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.

January 2021

February 2021

March 2021












HT0699 - Collecting versus Consuming

There is a practical and important difference between collecting and consuming. I own a sizable library, but I don't "collect books." I do, with enthusiasm, consume them. To me it about content, not ownership.


HT0700 - Sometimes, There Just Aren't Enough Hours

I'm not very happy that the last issue of Kokoro I completed was last June. Life has been just a bit overwhelming these last 6-8 months. I am happy, however, to report that my creative life has not stopped — just been redirected to those things I could do, like think, make notes, capture ideas, and even a little research. When life calms down a bit, I'll be able to jump back in with momentum.


HT0701 - The Measure of Accomplishment

In reviewing all these old prints, I've come to realize that an unconscious criteria I used to value an image was what I had to overcome in making it. A difficult scene, a bad negative, a complex printing procedure — all tended to push me into valuing an image in spite of the fact that as artwork is simply wasn't very good.


HT0702 - 4k, 8k, and 144k

I continue to be amazed at the way the industry is pushing higher and higher video resolutions far beyond what any of us will likely see. I'm beginning to think it a giant plot by the hard drive and computer people to get us to purchase more capable hardware. ; - )


HT0703 - Pound for Pound

I've previously mentioned the 5,400 pounds of books I've put into long-term storage while I'm traveling around. Yikes! But one thing I do want to have with me is the entire back issues of LensWork and all the books we've published. All totaled, this adds up to just under 200lbs. Or, I could take all of it with me as PDFs on my tablet which weighs 2 lbs. Hmmm. . . Why am I so conflicted about this?


HT0704 - A Numbers Game

I have no doubt that Ansel Adams was passionate about hundreds or perhaps thousands of images he made. Why is it that some of them rise in popularity so far above the others? Are they actually better photographs, or is it just a numbers game in terms of popularity?


HT0705 - Printers

I was literally shocked this morning when I went to to start my research for a new printer I can take with me in the trailer, only to find that the last printer review they did was in 2012. Have people lost interest in printers? Is DPReview ignoring printers because they feel it's not worth their time?


HT0706 - The Predictable Shot

I'm recording this early on Superbowl Sunday and I'd bet big money I can tell you the shots of the event that will appear in all the media in the coming days. They are as predictable as sunrise.


HT0707 - Video as a Means of Capturing Stills

There's been some talk of late about using high-resolution video as a means to extract still images. I'm sure Garry Winogrand is smiling down on this from that big darkroom in the sky. So, why does it feel like cheating?


HT0708 - Heroes and Fellow Travelers

There are other photographers whose work is similar to ours, and then there photographers whose work we admire but have no compulsion to imitate. Which group is more useful for us to study?


HT0709 - Finished, but Is It Good?

Finishing things is a big deal in photography. It's a challenge that many photographers struggle with. But just because you succeed in finishing an image or a project, that doesn't guarantee that it is any good. It is, however, always useful and an opportunity for learning about ourselves and our next steps.


HT0710 - Repeating Ourselves

As I've been going through my old work and purging so much of it, I can't help but notice that there are certain visual ideas I keep doing over and over. It's not a search for a better version, it's just a reflexive repeating of things I've done before. Why?


HT0711 - Permission

I've always thought that permission is a big deal in photography, but no one ever seems to talk about it with the exception of model releases. It requires permission, sometimes, to photograph someone's private property, or in their home. It also requires permission to show people our photographs, that is to say they have to agree to spend time to look at our work. And this just scratches the surface of why gaining permission is such an important part of a photographer's life.


HT0712 - The Immersive Print

I was having a conversation the other day with Kevin Raber from and he kept using the term the "immersive print." I like this idea, but I wouldn't restricted to just a visual acuity and visible detail kind of analysis. I think we can become emotionally immersed in a photograph and that has nothing to do with how much detail it reveals or our ability to see more as we move closer. In fact, I'd rather produce an emotionally immersive rather than visually immersive one.


HT0713 - David Plowden

The other day I was talking about heroes and fellow travelers and that got me to thinking about David Plowden. In my upcoming travels, the most common question I have encountered is about my destinations. Which national parks will I be visiting in order to photograph them? My answer, so far anyway, has been zero. I'm much more interested in exploring America the way David Plowden has done rather than the way Ansel Adams did.


HT0714 - Photographing History

I love the humor of comedian Steven Wright. One of my favorites of his one-liners is: "A friend showed me a photograph of himself when he was younger. I told him all photographs are when we were younger."


HT0715 - Made or Felt

What is the philosophical basis for an exhibition of photographs? This is a more important question than it might seem on the surface. Is the exhibition a sort of humble bragging about what you've made? Or is the exhibition a record about what you felt? For the audience, a record of what you made is remote, but a testament about what you felt is an invitation for them to share that experience.


HT0716 - The Blank Canvas

Almost all art media are about skillful adding. Painters start with a blank canvas; novelist start with a blank page; dancers start with a blank stage; musicians start with a blank silence. Only photography and sculpture start with a completely filled medium from which they then progressively subtract, revealing, hopefully, something significant. Photoshop has changed this on the pixel level — and it will take another generation to fully realize this.


HT0717 - Backstories

Sometimes the story behind the story is more interesting than the story. In fact, sometimes the story behind the story is the story and without it there's not much there, there. Consider this example from Edward Weston.


HT0718 - Personal Exhibitions

I've mapped out 16 locations in my travel trailer where I can display 13x19" prints. And by using the magnets to mount them on the wall, I can readily change these personal exhibitions regularly. I'll be moving to a new location about every two weeks, so I have this idea that I'll change the 16 prints with each move. Sounds like a lot of fun!



HT0719 - Titles

Now with inkjet printing it is very easy to include a title on the paper with the image itself. But should we? Perhaps this is a generational decision.


HT0720 - Rounded Corners

I was recently asked about the reason I use rounded corners on my images in chapbooks. There are both a practical and an aesthetic reason for doing so.


HT0721 - Supply and Demand

What will the future bring for collectible original prints? In one scenario, supply will go up and demand will go down and if that happens, prices may plummet. But who knows for sure? Certainly not me!


HT0722 - Shrinking Technology

I'm am amazed at how little gear I will actually need for my life on the road. Everything I need is so much smaller than it was 40 years ago that the technology parts of my adventure will be easy!


HT0723 - Signing Prints

A LensWork reader has asked how I sign my prints. As critical as this is for all kinds of reasons, it's interesting that it isn't more of a topic of concern in photographic circles. Here is a quick overview of my thinking about how to sign prints.


HT0724 - Innovation Is Slowing Down

Have any of you noticed the lack of innovation in cameras in the last couple of years? It seems as though we either hit some sort of innovation wall, or covid-19 has brought everything screeching to a halt. I'm not sure which, but I suspect it's the former. The old maxim tells us, "Enough is as good as a feast," and maybe we've reached that point in camera features and capabilities.


HT0725 - WWAAT?

Just a fun little thought experiment. What would Ansel Adams think if he were alive today and observing the photographic scene? Imagine a conversation between Beethoven and Taylor Swift, Michelangelo and Andy Warhol, Charles Dickens and Hunter S. Thompson.


HT0726 - Where Photography Lives

In the 1910s, outside of Stieglitz and Steichen, photography mostly lived in the imaginations of some pioneering visionaries, In the middle decades of the 20th century, photography lived in a growing number of galleries and the growing book and magazine media. Where does it live today?