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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Exploring Motion – Andrew Nixon


In my Maine Islands digital photography workshop, Andrew Nixon explored creating a dynamic tension between the still and the moving. He typically uses long exposures of moving subjects. But he tried a few new twists on his standard practices, like moving the camera. While he explored other ideas and tried many new things, he always returned to the same theme which gave his images a distinctive quality that stood out from his peers.
What themes make your images distinctive?
What experiments will help you explore and develop this further?
Find out more about Andrew Nixon here.
Read more in my creativity lessons.
Find out more about my Maine Islands digital photography workshop here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

What It Takes To Be A Great Workshop Leader


What does it take to be a great workshop leader? The same things that it takes to be a great leader in any field.
A great leader communicates passionately. Then they fan the flames of other people’s passions. The one thing you don’t want to do with passion is hide it. Passion creates energy, commitment, and endurance. Passion is contagious.
A great leader walks his talk. Leaders demonstrate. They tell you the rules of the game and they also show you when exceptions prove the rules. It’s important to see how theory is modified by practice. It’s even more important to see when and how practice is customized by individuals.
A great leader offers guidance and direction. Leaders share why they do what they do and show what’s worked for them. Then they ask a set of guiding questions that help others frame what’s most relevant to individuals. Leaders help others frame their own unique set of guiding questions in ways that are most personally relevant.
A great leader listens. Different people want and need different things at different times. Leaders ask questions and look at results to find out what other people want and need most. Leaders don’t give other people their voice, they help others make their own voices stronger. Leaders understand that different people want different results.
A great leader helps others activate all their resources. Leaders help others consolidate and build upon their core strengths. You start with where you are and you move to where you want to be. You develop the vision to know where you want to go and the skills to get there. Leaders know that if you want to raise the level of your game, you need to improve both your inner game and your outer game.
A great leader recognizes and reveals group resources. Every group has a unique set of resources, because every group is a collection of unique individuals. Leaders bring out the often hidden resources within a group. When they do this, everyone becomes both a student and a teacher; everyone learns more, including the leader.
A great leader expands other people’s comfort zone. By inspiring people with more possibilities and demonstrating tangible results, leaders show others what’s possible. They challenge other people to periodically get out of their comfort zones and try new things. Conscious experimentation is a key to continued success.
A great leader empowers other people. Leaders offer optimum ways of thinking and working. They think clearly. They act decisively. They do this because they have experience. And, they share their experience to help others become more personally fulfilled.
A great leader brings all of their resources with them (passion, philosophy, history, education, connections, technique, tools, results), ready to make the most of every moment – and every individual.
So, being a great digital photography workshop leader involves far more than making sure people get to great locations at great times. (Of course, that’s really important too!)
 
Find out what people say about my workshops.
Learn more in my digital photography and digital printing workshops.

Share Experience / Share Vision



It was December 2005. We had just made the long crossing of the Drake Passage to Antarctica. On the horizon were enormous icebergs. It was our first view of big ice. We all rushed to deck and began to photograph. I found myself standing shoulder to shoulder with Seth Resnick. He was using a long 300mm lens. I was using a wide 28mm lens. We both looked at each other and then looked again. Our approach was so different we were astonished. “Let me see your camera!” we both said simultaneously and quickly traded cameras. We laughed out loud. With one quick glance, we realized we were seeing in entirely different ways.
It was February 2007. We found ourselves in the very same situation. Again, we had crossed the Drake Passage to Antarctica. Again, there was big ice. Again, we hurried to deck. Only this time, Seth appeared with a wide 14mm lens and I showed up with a long 100-400mm lens. We grinned big grins. We had influenced each other.
It was January 2010. Once more, we had crossed the Drake Passage to Antarctica. There was more big ice. Again we raced to deck. This time we both carried two cameras, one with a wide lens and the other with a long lens. We smiled and nodded knowingly at one another. As a result of sharing the same experiences and the results we produced from them, we had learned to become more versatile and see in more varied ways.
Sharing experiences with other visual artists can be extremely stimulating and rewarding. The resulting growth comes in unexpected ways at unexpected moments. In situations like these, I’ve come to expect the unexpected. Especially with Seth!
What opportunities can you make to share experience and vision with other artists?
Read Seth Resnick’s images and version of our story here.
Find out about our Digital Photography Destinations workshops here.

Try New Tools – Fani Cortes


In my Death Valley digital photography workshop, Fani Cortes shot with a DSLR modified to make infrared images. She’d go to specific locations and make specific images that would highlight the strengths of this effect. On occasion, she made full-spectrum images that looked identical to her infrared images. The tool gave her a new way of seeing and her images a new look.
How would your photography benefit from exploring non-standard tools?
Which tools would benefit you most?
Read more in my creativity lessons.
Find out more about my Death Valley digital photography workshop.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.
 

Seek Feedback


One of the most valuable aspects of a workshop is getting feedback on your work. You get it from a respected authority. You also get if from diverse participants. The combination of both is powerful. You’ll see your work more clearly, see it through others eyes, and find new ways of looking at your work.
One helpful approach is to ask a lot of questions.
Polls quickly give consensus on key issues. Which image is most memorable? Which image is strongest? Is it a 3, 4, or 5 star image?
How good is an image? First, identify the best thing about it. Then, to rate it, compare it to other images (your best or a respected artist’s) with same strengths.
Compare images. How do different images work together? Find formal echoes. Find thematic consistencies. Find shared stylistic traits. Sometimes, two images paired together are stronger than either one alone.
Identify outliers. Which image doesn’t fit with the others?
What could be done now to make it better? Crop? Adjust color? Dodge and burn?
What could be done in the future to make similar images better? Reframe? Return at a special time? Introduce a new element?
Read more in my Creativity Lessons here.
Learn more in my digital photography workshops.

Enter Now to Win South Africa Photo Safari Sweepstakes


“Enter to win a complete South African Photo Safari Experience and thousands of dollars worth of best-of-breed products and services from the biggest names in the photography business!
Led by famed photographer John Paul Caponigro (Sept 26 – Oct 5, 2011), this private photo safari will take you on a wide-ranging exploration of South Africa. The safari will focus on photographing wildlife in the world-famous Sabi Sand Game Reserve and the many landscapes of the Cape Town region (world class vineyards, botanical gardens, and seascapes) by land and by air.
Sponsored by Artsy Coutre, Blurb, Datacolor, Graphic Authority, Lowepro, Nik Software, and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and organized by renowned tour operator Eyes on Africa, you’ll experience some of Africa’s finest wildlife photography opportunities, great accommodations, and expert guiding. These two locations have been selected to create a private safari geared specifically toward serious wildlife, landscape and scenic photography.”
Plus runners up win fabulous prizes too!
Enter the sweepstakes today!
Only 9 spaces are available in this unique workshop. Register today!
Plus, you can be one of only 5 people to join a special workshop extension to Sossusvlei, Namibia.