The Beauty of Things

My good friend Tuan Pham will be conducting a workshop and presentation at the National Arboretum in Washington DC in early 2014.   His presentation, “Beauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable” represents his Buddhist approach to photography and life in general.  His workshop is called “In Search of Artistic Personality” and will meet five consecutive Saturdays.

Beauty of Things by Tuan PhamBeauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable

Tuan’s Buddhist background has helped him develop a contemplative approach toward photography, mixing meditation and Wise Attention to see the beauty in things that others are willing to walk past.  This approach makes Tuan’s photography simple and compelling.  Tuan will share his methods for training your eyes and cultivating your mind to perceive your surroundings in an unbiased way; freeing you to create memorable images with a much deeper meaning.  Tuan is a life-long practitioner of mindful meditation and applies those principles to his photography.  The National Arboretum is one of Tuan’s favorite sites for nature photography, please join him for this unique opportunity to learn from one of our areas most accomplished amateur photographers.

Date:

8 February, 2014

Time:

10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Location:

United States National Arboretum

3501 New York Avenue, NE; Washington, D. C. 20002-1958

Tel: 202-245-2726    Fax: 202-245-4575

In Search of Artistic Personality

The workshop that Tuan will be leading will meet at the arboretum during the spring.  As of today, the workshop is still unscheduled.  Stay tuned for additional information.

Tuan’s teaching style is such that anyone with a camera, be it a DSLR, Point and Shoot or camera phone will be able to take advantage of his workshop.

Everyday Abstracts

I presented a brief version of an earlier presentation titled Everyday Abstracts at the National Institute of Health Camera Club this week.  I had the opportunity to judge their Abstract themed competition on the same night and I was very impressed by both the quality and breadth of their work.  I was also pleased with their patience, as my early comments were so long that I made it a VERY late night for everyone.

Photoshop Actions

reverse-4After the presentation portion of evening, several people had requested a copy of the presentation, which I promised to post here on my website so that people could easily access the presentation and the references to the Photoshop Actions that I mentioned during the presentation.  These actions are free to use and greatly simplify the repetitive tasks of creating montages from digital images.

The image at the right was the starting point and by applying a Reverse Montage effect, which was based on a technique that I was taught for slide film produced the featured image.  Taking 2 copies of the same image, both overexposed about 1 stop and putting them in the same slide mount, with one of them flipped over.

The affect of this treatment is highly saturated colors on a perfectly symmetrical composition.  As a by product, almost any image becomes an abstract.  This is one of my favorite techniques, and I will take many images of areas with strong graphic lines to produce an image based on line, shape and color.

Creating abstract photographs is something that I do routinely because it allows me to express some creativity and create something that comes completely from my mind.  Even with a “found abstract,” the way that the image is cropped, exposed and the depth of field all play an important and expressive role.