The Practice of Photoku.

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Painted sky, salted air

The rhythm of the waves 

Senses sparked, soul nourished

At our “Mindful Photography” workshop, I introduced the concept of a PhotoKu.  This is the marriage of a photograph with a poem, loosely based on the Japanese from of poetry, Haiku.  The idea is to give words to what we are seeing and feeling. The hope is to help us see more deeply.

I believe the biggest shift in my photography happened when I started to focus on experiences rather than chasing “keepers”.  I find writing words with my images helps me connect to and remember the experience.  The end result has been what I believe is stronger photographs.

My teaching partner for this workshop, Flint Sparks,  recently added twist to this idea.  I shared a PhotoKu with Flint and this was his reply…

“I loved the Photoku and wanted to send one back, but I also wanted to engage in another practice for myself. The practice is not to go through all the images I’ve processed and pick the “best” one to send to John. Instead, I decided to pick the “next” one, let go of ego, and allow what comes to come. This is what was next in line this morning with my photoku for you”

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Waiting in morning light
Silent, ordinary, still
Ready for a warm hand
I am grateful for my friend Flint who is always teaching. Let go of ego.  Let go of good versus bad.  Let go of judgement.  Let go, and, be open to seeing more deeply.  Thank you Flint!  Approaching photoku from this paradigm will indeed deepen my ability to see beyond what I have traditionally labeled as good.  I look forward to this practice in 2017.
Posted in Hawaii, Molokai Tagged , , , |

An Evening at the Palm Grove

I’m back from my annual trip to Molokai where this year we introduced our “Mindful Photography” workshop. Working with the great Flint Sparks was a joy. Having Dewitt Jones, Rikki Cooke and Jack Davis as very special guests made for a week great fun, learning and inspiration.

When we arrived at the “Palm Grove”, one of my favorite locations, this is what greeted us. Calm water, and a tone, and mood in the sky, that I was in love with. It felt very peaceful to me.

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And then, as we played with this light waiting for sunset, the sky went ablaze with color!

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And then of course we waited for the sun to go down and this happened, beautiful pastel pink.

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I remember hearing one participant in the workshop exclaim, “no one will believe me when I say this is exactly what it looked like tonight”.   Well, it really did look like this.  I adore this location!

Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays to you all!  Thank you for following my blog.

Posted in Hawaii Tagged , , , |

Plotagraph Pro – A new tool!

 

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In my last post, I called Plotagraph a new toy.  The more I work with this product, the more I see its potential.  Again, it is still very new, however, I am starting learn how it works.  For something like this image, it is not that difficult.  It took me about 1 minute to produce it.

In a world filled with millions of images, how do you differentiate your message?  I believe Plotagraph Pro might be one right answer.  You can take a great still image, and turn it into something more, something else, something that will catch the eye of your audience.  I have decided to partner with these folks as I believe they are onto something big.  

If you think this tool might be useful for you or your business, you can save 10% by using the code BARCLAY when you sign up for any of their options.  A full year or just a quarter at a time.  And through the 4th of December, if you purchase an annual membership you will receive a $50.00 Amazon Gift card in addition to saving 10%.  Use this link for either option.

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

Plotagraph – A new TOY!

I have always been drawn to the still image with some movement in it.  Flixel was cool, but, you needed to shoot video and then mask what you wanted still.  Plotatraph does its magic from a still image.  Much easier!  This is gonna be FUN!

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They are having a Black Friday / Cyber Monday sale too.  Purchase an Annual Plotagraph Pro Membership and Receive a Bonus $50 Amazon Gift Card.  

Posted in Uncategorized Tagged |

BLACK FRIDAY DEALS!

Yup, it is that time again, so here are the deals I recommend and there are some really good ones!

Have you been waiting to pull the trigger on the Topaz Complete Collection? NOW is the time, with 50% off utill Nov 30th. Follow this link http://bit.ly/1FkCnpJ and use the code BLACKFRIDAY16 at checkout. This makes the entire collection, all 17 programs, including the amazing new Texture Effects, just $250! And, if you already own any Topaz products, you will get 50% off of your already discounted upgrade path! Simply log into your Topaz account and follow the path to upgrade and use the same code. This is a no brainer.

FLYPAPER TEXTURES – Until the end of the month click this link and then use the code briefly to get your 25% discount on any of their wonderful textures.  

PERFECTLY CLEAR –   Click this link to get Perfectly Clear Complete for $99!

TOTALLY RAD This sale ends tonight.  50% off of any of their software with the code HOLIDAY2016.  Their film looks are very good.  Dirty Pictures is still a great program, especially if you don’t need all of the extra’s in Topaz Texture Effects.  And, at $29 it is practically free!

Posted in Topaz Software Tagged , , , , |

Glacier National Park Workshop with Chuck Kimmerle

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I am excited to announce a new workshop for August of 2017 to Glacier National Park with Chuck Kimmerle.  In 2013 Chuck was artist-in-residence in Glacier NP.  Please click on this link to learn more about this exciting workshop.  All images by Chuck Kimmerle. We hope to see you in August!

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Posted in Chuck Kimmerle, Workshop Tagged , , , , , |

The Light of Fonthill Castle

On Sunday, I was leading a workshop at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown PA.  One of the participants beckoned me to come see a shot she was excited about. I had to get my camera and make an image of my own!  Thank you Lois.

I’ve been in a B&W frame of mind and so I made a version of this scene.  What do you think?  Color or B&W and why?

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Posted in Fonthill Tagged , , |

Smoky Mountains Workshop

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I just finished co-leading a workshop with Rad Drew in The Great Smoky Mountains.  When Rad and I met last weekend, the trees were predominantly green with little if any color to be found.  Suffice it to say, we were a bit anxious about the potential for color.  Then on Tuesday, the day we started, things started to change, and, by the time we finished the week, the color was glorious! 

After a much needed nap when the workshop ended, I decided to head out along Little River Road to see what I might find. The two images in this post are a result of my afternoon out. This scene got better and better as we drove by it each day.  Today it was screaming with color and offered a number of compositions. The top image was made as the sun was setting giving me gold light on the background trees.  The bottom image was made about an hour later, in softer light with no sun on the scene at all.

Grateful to have been in this wonderful park with Rad and a terrific group!

Rad and I will be doing this workshop again next fall. We will begin taking deposits in November.  Rad and I will be doing a workshop together in the Palouse in May.  Hope to see you at one or the other or both!

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Posted in Smoky Mountains, Workshop Tagged , , , , , , |

Cades Cove and Amazing Light!

 

 

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Rad Drew and I are finishing our pre-tour scouting as we get ready for our group to arrive today.  Yesterday we decided to end our day in Cades Cove. I’ve been to Sparks Lane many times, and, each time is just as magical. This time was no different, in fact, it might have been the most amazing light I’ve ever seen at this location. Poor Rad must have been annoyed, as I exclaimed out loud over and over again… THIS LIGHT IS INSANE!

I will be back in the Smokies in the spring and Rad and I will be doing this workshop again next fall!  We will have the details up on our websites when we finish here. You can see the details for my spring workshop here. 

Posted in Fuji, Fuji X-T2, Smoky Mountains Tagged , , , , , |

Three Birds- Cape Cod Gifts

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When we arrived at Coast Guard Beach on the last day of our workshop, the winds were howling!  The hurricane had gone out to sea, but, we could feel it’s 35mph winds and 45mph gusts. We sat bundled up in our cars, looking at the dark brooding sky,hoping for some magic.  I said a silent prayer, give us a little break in the sky, and let us end this wonderful tour with a bang.  Not too long after, I looked through my sunroof and saw a patch of blue sky. I got on the walkie talkie and shouted, lets go! Most of us ended up at the beach, feet spread apart leaning into the wind when THIS happened!  I said a silent thank you when we headed back to the car.

You have to show up!  And being on a workshop or tour helps that to happen!  If you click on the image to make it bigger, you can see the three birds. 

I have a few openings for my spring Charleston and Smokies workshops.  And Rad Drew has invited me to join his Palouse tour in mid May.  I’d love to see you on any of these!

I’ll be adding an October Cape Cod Experience for 2017 with the amazing Betty Wiley very soon.  Stay tuned!

I’m off to the Smoky Mountains on Friday where Rad Drew and I will be co-leading a group.  Can’t wait!

Posted in Uncategorized