Here's a thought

The most recent three videos are available below.
The entire collection (including all previous episodes) is available to members of LensWork Online.

September 2020

October 2020

November 2020





















HT0576 - Momentum

For the last six months, I've been totally focused on caring for Maureen, so I haven't had my camera out once. I've lost momentum before, but there is a foolproof way to get it back – jump in! The importance of momentum in creating art — and in healing from a loss.


HT0577 - Conventional Wisdom

As artists, we are supposed to be making personally expressive artwork — our own artwork. Don't listen to conventional wisdom or follow the rules. Why not break the rules? What's the worst that could happen?


HT0578 - Pavlov and Art

Our conditional training that steers us toward the acceptance of certain kinds of photographs as art. The establishment of the cliché.


HT0579 - Evenings

Life is so complex and we are all so busy these days. It seems more and more important that we develop strategies to use small snippets of time. What can you do in an hour or two?


HT0580 - The Big Book Purge of 2020

Sometimes we simply outgrow artwork that was so meaningful earlier in our life. With that in mind, I'm going through my library and pulling out books that I no longer need. I feel badly for them, but it's time to make room for new things.


HT0581 - Permits to Photograph

For twenty years now I keep hearing rumbles about the state and national parks wanting to charge photographers via a permit to photograph there. It's hilarious how the bureaucratic fee collectors define us photographers.


HT0582 - Photographing Where You Live

Ansel Adams lived in Yosemite; Edward Weston lived next to Point Lobos. Many of you live in suburbia, but why no photographs from there?


HT0583 - From the Car

We are told that a great deal of getting a composition right is knowing where to stand. For those of us with bad knees, maybe that needs to be modified to "where to park the car." The only remaining challenge is to rid ourselves of the guilt because we are photographing from the car.


HT0584 - Digital Mat Board

Does it make any sense to surround your image with a white border if the presentation will be via a digital screen? Or is this a convention from the world of physical prints that just doesn't make sense in a digital world?


HT0585 - Seeing vs Feeling

Someone standing next to you might see what you see, but each of you will have your own feelings about what is in front of you. The "personal" in personally expressive photography is all about what you feel.


HT0586 - A Split-toning Caution

The effect of duotones and tritones is subtle but powerful. With the new Lightroom tri-tone coming soon, the only caution is to watch out for how an sRGB color space can give you unwanted results.


HT0587 - Quick Content and Viewer Fatigue

The increasing competition for people's attention. Why "quick content" makes sense in the current age. I'm convinced this is increasingly becoming a challenge in our fast-paced world.


HT0588 - Re-examining Your Premises

We human beings are creatures of habit. The farther we travel a creative path, the more important it is to occasionally step back and take a fresh look at our premises.


HT0589 - Incremental Improvements

The days of leaps and bounds advancements appear to be over. The latest cameras have only incremental improvements. Industry analysts say the drop in camera sales is due to smart phones, but I'm not so sure.


HT0590 - The Least Amount of Gear

I've noticed a curious trend in my photographic life that the older I get the less gear I seem to need or want to haul around. In my youth, I kept adding new accessories and lenses to my regular kit. Now I seem to be discarding more and more. Funny thing is, my photography is getting better.


HT0591 - Finished Image Archives

I love the implementation of non-destructive editing in today's software. But that doesn't prevent me from destroying something I intended to keep as an archive. I archive my finished images as maximum quality JPGs.


HT0592 - Artifact or Image

You're all probably familiar with the great Japanese woodblock print by Hokusai titled The Great Wave Off Kanazawa. Why? Is it because you have seen an original woodblock print or rather because you've seen this image in multifarious forms from reproductions to pop culture? Which is the greater accomplishment for Hokusai as an artist, that he made an original woodblock print or that he made an image that connects so deeply with so many people?


HT0593 - What Is Missing

Looking at an original is not the same as looking at a reproduction, but how far short of the original is the reproduction? Is the difference important? What if the original enhances the viewing experience by a tiny percentage? I think this is a particularly important train of thought for photography and one that is perhaps the technological issue of our times.


HT0594 - Obscure Favorites

What does it say about us when we prefer obscure artists over the more popular ones? For example, I prefer Josef Sudek over Ansel Adams, Anthony Trollope over Tom Clancy, and Jethro Tull over the Beatles. I know this says something about me, but I'm not sure what that is.


HT0595 - Gatekeepers

So much in the world of Art is the selection of what I call the "gatekeepers." Who gets published, who gets exhibited, who's prices escalate, and who is a "collectible" artist.


HT0596 - The Other Shots

In addition to our intended keepers, we should also include a few other shots that might be useful in an eventual project. For example: Establishing shot, Orientation shot, wider shot, focus shots, pano shots.


HT0597 - Forty When I Need It

For 98% of my work, twenty megapixels is more than enough. But for that remaining 2% I have developed a habit of doing a 3-shot pano that gives me 40 megapixels with a stitched image. I don't frequently make a 17 by 27" print, but when I need to, it's nice to know that I can with this simple technique.


HT0598 - Pixels per Inch in the Sky

I made an 6½' panorama that stitched together 12 exposures. Unfortunately the sky was rather bland. I replaced the high megapixel sky with one that had better clouds but had been uprezed 500%. In the print, you can't tell at all that this was the equivalent of a 60ppi in the sky.


HT0599 - Music Composition Ideas for Photographers

The other day I was talking with a musician about how she composes a song. She said she sits down and the piano and starts playing with chords and riffs until she stumbles upon an idea she can massage into a song. I realized this is precisely what I do in Lightroom.



HT0600 - Polyptychs

Yes, that's word. What if we take a "Seeing in SIXES" type of project and want to display it on the wall in a frame? There are two obvious choices — the grid and the hexatych. Here in the age of roll paper inkjet prints, it's an interesting choice.


HT0601 - 360, 300, or 240

How may pixels-per-inch are required for printing? There is a lot of debate about this, but here are my thoughts from a practical perspective after a plethora of tests and practical observations. No theories, just looking at prints.


HT0602 - Customized Viewing

I have a music app on my smart phone that allows me to customize the tonal controls through something called equalization, stereo expansion, reverberation, etc. Essentially, I can customize the music to fit my ears. How would we feel if this were possible with the tones and colors in our photographs? As artists, would we be offended?


HT0603 - Facing Pages

Book design expends a lot of thought about facing page considerations that photographers rarely consider. We generally don't make images with the idea that they are a left-page or right-page composition, but maybe we should.


HT0604 - The First Step in the Creative Process

The older I get, the more I see parallels between the creative process in art making and what the Buddhists called the practice of Satipatthana — mindfulness, becoming aware.


HT0605 - Lessons from Count Basie

Count Basie could play a frenetic rag time as well as anyone. But the passages from his music that are most interesting to me are the ones in which the horns and band suddenly become silent while the bass and rhythm lay a background against which Count Basie plays a note here, another note there, perhaps a chord, and presents us with an experience that is perfectly in sync with the rhythm but not overpowering in his keyboards. It's an applied contrast that I think we could use in photography.


HT0606 - Gambling in the Landscape

You never know when you photograph in the landscape what you'll find. At least that's the case if you're lucky.