Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Chalk Drawing

It's amazing what you can do with a stick of white chalk. As a kid, at best you did hop scotch or tic-tact-toe and called it quits. Dana Tanamachi take it to an interesting level using it in her graphic design. You can view more of her work at her web page here.

Ace Hotel Room 1021 from Dana Tanamachi on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Quote DuJour

"The aim of art is not to represent the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance."

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Quote DuJour

"Computers are useless –
all they can give you are answers"
-Pablo Picasso

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

360 Degree Project

What do you get when you sync 48 Nikon D700 in a circle..... The 360 Degree Project. Photography meets stop action. The results are unique. Ryan Enn Hughes along with The Big Freeze came up with some spectacular results.

The 360 Project - Behind the Scenes from Ryan Enn Hughes on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Quote DuJour

“Our life is frittered away by detail…
simplify, simplify.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Quote DuJour

The quote I'm using crosses all creative paths. Whether your a writer, painter, photographer, sculptor it crosses all disciplines.

Writing Is Easy:
all you do is sit staring at a blank piece of paper until the drops of blood form on your forehead.

-Gene Fowler

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quote DuJour

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
-Albert Einstein

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

London 2012 Olympic Posters....Boring & Bland!

I must say the Olympics should be inspiring. The selection of posters for the 2012 London Olympics are just plain bad. No inspiration or creativity in these. The selection committee must have been a sleep when picking these or they just wanted to be politically correct and offend no one. You can view them here

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

It's part of me, it's part of my life

One of the greatest Formula 1 racing drivers Ayrton Senna once said; "Racing, competing, it's in my blood. It's part of me, it's part of my life; I have been doing it all my life and it stands out above everything else." This also applies to those of us in the creative fields. Never forget your passion no matter how low you feel. There are good days and bad days and it is up to you to create more good than bad.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Quote DuJour

"There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality."
-Pablo Picasso

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Quote DuJour

"Creativity is a drug I cannot live without"
-Cecil B. DeMille

Monday, October 17, 2011

Race Fans Mourn

Ask any auto racing fan and they will tell you the sport is dangerous. Race car driver Dan Wheldon unfortunately got caught in an accident that cost him his life. Things just went wrong. My prayers are with his wife Susie his two children and his family.
Now comes the time for the evaluate cars, speeds and tracks. Reports from the track had drivers uneasy about the amount of cars and the speeds they were traveling. IRL it's soul searching time. Maybe it's time to slow the cars down. I don't have the answers, but I do know something good has to be done to make Indy Car racing safer.
Pictured Dan Wheldon with his wife Susie.
Photo credit IRL

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Quote DuJour

"Art is not what you see but what you make others see."
-Edgar Degas

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quote DuJour

If one really wishes to be a master of an art, technical knowledge of it is not enough. One has to transcend technique so that the art becomes an 'artless art' growing out of the unconscious
-D.T. Suzuki

Monday, October 03, 2011

Quote DuJour

Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold.
-W. Eugene Smith

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Some Great Creative Reading

Katrin Eismann an instructor at the SVA in New York has a great group of web pages. One is has a section of her article reprints from Photoshop User magazine. The column in Photoshop User magazine is called Creative Point of View are an enjoyable read which includes inspiration and technical tips for Photoshop. Click on over, download some of them and give them a read. You'll find them worth the time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Designing A Photograph – Mood

Photographer Scott Bourne has a great post on the Photofocus site. He discusses the important value of designing a photograph with mood in mind. It's worth a look at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Quote DuJour

"The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do'. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment."
-Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Quote DuJour

"Style has no formula, but it has a secret key.
It is the extension of your personality."
-Ernst Haas

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Quote DuJour

"Why not go out on a limb?
That's where the fruit is."

–Mark Twain

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Quote From My Basement!

Wir lernen schnell alt
und zu sp├Ąt klug.

We get to soon old and too late smart.
This is from a card that's been around the house for a long time.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Great Quotes Page has some great quotes. Take a few minutes to inspire yourself.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Friday ClixPix

(C) Neil Schierstedt All Rights Reserved

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Quote DeJour

“Some pursue happiness, others create it.”
- Unknown

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Delicate Dance

Photographers have always in some way manipulated images, but the question is to what degree. Dodge, burn in, some form of correction. The question is to what level and where does it cross the line especially in photojournalism. Ben Long has great and thoughtful blog post on that topic and is worth the read. The post "All Photographs Are Manipulated" is on the Creative Pro site.

Green, Green, Green

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Quote DuJour

"I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I'm frightened of the old ones."
- John Cage

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Don't Be Afraid To Experiment

This is a nice post by photographer Scott Bourne and is worth the read. It's on the Photofocus site.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

9 Motivational Essays On Photography

Let face it we all get in a visual rut sometimes. Climbing out can be difficult. Renowned wildlife photographer And car lover, has made available a free eBook called 9 Motivational Essays On Photography through the Animoto website. Follow this link to download this inspirational eBook. This might just get you out of the visual funk you get into and get you visual brain cells a firing.
Also on that page is an Animoto presentation of Scott Bourne's images of bald eagles which is quite majestic.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Photoshop Actions

If your looking for some creative moves to add to Photoshop, the site has some links to some very creative Photoshop actions. 20 to choose from here.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Quote DuJour

Empty your mind,
be formless, shapeless
like water.
Now you put water in a cup
it becomes the cup,
you put water in a bottle
it becomes the bottle,
you put water in a teapot
it becomes a teapot.
Now water can flow
or it can crash,
be water my friend.

-Bruce Lee

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Zen Saying

"Where there is great doubt, there will be great awakening; small doubt, small awakening, no doubt, no awakening."

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dark Dream

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 7

Seijaku Tranquility or an energized calm (quite), stillness, solitude. This is related to the feeling you may have when in a Japanese garden. The opposite feeling to one expressed by seijaku would be noise and disturbance. How might we bring a feeling of "active calm" and stillness to ephemeral designs outside the Zen arts?

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Graffiti Composite

A mix between old school type rusted and the new school of graffiti type.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 6

Datsuzoku Freedom from habit or formula. Escape from daily routine or the ordinary. Unworldly. Transcending the conventional. This principles describes the feeling of surprise and a bit of amazement when one realizes they can have freedom from the conventional. Professor Tierney says that the Japanese garden itself, "...made with the raw materials of nature and its success in revealing the essence of natural things to us is an ultimate surprise. Many surprises await at almost every turn in a Japanese Garden."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 5

Yugen Profundity or suggestion rather than revelation. A Japanese garden, for example, can be said to be a collection of subtleties and symbolic elements. Photographers and designers can surely think of many ways to visually imply more by not showing the whole, that is, showing more by showing less.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Illusions of a Cold One!

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 4

Shizen Naturalness. Absence of pretense or artificiality, full creative intent unforced. Ironically, the spontaneous nature of the Japanese garden that the viewer perceives is not accidental. This is a reminder that design is not an accident, even when we are trying to create a natural-feeling environment. It is not a raw nature as such but one with more purpose and intention.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 3

Shibui/Shibumi Beautiful by being understated, or by being precisely what it was meant to be and not elaborated upon. Direct and simple way, without being flashy. Elegant simplicity, articulate brevity. The term is sometimes used today to describe something cool but beautifully minimalist, including technology and some consumer products. (Shibui literally means bitter tasting).

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 2

Fukinsei Asymmetry or irregularity. The idea of controlling balance in a composition via irregularity and asymmetry is a central tenet of the Zen aesthetic. The enso ("Zen circle") in brush painting, for example, is often drawn as an incomplete circle, symbolizing the imperfection that is part of existence. In graphic design too asymmetrical balance is a dynamic, beautiful thing. Try looking for (or creating) beauty in balanced asymmetry. Nature itself is full of beauty and harmonious relationships that are asymmetrical yet balanced. This is a dynamic beauty that attracts and engages.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Japanese Aesthetic Principle 1

Kanso Simplicity or elimination of clutter. Things are expressed in a plain, simple, natural manner. Reminds us to think not in terms of decoration but in terms of clarity, a kind of clarity that may be achieved through omission or exclusion of the non-essential.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Garden of Cosmic Speculation has an interesting web post featuring "The garden of Cosmic Speculation". The Garden of Cosmic Speculation was created by Charles Jencks and is at the Patrick House in South West Scotland. The garden was inspired by science and mathematics and is quite the visual trip for the eyes. Give it a look at

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Friday, July 08, 2011

Friday ClixPix

Summer brings out the vendor carts in Little Village in Chicago.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Lessons From The Bamboo

This is a great video from the author of Presentation Zen. It makes a lot of sense it todays world.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Quote DuJour

"My true program is summed up in one word: life. I expect to photograph anything suggested by that word which appeals to me"
-Edward Weston

Monday, July 04, 2011

Play Each Day Like Jazz

Grant Snider has an interesting blog called INCIDENTAL COMICS. His current blog posting is a great read called "Play Each Day Like Jazz". It's a nice post and his blog is always worth a look.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Quote Du Jour

Photography to me is catching a moment which is passing, and which is true.
-Jacques-Henri Lartigue

Summer Fare

Hot time summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty......So the lyrics go to that old rock song. The city of Chicago hit over 90 degrees today so I thought I'd add a cooling summer refreshment image.... Watermelon. Now you can here Herbie Handcock's version of the song Watermelon Man run through your head. Ahhhhhhh refreshing!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Magazine Photoshopping Linked to Eating Disorders

When Adobe invented Photoshop, I bet they never expected to be attacked for being linked to eating disorders. Yes Photoshop is being used by the fashion industry and yes they take the editing to extremes. But to blame Photoshop for the problem is absurd. I never heard the AMA blame the airbrush for the same problems and the fashion industry was using that before Photoshop.

In a report from ABC news: "Photoshopping, especially as it's related to children and adolescents, gives them an unrealistic expectation of what they might expect to look like as they grow up," said Jeremy Lazarus, AMA's president-elect. "So there are adverse health consequences as a result of that." That's quite a leap. It seems to be easy to pass the blame onto a computer program.

Does the fashion industry need to get it's act together... yes. Should it be pointed out ...yes. but to say "So there are adverse health consequences as a result of that." is a bit much. A lot of factors play into eating disorders, but I don't think an over photoshopped image is the cause. I fear that we will have the Fashion Police. We already have the Food Police. With this I fear the politicians will join the bandwagon to make political hay from this.

Fashion industry....get real....Fashion Police....go away......politicians you've got a lot more to worry about like the economy and the jobless problem.

One final note to my editorial photographer friends.....stay far away from this problem as you can. Keep it real and keep the news photos, other than exposure adjustments etc, well enough alone.

I wonder if Adobe expected their product to be turned into a verb and used against them and their product.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Advice from Edward to Ansel

Even the greatest talk and give each other pearls of wisdom. This was from the great Edward Weston to the great Ansel Adams.
"I would say to any artist: 'Don't be repressed in your work, dare to experiment, consider any urge, if in a new direction all the better.'"
Photographic words to live by!

Monday, June 27, 2011

A Unique Photographic Perspective

Andy Ilachinski's Tao of Photography blog has some great reading material from his talk to the Church Photo Club. The talk was Physics, Tao and Fine Art Photography and his presentation slides are downloadable from his site. His photographic philosophy is unique and his images stunning. It is worth a look.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Quote Du Jour

The camera is a fluid way of encountering that other reality.
-Jerry Uelsmann

Friday, June 24, 2011

Friday ClixPix

I caught this shot in the Little Village area of Chicago. I named it Jesus Retail which I think fits the image.

Feets Don't Fail Me Now!

Photographer Scott Bourne of the Photofocus page has an enjoyable post about what to do when you don't have a zoom lens. Take a moment and enjoy it on Photofocus.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Motel Signage Modification

I really like this image of this 1950's style Motel sign. Of course they upgraded their units to suites, so what do you do, redo the sign? No you just tack on the suites part...... sorta tacky!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vision Ebook

Photographer Scott Bourne has a free downloadable ebook on his creative vision of photography. His way of giving back to the photographic community, which is nice. It is meant to insire photographers and is well worth a read..... yes it is free, so check it out! Vision is downloadable here.

Quote Du Jour

The key is to not let the camera, which depicts nature in so much detail, reveal just what the eye picks up, but what the heart picks up as well.
-Paul Caponigro

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Quote Du Jour

"The illiterate of the future will be the person ignorant of the use of the camera as well as the pen."
- Lazlo Hoholy-Nagy

Monday, June 13, 2011

Believing in Yourself

I ran across a great motivational article addressed to photographers by Skip Cohen of the GoingPro website. Sometimes as photographers we beat ourselves up and we lose faith in what we do. This article is a great pick-me-up for when your needing a mental boost. Read it and enjoy!

Monday, June 06, 2011

Quote Du Jour

I am not interested in shooting new things -
I am interested to see things new.
-Ernst Haas

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Well Crack Me Up!

Once again has a great free collection. This time its Photoshop crack brushes. Check it out there might be something here for your next creative project.

2000 Free Photoshop Patterns has a nice group of links to 2000 Free Photoshop Patterns. Various styles to fit your projects.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Hiroshima: The Lost Photographs

The Design Observer web site has an article on a trunk load of photographs that had been found of the bombing of Hiroshima Japan. It is always chilling to see the devastation from that bombing and should remind us actions have consequences. The question will always be, has the world learned from this, or will history repeat itself. The post is worth the look.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Quote Du Jour

If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you.
If you're not out there, you'll only hear about it.
-Jay Maisel

Thursday, June 02, 2011


We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.
-Tennessee Williams

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Quote Du Jour

The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of 'how to do'. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment.
-Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

Monday, May 30, 2011

With Honor

Today we honor those who served our country

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday ClixPix

Everything moves, everything flows