New images from my annual exhibit New Work are out!
Get 25% off all prints today. Use the code ANNUALEXHIBIT2016.
View new Works here.
Take the online interactive 360 gallery tour here.
(Click on the images.)
Get the ebook here.
Find related Studies here.
Read more about the making of these new works here.
View my gallery talks this past weekend on Facebook Live.
Email email@example.com or call 207-354-0578.
This is a selection of the images that started my series Revelation over twenty years ago. I had been planning on making related images in the arctic and antarctic for more than ten years. The series Revelation was on my mind when I first went to Antarctica in 2005; I started shooting deliberately for it on a return voyage in 2007; material slowly accumulated in subsequent voyages in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015; and then in 2016 it all came together. Part of the reason this work waited so long is that there was other work to do, including the completion of other related bodies of work including Inhalation and Exhalation. Doing that work influenced this work.
The images I recently released (arctic and antarctic Revelations) have a different quality as a result of waiting. they would have been different if I finished them earlier. In part, this comes from sleeping on it; the subconscious does a lot of work. In part, this is is the result of a significant amount of conscious thought; studying craft and composition were only the beginnings, digging into my thoughts and feelings about the subject and the approach were the real keys; related reading and viewing supported it. In part, this is the result of my inner state now; contrary to what some have suggested, I’ve found this isn’t something to overcome no matter what the current conditions but rather something to be nurtured and cultivated. While one needs to guard agains procrastination, one also needs to guard against rushing through content and not developing the necessary depth to fully engage it, fostering an intimate relationship with it. Doing the work develops depth. And, the work doesn’t just happen behind the lens or in front of the computer.
So when should you make work? This is a question that is best approached with awareness and deep contemplation. Though there are repeatable patterns and common tendencies, there is no one definitive answer to this question for all artists and all situations. I’ve found some work gets produced very quickly, sometimes a whole series is made in one shoot, and some work gets produced very slowly, over decades. Ultimately, I think you have to go with your gut. That doesn’t rule out the possibility and potential benefits of a great deal of research and forethought before you do. The two working in concert together often yield the most powerful combination. However, the single most important ingredient is, not mere spontaneity, which can be short lived, but an effervescence of spirit, and it’s particularly important to pay attention to this quality if it can be sustained over longer periods of time. One needs to be alive to the work to make it a living thing.
In the era of social networks, there is a tremendous pressure to release work quickly and to keep releasing work on a regular basis. This can create a pace that is unsustainable for most creatives, at least when it comes to releasing work with real depth. Good fully developed work takes time … because developing a relationship with your work and your self takes time, much like creating deeper relationships with people take time. Savor it.
At the same time, the unfinished work we make along the way has it’s own value, a very different value, and it can be fascinating to watch how we get to our final destinations. It’s important to know the difference and make the distinction between fully developed images and unfinished images, between work and play, both when we are producing our own images and enjoying others.
Digital technology offers interesting new possibilities for print editions.
The appearance of the print may change.
It has long been an accepted practice that artists will change the rendition of their images over time.
Ansel Adams famously remarked, “The negative is comparable to the composer’s score and the print to its performance. Each performance differs in subtle ways.” You can view the changes in Ansel Adams’ classic Moonrise Over Hernandez here. Some collectors search for the optimum print made in an artist’s lifetime, while others collect multiple prints to create a meaningful comparison.
The composition may change.
Similarly, it’s been accepted that a composition may vary if cropping is adjusted during printing, though typically this is a matter of fine tuning rather than dramatic change. Today, with composites, the composition may change by replacing components, often dramatically changing the composition.
I’ve released composited images and later changed the composition substantially.
In the following to image, Voyage Of Grace, the feather at the top of the waterfall was at the bottom of the waterfall in the first print sold. I chose not to start the edition again because it was not a substantially different statement. The one collector who has that print has a unique item with exceptional value. (I do offer print replacements for a fee, which the collector has not chosen to exercise.)
Updated Or New Edition ?
For me, the question of whether to replace one edition with another or to issue a new edition is an interesting one. It’s one that my father – a traditional analog photographer – and most photographers of his generation do not have to address. New possibilities bring new challenges.
There are times when related but distinctly different images warrant a new edition.
The following two images are made from separate single exposures of the same subject made at approximately the same time, but their compositions and intent are quite different; one is straight and representational, the other is composited and surreal.
The two editions both complement and contrast with one another in ways that build value in each edition. In general, when you can align the interests of the artistic statement with the interests of the market, you’ve got a winning combination.
New images from my series Revelation are out!
Find more here.
View the ebook here.
Get the catalog here.
See related studies here.
Find out about the making of the exhibit here.
Hear my gallery talks on Facebook Live.
During our 2016 DPD Antarctica Workshop we had beautiful weather – foggy mornings, sunny days, and calm waters. I’d been looking for clear reflections like these for years; it is the windiest continent. All of the eight voyages I’ve made to Antarctica have been defined by weather, which has never been the same twice.
Two of my recent studies (experiments made and processed entirely on an iPhone) combine historical photographs with contemporary exposures.
Exposures for Antarctica Now & Then were made at Whaler’s Bay, Antarctica on the active volcano Deception Island.
Exposures for Greenland Now & Then were made in the East Greenland village of Ittoqqortoormiit.
I’ve been wondering if there was any connection between these explorations and the work that was foremost on my mind during these voyages.
At first glance we seem to make many unrelated images, but often it’s just a matter of finding the connections. Sometimes we find the connections between what we were thinking and feeling while we are having the experience; sometimes we find the connections long after; sometimes we never find them. At the very least, doing one thing provides a rejuvenating break from the other. There’s usually more going on than we are consciously aware of.
What connections have I found? I was looking into the spirit of the land in these locations and these two experiences provided stark contrasts to that sensibility. People concerned with the spirit of a place wouldn’t kill whales in the way they were slaughtered in Antarctica; thankfully this activity has stopped. That bygone members of Greenland’s indigenous population had a stronger sense of the spirt of the place and practices for interacting with it than the quickly westernizing current members do was made evident in the art they left behind. Was my experience limited by my cultural inheritance and current circumstances? Could I, a westerner living today, also participate in more sacred ways of relating to the earth? I think so.
The finished images I produced on these trips, for my series Revelation, are evidence of this.
My most recent study, Antarctica Now & Then combines historical photographs with contemporary exposures made at Whaler’s Bay on Antarctica’s active volcano Deception Island – made and processed entirely on an iPhone.
View more Studies here.
Find out about our next Antarctica digital photography workshop here.
Our 2016 Antarctica voyage was stunning!
After several delays our flight to Antarctica finally found a window through the low lying fog. Moody mists continued in the early mornings, lifting by mid-morning, revealing clear skies during the day, creating a marvelous daily transformation. Temperatures were unusually warm. Winds were unusually low. The still waters yielded fabulous reflections. I focussed on symmetry and minimalism punctuated by the imaginatively sculptural forms of ice.
Stay tuned to my social networks for more images.
View images from seven previous voyages here.
Preview my ebook Antarctica here.
View more Contact Sheets here.
View Seth Resnick’s images from the same voyage here.
Find out about our next Antarctica digital photography workshop here.
Sam Krisch opens his second solo exhibit of the year “Above Zero: Photographs From The Polar Region” Sunday, June 14 at the Allentown Art Museum in Pennsylvania.
In this post, Sam shares what he learned on his journey to creative success. You’ll find it inspiring and helpful.
Here are a few highlights.
“John Paul’s mentorship as well as the inspiration and encouragement of countless others led me to work harder, to dig deeper, to find new places: physical locations, internal emotions, and fresh ways of seeing. Hard work and constant study added to my skills. Through the fellowship of an international group of artists I found community and stimulation: a vast ocean of knowledge and inspiration.”
“Each particular curator sees an artist’s work in a particular way, interprets it, and often brings out a way of seeing the work that the artist hadn’t considered. A great pleasure for me is working with professionals who approach the presentation of my work in a different way. They ask probing questions for the lectures, gallery guides, and docent training. I always learn something from exhibiting my work and I am often surprised by people’s reaction to it. Some are emotionally moved, some want to know technical details, some may not like it. It’s the risk you take when you exhibit.”