Just Show Up – The Story Behind The Photograph


Illumination XXVI, Jokulsarlon, Iceland, 2012

Motion picture director Wood Allen famously remarked, “80% of success is just showing up.” One wintry night at Iceland’s glacial lagoon (Jokulsarlon) it seemed like all I had to do was show up. The heavens danced with aurora borealis’ green fire for hours. Cascades of light appeared and disappeared dynamically illuminating the heavens with a light brighter than the stars and moon rising above the dormant volcano, icecap, glaciers, frozen lagoon, icebergs, black sand beaches, and crashing surf. The waves of radiation formed and reformed into shapes suggesting animals, birds, fish, flowers, and more. When there’s fire in the heavens every moment is a magic moment.
You’ll score if you just stay in the game and keep rolling the dice. The more you roll the dice the more likely it is that you’ll score. The longer you stay in the game, the more you get to try your luck. You’re lucky to be playing, and who knows you might just get luckier. Sometimes, all you have to do is be at the right place at the right time. Sometimes, it’s that simple.
How frequently do you show up?
Are you selective about the places you show up?
Are you selective about the times you show up?
Find out more about this image here.
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Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

28 Quotes On Direction

Here’s a selection of my favorite quotes on direction.
“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction not a destination.” – Carl Rogers
“Happiness is a direction, not a place.” – Sydney J. Harris
“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.” – John F. Kennedy
“If you cry ‘forward’, you must without fail make plain in what direction to go.” – Anton Chekhov
“The direction of the mind is more important than its progress.” – Joseph Joubert
“Our thoughts create our reality – where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” – Peter McWilliams
“The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor” – Oliver Wendell Holmes
“It is the direction and not the magnitude which is to be taken into consideration.” – Thomas Paine
“You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.” – Alvin Toffler
“If you’re not sure where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” – Anonymous
“If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” – Jimmy Dean
“It is the set of the sails, not the direction of the wind that determines which way we will go.” – Jim Rohn
“Goals allow you to control the direction of change in your favor.” – Brian Tracy
“If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading.” – Lao Tzu
“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.” – Jim Rohn
“Maybe I’m lucky to be going so slowly, because I may be going in the wrong direction” – Ashleigh Brilliant
“Success is often the result of taking a misstep in the right direction.”  – Al Bernstein
“We are not retreating – we are advancing in another direction.” – Douglas MacArthur
“Forget about the consequences of failure. Failure is only a temporary change in direction to set you straight for your next success.” – Denis Waitley
“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius–and a lot of courage–to move in the opposite direction.” – E. F Schumacker
“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction” – Winston Churchill
“While it is well enough to leave footprints on the sands of time, it is even more important to make sure they point in a commendable direction.” – James Branch Cabell
“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs – ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Harold Thurman Whitman
“Each man has his own vocation; his talent is his call. There is one direction in which all space is open to him.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart.” – Confucius
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Henry David Thoreau
“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with success unexpected in common hours.” – Henry David Thoreau
“The best way to predict your future is to create it.”  – Anonymous
Find more creativity quotes here.

The Ins & Outs Of Making Panoramas With Your iPhone

Here’s an excerpt from my latest post on The Huffington Post.
Think Outside The Frame
“No one needs to learn to “think outside the box” more than photographers. The frame, literally a box, is often our greatest ally. Learning to see photographically is in part learning to see within the limits of this box and use them creatively. But there are times when this limits our vision unnecessarily. Once we’ve learned to see within the box, we then need to learn to see outside the box — and start extending the frame to perfect select compositions. There are three ways to do this; crop (after exposure), sweep (make extended format exposures in camera), or stitch (blend separate exposures together); or combine all three. Extending format techniques aren’t just for panoramic image formats. They can be used to give you the extra inch that can make all the difference in the world for your compositions.
Stitching has multiple functions, making it an essential skill for today’s photographer. Regardless of whether you use panoramic aspect ratios, the practice of extending format through photo merges can help you perfect many compositions in ways that are often challenging and in some cases impossible to do otherwise. It can help you choose a better angle of view without eliminating essential information or include essential information when you either can’t or don’t have time to change angle of view. When this skill becomes second nature, you’ll find that you’ve become visually more versatile, flexible, productive, and accomplished. Extended format techniques offer new ways of seeing.”
Find out about the iPhone apps that will help you make the best panoramic images …
Read the full post on The Huffington Post.
Find more iPhone photography resources here.

IOS7 / iPhone 5S Resource Roundup

Apple recently shipped new iPhones (5S and 5C) and a new mobile operating system (iOS7).
If you’re an “iphonographer” should you upgrade? If you’re using the iPhone 5, for most it’s probably not a big enough upgrade (lower noise, new lens, new flash) to justify the cost. If you’re using an earlier model it is a good time to upgrade (and you’ll want the 5s); you’ll get substantially better capture quality.
Whether you upgrade your iPhone or not your photography will benefit from upgrading to iOS7 with its 200 new features and improvements.
Here’s a roundup of useful resources for iPhone 5S and iOS7 to help you make the transition. 
Apple Sells 9,000,000 New iPhones In 3 Days
iPhone 5S Review – Terry White
iPhone 5S Camera Improves Photo-Taking Experience
iOS7 Compatibility Chart – Which Features Will Your iPhone/iPad Get?
19 Tips You’ll Need To Master iOS7
The 16 Best Things About iOS7
The 11 Worst Things About iOS7
3 Ways That iOS7 Will Spark A Boom In App Design
Find more iPhone photography resources here.

Contact Sheet – Atacama, Argentina


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In preparation for my return to Argentina’s Atacama Desert this coming December, I’ve been paring down my selects from my first trip last year. Within this set of images is a smaller set of images that suggests a way of seeing – animated sculptural forms making light and space visible and felt. (These words are not complete but they begin to describe what’s going on.) This is what I’m going to focus on and hope to discover more about when I return. With practice we can learn to come up with many ideas, but in the end I think it’s important to look/listen to the work you actually make and answer the calls within it, moving into them to pursue more depth and their connections to other things/ideas/emotions.

View more Contact Sheets here.

Find out more about my Atacama digital photography workshop here.

22 Quotes By Photographer Minor White

Here’s a selection of my favorite quotes by Minor White.
“Photography is a language more universal than words.” – Minor White
“At first glance a photograph can inform us. At second glance it can reach us.” – Minor White
“There’s no particular class of photograph that I think is any better than any other class. I’m always and forever looking for the image that has spirit! I don’t give a damn how it got made.” – Minor White
“A very receptive state of mind… not unlike a sheet of film itself – seemingly inert, yet so sensitive that a fraction of a second’s exposure conceives a life in it.” – Minor White
“…innocence of eye has a quality of its own. It means to see as a child sees, with freshness and acknowledgment of the wonder; it also means to see as an adult sees who has gone full circle and once again sees as a child – with freshness and an even deeper sense of wonder.” – Minor White
“Photographers who come up with power never get accused of imitating anyone else even though they photograph the same broom, same street, same portraits.” -Minor White
“The photographer projects himself into everything he sees, identifying himself with everything in order to know it and to feel it better.” – Minor White
“When I looked at things for what they are I was fool enough to persist in my folly and found that each photograph was a mirror of my Self.” – Minor White
“…all photographs are self-portraits.” – Minor White
“Be still with yourself until the object of your attention affirms your presence.” – Minor White
“No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen.” – Minor White
“One should not only photograph things for what they are but for what else they are.” – Minor White
“While we cannot describe its appearance (the equivalent), we can define its function. When a photograph functions as an Equivalent we can say that at that moment, and for that person the photograph acts as a symbol or plays the role of a metaphor for something that is beyond the subject photographed.” – Minor White
“It is curious that I always want to group things, a series of sonnets, a series of photographs; whatever rationalizations appear, they originate in urges that are rarely satisfied with single images.” – Minor White
“To engage a sequence we keep in mind the photographs on either side of the one in our eye.” – Minor White
“In putting images together I become active, and excitement is of another order – synthesis overshadows analysis.” – Minor White
“Before he has seen the whole, how unusually perceptive and imaginative the person must be to evolve the entire sequence by meditating on its single, pair, or triplet of essential images.” – Minor White
“Reaching a ‘creative’ state of mind thru positive action is considered preferable to waiting for ‘inspiration’.” – Minor White
“I have often photographed when I am not in tune with nature but the photographs look as if I had been. So I conclude that something in nature says, ‘Come and take my photograph.’ So I do, regardless of how I feel.” – Minor White
“When gifts are given to me through my camera, I accept them graciously.” – Minor White
“I’m always mentally photographing everything as practice.” – Minor White
“We could teach photography as a way to make a living, and best of all, somehow to get students to experience for themselves photography as a way of life.” – Minor White 
Read more photographer’s quotes here.
View photographer’s favorite quotes here.

Father/Son Print – Sale Ends Today


Place your order here.
Offer ends Friday 9/20 at 11:59 pm EST.

$495 + $34.95 shipping domestic – FedEx
$495 + $69.95 shipping international

A unique Father/Son Print featuring two images

John Paul Caponigro – Uyuni, Bolivia, 2013
Paul Caponigro – Frosted Window, Revere, MA, 1957

Paper size – 17”x22”
Image size left – 7.5”x7.5”
Image size right – 9.5”x7.5”

Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper
Epson Ultrachrome K3 with Vivid Magenta
Signed en verso by both artists in pencil.
Numbered and annotated en recto.
Limited to the number of prints sold for one week only.

Find out more here.

Place your order here.
Offer ends Friday 9/20 at 11:59 pm EST.