Current Reading: Proust Was a Neuroscientist by Jonah Lehrer
Current Music: P.S. by Toad The Wet Sprocket
Mood: Cloud nine
Sounds: Windy – crazy knock you over wind
Smells: Cold coffee – terrible smell, how can something smell so good hot and so awful cold?
Amber sunset
Temperature: 37 degrees
Thoughts: Following your bliss will intersect with the needs of the world.


Digital Canvas

What photographers will be selling in the future will be more of a generative photo system, rather than a single print.

In the last five years my clientele has become more interested in the photo DVD album, negatives on disc and on-line gallery than physical prints. I have embraced and enjoyed the change in the medium format. Personally I have not been converted to the new format. I enjoy the framed print.

Until now. Viewing my current project, Ambient Art, on a 42-inch flat-panel high-definition screen has transformed the viewing experience.

I will be releasing my Ambient Art product later this year and I am toying with the idea of a generative photo product. My current thought is that you would receive a DVD with 60 images set to 60 minutes of classical/ambient music that would loop. Additionally the DVD would hold all 60 images in a jpeg format that would be suitable for printing up to a poster size wall print. The entire project would be licensed with Creative Commons so that you could share, remix and reuse the work as you wish with limited/some rights reserved. (i.e.) If you want to resale it, kick some cash my way. If you want to decorate your family homes or work, then have at it.

So, what do you think? Click (here) to the ambient art work-in-progress.



Look Mom I’m Syndicated

Polysemy.org will be publishing my photography and blog. Click here to see my first post on “Great Artistry”. Thank you to Mathew Dallman and the Polysemy artists for asking me to partake in the journal.


I am getting ready to purchase a camera. I hate to buy equipment. I get attached to the tools that I work with. There is something I love about the history in my hand when working with my camera. Why would I want to replace it? Most of my colleague photographers love to get current gear. Not me. In photography technology means nothing to me. In no way do I feel that purchasing something will make me a better photographer.

Approximately 80,000 clicks of the shutter later and its time to buy some new gear. I will be staying in the Nikon family of cameras. Being from Pittsburgh it is mandatory to purchase as many things as possible with black and gold colors embedded upon them.

What do I need in a new camera? Not much, a box that captures light, manual settings and a memory card that recycles the images fast.

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70s
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/7.1
Focal Length: 44 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Insanely Useful Photography Tips

- Use a tri-pod, I can not stress this enough.
- Practices the art of seeing
- Do not think about cropping think about composing
- Photograph the light first and the subject second
- When photographing close-ups frame your subject first and then take two steps closer to the subject: then take that picture.
- Negative space and positive space are your friends
- Color saturation, think about it.
- Kill the phrase "I'll fix it in Photoshop" its poor compositional skills.
- Style happens, don’t think about it


Confession from a journal

I spent this afternoon reading through my journal. Wow, I forget to inject and misspell a lot of words. My journal makes me laugh and brood over my own thoughts. Every page I shake my head and giggle that I actually wrote those sentences down. The occasional page I find a passage that I am quite found of. I find writing in the journal to be more of a release from suitable thoughts. I rant to myself about health, emotions, photography projects, art, self-proclaimed philosophies and squandering time away.

Keeping a journal makes me feel good, a boast to my ego for keeping a practice. Observance of my surroundings is also a main topic for self-discussion in the journal. I find myself making fun of people that I wound not normally discuss with someone in conversation. (i.e.) if you see me writing next to you in a coffee shop or in a doctor’s office waiting room I am probably making fun of you.

Last thing, for the past couple of weeks I have been writing with a pen (actually THE PEN of all time) the Pilot Precise V5RT…its awe-inspiring super sharp fine point rolling ball tip. That pen and a moleskin journal and you will feel like Bach or Picasso, at least I do.


Willful Ignorance & Curiosity

Do we have a willful, ignorant nature? In the last two episodes of 60 Minutes I have been horrified and depressed about the future of humanity. I even wrote a post about God only being a Creator and then letting evolution figure it out.

This is not me, not how I wish to think…

Has our willful and ignorant nature killed our curiosity? Has our retail product-driven society killed our thought process? Has the neglect of the how/why things are produced killed our creativity?

See these links and let me know.
Our food, Our environment, Our humanity,

Often I have conversations about the state of America. Repeatedly, people agree with the problems facing our country. All the same they feel the issues are too overwhelming for the average citizen to make a difference. That is where I take the utmost offense. There is no longer any confidence in the endeavor to transfigure this country.

Reprieve is found in curiosity.

Update 01/22/08

Watched “Conversations with God”, the movie, this weekend. To a great extent it was better than I expected. Serendipitously, Ken Wilber has an interview with Neale Donald Walsch this week on Integral Naked. I also watched Million Dollar Baby, the Clint Eastwood movie. Very good, it will not make you feel like dancing but it will make you feel.

On a very sad note this weekend we found out that a neighborhood friend has passed away. I was not particularly close with this woman but what I knew about her was her kind spirit. She was my parent’s neighbor and friend. In truth I do not even know her name but what I do know about her is that she would make my daughter smile, she would keep my grandmother company, and she would share her cooking with my family. She was a true kind spirit and I am thankful for her time in my family’s life. With a prayer in my heart I know that heaven is a little warmer today with her presence in it.


Ambient - Black & White

Camera: Nikon D70s
Exposure: 0.125 sec (1/8)
Aperture: f/13
Focal Length: 40 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70s
Exposure: 0.2 sec (1/5)
Aperture: f/29
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Light Source: Cool white fluorescent (W 3900 - 4500K)



By Andrew Ilachinski

“The book consists of four visual landscapes: Water Flow, Entropic Melodies, Spirit & Light, and Micro Worlds. Each offers an interpretation of spirit made manifest, and is introduced by a short essay. There are a total of 120 pages, 52 duotoned images, four essays and a short introduction.”


Current Reading: An Anthropologist On Mars: Seven Paradoxical Tales by Oliver Sacks
Current Music: Films About Ghost by Counting Crows
Mood: Sleepy, one of those days were you never waking up…
Sounds: Silence
Smells: Dust
Sights: Dark night
Temperature: 39 degrees
Thoughts: Is art something that you can not get from society?


Benevolence, Balance & Evil

Is God only a creator? Did God create us/universe and then got out of the existence game? Letting evolution take over where creation stopped?

Debates between evolutionists and creationists bore me. Evolution and creation appear to need each other more like family members than opposing teams. I try to see life from the balance of a world-view perspective. When nature destroys life it also creates new life. At times of destruction we only see death, but re-birth happens from the ashes.

There is real evil in the world and I cannot fathom the existence of it. Evil has been such a subjective reality to me, similar to something in the movies rather than in real life. After viewing the 60 Minutes episode; "War against women - the use of rape as a weapon in Congo's civil war" something broke inside of me. There is real evil. That may make me sound naïve about life, nevertheless I have previously perceived evil as acts of benevolence and balance.

If the oldest nation on the planet can't get it right what does that say for our future? Is evil a form of evolution or creation?


Ambient–Biomorphic Art

After a discussion with a friend I found out that I have been creating biomorphic art. So, my moment of doing something that was completely original and new is now gone.

Biomorphic art focuses on the power of natural life and uses organic shapes, with shapeless and vaguely spherical hints of the forms of biology.

I will probably just continuo to call the project ambient?



Camera: Nikon D70s
Exposure: 0.1 sec (1/10)
Aperture: f/11
Focal Length: 40 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Light Source: Cool white fluorescent (W 3900 - 4500K)

War Against Women

The Use of Rape as a Weapon in Congo's Civil War
This evil continues to fall out between the legs of screaming women. This is an unfathomable act of evil; please pray for an end to this violence.

Fine Art Means Getting Intimate

The objective and the question of past Thursday’s post (Open Question about Art) were to discover how other people converse about art. The answers I received were all inspiring and thought-provoking. Be sure to read all comments in full (here). Thank you to all who responded.

Julie said … “a work of art is a commodity, a come-on, and a symptom of fathomless aberrant human psychology!”

Will said... “Art is sacred because it has no end and no beginning; it has no definition, and stirs reflection and contemplation. Art is the one thing that is tangible yet still a mystery, a tangible mystery that keeps us coming back.”

Niall said… “Every conversation about the nature of 'Art' will have as many definitions as there are those involved in the conversation. This to me is good. Who can pin down the wind? Who can master the elements?...just when you think you've nailed it. Along comes someone else with a totally different point of view...Brilliant it is!”

Gary Nylander said… “Try to understand the language of art not by words but by being open, seeing and listening.”

Matthew Dallman’s (of POLYSEMY.org) response seems to be the most harmonic and resonating answer for me. To answer my original question about the un-definable language of art Dallman gave me a very good starting point.

“Talking about fine art means getting intimate with the object”

My current project “Ambient Art” has me more inspired than any other of my previous works. It’s an odd feeling to think that you are doing your best work (By the way I will be donating my ego to science when I die.) Nevertheless, I am having a hard time trying to explain what I am doing (even to myself). That is why the original post was conceived, I was trying to figure out a way to communicate exactly what I am doing.

Taking Dallman’s advice allows me to introduce to you “intimately” the concept of my work.

I want to get rid of the building blocks that are considered fundamental to the composition process of photography. The subject. I want to kill the idea of a subject. I want to remove the focal point in a photograph. I want to create photography that does not disregard the background, but evolves within and for its environment. I am trying to create photography that relates to the voyage of instrumental music. Thoroughly I feel that this project is generative art in that it flows in balance with nature, and that I will never be able to capture the same frame twice.

The language that is developed for art discussions may be to transcendental and existential for there to be one universal meaning. I guess if there was a universal language developed for the arts then we would no longer call it art but a science.

Science is not intimate.


Open Question About Art

The question is: How do you define, or better yet, how do you outline a conversation about art?

I personally feel that there is no language developed to determine what art is. More specifically there is no language developed to determine how to have a conversation about art.

Art can be defined as the desire to emulate through practice and repetition (personal favorite). Art can be defined as products of human creativity, the creation of beautiful or significant things. Art can and cannot be defined. In turn, is art unmarketable due to the undefined language?

I am looking to turn this question into conversation. Please comment, e-mail and cross-post this link.

see POLYSEMY.org for an expanding art culture view.

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70s
Exposure: 0.167 sec (1/6)
Aperture: f/16
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Light Source: Tungsten (incandescent light)


Why I Read Blogs

“Process of re-evaluation, I had to accept that I was susceptible to propaganda, and that propaganda comes from all sides — not just the one I happen to dislike.”
- Brian Eno

A lot of my friends think that reading blogs are a waste of time. In relation to meeting a stranger at a bar and taking that person’s advice as if it was the Gospel itself. I like blogs because it represents effort to me. If a person is going to take the time to write and research a topic, I believe them. Until I don’t. I link the comparison to the media. Arguably, the media is a filtered news source. The corporate monopoly business of media (Rupert Murdock) openly strains what we need to know on what they (he) want us to know. I trust the media until I don’t!

Blogging is an open source, citizen journalism with a do-it-yourself mentality. This is why I trust bloggers; they have passion for the subject. Blogging is not about holding on to information for corporate gains; it’s about sharing information for all to gain. Few bloggers do it for the money. All bloggers do it for the enthusiasm of communication. The knowledge that something you write will help someone else. Blogging is a step towards digital enlightenment, random acts of compassion/information for others to grow upon.

Enlightenment is nothing more than awareness. Awareness of what may be a more important question to consider. To become aware you need an evolutional ladder for enlightenment to stand upon. Who would of thought that to obtain enlightenment all you would need would be an “@” symbol, “.com” and a blogger mindset??

I surpassed two years of keeping a blog myself and three years of being a daily blog reader. In all that time no blogger’s advice/words has disappointed me. I have bought books, seen movies, listened to music, purchased photography equipment, I have discovered software shortcuts, and I have learned better ways to work, play and inflate my own conscience. I had my worldview expanded; my understanding of a global perspective enriched all by bloggers.

Enjoy the propaganda…



Current Reading: Vintage Sacks by Oliver Sacks
Current Music: Rusted Root Live (Pittsburgh band)
Mood: Great, I am in a great mood
Sounds: Knocking from above????
Smells: Coffee
Sights: Ambient dreams
Temperature: 69 degrees
Thoughts: Last night I discovered that I can not be father without a guitar in my hands.


Ambient Art

Ok, here it is: the start of chapter two of my blog.

January 1st of this year I walked into the woods with one camera, one tripod, one father and one new photography objective. Note: for great photography one father is not needed but it is nice to have the company. I walked down to a shallow stream or creek (never quite sure what is what in the water family.) Either way it was not a lake or ocean, that I know that for sure.

I started on a new project that I am calling Ambient Art. Previously I have written (here) on ambient art, now I am creating what I consider to be ambient art. I am vaguely defining ambient art to be neither abstract nature nor definable as still life photography. Hence, you see why I use the term “vaguely” defining. With this project my goal is painting with light and motion. I will not be using any Photoshop to alter the images. I will be using white balance in camera and upping contrast in Aperture (digital darkroom software.) Blending these two techniques I feel that I am keeping true to essential photography.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 2 sec (2)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0 EV