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LensWork - Photography and the Creative Process

English, Photography, 1 season, 481 episodes, 1 day, 8 hours, 7 minutes
About
Random Observations on Art, Photography, and the Creative Process. These short 2-4 minute talks focus on the creative process in fine art photography. LensWork editor Brooks Jensen side-steps techno-talk and artspeak to offer a stimulating mix of ideas, experience, and observations from his 35 years as a fine art photographer, writer, and publisher. Topics include a wide range of subjects from finding subject matter to presenting your work and building an audience. Brooks Jensen is the publisher of LensWork, one of the world's most respected and award-winning photography publications, known for its museum-book quality printing and luxurious design. LensWork has subscribers in over 73 countries. His latest books are "The Creative Life in Photography" (2013) and "Looking at Images (2014).
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HT1912 - Searching the Interstices

HT1912 - Searching the Interstices I've been doing and thinking about project-oriented photography for so long that it's become a reflex for me to search the interstices between pictures for threads that connect them together. Looking through some photography books recently, I realized I was doing that reflexively when in fact there was no thread between the pictures, at least not one intended by the photographer.
5/29/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1911 - Style Is Not Content

HT1911 - Style Is Not Content This week Panasonic introduced a new camera that incorporates wide variety of picture styles that can be instantly applied in camera. These styles go by the technical name of LUT, an acronym for lookup table. Supposedly this will make your photographs more artistic. I'm not so sure.
5/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1910 - My Grandfather's Voice

HT1910 - My Grandfather's Voice Ours is the first generation in the history of the planet to have at our disposal such readily available means to record our memories. When our family members die, all their memories, stories, and history go with them. All 1900+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
5/27/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1902 - Single-minded AttentioHT1909 - A World with No Cameras

HT1909 - A World with No Cameras What would you do if you were to wake up to find yourself in a world with no cameras? Would you still be an art creator with a different medium? Or, is your relationship with photography so photographic that without photography you would not create artwork? All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/26/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1908 - The Little Things

HT1908 - The Little Things When I haven't photographed for a while, it seems like a bit of rust always develops, on me. I went out photographing a few days ago and boy was I rusty. Diopter dial was moved. Focus stacking lever. Couldn't remember which direction to turn the zoom ring. Lost a Spider Holster pin when I dropped it and lost it. Geez.
5/25/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1907 - Laserdisc, Betamax, and Photography

HT1907 - Laserdisc, Betamax, and Photography Perhaps this is a flawed analogy, but I can't help but look back at the history of technology and conclude that widespread adoption is more important than ultimate quality. Does this also apply to our photographic work? As artists, we tend to want to pursue perfection at all costs. But, like technology, is it just possibly a better strategy to pursue widespread distribution rather than that last 2% of quality improvements?
5/24/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1906 - Ideas That Go Nowhere

HT1906 - Ideas That Go Nowhere Sometimes photographic project ideas come rushing at me with such momentum that they're completion is inevitable and accomplished quickly. Other times, I'll have an idea that seems to go nowhere. Over the years, I've learned to not discount those ideas that don't come to fruition quickly. Even project ideas that are decades old could suddenly become alive with meaning and a newfound energy. The trick is to develop your method for preserving ideas until they ripen.
5/23/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1905 - Explaining a Photograph

HT1905 - Explaining a Photograph I'm fascinated by how often I hear photographers talk about their images by explaining what they were trying to accomplish. Does the photograph not accomplish that without the verbiage? There are good reasons for producing image and text combinations, but using text (or talk) to justify or explain a photograph is almost always going to end up diminishing the artwork.
5/22/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1904 - Structure Imposed Discipline

HT1904 - Structure Imposed Discipline Art making is such a frivolous activity in so much that no one really cares whether or not we make artwork. Because we don't have to, it's easy to relegate our art life to the nebulous future when someday we'll have the time to do so. This is where a structure can be handy. Self-imposed projects like a photo a day, or a commitment to exhibit can provide a little nudge of incentive.
5/21/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1903 - Tilting at Photographic Windmills

HT1903 - Tilting at Photographic Windmills To some degree, the purpose of photography is to replicate the human experience. Isn't this an impossible pursuit? If the purpose of a photograph is not to give us the experience of standing there and seeing the world with our own eyes, then what is the purpose of a photograph? All 1900+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
5/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1402 - Photography in a Post-Mistake World

LW1402 - Photography in a Post-Mistake World The history of photography shows that it has become easier and easier to make technically impressive photographs with every passing decade, certainly with every passing generation. Easier, perhaps, but never easy. There has always been a battle between our mental pictures and the ones we can make with light and chemicals. What if every shot you make is mistake-proof? Every shot - - recoverable, the seed of a perfect image assisted with AI. (This is not about AI, but about the artmaking process.) All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/20/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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LW1403 - Post-Mistake World, Part 2

LW1403 - Post-Mistake World, Part 2 A follow-up to last week's discussion about photography in this age when every time we click the shutter can result and a technically excellent image. This week we'll look at a real-world example from a situation in which it would have been almost impossible to succeed without today's advanced digital capabilities. Using the software, however, turned this impossibly challenging subject into a few relatively easy steps. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/20/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1902 - Single-minded Attention

HT1902 - Single-minded Attention One of the reasons I love the creative aspects of photography is that doing photography seduces me into a single-minded and thoroughly focused attention. In fact, without that level of immersion, I find my photographs are remote, emotionless, empty. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/19/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1901 - Used Frames

HT1901 - Used Frames I mentioned a while back that I stayed with some friends who had a couple of hundred framed pieces of art on their walls. It occurred to me that they had an incredibly wide variety of styles of frames. I asked them about this. They explained that the cost of framing is so high that they get all their frames from thrift shops and other second hand stores. This is a great idea.
5/18/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1900 - Internet Numbers

HT1900 - Internet Numbers Call me a cynic, call me a disbeliever, call me an irascible conspiracy theorist, but I simply don't believe the numbers reported by websites like YouTube. When I see that some new and unknown YouTube influencer is reported to have a half a million views of their video, I simply don't believe it. We have no idea how Google tallies those numbers, but knowing the statistics for our websites here at LensWork, I find it hard to believe when I read the download statistics from social media websites. Something funny is going on here.
5/17/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1899 - The Difference Between Snapshots and Art

HT1899 - The Difference Between Snapshots and Art I guess I've always been a bit snootish in my attitude towards snapshots versus fine art photography. But the more I think about it, the more I've begun to question my assumptions. Snapshots are form of memory, but don't we experience that with our fine art photography? What is the difference between a snapshot and a fine art photograph?
5/16/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1898 - Collectors vs Consumers

HT1898 - Collectors vs Consumers When asked, I think most fine art photographers would have to confess that they would love to see their work become "collectible." I understand the motivations for validation that come with collectability and museum exhibition. It's curious, however, how different are the motivations of collectors compared to consumers.
5/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1897 - Dinner in an Art House

HT1897 - Dinner in an Art House I had dinner this week at a friend's whom I'd recently met. The minute I walked in his modest house, I felt a vibe that I would characterize as "an art house." His house was filled with art, his tables with pottery and art books, and every wall had a display of beautiful framed work in every possible medium. After dinner, I had a chance to go from room to room to see what artwork he collected. Only later, the next morning, did I realize that every piece of artwork on his walls was smaller than 11x14.
5/14/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1896 - A Book Group for Photography

HT1896 - A Book Group for Photography I suspect many of you are a member of a book group of one kind or another. Have you ever heard of a photography book group? I never have. In fact, I think this could be a wonderful idea. I'm often grateful to hear how others think about a photograph or a group of photographs. Seems to me like it would be easy enough to put something together on Zoom. Hmmm. . . All 1880+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
5/13/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1401 - Advantages of Small Projects

LW1401 - Advantages of Small Projects I suppose it's no surprise that as the publisher of Image Suites, Seeing in SIXES and Trilogies that I'm a advocate for small projects — projects from just a few to perhaps a dozen or so images. I was therefore startled when I received an email from a LensWork reader pointing out that I've never specifically addressed why I'm such a fan of small projects. I looked back and she was right; I've never specifically addresses the concept of small photography projects. Here are some of my thoughts about this. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/13/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1895 - The Fun Components

HT1888 - Photography's Fascination with the Rare Photography can be hard work. For most of us, the work of artmaking also includes lots of fun and pleasant entertainment. Which parts of photography do you find the most fun? As a hobby, wouldn't it make sense to increase those components and to strategize ways to reduce the work? For example, I dislike framing, so I either use presentation methods that don't involve framing, or I pay someone to do my framing for me. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/12/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1894 - Postponing Your Art Life

HT1894 - Postponing Your Art Life No one begins their photographic journey by immediately leaping into 40-inch prints. We all start small, 5x7, or 8x10. Then somehow we get gripped with the idea that bigger is better. Rather than turn our attention to making more personal, more meaningful, or insightful photographs it becomes so much easier to pursue the greater technical challenges of large prints, thereby postponing the launch of our real art life.
5/11/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1893 - Dry Spells and Damp Spells

HT1893 - Dry Spells and Damp Spells Wouldn't we all love to be creatively on fire every day, every moment. Unfortunately, that rarely happens. Instead, we have times when we are productive and times we are not. We think of those fallow times as "dry spells" which can be accompanied by guilt. But there's also a spell that is neither dry nor productive and can be an incredibly useful time in a creative life. I think of them as "damp spells."
5/10/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1892 - The Time to Make a Picture

HT1892 - The Time to Make a Picture Let's take just a moment to think what a miracle is photography. Before photography, think how long was required to make a picture. Drawing one l line at a time, adding one brushstroke at a time. Pictures were relatively rare and treasured. That way of relating to pictures leaked over to photography in its earliest days. Compare that to the bombardment of pictures that assault us every day! Our pictures aren't special because they are pictures, they need to connect through content to be special.
5/9/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1891 - Grabbed by Artwork

HT1891 - Grabbed by Artwork I suppose all of us have, from time to time, been mesmerized by a piece of artwork. It grabs us, it seduces our attention, it fills our consciousness. Why? What is it about a piece of artwork that gives it this power to influence us so deeply? Maybe not 100% of the time, but most frequently I find this happens when the artwork engages my imagination, when it allows me to drop my normal awareness of the world and to be transported to a world of its making.
5/8/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1890 - Experiences or Things

HT1890 - Experiences or Things A friend of mine is downsizing in preparation for moving to a retirement community. She can't find anyone who wants her extensive collection of sheet music. Another friend is finding it difficult to find a home for her collection of dinnerware and silver. No one wants them. It seems like the younger generation values collecting experiences far more than collecting things. I've come to regard this as the joy and burden of ownership. What are the implications for our fine art photographs?
5/7/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1889 - A Self-assessment

HT1889 - A Self-assessment On a whim, I decided to look back at the entire collection of my work that has been published in Kokoro. So far, that consists of 172 projects containing 2,432 images. I was happy and proud to publish every one of them - - at the time. Needless to say, some have not stood the test of time as well as others. That's good. All 1880+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
5/6/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1888 - Photography's Fascination with the Rare

HT1888 - Photography's Fascination with the Rare Ask most people what makes a fabulous landscape photograph and they will unhesitatingly say a fabulous landscape. That is, the magic is out there. This implies that the photographer is simply a faithful recorder of the scene. Ask most photographers what they actually do when they are out photographing and they will tell you they are looking for the spectacular scene. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
5/5/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1887 - Obscurity Is Inevitable

HT1887 - Obscurity Is Inevitable I distinctly remember in my youth being encouraged to consider archival properties and longevity of my images as one of the primary goals of processing my prints. It was just assumed that it was important that our work survive 50 or 100 years when it would be valued by generations yet unborn. But now that I've been in photography for 50 years, I can't help but notice that my bookshelves are filled with photographers who have disappeared in the obscurity of time. I know that's the fate for my work, too, and that prompts me to consider other strategies.
5/4/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1886 - Private Work

HT1886 - Private Work The real work of the artist all takes place outside of the spotlight. If a pianist doesn't enjoy practice, they will never be an accomplished performer. If a photographer doesn't love the darkroom or studio work, that will be obvious in their prints. Toiling away on one's own is the heart of the art life.
5/3/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1885 - The Most Important Tool in the Darkroom

HT1885 - The Most Important Tool in the Darkroom Ansel Adams used to preach that the most important tool in his dark room was the garbage can. I believe the corollary in the digital workflow is the virtual copy. I've often thought that the terms "making art" and "editing" are synonyms for the same activity. If you don't progress through at least a half a dozen drafts, I think you are fooling yourself.
5/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1884 - Sample Notes

HT1884 - Sample Notes Earlier this week I was discussing the importance of note taking in our creative life. We need to capture those fleeting ideas before we lose them. A listener asked what kinds of notes are the useful ones to capture. Here are some samples from my own notebooks.
5/1/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1883 - Cameras or Software

HT1883 - Cameras or Software I suspect we would all agree that the advancement in camera technology over the last 25 years has been amazing. Curiously enough, when I look at my digital images in my Lightroom catalog, the advances in camera technology pale in comparison to the advances in software processing. I'm not sure my newest and latest camera has allowed me to do anything that I couldn't do with my first digital camera 20 years ago. The latest camera technologies have made my life easier, but I'm not sure it's made my artwork any better.
4/30/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1399 - Your Photographic Lineage

LW1399 - Your Photographic Lineage In most every walk of life, lineage is a big deal. This is particularly true in religion, politics, and nobility. It might seem less true in photography, but I'm not so sure. We each see ourselves as the inheritors of an approach to the art life that not only informs our self-image, but can heavily influence what we produce All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/29/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1882 - Seeds

HT1882 - Seeds Often, while I'm working on a project, I'll try something that doesn't work at all for the project I'm developing. It ca be tempting to just delete the failure and move on. Instead, I've come to realize that perhaps the failed idea is a seed for a new project. I guess what they say is true, "The harder I work, the luckier I get." All 1880+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
4/29/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1400 - A Book vs a Collection of Images

LW1400 - A Book vs a Collection of Images To us photographers, a book is most frequently a collection of great images. To the rest of the world, a book is a collection of great ideas or stories. Perhaps this is the reason why the market for photography books is primarily other photographers. For example, I suspect many of you are a member of a book group of one kind or another. Have you ever heard of a photography book group? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/29/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1881 - Taking Notes

HT1881 - Taking Notes Creative ideas rarely manifest on demand. Be brilliant, right now, this instant. You can. Creativity doesn't work that way. In my mind, there is no doubt that one of the most important activities about the art life is capturing ideas when they pop into mind. How you capture ideas is a strategy that is worth thought, planning, organization, and commitment. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1879 - Twenty Times, a Variation

HT1879 - Twenty Times, a Variation As a follow up on yesterday's conversation about music and looking at photographs, I could apply the exact same logic to locations where I photograph. The first time I go anywhere I tend to photograph the fairly obvious compositions - - and perhaps do so without nearly as much depth as I would like to. I need to return to a location a half a dozen or a dozen times before I feel I've gotten to know it. Weather changes, seasons change, but most importantly, I change.
4/26/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1878 - Twenty Times

HT1878 - Twenty Times To really appreciate a new piece of music, I need to hear it at least 20 times so that I can own it in my mind. The same can be said for photography. I have to spend time with an image before I feel like I've seen it. I have to think about it. I have to search for metaphors in my responses. Sometimes I need to know a little bit about the photographer so I can put their photograph in the context of their career. The idea that photography is something to be glanced at just sits wrong with me on so many levels.
4/25/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1877 - The Thought That Goes With Every Photograph

HT1877 - The Thought That Goes With Every Photograph Photographs are visual, but that does not mean they are devoid of words, devoid of thought. Every photograph sparks a thought. A photograph might spark thoughts of the beautiful, the trite, the irrelevant, the desirable - - there is probably an example of a photograph for every word in language. Artwork is a gateway to thought. How does knowing this change what we do and produce?
4/24/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1876 - Before You Process an Image

HT1876 - Before You Process an Image Here's an exercise you might find fun. What happens when you spend time with an image before you begin processing it? Seriously, try this exercise next time you are working on images in Lightroom or Photoshop. Before doing anything to the captured file, spend 20 minutes or so just looking at it. Write down any words that come to mind, any thoughts, any ideas. Challenge yourself to write 10 things before you begin processing the image.
4/23/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1875 - Question or Statement

HT1875 - Question or Statement The common perception of a photograph is that it is a fact. Even a fanciful, imagine-based photograph is a statement of how the photographer sees the world. But what doors to creativity are opened if we change that perspective and think of a photograph (or a project) as a proposal to consider? What if your photograph says, "Here's a question" rather than "Here's a truth"? All 1870+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
4/22/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1398 - Life, As Lived

LW1398 - Life, As Lived When you decide you want to make a photograph of this particular thing, why is that thing chosen over all others? What is it in that thing that makes it more photogenic than all others? I've thought about this a great deal lately and I'm not sure I have the answer. I do, however, think I have one answer: Idealism. So much of photography as it is practiced is the pursuit of the ideal. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/22/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1874 - Composing Using Focus Tracking

HT1874 - Composing Using Focus Tracking Here is a slick focusing technique I never thought of, but it works. It replaces the half-press and hold, then compose technique. It's much more intuitive in my brain than back button focusing. It uses "focus tracking" or something I like to call "sticky focus." You really should try this one. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/21/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1873 - Maximum Black Is Not Magic

HT1873 - Maximum Black Is Not Magic In my youth, I thought the magic was to achieve a maximum black. It took me several years to learn that the magic is not in maximum black but rather in beautiful gray tones and chords of tones that please the eye. Increasing contrast and overprinting the blacks is rarely the answer. My apologies to Bill Brandt.
4/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1880 - Mat Boards and Margins

HT1880 - Mat Boards and Margins The convention in photography is to finish the print by affixing it to mat board. There various methods to do this, but they all have in common the physicality of the board itself. This adds expense and bulk to the finished work of art. Is it the physicality or the margin that is important here? Once the print is in the frame, is the physicality of the mat board still important?
4/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1872 - Print Size and the Wall

HT1872 - Print Size and the Wall Once Stieglitz decided that photography was best consumed as art on the wall, like painting, he set in motion the pursuit of large prints. If it weren't for our predisposition to exhibit photographs on the wall, I wonder if there would ever have been a push for larger and larger prints. And if we collectively did not think of photography as something destined for the wall, I wonder what methodology/medium would dominate the sharing of photographs?
4/19/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1871 - The Competition for Eyeballs

HT1871 - The Competition for Eyeballs All media include an element of narcissism. With every photograph we make, we are essentially competing for attention. Each photograph screams, "Look at me!" This intense competition for eyeballs leads to a secondary phenomenon I think of as "the advertising promise." "Come look at me and you will be rewarded with this goody." The competition for eyeballs is so fierce that we now are overwhelmed with advertising promises way out of proportion to actual content.
4/18/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1869 - Artwork Left Behind

HT1869 - Artwork Left Behind I remember years ago hearing of a photographer who would leave small prints wherever he happened to find himself. He would leave his artwork on a bus bench, a restaurant table, a seat in the library, literally anywhere the spirit so moved him. I was so fascinated with this idea that I followed this plan the last time I was in Japan.
4/16/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1397 - Looking for Photographs

LW1397 - Looking for Photographs When you want to make a photograph, what do you do? Probably you set out into the world somewhere and start looking for things you might photograph. You are on the hunt for potential. What if you were to point yourself to your Lightroom catalog rather than the world out there? I would propose that searching the world and searching in your exigent collection are pretty much the same thing. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/15/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1868 - The Absolutely Necessary

HT1868 - The Absolutely Necessary The ideal kit includes everything I might need. The opposite of how much gear can I take is how little gear can I get by with. Perhaps it's a function of my aging knees and back, but I find myself brainstorming about the least amount of gear I can take with me and still be productive. Obviously I need a camera and lens, a battery and a memory card, but what else is absolutely necessary in order for me to be successful with the kind of photography I do? All 1860+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
4/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1867 - Feedback and the Pressure to Conform

HT1867 - Feedback and the Pressure to Conform Yesterday I was talking about feedback and the way the digital workflow makes getting feedback about our work so much easier. Not unexpectedly, there is a downside to such easy feedback; the pressure to conform. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/14/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1866 - Learning Without Feedback

HT1866 - Learning Without Feedback How well do you suppose you would learn tennis if you could never see where the ball went after you hit it? Learning is always a function of action, feedback, assessment. This is equally true for photography and this explains one aspect of the digital revolution that I think is highly overlooked, but has radically changed the nature of photography.
4/13/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1865 - How to Save $1,600

HT1865 - How to Save $1,600 Once again I found myself contemplating the super long 100-400mm Panasonic Leica lens for my m/43 camera. As a part of the research, I decided to investigate a cropped image from the Panasonic Leica 50-200mm I already own. Then the next step was to see what the results would look like if I used either pixel shift technology versus Super Resolution Enhancement in Lightroom. Fascinating results.
4/12/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1864 - Viewing Lights

HT1864 - Viewing Lights The light we use to view a print or book is so critical in determining how that photograph appears. Unfortunately, we have no control over the light people use to view our work. A story from Paul Strand's biographer demonstrates how frustrating this issue can be for us photographers.
4/11/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1863 - Beyond Bragging Rights

HT1863 - Beyond Bragging Rights It is a part of human nature to want to share our successes. When we make a photograph we are particularly proud of, we want to show it to others. Other than the fleeting joy of sharing our successes, why are you involved in photography? What is the deeper reason you go to such lengths, expense, work, and sacrifice for your photography?
4/10/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1862 - Reflected vs Transmitted

HT1862 - Reflected vs Transmitted I've come to believe that the most fundamental and important decision we make when producing our image-based artwork is whether we want our work seen via reflected or transmitted light. Every subsequent processing decision is based on this first choice.
4/9/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1861 - What Sets Photography Apart

HT1861 - What Sets Photography Apart Each of the art media have characteristics that are its greatest strength, that set it apart from other media. A novel gives the writer unlimited control over time; music has the ability to tap directly into our nonverbal emotions; painting provides a medium in which the artist can include or exclude elements based solely on their imagination. What sets photography apart? Seems to me that one of its primary strengths is its ability to show detail even finer than human vision and to carry that detail to future generations. All 1860+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
4/8/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1396 - Commitment and Viewer Fatigue

LW1396 - Commitment and Viewer Fatigue I love photography books, but I must admit that I struggle with big, thick books. I once wanted to read Tolstoy's War and Peace, but struggled for years to make the necessary commitment to its 1200 pages. I feel the same way about 3-400 page photography books. Like big books, big museums also present a challenge. The only way I know how to negotiate my time in a big museum is to concentrate my attention on a manageable number of pieces of artwork. Similarly, viewer fatigue is a real consideration as we produce our artwork.. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/8/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1860 - The Problem of Movement

HT1860 - The Problem of Movement Gestalt psychology tries to explain why we are drawn to certain themes of attention. For example, movement attracts our eye much more than a static scene. Put in photography, all we have are static scenes, even if they capture blurry movement. This defines one of photography's greatest challenges. All previous episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/7/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1859 - What Will I Do with This Day?

HT1859 - What Will I Do with This Day? Each morning as I slowly awaken from my night's sleep, I think about the coming day and what I need to do. Every once in a while, I find my calendar is clean, I can spend the whole day doing photography without any guilt about obligations I might be ignoring. What a wonderful day! But then follows the troublesome question: What will I do?
4/6/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1858 - The Three Rules of Communication

HT1858 - The Three Rules of Communication An old maxim tells us the theory of communication broken down into three steps of advice. Tell them what you are going to tell them; tell them; tell them what you just told them. That pattern seems to work pretty well in project-oriented photography, too.
4/5/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1856 - Every Wish Has Been Granted

HT1856 - Every Wish Has Been Granted There is that old bumper sticker wisdom that advises us to be careful what we wish for: we might just get it! For most of my photographic life I wanted faster, smoother, sharper, better. Now that I have all of that in today's amazing photographic tools, I suppose there are no excuses left for why our artwork fails other than to acknowledge our personal and internal limitations. Damn it was sure handy blaming inadequate tools!
4/3/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1855 - Adapting to What We Can Do

HT1855 - Adapting to What We Can Do Do you have a photographic fantasy of something you would love to do? I suspect we all have such thoughts. Then reality sets in and we realize that those fondest desires may simply not be practical. Do we give up based on the fact that we can't achieve our fantasies? Or, do we adapt ourselves to what we can do? What other option is there? Don't let "If only..." become an excuse.
4/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1395 - The Pace of Creativity

LW1395 - The Pace of Creativity I've noticed that I've developed a really bad habit in my photography. Sometimes, with some locations, I get so excited about all that I am seeing that I work too fast, too frenetically, too voluminously. I end up firing away rather than taking a moment to feel what is before me. Curiously enough, I've learned the solution to this problem is the tripod. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
4/1/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1854 - The Terrible, Awful, Horrible Non-Problem of Diffraction

HT1854 - The Terrible, Awful, Horrible Non-Problem of Diffraction With some regularity, we are advised by the wise leaders in photography to avoid using the smallest apertures because of the introduction of that focus softening known as diffraction. My advice is to ignore their advice. Not that diffraction doesn't exist; it does. It's just not as serious an issue as the pundits insist that it is. All 1850+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
4/1/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1853 - The Disappearing Megapixels

HT1853 - The Disappearing Megapixels Congratulations on your new 42 megapixel (or 60 megapixel) camera. You can now make giant prints. Good for you. But what happens to those megapixels if you don't make giant prints? What happens if you make a 13x19", or even a 17x22" print? All those captured and processed pixels get tossed out as superfluous data that is simply not needed. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/31/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1852 - PPI For Printing

HT1852 - PPI For Printing Experts who seem to know a lot more than I do recommend one of three resolutions for high detail printing. Most commonly I've seen 360 PPI recommended, but also 300 PPI, and 240 PPI. Not knowing which to use, I decided to evaluate using the good old-fashioned method of doing it myself and analyzing with my eyes. Here's what I found.
3/30/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1851 - Long Shutter Work Around

HT1851 - Long Shutter Work Around These days, I'm using a tripod less and less. One area that has plagued me is long exposure photography, for example, lacy waterfalls. I've accidentally discovered an interesting workaround that produced surprisingly good results.
3/29/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1850 - The Myth of Universal Vision

HT1850 - The Myth of Universal Vision The premise with which we make our photographs is that there is a view that is best. We sweat bullets over the perfect tones, color balance, contrast ratios, etc. We do so under the assumption that when we get it right everybody will see what we see. But this is folly, because the truth is everyone sees differently.
3/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1857 - Toned vs False Color

HT1857 - Toned vs False Color When a black and white image is toned, the mood shifts but the believability does not. There is a reason that a color image that deviates from reality is referred to as false color. But we never hear a toned black and white image referred to as a false black and white
3/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1849 - Massive Projects

HT1849 - Massive Projects It seems that every photographer I know has at least one massive project, maybe more, that resists completion. Maybe it's the fact that it is so massive, so overwhelming, so unmanageable that makes it so difficult. Is there a strategy that helps manage these massive projects?
3/27/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1848 - Camera to Eye, or Eye to Camera

HT1848 - Camera to Eye, or Eye to Camera There is a reason why an overwhelming majority of pictures are made from 5 to 6 ft off the ground. Strangely enough, it doesn't have anything to do with that being the best way to view the world. It has to do with camera design which encourages us to lift the camera to our eye level.
3/26/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1847 - Translation

HT1847 - Translation In human communication, the role of the translator is a fascinating one. Do they merely convert words from one language to another? Or, do they accept the higher responsibility of conveying the meaning and subtleties in their translation. This is exactly the same question we photographers face with every picture. Do we translate the appearance, or the depth of feeling? All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
3/25/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1394 - Your Intent Is Paramount

LW1394 - Your Intent Is Paramount The other day, I heard once again, for the billionth time, a photographer say that however a viewer wanted to interpret their work was okay with them. Why are photographers so reluctant to make a declarative statement that is unambiguous? If you leave it up to the viewer to interpret your photograph however they want, why bother to compose or process an image? If you have no intent, why make choices? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/25/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1846 - Details and the Inverse Square Law

HT1846 - Details and the Inverse Square Law Probably most of you are aware of the Inverse Square Law relative to lighting and maybe relative to audio recording. I like to apply it to the optical quality of my images, too. Move twice as far away and the objects shrink to 1/4th the size. Conversely, zoom in to double the focal length and the objects become 4 times larger and exhibit 4 times more detail. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/24/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1845 - Old Training vs The World Today

HT1845 - Old Training vs The World Today A lot of what I learned in my view camera days is still relevant and useful. Some of those early lessons I find are now habits and ways of thinking that are now obstacles based on training that is downright illogical. ISO is a good example.
3/23/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1844 - Spinal Tap Meets Photography

HT1844 - Spinal Tap Meets Photography If you hang around photography long enough, you'll begin to discern the patterns that sweep over the photographic world like waves in a tsunami. I automatically resist such fads and eventually come to detest them. Please, photographic world, stop oversaturating your colors with the vibrance control.
3/22/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1843 - Our Creative Life as a Series of Completions

HT1843 - Our Creative Life as a Series of Completions With each new album they released, The Beatles defined their evolving career. Painters are said to have "periods" that define their evolving vision. I'm not sure if this is a model we photographers should follow, or if it's just something that happens as our creative vision matures. I do know that completion is a key element of the artistic life.
3/21/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1842 - Another Way to Increase Sharpness

HT1842 - Another Way to Increase Sharpness Is there a lesson about sharpness we can learn from comic strip artists? Perhaps. They hand draw their comic strips much larger than we see in the newspaper. The image is then reduced to fit the size we see in print. That size reduction increases visual sharpness. There is a bit of a parallel with photography.
3/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1841 - Identify the Barriers

HT1841 - Identify the Barriers There are things we want to do, and there are things that prevent us from doing it. A good first step is to identify the barriers. Write them down. Make them concrete. Then explore the possibilities of your work if that barrier were completely eliminated. Not resolved, not a solution developed, but simply eliminate the barrier entirely. What's left?
3/19/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1840 - Textured Paper

HT1840 - Textured Paper One of the reasons I like folios, chapbooks, and other handheld photographic media is because of the tactile sense of texture that can come through with certain papers. But tactile texture is not the only texture: we can also have visual texture, which is often the only texture that can be realized in a framed print on the wall. All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
3/18/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1393 - On Destinations

LW1393 - On Destinations In an overly simplistic way, I tend to divide the arena of fine art photography into two camps. For some photographers, the destination/location is the thing they pursue to make the best photographs. For others (myself included), the pursuit of ideas/response/connection is the thing that drives our efforts. It can be useful to consider this train of thought not only for our own photography, but in helping to understand the motivations and work of other photographers All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/18/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1839 - Your Cloud Inventory

HT1839 - Your Cloud Inventory Photoshop's relatively new Sky Replacement tool is a fantastic addition for fine art photographers. It also motivates us to collect an inventory of cloud images that we can use with other pictures. Another great example of gathering assets! All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/17/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1838 - More on Natural Vision

HT1838 - More on Natural Vision Does your natural vision lens create your best photographs? Or do the best photographs come about when you use a lens that is not your natural vision, but one that you need to work a little harder with because it doesn't come easily?
3/16/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1837 - The Best Lens I Ever Owned

HT1837 - The Best Lens I Ever Owned A few weeks ago I was shopping for a specialty purpose lens, and that has had me thinking about lenses I have used in my career. What are the characteristics of a lens that make it attractive? Is it sharpness? Aperture? Edge to edge fidelity? Close focusing distance? I think not. I think the best lens is the one that most closely matches with your natural vision.
3/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1836 - Needlessly Bracketing My Exposures

HT1836 - Needlessly Bracketing My Exposures Earlier models of digital cameras I owned missed a critically important feature - - they did not have Zebra stripes that indicated overexposure. Because that feature was missing, I always shot a three-image bracket to be sure I would end up with a useable file that has highlight detail.
3/14/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1835 - 400 Is Not Enough?

HT1835 - 400 Is Not Enough? My current camera has a comparatively low CIPA rating for its battery life. It will allow me only 400 shots compared to twice that in many in some full-frame cameras. Only 400? How much capacity do I actually need? Which makes me remember my view camera days and the joy of sheet film holders.
3/13/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1834 - Two Focus Features I Want

HT1834 - Two Focus Features I Want I suspect there aren't many camera manufacturers who regularly listen to these commentaries, but if there are here are two features I would love to see added to my camera, both of which should be fairly easy to implement.
3/12/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1833 - The Boundary Defined

HT1833 - The Boundary Defined Most pictures need an edge. Where the image meets the background, a point of delineation needs to exist in order to define what is image and what is background. A good example is an overexposed sky against the white background of the paper. All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
3/11/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1392 - What Came Before

LW1392 - What Came Before I suspect it more than a few of you who have, from time to time, been tempted to try a marriage between photography and haiku. It's a fun idea, but I rarely find it convincing. Usually, it feels like competing media that are fighting each other rather than complimenting one another. There is, however, and idea that might be useful known in Japan as a Haibun. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/11/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1832 - Mastering the Medium

HT1832 - Mastering the Medium I've never heard of photographer Gustave Le Gray, but I saw one of his mammoth plate prints at The Clark yesterday. What an unexpected response that left me impressed for all the wrong reasons. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/10/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1830 - Program Mode

HT1830 - Program Mode From my earliest days in photography, the assumption was that anything automatic would be inferior to the trained and sophisticated decisions of a skilled photographer. Manually implemented controls would result in better pictures than any automatic decisions the camera would make on its own. Is this still true?
3/8/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1829 - The Picture Is Not the Thing

HT1829 - The Picture Is Not the Thing The purpose of poetry is not to show off our clever use of vocabulary. It is to connect us with the dance of life. Similarly, the purpose of a photograph is not to show what the surface of world looks like, but rather to reveal the invisible. The print is not the goal; the goal is the response the view has when looking at the print.
3/7/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1828 - Why Black and White?

HT1828 - Why Black and White? There's a fascinating philosophical question about black and white photography that pops up from time to time. If color photography had been invented first, would there have been a need to invent black and white photography at all? Set another way, what does black and white photography provide that is denied in color photography? What is your default - - color or b/w?
3/6/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1827 - Beyond the Headline Heroes, Part 2

HT1827 - Beyond the Headline Heroes, Part 2 For some reason, I always seem to prefer the lesser known photographers rather than the headline heroes. I prefer the landscapes of Wynn Bullock over Ansel Adams, the portraits of Paul Strand over those of Annie Leibovitz, the daily life photographs of Josef Sudek over those of Dorothea Lange, and the reportage of Josef Koudelka over that of Henri Cartier-Bresson.
3/5/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1391 - Letting Go Is Moving Forward

LW1391 - Letting Go Is Moving Forward In the early years of my photography life, I practiced "photography by acquisition." I gathered to me gear, knowledge, techniques, an inventory of images, and occasional accolades. As I've grown older and seen things more clearly, I've come to realize that an important part of progressing in the art life is letting go of ideas and practices that aren't productive. As futurist Alvin Toffler once said, "The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read or write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn." In other words, letting go in order to move forward. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/4/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1826 - Beyond the Headline Heroes, Part 1

HT1826 - Beyond the Headline Heroes, Part 1 It's is our mission here at LensWork to publish the best photographs we can and to share that work with as many people as possible. Notice that sentence does not say, "famous or celebrity photographers." In fact, we specifically look for "ordinary folks" who are producing good work and are not plugged into the publicity machines of photography. Photography is a truly democratic art medium, but that's hard to see when so many publishers, galleries, museums keep publishing the same famous dead guys over and over. All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
3/4/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1825 - Convenience Wins Most of the Time

HT1825 - Convenience Wins Most of the Time Music and photography have a very interesting characteristic in common. The medium that tends to dominate consumption is almost never the one of highest quality but rather the one of most convenience. For example, in music real-to-reel tape recordings are much higher fidelity than the pops and clicks of records, but the convenience of records completely dominated the marketplace. There is a parallel in photography. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
3/3/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1824 - White Is Not a Tone

HT1824 - White Is Not a Tone Certain subjects, snow and sand dunes immediately to mind, we describe as being "white." But there is a difference between white in nature and photographic white, a perfectly detail-less tone in a print. Photographic snow or sand dunes are actually gray, but that is the trickiest gray to achieve successfully without it looking dingy. Photographic white is not so much a tone as it is a description of visible detail.
3/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1831 - Cyan Skies

HT1831 - Cyan Skies As a photographer, I know embarrassing little about color science. I do know that a cyan sky is just wrong. That has led me to use profiles as a better starting point.
3/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1823 - The Soft Blacks of Matte Paper

HT1823 - The Soft Blacks of Matte Paper Matte inkjet paper, like the paper used for platinum/palladium printing, has a lovely surface but cannot produce very deep black tones. Measured with a densitometer, the black of matte paper will typically top out at about 1.5, whereas glossy paper can easily reach a density of 2.2. Our eyes magically adjust for this difference, and thank goodness they do.
3/1/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1822 - The Lovely and Awful Panorama Format

HT1822 - The Lovely and Awful Panorama Format Some of my favorite work from the last dozen years have been extreme form panorama format images. Think aspect ratios of 8:1 or greater. For example, I have an image of Capitol Reef that is 8 ft long and 12 in tall. I love the image, and it's such an interesting thing to view on the wall here at the house. But framing such beasts is absurdly expensive and publishing such images is simply impossible.
2/29/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1821 - Just Not Feeling It

HT1821 - Just Not Feeling It I find it difficult to separate similar excuses for not wanting to photograph. Sometimes I think I'm just not feeling it, and my motivation wanes. That's often confused, however, with my inner sloth, when I just don't feel like gearing up and doing the work that's necessary. Why do I assume that art making is only possible when energetic enthusiasm drives it?
2/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1820 - What Is Not Photographed

HT1820 - What Is Not Photographed Sometimes I become so focused on the subject I've selected to photograph that I completely miss great opportunities that are right in front of me. Developing an awareness of what could become a small photographic story is part of the creative process challenge.
2/27/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1390 - Gear, Part 3, Gear Guilt

LW1390 - Gear, Part 3, Gear Guilt I have an uncomfortable relationship with photographic gear. I have some gear that looks great, implies that I'm a serious photographer, has basic and exotic capabilities, and makes me feel, when using it, like I'm a serious photographer. And then I have gear that has none of the above characteristics but just makes great pictures. When it comes to making serious art, why do I feel slightly guilty if I'm not using a "serious" camera? Where did I pick up that myth that the quality of the artwork is a consequence of the gear? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/26/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1819 - Slow Shutter Speeds Handheld

HT1819 - Slow Shutter Speeds Handheld We are so lucky today to live in the age of image stabilized cameras. We can shoot handheld at amazingly long shutter speeds, at least compared to yesteryear. That said, it's not perfect, not every shot, and that leads to a strategy. Whenever I'm pushing a slow shutter speed, I simply shoot a bunch of exposures, often using burst mode. I don't care if 19 of the 20 exposures are slightly soft due to camera movement, as long as one of them is luckily sharp enough for my needs. All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
2/26/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1818 - Where to Go

HT1818 - Where to Go I have no doubt that their intentions are well meant, but advice from others on where we ought to go in order to make great photographs Is universally bad advice. It's not that good photographs can't be made there, wherever it is, but rather that such places are usually the source of innumerable clichés. I much prefer to just follow my own nose, discover my own locations, interpret the world as I see it, which I've been doing now for 50 years without ever being disappointed no matter where I find myself. The key to a great photograph is never in the subject, but rather found in our response, whatever the subject may be. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/25/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1817 - Not Quite Perfect

HT1817 - Not Quite Perfect If we could wave a magic wand and achieve perfection, we probably would. Not having such a magic wand, we must accept that our images will fall short of that goal. How far from perfect is still acceptable? I ask this as a serious question. For example, how far from perfection are you willing to accept focus, tones, composition, noise, color accuracy, or the rendition of detail? To be even more practical, how much corner softness are you willing to accept in a lens?
2/24/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1816 - Not Medium, but Media, Plural

HT1816 - Not Medium, but Media, Plural Not that long ago, photography was primarily produced in one medium, the print. Today there are at least a dozen media we can use to produce and share our images. This provides us with both unprecedented challenges and almost limitless opportunities.
2/23/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1814 - ISO 12,800 Revisited

HT1814 - ISO 12,800 Revisited In my film days, I shot mostly using ASA 25 film for the finest grain possible. To this day, my natural reflex is to shoot at the lowest ISO on my digital camera. Recently, I shot an entire project using ISO 6400 and ISO 12,800, processed using Lightroom's new DeNoise tool. Wow. A full 9 stop improvement over my film days!
2/21/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1813 - Electronic Shutters

HT1813 - Electronic Shutters Growing up in the era before digital photography, it never occurred to me that there was any other way to construct a shutter than a mechanical one. Even when I adopted digital means, I still used the mechanical shutter exclusively. I've now changed that philosophy and use electronic shutters for almost everything. My images are sharper, my camera is quieter, and there is less wear and tear on my expensive machine. The two most important exceptions are fast panning and indoors under artificial light.
2/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1389 - Gear, Part 2 - Game Changers

LW1389 - Gear, Part 2 - Game Changers Eight game-changing developments in photography that have revolutionized my creative life. The impact of these becomes apparent when I try to imagine doing photography without any of these revolutions. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/19/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1812 - Suffering Is Not a Measure of Excellence

HT1812 - Suffering Is Not a Measure of Excellence How much you have to endure is not in the least related to the excellence of your photographs. The minute a photographer starts to tell me their capture story, I get suspicious. Besides, if an image is easy and falls into your lap, does that mean it's an inferior image? All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
2/19/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1811 - Connect the Dots, um, Images

HT1811 - Connect the Dots, um, Images In the early stages of developing a project, the search is for images that connect to one another without repeating. I like to think of this as similar to the child's game of connect the dots. Only when the dots are connected in the correct sequence will the bigger picture become apparent. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com that looks at failures as a way to learn. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/18/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1810 - A Camera for the Car

HT1810 - A Camera for the Car How many times have I been out and about when I unexpectedly see a terrific image with gorgeous sunlight, but I'm frustrated because my camera is at home on the shelf? The most expensive and capable camera is useless if it's home on the shelf. I finally learned that lesson and now have a camera that I keep in the car at all times.
2/17/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1809 - Reasons for Techniques

HT1809 - Reasons for Techniques Last weekend, I was involved in a big workshop with dozens of photographers discussing their images in an educational setting. It's always fun to see how someone accomplishes a photograph, but I can't remember a single instance where the photographer explained why they wanted to create the effect they were demonstrating. They would say something like, "I want a darken this corner, so I did this," but they never explained why they wanted to darken the corner.
2/16/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1808 - The Perfect Lens

HT1808 - The Perfect Lens We all want flawless, optically perfect lenses. What if I were to ask you for a quantitative measure of the sharpness you need? How sharp is sharp enough? Is sharpness a constant across all genres of images? Or is acceptable for one subject overkill for another? To complicate this further, this fails to take into account such variables as viewing distance and print size. Enough is as good as a feast.
2/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1815 - Learning by Looking and Listening

HT1815 - Learning by Looking and Listening A major turning point in my photographic life began when I started attending workshops. You might think that the most valuable part of a workshop is having your own work critiqued by those who are more talented than you. That's important, but the best part for me was listening to the workshop instructors talk about their images. Every image included a tidbit that I absorbed for use in my own learning curve. This is precisely why I do the series "Every Picture Is a Compromise" over at Brooks Jensen Arts — my way of paying it forward.
2/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1807 - They Will Come

HT1807 - They Will Come Do you remember that scene in the movie Field of Dreams when Ray is assured that if he builds it, they will come. I believe this very strongly when it comes to finishing a photography project. It's as though there is some law of nature that a finished project invariably attracts and audience. We may not be able to predict the size or scope of the audience, but they will come.
2/14/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1806 - Where Are the Photographs?

HT1806 - Where Are the Photographs? Last week I was staying at the house of some friends in Florida who are avid scholars and art people. I counted 83 framed pieces of artwork hanging on the walls of their very large home. Curiously enough, there was not a single photograph other than a few family snapshots.
2/13/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1805 - Small Stories

HT1805 - Small Stories So much of fine art photography these days is supposed to be GRAND. The Grand Landscape, for example, is usually about big and sweeping vistas. I much prefer the small stories. I'm sure that's because they are more experiential. I can only witness a grand landscape, but I can live in a small story. All 1800+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
2/12/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1388 - Gear, Part 1, Does Gear Make a Difference?

LW1388 - Gear, Part 1, Does Gear Make a Difference? I'm much more interested in the products of photography than I am in the methods of photography. To me, gear is a necessary evil. My objective with all gear related decisions is to find the least problematic solution I can. I can look at images all day, but get bored by gear talk in about 3 minutes. Manufacturers seem to want to focus our attention on megapixels, frames per second, and video capabilities - - none of which is if the least importance to me. Besides, when I assemble a project from the images in my Lightroom catalog, I can never tell which camera was used unless I look at the metadata. As far as the images themselves, there doesn't appear to be any visible differences between on camera and the next. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/12/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1804 - Blown Highlights

HT1804 - Blown Highlights As a general rule of thumb, I avoid blown highlights at all cost. But like any general rule of thumb, there are exceptions. A recent project photographing indoors using table lamps as the only source of illumination created images that always had blown highlights which I was perfectly happy to accept. I tried to think of another example where I'm comfortable with blown highlights and could only think of one - - reflections of the sun on chrome automobile trim. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/11/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1803 - 11 to 1 Shooting Ratio

HT1803 - 11 to 1 Shooting Ratio Here is a possibly meaningless statistic. In looking through my Lightroom catalog, find that I statistically need eleven shots in the field for every shot I end up using in a finished project. That ratio can be a lot higher. I found many examples as high as 40:1, but it is a rare exception that results in a used image when there is only a single capture in the field. It seems that working a scene intensely is a better strategy for me than run and gun.
2/10/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1802 - JPGs vs RAW, Again

HT1802 - JPGs vs RAW, Again The flexibility of a RAW file has always seemed such a better strategy that I've never given JPEGs out of the camera a second thought. I recently had an chance to see Gordon Laing's book touting the virtues of shooting JPEGs out of the camera. I understand the challenge, and have to admit that Laing's images are terrific. I thought that maybe I need to try this, just for fun. Until, that is, I remembered Adobe's Enhanced DeNoise and Super Sharpen, newly introduced software solutions that only work on RAW files.
2/9/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1801 - Retrospectives

HT1801 - Retrospectives For as long as I can remember, one of my favorite types of photo books has been the lifetime retrospective from a master photographer. Here in the third decade of the 21st century, I'm beginning to wonder if the idea of retrospectives has any place in today's photo publishing.
2/8/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1800 - Older Cameras

HT1800 - Older Cameras When I purchased my first digital camera in 2002, it was very primitive technology and therefore had pretty severe limitations in terms of its capabilities. But it appears to me that the technology reached a comfortable plateau about 2018 and any digital camera after that date likely has just about everything you might need. Said another way, today's expensive cameras may not be necessary if you can achieve your results with far less expensive used gear.
2/7/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1799 - Why Beauty?

HT1799 - Why Beauty? Photo Karma. You don't make the world a better place by perpetuating ugliness. Understanding is a kind of beauty. Beauty is not the same as pretty.
2/6/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1798 - A Flourish, a Dash of Spice, a Jot of Sparkle

HT1798 - A Flourish, a Dash of Spice, a Jot of Sparkle For decades now, the presentation of a photograph in the fine art world has been codified to the white, bevel-cut mat board. Is that the limit of our creativity? Would it be awful if we were to jazz up the presentation of our photographs to something more exotic? All 1790+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
2/5/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1387 - You're Dead, Now What?

LW1387 - You're Dead, Now What? Sorry to say that all of us are mortal. Have you given any thought to what you are leaving behind as your lifetime of photographic output? Who will deal with all of it? Not a fun topic, but a necessary one, unless, that is, you have a foolproof plan for immortality. If so, please share it with the rest of us. Thanks. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/5/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1797 - Artificial Motivations

HT1797 - Artificial Motivations The world of photography includes a lot of artificial motivations to produce our work. Contests, deadlines, club meetings, workshops, and review sessions come to mind. These are good, and they are not so good. Here's my experience with artificial motivations. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
2/4/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1796 - Defining Your Personal Standard of Excellence

HT1796 - Defining Your Personal Standard of Excellence We each produce our work to our own personal standards of excellence. Do you know what yours is? As an exercise, can you write down 10 qualities of a photograph that define your standard of excellence?
2/3/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1795 - The Humility of Photography

HT1795 - The Humility of Photography Yesterday I was talking about the arrogance of photography, but the opposite side of that coin is its inherent humility, particularly if we follow the advice of Anais Nin to "not speak unless spoken through."
2/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1794 - The Arrogance of Photography

HT1794 - The Arrogance of Photography Have you ever stopped to think how arrogant photographers are? Essentially, the fundamental act of sharing our photographs is the assertion that the viewer should see the world the way we do! Our photographs assert that our vision is somehow more sensitive, skilled, informative, or aesthetically pleasing, than the viewer's natural vision. But is any of that true, or is it just a presumptuous game?
2/1/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1793 - The Single Copy

HT1793 - The Single Copy Photography is, as we all know, infinitely reproducible, at least in theory. More frequently, we produce a single copy of an image or a small project. Those single copies are both special and, in the long run, incredibly fragile, even risky. Their chance of survival is pretty slim. Assuming it is important for our work to survive, what should we do about this?
1/31/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1792 - WWMWT - What Would Minor White Think?

HT1792 - WWMWT - What Would Minor White Think? Minor White famously said, "Don't just photograph what it is, photograph what else it is." I don't think he meant just turning up the volume. I wonder how he would react to today's common approach of photographing not just what it is, but photographing the hyper-real version of what it should be in our imagination? Viewing a photograph is like striking flint on steel. The spark may be tiny, but from that spark can grow a bonfire. I don't want to place words into Minor White's mouth, but I think he meant that the photograph was the spark and the viewer's reaction might be the bonfire.
1/30/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1386 - Photography Is Not About Photography

LW1386 - Photography Is Not About Photography A novel is not about the process of novel writing. A poem is not about language and rhyme. Music is not about the manipulation of an instrument. All arts, including photography, are about something else, about life, about emotions and feelings, about thoughts and impressions, about our responses to life. We use tools to create our responses in a particular medium, but ultimately it's not about the tools nor the medium. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/29/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1791 - Artists Need Money

HT1791 - Artists Need Money Photography is an expensive pursuit. Where does the funding come from? For almost all of us, it never comes from the sale of our artwork. It's too bad there doesn't exist some funding mechanism for artists outside of the normal buy and sell commerce paradigm. This is an issue that is routinely ignored in photography schools and workshop programs. That said, it will be worth your time to consider this thorny issue because it will be one that haunts you for the rest of your photographic life. All 1790+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
1/29/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1790 - Borders Are Tricky

HT1790 - Borders Are Tricky Every picture has a border that surrounds it. That border can be a thin key line or a massive field in which the image floats like a canoe in the ocean. What determines the size of the border? That is an aesthetic decision. Who determines the size of the border is a more important decision. Because the viewing experience will unavoidably include the aesthetics of the border, you should be the one who explores the possibilities and makes the final decision. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/28/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1789 - déjà vu All Over Again

HT1789 - déjà vu All Over Again I just listened to a long podcast in which the speaker was rejecting AI and even advanced content-aware fill and deletion as somehow corrupting the true nature of photography. He proposed that we need a line of demarcation between "pure seeing" and "photo-like painting." Didn't we already have these discussions when digital photography threatened analog photography? Must we really have debates of these obscure concepts?
1/27/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1788 - Yesterday's Limitations Are Gone

HT1788 - Yesterday's Limitations Are Gone There was quite a bit of criticism 15 years ago when some of us chose the micro 4/3 platform for our gear. The drawbacks — reiterated over and over by the photo press and competing manufacturers — was that m4/3 images were noisy, low resolution, and could not achieve shallow depth of field. That was all true enough back then, but here in 2024 we have Enhanced Denoise, Super resolution, and the new Lens Blur tool, all a click away in Lightroom and Photoshop.
1/26/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1787 - Read the Damned Manual

HT1787 - Read the Damned Manual I've been frustrated with a silly problem with my picture taking that I can seem to resolve to my satisfaction. I've tried several solutions, but always been disappointed with the inconsistent results. With a sense of desperation, I decided to see if there might be a solution in the instruction manual that came with the camera. Yup, there it was, a simple setting that completely resolved the issue. I am cringing now to think of all the images that failed because I was too lazy to read the manual.
1/25/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1786 - Sophistication Needs a Docent

HT1786 - Sophistication Needs a Docent With every passing decade — no, with every passing year — our culture, our technology, and our lives are becoming more sophisticated. Now more than ever, we need a docent to help our viewers to understand our artwork and the context from which it springs. Either that, or we have to dumb down our art to a sort of lowest common denominator of preparedness.
1/24/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1785 - The Best Camera Ever

HT1785 - The Best Camera Ever Of the 230 images we published in Light, Glorious Light 2023, 167 had metadata that identified the camera used. Of those 167 images, there were 103 different camera model numbers. The most used camera was the Canon 5D Mk III which was used to make 12 of the images we published. A whopping 90 of the cameras used were represented by 1 image only! What's the best camera ever? Answer: The one you own and use.
1/23/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1385 - One of One

LW1385 - One of One Although many artists seem to want to deny it, I find no reason whatsoever that art should not obey the economic laws of supply and demand. The reality of our photography is that we have infinite capacity to supply, based on the fact that photography is infinitely reproducible. Also, there is almost zero demand. We could make the decision to limit our additions to one of one, but that would require the courage of our convictions All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/22/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1784 - The Popularity Contest

HT1784 - The Popularity Contest I know how to become a much more popular photographer. It's simple; produce work that most people want. There are three paths that almost guarantee your work will be popular. Nudes, pretty landscapes, pictures of celebrities. Which explains why I will never be a famous photographer. All 1770+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
1/22/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1783 - The Goal of Exposure

HT1783 - The Goal of Exposure Like so many of you, my fundamental philosophy about exposure and development was derived from those wonderful Ansel Adams books on the technologies of the wet dark room. His key idea was that the purpose of exposure and development was to create the best negatives for printing. That's still is the foundation of digital exposure, but the approach is completely different. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/21/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1782 - The Peers in Your Neighborhood

HT1782 - The Peers in Your Neighborhood Having a peer group in a pursuit like fine are photography is a valuable way to get feedback and to learn how others see your work. Zoom meetings can be a good way to connect with others who are serious about photography like you are. In-person meetings offer more, particularly when it comes to looking at prints and other hand-made expressions like chapbooks or folios. Finding peers, now that is another challenge.
1/20/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1781 - Art by the Square Inch

HT1781 - Art by the Square Inch One final thought about giant prints. Is it fair to say that a lot of photographers who are engaged in making giant prints are doing so for commercial reasons? The bigger the print, the higher the price! Doesn't that seem to equate value and size in a silly relationship. Are longer novels better and more valuable than shorter ones? What about music? Does the length of a piece of music have any relation to its quality or value? Painting, sculpture, poetry? Perhaps the only example that immediately occurs to me are Subway sandwiches. A 12-foot party sandwich sells for more than a regular 6-incher. But I'm not sure I like the equivalence of deli sandwiches and my fine art photography.
1/19/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1780 - Giant Prints

HT1780 - Giant Prints For this discussion, I'm going to define a giant print as larger than 17x22". How many of you have made a giant print? Even one, in your life? I did so, just for the challenge and learning curve of making a giant print. I'm glad I did it. I'm even more glad to learn that I don't ever need to do that again. But, at least I know I can if the urge ever pops up again.
1/18/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1779 - Megapixel Madness

HT1779 - Megapixel Madness Fewer and fewer people are making large prints (that require high megapixel counts), yet the camera manufacturers keep pushing higher and higher megapixel cameras. Conversely, more and more people are showing their images via screen devices that typically require no more than 2-4 megapixel images, but are using high megapixel cameras. What's going on here?
1/17/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1778 - Art As an Investment

HT1778 - Art As an Investment Value is a convention of agreement. When the Baby Boom Generation was massive and there were a large number of people who were collecting fine art photographs, perhaps there were enough people who agreed in the value of a photograph to make it seem like a worthwhile investment. Now that so many Baby Boomers are downsizing and divesting their precious photograph collections, there is downward pressure on prices. Sorry to say it, but I'm seeing lots of photographers who are coming to terms with the truth that their collections aren't worth what they thought.
1/16/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1777 - Acorns and Oaks

HT1777 - Acorns and Oaks It's amazing how the beginning of a giant oak is completely contained within the acorn. I often think of this analogy when I'm stewing about a photography project. Within the acorn of an image their lies the future project. Those acorns, however, require some nurturing, some thought, so maturing, some time. The oak never appears from nothing, fully grown. Neither does the photographic project. Not every acorn grows into an oak, but every oak comes from an acorn. All 1770+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
1/15/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1384 - The Big, Exciting, Oppressive Project

LW1384 - The Big, Exciting, Oppressive Project One of my pet peeves is when I learn from a mistake, forget the lesson, and then make the same mistakes all over again. This is precisely what I have done in the last year or so that I'm now regretting. Lost opportunities are sometimes lost forever. And it was such a dumb mistake! If I had just remembered this simple advice, who knows what I may have accomplished instead of wallowing in an easily resolvable problems. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/15/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1776 - Visual Conventions

HT1776 - Visual Conventions There are conventions in photography that influence what and how we produce our images. For example, it's a convention in photography that images representing dreams are soft focus and often have a heavy corner vignette. Images of pristine nature have crystal clear air and tack sharp details. Are these conventions inviolable, or is there a way to avoid conventions and still make a comprehensible image? I think of M. C. Escher and his images that blur the line between the subject and the background. Or Duane Michals who writes on his images with abandon. Breaking conventions is a great way to expand creative boundaries. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/14/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1775 - Yesterday's News, Lifespan of a Book, Part 2

HT1775 - Yesterday's News, Lifespan of a Book, Part 2 Concluding thoughts on the lifespan of a book.
1/13/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1774 - Yesterday's News, Lifespan of a Book

HT1774 - Yesterday's News, Lifespan of a Book One of the dominant reasons for wanting to do a book of your photographs is to preserve them for the future. Let me ask a pragmatic question: when was the last time you purchased or looked at a photography book that was published 30 or 50 years ago? This question becomes even more revealing if we eliminate the photographic masters. Will your book actually preserve your images?
1/12/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1773 - Look At This

HT1773 - Look At This In LensWork #94, we published an article I wrote titled, Look at This. The fundamental idea is that every time we exhibit a picture we are essentially saying to our audience, "Stop what you are doing and take a look at this!" Having done so, the audience expects to find something - - something important, something significant, something worth their time. As artists, part of our responsibility is to be sure there is something important, significant, worthy of their time, or at least memorable. If there isn't, they will feel they have wasted those precious moments from their life.
1/11/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1772 - Parkinson's Law and Your Photography

HT1772 - Parkinson's Law and Your Photography When the walls are full, the drive to produce diminishes. If you don't think I'm right about this, might I propose that you give away every single one of your matted and framed photographs and then live with those blank walls for a few weeks.
1/10/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1771 - YouTuber Photographs

HT1771 - YouTuber Photographs For obvious reasons I won't divulge names, but have you noticed how so many YouTube photo experts rarely show their own photographs, haven't updated their web pages for years, or in general don't appear to be people who actually produce photographs? However, they sure do have lots of opinions about equipment!
1/9/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1383 - The Art of the Container

LW1383 - The Art of the Container A project needs an enclosure. For years I've tried making these myself, all in custom designs. I realized, how, that there is a whole industry about boxes and various enclosures that we can use without having to make them ourselves. I started doing some research on Amazon.com and so far I've come up with a couple dozen different boxes that could be used to house a collection of prints. Not just paper and heavy board, but also bamboo, pine, myrtle wood, acacia wood, tin boxes. From 4x6 to 9x12 and some that could be very interesting for panorama projects that are 4x9" and even narrower. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/8/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1770 - Your Other Hobby

HT1770 - Your Other Hobby I ran through a list of all the photographers I know, and every one of them has a secondary hobby. They're creativity does not extend only to the camera. They may write poetry, dabble in paint, play a musical instrument, excel at cooking, or throw the occasional pot. Creativity is a habit of mind, not limited to one medium. All 1770+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
1/8/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1769 - Photographic Literacy and Media

HT1769 - Photographic Literacy and Media As we continue to observe a generational difference in the consumption of photography, I wonder if that's affecting photographic literacy? That is to say, if someone primarily knows photography through the internet, do they have a different understanding of photographic literacy than those of us who grew up in the golden age of books? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/7/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1768 - Photographic Literacy

HT1768 - Photographic Literacy If I describe a friend as being highly literate, what would that mean to you? Does it mean that they know how to read? Or does it mean they are widely read across multiple genres of literature? Or does it mean they know a particular kind of literature with incredible depth. So what does it mean to be photographically literate?
1/6/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1767 - About DPI

HT1767 - About DPI I received an email asking about submitting images to us for publication. We ask for images that are not less than 3400 pixels on the long side. The author wanted to know how many DPI the images should be. I'm asked this question from time to time and it always exhibits certain confusion about the relationship between pixel dimensions and DPI. I'll try to clarify it in this commentary.
1/5/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1766 - Excuses for Becoming a Photographer

HT1766 - Excuses for Becoming a Photographer I know ever so many photographers who say they picked up the camera because they can't draw decent stick figures. I'm not sure that's true. How would our inability to draw improve if we put as much effort into it as we do photography? Furthermore, is the craft of any medium the central core of being an artist?
1/4/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1765 - Aspects of Photography I Detest

HT1765 - Aspects of Photography I Detest This topic is one that was suggested by a listener. I was fascinated by the question. Try as I might, I couldn't come up with a single part of the process in which I find no joy of one kind or another. I even enjoy throwing the crappy prints into the trash. On second thought, there is one aspect I'm not fond of at all.
1/3/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1764 - Motivations to Photograph

HT1764 - Motivations to Photograph "It's a beautiful building. You should photograph it," she said. In those 8 words, she encapsulated the misunderstanding of photography as an art medium. I cannot think of a better example of the mischaracterization of "camera as Xerox copy machine" rather than a tool for artistic expression.
1/2/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1382 - Something Physical, Something Lovely

LW1382 - Something Physical, Something Lovely I'm all in favor of the internet as a means of sharing our photographic images with the world. I'm also, and perhaps even more so, a fan of the physicality of photography. There is a different appreciation for an image when it's physically preserved as something lovely, something special. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
1/1/202412 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1763 - Just How Many Ansel Adams Photographs

HT1763 - Just How Many Ansel Adams Photographs Ansel Adams is undoubtedly the most famous and recognized photographer in history. How many of his images can you bring to mind? Seriously, make a list of the images you can recall from memory without looking at his books or the web. All 1760+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
1/1/20242 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1762 - The Ignored Ones

HT1762 - The Ignored Ones I have about a thousand photography books in my library which probably contain an average of 150 images. There are, no doubt, tens of thousands of images that I have only glanced at and then ignored. As I've recently been thinking about this, I've gone back and looked at some of those ignored images. I've been pleasantly surprised how many of them are far better than I originally thought. It's not that they were unworthy of being published, but rather that I was not prepared to understand them. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/31/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1761 - Purchased, But Not Consumed

HT1761 - Purchased, But Not Consumed For years, I've felt a little guilty about all the books I've purchased but never read. I've recently become aware of the fact that I'm not unusual in this regard. I have about 3,500 books in my library, a lifetime of collecting. I'm often asked if I've read all of them. I have to confess that I haven't, but I have read in all of them.
12/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1760 - Close Is Worse Than a Miss

HT1760 - Close Is Worse Than a Miss When you want to use, for example, a "Dutch angle" that tilts the horizon, you will be far better off to tilt the horizon substantially. If you tilt it just a bit, it's much more likely that viewers will think it's a mistake rather than a conscious compositional decision. Close, but a miss, will always be easily interpreted as a mistake.
12/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1759 - Abandoned Places

HT1759 - Abandoned Places For reasons I'm not sure I understand, lots of photographers seem to be fascinated with photographing abandoned places. We see lots of submissions of abandoned farmhouses, all kinds of factories, barns, and amusement parks! Sometimes these projects are fantastic, but more frequently they might be characterized as explorations of "crumbling architecture." The architecture is usually a lot less interesting than the stories of people and older times that these abandoned buildings can portray.
12/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1758 - Empty Magnification

HT1758 - Empty Magnification In microscopy, there is a term/concept that is useful for us photographers. The term "empty magnification" means making an image larger without revealing any additional data or detail. The same thing happens when we push and enlargement too far, we make the photograph larger without providing any additional information.
12/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1757 - Seek What They Sought

HT1757 - Seek What They Sought Some 2,600 years ago, the Chinese sage Lao Tzu advised us, "Do not seek the wise men of old. Seek what they sought." I can't help but think that he was speaking directly to us photographers here in the 21st century. Instead of chasing the Yosemite of Ansel Adams, the Point Lobos of Edward Weston, or the New York of André Kertéz, perhaps we should look beyond their work to the deeper beauty, honesty, and introspection they were trying so diligently to capture in their photographs.
12/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1381 - Not Subject-based

LW1381 - Not Subject-based Far and away, the most common basis for a multi-image project is a subject-based project. Well over 85% of the submissions we received are subject-based, of which a subcategory is location-based projects. Perhaps that is the very reason to push ourselves to think in other terms for the basis of a project. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/25/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1756 - Frozen Movement

HT1756 - Frozen Movement Photography's great strength is that it can freeze a moment in time. Photography's Achilles heel is that it freezes a moment in time. The best photographs are those that freeze movement in time, rather than a moment. After all, life is movement. There is a world of difference between a pose in a photograph and a gesture arrested in a photograph. All 1750+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
12/25/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1755 - After Your Initial Ideas Are Exhausted

HT1755 - After Your Initial Ideas Are Exhausted There is a very typical pattern that repeats in the creative life. We find something we're interested in and we photograph it intensely. Eventually we run out of ideas and stop. It's then that the real challenge of being an artist begins and where we will find the greatest rewards. Pushing beyond our own limits is the creative life. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1754 - Custom 1 and Custom 2

HT1754 - Custom 1 and Custom 2 I rely heavily on the custom programming I can predetermine and save for the mode button on my camera. My settings may not be ideal for your photography, but they might provide examples of why you should take the time to create your own custom configurations. Employ the powerful capabilities of multiple custom settings that will configure your complex camera for your most common shooting scenarios.
12/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1753 - Micro Shadows

HT1753 - Micro Shadows About a week after you begin photography seriously, you will undoubtedly run across the idea of the "golden hour." As a black and white photographer in my youth, the "golden" part of golden hour never made sense to me. However, the incredible detail that is revealed by angular light made the golden hour special even in black and white. The term I prefer is "micro shadows."
12/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1752 - One in a Trillion

HT1752 - One in a Trillion Yesterday I made a photograph. There were a trillion other photographs made yesterday, too. Why is mine so special?
12/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1751 - Daily Projects

HT1751 - Daily Projects Nothing jump-starts momentum like a designed project with a regular schedule. Commit to X number of days and stick to it. Not only will you finish a fun project, but you will find your curiosity ramps up, seeds will be planted, and your creative vision will sharpen.
12/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1750 - Tripods and Creativity

HT1750 - Tripods and Creativity The obvious purpose for using a tripod is to hold the camera stable for sharper pictures. That could be the least important reason to use a tripod.
12/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1748 - Exactly What Is Too Easy?

HT1748 - Exactly What Is Too Easy? Last week I was asking the question about whether or not photography has become too easy. I should have been more explicit. The craft aspects of photography have become easier and success is more assured, but the art aspect of photography is as difficult or more so than it has ever been. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1747 - Bilateral Asymmetry

HT1747 - Bilateral Asymmetry Nature teaches us a very interesting lesson that's applicable to photographic composition. The world is roughly bilaterally symmetric, but never bilaterally identical. Harmony and difference go together.
12/16/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1746 - The Sharpest Aperture

HT1746 - The Sharpest Aperture Early on in my photographic career, I read that each lens has a sharpest aperture. Being a skeptic at heart, I decided to see if this was actually true. It is, and that has led to a lifelong obsession with testing.
12/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1745 - I Miss Oliver

HT1745 - I Miss Oliver A very large part of the reasons I'm so passionate about photography are the people I've met and been fortunate enough to know. Perhaps the individual I miss the most is the late Oliver Gagliani. He was, without a doubt, the closest example I ever experienced to a pure artist.
12/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1744 - 10,000 Tidbits

HT1744 - 10,000 Tidbits My approach to learning photography has been somewhat undisciplined. I never went to photography school or studied formally within any educational institution. Instead, my method has been based on the adage of 10,000 tidbits of information, 10,000 hours of practice, and 10,000 failures to learn from.
12/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1743 - The Creative Format

HT1743 - The Creative Format Most cameras these days record images with an aspect ratio of 3 to 2. It's always amused me that, therefore, most images I see are in that same aspect ratio. Why? Exploring alternatives, like square images, round images, trapezoidal images, etc. Is a fun and productive way to introduce new vision when you feel yourself becoming a bit creatively stale.
12/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1379 - Windows and Artifacts

LW1379 - Windows and Artifacts When you look at a photograph, there is an underlying and unstated context that thoroughly influences how we see. A photograph can be an artifact, a physical thing that we appreciate as a work of art, as an "art-i-fact." But there is another context that can completely change the way we interpret what meets our eye. Particularly for photographs that are matted, framed and hanging on a wall, the viewing experience can be more like looking through a window. These two pretexts are as different as different can be. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/11/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1742 - The 21st Century Challenges

HT1742 - The 21st Century Challenges Has photography become too easy? Where is the challenge of photography here deep in the digital age? For many, the most serious challenge is not creativity, but money. Money for cameras, money for printers and ink, money for travel, money for matting and framing, money for a website or for publishing a book. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1380 - Art and Your Deeper Selfs

LW1380 - Art and Your Deeper Self Like most of you, my initial attraction to photography was the fun and challenging pursuit of making a nice picture. Most of us know, however, that our interest in photography is more than just the pursuit of a pretty picture. I've noticed a universal transition from "pretty pictures" to "personally significant pictures." What is that about? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/11/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1741 - Limitations of Our Nervous System

HT1741 - Limitations of Our Nervous System Hawks have better eyesight than we humans do. Does that mean they have a better understanding of our photographs because they see more detail than we do? As I age, I've had to come to terms with the limitations of my eyesight and that leaves me an ever greater opportunity to deepen my artistic sensitivities. All 1700+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
12/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1740 - The Future of Books, Part 2

HT1740 - The Future of Books, Part 2 In addition to the commercial challenges of books, there is also a creative aspect of books that foretell a future problem. Photography books tend to be either a collection of unrelated work, that is a catalog of a photographer's best images, or a book contains a large scale project that requires considerable time to produce and consume. Here in the age of the "quick cut," I find fewer and fewer people are willing to devote time to such lengthy enterprises as reading a book.
12/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1739 - The Future of Books

HT1739 - The Future of Books I worry about the future of books, especially art books for photography. The reason is that books are first and foremost a commercial product, not an artistic one. It's expensive to produce a book, and if there's no market for it, there's no reason to produce it. And then there is the discouraging problem of distribution.
12/8/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1738 - 62 in Four Days

HT1738 - 62 in Four Days The totals are in from my recent trip to Acadia. Four days of photography have resulted in 62 images I would be proud to exhibit or publish. I can't help but think this is ridiculous. Has photography become too easy?
12/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1737 - Theory and Practice

HT1730 - The Edge of Change The ultimate criteria for a technique or even a piece of gear is: DOES IT WORK. It makes no difference if it should work, theoretically. The only thing that counts is real world results.
12/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1736 - Remembering Your Memories

HT1736 - Remembering Your Memories The photographs you produce are a capturing of your memories. To the rest of us, your photographs are a new and unique experience. As photograph makers, we need to take this fundamental difference in mind.
12/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1378 - Remind Us, Show Us, Reveal to Us

LW1378 - Remind Us, Show Us, Reveal to Us In the broadest possible overview, photography does one of three things. It either reminds us of something, it shows us something we cannot see for ourselves, or it reveals to us some truth previously unknown. I've often found it useful to think about this as I work an image or a project. What do I want this image or project to accomplish? Does it work as a reminder, a window, or a revelation? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/4/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1735 - Color As a Component of Composition

HT1735 - Color As a Component of Composition As a long time black-and-white photographer, like so many I've made the transition to photographing in color here in the digital age. One thing I'm still struggling with is the idea of using color as part of the composition. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
12/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1734 - Options or Distractions

HT1734 - Options or Distractions We now have more options to choose from than we could ever have predicted. But all these options are both a blessing and a potential distraction. It is so easy to get mired in the options that we lose sight of the goals we originally set out to accomplish. All 1700+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
12/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1733 - Tips and Tricks

HT1733 - Tips and Tricks A sizable percentage of photographic education (especially on the internet) is of the variety known as "tips and tricks." I'm discouraged by this because I don't think the creation of art is based on a foundation of tricks. Rather than relying on tips and tricks, why not place our faith in discipline, hard work, sensitivity, experimentation, observation, patience, and effort. Leave the tips and tricks to the stage magicians.
12/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1732 - A State of Being

HT1732 - A State of Being I know that on the surface photography appears to be the making of an image. As a photographer, however, I've come to realize that doing photography is even more about achieving a certain state of being, a way of life, an engagement with the moment. The image is the point of termination, but it's not the goal.
12/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1731 - Making Do

HT1731 - Making Do Wouldn't it be lovely if we owned the perfect camera? Wouldn't it be lovely if we could command the weather at our will? Wouldn't it be lovely if the light was perfectly cooperative with our whim? But the reality of life is that things are never perfect. Art making is an attempt to create the perfect creative statement in the midst of an uncooperative world.
11/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1730 - The Edge of Change

HT1730 - The Edge of Change It's amazing how many photographic opportunities exist at the edge of change. Where the water meets the land, sunrise when the night turns today, when winter storms clear, when leaves fall, when it snows in the desert. Wherever there is change, look for photographic opportunities because they abound.
11/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1729 - Over Time

HT1729 - Over Time Photography is a powerful tool for showing us the evolution of something over time. Think of a simple project that shows us the same scene over four seasons. But these kinds of projects are always logistically easier if they are close to home, locations where we have easy access.
11/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1377 - Visual Confirmation, or Visual Revelation

LW1377 - Visual Confirmation, or Visual Revelation I believe there is a deep rooted limitation in the ubiquitous social media thumbs up or thumbs down. It is primarily used as a visual confirmation (thumbs up) that the photographer has faithfully produced what we expect them to produce, or (thumbs down) they have missed the mark. Such a rating system completely eliminates the idea of visual revelation. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/27/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1728 - Naming Is Not the Same As Knowing

HT1728 - Naming Is Not the Same As Knowing A few years ago I was out photographing with a nature enthusiast. Every time she set up the camera, she would tell me the name of the tree or plant she was photographing. I think I was supposed to feel informed by her identifications, but when I asked her to tell me more, she couldn't. She confused naming with knowing. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1727 - Prints, Books, Screens

HT1727 - Prints, Books, Screens For simplicity sake, I'll propose in this commentary that there are three basic ways we can view a photograph. Photographs can be expressed in a physical print, the commercially printed book or magazine, or some type of digital screen. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The question of the moment is, which is your favorite way of viewing photographic work? Why? Seriously, why? All 1700+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
11/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1725 - Another Example of Learning by Doing

HT1725 - Another Example of Learning by Doing Maureen used to refer herself as "Two Time Mo." She knew that anything she tried to do that I was new to her would require at least two attempts before she'd get it right. At least two. This reminds me of Tchaikovsky.
11/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1724 - Nuance the Message

HT1724 - Nuance the Message It's easy to misinterpret a single image. A project that includes a few images offers us the ability to surround the central idea with greater clarification. Just as a thesaurus provides us nuance in language, so a multiple image project provides us nuance in our visual medium.
11/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1723 - Answers

HT1723 - Answers Training courses, workshops, YouTube videos, how to books — they are all designed to give you answers. But do you really want answers? If photography becomes simply a matter of following instructions to a predetermined answer, doesn't it lose its power to be a meaningful artistic pursuit?
11/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1722 - Adding to the Pile

HT1722 - Adding to the Pile Is a Lightroom catalog of 200,000 images a better indicator of quality than 50,000 images? Does adding to the pile of images we already have mean that we've produced better artwork? Is artwork measured numerically or should we be striving towards some other, more sensitive goal?
11/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1376 - What I've Learned from Weston's Pepper #30

LW1376 - What I've Learned from Weston's Pepper #30 Edward Weston's image known as Pepper #30 is one of the most celebrated and iconic images in all of photography. Why? I was asked that by a LensWork reader. Attempting to answer her, here are some important lessons I've learned from this classic image. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/20/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1721 - The Photogenic

HT1721 - The Photogenic We've all had that moment when we look at something and think to ourselves how photogenic it is. What is it that makes something "photogenic"? Isn't this another way of saying that it will make a picture that looks like we expect it to look, that is, sort of a cliché? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1720 - Exact Duplicates

HT1720 - Exact Duplicates An unavoidable reality of digital printing is that we can make exact duplicates. This was practically impossible to do in the analog darkroom, so every print had its own unique characteristics. Collectors know this and choose carefully. But in the digital world? Do limited editions even make sense? All 1700+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
11/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1718 - Voice Command Shutters

HT1718 - Voice Command Shutters I just discovered a very cool feature on my smartphone. I can use my voice as the shutter release trigger. I simply say shoot, smile, cheese, or capture and it will take a picture without me having to press a button. This reduces a lot of handling fuss and camera movement. Why can't this feature be built into my DSLR camera?
11/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1717 - The Next Generation of Cameras

HT1717 - The Next Generation of Cameras I don't need more megapixels, but I could use an easier menu, built-in GPS, a larger screen, programmable shutter release stiffness, audible beep for out-of-focus images, in-camera metadata notes, and longer battery life.
11/16/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1716 - The Constant Pull of Diversions

HT1716 - The Constant Pull of Diversions Getting old is the process of learning what's important and letting go of the unimportant. Today's life is filled with 10,000 diversions all vying for our attention. Time is a precious commodity, and perhaps the most important strategy we can adopt is a vigilant resistance to the trivial.
11/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1715 - 100 Gifts

HT1715 - 100 Gifts I do photography for fun. I do it because I enjoy it. I do it because I'm motivated to share my life experiences with others. The more I can share, the happier I am. So why not engage a project to give away a hundred gifts just because I can, just because it's fun, just because it's rewarding to do so?
11/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1375 - The Standard Appearance

LW1375 - The Standard Appearance In light of the infinite choices of processing that are available to us, what is the objective of processing? What is the standard you use as the goal for your processing steps? Is the goal of processing to mimic human vision? Exaggerated human vision? Is it to reproduce your imagination? How do you choose what your objective for processing is? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/13/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1714 - Center Stage, or Supporting Actor

HT1714 - Center Stage, or Supporting Actor Photography so easily slides into the supporting role, a background player, the decor of the room, the illustrative/accompaniment of the all-important text. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1713 - Managing the Consumables

HT1713 - Managing the Consumables I don't worry anymore about running out of film, but I do worry about running out of space on my memory cards or battery power. So, I've stocked up on both. Never once have I needed to change my card in the field, but every time I'm out photographing I need to change batteries. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
11/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1719 - About Dates

HT1719 - About Dates It's a common practice to add the date to the title of a photograph. In fact, location and date have become the default for titling prints. But there are two dates that are equally important and I rarely see them both listed.
11/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1726 - Ranking Artwork

HT1726 - Ranking Artwork I will admit that sometimes I enjoy the absurdity of YouTube. An example was a video I watched the other day that purported to rank from best to worst the albums of Joni Mitchell. Against what criteria would such a project unfold? Is it remotely valuable, useful, or universal to rank artwork?
11/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1712 - Notes That Work

HT1712 - Notes That Work Images create thoughts and ideas. Thoughts and ideas can lead to projects, even if you don't have an image yet in mind. Note in our image's metadata can work, but it's cumbersome and not always available when the idea pops up. For years, I've used Microsoft OneNote for this purpose. Evernote is a powerful software, too. Regardless of what you use, capturing ideas, quotes, images, questions, and thoughts is an important part of the creative process.
11/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1711 - Ultra-Deep Depth of Field

HT1711 - Ultra-Deep Depth of Field Last weekend in Acadia, I was photographing floating leaves on a pond. To gain access, I was using a long telephoto lens which resulted in many images with insufficient depth of field. The ones that solved that problem were the focus blends and 100% of the images that I photographed with my ultra-wide lens.
11/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1710 - The 24 Megapixel Sweet Spot

HT1710 - The 24 Megapixel Sweet Spot Isn't it interesting how many new cameras are being announced in the 24 megapixel range? It's almost as if the industry has figured out that that's as much as most people will ever need. After all, 24 megapixels are enough to do a wonderful book, or a 16x20 print. And on those rare occasions when you need more there are a few workarounds like stitching and multi-exposure high resolution mode.
11/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1709 - Global Shutters

HT1709 - Global Shutters Contain yourselves. With the news of the new Sony a9 Mark 3 and its global shutter, we can all now take photographs at 120 frames per second. I have no doubt that the money behind research and development for this camera came chiefly from hard drive manufacturers.
11/8/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1708 - Sunday Morning Books

HT1708 - Sunday Morning Books For 30 years now, I've had a habit of setting aside time on Sunday morning for looking at art books. Most of those, of course, our photography books, but not always. It's time in which I can give my full attention to others creative expressions.
11/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1707 - Rachmaninoff In The Background

HT1707 - Rachmaninoff In The Background When I'm busy doing something else, like cooking dinner or reading the newspaper or even chatting with friends, it's nice to have music playing in the background. There are, however, certain types of music that don't work for this purpose, for example the piano concertos of Rachmaninoff. I have to listen to his music with concentration and single-focused intensity To play Rachmaninoff in the background as ambience seems disrespectful. I feel the same way about photography. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1374 - Telephones, Books, and the Future of Photography

LW1374 - Telephones, Books, and the Future of Photography I know this dates me, but I just can't get used to the idea of looking at photographs on my telephone. I'm more comfortable looking at photographs on my computer monitor, but even that's not ideal. That leaves books as my favorite way of seeing photographs, but what about all those photographs that aren't published? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
11/6/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1706 - The Eternal Battle of the Artist

HT1706 - The Eternal Battle of the Artist For as long as there has been art, there has been the battle waged by the artist to cajole recalcitrant materials to conform to the artist's vision. This requires effort, talent, sometimes a gift from God. What happens when a means of production is developed that completely eliminates this contest, when the artist (or photographer) can easily produce whatever they can imagine? Aren't we getting dangerously close to that in photography with the pixel level control of digital workflows? All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
11/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1705 - Captions Not Allowed

HT1705 - Captions Not Allowed If I were to pick at random one of your photographs, I'll bet you could tell me an associated story that expands my appreciation of your image. Every photograph has a story. So why is it that photographs framed and displayed on the wall never have that story as a part of the artwork? When was the last time you saw a photograph that even had a title as a part of the artwork, let alone the full story?
11/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1704 - Out, Out Damned Ball Head

HT1704 - Out, Out Damned Ball Head In the course of my photographic life, I've probably owned 30 or more tripod ball heads. I love the concept, but I hate the drift. I'm going back to a geared head because I detest equipment that fights me.
11/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1703 - Advice on Where to Photograph

HT1703 - Advice on Where to Photograph It's amazing how many times I will be given advice on where to photograph by a well-meaning friend or relative. If I'm advised to go left, I've always found better photographs by going right. My advice is to always ignore advice and instead follow your internal spidey sense.
11/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1702 - It Will Be Better Next Week

HT1702 - It Will Be Better Next Week I'm recording this in late October of 2023, my first fall in The Northeast. For the last month, I've heard all the locals claim that the color in the fall leaves will be more intense next week. Come to think of it, I've heard about the virtues of "next week" my entire photographic life.
11/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1701 - Going Through the Motions

HT1701 - Going Through the Motions Sometimes, I just don't feel it. I'm there with my camera, the subject is lovely, the light is gorgeous, and I've got nothing. My inclination is to not photograph, but doing so anyway is a great way to break the momentum of ennui.
10/31/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1700 - A Simple Habit That Saves Hours

HT1700 - A Simple Habit That Saves Hours I can't seem to change lenses in the field without getting some dust on the sensor that ends up being those big ugly blobs in the sky. A simple habit has saved me hours of spotting out those dust spot blobs. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1699 - The One That Sparks an Idea

HT1699 - The One That Sparks an Idea With some frequency, I have an image that haunts my imagination. It's often an odd duck, with no other images in my Lightroom catalog that are similar to it. But somehow this lone image sparks an idea that grows into a much larger project. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
10/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1698 - Take Your Time

HT1698 - Take Your Time Perhaps this is more about me than anything like a general principle, but I just can't hurry when I'm making art. Hurried art is messy art. I have to allow time or I just end up disappointed.
10/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1697 - Bootscreen Brainwashing

HT1697 - Bootscreen Brainwashing Every morning I boot up my Windows 11 laptop and am greeted with a beautiful photogenic scene from somewhere in the world. Every damned day. Is this what people think of when they think of fine art photography? Certainly artistic photography is more than saturated colors and idyllic landscapes.
10/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1696 - Increase the Flaws

HT1696 - Increase the Flaws William Blake said , "The fool who persists in his folly will eventually become wise." Can we apply this to our mistakes? The new Lens Blur tool in Lightroom is an example.
10/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1695 - Avoiding the Seduction to Catalog

HT1695 - Avoiding the Seduction to Catalog Whenever I find myself in a location that offers lots of different compositions, a rut that I easily fall into is what I characterize as "cataloging." This invariably leads to a shallow collection of repetitive images.
10/25/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1694 - Even Winners Produce Losers

HT1694 - Even Winners Produce Losers Can we all agree that not every Ansel Adams, or Edward Weston, or Wynn Bullock image is a winner? Sometimes even the great photographers would produce a questionable image. When I produce crap, I find it comforting to remember that.
10/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1371 - The New World Challenge of Volume

LW1372 - Apprenticeship There are two ways to learn - - organized cramming (like in school) or an apprenticeship, where you learn by absorbing wisdom over time. Organized cramming is great for things like math, engineering, grammar, or science. Apprenticeship learning is best for the arts — things like furniture making, cooking, and photography. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/23/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1693 - Previsualizing the Finished Size

HT1693 - Previsualizing the Finished Size I stopped using the Ansel Adams idea of "previsualization" years ago. His idea was to mentally predict the tones you want before you expose the film. The next step was to develop the negative to achieve those tones. As far as I know, Adams never discussed previsualization relative to print size. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1373 - Gershwin in the Age of Hip Hop

LW1373 - Gershwin in the Age of Hip Hop I love big band music. I don't love hip hop music. Similarly, I love classic landscapes of the 20th century, but I'm not crazy about New Topographics or socially aware photography that is all the rage today. By definition, that puts me out of touch with so much of contemporary photography. As I get older, I'm having a harder and harder time determining whether or not I am an old fuddy-duddy or a preserver of historic values. What should be our response to artwork we don't like? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/23/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1692 - A Few Thoughts About Metadata

HT1692 - A Few Thoughts About Metadata Believe it or not, 70% of the entries to this year's Light, Glorious Light book project arrived without the photographer's copyright information in the metadata of the file. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
10/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1691 - Small Prints

HT1691 - Small Prints There is a substantial difference between looking at a large print and looking at a small print. Sometimes it's best to make an image small so that it can be visually digested in a single gulp. My long-standing love affair with the 2¼ x 3¼ contact print.
10/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1690 - You Will Fail

HT1690 - You Will Fail Ah, those fickle beholders. They just can't be pleased all of the time. There will always be people who don't like any image you create. It is part of the process. The issue is not will you fail, but how you handle that failure that counts.
10/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1689 - Judging Our Own Work

HT1689 - Judging Our Own Work To paraphrase Charles Dickens, we are the best judge of our own work, we are the worst judge of our own work.
10/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1688 - Ready at the Drop of a Hat

HT1688 - Ready at the Drop of a Hat What would you do if a gallery called today and asked if you could exhibit your work this weekend? Would you be ready to accept such an invitation? Do you have work ready to go at the drop of a hat? If not, might this be something to consider in a world where opportunity meets preparation?
10/18/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1687 - Photography Is More About Editing Than It Is About Photographing

HT1687 - Photography Is More About Editing Than It Is About Photographing Clicking the shutter is easy. If that was all it took, we'd all be Master photographers. The hardest part of making our artwork is what follows, after we click the shutter. I think of editing as the completion of the process that follows the exposure — image selection, processing, sequencing, and final presentation.
10/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1371 - The New World Challenge of Volume

LW1371 - The New World Challenge of Volume Compared to previous generations of photographers, we have it so easy. We can produce dozens, even hundreds of wonderful images with speed and ease that would astound 20th century photographers. What are the implications of this? First is that the gorgeous, beautiful image is no longer a rarity. Also, we can photograph a project of images in a few days. The implications of this volume of productivity are not yet clear, but we can predict that the changes will be profound. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/16/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1685 - KeyIines, Drop Shadows, and Over-printing

HT1685 - KeyIines, Drop Shadows, and Over-printing With digital processing, photography is creeping closer and closer to graphic design. For example, we can now easily modify our photographs to include keylines, drop shadows, and printed textures. For some, this may seem like photographic blasphemy, but for others it opens a new world for us too creatively express ourselves. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
10/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1684 - What Our Print Borders Communicate

HT1684 - What Our Print Borders Communicate I've been around photography long enough to realize that how we treat the border of our photographs is a fashion that changes over time. For example, when I see a scalloped border with a month and year date in it, I know it was printed in the 1960s, probably by a drugstore. But that's just the beginning of what we learned from the borders of a photograph.
10/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1683 - The Myth of the Photograph Collector

HT1676 - For Ever, and Ever, and Ever Finding the Atmospheric Relationship
10/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1682 - The Root Deception in Photography

HT1682 - The Root Deception in Photography Every human-made photographic image is composed of dots. The world is not.
10/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1681 - Defining the Audience for your Work

HT1681 - Defining the Audience for your Work Whether you are conscious of it or not, you make your work for someone. It might be for yourself, for the elite audience of fellow photographers and collectors, for strangers on Instagram, for the general public, or for your friends and family. Knowing which audience is important to you is a critical step — and might very well change everything you do.
10/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1680 - Prioritizing the Flaws

HT1680 - Prioritizing the Flaws As the bumper sticker tells us, "Poo-poo occurs." But not all problems are equally problematic. If we can prioritize the flaws in our images and apply a ranking to them, that can help us determine which areas need our attention most urgently.
10/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1679 - Every Picture Has a Background

HT1679 - Every Picture Has a Background Finding subjects is relatively easy. Lots of things capture our attention. But every time we aim our camera at a subject, we also unconsciously aim it at a background. More often than not, I find it's the background that can ruin a photograph, although it rarely makes the photograph great. The best we can hope for is that the background does not compete with, distract from, or diminish the subject. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1370 - Collapsing Attention Spans

LW1370 - Collapsing Attention Spans I worry about the future of the still image. 100 years ago, the primary method to view photographs was to see original prints. 50 years ago we primarily saw photographs in books. Today we primarily see photographs on a fleeting web page. Attention spans would seem to be collapsing dramatically. Should we accept this as inevitable, or push to extend viewing times to something more historic? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/9/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1686 - Which Comes First

HT1686 - Which Comes First Does new technology inspire our creative ideas, or do our ideas demand that we pursue or learn a new technique? Is this just a chicken or egg scenario? Perhaps there is something deeper to this question that's worth thinking about. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1677 - Every 20 Minutes

HT1677 - Every 20 Minutes Let me propose an odd experiment that I first heard about from my friend AlIan Bruce Zee. It has to do with timed photography stops.
10/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1676 - For Ever, and Ever, and Ever

HT1676 - For Ever, and Ever, and Ever One of the ever-present themes in my early days of photography was the importance of archival processing. Now that I look back on it, I'm not sure I understand what's so important about making sure our work will be available to future generations. Will they really care? Or will they have contemporary art that will draw their attention?
10/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1675 - Kertész and the Self-portrait

HT1675 - Kertész and the Self-portrait In a very real sense, every image André Kertész made was a self-portrait of one kind or another. Very few of them include his physical appearance, but all of them reflect his psychological state of mind. In some small measure, isn't that the strategy for all our photographs, even our landscapes?
10/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1674 - Do Not Disturb, Artist at Work

HT1674 - Do Not Disturb, Artist at Work I've said for years that a camera is one of the best excuses for going out and exploring the world. Most people, when they see you pull out your tripod and your dark cloth, will be exceedingly courteous while you do your serious artwork. Announce you are gathering images for a book project, and strangers have set up crowd control so that I can do your work. Restores my faith in humanity.
10/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1673 - Your Photographic Checklist

HT1673 - Your Photographic Checklist People who are interested in birds will often keep a checklist record of the birds they've seen. I've known photographers like this, too. They'll keep a checklist of the images they need to have in their portfolio as some kind of indicator of their success as a photographer.
10/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1672 - Burst Mode

HT1672 - Burst Mode The most obvious reason to use Burst Mode is to capture the fleeting. It's useful for sports, animals, facial expressions, and for finding just the right moment in a sequence of events. But there are two other reasons to use Burst Mode that aren't so obvious. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1369 - Controlling How We View Photographs

LW1369 - Controlling How We View Photographs As an analog printmaker, I was in control of the size of my images. Every image had an ideal size. Here in the age of smartphones, tablets, laptops, and large computer monitors, I'm no longer the one who determines how big my images are. Except for prints. Maybe that's a reason to still make prints. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
10/2/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1671 - Title Cards, Part 2

HT1671 - Title Cards, Part 2 Yesterday, I was discussing whether or not the title card on the wall in the gallery is part of the artwork. There is one more aspect of this discussion that deserves our attention. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
10/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1678 - How Many Images

HT1678 - How Many Images One of the most frequent questions I'm asked is how many images should be included in a project? Is there a minimum? Is there a maximum? How do you know when there's too many or too few? All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
10/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1670 - Title Cards

HT1670 - Title Cards Is the title part of the artwork or is it separate from the artwork? The way most photographs are displayed in galleries, the title is on a card off to the side. It functions more like a part. My suspicion is that most photographers title their work because it's part of how they want their photograph to be seen and interpreted. Then why put the title on a card off to the side?
9/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1669 - Where, Oh Where

HT1669 - Where, Oh Where As I get older and look back on my photographic choices, I realize that it's far less important where I photograph than I've thought. Most of my best photographs and projects come from random locations rather than from careful planning.
9/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1668 - Learning from the Best

HT1668 - Learning from the Best I don't know a landscape photographer who isn't a fan of other landscape photographers. But if we consider ourselves image makers rather than exclusively photograph makers, why wouldn't we also study the landscape painters? Who is your favorite landscape painter? And if you don't have one, is that because you haven't taken the time to study the landscape painters and learn what you can from them?
9/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1667 - Camera Operators

HT1667 - Camera Operators The other day I received an email in which the writer took me to task for conflating the words photographer and artist. Therein lies an incredibly deep philosophical discussion about whether or not we are primarily camera operators or image makers. We are obviously both, but image making is the goal and camera operation is only the means.
9/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1666 - Fragility

HT1666 - Fragility The world must think that photographs are incredibly fragile. Why else would we entomb them behind glass when we frame them? We don't do that with paintings; we don't do that with watercolors, or etchings, or pen and ink drawings, not even when they are created by the Masters of the art world. So why do we think photographs are so fragile?
9/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1368 - Why Do You Want to Be Better?

LW1368 - Why Do You Want to Be Better? I haven't counted, but it seems as though there are 10,000 YouTube videos whose goal is to improve your photography. Have you stopped to consider why you think you need to improve your photography? And why is it that you think new camera techniques or compositional techniques will make your photographs better? What do you mean by "better?" Is it possible that the pursuit of better is merely a procrastination for not doing the work now? All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
9/25/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1665 - Pacing

HT1665 - Pacing The other night I watched a movie from the 1970s, my young adulthood. I thought it would never end, the movie, that is, not my young adulthood. The pacing in the movie was so slow by today's standards. Like it or not, life happens at a fast pace these days and that equally pertains to our multi-image photography projects.
9/25/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1664 - Photography As a Process

HT1664 - Photography As a Process We all assume that the purpose of our photography is to make prints, or at the very least digital images. But what if neither of those was the ultimate objective of being a photographer? What if we were to look at photography as a process we engage in that has no goal other than the activity of doing it? Somehow, I think our pictures would improve. All 1600+ episodes of Here's a Thought . . . are available in their entirety to members of LensWork Online, our extensive resource library of our 30-year publishing history. Learn more about LensWork Online.
9/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1663 - Been There, Done That

HT1663 - Been There, Done That Assuming the place won't change is not only a denial of reality, but leaves out half of the equation. Even though you've been there and done that, the you that you were back then is no longer the "you" you are now. The current you may have something new to see, feel, and photograph.
9/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1662 - Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Excrement

HT1662 - Some Days Are Diamonds, Some Days Are Excrement Earlier this year I had back-to-back days of photography and I finally had a chance to review those images. How could it possibly be that the first day was so terrific and rewarding and the second day, photographing in the same area, produced absolutely nothing of interest or value whatsoever?
9/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1661 - Signal to Noise Ratio

HT1661 - Signal to Noise Ratio The concept of signal to noise ratio is something we photographers are familiar with, particularly when it comes to our cameras and digital noise. This same concept can be applied to the content of our photographs (signal) compared to the craft of photography (noise).
9/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1660 - Money As the Deciding Factor

HT1660 - Money As the Deciding Factor I'm naturally resistant to the idea that excellence is a function of budget. When manufacture's marketing tells me I can improve my bird pictures by buying a $20,000 lens; when my landscape photography will be improved if I spend $30,000 on a medium format ultra-megapixel digital system; when workshop programs tell me I need to spend $15,000 for them to take me to an exotic photographable location, I just cringe — and rebel.
9/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1659 - Will It Make a Difference

HT1659 - Will It Make a Difference I've been looking at gear again this week because Panasonic has introduced an updated version of my beloved G9 camera. The G9 II has some substantial upgrades and is tempting. But for $1900 it had better have an impact on the images I make or that temptation evaporates.
9/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1651 - Glossy, Semi-gloss, and Matte

HT1658 - Out They Go I have a complete, pristine, and almost unused set of the Encyclopedia Britannica. What do I do with this in the age of Google? What about those shelves full of National Geographic magazines? What do I do with those in the age of Instagram? How long will it be before Facebook and Instagram are similarly obsolete and anachronistic? What about our photographs?
9/18/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1367 - The Other RGB

LW1367 - The Other RGB We photographers live in a world of RGB, but no I'm not thinking about red, green, and blue. As creative artists I prefer to think of RGB as Rethink, Gamble, Breathe. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
9/18/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1657 - Breathtaking

HT1657 - Breathtaking It seems that so much of photography today is intended to take our breath away. There is the "wow factor" that every photographer seems to pursue with unwavering effort. Why has that become the ultimate criteria for a successful fine art photograph?
9/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1656 - Print Quality vs Content Quality

HT1656 - Print Quality vs Content Quality As a publisher, perhaps I'm particularly aware of the incredible improvements in the quality of book printing in these last 50 years. That said, when I find an older book that really impresses me, I know it's image content is strong and overcomes whatever primitive printing was used. Content is, and always has been, king in spite of the emphasis by so many of today's manufacturers and photographers who place so much emphasis on print quality.
9/16/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1655 - The Photography Section in the Bookstore

HT1655 - The Photography Section in the Bookstore With very few exceptions, I find the photography section in bookstores is overwhelmingly populated by "how to" books. How come the Literature section in bookstores is not overrun with manuals on how to operate a typewriter or a word processor?
9/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1654 - Outdoor Photographer, RIP

HT1654 - Outdoor Photographer, RIP I was shocked the other day to learn that the magazine Outdoor Photographer has ceased publication and their website has been taken down. I never subscribed to that magazine, but I respected their contribution to the field of photography publishing. They had an impressive subscriber base of over 100,000 people, and you think that would be enough to keep them vital. Guess not.
9/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1653 - Display Copies, Another Thought

HT1653 - Display Copies, Another Thought From time to time, we all have an opportunity to show our work to friends or family, people who stop by the house, maybe it'll workshop. But the process of showing our work puts it at risk for damage or normal wear and tear. That's why a display copy is a good idea. I talked about this in Here's a Thought #002 in March 2019. But here's another use for display copies.
9/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1652 - That Moment When Autumn Arrives

HT1652 - That Moment When Autumn Arrives Every year, there is a memorable moment when I know that fall has arrived. It's a combination of the air, a stillness, a leaf falling, an undeniable shift in my thinking. For years I've tried to capture that moment in a photograph. Every year I fail, but I still keep trying.
9/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1366 - Structuring Our Creative Life

LW1366 - Structuring Our Creative Life I've really enjoyed my two and a half years traveling around the country in the trailer. I've done an awful lot of photography, that is, I've captured a lot of new images. In retrospect, I also have to admit to a structural flaw in my plans. There's been very little time for producing my artwork, and at this stage in life, that should be what I'm doing most aggressively. All previous episodes of our weekly podcast are available to members of LensWork Online. 30-day Trial Memberships are only $10. Instant access, terabytes of content, inspiration and ideas that expand daily with new content. Sign up for instant access! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online.
9/11/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1651 - Glossy, Semi-gloss, and Matte

HT1651 - Glossy, Semi-gloss, and Matte Surface characteristics of photo paper go through phases of popularity. In the '70s when I was cutting my teeth in photography, glossy surface ruled the roost, but it had to be the right glossy. Not that RC plastic glossy, but a beautiful F surface was preferred. Nowadays, matte papers seem to be the most popular, but we're also entering a phase where canvas and aluminum are gaining popularity. What does the surface texture of the paper contribute to the artwork?
9/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1650 - October in Maine

HT1650 - October in Maine I'm headed up to Maine next month for a couple of weeks of photography and I'm quite concerned about it. I'll be there during the peak explosion of fall color. But I don't want to make pictures of beautiful fall leaves, at least not like everyone else does. I know I will be seduced into doing so, but I'm really hoping to find my own response to that beautiful landscape.
9/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1649 - The Unsold Ones

HT1649 - The Unsold Ones It's always great to be asked to exhibit your work. Nothing is quite so motivating for productivity than a deadline. And if you're lucky, you might sell a print or two. But what will you do with the other 26 prints that don't sell? Where will you store them? Can you afford the expense of the unsold, framed inventory?
9/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1648 - Twenty Bucks Burning a Hole in Your Pocket

HT1648 - Twenty Bucks Burning a Hole in Your Pocket In Portland, Oregon there is a weekly event known as Saturday Market. It's mostly craft booths or street food and it's an awful lot of fun. Everyone goes there intending to spend a little money just because it's cheap entertainment. I learned a valuable lesson about this from my Chinese calligraphy teacher who, for years, had a booth at Saturday market.
9/8/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1647 - Brown, A Love-Hate Relationship

HT1647 - Brown, A Love-Hate Relationship Brown is such a lovely tone in a monochrome image, but it's also a bear to get right. I think it's because brown is made up of all colors mixed in exacting proportions. And this is where it becomes a challenge. Too much red in the brown can result in pink skies. Too much yellow in the brown and images can look muddy.
9/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1646 - Paper Properties

HT1646 - Paper Properties The most common physical medium for photographs is paper. I wonder why it is that the fundamental properties of paper are never used by photographers? Paper is a pliable material that might offer some interesting properties we could use creatively. For example, paper can be folded, crumpled, sewn, dyed, twisted, and torn.
9/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1645 - The Absent Photographer

HT1645 - The Absent Photographer I was looking at a coffee-table book of photographs of the Grand Canyon. There were all well-crafted, beautiful images. They were also completely devoid of any sense of a photographer whatsoever. The perfectly objective photographer is the absent photographer.
9/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1365 - In Praise of Used Bookstores

LW1365 - In Praise of Used Bookstores I love used book stores. I have nothing else to add. Just love them. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1295+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
9/4/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1644 - Once It Was Difficult

HT1644 - Once It Was Difficult Olivia Parker inspired us to explore the incredible complexities of split toning. I attended a week-long workshop to learn Jay Dusard's ferrocyanide bleaching technique. I don't even want to remember the hours I spent trying to master the concepts in Minor White's little yellow Zone System book. And now all of these can be accomplished with a single mouse click.
9/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1643 - Imitation Is Not the Sincerest Form of Teaching

HT1643 - Imitation Is Not the Sincerest Form of Teaching We know that imitation is a form of flattery, but when it comes to teaching art, imitation is not the goal. The purpose of a teacher or mentor or workshop instructor in art is to help the learner to make their own art.
9/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1642 - Art Stories

HT1642 - Art Stories Yesterday, I was talking about my friend and her extensive collection of framed art on the walls of her home. As we toured her collection, she told stories about the artists she had known, many of whom were friends. I couldn't help but contrast with the visit I'd had a few years ago visiting an important photography collector whose stories were all about the acquisition and the monetary value of his collection.
9/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1641 - Surrounded by Art

HT1641 - Surrounded by Art I recently visited a friend who loves art. She gave me a tour of her house and I counted 139 framed pieces of art on the walls of her home. I found it interesting that what connected her collection was not media, but content.
9/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1640 - Volumetric Satisfaction

HT1640 - Volumetric Satisfaction In the intersection of art and commerce, there are two opposing strategies. Sell relatively few pieces for a high dollar amount, or sell lots of pieces for a low dollar amount. Which volumetric approach appeals to you the most? High volume dollars per photograph, or a high volume number of photographs?
8/31/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1639 - Slowing Down

HT1639 - Slowing Down Bad habits rarely arrive fully formed, but sneak up on us in the sneaky ways of a sneak. I've noticed in the last few years that I have developed the bad habit of working too quickly in the field. Needing a way to slow down, I remembered my large format dark cloth.
8/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1638 - Paper Weight

HT1638 - Paper Weight In my earliest days of photography, I was taught to always use heavy weight photo paper, referred to then as "double weight." It was always implied that double weight was the choice of serious photographers and that single weight was amateurish. I'm not so sure about that.
8/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1364 - Disposable, Flippant Artwork

LW1364 - Disposable, Flippant Artwork What is the future of what we know as "fine art photography"? I have no idea, but I do have some concerns, especially as the public seems more and more to think of photography as a device for selfies and disposable images. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2021 including Exploring the Back Issues and Q&A with Brooks and friends. We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
8/28/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1637 - Rounded Corners

HT1637 - Rounded Corners A recent chapbook purchaser asked why I use rounded corners on my images. There's a very good reason to do so, but it's not a photographic one. It's an aesthetic decision based on a bit of practical experience.
8/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1636 - Hesitation to Engage

HT1636 - Hesitation to Engage Fairly commonly, at the beginning of a project, I find myself hesitating to jump in. I know what's about to happen in terms of the artistic battles and frustrations. Sometimes, I'm just a little reluctant and feel guilty about that.
8/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1635 - Painting on Photographs

HT1635 - Painting on Photographs Twenty years ago, we had a LensWork booth at Art Expo in New York. We showed gelatin silver photographs and photogravures and aroused very little interest. The booth across the aisle, however, sold millions of dollars of artwork that was a fascinating combination of photography and painting.
8/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1634 - Practice

HT1634 - Practice Pianists practice. Ballet dancers practice. Do photographers practice? Should we? What would that be? What kind of practice would improve our performance? Is it mechanical and muscle memory that we need to practice? Or is there something about creative seeing that might be more useful?
8/25/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1633 - Having the Experience

HT1633 - Having the Experience I learned very important lesson this summer as I was traveling across America. There were a few places where I was concentrating almost exclusively on photographing rather than on having an experience of the landscape before me. In fact, I was so singularly focused on photographing that I more or less missed the opportunity to experience the place.
8/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1632 - Two Phases of Artmaking - the Creative and the Performance

HT1632 - Two Phases of Artmaking - the Creative and the Performance It seems to me that every work of art is a blend of creative thought and some sort of performance. In photography, we choose what to photograph and how to photograph it, but eventually that creative thought must be converted to actions that complete the performance of the original creative concept.
8/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1631 - No Two Alike

HT1631 - No Two Alike When contrasting the analog workflow to the digital workflow, most commentators focus on the material and means of production. It occurs to me that one of the most primary differences is that every print from an analog darkroom is different whereas every print from a digital workflow is identical.
8/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1629 - One to Represent You

HT1629 - One to Represent You During the entire 50 years that I've been involved in photography, there has been only one approved method of presentation — the bevel white mat board. In the last few years, however, I'm starting to emotionally react to white mat board as a dated form of presentation that makes the photograph feel like it came from the '70s.
8/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1629 - One to Represent You

HT1629 - One to Represent You The other day I was asked if I could identify one image of mine that best represented my photographic career. My first thought was, what a fruitless exercise! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized there may be some value in going through my archives to see if there was one such image or, if not, if there was a trend.
8/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1628 - The 8-foot Mona Lisa

HT1628 - The 8-foot Mona Lisa Last week, I visited the Italian Renaissance Alive exhibit at the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina. What an odd presentation it was!
8/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1627 - So, So Precious, I Guess

HT1627 - So, So Precious, I Guess I was mentioning to a friend that I had printed a 10-foot long panorama, just because I was curious to see if I could do it. The problem quickly surfaced that it would be incredibly expensive to frame it. I suggested just thumbtacking it to the wall. Audible gasps. Why?
8/18/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1626 - A Life-Changing Image

HT1626 - A Life-Changing Image I've never met a photographer who couldn't identify a life-changing image, mostly from some famous photographer, but occasionally one of their own images. This always strikes me as a great example how the success of a photograph requires both a photographer and a viewer.
8/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1625 - DNG Lossy Format

HT1625 - DNG Lossy Format Does anybody use DNG Lossy format? I've been doing some tests and I can't find any reason to NOT use it, but there might be some. I suppose the first question would be is it that critical to cut my RAW file sizes in half? Am I that desperate for conserving hard drive space? Or is this a technology that we can easily ignore.
8/16/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1624 - Routines

HT1624 - Routines One aspect I miss from the world of analog photography are the necessary routines that allowed me to be productive without having to stretch my creativity. Sometimes it's really lovely to just be employed in things that don't require too much brain power but yet give us a feeling of accomplishment. Welcome keywording and meta data updates.
8/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1623 - After Learning the Basics

HT1623 - After Learning the Basics We all know the old maxim that learning never stops. That's true, but I think it does definitely slow down. There is a bell curve to learning and that applies to photography, too. Eventually doing replaces learning and that's where the trouble sets in.
8/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1362 - The End of the Trail, Sort Of

LW1362 - The End of the Trail, Sort Of Big news about my travels and a thoroughly unexpected lesson learned! You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
8/14/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1622 - Just the Right Amount of Tired

HT1621 - Eastern States vs Western States Photography Neurologists, I suspect, could explain why I seem to be more creative, or perhaps more receptive to a creative idea, when I'm just a bit tired. If I'm too tired, I get lazy and don't want to leap into action no matter how good of an idea pops into my head. But just the right amount of tired can be the ideal environment for creative thinking.
8/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1621 - Eastern States vs Western States Photography

HT1621 - Eastern States vs Western States Photography The difference between photographing in the western states and the eastern states is not one of landscape structures or even vegetation. I found the primary difference is that the roads in the west are wider with places to pull off. There are more dirt roads, more public lands, more places to do photography. It's much more difficult here in the east.
8/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1620 - Losers, or Are They?

HT1620 - Losers, or Are They? About 2½% of the images in my Lightroom catalog have been used in a project, printed, or finished in some way or another. That leaves 97½% as "losers." Is the selection and editing process that binary — just winners or losers? Maybe some of those losers just need a little more parenting and TLC.
8/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1619 - RAW Capture Comparisons

HT1619 - RAW Capture Comparisons Camera comparison websites and YouTube videos always use the unedited RAW captures in order to eliminate non-comparing variables. The problem of course is that none of us ever use unedited RAW files. That's just the starting point for every image we finish.
8/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1618 - Just Start

HT1618 - Just Start A prevalent premise in today's culture is that you need to know how to do something before you begin. You need 16-20 years of training in school before you can be a professional; you need a learners permit before you can drive; a certificate of graduation; the blessings of some authority. Except in artmaking. Just jump in! You'll learn along the way.
8/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1617 - A Dedicated Space

HT1617 - A Dedicated Space I'm a fully committed digital work flow photographer, but there is one thing I miss about the dark room. It was a sort of sanctum sanctorum, where for extended hours I was totally focused on art making with no interruptions and no distractions. I miss that.
8/8/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1616 - Post-Production Progress

HT1616 - Post-Production Progress It's so satisfying when a project is completed. Now that it's done, we can let go and move on. It's been my experience, however, that I universally have what I call "post-production revelations." A few days or weeks after I've "completed" a project, I'll discover one more tweak that often improves the project significantly.
8/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1361 - Kinds of Projects, Redux

LW1361 - Kinds of Projects, Redux A great way to jump-start your project-oriented photography is to first define what kind of project it is. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1295+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
8/7/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1615 - Ted Orland Was Right

HT1615 - Ted Orland Was Right Orland humorously advised, "If You can't make a spectacular photograph of a mundane subject, at least make a mundane photograph of a spectacular subject."
8/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1614 - Photography Is the Opposite of Painting

HT1614 - Photography Is the Opposite of Painting Painting and photography are often considered cousins in the visual arts. They are not. In fact, in many ways they are opposites. Painting starts with a white canvas; photography starts with a dark box. Painters add brushstrokes; photographers subtract the distracting and unimportant. In general, painting is additive whereas photography is subtractive. What are the implications for generative fill with this in mind?
8/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1613 - First Person Photography

HT1613 - First Person Photography When a novelist begins a new work, one of their first decisions is whether or not they choose to write in first person or third person. I think this is the same for photographers. Is there any doubt that Vivian Maier photographed in first person, or that Ansel Adams photographed in third person?
8/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1612 - Media Proliferating Like Rabbits

HT1612 - Media Proliferating Like Rabbits We live in the age of media. But think back, say, 150 years ago. There were just two media - the printed page of text (newspapers, books) and drawings (painting, sketches, pen and ink). Since then, media have bred like rabbits - radio, recordings, movies, television, the Internet. No wonder photography's status in the hierarchy has slipped a few notches.
8/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1611 - The Mystery of Accomplishment

HT1611 - The Mystery of Accomplishment A very common response to an exquisite work of art is, "How did they do that?" I've noticed in recent years that question is easily dismissed with disdain: "It's Photoshop." Mystery explained, wonder removed, accomplishment diminished. This is an ever-growing problem for those of us who approach photography from an art making point of view.
8/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1610 - Extension Tubes

HT1610 - Extension Tubes When I think of extension tubes, I immediately associate them with macrophotography. There's another use, however, that is much more frequent for me than close-up work. I use a short extension tube with my long telephoto lens to create an even shallower depth of field.
8/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1360 - Digitally Remastering Your Still Photographs

LW1360 - Digitally Remastering Your Still Photographs What do you do if a project you finished a decade ago can suddenly be radically improved based on new software features? Do you go back and redo that old project so that it looks better with the new capabilities? Or, do you leave it as is as a testament of the times in which it was completed? You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
7/31/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1609 - Harper Lee's Words

HT1609 - Harper Lee's Words Every day I write dozens of emails that use the same words that Harper Lee used in her great book To Kill a Mockingbird. Is it fair to say that it wasn't her words that made her book so outstanding, but rather the content those words expressed? Isn't this exactly the same with photography?
7/31/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1608 - Deadlines

HT1608 - Deadlines What is there in human psychology that makes deadlines so powerful? Is it the fear of missing out? September 12, 2023 is the deadline for sending in work to this year's LensWork community book project, Light, Glorious Light. From past experience, I know that 85-90% of all entries will be submitted in the final 72 hours. What are the implications for the quality of work that is postponed right up to the deadline?
7/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1607 - The Best Among Several Choices

HT1607 - The Best Among Several Choices/H3> The aesthetic style of processing you choose is one of the most critical decisions needed as you work a project toward completion. The key word in that sentence is "choose." In order to choose, you need to have options, that is, several interpretations of style to choose from. Don't just lock-on to the first idea that occurs to you.
7/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1606 - The Sophomore Curse

HT1606 - The Sophomore Curse/H3> What you did was great; what's next? The so-called sophomore curse is really not about you second project, but about every project in your future. The best strategy is to avoid the void that naturally occurs after that first project is done.
7/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1605 - Kudzu

HT1605 - Kudzu One of the most significant natural events in the last 50 years in the Central Southeast areas of America has been the advance of kudzu. It's an invasive plant that is considered a scourge. But it also makes for some interesting visual compositions. Now that I'm traveling in kudzu infested areas, I can't believe that no one has done a portfolio of kudzu country and submitted it to LensWork. Have I just missed it?
7/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1604 - The Experimental Percentage

HT1604 - The Experimental Percentage When we first pick up a camera and decide we want to explore photography, just about 100% of our photographs are experimental. We are learning, trying, figuring out what we can do easily and what we need to learn to do. But once you've achieved the basic competence, the experimental percentage drops, precipitously, maybe even to zero. This is not good. How much of your work should be experimental? A difficult question to answer, but certainly zero is the wrong answer.
7/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1603 - Shadow Detail vs Highlight Detail

HT1603 - Shadow Detail vs Highlight Detail I often hear people talk about highlight detail and shadow detail as though they are the same thing. They are not. Highlight detail is tied to our ability to see things, tiny details and textures. Shadow detail is more about knowing there are things rather than seeing their details.
7/25/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1359 - Cultural References

LW1359 - Cultural References So many times what makes a photograph interesting is a cultural reference that may very well be obscure to certain viewers. A terrific example is old cars in Cuba. But those old cars are a cultural reference that only makes sense if you know they are indeed old cars. If we don't know what's happening because we're not from that culture, all the references and subtle connections are easily lost. This is why it's so important for the photographer to be their own docent. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2021 including Exploring the Back Issues and Q&A with Brooks and friends. We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
7/24/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1602 - Robert Motherwell and Aaron Siskind

HT1602 - Robert Motherwell and Aaron Siskind If I had to choose one genre of photography to practice for the rest of my life, there's no question in my mind that I would choose abstracts. Perhaps that's because I've been so enamored by the abstracts of two artists in particular, Robert Motherwell and Aaron Siskind.
7/24/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1601 - The Most Valuable Applause

HT1601 - The Most Valuable Applause I suppose to one degree or another that all of us would like to have our work appreciated. Perhaps it's important to ask, "Appreciate it by whom?" It may be trite for me to say so, but I think the most important audience is ourself. Sure, I'd like others to appreciate my work, but if I don't like it, it won't be satisfying for very long. Again, Shakespeare had it right: To thine own self be true. But, liking our own work is a greater challenge than it might seem at first consideration.
7/23/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1600 - DeLorme Maps

HT1599 - Selfies at the National Parks As a landscape photographer, I love dirt roads. You can rely on the fact that the best photography starts after the pavement ends. That said, finding dirt roads can be a challenge in unknown territory. Years ago, Huntington Witherill recommended that I get DeLorme maps. He was right. They are great, not flawless, but way better than any other maps I've seen. That and a GPS make getting lost almost impossible. Well, almost.
7/22/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1599 - Selfies at the National Parks

HT1599 - Selfies at the National Parks I think I've completely misunderstood the purpose of the national parks. I've been operating under the assumption that National Parks were established so that we would have an opportunity to see their grandeur and glory. Clearly, according to contemporary culture anyway, I am wrong about this. Purpose of national parks is to serve as a background for the gazillions of selfies whose subject is not our magnificent planet, but rather a bit of narcissistic "Kilroy was here."
7/21/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1598 - Human Vision as the Ultimate Photographic Standard

HT1598 - Human Vision as the Ultimate Photographic Standard "But that's not what it looks like!" Is a photograph supposed to be a perfect copy of what we see? In some cases, that's clearly true, but in the role of photograph as art work, how we see the scene is not at all the governing factor of what we create.
7/20/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1597 - Two Types of Storytelling

HT1597 - Two Types of Storytelling Presentations of groups of photographs are often described as "storytelling." There are two (at least two) types of storytelling that are quite different and can often lead to confusion.
7/19/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1596 - Seeing in Wide Angle

HT1596 - Seeing in Wide Angle I've always struggled with the challenge of seeing and wide-angle view. My natural vision tends to be telephoto, zooming in on details. I think I figured out why! My eyes don't zoom but in my mind I can restrict what I see to the details in the distance. Conversely, my eyes can't zoom out to see in wide-angle. I have to scan the scene and then assemble the full image in my mind's eye. That's the part where I struggle.
7/18/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1358 - Working Our Lightroom Catalog

LensWork Online member Kevin writes, "You've frequently used the phrase 'working your Lightroom catalog.' What do you mean by that? How do you 'work' your catalog?" Essentially, I think that working our Lightroom catalog is probing our unconscious creative self for the messages contained in our photographs, listening for clues that are right in front of us but that may not yet be fully comprehended. Look for similarities, patterns, trends, differences. I think of images as data points. Data points can be reviewed looking for clusters that combine to create a whole that is greater than the sum of the data point. I look at groups of images by keywords, meta by month, collections or the Quick Collection, by colored folders. Sometimes an idea leads me to images, sometimes a group of images or a single image leads to an idea You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2021 including Exploring the Back Issues and Q&A with Brooks and friends. We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
7/17/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1595 - What to Do with Your Negatives

HT1595 - What to Do with Your Negatives In order to protect his artistic legacy, Brett Weston supposedly burned his negatives. In truth, have recently heard that he only burned a few of them, for show. I recently received an email from another photographer who said that he just destroyed all of his negatives because he didn't want anybody else to be printing them after he's gone. But what about all those digital files?
7/17/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1594 - An Unaccepted Wager

HT1594 - An Unaccepted Wager I once proposed and interesting wager with Bruce Barnbaum that made for an fun dinner conversation. At the time he was a strict advocate of analog photography and I suggested that he let me scan one of his negatives and see what I can do with digital processing to improve it over his original print. He declined the wager, but I still think it's an interesting proposition.
7/16/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1593 - Non-photographers Who Are Photographers

HT1593 - Non-photographers Who Are Photographers Thomas Merton, Wright Morris, Lewis Carroll are three examples of creative individuals who did wonderful photography even though they weren't really photographers, at least not in the way you and I usually think of photographers.
7/15/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1592 - I Don't Miss the Repetition

HT1592 - I Don't Miss the Repetition Yesterday I was waxing nostalgic about my early days in photography, but there is one thing I don't miss at all — the repetition. For example, if I made five prints I had to repeat the spotting of those prints on all five of them. It was mindless drudgery. Now if I have a spot in an image that needs removing, I do it one time in the digital file and it's gone forever.
7/14/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1591 - Ah, the Memories

HT1591 - Ah, the Memories The other day I was thinking about my early days in photography and all the things I needed to learn that are now obsolete — at least they are in my current workflow. I found myself nostalgically remembering reciprocity failure, hypo clearing agent, spot tone, dry mount tissue, HC 110, handheld light meters, Wratten filters, Light Impressions, and the Zone VI Fred picker newsletter. I'm not sure I miss those days, but I do remember them fondly.
7/13/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1590 - High ISO vs Slower Shutters

HT1589 - Compressing This Three-dimensional World For 50 years, my photographic life has been a balancing act between ISO and shutter speeds. Most often, a tripod was the answer. Rarely did I choose a faster film, because I prefer not to have grain in my images. But now, with the new Adobe Denoise feature, I find those high ISOs a lot less intimidating and don't hesitate to choose a fast shutter speed.
7/12/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1589 - Compressing This Three-dimensional World

HT1589 - Compressing This Three-dimensional World It's often been said that the most important thing in photography is knowing where to stand. This is true, but has less to do with composition, I think, than with the compression of our three-dimensional world into a two-dimensional medium. Knowing where to stand is placing the things in the foreground in the perfect position compared to those in the background.
7/11/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1357 - We Don't Know Large

LW1357 - We Don't Know Large In the last dozen years or so, photographs have gotten much larger. This is no doubt due to the increasing size of digital printers and the pressure of marketing photographs for increasing prices. But we should be honest with ourselves about size. We photographers are wee kittens compared to the lions of the painting world. Through an invite by a mutual friend, I had the opportunity to visit the home of Anne Helms, Ansel Adams' daughter. I had a most unexpected but important revelation during that visit that has influenced my thinking about prints ever since. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1200+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
7/10/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1588 - Atypical Projects

HT1588 - Atypical Projects A.A. Milne and The Red House Mystery. Michael Kenna and Calais Lace, Eliot Porter and Eliot Porter's Southwest, Keith Carter and From Uncertain to Blue.
7/10/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1587 - Progressive Degradation

HT1587 - Progressive Degradation I'm certainly not the first to observe that photography is a process of progressive degradation. The print never quite looks like our pre-visualized image in our mind's eye. Often what we end up with is a compromise to our original vision. But does the original vision have to be the goal? Is it the only goal? Is it the definitive goal?
7/9/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1586 - Most Influential Book

HT1586 - Most Influential Book Daybooks by Edward Weston? The Decisive Moment by Cartier-Bresson? The Americans by Robert Frank? For me, there is no question that most influential book has been Photographers On Photography by Nathan Lyons. This is the one book I go back to and reread over and over again.
7/8/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1585 - Building an Index of Our Website

HT1585 - Building an Index of Our Website I've had a number of people email me that they wish we had a comprehensive index of all the materials available at lenswork.com and LensWork Online. I would love to provide this, but I have no idea how to do it. Could any of you help?
7/7/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1584 - The Texture Hour

HT1584 - The Texture Hour So often I hear photographers talk about the Golden Hour as though it were some magical color. It is a lovely color, but that color can be replicated artificially with color balance and other processing tricks. The real magic of the golden hour is not the color but rather the angular light that reveals detail. That revealing of detail can also happen at high noon if the light is at the correct angle to reveal detail and textures.
7/6/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1583 - Seeing vs Feeling

HT1583 - Seeing vs Feeling With every picture, we point our camera at something we want others to see. But beyond that is a deeper challenge. In order for photography to be an art medium, it has to point beyond what the photographer wants us to see to what they want us to feel.
7/5/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1582 - Shape, Line, Texture, Color

HT1582 - Shape, Line, Texture, Color Here's an odd thought. All novels are composed of just a bunch of squiggly lines, lines that form letters, letters that form words, words that form sentences. But we wouldn't say that a novel is just a bunch of curvy lines and shapes. Deciphering the lines in a novel leads us to something much deeper than the forms used to write the novel. The same can be said for photography and the shapes, lines, textures, and colors that we use to make an image.
7/4/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1581 - Enough Assets

HT1581 - Enough Assets My approach in the field of gathering assets can be a limitless pursuit. At some point in time, however, one has to draw the line and create a project with the assets on hand. Without drawing the line, projects can be infinitely delayed because there are always more assets together.
7/3/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1356 - A Print Is Not a Screen

LW1356 - A Print Is Not a Screen I love prints for their tactile presence. I love that I can see them without an intervening device. But that said, my eyes delight in viewing the greater dynamic range, shadow detail, brightness, and life of a digital image on a high definition screen. I'm too old and too stubborn to let go of prints, but with each passing year I'm more convinced that the future of photography is in digital imagery. I'm a bit sad about this. You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable content - literally terabytes of content, content, and more content. All 1295+ of Brooks Jensen's podcasts, the complete Here's a Thought... video library, Looking at Images commentaries, Creative Labs and new channels for 2020 including Finding the Picture and Those Who Inspire Me (and Why). We add new content literally every day. You can learn more about memberships to LensWork Online at www.lenswork.com. And don't forget that all members can download the digital versions of LensWork for your tablet or computer. LensWork Online is the most content-rich resource for ideas and inspiration you'll find anywhere on the Internet.
7/3/202312 minutes, 54 seconds
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HT1580 - The 80-20 Rule

HT1580 - The 80-20 Rule Lately I've been spending 80% of my time out photographing and 20% of my time, at most, working on projects or processing images. I know this is exactly backwards. I should be spending 80% of my time on processing and projects and only 20% of my time out photographing.
7/2/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1579 - Photographer or Artist

HT1579 - Photographer or Artist How do you perceive yourself? That is, what terms do you use to describe what you do? Are you a photographer or an artist? How you define yourself will set up the limits for your creative work. Clearly there are no right or wrong answers here, but carefully choosing how you define yourself can prevent unintended limits.
7/1/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1578 - Your Photographic Hero

HT1578 - Your Photographic Hero In the wide world of fine art photography, who is your hero? Of all the possibilities, who's work do you admire the most, find the most inspirational, wish you could emulate more successfully? What is it about their work that connects with you so deeply?
6/30/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1577 - Scheduling Your Hobby

HT1577 - Scheduling Your Hobby For most of us, our photographic pursuits are not commercially based. That is to say, we aren't driven to do photography for the income, but rather for the fun. Photography is our hobby. The disadvantage of it being a hobby is that it's not urgent, and can easily be postponed, sometimes indefinitely, and that is deadly to our creative habits. One possible strategy is to schedule photographic activities so that you maintain some momentum.
6/29/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1576 - Future Proofing Your RAW Files

HT1576 - Future Proofing Your RAW Files RAW files are, of course, proprietary file formats. I always get nervous with proprietary formats because there's no guarantee that they will be accessible forever. I convert all my RAW files to DNG for that reason, but I also keep the RAW files just in case some future improvement will allow me to reconvert my RAW files into a better, newer format of DNG.
6/28/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1575 - Re-visiting a Project Years Later

HT1575 - Re-visiting a Project Years Later For years now, I followed the lead of book publishers by employing the language, "first edition", "second edition,", etc. Just because you completed a project 5 years ago doesn't mean you couldn't create an improve, second edition of that project today. Maybe it's not worth your creative time, but then again maybe it is!
6/27/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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HT1574 - Reprocessing Years Later

HT1574 - Reprocessing Years Later Because of Lightroom's non-destructive editing, it's very easy to go back and re-examine an image you processed years ago. This is far more interesting than you might suspect. You've changed in those subsequent years, and so has the software, and so have your technical abilities. What would you do differently today? Perhaps it's worth giving it a try just to see how far you've come.
6/26/20232 minutes, 43 seconds
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LW1355 - Creating Your Own Path

LW1355 - Creating Your Own Path How do you know you are on your own creative path? There some clues that can help you find your own creative path and avoid the temptations to simply copy others' work or others' aesthetic preferences. As Shakespeare advised, "To thine own self be true." You might also be interested in. . . Every Picture Is a Compromise, a series at www.brooksjensenarts.com. and... "How to" tutorials and camera reviews are everywhere on YouTube, but if you're interested in photography and the creative life, you need to know about the incredible resources you can access as a member of LensWork Online. LensWork Online includes hundreds of hours of audio, video, and downloadable conten