New Images – Workshop Participants – Iceland 2011


We do lightning fast reviews of participant’s images in my digital photography workshops. We discuss what works and why and what doesn’t and why not. It’s wonderful to see how different the images are, made by individuals in the same situations using the same tools. A lot of learning happens by simply sharing images and spontaneous responses to them.
Here’s a sampling from participants in my 2011 Iceland workshop.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Use Postcards As Props


I often like to use props to make photographs. One of my favorite props to use is images. Photographing other images, in many cases, photographing other photographs, adds layers of complexity and offers many poetic opportunities. Images ask you to look and to look in certain ways. Two images ask you to look and look again and to look in multiple ways. I find this extremely stimulating. Making images with other images in them can be a fantastic creative wellspring.
Here’s a selection of images with postcards in them that I made during my 2011 Iceland workshop.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Make Your Own Postcards


For a time, I swore off making photographs that were like postcards. I was looking for something else then. I was looking for my own unique approach to making images. My thinking was that if I took a vow of abstinence from what I knew I wasn’t looking for, I’d eventually find what I was looking for. Eventually, I did.
After some time, I reconsidered this aversion to making postcard-like images. I started making them, again. Making postcards is excellent practice. You have to be fairly competent to make good postcards. Postcards survey a subject, tell a story, offer human interest, present strong color, and are composed of relatively strong graphic structures. Sometimes, postcards make strong emotional appeals. When you think about it, that’s a pretty tall order.
Postcards try to do it all – and do it all competently. It’s interesting to note that to transcend postcards, all you need to do is emphasize one of these qualities over the others and do that one thing excellently. Making postcards is great practice. To make good postcards you have to understand them clearly. To transcend them, you have to know the difference between them and what you’re really looking for.
Below is a selection of iPhone postcards from my 2011 Iceland workshop.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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Use Postcards As Quick Surveys


One of the first things I do when I arrive at a new location is look at postcards made in the area. Postcards give me a quick survey of the highlights of the region and the classic visual approaches that many other photographers have used to make images there. Postcards help me decide where to go and what to look for. Postcards also present me with a great challenge – transcend this.  Postcards help me up my game.
Here’s a selection of postcards I collected during my 2011 Iceland workshop.
3 out of 6 of them are by Ragnar Th Sigurdsson.
Find out about my 2012 Iceland digital photography workshop here.
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New Image – Inhalation VI


The patterns found in a majority of my images were created by nature. Yet the surfaces in these pictures are not untouched by me. I have influenced them all: by selection of moment; by choice of perspective; by use of tool; by inclusion and exclusion with the picture frame; by further eliminations from and additions to what remains within the picture frame; by changing proportion; by orchestrating color; by creating symmetries; etc. I consider all of these opportunities to collaborate with the hand of nature.
With growing frequency, traces of my physical presence are displayed in my images. Sometimes I set things on fire. Sometimes, I push and pull smoke with my breath. Sometimes, I toss ash in the air. At other times, I create ripples in water. In this case, the circles and trails in the receding foam were created by placing my feet in the pulsing surf.
I prefer that the marks I make in nature remain ephemeral. In this way, the next person who experiences the same location I was in, is free to experience it in their own ways. If we’re lucky, we may even be able to compare our experiences. The only durable mark I leave in my process is the photograph itself.
The impulse to acknowledge my involvement in every moment and create something beautiful from it, has been growing stronger and stronger within me.
View / read more here.

Sharpening Workflow


The vast majority of photographic images benefit from sharpening. Before you decide how and when to sharpen images, you need to decide why you’re sharpening them. The goal is to enhance detail rendition without producing distracting visual artifacts. You’ll find many conflicting philosophies and their accompanying strategies for sharpening images. The seemingly conflicting advice can be hard to reconcile.
Should you sharpen once or multiple times? Should you sharpen differently for different subjects? Should you sharpen differently for different sizes? Should you sharpen differently for different presentation materials or supplies? Should you view your files at 100% or 50% screen magnification?


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Developing Personal Projects


As a fine artist, I advance my career with personal projects. Personal projects also create a clearer direction for and develop greater meaning in my life. My life would be unfulfilled without them
You don’t need to have a fine art career to benefit from personal projects. Many commercial photographers find personal projects reenergize them, add purpose to their lives and quite often lead to new assignments or whole new streams of income. Many amateurs, making images purely for the love of doing it, find greater satisfaction and personal growth through personal projects.
As an artist who mentors other artists in workshops and seminars, I’ve often been called to speak about the importance of personal projects; how to find them, start them, develop them, complete them, present them, and promote them.
Here’s an overview of what I share.

Personal Projects
Defining a project is one of the single best ways to develop your body of work. When you define a project you focus, set goals, set quotas, set timelines, create a useful structure for your images, collect accompanying materials, and polish the presentation of your efforts so that they will be well received.
Focusing your efforts into a project will help you produce a useful product. A project gives your work a definite, presentable structure. A finished project makes work more useful and accessible. Once your project is done, your work will have a significantly greater likelihood of seeing the light of day. Who knows, public acclaim may follow. Come what may, your satisfaction is guaranteed …
Read the rest on scottkelby.com.
Learn more in these related digital photography ebooks.
Develop your personal project in my digital photography workshops.

New Image – Refraction LXXVII


I issue quantum editions of select images from my series Refraction; the viewer can choose how many and which versions they would like created for them.
To date most of these editions offer variations in the number and position of the lights within them. In this image, variations in states of the background are presented.
Changing states and different rates of change are important themes in all of my work.
I find reversal to be the most rewarding creative strategy. Whether it succeeds or fails, I always learn something valuable from trying it.
Read my ebooks Reversal and Breaking the Rules.
See more new 2011 images here, here, here, and here.
The exposures for this image were made in Iceland.
Learn about my Iceland digital photography workshops here.

New Image – Refraction 56


My series Refraction has challenged the way I think in so many ways from the moment the first image appeared.
The series is informed by modern physics and the nature of light. An observer influences what’s observed. The questions they ask and the way they ask them influences the answers they get. The universe is similar to a holograph in that information in one location can be found in another simultaneously. Two people in different positions can see the same rainbow as existing in different locations. Perception is relative, to some degree.
In this series, I found that multiple compositions that worked were possible and that it seemed appropriate for the first time to present them simultaneously. So I produce ‘quantum editions’ for this series. People purchasing a given print can choose both which and how many variations they want produced for them.
I’ve never seen this done before –  but that’s doesn’t dissuade me.
I like to innovate!
See more new 2011 images here, here, and here.
The exposures for this image were made in Iceland.
Learn about my Iceland digital photography workshops here.