LensWork - Photography and the Creative Process

LensWork - Photography and the Creative Process Podcast

Random Observations on Art, Photography, and the Creative Process. These 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 40 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. Included in this series are the LensWork Podcasts -- typically 10-15 minutes exploring a topic a bit more deeply -- and our almost daily Here's a thought . . . series. Here's a thought . . . is the audio portion from videos with the same title and are snippets, fragments, morsels, and tidbits from Brooks' fertile (and sometimes swiss-cheesy) brain. Usually just a minute or so. Pretty much daily. Always about photography and the art life. 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 "Seeing in SIXES (2016), The Best of the LensWork Interviews (2016), Photography, Art, and Media (2016), Seeing in SIXES (2017), and Seeing in SIXES (2018).

HT0233 - What We Leave Behind
Here's a thought ... I read last week that Ginger Baker passed away. Thankfully, now that he and Jack Bruce are both gone we can still enjoy their creative output....

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HT0232 - An Introduction Book
Here's a thought ... An idea that makes photographing access much easier when you are in a foreign country, especially if you don't speak the local language....

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HT0231 - Edges
Here's a thought ... Wherever there is an edge, there is potential for a great photograph. In a print, wherever there is an edge or a corner, a distraction is magnified. In photography, manage the edges and your photography will improve....

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HT0231 - Edges
Here's a thought ... Wherever there is an edge, there is potential for a great photograph. In a print, wherever there is an edge or a corner, a distraction is magnified. In photography, manage the edges and your photography will improve....

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HT0230 - An Inspiration from Japan
Here's a thought ... The Zen monk Sengai (d. 1837) simply refused to do work on commission or for sale. For him, artwork was a joy to experience, not a commodity to exchange for good and services....

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HT0229 - The Odd One
Here's a thought ... No matter how much you love an image, if it doesn't fit with the rest of them in the project, it has simply got to go....

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HT0228 - Sketches
Here's a thought ... Inspiration for today's photography from a Victorian author from 180 years ago....

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HT0228 - Sketches
Here's a thought ... Inspiration for today's photography from a Victorian author from 180 years ago....

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HT0227 - What's Really Necessary
Here's a thought ... Minimizing the barriers and hindrances between our creative mind and the photograph we want to make. Gear, distractions, habits, history....

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HT0227 - What's Really Necessary
Here's a thought ... Minimizing the barriers and hindrances between our creative mind and the photograph we want to make. Gear, distractions, habits, history....

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HT0226 - Orchestrating the Light
Here's a thought ... On days with flat light (especially in the landscape), I often previsualize some sort of manufacture in post-processing of some sort of shadow I can create artificially....

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HT0226 - Orchestrating the Light
Here's a thought ... On days with flat light (especially in the landscape), I often previsualize some sort of manufacture in post-processing of some sort of shadow I can create artificially....

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HT0225 - Tools and Why
Here's a thought ... Leaning new techniques or employing new tricks is one thing, but knowing when to use a technique or a preset is even more important....

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HT0224 - The Time It Takes to Simmer
Here's a thought ... For a medium that supposedly is "instantaneous," I find that slowing down and letting ideas simmer for a while to be a better approach....

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HT0223 - Zebras and ETTR
Here's a thought ... By combining the strategy of ETTR and Zebra stripes (if your camera has them), we can have the best chance of selecting the best exposure....

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HT0222 - From Deep Within Us
Here's a thought ... It's easy to think that making photographic art is about observing the world, but it is even more about reacting to the world and expressing our reactions....

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HT0221 - The Hunt
Here's a thought ... What are you looking for out in the landscape? A specific shot, or just a generalized aesthetic?...

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HT0221 - The Hunt
Here's a thought ... What are you looking for out in the landscape? A specific shot, or just a generalized aesthetic?...

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HT0220 - Depth of Field Calculator
Here's a thought ... I'm using a new depth of field calculator app on my smart phone and it is really useful to be sure I am not under or over estimating what aperture I need....

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HT0219 - Transition Time
Here's a thought ... I often need some time to switch from "daily life mind" to "creative mind." It's not an instant switch, but if I'm lucky, I can make the transition without too much loss of opportunity....

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HT0218 - What You Learn
Here's a thought ... The success of a project is not measured by what you produce, but rather by what you learned. In the art life, understanding is more important than accolades....

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HT0217 - The Second Time Around
Here's a thought ... The first time you do something, it's likely be, well, a beginner's result. It takes the first time to learn how to do it the right way, so it's not until the second time that things begin to fall into place....

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HT0216 - My Response
Here's a thought ... One of the turning points in my photography was when I learned that art-making was less about photographing what is there than it is about photographing my response to it. In that sense, art photography is autobiography....

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HT0215 - Premature Announcements
Here's a thought ... Don't announce what you are going to do; announce what you've done....

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HT0214 - Video Stills
Here's a thought ... Extracting a video still as a means of capturing the perfect peak moment is about to become a lot more practical in the world of 8k 60fps cameras.....

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HT0213 - ISO and Noise
Here's a thought ... A real-world challenge about crop sensors, high ISO, and noise. Maybe things aren't quite as dire as the equipment reviewers would have us think? Maybe we might do some post-processing to compensate for the limitations of our equipment, pretty much like photographers have been doing since the invention of photography....

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HT0212 - The Signature
Here's a thought ... The cult of personality and celebrity. If you want your print prices to escalate, you need to cultivate your celebrity status. When it comes to print sales, fame is more important than quality. Sorry for being such a pessimist....

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HT0211 - The Viewing Mindset
Here's a thought ... Viewing photography on a digital device is fraught with distractions. Another reason I prefer the PDF as a delivery medium. -- fewer temptations compared to a web page....

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HT0210 - Dictation from God
Here's a thought ... That scene from Mozart. For me, the creative process is more like sneaking up on rabbit that naturally wants to skitter away....

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LW1174 - Precision
Strange as it may sound, I do miss the precision demanded of me by the processes in the wet darkroom. Perhaps it's time to recognize that precision is still required, but in a different area of our art life. You might be interested in . . . We wish to thank ALL of the photographers who entered their projects in our 4th and final Seeing in SIXES book competition! Once again, an enthusiastic response from the LensWork community provided a diversity of excellent work. Pre-order this 312-page book at...

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HT0209 - Ideal Conditions
Here's a thought ... Listening to music on my phone versus with my best Sony headphones. Same can be said for photography; there are good, great, and ideal conditions for appreciating a photograph, but the best photographs don't require ideal conditions to make an impact....

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HT0209 - Ideal Conditions
Here's a thought ... Listening to music on my phone versus with my best Sony headphones. Same can be said for photography; there are good, great, and ideal conditions for appreciating a photograph, but the best photographs don't require ideal conditions to make an impact....

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HT0208 - Black
Here's a thought ... Black density is important, but our eye will adapt. Black detail is where we should be paying the most attention. Dynamic range is far more important than D-Max....

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HT0207 - Onions
Here's a thought ... That Zen business about the finger pointing at the Moon. Peeling away the layers of understanding and meaning....

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HT0206 - My Favorite Air
Here's a thought ... We had the first foggy morning of the fall yesterday and I'm just itching to start the new season of photography....

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HT0206 - My Favorite Air
Here's a thought ... We had the first foggy morning of the fall yesterday and I'm just itching to start the new season of photography....

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HT0205 - The Original
Here's a thought ... Here in the digital age, is it still valid to consider a print as the original artwork?...

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HT0204 - The Precious Print
Here's a thought ... Koudelka's exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago. Compared to the white glove mindset....

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HT0203 - Kind of Blue
Here's a thought ... The sixtieth anniversary of this historically important jazz record. After completely wearing out my first copy through repetitive playing, I bought another, pristine copy to start over again. Then I realized this applies perfectly to photography, too....

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HT0202 - The Animated Portrait
Here's a thought ... Morrie Camhi told me this story about making the portrait moment....

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HT0201 - Rating Stars
Here's a thought ... Ranking an image from 1 to 5 only makes sense when you know what the objective is. Any given image might be a one-star for Project A, but a five-star for Project B. This is why I don't use stars for ranking. Instead, I use them for "processing status."...

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HT0200 - Aspect Ratio and Megapixels
Here's a thought ... You may not need those extra megapixels for bigger prints, but they might be useful when you change the aspect ratio of an image. For example, a 24 megapixel 3:2 camera only yields 21 megapixels if you print in a 4:3 aspect ratio....

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HT0199 - You Can't Go Back
Here's a thought ... If you go back to someplace you photographed before, it may have changed. Of even greater importance, we are not the same. So even though you can't go back, there is every reason to do so....

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HT0198 - Lightroom Collections
Here's a thought ... How I use Lightroom collections and Ueslmann's "gathering assets" strategy to brainstorm ideas and images and build toward a project....

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HT0197 - Gathering Assets
Here's a thought ... A strategy that works far better for me than the classic "previsualization" of Ansel Adams. Learned from Jerry Ueslmann in an early LensWork interview....

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HT0196 - Depth
Here's a thought ... Watching a movie more than once (even if you know the outcome), re-reading a novel , and looking more deeply at a photograph can help develop a deeper understanding. That's why it worth the time look again....

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HT0195 - Hits and Misses
Here's a thought ... I love Joni Mitchell's work, but don't like her latest album, Shine, at all; Paul Caponigro's Megaliths leaves me cold, but almost all his other book I love. Sometimes people won't like our work. It happens....

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HT0194 - Letting the World Come to You
Here's a thought ... Sam Abel technique I'll be using a bit during my upcoming trip to China and Japan....

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HT0193 - The Foot Zoom
Here's a thought ... Longer lenses change the geometry of the subject, increase depth of field, assist in creating a candid moment, and often allow me to crop tighter than I can by walking closer with my "foot zoom."...

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HT0192 - It's Not What We See
Here's a thought ... Hi-res multiple-image captures and the flaws created with moving subjects. Flaws? Only in relation to the underlying premise....

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HT0191 - The Experience
Here's a thought ... Colin Fletcher story about breaking his camera at the beginning of his great adventure....

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HT0190 - The Size of the Emotion
Here's a thought ... Tony Northrup unconsciously validated a point I've been making for years — it's the size of the impact that a photograph makes on a viewer's consciousness that counts, not the size of the print....

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HT0189 - Repetition
Here's a thought ... Ahmad Jamal and the song Poinciana. He's never played it the same way twice....

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HT0188 - Pre-fabricated Websites
Here's a thought ... Templated website providers do make it easy to have your own website, but is it really an advantage when your website looks like everyone else's?...

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HT0187 - Trusting Your Creative Vision
Here's a thought ... Why I never went to the desert Southwest and what I discovered there once I did....

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HT0186 - Using What We Don't Have
Here's a thought ... Workarounds and figuring out ways to make our existing equipment suffice for our needs can also be a part of the creative process....

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HT0185 - The Lure of the Famous Place
Here's a thought ... "I went there and you didn't!"-- always seems a tad aggressive. Instead, why not, "Let's share this feeling!" -- in which case the destination is immaterial....

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HT0185 - The Lure of the Famous Place
Here's a thought ... "I went there and you didn't!"-- always seems a tad aggressive. Instead, why not, "Let's share this feeling!" -- in which case the destination is immaterial....

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HT0184 - Alternative Formats
Here's a thought ... Grids, jigsaws, and panoramas....

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HT0184 - Alternative Formats
Here's a thought ... Grids, jigsaws, and panoramas....

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HT0183 - The Mundane
Here's a thought ... The saying goes, "If you can't make a great photograph of a mundane subject, at least make a mundane photograph of a great subject." But before you run off to Yosemite of Nepal, perhaps it might be worth thinking about this a little more deeply....

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HT0182 - Little Johnny One-note
Here's a thought ... Arnold Newman and his book Arnold Newman: The Early Work, published by Steidl in 2008. Including street photography, still life, architecture, abstracts....

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HT0181 - Artifacts
Here's a thought ... All of photography as a matter of tricking our eyes into thinking that little dots create continuous tones. The premise of that, however, is that we are not looking at a photograph, but rather at the real world. What if we actually want to look at an artifact that is art work and doesn't pretend to be the real world? When we read a novel, we don't believe we're actually witnessing people speaking a dialogue....

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HT0180 - Blind Pigs
Here's a thought ... Steve Allen, Anthony Trollope, and the occasional truffle.....

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HT0179 - The Randomness Factor
Here's a thought ... In my upcoming trip to Asia, I'll have a week to spend photographing in China. But where to go? China is huge and the possibilities are endless. But perhaps the more important question is, does it really matter? I suspect I could throw a dart at the map, go there, and find interesting things to photograph. And this says nothing about China, I think it's about seeing and the very nature of photography....

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HT0178 - About More
Here's a thought ... The camera business is doing its best to convince us we all need more megapixels. Perhaps we do, but more important than more megapixels is our need for more gigabytes, that is to say, more captures. We could use more time, more ideas, more insight, more curiosity....

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HT0177 - Art for Whom
Here's a thought ... The classic Victorian novelist, Charles Dickens, didn't set out to write "classics" for the educated elite. He wrote for the masses; he was a populist. I worry about how much of photography today is intended for other photographers....

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HT0176 - Spending Time
Here's a thought ... Time, of course, is our most precious commodity. We'd better have a pretty good reason to go somewhere to photograph. Perhaps it's as simple as wanting to spend time there....

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HT0175 - Looking and Seeing
Here's a thought ... Always seeing, sometimes photographing....

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LW1173 - Practical Tech
Here is a partial wish-list of practical features I'd love to see added to the next generation of cameras - or better yet, included in the next firmware update for my existing camera! You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The ...

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HT0174 - Quantifying Archivalness
Here's a thought ... How many years is long enough for our archival artwork? Wait a minute, isn't it more important to connect with an audience today rather than some nebulous audience in the distant future?...

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HT0173 - Changing with Time
Here's a thought ... I didn't like bleu cheese when I was a kid, but now I do. I used to like sugary cereals, but now I don't. Our appreciation of art will change over time, too, for better and for worse. It just will....

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HT0172 - Small Observations
Here's a thought ... The Rodeo Hat project and a bit of fun at the county fair....

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HT0171 - Those Delicate 1% Dots
Here's a thought ... The challenges in book publishing that result from paper opacity characteristics....

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HT0170 - The Thrill of Tones
Here's a thought ... Sometimes a gorgeous chord of black and white tones is all that's needed....

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HT0169 - Inverse Bokeh
Here's a thought ... The reason I used a view camera for 30 years — and prefer m4/3 cameras today....

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HT0168 - PBPA
Here's a thought ... Photography by Pooping Around. Trusting in the process of discovery....

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HT0167 - The 5% We Use
Here's a thought ... Our tools are getting more and more sophisticated — which probably means we are using less and less of their capabilities. I use only a small fraction of what my camera can do — and even less of what Photoshop is capable of doing. As they say, "Enough is as good as a feast."...

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HT0166 - Online Aesthetics
Here's a thought ... Because we are in the visual aesthetics business, doesn't it make sense that we want to control how are artistic statements are seen? Browsers and online apps complicate that because so much of page layout is not under our control. This is precisely why I am an advocate of the PDF format which allows total control over layout and design....

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HT0165 - Major Equipment Failures
Here's a thought ... I've experienced two major tech failures in my 40 years of photography: a defective light meter, and a faulty microdrive. Two in 40 years of photography....

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HT0164 - An Equipment Crisis
Here's a thought ... Oh, no! I have all the camera equipment I might ever need. Now what do I do?...

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HT0163 - Viewing Lights
Here's a thought ... A story about Paul Strand and why his original prints are so dark....

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HT0162 - Bad Advice
Here's a thought ... I cringe whenever I see a so-called photo expert tell another photographer how to improve a photograph by describing what they would do if it were up to them. This completely disregards what the photographer was intending to accomplish...

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HT0161 - Our Ever-changing Medium
Here's a thought ... Painters and sculptors are using the same media as their artistic ancestors. Same for novelists, singers, and a lot of musicians. Not photographers....

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HT0160 - The Marketing of Vivian Maier
Here's a thought ... Contemporary, inkjet prints without originals to know how she would have wanted them printed; sold in galleries as numbered and limited editions for original print gallery prices. Something is just not right about this....

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HT0159 - How We See Prints
Here's a thought ... Different sized prints are literally seen differently. Big prints are seen in small sections and assembled in our mind. Small prints are taken in all at once. The correct print size is a function of the subject, the composition, and how that is best seen....

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HT0158 - Workshop Instructors
Here's a thought ... The best workshop instructors have a combination of three skills: they know photography, they can teach, and they will have empathy for what it is you want to accomplish on your creative path....

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HT0157 - A Basement Full of Books
Here's a thought ... When budgeting for your photography book, don't overlook one of the most expensive aspects of publishing — the cost of unsold inventory....

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HT0156 - Universality
Here's a thought ... A photograph of your cat may be important to you, but it won't be meaningful to the rest of us unless it says something more universal about cats in general — or perhaps about pets, love, or something we can relate to. Art states the universal by way of the specific....

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HT0155 - Not in the Market
Here's a thought ... Camera sales are down because there are lots and lots of us or not buying (literally) the hype about the latest introductions. Sony just introduced the $3,500 a7 Mark IV, but this is so far out of need for most of us that we will simply pass. Actually this is a compliment to the capabilities of their previous models....

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HT0154 - Hype and Fake PR
Here's a thought ... "Twenty 20 photographers who are redefining the medium." Huh? When it seems to be more important what people are saying about your work that what the work is actually accomplishing....

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HT0153 - Copies
Here's a thought ... Photography is the ultimate copy medium. Copies of the appearance of the world; copy of what someone looks like; copying each other. But then there is personal expression — a better term than "fine art photography."...

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HT0152 - Others Lives
Here's a thought ... Photography is a way to explore other people's lives — to get out of our own skin. But this requires curiosity, empathy, even compassion. These don't seem like photographic skills, but they may be more important than understanding depth-of-field or the difference between an 8-bit or a 16-bit digital file....

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HT0151 - Back Issues
Here's a thought ... One of the things that I'm most proud of about our 26 years of publishing LensWork is that every issue we've published is just as valid today as it was the day we published it. They never go out of date. And that makes LensWork a fantastic resource....

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HT0150 - Book Resolution
Here's a thought ... The largest physical book in my library of 5000 photography books is the reprint of Cartier-Bresson's The Decisive Moment. The largest images in that book require 19 megapixel images....

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HT0149 - 1 of 1
Here's a thought ... If we are honest with ourselves, physical photographs are not precious; the infinitely reproducible medium. If anything is precious, it is our creative time and energy. Anything beyond 1/1 is a commercial decision....

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HT0148 - Moving Beyond the Obvious
Here's a thought ... The first time we photograph a new subject, we are likely to capture the most obvious compositions -- the cliché image. To move beyond the obvious, we need to go back, and go back, and keep digging....

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HT0147 - The Size of a Project
Here's a thought ... Big and little, long and short — strategically include projects of various sizes to prevent burnout and to encourage experimentation....

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HT0146 - Preserving Our Work for the Future
Here's a thought ... Physical artifacts vs digital content. The importance of multiple copies....

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LW1172 - Our Own Judgment
Are we qualified to judge our own work? Some research into this suggests it is more complicated that we might think. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of LensW...

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HT0145 - Adapting
Here's a thought ... If it's not the right light, adapt to what it is. If you don't have the right camera, adapt to what you can do with what you have. Photography is always a compromise between the ideal and the doable -- and that means photography is all about adapting....

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HT0144 - Editing
Here's a thought ... Writing is easy; editing is hard. Photographing is easy; editing is hard. Evaluating the options that say it best....

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HT0143 - Social Media Relationships
Here's a thought ... I don't do social media because of the types of relationships it promotes....

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HT0142 - Instagram Incentives
Here's a thought ... Social media rewards come in the form of "likes." What people expect to see, clichés, a push that incentivizes the center of the bell curve rather than artistic growth....

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HT0141 - Levels of Fandom
Here's a thought ... Joni Mitchell, and the press that focuses on a few of her greatest hits. To really appreciate the depth of an artist, we need to dive deeper than the surface of their greatest hits....

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HT0140 - Henri the Painter
Here's a thought ... From Cannery Row by John Steinbeck: "Henri the painter was not French and his name was not Henri. Also, he was not really a painter."...

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HT0139 - Proofing
Here's a thought ... The need to check, recheck, recheck again and never take anything for granted. Press check of Conn's monograph....

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HT0138 - Bookstores
Here's a thought ... I miss that 20-foot long run of photography monographs at Borders Books. A couple of days ago I was in a Barnes & Noble store that had exactly five photography books, period. Five. Very discouraging....

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LW1171 - Motivations versus the Market
If you want to sell you photographs, you'd better be willing to let go of your internal motivations and produce the photographs the market demands - even if that's dewy spider webs and kittens playing with yarn. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone a...

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HT0137 - Finding Inspiration
Here's a thought ... Reading Cannery Row by John Steinbeck makes me want to pick up my camera. Surrounding ourselves with excellence....

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HT0136 - Role models
Here's a thought ... At first, I wanted to be the next Ansel Adams. Then I wanted to be the next Wynn Bullock. It took me twenty years to learn to strive to be me -- the best me I can possibly be. In fact, I'm the only one who can be me, and I'm still figuring out what that means....

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HT0135 - Renting
Here's a thought ... A lot of artwork we rent, rather than purchase. Radio and television, live performances, museum tickets. How do we use this idea of renting artwork in photography? We're missing something....

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HT0134 - The Six Senses
Here's a thought ... The five senses are eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and touch - but the Buddhists add a sixth: the mind. Evoking more than just the visual sense intensifies the art viewing experience....

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LW1170 - Submit
Time to send in your work for review and possible publication in LensWork. Why not? Our Submission Guidelines can be found at our website. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always av...

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HT0133 - Untitled
Here's a thought ... The premise is to avoid influencing how the art is interpreted. That's an abdication of responsibility....

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HT0132 - Competition
Here's a thought ... Who's better, Caravaggio or Titian? Prokofiev or Hayden? CSN or Cream? Does competition even make sense in the world of art?...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

HT0131 - Exotic Media
Here's a thought ... So-called "alternative media" can be a trap that lends itself to bragging rights. Better if it is used because it's the strongest way of communicating....

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LW1169 - Beyond Geometry
Most people think of composition as a matter of placement, lines, and controlling eye movement. Beyond geometry there is the language of composition. A short discussion of four of the most important bits of compositional vocabulary. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are av...

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HT0130 - No Man's Land
Here's a thought ... Be exact or be really different, just don't be close or it will look like you tried and failed....

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HT0129 - Anthologies
Here's a thought ... Quite simply, anthologies provide more opportunities for people to find something they like....

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HT0128 - Good Technique and Good Content
Here's a thought ... Good technique is really hard in big prints. Good content is hard no matter what the size is....

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HT0127 - Nude Workshops
Here's a thought ...Advice from other workshop programs; cheesecake nudes are simply not for us....

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HT0126 - Those Coveted Collectors
Here's a thought ...Bill Jay proposed that there are only about 2000 serious collectors in the world; he may have been an optimist....

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HT0125 - The Third Axis
Here's a thought ...The obvious ones are left/right plus up/down plus forward/backward. Add to that the extreme forward and backward that radically changes MAGNIFICATION....

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HT0124 - Curriculum Vitae
Here's a thought ... I've never bothered with one. We don't read them. The quality of the work should be all that matters....

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HT0123 - The Golden Hour
Here's a thought ... Not the time of day, but rather the angle of light incident on the subject; winter at high latitudes; noon with vertical subjects....

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HT0121 - On Being Left Out
Here's a thought ... I simply don't understand certain sub-genre's of photography....

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HT0122 - Predictable Categories
Here's a thought ... The 39 categories we used in SIS and how few projects ended up in Misc....

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HT0120 - Our Rate of Failure
Here's a thought ... Success is an elusive thing. Get used to it, because it's a part of photography that unavoidable....

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HT0119 - Just Around the Corner
Here's a thought ... Why bother making photographs with today's primitive cameras when the really good technology is just around the corner....

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HT0118 - Acquisition Stories, Part 2
Here's a thought ... It's not just collectors who share acquisition stories, but a lot of times I find photographers talk about their work in terms of acquisition stories, too....

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HA0118 - Acquisition Stories
Here's a thought ... My observation is that when a collector talks about the work in their collection, it's never about the content of the photograph, but rather the story of how they came to purchase it.....

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HT0117 - Acquisition Stories
Here's a thought ... My observation is that when a collector talks about the work in their collection, it's never about the content of the photograph, but rather the story of how they came to purchase it.....

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LW1168 - Here's a thought . . . audios
As many of you already know, a few months ago we started a new series called Here's a thought that are short 1-2 minute videos, posted pretty much daily, where the focus is on ideas that are best presented in a short format - unlike our regular podcasts. A listener has written: "Love Here's a thought. Great stuff but I don't really need the video. Can you do them in an audio-only version maybe via RSS Feed sorta like your podcasts? That way I could listen to them in the car." Why not? So we'll ...

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HA0117 - Better Lenses
Here's a thought ... The new Texture Slider in Lightroom is like getting better lenses. Seriously, that's what it looks like, anyway....

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HT0116 - Better Lenses
Here's a thought ... The new Texture Slider in Lightroom is like getting better lenses. Seriously, that's what it looks like, anyway....

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HA0116 - Dry Spells
Here's a thought ... Everyone goes through dry spells when creativity and ideas just seem to vanish. You can either wait for them to resolve, or take some action that might help....

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HT0115 - Dry Spells
Here's a thought ... Everyone goes through dry spells when creativity and ideas just seem to vanish. You can either wait for them to resolve, or take some action that might help....

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LW1167 - Get On with It
Artists who stick to a schedule are always more productive than those who don't. Of course, we can't schedule when we will have a creative insight, but we can schedule when we will put forth effort. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.len...

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LW1166 - I Am a Photographer
What is photography to you in your life? How do you define success? You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of LensWork Online....

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LW1165 - Questions
A stream of consciousness exercise that asks questions I found useful in deflating a recent attack of GAS - "Gear Acquisition Syndrome". You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always available...

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LW1164 - Misdirection and Megapixels
Fuji has introduced a new 102 megapixel medium format camera. I won't be buying one. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of LensWork Online....

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LW1163 - When the Impossible Is Possible
Sometimes when I look at art, I am speechless with a sense of wonder at how such a thing can be done - in spite of the fact that it looks simply impossible. Why is it that I never have such a reaction when looking at photography? You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are avail...

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LW1162 - Cross Pollination
Creativity can be the result of simply combining two things together that normally don't go together. The result can be a new idea that leads to something thoroughly unexpected. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire...

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LW1161 - Text and Image
When text and image work together, there's so much more potential and the chance to communicate more deeply. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of LensWork Onli...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1160 - Megapixels and Data
Bigger, more, even bigger, and even more! Camera marketing tries to tell us what we need, but perhaps a more reliable source is to take a look at what we actually do and have done in the past. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork....

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1159 - Titles
Finding a title for your project is one of the most important steps in the process. Here are some ideas about what a title should accomplish and how to find a title that works. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire ...

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LW1158 - Today's Creative Challenge
When it comes to working in projects, we all start with a pile of prints. Moving from that pile of prints to a finished something or other is today's great creative challenge. You might be interested in . . . If you like Brooks Jensen's podcasts, check out his new video series titled, "Here's a thought..." These short 1-2 minute videos will give you a daily dose of creativity and something to think about. The three most recent videos are available to everyone at  daily.lenswork.com. The entire b...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1157 - How to Receive a Review
Because in the last podcast I talked about how I conduct a review, here are some thoughts from the opposite perspective - about how to increase the value of a review of your work. You might be interested in . . . Time is running out to submit your entries to our final Seeing in SIXES book! Deadline for entries is June 16, 2019  Everyone who enters will receive a book whether or not your work is selected for publication. Don't miss this chance to be a part of the final book in our ...

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LW1156 - How I Do a Review
I'm at Photolucida this week doing reviews with 40 or so photographers. Here's a look at what I'll actually be doing in these review sessions. You might be interested in . . . Time is running out to submit your entries to our final Seeing in SIXES book! Deadline for entries is June 16, 2019  Everyone who enters will receive a book whether or not your work is selected for publication. Don't miss this chance to be a part of the final book in our four-book series. Visit www.lenswork...

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LW1155 - Predictions for Photolucida
Do we photographers take pictures or make them? This is more than a mere semantic question because thinking more deeply about this can help clarify our creative intentions. You might be interested in . . . Time is running out to submit your entries to our final Seeing in SIXES book! Deadline for entries is June 16, 2019  Everyone who enters will receive a book whether or not your work is selected for publication. Don't miss this chance to be a part of the final book in our four-bo...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1154 - Take or Make
Do we photographers take pictures or make them? This is more than a mere semantic question because thinking more deeply about this can help clarify our creative intentions. You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The entire back-epi...

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LW1153 - Accomplishment
In looking back on my 40 plus year photographic career, I can't help but conclude that there have been some important accomplishments that I can treasure in retrospect. You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The entire back-episode...

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LW1152 - Specific and Universal
Photographs are typically about a specific thing at a specific place and a specific time. For them to function as artwork, however, they need to point to something more universal. Otherwise, the viewer may not be able to relate or find the photograph meaningful. It's a balancing act - a picture of a specific thing that says something far less specific. You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the ...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1151 - Five Artists (non-Photographers) You Should Study
Looking outside of photography will often bring us ideas and inspiration we can borrow and adapt for use in our photographic artwork. Here are a few non-photographic artists I recommend. You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The e...

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LW1150 - What You Can Do
Forget what your camera can't do, and think instead of all the things you can do! You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of LensWork Online. A great way to bring a touc...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography


LW1149 - New Is Not Always Necessary
It might just be that one of the most productive areas for us to explore is our own past and our personal archive of images. You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The entire back-episode archive is always available to members of L...

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LW1148 - So What
Mastering craft is just the first step in the process that eventually leads us all to ask a challenging question about our artwork - So what? You might be interested in . . . Here's a thought . . . is the title of our new series of short videos by Brooks Jensen about photography and the art life. Unlike our podcasts, these are quick thoughts of just a minute to two, pretty much daily. The most recent three videos are accessible at LensWork Daily. The entire back-episode archive is always availabl...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1147 - Distill to the Essence
Knowing what you want to say with your project is one thing, but the greater part of the work is figuring out how to distill down to the essence of your artistic statement. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen...

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LW1146 - Chaos in Nature
Landscape photography often can be reduced to either simplifying the chaos of nature or emphasizing it for effect. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen for publication in the 2016 and 2017 books. This is a gre...

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LW1145 - Photographers and Civilians
I recently read on a blog post this innocent - yet surprising - statement: "In today's digital age, most people only publish their photos on the Internet and view them on screens." Is this possibly true for us fine art photographers? And if so, what are the implications? You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Onli...

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LW1144 - The Rest of the Story
Splashy headlines may grab our attention, but as Paul Harvey showed us, the rest of the story is often where it really gets interesting. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen for publication in the 2016 and 201...

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LW1143 - Contemplative versus Frenetic Photography
How we work in the field can radically change what we produce in the end. Choosing the right working style can support the results you want to achieve. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen for publication in t...

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LW1142 - The Rest of Your Life
Connect via content, not the process of photographing content. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen for publication in the 2016 and 2017 books. This is a great resource for those who want to use these insights...

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LW1141 - Bokeh
I was really tempted to title this podcast "The Bullsh-- Bokeh Myth," but thought better of it. I can see the attraction and why so much talk these days is all in favor of bokeh-capable cameras and lenses, but then again . . . You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of ea...

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LW1140 - Only Connect
"After all, what is art? It is the mode by which the solitary heart of any one man bridges the gap which separates him from all of his brothers, mankind in general. All literature is but a message, strong or feeble, sent out by an individual and addressed to the human race. 'Only connect,' says E. M. Forster; literature is such a means of connection." -Clifton Fadiman, from Reading I've Liked (1941) You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen ...

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LW1139 - Experiential Print Size
Cameras and megapixels, print size and presentation - there is more to this thorny discussion than "meets the eye" - pun fully intended. You might be interested in . . . Before you submit your entries to Seeing in SIXES 2019... Listen to free audio commentaries about published projects from previous years! In this series of audio commentaries at LensWork Online, Brooks Jensen discusses the aspects of each project that propelled it to the elite group chosen for publication in the 2016 and 201...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1138 - The Masters and Us
A quick comparison of the tools and objectives in artmaking and photography and how both have changed in recent years. You might be interested in . . . Announcing Seeing in SIXES 2019 - The Final Year! Our last three Seeing in SIXES books were such a success, we're publishing one more book in 2019.    We are now accepting entries so visit www.lenswork.com for Seeing in SIXES entry form and instructions and submit one or more entries now! Deadline for entries is June 16, 2019...

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LW1137 - Validation
What do you want from your photographic effort? What do you want to get back from all the time and effort you spend doing your photography? These questions are not as simple as they might sound. You might be interested in . . . We are excited to announce our next publication in the LensWork Monograph series, Stillness & Light by Harold Ross. To receive this 72-page book and the next two monographs, you will need to subscribe by Monday, January 28th. Subscribe now at www.lenswork.com....

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LW1136 - Bad Lens, Bad Lens
I've been deep in the grips of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) for months now about a new lens to replace my bad lens - only to find out it's not such a bad lens after all. You might be interested in . . . We are excited to announce our next publication in the LensWork Monograph series, Stillness & Light by Harold Ross. To receive this 72-page book and the next two monographs, you will need to subscribe by Monday, January 28th. Subscribe now at www.lenswork.com....

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LW1135 - Incentives and Disincentives
What external factors are at play in your creative life that provide you incentives to do more work? What disincentives prevent you from doing more work? Managing both of these can help. You might be interested in . . . Announcing Seeing in SIXES 2019 - The Final Year! Our last three Seeing in SIXES books were such a success, we're publishing one more book in 2019.    We are now accepting entries so visit www.lenswork.com for Seeing in SIXES entry form and instructions and submit one or ...

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LW1134 - Seducing Your Audience
Along with all our photographic skills, it might be worth a little of our time to develop the skills to motivate strangers to take a look at our creative output. A few thoughts about the importance of publicity and invitations. You might be interested in . . . Announcing Seeing in SIXES 2019 - The Final Year! Our last three Seeing in SIXES books were such a success, we're publishing one more book in 2019.    We are now accepting entries so visit www.lenswork.com for Seeing in SIXES entry...

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LW1133 - Looking for Project Ideas
A good project idea is worth its weight in gold - and provides an often-needed jump-start in our creative life. But where do we look for project ideas? Sometimes, in surprising areas. You might be interested in . . . Announcing Seeing in SIXES 2019 - The Final Year! Our last three Seeing in SIXES books were such a success, we're publishing one more book in 2019.    We are now accepting entries so visit www.lenswork.com for Seeing in SIXES entry form and instructions and submit one or mor...

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1132 - The Magic Bullet
In photography, in artmaking, in life - there is no such thing as "the magic bullet" that will propel us to success and Valhalla. That doesn't, however, stop us from chasing after it - even though doing so diverts us from the more important things to which we should be paying attention. You might be interested in . . . This year we're celebrating the holidays and LensWork's 25th Anniversary! 25 Years of LensWork means 25% off everything in our store, including new or renewal subscriptions to Lens...

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LW1131 - It Caught My Eye
I continue to find the theme of photographic selection to be of increasing interest. Simply said, why do we choose to photograph what we photograph? You might be interested in . . . This year we're celebrating the holidays and LensWork's 25th Anniversary! 25 Years of LensWork means 25% off everything in our store, including new or renewal subscriptions to LensWork, Monographs, and LensWork Online memberships, as well as books and back issues. Go to shop.lenswork.com between now and December 31st...

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LW1130 - Photograph and image
Hopefully, a clarifying bit of semantics - or, why a "photograph" and an "image" are two different things. At least it's been helpful to me to think of them this way. You might be interested in . . . This year we're celebrating the holidays and LensWork's 25th Anniversary! 25 Years of LensWork means 25% off everything in our store, including new or renewal subscriptions to LensWork, Monographs, and LensWork Online memberships, as well as books and back issues. Go to shop.lenswork.com between now ...

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LW1129 - Working with a Pro
Great imagery is the goal for all of us photographers, but if your goals also include getting your work seen out in the world via publication, exhibition, etc., there are strategies that might be worth thinking about that make you a more desirable candidate. You might be interested in . . . This year we're celebrating the holidays and LensWork's 25th Anniversary! 25 Years of LensWork means 25% off everything in our store, including new or renewal subscriptions to LensWork, Monographs, and LensWor...

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LW1128 - Learning to See
Little did I know back then when I attended all those workshops in my youth, that the most valuable thing I was learning was not about craft and specific techniques, but rather I was learning how to see. You might be interested in . . . This year we're celebrating the holidays and LensWork's 25th Anniversary! 25 Years of LensWork means 25% off everything in our store, including new or renewal subscriptions to LensWork, Monographs, and LensWork Online memberships, as well as books and back issues....

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LW1127 - Power to the Resistance
Evil cosmic forces are at work to push us into Clichéland. We would be wise to resist their efforts. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

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LW1126 - The Lure of the Difficult
Photography is so much fun and so engaging for those of us who make photographs that it is tempting to think others (our viewers) will find our process equally interesting. They won't - and we should remember that when we write our artist statements. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of pho...

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LW1125 - Photograph the S--- Out of This
The eighth in a series of podcasts from the road. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

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LW1124 - The Non-negotiables
The seventh in a series of podcasts from the road. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1123 - Lightroom on the Road
The sixth in a series of podcasts from the road. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography


LW1122 - Watershed Moments
The fifth in a series of podcasts from the road. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1121 - Remembering Rodinal and the ASA Wars
The fourth in a series of podcasts from the road. You might be interested in . . . Seeing in SIXES 2018 is now shipping! This LensWork community book project has been printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing and promises to be an important and substantial survey of photography from the LensWork community. To see this year's selected photographers and order the 312-page book visit www.lenswork.com....

photography fineartphotography blackandwhitephotography b/wphotography

LW1120 - Moving the Goal Posts
The third in a series of podcasts from the road....

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LW1118 - The Random Subject
The first in a series of podcasts from the road....

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LW1117 - Hyper-reality in art
Some thoughts prompted from reading James T. Farrell's comments about hyper-reality in art - that seem to have been written specifically for us photographers....

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LW1116 - The Gift Economy
Nine examples how we might use the gift economy to share our work with others....

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LW1115 - Workflow and developing your ideas
A listener has asked about the workflow I use to capture and develop the ideas that become the content of Kokoro....

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LW1114 - The Grand Conversation
I'm moving my photography and art book collection to our new home - a task complicated by their collective weight and bulk. Those books must be important to me - and they are....

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LW1113 - Classes of Work
Different kinds of work can help keep up our momentum and promote progress in our learning. This is a way of life, not just a strategy for beginners....

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LW1112 - Don't Take Advice from Me
Here in the Internet age, trends and the collective zeitgeist assert more pressure on us than we might realize....

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LW1111 - One Picture Stories
I've been thinking about this idea of "pocket pieces" I mentioned in the last podcast. That has combined with other motivations and presented an idea for doing something interesting with some of my photographs - one picture stories. You might be interested in . . . LensWork is so pleased to announce that our third community book project, Seeing in SIXES, received another overwhelming and diverse selection of excellent work in 2018. This 312-page book - printed with the quality you've come to ex...

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LW1110 - Lessons from a YouTube musician
I've recently discovered a pianist / composer on YouTube named Nahre Sol. Her videos - although strictly about music - have a lot to teach us about our artmaking process as photographers. The Blues, As Digested by a Classical Musician You might be interested in . . . LensWork is so pleased to announce that our third community book project, Seeing in SIXES, received another overwhelming and diverse selection of excellent work in 2018. This 312-page book - printed with the quality you've co...

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LW1109 - Silver Anniversary of LensWork
Now that we've been publishing LensWork for 25 years, it's time for a few stories. You might be interested in . . . LensWork is so pleased to announce that our third community book project, Seeing in SIXES, received another overwhelming and diverse selection of excellent work in 2018. This 312-page book - printed with the quality you've come to expect from LensWork Publishing - is now available for pre-order at a special price through August 31st! Visit www.lenswork.com for details. Photogra...

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