11 Recent Landscape Drawings

(Drawn on the iPad with Adobe Ideas.)
Here’s a collection of recent landscape sketches.
Drawing does many things for me. Drawing helps me find, refine, and expand ideas. Because of drawing I’m never at a loss for visual ideas – and consequently I become more discriminating about the ones I devote significant time to. Drawing helps me identify essential structures in existing images. After I draw them, (no longer hung up on the details) I understand them better and can better apply what I’ve learned to other images. Drawing helps sensitize me to fundamental compositional patterns. After I draw them, I recognize them more quickly.
For so many reasons drawing is an immense pleasure – and that’s why I keep doing it.
View more sketches from this series here.
See more drawings here.

20 Questions With David duChemin

David duChemin provides quick candid answers to a 20 questions.
What’s the best thing about photography?

The best thing about photography is the gift of seeing – really seeing – the moments in life that otherwise pass so quickly. It’s the elevation of what we normally see as mundane, or perhaps not the elevation of it so much as the recognition that it was beautiful to begin with.
What’s the worst thing about photography?

Like any storytelling medium or art, it’s easy to fall more in love with how we tell the stories than the stories themselves. I think photographers have an unusual relationship with their gear, one that can be beautifully collaborative or strangely incestuous.
What’s the thing that interests you most about other people’s photographs?

I like to see through the eyes of others, to see what I have not. I’m a very curious person and this gives me a glimpse into a world in ways I’ve not considered it.
Who were your early photographic influences? 
My earliest were portraitists, like …
Read the rest of David duChemin’s Q&A here.
Read other Q&A’s by other top photographers here.
Read a selection of David duChemin’s favorite quotes here.
Read other top photographers favorite quotes here.
Preview his new online course The Compelling Frame now.

John Paul Caponigro & Seth Resnick – Share Experience & Share Vision

20051207_bransfield Straits
Read the story behind these two photographs made by two very different photographers here.
When Seth Resnick and I started Digital Photo Destinations workshops, many people thought we were an unlikely combination. His mode of photography is active and mine’s contemplative. He photographs everything; I focus on specific things. He’s all about workflow and releases thousands of images a year for stock agencies. I’m all about print quality and release fewer than a hundred images a year for exhibition. We find our differences extremely stimulating. We encourage each other to try new things and our contrasts provide new clarity about our individual natures. Our collaborations are fueling new personal growth for both of us – and for our participants. Our adventures take us to amazing places – Antarctica, Argentina, Greenland, Iceland, Namibia and more – to do some amazing things; glacier walks in ice caves before watching auroras, helicopter rides over volcanoes, zodiac rides through ice fields, hiking the world’s largest dunes … what will be next? On the personal front, we laugh (and so do others) because we’re so similar we can often finish each other’s sentences. The most stimulating relationships are born when there’s something shared and something different. This combination stimulates growth in both individuals. Imagine who that person could be for you.
We just wrote a piece for B&H on the many benefits of sharing photographic experiences.
Read it here – you’ll enjoy it!
Find out more about Digital Photo Destinations workshops here.

Leave Room For The Viewer – The Story Behind The Photograph


Condensation III, Rockland, Maine, 2001

One second it was there and the next it wasn’t and in a few seconds even the ripples it created were gone. It was there in this shot, but I took it out. What was it? I’ll leave that to your imagination. It’s more interesting that way. In moments like this our minds run wild. Our still childlike imagination takes over and plays. Stone? Fish? Bird? Snake? Squid? Sea monster? Mermaid? Diver? Now things are getting interesting! In the end, maybe this image really isn’t one thing. Maybe it’s become many. And maybe that’s more interesting. I know what it was when I made the picture – and that’s a limitation I’ve had to challenge myself to overcome to see more in this picture. When people try to solve the mystery together the image becomes even more interesting, to both them and me. We all want to bring more to our creations – and we don’t have to do all that work by ourselves. Part of that ‘more’ is what other people bring to it.
Everybody loves a mystery. Director J J Abrams’ love of mysteries is evident in his many television shows and movies and his mastery of mysteries is evident by their widespread success. He knows some mysteries are best left unsolved. “To be continued” … In his TED talk The Mystery Box and he wisely states “Ultimately the mystery box is all of us.”
How many great inventions have been repurposed for uses than they were originally intended for? Gunpowder was first born as an elixir of immortality. The rat poison Warfarin became a blood thinner. A telephone conversation recorder became a musical record player. Viagra was invented to cure heart disease but had an unexpected side effect of making other things hard. And what can’t you do with duct tape? The inventions that survived adapted. The ones that thrived left room for their users to bring about unexpected evolution. They grew stronger with user participation and innovation. You can’t guarantee that this will occur but you can hope it will and you can leave room for it to happen both in your plans and your creations.
There’s always a balancing act between holding to your original course and modifying it after weighing viewers’ responses. Consider putting your creations to the test with a select audience before releasing them to wider audiences. If you do, seek enough feedback from a variety of relevant sources and weigh it appropriately.
There’s a fine line between leaving too little room for the viewer (when what’s produced is uni-dimensional and predictable) and leaving too much (when not enough is brought to the picture and what’s created seems uncommitted). Find it and you’ll find uncommon success and new opportunities for growth.
How many ways can you leave room for user participation?
How many ways can you stimulate user participation?
Where is the line between too little room for the viewer and too much?
How much or how little does something need to resolve for it to be complete?
When is it best to switch gears based on user feedback?
Find out more about this image here.
View more related images here.
Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

David duChemin's Favorite Quotes

David duChemin shares his favorite quotes.
This is my favorite from his selection.
“Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.” – Rumi
Which is your favorite?
Read more of David’s favorite quotes here.
Find out more about David duChemin here.
Find his new book SEVEN here.
Read more photographer’s favorite quotes here.
Preview his new online course The Compelling Frame now.

Advanced Color Adjustment – Blending Channels






Layer Styles

Blending channels is a powerful color adjustment strategy that can handle even the biggest challenges. It takes information from one channel and combines it with information from another. It’s great for repairing clipping in one or even two but not three channels. Rather than simply enhancing existing tonal values, blending channels reshapes one channel’s tonal structure with another’s. Consequently, in most cases, blending channels calls for a substitution of information by percentage, not a wholesale replacement of the deficient channel. You usually blend channels from different versions of the same image because blending channels from different compositions produces a highly altered effect.
Blending channels is complex. It often produces additional unintended color effects that may require further correction, such as shifts in hue that aren’t uniform across the tonal scale. Blending channels is neither the simplest nor the most direct path to color adjustment, but in certain situations (files that are exceptionally problematic), it may be the best path. The resulting benefits can be dramatic.
There are several ways to blend channels: Channel Mixer, Apply Image, Calculations and the most robust using channels as layers.
How do you do it? Duplicate a layer. Double click on the layer to activate Layer Styles (rasterize copies of Smart Objects to get this). Then check the channel you want to use, select a Blend Mode (typically Darken or Lighten and sometimes Multiply or Screen), adjust the Opacity, and use the Blend If sliders to constrain the effect or alternately a mask.
Read all the details on Digital Photo Pro.
Part I
Part II 
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Creative Mastery Robert Greene – Chase Jarvis Live & Google Talk

Robert Greene author of Mastery offers sage advice on finding and pursuing your own creative mastery.
Topics include …
How to discover your passion and pursue it
What Einstein, Da Vinci, Goethe, Napoleon and other “masters” have in common with each other and with you
How each of us have a unique composition that is our greatest asset
Why choosing a career path that leverages your individuality and sparks curiosity is essential
How an apprenticeship is a necessary step toward achieving mastery and fulfillment
View more creativity videos here.
View my TED and Google talks on creativity here.

Seek Feedback – The Story Behind The Image


Selva Obscura, Jefferson, Maine, 2002

I had no intention of making this image; I had left my ‘real’ medium format film camera home and brought a then new digital DSLR, a technology in its infancy at the time, to photograph a new puppy I was bringing home with my family. The drive through the foggy February forests of Maine was beautiful and late in the day as we neared a series of orchards the light turned golden. I stopped with no thought other than to enjoy the moment, making a series of exposures, before continuing on.
While I liked the images I produced that evening, I had no intention of displaying them, until everyone in my studio strongly urged me to do so. Response to these images has continued to be very positive. This one has become one of my top sellers.
This work didn’t fit neatly into the ideas I’ve been developing in my work for decades. It doesn’t present a view of nature seemingly untouched by man. It’s not a wasteland, either devoid of or filled with water. It’s conventionally clear where the life is, in living organisms, drawing attention away from the idea that there might be a spirit in other kinds of things. It didn’t fit for this and other reasons. Yet it was somehow connected. These images lay down a challenge.
As I was describing this process to my workshop participants one day remarking, “I don’t do trees.” one woman remarked, “I don’t think you can say that any more.” Touche.  The next morning on my way to class as I considered this further, acknowledging that I had always loved orchards, tending them as a boy and now living in another one, and that I deeply appreciated gardens and agricultural areas and sacred sites where man worked in concert with nature, the phrase came to mind, “Perhaps Eden can be restored, if we give it half a chance.” It’s a thought that runs deep inside all of my work. It’s my hope that what I share will kindle a greater sense of wonder for the natural world and inspire people to participant in it creatively and conscientiously.
That was one of a handful of days where the mission behind my life’s work became clearer and this image played a central part in that process. It’s become an important outlier in my body of work, which I’ve learned a great deal from.
In response, I didn’t decide to go in a new direction. I held to my original course, bringing the work I had already begun to completion – now with a renewed sense of purpose.
What you do with feedback is up to you. I recommend that you seek a lot of feedback from a variety of sources. Know the source of the feedback you receive. Don’t forget to give yourself feedback, the most important source of all. Weigh it all carefully, but make the final choice your own. In the end, it’s your choice. It’s your life’s work. It’s your life. Make it count.
What is good enough? How do you know?
What isn’t good enough? How do you know?
What is too much?
What is perfectly imperfect?

Find out more about this image here.

View more related images here.
Read more The Stories Behind The Images here.

33 Quotes On Discovery

Here’s a collection of my favorite quotes on discovery.
“There is no better high than discovery.” – E. O. Wilson
“In other studies you go as far as other have gone before you, and there is nothing more to know; but in a scientific pursuit there is continual food for discovery and wonder.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein
“Scientists have become the bearers of the torch of discovery in our quest for knowledge.” – Stephen Hawking
“A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
“In the discovery of secret things and in the investigation of hidden causes, stronger reasons are obtained from sure experiments and demonstrated arguments than from probable conjectures and the opinions of philosophical speculators of the common sort.” – William Gilbert
“There are two possible outcomes: if the result confirms the hypothesis, then you’ve made a measurement. If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you’ve made a discovery.” – Enrico Fermi
“The greatest discoveries have come from people who have looked at a standard situation and seen it differently.” – Ira Erwin
“The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterwards.” – Arthur Koestler
“Scientific discovery and scientific knowledge have been achieved only by those who have gone in pursuit of it without any practical purpose whatsoever in view.” – Max Planck
“The most wonderful discovery made by scientists is science itself.” – Jacob Bronowski
“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” –  André Gide
“They are ill discoverers that think there is no land when they can see nothing but sea.” – Francis Bacon
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust
“To see the world for a moment as something rich and strange is the private reward of many a discovery.” – Edward M. Purcell
“Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen, and thinking what nobody has thought.” – Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
“Through every rift of discovery some seeming anomaly drops out of the darkness, and falls, as a golden link into the great chain of order.” – Edwin Hubbel Chapin
“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.”  Frank Herbert
“No great discovery was ever made without a bold guess.” – Isaac Newton
“The discovery of truth is prevented more effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice.” – Arthur Schopenhauer
“The secret to discovery is to never believe existing facts.” – Bryant H. McGill
“The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance – it is the illusion of knowledge.” – Daniel J. Boorstin
“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant
“The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.” – Mark Van Doren
“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.” – Chuck Palahniuk
“Mistakes are the portals of discovery.” – James Joyce
“He who never made a mistake, never made a discovery.” – Samuel Smiles
“There’ll always be serendipity involved in discovery.” – Jeff Bezos
“One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.” – A. A. Milne
“The beginning of knowledge is the discovery of something we do not understand.” – Frank Herbert
“If I have ever made any valuable discoveries, it has been owing more to patient attention, than to any other talent.” – Isaac Newton
“There is no harm in doubt and skepticism, for it is through these that new discoveries are made.” – Richard Feynman
“The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not ‘Eureka!’ (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny’” – Isaac Asimov
Find more Creativity Quotes here.
Discover more quotes daily in my Twitter and Facebook streams

SEVEN – David DuChemin’s New Book

David DuChemin’s first art book, SEVEN is a retrospective of his work from 2006 to early 2013 when he visited seven continents in seven years.
David describes his new book SEVEN, “I created this as a legacy piece. I wanted to create something beautiful, inside and out. Something that was a delight to touch and hold. I wanted something that would inspire and show you the world the way I see it, in these fleeting glimpses of beauty, hope, and wonder. Unlike so much of what I publish, this is not an educational book. The book opens with a short essay about the gift of photography, and what follows is photograph after photograph, quietly captioned with location and date. I want, at the end of the day, my photographs to speak for themselves. I also believe that looking at, and studying, photographs, is some of the best education we can have in terms of making our own photographs.”
The images in SEVEN are diverse in location, subject (portraits, wildlife, landscape), and style (documentary, minimalism, impressionism) yet all share David’s warm human touch and soulfully reflective nature. I particularly like his use of negative space.
Preview and order the book SEVEN here.
Find out more about David DuChemin here.