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.
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We played a fun game during my recent exhibit.
People wrote down their associations after looking at inkblots.
One lucky player won a free ebook!
We’re doing this online now.
Write down your associations for each of these images in this post’s comments; include the numbers.
You could be the next lucky winner will receive a free ebook!
View more Studies here.
View related finished works 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.
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.
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.
I often find the same compositional strategies, patterns, subjects and themes resurface in our work. Sometimes the ideas from two different images merge into a new one. I pay close attention to these visual bridges as they help me understand the both the similarities and differences between individual images and series.
In Inhalation 29 two series (Inhalation and Suffusion) cross-pollinate.
For more on this read my ebook Combination.
The exposures for this image were made in Iceland.
Learn about my Iceland digital photography workshops here.
Every year I take an extended period of time to make new images.
These two images came through last night.
They’re part of my series Exhalation.
They’ll soon to be collected in a new Blurb book, portfolio, and exhibit.
Formally they explore giving symmetry a twist and white.
Thematically they suggest that the whole of nature can be seen as being alive.
The two source images are of Antarctic clouds and icebergs on the horizon.
Read more to see the source files … Read More