston | View 1 | View 2

Alfred Eisendstaedt | View
Walker Evans | View
Andreas Feininger | View
Robert Frank | View
Ralph Gibson | View
Laura Gilpin | View

Nan Goldin | View
Emmet Gowin | View
Gregory Heisler | View 1 View 2
David Hockney | View 1 | View 2

Chris James | Coming Soon
Bill Jay | View
Chris Jordan | View
Michael Kenna | View

Sean Kernan | View
Andre Kertesz | View
David LaChapelle | View

Frans Lanting | View
Jacques-Henri Lartigue | View
Annie Leibovitz | View 1 View 2

Jay Maisel | View
Sally Mann | View 1 | View 2 | View 3

Arthur Meyerson | View
Duane Michals | View 1  | View 2

Mary Ellen Mark | View
Steve McCurry | View
Joe McNally | View
Joel Meyerowitz | View
Richard Misrach |  View
Tina Modotti | View

Sarah Moon | View
Edward Muybridge | View
James Nachtwey | View
Arnold Newman | View
Helmut Newton | View

Gordon Parks| View
Martin Parr | View
Eliot Porter | View

Chris Rainier | Coming
Eugene Richards | View
Sebastiao Salgado | View 1 | View 2

John Sexton | View 1 | View 2

Cindy Sherman | View
Stephen Shore | View
Aaron Siskind | View
Eugene Smith | View
Rick Smolan | View
Fredrick Sommer | View
Edward Steichen | View

Alfred Stieglitz | View

Paul Strand | View

Hiroshi Sugimoto | View
Joyce Tenneson | View
George Tice | View
Pete Turner | View

Jerry Uelsmann | View

Nick Veasey | View
Jeff Wall | View
Andy Warhol View
Weegee | View
Edward Weston | View

Kim Weston | View

Garry Winogrand | View
Dan Winters | View
Huntington Witherill | View 1 | View 2

Art Wolfe | View

View new additions to this collection here.
Read The Essential Collection Of Photographer’s Quotes here.
Read my conversations Photographers On Photography here.

12 Quotes By Photographer Robert Frank

Here’s a selection of my favorite quotes by photographer Robert Frank.
“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.” ― Robert Frank
“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do when they want to read a line of a poem twice.”
― Robert Frank
“A message picture is something that’s simply too clear.” – Robert Frank
“To produce an authentic contemporary document, the visual impact should be such as will nullify explanation.” – Robert Frank
“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected.” – Robert Frank
“I am always looking outside, trying to say something that is true. But maybe nothing is really true. Except what’s out there. And what’s out there is constantly changing.”
― Robert Frank
“There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment. This kind of photography is realism. But realism is not enough – there has to be vision, and the two together can make a good photograph.” – Robert Frank
“I have been frequently accused of deliberately twisting subject matter to my point of view. Opinion often consists of a kind of criticism. But criticism can come out of love.” – Robert Frank
“I always say that I don’t want to be sentimental, that the photographs shouldn’t be sentimental, and yet, I am conscious of my sentimentality.” – Robert Frank
“It is always the instantaneous reaction to oneself that produces a photograph.” – Robert Frank
“My photographs are not planned or composed in advance, and I do not anticipate that the onlooker will share my viewpoint. However, I feel that if my photograph leaves an image on his mind, something has been accomplished.” – Robert Frank
“Above all, life for a photographer cannot be a matter of indifference” ― Robert Frank
Read more Photographer’s Quotes here.


“For more than a century, Audubon has built a legacy of conservation success by mobilizing the strength of its network of members, Chapters, Audubon Centers, state offices and dedicated professional staff to connect people with nature and the power to protect it.”
Audubon’s Mission:
To conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity. For more than a century, Audubon has built a legacy of conservation success by mobilizing the strength of its network of members, Chapters, Audubon Centers, state offices and dedicated professional staff to connect people with nature and the power to protect it. A powerful combination of science, education and policy expertise combine in efforts ranging from protection and restoration of local habitats to the implementation of policies that safeguard birds, other wildlife and the resources that sustain us all–in the U.S. and Across the Americas.
Successes include:
Protection of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other fragile habitats; The ongoing recovery of the imperiled California condor and brown pelican; Adoption of innovative policies that balance habitat protection with green energy development on millions of acres; Continuing restoration of the Everglades and Long Island Sound.
How we do it:
Nearly 500 local Chapters nationwide engage members in grassroots conservation action; Audubon environmental policy, education and science experts guide lawmakers, agencies, and our grassroots in shaping effective conservation plans, actions and the policies to support them; More than 2,500 Audubon-designated Important Bird Areas identify, prioritize and protect vital bird habitat from coast to coast–in partnership with BirdLife International, our IBA conservation efforts support species and their habitats across the Western Hemisphere; “Citizen Scientists” collect vital data, through Audubon’s annual Christmas Bird Count, the new Coastal Bird Survey, and other initiatives, generating groundbreaking analyses and guiding scientists and policy makers in addressing the needs of birds and other wildlife; Special ecosystem-wide conservation initiatives focus on protection and restoration of the nation’s most special places from Alaska’s Tongass to Sagebrush country and the Louisiana Coast; Audubon Centers and sanctuaries are hubs of conservation exploration, research, and action, allowing millions to discover and defend the natural world; Educational programs and materials combine with Audubon, the nation’s most acclaimed conservation magazine to introduce schoolchildren, families and nature-lovers of all ages to the wonders of nature and the power of conservation at home and around the world.”