The Insights link takes you to the blog section of the site. It offers tips and short articles on visual arts and creativity.   You can subscribe to updates.  Click the ‘read more’ links post comments and scroll down through previous postings.

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Accidental Still Life

Posted by on Jul 8, 2013 in Insights | 0 comments

I accidentally took a photo of the table during brunch at the Cadillac Cafe in Portland while fumbling with my cell phone.  For fun, I applied some effects in the phone and it turned out to an interesting still life.

cadillac cafe-003a

Interpretative Images – The Borg, inspired by water treatment plant

Posted by on Jul 7, 2013 in Insights | 0 comments

The Forest Grove, OR camera club had a field trip to the Portland,OR water treatment facility.  The outdoor treatment tanks (empty) were pretty ominous-looking.  My experimenting results in an image that reminds me of The Borg from Star Treck.  Click to enlarge to see some interesting details in the Borg version.

water treatment tanks

water treatment tanks

water treatment - The Borg version1

The Borg version

Inspiration for “Possibility Thinking”

Posted by on Jul 28, 2012 in Insights | 2 comments

Heatherwick StudioNeed some inspiration for your possibility thinking ?   Check out the amazing experimental design and architecture by Thomas Heatherwick !     Heatherwick Studio creates small, medium and architectural scale designs that challenge the status quo and transform it.

Examples range from the new design for London’s famous double-decker buses to furniture made out of a single extruded form, to bridges that curl up into beautiful shapes.    Be sure to watch the video on the webpage.

Guaranteed to inspire you!

Starry Night – truly a must see interactive expression !

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in Insights | 1 comment

Van Gough's Starry NightAs part of my job as an IT market research analyst, I get a lot of email, including blogs that I subscribe to.   Many don’t grab my full attention, but I am really glad I didn’t skip past today’s O’Reilly Radar , which linked to this incredible expression of creative and technical art.

I encourage you to take 5 minutes to watch this interpretation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

The original post at TNW (The Next Web) explains how Creative Application’s Joshua Noble articulates exactly why this experimental app is so impressive:

A fluid simulation gently creates a flowing fabric from Van Goghs impressionist portrait of the Milky Way and night sky over Saint-Rémy in France using the thick paint daubs as the particles within the fluid.

A touch interface allows a viewer to deform the image, altering both the flow of the particles and the synthesized sound, and then watch it slowly return to its original state. The sound itself is created using a MIDI interface to create a soft ambient tone out of the movement of the fluid that underscores the soft movement. Beauty through simplicity at its finest and most playful.

Powerful socially-conscious images.

Posted by on Feb 12, 2012 in Insights | 0 comments

Densified Oil Filters Edward Burtynsky

Densified Oil Filters

A while ago I posted about Chase Jarvis’ interview with Chris Jordan about his socially conscious photography and films.     Edward Burtynsky is another who photographs incredible scenes of the mark humans  are leaving on the planet  as landscapes and diptych’s.

In this TED conference video, Edward discusses his astounding images and tells about his vision for growing conscious awareness of environmental impacts.   We’ve all seen images from China, but probably not like these.   Edward spent years getting permission to take photographs in massive factories with tens of thousands of workers, applying his artistic sensibilities to them in ways that strike me as similar to Chris Jordan’s work.

For higher resolution images, visit  Edward’s website,  and check out the images of Tailings (left over , untreated waste from mines) and Tires.


Impossible Images by Erik Johansson

Posted by on Feb 11, 2012 in Insights | 0 comments

impossible photographyAnother great and inspiring video from TED !      You have to give Erik props for his impeccable technique !   I find Erik Johansson’s images fascinating, but I favor a more subtle approach in my own work.   My  Reflections ,  Dream Truck , Copper Sunrise images are composites or manipulations.  Yet I didn’t strive to achieve full on optical illusions.  If you are reading this post,  then I can say with some confidence that this short video is certainly worth 6 minutes of your time.

Spectacular new “blue marble” images of Earth

Posted by on Feb 7, 2012 in Insights | 0 comments

NASA blue marble Suomi NPPNASA released these image taken just weeks ago by the  mini-van-sized Suomi NPP satellite, which only takes about an hour and a half to orbit the earth.   I think that is about 15,000 mile per hour!     The Suomi NPP satellite is in a very low orbit , about 500 miles above Earth. Previous images like this of Earth were taken from much greater distances, which is partly why these are so incredbily detailed.

What a jewel we all live on,  floating around in space together!  

For more, visit the NASA Flickr site.


Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Insights | 0 comments

unabridged dictionaryI was recently inspired to use my iphone to take ‘artistic’ photos.  The shift from DSLR to iphone for this purpose is both fun and a bit awkward.  Its surprising how stepping into a new paradigm can can both challenge and inspire you.      This shot of my friend’s unabridged dictionary is one of my first attempts from last weekend.

Many iphoneographers prefer the square format that is used by sharing apps , such as Instagram. (The more common aspect ratio format for photography is 3:2.   Square is 1:1).  Another new paradigm – Square presents a new environment and constraints, but also inspiration.

Now I’m looking at beautiful work by some of the great photographers of the early-mid 90′s that used a square format, as well as contemporary artists such as Michael Levin, and Andy S. Gibson.    Beautiful, minimal and powerful expressions!

Trying something new can bring up doubts about your capabilities, and it can feel a bit awkward.  But the sense of a fresh start, expanded horizons, and new ways of seeing more than makes up for it.

Find ways to step out of your comfort zone once in a while and notice how it can bring new insights and creativity.

Creativity, innovation, good ideas

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in Insights | 0 comments

good ideas

 Steven Johnson has a great video on youtube that utilizes the power of cartooning to explain  how innovation and good ideas arise from the collision of small hunches.  I  love the RSA Animates videos.  What a powerful tool for communicating complex ideas and relationships.

I would just add that the small hunches arise from moments of stillness, spaciousness, and expanded awareness.


Copper Sunset – experimenting with textures.

Posted by on Jan 1, 2012 in Insights | 2 comments

copper sunset
Copper Sunset

I was inspired by both Doug Landreth and David Nightingale’s tutorials  (Photomprohis and Chromasia , respectively) to create this composite image.

The evening after attending the Photomorphis workshop in Portland, I had my eye out for textures which can be photographed and become a wealth of raw material to work with.   Images of paper, concrete and a wide variety of materials can become a library of textures which can be  integrated as layers into images to provide added dimensionality, depth, and artistic exploration.