“One of the greatest barriers to creativity and to life is fear. That fear manifests itself in many ways but one of the more destructive is the perfectionism so many of us are paralyzed by.” — David DuChemin
“Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at.“ – Ruth Orkin
“One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty.“ – Paul Outerbridge
“The tool so many of us use to make our art—the camera—is also a way to see the world; to be more alive in this world. It can be a tool that brings such joy, and a means of saying things about the world, and ourselves, that we might not have otherwise. … It holds you to no obligation except that you hold it to your eye and see things anew.” — David DuChemin
“Most of the pictures you see, you actually miss. So inevitably, what you end up doing is taking a lot of rubbish. In fact, the basic theory is, the more rubbish you take the better the chances of a good photo emerging as well. So, keep on taking the rubbish.” — Martin Parr, Magnum Photographer, from The Art of Street Photography
“Saturate yourself with your subject, and the camera will all but take you by the hand and point the way.” — Margaret Bourke-White
Camera/Field Techniques: – Choosing the right neutral density filter Think in advance of what effect you are seeking. Too long, and the effect is overdone, i.e., I don’t like milk in my streams, but smooth water can be very nice.
“Art isn’t about what others say about our art, but what we say through that art.” — David DuChemin
“The first time, I usually skim off the outer layer and end up with photographs that are fairly obvious. The second time, I have to look a little deeper. The images get more interesting. The third time it is even more challenging and on each subsequent occasion, the images should get stronger, but it takes more effort to get them.” – Michael Kenna
“If it makes you laugh, if it makes you cry, if it rips out your heart, that’s a good picture.“ –Eddie Adams
“We tried to present the ordinary in an extraordinary manner. But that’s the paradox because the only thing extraordinary about it was that it was so ordinary. Nobody had ever done it before, deliberately. Now it’s called documentary, which I suppose is all right … We just took pictures that cried out to be taken.” – Ben Shahn
“I didn’t have any interest in traditional art.“ – Cindy Sherman
“Weston’s life and his work are… simple, effective, and without ceremony… He was one of those who taught photography to be itself.” – Robinson Jeffers
“If it’s a likeness, alone, it’s not a success. If, through my portraits, you can come to know the subjects more meaningfully, if it synthesizes your feelings toward someone whose work has imprinted itself on your mind–if you see a photograph and say, ‘Yes, this is the person,’ with a little new insight–that is a beautiful experience.“ — Yousuf Karsh
“I have always been a firm believer in photographic experiments. Only by attempting everything personally can a photographer begin to understand the scope of photography..…No picture, verbal description or how-to-do-it article can supersede first-hand experience.“ — Waclaw Nowak
“As photographers we sell ’emotion not emulsion.’ the tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is all important.” –– Jeff Adams
“You push the button, we do the rest.” – George Eastman
“The key to artistic photography is to work out your own thoughts, by yourselves. Imitation leads to certain disaster.” – Gertrude Käsebier
“More and more are turning to photography as a medium of expression as well as communication. The leavening of aesthetic approaches continues. While it is too soon to define the characteristic of the photographic style today. One common denominator, rooted in tradition, seems in the ascendancy: the direct use of the camera for what it can do best, and that is the revelation interpretation and discovery of the world of man and of nature. The greatest challenge to the photographer is to express the inner significance through the outward form.” – Beaumont Newhall
I had a recent conversation about National Park Artist Residencies, so I thought it might be nice to go back and look at some of my work during the several residencies I was privileged to participate in, to see if my photography has improved or changed. This image was from Acadia, at the Schoodic Peninsula in 2007. I don’t know that I would take different scenes today, or taken them differently, but I am pretty sure the processing would be different from the original. This was edited last night from an unedited image; I would not have edited it like this in 2007.
A year later, in 2008, I took this in the north Cascades, but reprocessed it last night to add signficiant contrast in the details and darken the sky. It can be hard to be creative and depart from the obvious the first time you see mountains like this.
This was taken in Jan. 2013. With only 3 images it is hard to determine if I have made progress, but I do believe the processing is better. Big Cypress in Florida.
“Even if you’re not sure of where it will lead, today’s the day to begin.” — Seth Godin, November 3, 2018
“Look at the acknowledged masters of this craft and you will see large bodies of work that focus on specific places, subjects, themes. Do masters only focus on a few things? No. Focusing on a few things is what gives us a chance at becoming masters.” — David duChemin
“Do not adjust your mind, the fault is in reality.” — R. D. Laing
I was taken by this still life, mostly by the warm late afternoon light on my wife’s potting table. Just after the first snow, spring seems so very far away.
A building along Pratt St., near the convention center. I was attracted by the extreme repetition and geometric shape. For some reason two panes stood out and I enhanced the blue with a BW/luminosity layer and a saturation adjustment layer. Left in the top of the tree for scale and to add a bit of “imperfection” to the image.
“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home … . By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” — David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing
“A man without a vote is a man without protection.” — Lyndon B. Johnson
“The conversations are exasperated, the verdicts swift, conclusive and seemingly absolute. The goal is to protect and condemn work, not for its quality, per se, but for its values. Is this art or artist, this character, this joke bad for women, gays, trans people, nonwhites? Are the casts diverse enough? Is this museum show inclusive of enough different kinds of artists? Does the race of the curators correspond with the subject of the show or collection? Increasingly, these questions stand in for a discussion of the art itself.” — Wesley Morris, in an article titled The Morality Wars in the NY Times Magazine, Oct. 3, 2018
“But criticism isn’t about saying what’s bad — well, not only. It’s partly about situating a work in the world, in your feelings, in your collection.” — Wesley Morris, ibid.
“There are as many photographs possible from a single negative as the artist can imagine. I can never bear to finish with a negative, to say, ‘This is it.’ Tomorrow I can come and make new pictures from that negative. This is the thing I love most of all: the making of the final picture. No one else can do that for me, nor do I ever completely satisfy myself.” – Nell Dorr
“What ultimately made The Americans a document with real staying power? ‘Frank revealed a people who were plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and also rendered increasingly numb by the rising culture of consumerism,’ Greenough noted. ‘But it’s also important to point out that he found new areas of beauty in those simple, overlooked corners of American life—in diners, or on the street. He pioneered a whole new subject matter that we [now] define as icons: cars, jukeboxes, even the road itself. All of these things, coupled with his style—which is seemingly intuitive, immediate, and off-kilter—were radically new at the time.‘” — From the article on “The Americans” by Scott Indrisek noted below.
“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. … If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Goethe
“I don’t figure out my vision and my direction so I can make photographs, I make photographs so I can figure out my vision and direction.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61
A view of God’s earth from the Baltimore Basilica. Ocean from the Ovens in Nova Scotia, path from Cabot Beach Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island, Boardwalk from Green Swamp Preserve in NC and night sky from Wisconsin.
From Steve Oney: – TED talk by Sabastiao Salgado In my opinion Salgado is the most accomplished BW photographer practicing today. He is in the same league as Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, and Dorothea Lange.
Stone cairns on a beach at the North Cape of Prince Edward Island, Canada on a drizzly day.