Here's a thought

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HT1915 - Three Miracles

I believe there are three miracles of human invention that continue to amaze me that they even exist at all. These are language and writing (books), the aural arts (music, recordings), and the visual arts (painting, photography). Through writing we can know what Sophocles thought millennia ago; through audio recordings we can hear what our grandparents sounded like; and via photography we can see the world that no longer exists.

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HT1916 - The Opposite of Fog

I love photographing in the fog. It has a way of turning the most complex landscapes into minimalist compositions. Snow can do the same thing. Strangely enough, I can be just as fascinated with the opposite of fog or snow, that is, incredibly complex patterns that seem quite chaotic. For me, the most difficult compositions are the ones in between that are neither minimalist nor cacophonous.


HT1917 - The Fusion of Craft and Content

We can't make artwork without craft, but craft without content is not art. When the two become fused, then there arises a magic that can take our breath away. I was reminded of this recently looking at some Albrecht Dürer original engravings.


HT1918 - An Affordable Medium of Delivery

A book is not artwork, but a novel is. A book is a medium of delivery, a novel is the content that is delivered. Does the same logic apply to photography? What if I said that a print or a book is a medium of delivery the same way that an LP or a CD is a medium of delivery for music, but neither are the artwork itself?


HT1919 - Your Favorite

As we all know, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Well, mostly, anyway. And as the creator of our artwork, we decided which is our best image and that is the one we typically print. What makes us think that our selection of "the best" is the same image that others will choose as their favorite?


HT1920 - Stuck on the Shelf

A book stuck on the shelf is a sad thing. Don't you think that if books were sentient that they would want to be opened and enjoyed? I've been known to purchase a book because I have intentions of reading it, but never do. It's a bad habit and not only an insult to the book but also to the photographer.


HT1921 - The Still Image

In an age in which life seems to be progressing at an ever faster pace, the still image/photograph is having a difficult time competing. I have no doubt that it's only a matter of time before we visit the Louvre and have an AI generated personal conversation with the Mona Lisa herself. Forget I said that. Shhhh. Don't give them any ideas.


HT1922 - Art and Physicality

When I think of the word "artwork," I immediately think of physical things: Painting, prints, sculptures. But then there are lots of artistic media that are not physical in the sense that the art is not a thing: dance, music, theater, poetry, even novels. Where does this leave photography?


HT1923 - Make It Personal, But Make It Universal

We are all advised to photograph from our heart. The temptation is, however, to jump to the conclusion that the more personal our images the better they will be. The problem with this is that if your images become too personal, only you will be able to relate to them. The trick is to make it personal, but still preserve a sense of universality.


HT1924 - Blotchy Blue Skies

For technical reasons I don't understand, aggressive processing in blue skies tends to create a blotchy appearance that is very unpleasant. This is true whether the image is color or black and white. I assumed the solution would be found in bit-depth, the Clarity tool, or possibly the new Lens Blur tool. Nope. So far, the solution escapes me.


HT1925 - Why Is Always More Important Than How

The technical questions of how to make a photograph dominate almost every YouTube channel, book on photography, workshop content, and much of our creative time. It has always seemed to me that the far more important question is not how, but rather why. Why do you want to make this photograph? Why do you want to share this photograph? Why do you choose to process this way rather than all the other possibilities? The art-life is asking why; our craft-life is asking how.


HT1926 - Good Teachers, Better Teachers

Having been a participant in workshops for 50 years (both as a student and as an instructor), I come to recognize that there are two types of instruction that are most prevalent. There are instructors who teach how to make images like they make. Then there are instructors who help you make the images that you want to make.


HT1927 - Fame vs Merit

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is for most unknown photographers to get published? In one of those dirty little secrets of the publishing industry, most magazines choose to publish the photographs of famous photographers because they want to ride the coattails of the famous individual. Needless to say, here at LensWork we've chosen a different path and try to bring to light the best work we can based on its merit.


HT1928 - Photography and Philosophy

Photography may not be the best medium for philosophy, but that doesn't mean that photography isn't guided, shaped, informed, influenced by a philosophical background. Said another way, art is the marriage between images and ideas. It's easy to see that photography without an image is not art. It's much more difficult to realize that photography without an idea is not art.


Choose Your Mentors Wisely

We are memetic creatures. We learn by observing others and then by copying what we see. This is most visible in babies and toddlers, but is equally true of artists and photographers.

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HT1930 - Your Signature

It's customary to sign your finished prints in the lower right hand corner. Some people sign on the mat board, others sign on the print itself, some sign on the back of the print. They're various strategies and various philosophies about this. But what does it actually mean when you sign your print?


HT1931 - Loosen Up

I'm here for a 5-hour layover at the Denver Airport. I was tempted to not record any comments in the hubbub of the airport background noise, but that led to an interesting train of thought.


HT1932 - Covid Break

Doggone it, I've come down with Covid. After 1,931 days in a row without missing a single day, I'm needing to take a few days off to rest and recover. Hopefully, I be back in a few days rarin' to go. In the meantime, not a bad time to scan back and see if there are any episodes you missed.