Recently, I received a little gift— a chance to slow down, reflect on my favorite creative Photoshop techniques and recall how my artistic style emerged from grade-school experiments.
This collaboration began with an email from artist/author/instructor Seán Duggan. We had met a few summers ago while both teaching Photography and Photoshop at Maine Media Workshops, and revealed that we admired each others’ work. In his email, he asked if I would like to contribute to “Photoshop Masking and Compositing”, a new Photoshop book he was co-writing with digital artists Katrin Eismann and James Porto.
The Haunted Tree is my most published and collected photograph to date. It has evoked various responses from viewers and curators who have described it using adjectives including ‘dreamy’, ‘mysterious’, ‘foreboding’, ‘cinematic’, ‘poetic’, ‘confrontational’, ‘powerful’, ‘spiritual’…and the list goes on. Haunted Tree is also my most plagiarized and ‘borrowed’ image to date. I enjoy knowing it feeds the thought of others, even though I find it online being used for heavy metal band merchandise, to accompany … more >> →
Composition and Design are as important in a successful photograph as are light, subject, story and timing. Looking for inspiration outside of your medium is often the key to learning something new. I believe that crossing mediums helps strengthen the random access of ideas that is key to our natural creative process. It’s a bit like loading your conceptual quiver the way a painter loads the palette.
I love to teach workshops in beautiful locations, and none are finer than the coast of Maine. This summer I return for my seventh year to Maine Media Workshops. I’ll teach a workshop called “Imagination Vision and Voice”. Last year this workshop was very well received, and I was fortunate to have a great group of students at all levels or experience. We have a helluva lot of fun too!
“I’ve just returned from back country skiing in Yellowstone National Park. I shot some images of snowy landscapes that need careful processing to bring out the beauty of the snow and features. Lightroom 4 can do it with ease.” Whiter whites: If skiing in fluffy pristine snow wasn’t enough excitement, Adobe just released the completed Lightroom 4, which has many features I’ve been wishing for. One of my favorites is that now there are separate sliders to … more >> →
“Making a Photoshop collage is a defined yet flexible process.” One can approach this with complete spontaneity, like a child with a crayon, or with a methodical approach as seen here. For client work, I first create a sketch, then once approved, I begin to create or search for my existing visual elements. This technique is called ‘Pre-Visualization’, because one must first think of what one wants to create. It’s a … more >> →
“When your subject needs the human element, why not step into the composition?” While on the phone during a walking break, I saw these pleasing branch shapes casting shadows on a concrete wall. I liked the shadows but needed another element. I stepped into the photograph, recomposed, and took several shots with my iPhone 4s. I am sometimes amazed at how this little 8-megapixel iPhone camera can make such interesting photographs that might take over … more >> →
“Creative Photography with Any Camera” MARCH 14 – 17 : Santa Fe, NM “Join me to capture the beauty, history, and nature in and around Santa Fe!” No matter what your photography experience is, this workshop will inspire and give you hands-on instruction to master camera settings, use intuition to capture the best moments, artfully compose shots, edit and organize images and create slide shows, prints and web galleries. You’ll … more >> →
This year’s New Year Wish card is a starry night sky from a photo I made on compact camera. The scene is a very chilly night at pristine Lake George near the base of Mt. Rainier. Here’s the story: My campout at the lake was a spontaneous decision made late in the day. I had just been camping with my sister and nieces. Something was tugging hard at my mind to solo on the mountain but I … more >> →
“I have a confession. I’ve been addicted to very wide angle lenses for over 30 years, and I have no intention of quitting.” There is nothing quite like the inclusive sweep of a photograph made with a wide angle lens. I find it intriguing how wides see the world so much differently than my own eyes. The characteristic distortion of wides, when used creatively can create inviting and dramatic images. I started my own ‘habit’ in 1974 … more >> →