New Website! –

Last night during an inspiring evening at Photoshop World’s Fine Art of Digital panel I announced my new website It’s got information on my project including …
an upcoming workshop
a traveling exhibit
a book
4 different galleries.
There’s much more to come!
A blog.
Important facts on the region
Google maps
An Antarctica alumni group exhibit
Stay tuned to my blog and my free enews Insights for new announcements.
Get a full list of Photoshop World cobloggers here …
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Michael Morrison – Affecting Climate Change

Michael Morrison is fascinated with how our world works, the nature of awareness and perception, the experience of wonder and beauty, and the central role humanity now plays in Earth’s evolution—and the future of Civilization. With a scientific background, his passion lead him to earn the first degree in Earth System Science at the University of New Hampshire and serve as the Scientific Coordinator for the Greenland Ice Sheet Project Two (GISP2), which produced a detailed, 100,000 year history of climate—a history that revolutionized our understanding of climate. His research activities have taken him to the the South Pole, the Transantarctic Mountains, Mt. Erebus, Alaska, The Himalayas, and the highest point on the Greenland Ice Sheet. He is anticipating an ice coring expedition to the Andes in 2010.
Though he loves and values scientific discovery, he finds that the beliefs at the core of our behavior are intriguing and stubborn beasts, not always responsive to simple facts. He believes creative expression is central not only to meaning and joy in life, but to the trajectory Civilization will take moving forward from here. Following belief, creativity, circumstances, and the digital revolution in imaging, Michael now offers fine-art digital imaging and printing services in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is co-authoring a book of photographs and stories from research expeditions with Dr. Paul Mayewski, a world-class climate scientist and the Chief Scientist of GISP2.
“Graphs, tables, and didactic discourse are important, but are not fully able to reach our collective conscious on the level called for by our time in history. This is the domain of creativity—playful, beautiful, surprising, and innovative—it reaches deep into our psyches, dreams, and motivations. Into our beliefs …”
Read more here about his personal experiences, what he’s learned, and his thoughts on what we can do.
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Google Map – Antarctica

I know, “The map is not the territory.” Still, I love maps. I love them even more now. Google Maps and Google Earth has changed the nature of maps. You can explore my Antarctica Google Map and follow my course and destinations, enhanced with images and comments. To believe it, you have to experience it! It’s still in process. Watch it evolve!

Disclosure – Images That Didn't Make the Book Due to Size

Three voyages to Antarctica yielded over 250,000 exposures. Would you like to see them all? I’m kidding! I wouldn’t do that to you! Selecting only the best images has been a real challenge. Does it have graphic impact? Does it tell an important aspect of the story? Is it repeatable with variation? Is it repetitive? All good questions. For my book Antarctica I settled on 100 images. More seemed to tire viewers. Even though I’ve released more images, in the book I published fewer to make it a more effective experience. More is less. Less is more.

Here are a few images that didn’t make it into the book.

Preview or purchase the book here.

Email to reserve your space in my 2011 Antarctica workshop.

Antarctica – Blurb Book / Second Edition

My book Antarctica is printed one copy at a time by Blurb. It’s the second edition with twice as many images. 100 images. 8×10″. Simple text. Heavily supported by my website.
Sometimes books include important facts about a region; my website has an extended essay collecting essential information about Antarctica; there’s no space limit on the web and everything connects to something more. Sometimes books include maps; my website has an Antarctica Google Map that you can pan and zoom, enhanced with commentary and images. Sometimes books include journals of a voyage; my website has several types of journals including highlights from three voyages and a set of live blog posts. Sometimes books include personal statements by the author; my website let’s you hear me speak. Sometimes books include recommended resources; my website has a list of recommended reading list and a set of links to the best climate change resources on the web and things you can do to help.
Did I create a website to support a book or a book to support a website? I keep thinking. Print is high resolution and low density. The web is low resolution and high density.
Websites don’t make books obsolete, but they’re certainly changing the function, sometimes the form, and more and more the production of them.
What’s left in this book is an exceptionally clean presentation of images with compelling juxtapositions and sequences in an unpowered form that you can comfortably touch, hold, share, and keep in your field of vision for extended periods of time. You live with books very differently than you live with websites. This book is worth living with.

Preview or purchase my book Antarctica here.

Climate Change

We need to shift our focus away from politicians to scientists – the real experts. I’ve encountered professional scientists, from climatologists, geologists, glaciologists and biologists, to name a few, who have shared data that indicates the polar regions are undergoing rapid change and this heralds dramatic global changes. Though there’s debate about why things are changing, how much they’re changing, how fast they’re changing, and whether we’ve seen this kind of change before, I have yet to meet a single scientist who debates that climate change exists. The scientific communities understanding of climate change is advancing at a very rapid rate; old models and predictions are continually being updated based on better and better information. There is growing concern in the scientific community. We need to make funding relevant scientific research to get more high quality information one of our highest priorities.
Publicly, the debate has shifted from “Does climate change exist?” to “How much does man contribute to climate change?”. We need to seriously consider another very practical issue, whether climate change is influenced by man, a little or a lot, given that it exists, “What are we doing to prepare for climate change?” Climate always changes. And climate changes human history.

Find information from the experts here.
Find what you can do to help right now.

Evolving Photographic Practices

In my boyd of work Antarctica, I’ve limited my photographic practices to the standard practices accepted by most editorial photographers and expected by most media outlets: cropping; despeckling but not retouching; ; noise reduction; sharpening; little or no local color adjustment; no compositing, except for panoramic stitching. I’ve deliberately not released obviously related highly altered images within this body of work, nor do I currently display highly altered images in the same context. Interestingly, there are few clear published guidelines for what is considered acceptable practice today, even though there are many controversies over specific examples released by various media outlets.
In many ways, contemporary culture is experiencing a media crisis. Standard media channels no longer enjoy the credibility they once did. There are fewer and fewer of them and they are operated under continually shrinking budgets, while trying to respond to demands for increasingly diverse content and increasingly rapid response. Now more than ever we need a rigorous and sustained dialog on media practices, from creation through delivery, from professionals and amateurs alike. And we need new media products. Many of us today have become outsider journalists or non-professionals who impact the media sphere. New technology has enabled us to share our images with a wider public through unvetted channels. This is changing media, culture, and history. Blogs broke the news of an American president’s infidelities. The Associated Press released software applications that allow anyone to upload images from a cell phone for possible use in news media outlets. The use of the social network Twitter shifted political events in Iran. In many respects, I’ve become an outsider journalist. I’ve shared my work in Antarctica in many ways; fine art exhibitions; limited edition posters; publications featuring fine art; print on demand books; lectures at universities, trade organization meetings, and trade shows; blogs, including live posting from Antarctica; social networks; accompaniment to technical literature; and advertising for new technology to name a few.  I hope to raise awareness and stimulate constructive dialog about media issues at the same time I raise awareness of the subjects of my work.
To one degree or another we are all involved. We all have a role to play in evolving media; at a minimum we consume, discuss, and value it; at a maximum we produce it. I encourage you to increase your awareness of and involvement in these issues. We enjoy extraordinary possibilities, freedoms, and responsibilities.
Read more here.
Get priority status in my Antarctica 2011 workshop.

Antarctica 2009

“There is a profound sense of privilege that comes from being in the presence of such rare beauty. It touches you deeply. Witness to the extraordinary, you leave changed – for the better. It’s a blessing born of grace and giving birth to more grace. It’s as if you’ve been given a gift and you feel compelled to keep giving it.”
Read about the highlights from three voyages to Antarctica.
Each voyage was very different from the other, even though we returned to some of the same locations.
Get priority status in my Antarctica 2011 workshop.

Disclosure – Images That Did Make It But Might Not Later

I’m uneasy about this one. I underexposed the image by several stops. A bright sunlit scene became nocturnal in appearance. When discussing this image, many journalists have said the practice of underexposure is accepted. In this case, it distorts the sensation of time. It doesn’t represent the way I saw it, but instead the way I want to see it. I feel like I should censor myself and not include the image. But I included it to stimulate more discussion. Including it required disclosures like this. And more discussion. Do you think this kind of practice is acceptable in editorial contexts?
Find out about my exhibit here.
Stay tuned daily for more resources.
Get priority status in my Antarctica 2011 workshop.

Disclosure – Images That Did Make It

While I’ve limited my practices in my work from Antarctica to those adopted by editorial photographers, I’m interested in pushing the envelope to stimulate useful dialog on contemporary practices. Here’s one. These panoramas were stitched together from multiple shots. I think that practice is fine in the context of journalism, as long as it represents what was before the lens. Yet the second panorama here is different. The exposures for this particular panorama were made over the course of several minutes. There was a lot of parallax so the icebergs had different relative positions in the exposures that were merged. Because of this, you can actually see more icebergs that otherwise would have been hidden. This type of composite actually presents the viewer with more information than a single exposure could. Is this appropriate practice? I think it is, if the author and media outlet disclose their practices. I think the news media ought to disclose much more information than they do: who the author is; how the documents were produced; how they were edited and delivered; who delivered them; what context they were placed in and how that shifts our perception of them; what time and financial constraints influenced the production; who the media derives income from; who the media outlet is owned by. We know the media’s not perfect or unbiased. We need to know who the media is. Way too many assumptions are made. We’ve lost our faith. Reclaim our trust. Give us more disclosure. That’s what I’m doing here.
Find out about my exhibit here.
Stay tuned daily for more resources.
Get priority status in my Antarctica 2011 workshop.