Photography Journal

A summary of all the journal entries I’ve written around photography, my inspirations, successes, and failures.

Showing posts 1 - 60 of 111

How to Print Cyanotypes Darker - Tip 4

Mar 15, 2021(edit)

This article forms part of my “How to Make Cyanotypes Darker” series. In my experience, achieving the darkest cyanotypes requires four things:… View More

Life Lessons from David Hockney and His Views on Photography

Jul 10, 2020(edit)

David Hockney is one of the most famous English painters alive today. He turned 83 years old this week! Leading up to his July 9th birthday, I saw a couple of instagram posts about his work (from accidentalmystery on June 26th and Baltimore Art on July 5th). While I was out walking, a fountain reminded me of his swimming pool painting. Even seeing the water in the Baltimore Inner Harbor reminded me of his work!… View More

How to Create a Cyanotype Digital Negative

Jun 26, 2020(edit)

“Clogged Nozzles Detected. Cleaning Recommended.” Usually, a warning like this from my Epson 7900 inkjet printer is nothing to worry about. Run a maintenance cleaning cycle or apply the Windex method, and the clogged printheads clear right up. But after trying to fix this problem for three weeks, I realized I was in trouble. No matter what I did, the orange ink just wouldn’t flow. Why is this important? A clogged printhead will show nasty lines in the final cyanotype print, thus ruining the image. And, my digital negatives depend on orange ink! Then something occurred to me. Why not just switch to another color for my digital negatives… In this article, I share how I create my digital negatives for the cyanotype process.… View More

Art Ideas for Kids - So You Can Get Work Done at Home

May 22, 2020(edit)

How are you doing keeping your kids occupied while you try to get work done at home? Many parents are asking for suggestions. I have some ideas that I think you’ll love! And no, I won’t be talking about learning the piano or taking up photography. Those are costly and take a long time. The ones below are cheap and don’t need pre-planning.… View More

How to Look Your Best In Zoom: A Photographer's Simple Setup

May 15, 2020(edit)

The other day, I participated in my first Zoom meeting call. Because I’m a photographer, I automatically set my work area for optimal lighting. If you don’t know what I mean by lighting, read on. Since we’re stuck at home and in front of the camera on Zoom, Skype, or Meet Now for the foreseeable future, I thought it might be helpful to show you a simple setup you can do without buying anything. Follow these guidelines, and you’ll look great at your next Zoom meeting!… View More

Nail Your Base Exposure Time for Cyanotype

Mar 10, 2020(edit)

So you coated your paper. What’s next? This article discusses one of the preparatory steps that will optimize your cyanotypes. What I mean by “optimize” is the cyanotype will as dark as it can go.… View More

How to Make Cyanotypes Darker

Mar 2, 2020(edit)

In this article, we’ll talk about the process of coating your cyanotype paper. One thing I’ve learned is that how you coat paper will affect how dark it will print. Let’s get started.… View More

Choosing Cyanotype Paper

Feb 24, 2020(edit)

While you could get precoated cyanotype paper, it’s not difficult to prepare your own. The benefit of making it yourself is the freedom to choose your paper type and paper size.… View More

What is a Cyanotype?

Feb 17, 2020(edit)

When I show my artwork to friends and people who’ve never seen antique photographs, this question is usually the first they ask: what is a cyanotype?… View More

Artist Date: Getty Center, Los Angeles

Feb 10, 2020(edit)

What is an artist date? It’s a practice I learned from The Artist Way by Julia Margaret Cameron. It’s where you take your inner artist out on a “date” to replenish the well of inspiration. This time, I go to the Getty Center.… View More

2020 Goals

Feb 3, 2020(edit)

I tried “non-goals” last year. That didn’t work. This year I’m going back to defining specific goals. This is the first year where I don’t have a full time job. I quit to pursue art. I’m proud of achieving this life milestone and taking the leap into the unknown.… View More

2019 Year in Review

Jan 27, 2020(edit)

It’s almost the end of January and I’m just doing a 2019 year end review! Better late than never. Last year, I wrote the following goals in my journal: Retire.… View More

From Raw Material to Dream

Jun 24, 2019(edit)

Photography has a disadvantage of being based on reality. Something has to be in front of the camera for a photograph to result. If this is a negative, why is photography my chosen medium? For precisely the same reason—that photography is based on reality.… View More

The World Under Construction

Jun 9, 2019(edit)

One disadvantage of using a camera is that it is tied to the real world. Other art forms don’t suffer from this disadvantage. A painter can put anything on canvas. The same for a writer. Both could imagine things and put them down. Not so for a photographer.… View More

May 2019 Studio Update

Jun 3, 2019(edit)

I spent the last two months doing storyboarding for part III of A Millions Suns trilogy. The result of all this work is an image shoot list that I aim to complete in the next 6 months. Now that I’m done with storyboarding, I’m switching gears.… View More

Photography Equipment For Sale

Jun 1, 2019(edit)

It’s time to clean up my photography studio, so I’m listing photography equipment on this page. If you are interested in any one of these items, please email me. Thank you.… View More


May 13, 2019(edit)

I just posted an art project entitled Archaeology. I’m intrigued by the idea that everyone has one story to tell, and that he tells this story over and over again in many different variations in future work. Photographer Gregory Crewdson said this in an interview once,… View More

“Alexa, Start My Studio Session”

Apr 15, 2019(edit)

To increase productivity in the studio, I started looking at Alexa–the conversational, voice-controlled artificial intelligent assistant from Amazon. It’s amazing. I see how it could be useful for people. There is a magic to Alexa beyond the robotic voice. I’m using… View More

My Cyanotype Prints Featured

Apr 12, 2019(edit)

Thank you to Christina Anderson for featuring my work in her new book, Cyanotype The Blueprint in Contemporary Practice. This book is now available through Focal Press or amazon.… View More

Big Changes Are Coming

Apr 7, 2019(edit)

I’m quitting my job to devote more time to my art. I’ve been thinking about quitting, and it’s finally happening. I saved enough money that I don’t have to worry. I did a lot of financial modelling (like this retirement calculator for artists) to make sure that I would be ok.… View More

Artist Date: Centre Pompidou, Paris

Aug 12, 2018(edit)

Visiting the Centre Pompidou in Paris is like walking into a textbook. Photographs important to the history of photography were left, right, and center. Works I Loved There’s the work by Eugene Atget, famous for his atmospheric photographs of Paris.… View More

Artist Date: Artscape, Baltimore

Jul 23, 2018(edit)

The Baltimore School for the Arts, a well-known art high school in Baltimore, even had a How to Make Cyanotype demo and exhibit. That was a surprise. I looked at each print, to see if there was some effect or technique I could use in my work. [[insertimage… View More

Artist Date: Musee d'Orsay, Paris

Jul 15, 2018(edit)

This is the second of three articles that I’m writing about Paris when I was there at the end of June. This post is about Musee D’Orsay, which I think is one of the most beautiful museums I’ve ever been in. It used to be a train station. I love how spacious and airy it is.… View More

Impromptu Residency (Day 5)

Jul 7, 2018(edit)

An unexpected break at work led to a 5-day burst of art making. I called it the “impromptu residency.” Also, I decided to blog about it everyday. This post is day 5. You can read day 1, day 2, day 3, and day 4 here. By day 5, I actually felt run down. I usually… View More

Impromptu Residency (Day 4)

Jul 6, 2018(edit)

Day 4 was hard. The euphoria of this impromptu residency dissipated, and I sailed into the doldrums. I’m on a journey after all, and the wind kind of disappeared. You can read day 1, day 2, and day 3 here. So what happened on day 4? Bostick & Sullivan Cyanotype… View More

Impromptu Residency (Day 3)

Jul 5, 2018(edit)

This post is a recap of day 3 of my impromptu residency. You can read day 1 and day 2 here. Toning with Baking Soda For day 3, I decided to keep experimenting with toning cyanotype using every day materials. Yesterday was bleach, and today baking soda. I’ve never tried baking soda because… View More

Impromptu Residency (Day 2)

Jul 4, 2018(edit)

In looking at these prints, there’s not enough contrast. The prints look faded. I will have to work on that if I’m going to use this layering process in the future. Experimenting with Value I also wanted to see how different concentrations of bleach and water affect the tones of a cyanotype print.… View More

Impromptu Residency (Day 1)

Jul 3, 2018(edit)

My day job unexpectedly gave Monday and Tuesday off prior to the July 4th US holiday (Wednesday). I then decided, why not take Thursday and Friday as vacation days? That’s what I did, so I’m off for the entire week!This opportunity is pretty rare for me, so I’m taking advantage by doing a 5-day… View More

Artist Date: Louvre, Paris

Jun 29, 2018(edit)

I was in Paris for a few days last week for business meetings. I’ve been to Paris before, but that was a long time ago, and so I was really excited about going back. I only had a limited time to explore, so I chose to visit the Louvre and Musee D’Orsay. This post is about art that I saw at the Louvre.… View More

The 5 Second Rule

Jun 11, 2018(edit)

My latest experiment involves Habitica. It is a productivity app that is a role playing game. When you complete habits, daily tasks, and to-dos, you get points and progress through level–just like in a video game. You could also join groups (called guilds) and play together… View More

First Prize - Overlea ArtsFest 2018

Jun 2, 2018(edit)

This Old House won 1st Prize at the Overlea ArtsFest! I was ecstatic when it was announced. I’ve been shifting my focus this year to local art events in Baltimore. It’s important to support and participate within the community. Thank you to the organizers and the volunteers of this wonderful event.… View More

Errors and Art

May 29, 2018(edit)

Admitting that you are wrong is hard. That happened at my day job this week. I was working on an analysis, finalized, and circulated it. A week later, someone pointed out an error. A huge error. My analysis was reviewed by multiple people, but the error still got through. I felt really really bad.… View More

The 4 Tendencies

May 14, 2018(edit)

You know how you set up goals, write down a detailed implementation plan, and thenäó_you don’t do them? That’s me in my studio. At the beginning of 2017, I spelled out goals which I didn’t do. In 2018, I said I was going to focus on habits instead of goals. It’s now May, and I haven’t… View More

Finding My Way Back

May 5, 2018(edit)

I got lost again with my artwork around the summer of last year. And I’m having a hard time to get into it again. So the first thing I did was clean my studio, which consists of areas in my house: The Den The den is where I do most of my indoor shooting. I shoot against that blank wall on the… View More

2018 Non-Goals

Jan 31, 2018(edit)

Last year I set out art related goals that I didn’t meet. I only met one of them. Goals just doesn’t work for me. I set a goal, specify concrete tasks on how I’m going to meet them, establish a schedule, and thenäó_I don’t do them. Maybe my goals are too long term. I can’t sustain the momentum… View More

2017 Year End Review

Dec 31, 2017(edit)

So at the beginning of the year, I set out goals that I wanted to complete by year end. How did I do? 1. Finish Part III of A Million Suns by December 31 2. Double my Newsletter Subscribers by December 31, 2017 3. Exhibit in 3 Group Shows Finish Part III of A Million Suns by December 31 I… View More

Chinese Art, Two Museums

Dec 12, 2017(edit)

I was in New York for a day trip this past weekend to check out the Fuji GFX medium format camera. I’ve been obsessed with this camera for weeks, so I wanted to see how it actually felt in my hands. It fit perfectly. I think a GFX is in my near future.… View More

First Prize - Johns Hopkins Exhibition

Dec 8, 2017(edit)

Sleep won 1st prize at the 8th Annual National Arts Program Exhibition at Johns Hopkins Hospital! The exhibition started December 13, 2017 and is on until February 7, 2018. If you’re near Baltimore, make sure to stop by and see the 300+ entries in the exhibition hall of the Miller Research Building.… View More

Tibet with an iPhone

Oct 13, 2017(edit)

Panoramas impart a sense of space that one camera image, using a normal lens, is unable to do. It’s incredible what the iphone can do, and it fits in my pocket. Of course, panoramas suffer from perspective distortions, especially if there are elements in the foreground. It’s very apparent with… View More

Altered Realities at MAP

Oct 4, 2017(edit)

Three pieces from A Million Suns are included in the Altered Realities Group show right here in my hometown of Baltimore! Drop me a line if you want to meet up. The show runs to November 4 at Maryland Art Place.… View More

In Transit Exhibition

Sep 4, 2017(edit)

Thank you to curator Rachel Brask for selecting my work for this upcoming show at VETS Gallery with Art League Rhode Island. This exhibition will run September 8 äóñ November 26, 2017, with an opening reception and awards held on Thursday, September 28, 5:30-8pm. The VETS Gallery is located at… View More

“I’m Just Not Creative” Says the Robot

Aug 3, 2017(edit)

There was an article on hyperallergenic this past week entitled Humans Prefer Computer-Generated Paintings to those at Art Basel. The article talked about a Rutgers study where researchers mixed up paintings made by Artificial intelligence (AI) and by Abstract Expressionist painters and asked… View More

What is An Artist Mindset?

Jul 27, 2017(edit)

In this blog, I always talk about the artist mindset. I contend that if you adopt the artist mindset at work, you get better job performance and fulfillment. Work will never be perfect. If it were fun, then it wouldn’t be a job. What does it mean to have an artist mindset?… View More

Creating Habits to Realize Your Dreams

Jul 19, 2017(edit)

In my quest for productive habits in my studio this year, I’ve read a lot of books on how to create and sustain habits. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life and Business by Charles Duhigg is one of the best books I’ve found on the subject. A habit has three components: the trigger or… View More

Formal Quality of An Artwork

Jul 13, 2017(edit)

Before art school I’ve never heard of this phrase: formal quality. “Formal” refers to the visual building blocks of piece of art that you are looking at. Form starts with dot, which when it moves leaves a line, which when it closes onto itself completes a shape. Form also includes things… View More

Mid Year Review 2017

Jul 5, 2017(edit)

How about you? How are you doing with your goals?… View More

Perfect In Its Imperfections

Jun 28, 2017(edit)

I just finished reading Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I loved it. One thing that I had to get used to though, as I was reading the book, was the language. It was so dense and convoluted. The language reminded me of one of my photographic influences, Julia Margaret… View More

Following The Threads of Your Heart

Jun 14, 2017(edit)

Before The Fall, recently released on amazon video and other streaming services, is a gay version of Pride & Prejudice. It’s worth a watch. Pride & Prejudice is a timeless love story written by Jane Austen over 200 years ago. It features two people from opposite sides of the social… View More

Art Words To Surprise Your Artist Boyfriend

Jun 7, 2017(edit)

In becoming an artist, you develop a signature style: a way of creating a photograph that identifies it as yours. A viewer looks at a photograph and concludes, “yes, this is Jonah’s work.” It’s like a fingerprint. Apparently, this signature style, also transferred at work, to my spreadsheets… View More

Asana: A Work & Artist Journal

Apr 7, 2017(edit)

At the start of the year, I wanted to become more productive in my studio. I was productive in my day job, but in my art? Not so much. I wanted to change that. So I went in search of something that would help me become more organized, both in my art and at work. A Paper Planner is Best I tried… View More

Perseverance is Key: Q1 Progress Review

Mar 28, 2017(edit)

I’m on track for goal 1 (which is the most important). I’m behind on goals 2 and 3. So for Q2, I need to maintain progress on goal 1 and come up with a plan for goals 2 and 3. Hopefully, when mid-year evaluation comes around June 30, I will see an improvement. It’s Your turn How are you… View More

Changes at Work? Think Like an Artist to Beat the Anxiety

Mar 22, 2017(edit)

Is your company reorganizing? Do you have a new boss? Were you “volun-told” a new job? In my former work as a tax accountant and in my current job, I frequently experienced large scale changes. People always say the pace of change should be welcomed. It’s an opportunity, not a threat.… View More

Struggling To Define Your Goals? Try Your Unconscious

Jan 31, 2017(edit)

If you are still struggling with setting some goals for this year, because you can’t think of any, why not try your Unconscious? Your Unconscious already knows what you want to be. You just need to find a bridge between the two realms: the Conscious and the Unconscious. Until you make the… View More

Losing Your Way on Goals Already? How to Get Back On Track

Jan 22, 2017(edit)

With goals defined, how do I ensure that I’ll stick to them this year? I’m trying out 3 strategiesäóîbased on observation of my behavior from last year. For 2017, I will track time create habits, and just start. Tracking Time Gives Insight I started tracking my hours at work last year… View More

Big Picture Goals For 2017

Jan 16, 2017(edit)

After last week’s 2016 review assessment, I knew that I had to make a number of changes. I needed my goals to be SMARTer, simpler, and tighter. I wanted to focus on only my Top 3 goals. I also realized I had the tendency of being äóìin the forestäóù and äóìin the weeds.äóù I needed to… View More

2016 In Review

Jan 7, 2017(edit)

Happy New Year to you and onwards to 2017!P.S. If you would like to follow along and see how the next year unfolds (positively or negatively) with new artwork, new blog posts, and art events, then subscribe to my newsletter form below.… View More

Verve Gallery

Jan 2, 2017(edit)

Thank you to Jennifer Schlesinger for featuring my work at Verve Gallery. The show is up until the end of January 2017. If you are in Santa Fe, please drop by.… View More

Cartography of Dreams

Sep 24, 2016(edit)

The exhibition poster is out for this upcoming exhibition in the UK. I’m proud to be exhibiting with artists Fran Forman, Tami Bone, and Paul Biddle in the former home of Julia Margaret Cameron, one of the most famous 19th century photographers and a great influence in my artwork. The exhibition… View More

Emotions Not Required

Sep 15, 2016(edit)

So I just came back from a ten day art residency as inspired by my accountability partner Rachel Brask who did the same thing in July.I cleared the decks before I started this residency, but that didn’t work. The first day, Friday, August 29, I had to finish something from work so I ended up… View More

Nonstop Sleeping and Creating

Sep 8, 2016(edit)

I just finished a self-created artist residency and I’m back at work this week. I stopped posting to my blog, stopped checking social media, stopped everything and only focused on creating art.I planned for this residency and even prepared a blog post before it happened, but I forgot to post it. So… View More

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