Highlights From 3 Arctic Islands

 Charlotte Bailey

Here are a few images from Digital Photo Destinations 2012 Arctic Voyage.
View more alumni images from our Iceland 2012 Adventure.
Seth Resnick, Arthur Meyerson, Ragnar Th Sigurdsson and I had a great time with a fantastic group of people while photographing three arctic islands this month – Svalbard, Greenland, and Iceland. Polar bears, reindeer, walrus, whales, and countless birds populated the diverse and historic arctic landscapes we passed through. Cryophilia (love of ice) set in when we entered one of the largest fjord systems in the world – Scorsbysund, Greenland. We’re all excited to return to Greenland and see more, which already we’ve begun plans for.
There’s limited space left in our Antarctica 2013 Voyage.
We’ll be announcing our Iceland Northern Lights 2013 workshop soon.
If you’d like to join us for a future adventure / voyage email jpc@digitalphotodestinations.com.

Linda Sandow

Olaf Willoughby

Michael Quinn

Evan Anderman

Danielle Vick

Campbell Gunn

Barbara Ventura

Jed Best

Jim Brewster

Cathrine Spikkerud

Charles Kleiman

Geir Morten Skeie

Charlotte Bailey

Paul Tornaquindici

Bob Peterson

Kathy Beal

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More Highlights From Iceland 2012


Here are a few more alumni images from Digital Photo Destinations / Focus On Nature’s 2012 Iceland Adventure.
Seth Resnick and I had a great time with a great group of people in Iceland last week. We visited old favorites (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Jokulsarlon, Rekjanes) and some new favorites (Snaefellsnes, Landmanalaugar). 4-Wheel drives to the highlands, Zodiac cruises, and glacier walks took it up a notch. Every one of us learned a lot and improved our photography.
We’re now planning a northern lights, super-jeep, and ice cave adventure.
Be the first to hear about our March 2013 Iceland workshop.
Email jpc@digitalphotodestinations.com.

Yves Perrault

Charlotte Bailey Rush

Duane Miller

Kathy Beal

David Cho Yee Young

Graham Smith

Richard Moreau

Olaf Willoughby

Carla DeDominicis

Michael J Quinn

Michael McGinnis

Highlights From Iceland 2012


Here are a few first alumni images from Digital Photo Destinations / Focus On Nature’s 2012 Iceland Adventure. I can’t wait to see what they make by the end of the week!
Seth Resnick and I have been having a great time with a great group of people in Iceland this week. We visited old favorites (Seljalandsfoss, Skogafoss, Jokulsarlon, Rekjanes) and some new favorites (Snaefellsnes, Landmanalaugar). 4-Wheel drives to the highlands, Zodiac cruises, and glacier walks took it up a notch.
We’re planning an aurora and ice cave adventure now.
Be the first to hear about our 2013 Iceland workshop.
Email jpc@digitalphotodestinations.com.

Yves Perreault

Richard Moreau

Duane Miller

Carla DeDominicis

Michael McGinnis

Olaf Willoughby

Charlotte Bailey Rush

David Cho Yee Young

Kathy Beal

Suffusion XXII – The Making Of The Print


I’m having a great time printing this series of images!
At first glance, they look like classic black and white images. In reality, they’re full color captures of a near neutral subject, processed and printed as color images. The trace amounts of color from the original subject make a very subtle but meaningful addition to the final image and print.
The trace amounts of color in the image are so subtle, I wasn’t sure which color management options would yield the best printed results; shadow detail, gradation, neutrality and graybalance all play major roles.
To get the final prints today, I tested multiple printer color management routes (Photoshop, Printer, Printer Adv B&W)(my ImagePrint tests are pending). Using Printer color management  for color offered the results I was looking for – not Photoshop, which clipped deep shadow detail and not Printer Adv B&W which rendered warm grays by default and cool toning solutions added more cool toning to the highlights than the shadows making the prints look like they carried a faint color cross).
They’re really touchy images. I found out how touchy when I went from 4×6 proofs to 11×14 prints, which when enlarged looked slightly lighter and lower contrast. A contrast curve for enlargement solved this.
At larger scale the noise became an issue, which I’m sleeping on. On the one hand, the subject is made of particles of water, which you can see when you are there. On the other hand it looks distracting to people who don’t know this. Water blurs with motion but the motion is frozen in these very fast exposures. I polled other people around me (including my father). Then I settled on an unexpected solution. I let some of the noise come through only in the areas of greatest focus, drawing slightly more attention to them. (Some noise can makes images appear sharper.)
There was a another surprise. I tested the images on glossy paper (Epson Exhibition Fine Art Paper). The extra depth in the blacks made another improvement in the image, so much so that it was worth the trade off for the soft surface of the matte paper. I made a similar test with a related series, Fumo, and didn’t make this choice. But here it was clear. This is the first time I’ve made my final prints on glossy paper.
I made these images while scouting my 2011 Focus On Nature workshop with Ragnar Th Sigurdsson and Arthur Meyerson. Arthur and I, two colorists who love the colors black gray and white and talk about them as colors.
I’m looking forward to returning to Iceland (and this waterfall) this August to lead a workshops again for Focus On Nature with +Einar Erlendsson , +Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson and +seth resnick .  +Arthur Meyerson Arthur Meyerson will join us at the end of our Iceland workshop for our Arctic Voyage workshop/cruise from Longyearben to Greenland and finally back to Iceland.
We have a few more spaces left our Iceland workshop.
There’s one space left in our Greenland workshop.
There are a two more spaces in my Fine Digital Print Advanced workshop.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

New Images – Skogafoss, Iceland












These images came together quickly – after a lot of gestation. I sketched the idea several years ago during a workshop with Focus On Nature. I made the shots last summer, scouting for another workshop with Ragnar th Sigurdsson and Arthur Meyerson. The first time I visited this location, (Skogafoss, Iceland) I took a few shots in less than half an hour, looking for major compositional variations. After looked at those shots and identified this idea, I shot very differently the next time, standing still for the better part of an hour and watching the water for significant variations within just a few compositions.
I wasn’t certain, but I suspected I’d want to add an accent to the abstract composition, deciding on smoke during processing. While I processed the files, I also sketched out a number of significant variations to test location of symmetry/assymetry, positive/negative space, light/dark, and location/angle/value of smoke. Doing this revealed more options than I had initially pre-visualized. And that means there are more related images to make. It also clarified a few outstanding ideas and connections to other images, some made and some still in development. That means I have some ideas about how they’ll can be integrated into existing projects and new things that will come out of them. I find the seeds of future work are usually planted in current work and if tended will yield more fruit.
I think about and plan series of images, often for quite some time before and over an extended period of time during their development. While I’m focussed, I look for surprises and modify my plans based on the new insights they introduce at every creative stage – planning, exposure, development, reflection, redevelopment, metamorphosis.
Find more images here.
Find out about my Iceland workshops here.

Top 5 Ways To Add Color To B&W


Colorless black-and-white images are beautiful, but sometimes it’s nice to add a little bit of tone. By adding color to your b&w photos, you can enhance their expressive qualities.
These days, you can add color to your black-and-white digital images in virtually unlimited ways. Sure, the choices before you can be dizzying. Fortunately the techniques are simple, and the experimentation process for determining which tone qualities work with specific images is easy and fun. Here are five go-to ways for bringing color back into monochrome images in Adobe Photoshop.
1 Colorize With Hue/Saturation
2 Split Tone With Curves
3 Restore A Percentage Of Original Color
4 Add Color By Hand
5 Selectively Tone With Masks
For all the details visit PopPhoto.com.
Learn more with my black and white digital photography ebooks.

Hipstamiticophilia – Ragnar Th Sigurdsson


While guiding me on my Iceland photography workshop, Ragnar Th Sigurdsson rediscovered iPhone photography. He got obsessed with the App Hipstamatic, which produces photographs with terrific lo-mo effects. He started seeing differently. In addition to making many images with higher end photography equipment, he produced over 1000 new iPhone images in a few days.
We discussed the differences. Here are some of our thoughts.
The iPhone is smaller than most cameras. This makes it easier to position it in places you couldn’t place a DSLR. (Plus, the iPhone’s depth of field is very large and it can be focussed at very close range.)The iPhone’s small scale also changes interpersonal dynamics between the photographer and human subjects; people feel more at ease with what’s perceived as a more casual act, you can make contact with both eyes, and allowing the subject to see the picture while it’s being made (instead of after) provides a dynamic feedback loop of action and reaction or pose and repose.
The iPhone’s screen offers a large sharp preview and allows simultaneous comparison between an unaided view and the view as rendered by the device, in low light. In bright light, it’s often difficult to see image details on screen, producing a change in perception; broad structural relationships are seen without embellishment. (Low fidelity or distressed images emphasize this quality. When done well, they become perfectly imperfect. And the novel look generated elicits viewer responses which are markedly different than high fidelity renderings.)
Results are almost instantaneous. Images are processed in seconds or minutes, often on the spot, allowing a direct comparison and contrast between the scene and the image produced.
The practice of cell phone photography is significantly different enough that it encourages a great deal of experimentation. I recommend it to anyone who’s passionate about photography.
Cell phone photographs and the process of making them can be delightfully spontaneous.
Here’s a selection of Ragnar th Sigurdsson’s iPhone photographs made with the App Hipstamatic.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Cartooning Our Way Through Iceland


We have a lot of fun in my workshops. Often, we use our iPhones to stimulate creativity. We try all sorts of creative experiments. This trip, one of the experiments I tried was creating cartoons of participants as superheroes or supervillains. It all started when our guide Ragnar Th. Sigurdsson put a luggage label on his chest with a fragile icon. I made a not sign on it with a Sharpee pen and he became Captain Unbreakable. Then I made an ironic cartoon of him with my iPhone. (Apps used are Toon Paint, Pic Grunger, and Label Box.) Everyone was laughing. Everyone wanted to play. We laughed our way through Iceland.
Because we were playing this game, we thought frequently about what text could/would accompany our images – titles, captions, essays and more. Frequently, a little levity can lead to useful creative insights.
Here are some of the images from these ongoing hijinks.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Track Your Influences




Frequently, old ideas and feelings surface in the midst of our creative process. Tracking our own fixations and chains of association can be both revealing and rewarding.
The paintings of Morris Graves made a big impression on me at an early age. Ever since, I been interested in photographs of dead animals, particularly birds. I even made some of my own.
I stumbled into this territory, once again, by chance, while photographing on the side of the road in Iceland. I quickly made this sketch with my iPhone. I knew what was happening while I was doing it, because I’d already done a lot of observation of my creative process and soul searching. I recommend you do the same for yourself. You’ll be richly rewarded with highly personal insights.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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