Friday Inspiration: Penny De Los Santos

I came across Penny De Los Santos on a recent episode of The Candid Frame. Although she’s billed as a ‘travel and food photographer’ she has had quite a journey that included a personal project photographing inside a women’s prison in Nuevo Laredo and stint with the National Geographic. Her photographs transcend the usual food photograph genre, well worth checking out.

Check out Penny’s story in the introduction to her CreativeLive Workshop:

Friday Inspiration: Duane Michals

Duane Michals name cropped up in a couple of different places for me in the last month and because I pay attention to those kind of coincidences I decided to look him up.

In researching Duane Michals I was surprised by his range from commerical to fine art and everything in between. I didn’t realize for instance that he was responsible for the photograph’s on The Police Album Synchronicity. The work of his that perhaps he’s most famous for are the still films, an example of which ‘Chance Meeting’ is above and incorporating text into his images. He also has a tremendous sense of humor, some of which comes through in the film below.

Duane Michals, Photographer – Video Editing – Trailer : project of documentary directed by Camille Guichard / Terra Luna Films from Les Particules Videos on Vimeo.

Friday Inspiration: Cig Harvey

My first experience of Cig Harvey‘s photography was the image above which ran as a cover for Maine Magazine. It made me pick up the magazine, which I absolutely love, but also gave me an reason to dig deeper into Cig Harvey’s work.

Cig Harvey was born and raised in Devon in the South of England and now divides her time between Boston and the coast of Maine. Her personal work seems to me to tell the stories of what’s going on in her life and includes a number of self-portraits, many of which show case her collection of vintage dresses.

To hear Cig speaking about her work, process and inspiration check out this video .

Friday Inspiration: Rolf Horn

Rolf Horn‘s work caught my eye when I was recently poking around on the Soulcatcher Studio website.  I had been looking at the Paul Caponigro images that they have displayed there and decided to spend a few moments looking at the work of some of the other artists that they represent.

Rolf’s square black and white images, often long exposures, are reminiscent of the work of the other photographers that I enjoy – especially Michael Levin, David Fokos and of course Michael Kenna.  I perhaps shouldn’t have been surprised, although I was, to find that Rolf had worked as Michael Kenna’s assistant for a while.

Like Kenna, Rolf uses medium format cameras (Hassleblad) and film for his work, producing silver gelatin prints.  He is very much committed to this mode of photography, in fact if his comments regarding digital photography in this Black & White article when taken at face value are quite inflammatory – ‘thems fightin’ words’ as we would say where I grew up.  In addition the Black & White magazine feature, Rolf’s photography has been featured in a number of other magazines.  A full listing can be found here.

Rolf’s website is well worth exploring, there a large number of his completed bodies of work to dig into.  What I find interesting is that some of the portfolios date back to the early 1990’s and so as you look through it’s interesting to track Rolf’s aesthetic evolution.  His most recent work has a quiet energy that I particularly enjoy and I have to say it – his snow monkey picture (below) is one of my favorites to date.

There Are Images Everywhere – The Art of Seeing


There are images everywhere. No really there are.

Regardless of whether you live in an area that people would travel to because of it’s natural beauty, or whether you live in an area that people feel they need to leave to experience natural beauty there are images to be made. The skill that we need to learn is to see them. This is something that takes practice. Freeman Patterson’s book ‘Photography and the Art of Seeing‘ is a great place to start. A new edition just came out – it’s exceptional and should find a home on every photographer’s shelf.

Learning to see the possibilities around you means carrying a camera around with you and using it every day. For me there are days when that’s not an issue at all and then those other days when I’m running to stay in one place, not so easy. But I keep trying.

I’m finding with the iPhone that I enjoy the exploration of image after taking it, at least as much as taking it in the first place. The image above was taken while I was waiting for my son to be released from school the other day. I played with it in photoforge and phototoaster.

Friday Inspiration: Freeman Patterson

The reach of Freeman Patterson‘s influence never fails to impress me. Whether it’s through his books, workshops or seminars Freeman has touched many photographers. Digging through some of his books such as  Photography and the Art of Seeing and if you can find it Photo Impressionism and the Subjective Image I found descriptions of many of the ideas that have been popularized by others.  It’s well worth taking the time to dig through these for the treasures they hold.

Much of Freeman’s photography happens close to his home on Shamper’s Bluff, New Brunswick, Canada. You get a taste for what a glorious place this is in the video below.

To hear more from Freeman Patterson click here to listen to his interview with Ibarionex Perello on the ‘The Candid Frame’ podcast.


Friday Inspiration: Danny Gregory – An Illustrated Life

Danny Gregory’s book ‘An Illustrated Life‘ arrived this week.  This is part of my continuing exploration of how visual artists engage with their chosen medium on a daily basis.   Keeping a visual journal seems to be a common way to keep the energy up and to stay creative.  ‘An Illustrated Life‘ is not a new book, rather it was published in 2008, is a collection of example pages of the journals of 50 illustrators, artists, and designers with a short introduction from each.  After a quick flip through, I’m part of the way through it in more detail – it’s going to be something that I’m going to enjoy dipping into on a regular basis over the next few weeks.  A video for the book is below.

Danny’s other books are well worth checking out as is his website, where you can find examples of his journals.

Friday Inspiration: Michael Levin in Japan

I first came across Michael Levin‘s work last year when it was featured in George Barr‘s book – Why Photographs Work: 52 Great Images Who Made Them, What Makes Them Special and Why. Michael works in black and white using long exposures, as long as 60 minutes, to create images that have been described as ‘soulful and evocative’. Read an interview with Michael in ‘The F-Stop Magazine’ here.

The video below was shot in Japan by Brad Kremer and is a showcase for who Michael is and what his work is about.

KI: Michael Levin from Brad Kremer on Vimeo.

More videos featuring Michael’s process can be found here.