Enjoy this selection of images from Scoresbysund, Greenland.
These images are selected from three ongoing series – Revelation, Constellation, and Contrail.
View more images from Greenland here.
Find out more about my Greenland workshops here.
In 1996 I completed a series of new images – Revelation. Impossible symmetries drawn forth from desert landscapes, they were unlike anything I’d seen before. Looking at these images, day after day, was like having a dream that never faded. They reminded me of the artifacts I liked so much from the sacred traditions of many primal cultures – totem poles, figurines, costumes, masks, and paintings – not just from the cultures I was exposed to as a boy growing up in New Mexico. The series was good and stood on its own, but I knew then that I still had much more work I wanted to do.
The series has been ongoing for more than twenty years. The series 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. It wasn’t so much that the material I had gathered that year was just right, what really made the difference was the special point I had come to in my life and work.
These more recent images have an added quality, not solely because they were drawn from a different location, but also because of the passage of time and all the things that happened during it.
In part, this comes from sleeping on it; the subconscious offers many rich and fertile territories.
In part, this is the result of a significant amount of conscious thought; studying craft and composition were only the beginnings for preparing this ground; related reading and viewing enriched me further; having more special experiences with land planted more seeds; digging into my deepest thoughts and feelings about the subject and my approach helped me cultivate them.
In part, this work waited so long is that there was other work to do, including a harvest of related bodies of work (Inhalation and Exhalation). Making that work influenced this work.
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. These images would have been different if I finished them earlier – because I was different.
While one needs to guard against procrastination, one also needs to guard against rushing through experiences and not developing the necessary depth to fully engage them and do your best work. To reach its full potential, a great wine needs time, neither too little nor too much.
So when is the best time to move forward? 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 situations. I’ve found some work gets produced very quickly, sometimes a whole series is made in one shoot, while some work gets produced very slowly, over decades. Ultimately, you have to go with your gut. This 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 a true effervescence of spirit, and it’s particularly important to pay attention to this quality if it can be sustained over longer periods of time. You need to be alive to your work to make it come alive.
In our increasingly fast-paced societies, there is a tremendous pressure to produce more and produce it more quickly. This can create a pace that is unsustainable for most creatives, at least when it comes to releasing work with real depth. However well-crafted or clever, there often seems to be something missing in the final results. Good fully developed work takes time … because much like creating deeper relationships with people, it takes time to develop a deeper relationship with your work and your self. Make that time. Savor it. It can make all the difference in the world.
How many ways can you enrich yourself before you move forward?
At what point does preparation become procrastination?
What signs suggest that this is or isn’t the time?
Find out more about this image here.
View more related images here.
Read more of The Stories Behind The Images here.
This is a selection of my top 12 images of 2016. This selection doesn’t reflect sales, publication, or activities on the web. It simply reflects my opinion. Click on the titles to find out more about each image.
While I visited most of the biomes in one year (all seven continents in 18 months), the images I released were drawn primarily from the artic and antarctic regions.
Straight images from Antarctica were processed on location, mostly in Lightroom. Composite images were created in studio, mostly in Photoshop after launching from Lightroom. I date “straight” shots based on the date they were exposed and composites on the date they are completed.
I focussed on a long-standing theme, creating symmetries drawn from the land to better reveal the spirit within. The final resolution has prompted me to remaster many related files made in 1996. I released multiple related series of studies, including a series of digitally rendered inkblots.
There was big magic in 2016! In Antarctica there were moments of extreme quietude amid the lifting fogs at Black Head and the glassy reflections in Antarctica’s Plenneau Bay. We experienced the epically varied lands of New Zealand; in one day we moved from a waterfall strewn fiord, through a rainforest, up to a high arid plateau, and finally to the base of a glacier. Sublime light filled hours and hours, as we flew helicopters over Namibia’s Sossusvlei dune fields, which roll out to the Skeleton Coast. All of these adventures were long-held dreams come true.
It’s challenging to choose so few images from so many – but it’s insightful. Try selecting your own top 12 images. Try selecting the top 12 images of your favorite artist(s).
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call 207-354-0578.
Revelation gathers images inspired by encounters with the arts of “primitive” or “primal” cultures. This ebook collects photographs from both polar regions – Greenland and Antarctica.
Excerpt from the accompanying essay …
“My work is not a simple document of my encounters with the varied spirit(s) of nature; it is a collaboration with it. An important aspect of this work is bringing into focus not just what is seen with the naked eye but what is experienced by the whole being – body, mind, and emotion. The process of creating these images is like dreaming while I’m awake. Some of these visions were discovered in dreams, some in waking reveries, some in conscious visualizations, and some were discovered directly through the process of making images. Whether the images arise in the moment or long after the moment has passed, the essential experience is extended, like a seed that once planted germinates, blooms, and bears fruit. Regardless of where I’m creating – on site, in transit, or in studio – the places that have touched me deeply are always with me.”
View / Read more here.
View more images here.
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.
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.
I’ve spent the better part of my life exploring symmetry, especially bilateral symmetry. (You’ll find a chapter on Symmetry in my book Adobe Photoshop Master Class.)
When I make symmetrical images I pay careful attention to three things: one, the dividing line that defines the symmetry, the seam whether visible or not and any repetitive patterns surrounding it; two; rotation along the dividing line; three; what’s included in the areas that surround the dividing line, especially when contours are present.
I’ve explored creating out of phase symmetries, where two or more images of the same moving subjects shot at different times are used.
In this selection of symmetries, I explore creating varied but related symmetries from different angles of the same subject (icebergs) – 1-2, 3-6, 7-9.