Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #196

Start your Monday off right: 

  1. Choreographer & acrobat Yoann Bourgeois and pianist Alexandre Tharaud have collaborated on this mind bending performance using a trampoline, a staircase, and the famous Claude Debussy piece
  2. Certain video games reach a level where they are part game and part art piece and Gris is definitely one of them. I love the surreal watercolor world they created. 
  3. Victoria and Albert Museum recently published two of Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks so you can flip through the historic pages.  
  4. Wentao Wei has a very calm and peaceful style of photography focusing on the junction between humans and landscape. 
  5. Levi Walton has beautiful style to his portraits. The color palette feels like it harkens back to the days of kodachrome. 
  6. “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive.” — Joseph Campbell
  7. The photos of the mountains somewhere in Asia by She Escobar are stunning. I would love to explore the area with a camera in hand. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #195

Start your Monday off right:

  1. I randomly discovered the Sampson Boat Co's youtube series on rebuilding the Tally Ho, a 1910 Gaff Cutter, by hand and quickly binged watched all the episodes. The ship was scheduled to be destroyed. Now its being rebuild board by board.    
  2. The Tables documentary is about the diverse characters who play table tennis at Bryant Park in NYC. Its a wonderful story and beautifully shot.
  3. Hobo Graffiti supposedly was the practice of painting different symbols on buildings and structures as a way to pass message from one hobo to another. There is some disagreement about whether its a true story but I thought it was interesting. 
  4. I found two lists of photographers worthy of a share. Huckberry compiled 10 Travel Photographers With Follow-worthy Instagrams. The other is Andy Adams's  10 Midwest Photographers You Should Follow.
  5. The upcoming Gary Winogrand documentary, "Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable", looks great. I will definitely try to see this when it comes out. 
  6. “Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
    ― Ralph Waldo Emerson
  7. Toshiya Masuda creates these playful pixelated ceramic sculptures. I stared at a few of these as my mind tries to resolve the blurriness.  

  8. Zuzanna Szarek captured the constant present of McDonald's Golden Arches on the landscape. 

  9. Olivia Kemp creates these sprawling drawings of cities that you can spend hours discovering all the elements hidden in them. 

  10. I love this Austin Kleon's talk, Creative is not a noun, and I figured I would share it again in case you didnt see it the first time. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #194

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Jodi Ettenberg quit her job as a lawyer to travel for a year and is now celebrating her 10 year anniversary of traveling. These are her favorite blog posts over the past 10 years
  2. Rosa de Jong creates these delightful tiny miniature houses built on cork "cliffs" and hangs them so they appear to float in the frame. I love see part of the building process on her Instagram account. 
  3. A stunning video of the Dolomite region in northern Italy. Hold on while I check the price of flights and pack my camera. 
  4. Visarute Angkatavanich takes portraits of Siamese fighting fish, commonly referred to as a Beta fish. The colors and movement of the fish render the photographs more like paintings than anything else.   
  5. Sebastian Magnani used a round mirror to create these dual landscapes by pairing the ground vegetation and the reflective scene in the mirror. 
  6. "What you think is attainable is just a function of what you know at the moment…Remember that great expectations create great capabilities. If you limit your goals to what you know you can achieve, you are setting the bar way too low.”    Ray Dalio
  7. I love Thomas Danthony's illustration style. He combines bold colors with a minimalist approach which works brilliantly. 
  8. You may not recognize the name Tinker Hatfield but he is responsible for many of Nike's iconic shoes including most of the Jordans. He sat down for a great interview about his work and process. 
  9. The Do Lectures is a great event in Wales bringing together a diversity group of people doing interesting work. They just released videos of all the talks from this year's event. These were the 32 lessons learned from this year's Do Lecture

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #193

Start your Monday off right:

  1. The music from Super Nintendo runs through my childhood. I never realized what a big step in terms of game/music design the system was. The great series Nerdwriter explores how they made music of the Super Nintendo. 
  2. Kerby Rosanes creates these crazy geometric animals with pencil and pen. I would love to see how he creates each piece. 

  3. Aleia Murawski and Sam Copeland build miniature sets and then photograph their pet snail interacting with the sets. The gif on the snail on the skateboard cracked me up. 

  4. I love the combination of colors and movement in Christy Lee Rodgers's underwater photography. Each image just pulls you into the frame.  

  5. Alishia Farnan photographed the social clubs which have dominated social life in Scotland for a long time but are dying out. You can almost imagine what these buildings feel like from this set of images. 

  6. "I am often asked by younger designers and emerging creatives what I think of their work. My stock answer is that it’s not important what I think of your work— what’s important is what YOU think of your work. What’s important is how it makes you feel and how you get it out the door. Don’t even think to judge your work, just keep making. If your work is bad, keep making until it’s good. Judge not, just keep making."
    James Victore
  7. Joe Clinfton traveled through Turkey with his camera capturing the diversity found in the country. I love the image of all the hot air balloons taking off over the city. 

  8. Matt D'Avella spoke to T.K. Coleman, the education Director at Praxis, an apprenticeship program designed to give an alternative to college, on his Ground Up podcast. I love the title of episode, Dreams Don't Come True, Decisions Do

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #192

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Jadav Payeng has been planting trees on the sandy barren river island, Majuli Island, for 40 years. Now the island is covered with a lush forest. A solid example of what someone is capable of if you are willing to work at it long enough. 
  2. Rich is leading the fight with Tesla to be able to fix the car by himself rather then sending the car back to the factory. He is doing it by taking two destroyed Teslas and making a single working car. 
  3. If you need another reminder that you dont need a top of the line camera to produce great pictures, here are the winners of the Iphone photography award
  4. Philip Barlow paints out-of focus cityscapes. The blurred lights reminded you of the beauty found in cities at light surrounded by so many lights.  
  5. Dango is a famous Japanese desert with three colored balls skewered together on a stick. Alex Liverani took this idea and created triptychs using his colorful street photography.
  6. “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”
    – Steve Maraboli
  7. Rhed Fawell uses found newspapers, letters, and other things to create these beautiful collages. I almost want to start playing with this type of work. 
  8. Ilya Milstein's illustrations feel like if Tintin just lived a normal life. I get lost studying his larger scenes as there a number of little gems hidden in the chaos.  
  9. Writer and filmmaker Errol Morris shares 10 points on truth and photography. There is some big ideas buried in this short points but it represents a great starting point for a discussion. 
  10. I love how concise and profound Derek Sivers can be and it's no different with his latest post, You don’t need confidence, just contribution.

The Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #191

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Kaffeeform took used coffee grounds and natural glues to create this awesome coffee cups. They look like they were crafted from marble wood. 
  2. I have no idea how sculptor, Alex Chinneck, added a zipper to the front of this condemned building in Kent, England. I originally thought it was painted to appear like a zipper but it is in fact real.  
  3. You have no idea who Jerry and Rita Alter are but all the evidence points to them as the thieves of a Willem de Kooning in 1985. This is all coming out after their death when their estate was sold to an antiques dealer who discovered the de Kooning in the collection. 
  4. The photographer, Steve Roe, combined a fractal prism and the neon lights of Japan to create these images which feel like they were taken out of Blade Runner. 
  5. The photo book publisher, The Velvet Cell, is having a 50% off summer sale and it ends today (August 6th). Check out their collection if you want to add to your photobook library. 
  6. “I used to resent obstacles along the path, thinking ‘if only that hadn’t happened life would be so good.’ then I suddenly realized, life is the obstacles. There is no underlying path.” – Janna Levin 
  7. John Dykstra's surreal photographs blew me away. He combines 2D and 3D elements perfectly to throw off the viewer.  His work is so unlike anyone else I have seen. 

  8. Instead of focusing on the crazy summer street festivals in Spain,  David Salcedo found the quiet moments that surround these raucous events in his series, Fuchina.  

  9. Ruth Beatty, a designer for North Face, talks about the necessity of vulnerability in creative work.  A great message that deserves reminding. 

  10. Illustrator Christoph Niemann spoke at Ted about how artists tap into emotion and our minds all without using words. We are fluent in a visual language without realizing it. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #190

Start your Monday off right:

  1. I know no idea how you create pasta as colorful as Linda Miller Nicholson but her results are stunning. Her interview with Saveur provides a little more backstory on her process. 
  2. We all can picture the conductor waving his arms in front of the orchestra but what is he actually doing on stage? This video explains what the conductor is doing with each gesture. 
  3. The legendary architect, Frank Gehry, talks about creating feeling with his designs and how he came to pull from the design of fish for some of his buildings. 
  4. Melissa McCracken sees colors when she hears to music, a condition called synesthesia, and these beautiful paintings are the colors she hears. Its crazy to think of music in terms of color like this. 
  5. Peter Braunholz traveled 20K miles through the small towns and villages in Europe creating subtle "urban" landscapes for his series, Topophilia. This is a perfect example of a series which relies on the whole body of work rather than a single image. 
  6. “Stay away from negative people. They have a problem for every solution.”
    – Albert Einstein
  7. Lenscratch 2018 Road Trip Exhibition is a great photo collection of the classic summer road trip.  

  8. Scott Belsky talks about his new book, The Messy Middle, which is the part of any creative work where the initial excitement has worn off but you havent finished it yet. Many creative projects have died in this phase. 

  9. In classic internet clickbate titles, These 20 Pictures Will Teach You More than Reading 100 Books is a pretty far fetched title even though the pictures/article is solid. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #189

Start your Monday off right:

  1. This factory is a whirling maze of one of a kind machines all working together to produce rubber gloves. I laughed at the spinning ceramic hands racing through the facility. 
  2.  Macrons are legendarily difficult to make. Tasty produced thousands of batches to figure out the most fool proof way to make macrons. I might have to make a batch or two. 
  3. The Van Gogh Museum just released close to 1000 digital versions of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings. I love being able to scroll through his less popular paintings that I havent seen before. 
  4. Francisco Negroni captures the insane storms which arise around erupting volcanoes in Chile. The scenes are so crazy that they almost dont seem real.  After the lava has cooled, Luca Galavotti creates these landscapes which feel very other worldly. 
  5. The light in Western USA has a magic quality which is hard to quantify. Chiara Zonca's images are a perfect example of that light in its best form. 
  6. "Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide whether it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” —  Andy Warhol
  7. While staying in Chennai, India, Joris Hermans walked the beaches with a camera capturing the memorable people he would come across. 

  8. Daniel Agdag created this stunning short video using 1258 cardboard art deco pieces and props. 

  9.  The Mulligan Brothers cut a short video of Casey Neistat talking about how he shows up each and every day and what happened as a result. Its inspiring stuff. 

  10. The Great Discontent is one of my go-to sites for long form interviews. They spoke with photographer, Noah Kalina, about his work and journey in photography. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #188

Start your Monday off right now:

  1. I stumbled across the Instagram account, Cabin Love, and it only heightened my desire to buy a piece of land in the middle of nowhere and build a cabin on it. Cabin Love teamed up with Prairie Mountain Folk School to offer classes in building your own cabin. 
  2. Chef Brian Konefal of Coppa Cafe explains why foraging for ingredients is so vital for him and his restaurant. I love how he takes parts of a plant that I would never think of eating. 
  3. Photographer, Tom Hegen, flew above the nearly 2 billion blooming tulips in Holland to create this colorful and abstract series. If I stumbled on these in a museum, I would be hard pressed to figure them out. 
  4. These 5 woman fashion photographer who helped changed the fashion industry. A great look at some photographers who may have been ignored so far. 
  5. Ben Lowly started off at a war photographer but left the battle field after numerous tours to get into photojournalism and underwater photography. A great talk on how to tell story with your camera. 
  6. “It's so hard to forget pain, but it's even harder to remember sweetness. We have no scar to show for happiness. We learn so little from peace.” ― Chuck Palahniuk
  7. Masaki Yamamoto spent a couple years capturing his family's daily life spent in their small one room house.  

  8. Olivier Bekaert brought his film cameras to Japan and his images show a different side of the country as he focuses more on the rural elements instead of Tokyo. 

  9. Photographers, Daniel Arnold and Andre Wagner, team up for New York Times article on the "The Impolite Pleasure of People-Watching". I love how each one has their own style but they work together so well. 

  10. Bruce Polin pulls a cart carrying his 8x10 camera and equipment through Prospect Park looking for people who his sit for portraits. The resulting series is top notch. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #187

Start your Monday off right:

  1. One of my favorite food blogs, Lady & Pups, created a number of "instant" soup mixes allowing you to enjoy Pho and Japanese Curry Udon at home without buying the mystery pack from the grocery store. 
  2. Napkin finance makes financial concepts simple to understand by using illustrations on a napkin to convey the ideas. 
  3. I love when My Modern Met does a sketchbook post. All I want to do is flip through the rest of the pages of each sketchbook. 
  4. Tiny Heirloom makes these gorgeous small houses on wheels. I would love to put one of these on a lake in the middle of no where. 
  5. Every so often Hiut Denim company releases their Do One Thing Well list which 75 products or experiences which caught their eye. I always find something interesting on this list. 
  6. David Rothenberg explores the neighborhood of East Elmhurst, Queens which lives under the constant barrage of planes landing at LaGuardia Airport. The planes are so low to the ground at various points that he can capture faces of people staring out of the window. 
  7. "It’s as simple and as complex as that. You’re the only you that’s ever been. Keep showing up despite the chaos. Be humble in the pursuit of your art and ruthless about finding the time to make it. Find friends with whom you can weather the tragic gaps. Give one another loving, honest feedback and teach each other how to make money in weird, sustaining ways. Collaborate and commiserate. Make relationships that are reciprocal, not transactional. Make lives that aren’t easy, but rife with good material. Make art that matters."
    — Courtney Martin
  8. The coastal town of Lowestoft in Suffolk is the subject of Kate Hayward's series, "Between Darkness and Light".  I love how even if she didnt show the see, you could tell pretty quickly that the town was on the coasts. 

  9. Raymond Depardon did everything from photo journalism to landscape photography from the 1960s to the 1990s. He is another photographer I have never heard but his work is fabulous. 

  10. I have linked to both Giles Dudley and Zach Wolfe's work in the past but I just stumbled on new videos from both photographers. Each story is inspiring in very different ways. 

  11. Ashleigh Coleman did the latest episode of "Photowalks" with Local Analog. You get to see how she works and interacts with people to create her wonderful portrait of the south. 

  12. Austin Kleon's recent post, "You don’t have to live in public", resonated with a growing desire in me to stop much of my social media use. As soon as I begin to entertain these ideas, my FOMO (fear of missing out) kicks in hardcore. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #186

Start your Monday off right:

  1. My biggest food weakness is Asian noodles. I love it all. Naturally, I was fascinated watching these two different chefs make very different type of noodles starting from just flour and water. Now I am hungry. 
  2. The National Geographic travel photographs of the year is an impressive collection of photographs. My favorite is the black and white image from inside of a trolley car in Japan.  
  3. Tortus Copenhagen is a ceramic artist who created a memorizing video of clay being thrown on a wheel. Its easy to get lost in the spinning clay. 
  4. Adobe recreated lost fonts from the legendary Bauhaus school of design. I also love this service that turns your handwriting into a font. I strongly considering doing this. 
  5. Fiona Struengmann bought 7K photographs collected over 50 years at a flea market and physically alters the images to produce her work. 
  6. “Time and again I was seeing that if I could handle the winds of the current storm, they would end up blowing in some great gift … Challenging situations create the force needed to bring about change. The problem is that we generally use all the stirred up energy intended to bring about change, to resist change. I was learning to sit quietly in the midst of the howling winds and wait to see what constructing action was being asked of me.”
    – Michael Singer
  7. Zach Wolfe turned his love of hip-hop into a career as a portrait photographer documenting the whose who of hip-hop. I had never heard of Zach before but I have definitely seen some of these images. 

  8. The street art festival, Pow Wow, returned to Hawaii. I love watching artist paint giant murals. 

  9. Sam Parkes traveled through the high plateaus of central Mexico to the Southern tip of Tierra Del Fuego with his trusty camera showing a different side of Mexico. 

  10. Italian photographer, Mario Carnicelli, traveled to the USA in the 1960s and produced this body of work which was recently rediscovered after 50 years. It feels like Mad Men came to life. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #185

Start your Monday off right:

  1. The skateboarder, Braydon Szafranski, bombs down the long windy road leading out of Arches National Park in Moab, UT. The video instantly brought me back to visiting the park with its insane views. 
  2. Dan Mancina lost his vision due to a degenerative eye disease yet he refused to stop skateboarding. He explains how he has to find obstacles with reference points which allow him to hit the trick without seeing it.   
  3. The famous street fashion photographer, Bill Cunningham, kept massive scrapbooks that he used as references for his photographs. I love seeing behind the scenes look at people's creative processes. 
  4. Justin Peters takes stock photographs and combines them to create this fantastic surreal images. It would be fun to see a video of how he edits these together. 
  5. Manne Wahlström is a portrait photographer who style ranges from classic environmental portraits to more conceptional work. 
  6. “People that feel happy, successful, and fulfilled by their lives and work all have one thing in common: they feel as though they are making progress on something that matters...what I do, as stupid as it sounds, is I don’t focus on balancing everything. I focus on just making sure I make progress on one thing a day. That’s right you heard me, just one thing a day that matters to me. Now, if I can make progress on one thing a day that matters to me, then I can let go and let the rest of my day get hijacked by kids, by my spouse, by phone calls, by emails, by social media, by all kinds of things that come up and tend to hijack your day when you are a busy person.”
    – Mel Robbins
  7. Unlearning might be as important as learning as the world keeps changing at an ever increasing pace. Derek Sivers points this out in a recent post on the subject. 

  8. I stumbled on Frank Ockenfels 3's work and immediately fell down the rabbit hole watching as many interviews as I could. This is my favorite interview where he talks about how photograph doesnt have rules.  

  9. The Observers asks visual artists (mostly photographers) for the photobooks which inspired them the most. They just started but it looks like it will be a great resource for photobooks. 

  10. Seth Godin reveals two secrets for generating good ideas.

  11. Mark Manson explains that certain things in life become more difficult as we try harder (the relationship between effort and reward become inverted). A really interesting concept that I need to explore further. 

  12.   Rainer Maria Rilke on the lonely patience of creative work

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #184

Start your Monday off right:

  1. As the World Cup kicked off this weekend, the Atlantic complied a photo essay of soccer fields from around the world. The diversity of the fields is insane from the top of buildings and mountains to on ice floats. 
  2. Micheal Greenfield creates custom guitars and he shares his process in this hour long documentary. I love watching craftsman at the top of their game work. 
  3. The Faroe Islands are often these bright green islands in the middle of nowhere but Felix Linden captured the islands covered in snow. I love the moody 3rd image with the glow of the sun radiating from behind the dark clouds. 
  4. David Bowen set up a flower stack in Minnesota and had its movements from the wind copied by a set of flower stacks in Spain. The result art exhibit is memorizing. 
  5. Matthew Brandt recreated George N. Barnard’s 19th century images of a devastated, post-Sherman Atlanta in his new series, 1864. The common albumen recipe was supplemented with ingredients which often define the South. 
  6. “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of others, instead, seek what they sought.” — Matsuo Basho
  7. Joey L recently did a series on a coconut farm in Thailand. Its a great collection of environmental portraits and I loved seeing him waist deep in a channel to get the shot. 

  8. Isabella Stahl traveled back to native Northern Sweden to create this body, The Shadow Dusk, highlighting the often lonely landscape and the ever increasing urbanization of the area.  

  9. A chance encounter with Randy outside of a casino in Ely, Nevada lead photographer, Robin de Puy, to create this series of portraits of the boy. Its amazing how one little encounter can have such a profound impact.  

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #183

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Dan Dan Noodles are the famous noodles from Sichuan, China. Here is a recipe to create your own instant mix so all you have to do is combine noodles, broth, and the mix to satisfy your noodle craving.  
  2. Madeline Tolle traveled the desolate desert back roads of California with a tent and a camera. The resulting images are gorgeous.  
  3. Someone described Lee K's portraits as Van Gogh mixed with a wind map and it totally fits. I particularly love his color portraits. 
  4. Marta Klonowska takes thousands of shards and turns them into small animals. I wouldnt want to see one of these sculptures fall off a table and shatter on the floor. 
  5. John Irvine shared his project, MYRKVIFIÖRD, which is still very much in progress but the early results look great. I am excited to see where this project goes. 
  6. “Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at
    the end of the day whispering, 'I will try again tomorrow.'” - Mary Anne Radmacher
  7. Scott Hays has been photographing a 237 miles road through Northern Colorado with his 4x5 camera. I really love the image of the grain silos. 

  8. David Douglas Duncan was best known as a war photographer but his images also appeared in National Geographic. He passed away and the NY Times ran a great piece on him. 

  9. Alex Boyd sat down with Ffoton to talk about his recent work on St. Kilda Islands off the coast of Scotland. Gorgeous work and a great discussion about it. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #182

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Soon after I arrived home from my 6700 mile trip, this list of van conversions popped into my feed. If you want to travel in comfort without the hassle of navigating a large RV, these are perfect. 
  2. Marcus Lyon edits his overhead photography to create these images of urban sprawl. These are done so well that I would have assume these places actually existed.  
  3. From the outside, this house appears like any other in Cincinnati’s Camp Washington neighborhood. However, all the upstairs floors were removed leaving a giant space where he put a swing. 
  4. A giant ball equipped with charcoal spikes is thrown around this room covered in paper leaving black marks everywhere. You see the room progressively get marked up. 
  5. Ingrid Fettel's great Ted Talk on Where Joy Hides and How to Find It. The talk is a great reminder to search out joy in your life. 
  6. I could never imagine spending years drawing a single image but this is what Manabu Ikeda does to create these ridiculous complex images. You could probably spending hours finding all the little details in each piece. 
  7. "Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did."
    ~Mark Twain
  8. I wasnt familiar with Jan Grarup, a Danish conflict photographer, prior to this but his work wrecked me. It's an intimate look at the worst of human nature and what people are capable of. 

  9. Matthew Genitempo in his series, Jasper, explores the lives of several individuals who live in isolation in the Ozark Mountains. The images are haunting beautiful as the choice of B&W enhances the eerie light found in the mountains. 

  10. Jeffery Saddoris has restarted his great podcast, Process Driven. I highly recommend subscribing. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #181

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Have you ever considered how the glass in your lens is manufactured? Here is an in depth tour of Nikon's Hikari Glass factory in Akita, Japan.
  2. I love this laser cut wood maps of different cities and topographical elements. The layers of wood transform into a graphical element rather than just informational. 
  3. Jerry Business uses his cellphone to photography his toys out in their "natural environment". I love how he doesnt care about the passing crowds as he lays down in the middle of the road to get the picture. 
  4. Dan Wood's "Gap in the Hedge" retraces his weekly trips with his Mom to the Rhondda Valley in his latest project.  The book is available for pre-order from Another Place Press
  5. With the success of Vivian Maier, people are looking for old negatives in estate sales. A collection of photos from NYC's parks in the Summer of 78 and another set from Lower East Side from 70s and 80s are recent discoveries.   
  6. “A good plan, violently executed now, is better than a perfect plan next week.” — General George Patton
  7. Willy Ronis photographed Paris his entire life until his death in 2009. The image of the little boy running down the street with the baguette under his arm cracked me up.  

  8. Eliza Ivanova is an artist and animator at Pixel Studio. Her IG account is filled with great pencil sketches.  

  9. The Process Driven Podcast is back with a great episode with Maarten Rots. The episode is definitely worth a listen. 

  10. The internet is filled with productivity tips and advice. Frank Chimero's "Modest Guide to Productivity" is one of the better lists. 

  11. Tim Urban is writes long in depth posts filled with fun illustrations. His latest article is on "How to pick a career you actually want" is great example of why he is so good. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #180

Start your Monday off right:

  1. A crispy chicken sandwich is one of my favorite things in the world. This is an easy recipe and you dont even need to have a deep fryer.  
  2. The British climber, Rob Durran, has been traveling and climbing in Jordan for 15 years. He filmed an episode of Elemental Journeys on his latest trip and staying (and climbing) with the local Bedouins. The landscape is insanely gorgeous. 
  3. The city of Vorkuta in Russia sits above the Arctic Circle far removed from Moscow. This photo essay by Tomeu Coll feels like you stepped back in time to an almost foreign world. 
  4. Andrea Modica took her trusty 8x10 camera to the Mummers Day Parade capturing portraits of "Wenches". I love her softer approach to this images rather then focusing on the sear madness of the Mummers. 
  5. Richard Turner is one of the greatest card magicians of all time and he is also blind. I am definitely watching the documentary on his life, Dealt, when I get a chance.  
  6. “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift.” – Albert Einstein
  7. Tyler Roste photographed the struggling towns and their population along the Northern Delaware River which separates Pennsylvania and New York and New Jersey for his series "Men of Men". 

  8. The local news did a short piece on Christopher Burkett who is a large format landscape photographer. The best part of the piece was when he was working in his darkroom producing insane cibachrome prints from his remaining stock after the paper was discontinued. 

  9. Ainslie Henderson built stop motion puppets out of dead leaves and pieces of technology and then created a short movie. Its amazing how this characters come to life from things you have around your house. 

  10. Andrea Torres Balaguer pushes the boundary of portrait photography in his series, Faceless. As the name suggestions, the faces of each subject is obscured by their hair or paint applied to the final print. 

  11. "You Don't Have To Live Life By The Rules" is a perfect title for a talk given by Mr. Bingo. His career path has broken every rule possible and yet he continues to make waves through the internet. 

  12. "You don't get what you don't ask for" is one of the hardest things I am slowly learning in relation to my photography business. 

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #179

Start your Monday off right: 

  1. It's called the Gambler 500 and it looks like a blast. People "race" beater cars which they have modified to be even more ridiculous along a 500 mile course in Oregon. I would love to enter this. 
  2. I probably spent way too much time scrolling through this tumblr site of memorizing black and white GIFs. They remind me of something MC Escher would create. 
  3. Oscar Oiwa created a 360 degree drawing on the insider of vinyl balloon using 120 markers allowing you to set into the middle of his drawing. 
  4. I love the juxtaposition (and humor) found in Maciej Dakowicz's street photography. I love the dog sleeping on the peddle of the bicycle. 
  5. Tom Hegen captures the stunning beauty of salt production in Europe using a drone. The majority of these images feel more like abstract paintings then photographs. 
  6. “I am the architect of my own self, my own character and destiny. It is no use whingeing about what I might have been, I am the things I have done and nothing more.”
    – Jean-Paul Sartre
  7. Renan Viana uses miniature figures to create these often humorous series. I love how he carries a tackle box of figures around with him.  

  8. I wasnt familiar with the pioneering female designer,  Barbara Stauffacher Solomon, but her design work is delightfully Swiss inspired. Her work is definitely something to study and pull inspiration from.  

Monday Morning Dispatch - Volume #178

Start your Monday off right:

  1. Kiyomi builds tiny pieces for dollhouses in her spare time. The precision and accuracy of each piece is mind blowing. I would love to see a video of her assembling one of them. 
  2. The award for the best sketchbook I have seen should go to José Naranja. His books seem like publishable books rather then the messy version of my own. 
  3. Peter Zelewski has spent the last 3 years photographing twins for his "Alike But Not Alike" series. I spent a while trying to find the differences in each set of twins. 
  4. The portrait on the top of the page from Lai Gutiérrez's series on Cuba really grabbed me. It reveals just enough to portrait the taxi drive and his environment. 
  5. The School of Visual Arts has a massive trove of free lectures on photography (and other visual arts) on their YouTube channel. Its a great resource to find new ideas and inspiration. 
  6. “If you’re open to learning, you get your life-lessons delivered as gently as the tickle of a feather. But if you’re defensive, if you stubbornly persist in being right instead of learning the lesson at hand, if you stop paying attention to the tickles, the nudges, the clues—boom! Sledgehammer.”
    ― Gay Hendricks
  7. Alberto Selvestrel's series, "Images" is almost painterly in the way elements are juxtaposed in each frame. The work reminds me a lot of Maarten Rots's brilliant work.  

  8. As more a visual person, I have struggled through the years with my writing. Austin Kleon offers great pointers how artists (particularly visual artists) can become better writers. 

  9. I wasnt familiar with Cole Younger prior to this interview on Ground Up but I really resonated with his story about how the camera saved his life. 

  10. Chris Eyre-Walker sat down with landscape photographer Simon Baxter in a great episode of Adventure Photography on Location.  

Finding Your Creative Style

This is my understanding of how to develop a creative style. This is not the only way but this is the process that I used. I hope you find it useful. 

  1. Define what sparks your curiosity: The foundation of your style is what creatively lights you up. What image/images stopped you in your tracks? Who are the photographers that you get lost in their work and repeatedly come back to them? Be specific. Assemble a mood board or print out the images to tape to the wall. Is there a trend or an unifying trait? Break it down like ingredients of a recipe. I have found it very difficult to describe what images that excite me but I know them instantly when I see those images.  
  2. Emulate your favorites: This may seem like an odd place to start finding your style but it gives you a bench mark to compare and evaluate your work.  Ira Glass sums up your current state perfectly when he describes a gap between your taste and the quality of your creative output. I will leave this long quote here just in case someone has not seen it. 

    “Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”                                                                                                      ― Ira Glass

    With deliberate practice, you can close this gap. I purposefully use the term deliberate practice because this doesn't happen by mere accident. Give yourself assignments or elements to work on. Maybe find a group of fellow photographers who will critique your work and provide constructive criticism. Know where you stand, where you are going, and then develop a plan to get there. 

  3. Creative frustration: You will reach a point where you can no longer just copy a style or a photographer's work.  The best way I can describe the feeling is that it feels like you are putting on a disguise or a facade and being frustrated/annoyed by that realization. This creative frustration forces you to take a leap beyond what you have done so far. The leap could be come in the form of combining another photographic idea to your emulated work. Or applying the same style but with different equipment or subject matter. It is your chance to wander off the establish path and strike out on your creative own.  

  4. Crisis Phase: Failure and missteps are all part of the experimental process but they challenge your ego as a photographer. You mentally establish yourself as a good photographer able to get close to the masters and then destroy this image in order to progress beyond what you have created before. It sucks. It is a hard process. Unfortunately, there is no way around this process. You can chose to stay in the emulation phase or you have just have to work through the suck until you get to the other side. 

    "You must be willing to embrace a season of incompetence in order to move to the next level and continue developing your voice."                                                     - Todd Henry

    Your failures do not have to be out in the open. Sharing them may help speed up finding the answer but its not necessary. Side project are a perfect arenas for experimentation. Your first idea (or even your 13th) may not work. But each iteration is feedback which will allow you to find the solution you are looking. 

  5. Repeat steps 3 & 4: The creative joy of solving step #4 will slowly fade away as you get completely comfortable with your new style. Over time, the same creative frustration will creep into your work. This will prompt another creative leap. This is the creative loop which drives us forward. 

    "What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession."   - Neil Peart