An abstract color photograph featuring a spiraling white shape in the center of the frame. Around it, a series of off-white, comma-shaped marks radiate out from it.

The inconceivable improbability of your art

Which is to say… your art is one in a million* <3 A special warm WELCOME to new subscribers: Charlie, Glenn, Patrick, and William, and a huge THANK YOU to all subscribers, old and new, for reading and being a part of this community. *I struggle with really big numbers; I can’t visualize a million. Hell, a thousand somethings is hard to picture without organizing it somehow in my mind. Like, how many stars can you see in the sky? (Five thousand, at best). How long is the average person alive? (Around 29 thousand days.) Contemplating a million? Forgetaboutit.  As … >>

An abstract color photograph featuring a blue plane on the bottom, a large white square near the top, and 5 white rectangle objects in the center of the image.

Quitters never win and other half-truths about art

Or, “Should I stay [with my art] or should I go [make something else]?” A special warm WELCOME to new subscribers: Judy, Kristin, and Will. Thank you to Mark Foard (who writes I’ve Snapped) for recommending Viewfinder, and a huge THANK YOU to all subscribers, old and new, for reading and being a part of this community. In this issue: The Dip (Quitting vs. keep going) If you’ve been around the business world in the last 15 years, especially in technology and software, you’re probably familiar with one of the many variations of the graph above. I first encountered it … >>

A color photograph made with a low-angle, showing the ground (which is red and white concrete) and yellow stairs.

“Where is art?”, as answered by Brad Pitt

Thoughts and a hypothesis about a question you’ve probably never asked. In this issue: Where is art? At one time or another, you may have heard the question, “What is art?”. Perhaps you’ve even given this some thought and have arrived at an answer that works for you. If you’ve read previous issues of Viewfinder, you know I have a working definition. Artists, academics, and contrarians enjoy this discussion because it’s complicated, highly subjective, and inflammatory. It’s difficult to define definitively. There’s really no one “right” answer (but many wrong ones). I’m not going to jump into that particular quagmire … >>

Color photograph of a painted mural with the word "Love" in the center.

Gratitude and joy: Everything* I love about making art

(*an incomplete list, 2023 edition) Previously, we talked extensively about the “work” of artwork. We talked about “finding your work” and “putting in the work”. Showing up, making art again and again, maybe for the rest of your life. This all sounds like so much… work. Isn’t life already filled up with work? Why would you want more of it? Because there’s work, and then there’s your ✨WORK! ✨. Workohol addiction The Oxford dictionary defines work (noun), among other things as, “… something a person… has to do.” Yep, pretty much how I feel about it too. Thanks, editors at … >>

Photograph of half empty coffee cup and used spoon sitting on top of a newspaper.

Finding inspiration in the everyday: still life photography

Photography is an art form that enables us to capture the beauty of the world around us, and still life photography is no exception. It offers the opportunity to create art out of everyday objects, using composition, lighting, color, and other techniques to tell a story and convey emotion. In this article, we will explore the art of photographic storytelling in still life photography, with a focus on finding inspiration in the mundane, creating dynamic compositions, playing with light and color, exploring textures, and using props to create visual interest and coherence. Still life photography provides a unique challenge to … >>

Low-key photograph of sand dunes.

On the edge of darkness: mastering low key photography

Low key photography is a powerful technique that allows photographers to create moody, dramatic images that play with light and shadow. By using a combination of careful lighting, creative composition, and post-processing techniques, photographers can create stunning images that capture the viewer’s attention and imagination. In this article, we will explore the world of low key photography in more detail. We will provide 10 tips and techniques for capturing stunning low key images, including advice on equipment, subjects, lighting, and post-processing. 1. Understand the basics of low key photography Low key photography is a technique that involves the use of … >>

Grayscale Photo of Person Wearing Black Pants Walking Across Posts.

Dramatic images: the astonishing interplay of light and shadow

The interplay between light and shadow can make or break a photograph. A well-placed shadow or a beam of light can turn an otherwise ordinary scene into something dramatic and visually stunning. In this article, we will explore the art of using light and shadow to create compelling photographs. We will cover 10 tips and techniques that will help you elevate your photography to the next level. 1. Understanding light Before we dive into using light and shadow to create dramatic photographs, it is important to understand the nature of light. Light travels in straight lines and illuminates everything in … >>