Category Archives: Art

musings on art, and all things art.

Photography Goals

Spruce trees in Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska.

Spruce trees in Wrangell – St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

2013. It’s a new year already. The days are getting longer, so I’m told. I’m another year older, slower, fatter and balder. But a new year can also mean a great time to focus on our work. Draw it into focus by outlining and giving voice to where we might like for it to go. Without that articulation, it’s easy to wander in circles, and not really move forward with our art.

I’m reminded of a great line by my friend Craig Tanner, when he was asked what is the most important concern to him, as an artist; his answer, so simple, was “the only thing that matters is, is my work moving forward”.

What can we do to move our work forward? Well, make some goals to move toward, for one thing. And really, goals is the wrong word, I think, for art. We don’t score goals. We don’t target anything; we make art, we create stuff. That’s all.  Continue reading

Social media for photographers – another perspective

An adult polar bear sits on the shores of the Beaufort Sea, waiting for freezeup. Alaska.

An adult polar bear sits on the shores of the Beaufort Sea, waiting for freezeup. Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

So, I’m sure by now you’re all familiar with the 101 ways to heighten your photography reputation and business prowess through the magic of social media. There are nearly as many blog posts and articles on the secret mojos to becoming a social media icon in the world of photography and art as there are, surprisingly, photographers and artists out there in social media-land. Typically, these articles repeat the same tired old cliches: engage, time your posts carefully, be consistent, etc, etc, etc. Here’s another take on this ‘phenomenon’ of social media.

Recently I was in southeast Alaska photographing bald eagles. During that trip, I ran into 2 fellows from the BBC, filming for a wildlife documentary they’re making. Filming for another wildlife documentary they’re making. These guys have made several, and travel around the world filming for a company that makes some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet. The photographer, John Brown,  also shoots stills (as well as video) and is represented by Getty images. Pretty cool gig.

I mentioned to him about possibly doing an interview with him, if he’d be so kind as to give me some time; he did, and I enjoyed a great couple of hours chatting with the 2 of these guys about wildlife photography and filmmaking and all the stuff the rest of us merely dream of. I’ll edit that interview down in the near future and put together an article from it.

During the course of the conversation, I don’t recall John mentioning social media once. Not once. He didn’t give me his twitter handle, or his facebook profile, or refer me to his G+ page. He mentioned his website, but the rest of the conversation was about his work; his photography and his art. Continue reading

Art and life

Backlit brown bear, Katmai National Park, Alaska.

A brown bear male, ursus arctos, stands in the first light of the day, backlit by the morning sun, as he looks around for breakfast. Brown bear, Katmai National Park, Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of the photo.

Hey Folks,

” What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is only related to objects, and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art? Why should the lamp or the house be an art object, but not your life?” – Michael Foucault

What a great sentiment! Foucault wrote some great stuff.

An examination of what ‘art’ is could well be an artful endeavor itself. What are your thoughts? Is life art?

Cheers

Carl

Creative thinking; it’s not what you th…

Grizzly bear lying on the ground, rear view, (Ursus arctos), Katmai National Park and Preserve. Alaska.

Grizzly bear lying on the ground, rear view, (Ursus arctos), Katmai National Park and Preserve. Alaska. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

I generally avoid articles built from numbered lists. The Top 8 anything is generally little more than billboardian nonsense.

That said, I read with some interest 12 things you were not taught in school about creative thinking: I’ll ignore the perfect opportunity to comment about the very clear LACK of creative thinking in the article’s title. For now.

The article is by Michael Michalko, “one of the most highly acclaimed creativity experts in the world and author of the best sellers Thinkertoys (A Handbook of Business Creativity), ThinkPak  (A Brainstorming Card Deck), and Cracking Creativity (The Secrets Of Creative Genius)”  – hhhmmm …. I’m seeing a pattern here.

I think perhaps the biggest ‘myth’ we hold about creative thinking is something that comes from this article and others like it. Continue reading

To see the sea

Massive storm surge raises the high tide and creates crashing waves along the coast of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The sun breaks through right at sunset and provides some spectacular light.

Massive storm surge raises the high tide and creates crashing waves along the coast of Wrangell - St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The sun breaks through right at sunset and provides some spectacular light. Please click on the image above to view a larger version of this photo.

Hey Folks,

Why do we stare at the sea?

Cheers

Carl