What To Do With Photographs?

What To Do With Photographs?

| April 13, 2016 | 6 Replies

But before all else a work of art is the creation of love. Love for the subject first and for the medium second. Love is the fundamental necessity underlying the need to create, underlying the emotion that gives it form, and from which grows the unfinished product that is presented to the world. Love is […]

Read More

Must I Photograph?

Must I Photograph?

| April 7, 2016 | 4 Replies

Nobody can counsel and help you, nobody. There is only one single way. Go into yourself. Search for the reason that bids you write; find out whether it is spreading out its roots in the deepest places of your heart, acknowledge to yourself whether you would have to die if it were denied you to […]

Read More

Varieties of Time

Varieties of Time

| March 28, 2016 | 4 Replies

… we have an interval, and then our place knows us no more. Some spend this interval in listlessness, some in high passions, the wisest, at least among ‘the children of this world,’ in art and song. For our one chance lies in expanding that interval, in getting as many pulsations as possible into the […]

Read More

The Paradox of Expectations

The Paradox of Expectations

| March 23, 2016 | 3 Replies

… all that is positive, the whole creative content, of that spiritual experience which is called awakening, nirvana, must of necessity happen by itself. It not only cannot but must not be induced by trying and willing, since anything that one could will wouldn’t be it. ~Alan Watts Earlier this week I noted something different about […]

Read More

Zen And the Art of Landscape Photography

Zen And the Art of Landscape Photography

| March 12, 2016 | 20 Replies

The most interesting aspect of these arts of Zen, as D. T. Suzuki has said, is that they don’t exist for the sole purpose of creating a work of art, but they are rather a method for opening the creative process. They comprise means of training the mind and of living our lives. ~John Daido […]

Read More

My Idea of Good Art

My Idea of Good Art

| March 6, 2016 | 13 Replies

In a thoroughly commercialized society, an artist is respected if he makes money, and because he makes money, but there is no genuine respect for the works of art by which his money has been made. ~Bertrand Russell In a neighborhood where I used to live, for a short period of time, there was an Indian […]

Read More

Positive Negativity

Positive Negativity

| February 15, 2016 | 18 Replies

There is nothing so wrong as accepting a thing merely because men who have done things say it should be so. ~Alfred Stieglitz Among the most rewarding and liberating things I have come to accept about my work is that much so-called “common sense” advice is entirely not applicable to accomplishing my creative goals. In fact, […]

Read More

We Who?

We Who?

| February 9, 2016 | 7 Replies

Photography appears to be an easy activity; in fact it is a varied and ambiguous process in which the only common denominator among its practitioners is in the instrument. ~Henri Cartier-Bresson Tribalism is a curious phenomenon of the human psyche, likely linked with some evolutionary advantages of banding together at times when membership in a collective […]

Read More

Announcing: New Workshop Offerings

Announcing: New Workshop Offerings

| February 1, 2016 | Reply

Following on the success of our Visionary Death Valley workshops, Michael E. Gordon and I are proud to announce additional dates for 2016 and 2017. By participant demand, we decided to also add a new Processing and Printing offering following each Visionary Workshop, for those who wish to extend their stay, or for anyone who is interested […]

Read More

The Brief Crack of Light

The Brief Crack of Light

| January 18, 2016 | 15 Replies

It is in vain that we can predict and control the course of events in the future, unless we know how to live in the present. It is in vain that doctors prolong life if we spend the extra time being anxious to live still longer. It is in vain that engineers devise faster and […]

Read More

The Art & The Wild

The Art & The Wild

| December 26, 2015 | 7 Replies

If you have something to say about life, you must also find a way of saying it clearly. And if you achieve that clarity of both perception and the ability to record it, you will have created your own composition, your own kind of design, personal to you, related to other people’s, yet your own. […]

Read More

Twenty Fifteen

Twenty Fifteen

| December 24, 2015 | 10 Replies

People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we […]

Read More

The Expressive Photograph

The Expressive Photograph

| December 3, 2015 | 11 Replies

Pictures are exciting when they say something in a new manner, not for the sake of being different, but because the individual is different and the individual expresses himself. ~Harry Callahan It seems there are three classes of photographers who venture to instruct others: there are those who teach technical skills and offer simple formulas […]

Read More

Remaining Children

Remaining Children

| November 3, 2015 | 6 Replies

From childhood upward, everything is done to make the minds of men and women conventional and sterile. And if, by misadventure, some spark of imagination remains, its unfortunate possessor is considered unsound and dangerous … ~Bertrand Russell Winter’s chill is already in the air, as is the sweet smell of pine wood smoke emerging from […]

Read More

More Than a Rock Book Now Shipping

More Than a Rock Book Now Shipping

| September 29, 2015 | 4 Replies

The print edition of my book, More Than a Rock, is now shipping from Amazon and other book sellers. PDF and other eBook editions are available from the publisher, Rocky Nook. From the publisher: Ostensibly about landscape photography, More Than a Rock: Essays on Art, Creativity, Photography, Nature, and Life is a passionate and personal book […]

Read More

To Be Honest

To Be Honest

| September 12, 2015 | 6 Replies

The work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted […]

Read More

Lessons from Image Critique

Lessons from Image Critique

| September 1, 2015 | 4 Replies

Be eager to lend a patient ear to the opinions of others and think long and hard whether whoever finds fault has reason or not to censure you. And if the answer is yes, correct the fault. If no, give the impression that you have not heard him, or if he is a man whom […]

Read More

First World Problems

First World Problems

| August 25, 2015 | 10 Replies

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe It is hard, sometimes, to reconcile the many stark juxtapositions encountered in the course of everyday life. It takes little more than a few minutes of perusing world news to learn of the unspeakable plight of so many […]

Read More

Another (Birth)day

Another (Birth)day

| August 11, 2015 | 5 Replies

 Today I escaped from anxiety. Or no, I discarded it, because it was within me, in my own perceptions – not outside. ~Marcus Aurelius For some years now I made it a tradition of sorts to commemorate my birthdays in remote places, by myself; to reflect on the year and the life that passed, in […]

Read More

On Inspiration

On Inspiration

| July 30, 2015 | 7 Replies

… the Muse first of all inspires men herself; and from these inspired persons a chain of other persons is suspended, who take the inspiration. For all good poets, epic as well as lyric, compose their beautiful poems not by art, but because they are inspired and possessed. –Socrates (via Plato) I have heard fellow […]

Read More

“The” Shot is Still a Low Bar

“The” Shot is Still a Low Bar

| July 15, 2015 | 11 Replies

Nature does not create works of art. It is we, and the faculty of interpretation peculiar to the human mind, that see art. –Man Ray I recently saw a photograph hailed as “the” shot of a certain oft-photographed mountain. What made it “the” shot was the presence of spectacular sunset sky, which indeed was impressive […]

Read More

The Human Condition

The Human Condition

| July 8, 2015 | 4 Replies

So long as we have failed to eliminate any of the causes of human despair, we do not have the right to try to eliminate those means by which man tries to cleanse himself of despair. –Antonin Artaud It was with some delight that I recently received an academic text on photography that I had […]

Read More

For Art’s Sake

For Art’s Sake

| July 5, 2015 | 3 Replies

I have studied the art of the masters and the art of the moderns, avoiding any preconceived system and without prejudice. I have no more wanted to imitate the former than to copy the latter; nor have I thought of achieving the idle aim of art for art’s sake. –Gustave Courbet Despite having the opportunity, […]

Read More

The Interval

The Interval

| June 23, 2015 | 3 Replies

I have asked myself whether the short time given us would be better used in an attempt to understand the whole of the universe or to assimilate what is within our reach. –Paul Cézanne I wonder, sometimes, if by dedicating my work mostly to the desert of my home I may have set my sights […]

Read More

The Tyranny of Plans

The Tyranny of Plans

| June 22, 2015 | 6 Replies

This essay was originally published in my monthly column in Landscape Photography Magazine. Please consider subscribing to this excellent online publication. ~~~ We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore. What falls there are, we know not; what rocks beset the channel, we know not; what walls ride over the […]

Read More

LensWork Magazine Color Portfolio

LensWork Magazine Color Portfolio

| June 17, 2015 | 1 Reply

My sincere thanks to editor Brooks Jensen and the wonderful staff at LensWork Magazine for featuring my work in the magazine’s upcoming edition (#119), which will be the first to include color. In addition to this momentous change, LensWork is now offering special pricing for new and renewing subscribers. If you are not already a […]

Read More

The Patina of Digitality

The Patina of Digitality

| May 27, 2015 | 12 Replies

Technology is the knack of so arranging the world that we do not experience it. –Rollo May Speaking about the role of the artist in conservation, Ansel Adams proclaimed, “The curse of all art is the patina of sentimentality.” Perhaps a curious observation from one who devoted much of his life and work to promote […]

Read More

Fellow Travelers

Fellow Travelers

| May 8, 2015 | 4 Replies

In the arching immensity of the night, each tells the story of his life, each offers the other the burden of memories in which the human bond is discovered. –Antoine de Saint-Exupery With the experiences of the recent Moab Photography Symposium still fresh in my mind, and with my thinking still a little fuzzy as I’m […]

Read More

My Audience

My Audience

| April 13, 2015 | 11 Replies

Discourse on virtue and they pass by in droves. Whistle and dance the shimmy, and you’ve got an audience. –Diogenes Laërtius A marketing maven (which I am not) suggested to me that I give some thought to who my audience is, and to target my writing and images to it. Despite such advice, however, I […]

Read More

Big Thoughts

Big Thoughts

| April 2, 2015 | 5 Replies

Let your soul stand cool and composed before a million universes. –Walt Whitman We live in momentous times, although I don’t think that too many people ponder this fact in the course of daily life, which is a shame. We are in the midst of mass extinction of life on planet Earth, and by now […]

Read More