Creativity is needed in all spheres of society

Photo © Joey Armstrong

Corwin Hiebert is a consultant and manager to creative entrepreneurs and shares his thoughts about making up our personal creativity in part one and generating, developing and communicating new ideas within the context of community in part two of his e-book Your Creative Mix.

Corwin Hiebert is likeminded to me. My work as a freelance facilitator is to help people to come together and solve problems that occour in town development. They need to be creative, often need to find a conflict resolution, they need to trust each other, let go the competition and need to get ideas happen and things done. So I am experienced in collaboration and I fully aggree with Corwin´s statement that the ideas presented in the e-book »are universal to all kinds of creative pursuits«. Corwin is addressing photographers but you can benefit from the reading when your profession is another. Creativity and collaboration is needed in all spheres of society.

Corwin like me is »a firm believer in learning from all kinds of sources« and vividly describes ways to nurse and to evolve creativty. Corwin too is a manager and he gives great advice in this e-book how to systematically work on your creativty, ideas and community. With case studies he illustrates his thoughts.

I think that there is a great need for books like this because we are faced with huge challenges and we need to shape our way of living, our behaviour and our society. In 1976 Erich Fromm published a book titled »To have or to be?« I read as a teenager. Fromm influenced Corwin – I do not know whether Corwin is aware of that influence – who tells us to create value and to focus on our legacy and not to fokus on making money. Money is not a good motivator for great work but happly occours and pays the bills.

It is no surprise that there is a chapter telling you that creating value this is hard work. But there will be a gratification when the work is done and you should reward yourself before heading the next project.

I reccomend reading Your Creative Mix.

For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code MIX4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of Your Creative Mix for only $4 OR use the code MIX20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST July 23rd, 2011.

drag your readers into your photographs

Spreadsheet out of A Deeper Frame by David duChemin

Spreadsheet out of »A Deeper Frame« by David duChemin

There are only a few authors who focus on their and our vison and approach, the composition, the story or message of the photographs we create. First of all I will mention Andreas Feininger whose books I have read in my teenage days. A friend of mine still tells me that there is almost nothing needed to be written down additionally. Maybe he is right, maybe not. I did not stop reading books on photography.

Feininger started his book with the qoute: »Know how is worthless without knowing why« (1). In the chapter on spatial depth he tells us »spatial depth can not be portrayed directly in a two-dimensional photography: you can just give a symbolic hint at« (2) and »to create the right kind of illusion of spatial depth requires work and thought« (3). So I did not espect to read something in David duChemin´s ebook A Deeper Frame I haven´t read before. And I espected a consensus because I feel that both are like-minded.

David also starts with the »why« and then he explaines »how to« create the perception of depth with using our viewpoint and perspective, choice of lenses, focus, color and light. He thinks about the (flat) »frame cubed … because geometry and balance are so incredibly important and composing for a cube is different than composing for a rectangle« (p 9) and he suggests to »consider applying the thirds« we are used to use in the horizontal and the vertical »to the depth of the image« (p 9).

David intentionally does not write on »conceptual depth« but strives the »depth of feeling« – there is the difference to Feininger. Here David comes to the conclusion »What it takes to touch these deeper emotions is impossible to pin down«. Pity! But David has reminded us in blog-posts, books and lectures that exploring and accepting our own feelings and vulnerability is essential. The best piece in this regard I have seen from David is his ebook Venice when he felt his deep solitude during some rainy days and was able to express this feelings through photographs. So seen David is able to pin it (the deeper feelings) down very well but not to write the »how to« down – currently. I do think it is worthwhile to ask the question »How to touch the reader emotionally?«. Not in the answers, but in trying to find answers lies the value.

Back to A Deeper Frame: David illustrates his lectures with photographs and graphics. For me it is a good dose of knowledge and insights he provides. As always I do love his photographs, some of them filling the whole page. So I recommend reading A Deeper Frame dispite owning books from Andreas Feininger. Worth reading! Both! Repeatedly!

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For the first five days only, if you use the promotional code DEEP4 when you checkout, you can have the PDF version of A Deeper Frame for only $4 OR use the code DEEP20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST July 2nd, 2011.

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(1) Andreas Feininger, Große Fotolehre p 13; (2) ibidem  p 375; (3) ibidem p 374, all translated by me

seeking out the unspoiled nature

Detail from Lake Bohinj in Slowenia

Detail from Lake Bohinj in Slowenia © PoppHackner.com

Photographer couple Verena Popp-Hackner and Georg Popp, based in Vienna, Austria, Europe, are loving to be »out there« in the unspoiled wilderness avoiding to place their cameras where others have already left their tripod holes. They hope that through the language of their images, they »can translate a sensibility for the beauty of the natural landscape« as they feel it. While having studied their galleries within their homepage I found a lot of photographs speeking to me in a strong manner. So I am very sad not to be able to see their photographs that will be displayed in Lünen, Germany – a town nearby my home – in Oct. 2011 during the International Nature Photography Festival of the GDT.

Verena and George invest a lot of work and waiting, are very picky with their capturing a scene and editing, and they use large format cameras and film for the best quality to deliver in fine art printing. What I like about this couple beyond that is that they do their landscape photography with having children (current in the primary school age). With our children beeing slightly older than theirs I can imagine what challenge this is. They are planning a tour to California in July 2011 focusing on some mountain/forest regions and the coast too. I am curious to see the photographs they will bring back.

Elliott Erwitt quotes »Photography is like fishing«

Elliott Erwitt within an interview in Oberhausen

Elliott Erwitt within an interview in Oberhausen, Gemany, answering questions of the guest.

Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt was here in the Ruhr Area I live in. He was invited because of his exibition “I am serious about not being serious” in the Ludwig Gallery in the Palace Oberhausen. Till September 11th, 2011 they show photographs he created for his »personal pleasure« in a time span of 60 years. The exibition I warmly recomment to visit. There are a lot of aesthetic and humorous photographs to enjoy. Most of them are candid with only a very few that are posed. Some of Erwitt´s photographs are shown here.

The interview with Elliott Erwitt and his book signing was more than a little bit overcrowded. I was very lucky to get some moments and small spots between all those heads and shoulders for taking photographs for myself.

Elliott Erwitt is surrounded by a lot of guests during his book singning in Ludwig Gallery Schloss Oberhausen 2011-06-09.

A little it bit felt like that there are fans wanting to reach a celebrity. Photographers did crowd the scene flashing all the time with cameras in burst modus. Unlike the meeting with Robert Lebeck there was no opportunity to meet Elliott Erwitt and to have a small conversation.

Here I record some of his answers within the interview:

Q: »Would you be a photographer if you could start your life from new?« – Elliott Erwitt: »I would photograph the same sujects in the same manner I did. My photography has not changed when doing it for my own over 60 years. Only the photographs I created for clients did change because of the changing needs of my customers.«

Q: »When evolving as a photographer, at which point in time did you state yourself to be a good photographer?« – Elliott Erwitt: »It is up to you to judge my state.«

Q: »Why all those dogs?« – Elliott Erwitt: »They live all over the world. They are friendly. I like them. They don´t ask for prints.«

Q: »Do you create a lot of photographs to do the great ones?« – Elliott Erwitt: »Photography is like fishing. Sometimes you are fishing and don´t get one fish. Sometimes you think you catched a fish but you haven´t. Sometimes you catch a small one, sometimes you catch a bigger one. Mostly it´s crap.«

Elliott Erwitt surroundet by his fans

Elliott Erwitt surroundet by his fans during the book signing at Ludwid Gallery Palace Oberhausen 2011-06-09

Elliott Erwitt signing his books

Elliott Erwitt signing his books at Ludwig Gallery Palace Oberhausen 2011-06-09.

microstock offers the potential of having a career

site 32 out of the e-book (micro)stock by Nicole S. Young

photography © Nicole S. Young

Nicole S. Young wrote down her experiences with Microstock Photography. Her e-book (micro)STOCK: FROM PASSION TO PAYCHECK was released at Tuesday, June 7th, 2011 in the series of CRAFT&VISON.

Nicole´s conclusion is: microstock is ”available to virtually everyone and it offers the potential of having a career with limitless creative freedom and a really great lifestyle.“ Nicole also tells her readers that “like many things in life it’s definitely not easy” to exploit the potential of Microstock Photography. So I choosed this photograph above to highlight my opinion: Nicole´s deliberations appear as reliable as far as I have experienced the world till now.

Starting from trying out and hoping for some dollars Nicole did the whole way to a fulltime career. From her “start to finish it was a solid 2.5–3 years of growing” her microstock business before she was on her “own, single, and paying” her “way through life with photography“. She had a lot learning experiences with photography and microstock before she made the decision to become a professional photographer with the microstock being her “bread and butter”. So her story and the three stories (case studies) from other photographers inserted in the e-book tell us that they started diminutive, made the transition slowly and found their specific road to pecuniary success photographing what they love.

There is a »but« too: You must serve the needs of your unknown customers – Nicole will tell you her insights. A good microstock agency will treat you with inspections and image requirements – Nicole will tell you those in brief. You will have to do a lot work on your own and have to learn from your faults: learning by doing! Nicole´s e-book (micro)STOCK: FROM PASSION TO PAYCHECK will help you to avoid some faults and will help to start with a clear sight of what you are heading.

The PDF version of (micro)STOCK usually is offered for 5$. You can use the promotional code MICRO4 when you checkout to save one dollar OR use the code MICRO20 to get 20% off when you buy 5 or more PDF ebooks from the Craft & Vision collection. These codes expire at 11:59pm PST June 11, 2011.

strange profane rites in a german marketplace

The weekend from May, 14th to 15th 2011 was blocked in many calendars months before, so in mine. Since the fall 2010 the Dortmund football club BVB 09 was the top team of the German premier league (Fussball-Bundesliga) and was never topped since then. 320,000 wanted to attend the last match, the stadium only has a capacity of a little more than 80,000. Some 12,000 could attend a public viewing in the Westfalenhalle nearby the Stadium.

Before the match began thousands came back from trying to get a spot in the public viewing – no chance at all. They crowded the streets in our urban quarter and entered the bars and restaurants as far as they could. There were a lot of fans without a chance to attend. Warmhearted citizens took out their video-beamer onto the street to let the traveled fans have a look at the last match and the ceremony of the handover of the championship shield.

After the match and the ceremony were finished the fans absorbed the regiment of the town: The City is our! They turned four lanes wide streets to an pedestrian area and continued their party that has started even before getting in the stadium and with pulling out the turf as a climax. A whole town in football fever.

In the evening the fans had a boisterous but peaceful party like two weeks before. Have a lock at the feautured image on top of the post. I took a little bit smaler risks this time while attending the party of these hoarser fellows and hard-core fans because I did not want some more beer showers and did not want to step through broken bottels. There were a lot of fans that displayed emergency signals / bengal fireworks within the masses but they did not want ot hurt somebody and they didn´t hurt anyone. These fans celebrated connectedness in a way that is not mine but I was left in peace by these fans not beeing dressed like them and not singing their songs but constantly smiling and showing them my respect.

Thousands were raving and chanting and I could hardly get through the crowd. So I created photographs with my strung-out arm assisted by the other one firing roughly into the direction I wanted to cover the scene. I produced a ton of complete unusable frames this way but could pick a few I like very much.

This cell-phone video transports the sound, the raving, the scramble of this evening quite well: strange profane rites in a german marketplace.

BVB Fans celebrate boisterous party

BVB fans had a boisterous party

BVB fans had a boisterous party @ Jens Stachowitz

The football* club BVB 09 in my hometown Dortmund gained the title in German premier league 2011 (*Americans say: soccer). There still are two matchdays left but the persecutors have no chance at all to outrun BVB. Fans celebrated a spontaneous party all over the city. The party at the ancient market was very boisterous and peaceful the same time. I took several beer showers and risked my gear being damaged but the photographs I could archive were worth the adventure. Hope you will enjoy the sights and feel a little bit of the enormous excitement.

bridges of understanding

Men are pausing on the pendant bridge "Gimberger Sichel" (Grimberg Sikle)

Pausing at Grimberg Sikle @ Jens Stachowitz

“The cities in the Ruhr Metropolis are working together” is the key issue of the polis magazine edition 1 / 2011 with the title “The Awakening Hercules”. Michael von der Mühlen, city manager of Gelsenkirchen, has written an article about the culture of collaboration between the major of the 53 cities within the Ruhr Area. He used my photograph from the “Grimberger Sichel” (Grimberg Sickle) to express the main idea of his article: Since more then 20 years city planners and politicians are working on building interurban bridges of understanding and are trying to work together to build up the the Ruhr Metropolis. Nowadays those efforts come to fruition.

tearsheet from polis magazine 01 / 2011

The brigde is located near the Grimberg Harbor in Gelsenkirchen. It was designed by the engineering office Schlaich Bergermann and Partner from Stuttgart and was built by the Regional Association Ruhr (RVR). It was awarded the “European Steel Bridges Award 2010”. The bridge connects the recreation areas north and south of the Rhine-Herne Canal and connects the cycle path along the acient ore-railway-line with the cycle path within the Emscher Park. I awaited this moment with the men pausing on the bridge in the evening sun for about 2 hours. They did notice me photographing but did not bother about me. So I could capture a moment of friendlyness, informality and understanding with no posing towards me.

A Meeting with Robert Lebeck

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Hier steht er vor seinem Portrait von Joseph Beuys. Sein Blick sucht die Menschen im Raum. / The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. Here he stands in front of his portrait of Joseph Beuys. Lebecks view seeks the other people in the room. (Jens Stachowitz)

The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. I had the opportunity to join this event and was very pleased by the behaving of this man. Although he was the center of the evening he was withdrawn and unassuming. He was also very friendly and humorous. When I had the chance to have a conversation with Lebeck I shaped the hypothesis that his behaving would have helped to get access to people when performing his profession as a photo journalist. He told me that he had never thought about when he was doing the job but could agree with the consideration.

Lebecks photographs show that once he had creeped up on somebody on velvet praws he was able to catch the moment with his argus-eyes. See the website of Robert Lebeck for some examples or a brief study. I looked at the evening not only as a visit but as a training in photo jorunalism too. So I took a lot of frames of Lebeck acting on this stage and trying to show his friendlyness and humor. There were three or four more photographers who besieged him the whole evening and there were a lot of guests with their point-an-shoot-cameras too but Lebeck was not disturbed in his serenity. I am very thankful for this.

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Hier steht er inmitten seines Auditoriums bei einem Interview.. / .The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. Here he stands amidst his audience while interviewed. (Jens Stachowitz)

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Hier steht er inmitten seines Auditoriums bei einem Interview.. / .The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. Here he stands amidst his audience while interviewed.

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Hier steht er lachend inmitten seines Auditoriums bei einem Interview... / The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. Here he stands laughing amidst his audience while interviewed. (Jens Stachowitz)

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Hier steht er lachend inmitten seines Auditoriums bei einem Interview... / The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. Here he stands laughing amidst his audience while interviewed.

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Ein Gast (Andreas Ehrhard) überreicht ihm den Bildband Photography Unplugged von Harald Mante als Geschenk für seinen drei Tage später bevorstehenden Geburtstag.. / .The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. A guest  (Andreas Ehrhard) consigns Lebeck the photobook Photography Unplugged by Harald Mante in anticipation of Lebecks birthday three days later. (Jens Stachowitz)

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Ein Gast (Andreas Ehrhard) überreicht ihm den Bildband Photography Unplugged von Harald Mante als Geschenk für seinen drei Tage später bevorstehenden Geburtstag.. / .The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. A guest (Andreas Ehrhard) consigns Lebeck the photobook Photography Unplugged by Harald Mante in anticipation of Lebecks birthday three days later.

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Das Foto zeigt ihn als Silhouette reflektiert in seinem eigenen Bild und die ihn umgebenden Menschen beim Signieren seiner Bilder und Bücher.  / The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. This Photograph does show Lebeck as a Silhouette reflected in his own picture and the people surrounding him when signing his books and photographs. (Jens Stachowitz)

Der weltbekannte deutsche Fotograf Robert Lebeck eröffnete am 18.03.2011 seine Ausstellung in der Lumas-Galerie in Düsseldorf. Das Foto zeigt ihn als Silhouette reflektiert in seinem eigenen Bild und die ihn umgebenden Menschen beim Signieren seiner Bilder und Bücher. / The world-renowned german photographer Robert Lebeck openend his exibition in the Lumas Gallery in Düsseldorf on 2011-03-18. This Photograph does show Lebeck as a Silhouette reflected in his own picture and the people surrounding him when signing his books and photographs.

Get relaxed in the Valle Vercasca

Flowing waters in the Vercasca Valley | vercasca = green | @ Jens Stachowitz

On may way down to Ligury to fellow the Italy-Within-The-Frame-Workshop in April 2010 teached by David duChemin and Jeffrey Chapman I intermitted my journey towards Ligury and backwards home to stay a day and a night in the Valle Vercasca (Green Valley) in the Canton of Ticino in the Swiss Alps. I wanted to slow down and wanted to revisit this wild and emeraldgreen river I had seen lots of years before. This time I wanted to create photographs that show my love to this part of nature and I wanted to show the juxtaposition of flowing water and the resting stone and their harmony they build together.

The best photographs (shown above) I used to create an electronic greeting-card that I send to my family, friends, colleagues, fellowers and customers in January 2011. If you like you can watch the flash-slideshow here (German version). If you do like to catch the meaning of the lyric that my wife has created you could have look at the html-version with english subtitles in the caption-field below the photographs.


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