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Over Thanksgiving, I had a brain MRI. The Doctors were puzzled, but not my friends.
I love perverting the assumed "reality" of photography, and using the tools now available to accomplish Impressionistic and Surrealistic images.  "This is my favourite kind of work you do. The formal gestalt is amplified and enriched with a whole new language of colour." - Anne Hammond, D.Phil. (Oxon), photographic historian.
Artificial is a lovely word, etymologically constructed from the Latin Ars and Facere, meaning “To make art.” The making of art means the intervention of a human mind to show the world a perspective never before seen. Until quite recently, photographers have had a more limited expression because of the assumed “reality" of the medium, though some brave and adventurous souls have shown us ways in which the unexpected can be fashioned from the expected. Some are called Impressionists, a title not meant to flatter. Some are called Surrealists.
The largest U.S. flag I've ever seen is located at Jack London Square, in Oakland, California. I made my picture of the flag by standing directly under it and pointing my camera upwards. The red, white and blue of the flag is repeated by the model's scarf, complexion and eyes.. The background of straight and curvy lines simply looked useful, and was made by photographing metal artifacts at a recycling yard. This follows the only rule I've ever obeyed: try everything!
One of the aspects of my life was having been brought up in a colonial port city, Cape Town, in a colonized country.
For all the years that I've taught photography, had my work exhibited and published, I've been followed by someone who has been both compimentary and naive, saying "I love your work. What kind of camera do you use?" My usual response is to say "Imagine saying something similar to a novelist. "Loved your book. What kind of word processing program did you use?" I'd like to reassure my wonderful women friends that such a statement is invariably uttered by a man. So here at long last is my answer. Good luck.
If one can't find the right cliffs, or the right model to do the climbing, there's always hope. The "cliff" is made from the leftovers clinging to the inside of a glass after drinking a breakfast smoothie of whipped fruits and vegetables. The "climber" is my favorite model (my wife) whom I photographed seated on a chair in my studio. I had a choice with the aircraft: I could spend months learning to fly a biplane and trigger the camera with a remote control as I flew by; or, I could do what I love best: haunt the local second-hand toy store.
I have written elsewhere that I dislike most flower photography, which mostly reminds me of seed packet illustration. But once in a while, because I'm seduced by their beauty, I'll try my mind at it, as long as I can master the design of the entire image, and the blooms are an element in the overall design. In this image I've chosen to disrupt logic and expectations.
Children, Actors and Musicians are not the only ones who play.
Our dear friend Annie (Dr. Anne Hammond) came to visit from her Oxford home. She is a literary and art scholar married to another, Dr. Mike Weaver, Senior Fellow at Linacre College, Oxford University. At one time they were joint editors of the academic journal, History of Photography. I had the privilege of reading Annie's D. Phil (Oxon) dissertation: Ansel Adams: Divine Performance shortly before her graduation. Annie brought us a gift, a beautiful recording of Bach's Mass In B Minor conducted by John Eliot Gardiner.
When he was very little, my grandson David imagined a celestial body called Andracoola, where his friend Untun lived. So I jouneyed into space with my camera to confirm his fantasy.
I’ve had a difficult health history, but I’ve also had remarkable physicians. My primary care doc for over thirty years was the remarkable Michael A. Smith, MD, whose wide-ranging understanding of health through many cultural-scientific perspectives not only helped me, but also led to significant referrals. One of those was to Nephrologist Robert Doud, MD, whose knowledge is greatly complemented with the caring he displays to his patients. Seeing Bob is always an occasion for the pleasure of connection.
Recipe: One veggie chip (much like potato chips, but made from root vegetables); a hazel eye borrowed from my sister Susan (and immediately returned), and hours of careful design work on a computer. f-stops and shutter speeds irrelevant.
Narrow parameters often make for greater creativity. In this image, the combination consists of rose petals taken from a bouquet sent for my wife's birthday, and eight AA batteries. A complicated process to make an energy field.
For more than 30 years, Karine has been the love of my life and my favorite model, always willing to lend parts of her body for the sake of art.
For the 32 years since we met, she has been the love of my life, my intellectual partner, my dance partner, my teacher for relating well to all those we encounter. I love her graceful physicality, the sweet kindness of her temperament, her generosity of spirit, her laughter and her hugs. I love the sound of her voice, as well as the content of her speech. Is it possible to love to infinity and beyond? I do.
Created for Easter and Passover, 2019, Hands of Friendship across the earth.
The poet is my friend Lindy Hough. whose last anthology was titled Wild Horses, Wild Dreams. A word on iconography: I placed her head in the clouds; shaded the right portion of her head in monochrome, to suggest the perfect darkroom of the cranial chamber where great ideas are born, here represented by a colorful image of the right hemisphere of her brain, and the rare, beautiful orchids of her work.
"Emergence of Woman is a triumph!  The layers of history and natural history (texture of stone, classical edifice, dream-coloured leaves) and the two ‘views’ of the main subject, seeing and being seen, make this an image of past ‘emerging’ into the present.  With the figure looking out through a screen of bubbles (that are so instantaneous!), constantly on the edge, the pure water-tension, of dissolving into mist."  - Anne Hammond, D. Phil. (Oxon)  
Here is a somewhat different notion of what has usually been regarded as travel photography. Not at all meant to supplant, but just to augment. It’s my way of delving somewhat into the culture. I’ve done this before with images in South Asia and Europe. I was heading home after a very demanding three weeks of leading a photographic tour in Nepal and India. I stopped in Japan for a couple of days of rest before the flight to San Francisco.
A view last night from my combination Obervatory+Studio
My friend Miriam in her hundredth year.
My Niece playing the role of Madame Thaileah, Clairvoyant.
Two Autumn leaves found on the street in front of my home, and given new life in this recreation.
I love flowers and hate most flower photography, much of which is only useful as illustrations on seed packets. Occasionally, a friend has given me gifts of floral beauty, and another contributed one of her lovely eyes for the sake of art.
It's pouring rain out, and the only items on the workbench of my studio are a melon (cataloupe) and a glove.
p.p1 {margin: 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px 0.0px; font: 18.0px Baskerville; -webkit-text-stroke: #000000} span.s1 {font-kerning: none} Take 10 colored pencils, an aerosol of shave cream, a single leaf picked up on the street near my home, mix the ingredients well in a camera until they look and taste right, let them stew for a few nights in your brain, add a pinch of powdered Photoshop and a heaped tablespoon of imagination, then place them in a warm monitor for a day or two. Results my differ.
Because I’m unable to hike up the Sierras or down the Grand Canyon, having limitations is a useful creative challenge. So I ride my stationary bike, conduct the great orchestras of the world, look at the sky above San Francisco Bay, and dream. So much of life is about saying yes and saying no, and it’s often hard to tell which is right.
Hong Kong strikingly integrates the vibrancy of an important and busy city with life on the water.
You may not know this - few people do - but on full-moonlit nights, Jinns, the spirit survivors of those who labored on the Taj Mahal, come out to play, deconstructing the Taj and then carefully putting it back together again before dawn. I photographed there one night, pretending to be one of them, hiding my camera in the folds of my Jinni cloak.
Aside from being a physician and a musician, Susan is a talented maker of art quilts. Her latest completed work is reminiscent of a myterious landscape from a new world, hence its title "Opus 95," the catalogue number of Dvorak's New World Symphony. Susan is pictured here emerging from the quilt. I enhanced the ususual color of her eyes, especially the left, to mimic the eye of a tiger. The pattern of the cloth endows the right side of her face with "whiskers," and the tip of her nose spotted, as though moist. The Tigress Quilter.
Six hundred years before it became a tiny northeastern corner of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in 1867, the Kingdom of Schach was ruled by King Rudolph “The Rapacious,” abetted by his conspiratorial Bishop, Sacramento “The Slimy.” A coup, led by gallant knight Sir Equus “The Exalted,” offed both king and bishop, and restored Queen Justitia “The Just,” to the Leaf Throne. Now part of the European Union, Schach retains its traditional single-note currency, the Bauer. Schach hosts the annual World Chess Tournament.
Illustration for the cover of the concert program of the Contra Costa Chorale.
What Beethoven heard during the composition of the second movement of his Fifth Symphony.
I made this image for my daughter Judith. A graduate of the University of California at Davis and of Columbia University, New York in Latin American Studies, she has now lived in Mexico for years. She recently had a unilateral mastectomy, and I wanted to make an image that celebrates the exuberant colors of her country of domicile, as well as showing a radiant cactus as a metaphor for her resilience and strength. 
When you can discern and create remarkable elements of design in your bathroom will you become ready to create them in the Grand Canyon or Florence.
This image was created from a download of Piero del Pollaiulo's Portrait of a Young Man c. 1470, from the Open Content Program of the J. Paul Getty Museum. I am grateful for that program and the challenge it provides to create new artworks from old.
Balsamarium and his more recent descendants, both of whom are students of Roman history. Each generation becomes better-looking. The original image Balsamarium in the Form of a Boxer's Head was downloaded from the Open Content Program of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
A partnership between 17th century Dutch artist Adriaen van de Velde and 20th/21st century American artist Raphael Shevelev. The cow on the right followed me for an hour in the town of Eklingji, Rajasthan. The van de Velde Cow Grazing courtesy of the Open Content Program of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
This image represents a very modern update of a bottle from the 9th century.  Download of the original bottle courtesy of the Open Content Program of the J.Paul Getty Museum.
My narrative: In 1328, Captain Joost de Blank, near the end of his service with the Dutch East India Company, explored land trade routes across India, and was invited by the Maharaja of Jaisalmer, Rawal Kalyandas (who ruled 1624 - 1634) to inspect the Jaisalmer Fort. Captain de Blank subsequently took the year 1629 to make his way by long ocean voyage to retirement in Amsterdam.
My photograph of a model in an antique frame, made in Paris c. 1700-1710. Frame courtesy of the Open Content Program of the J. Paul Getty Museum.
The new Open Content Program of the J. Paul Getty Museum has released 4,600 objects for free download. My latest work was to construct an ultra-modern background for an ancient object, a Persian amphora-rhyton dating from c.325 B.C.
Virtually all artists who work with two-dimensional media attempt to create the illusion of a third dimension with uses of perpsective, light, shading, color and texture. In this piece, time, the fourth dimension, is also included.
  I’ve tried to characterize my condition as a creative artist with this image of a tiny clump of foliage exposed in space, subject to the winds and weather of my own mind, but retaining a slender connection to the society of which I am a part and from which I draw nourishment. I am a single artist, creating alone, but needing peers with whom to exchange ideas, and a chorus with whom to sing my picture-songs. See my column Art Minus One.  
This image combines three elements: the face of a store window mannequin, a weathered wall at the Carmel Mission, and the window on my neighbor's wall. I created it over a period of thirty years. Click here for the story.
Pushing the envelope is what I love to do. The envelope in this image was designed by Gus DiZerega. It helps to have access to my grandchildren's toys, too.
This image is in homage to the painting Ceci n'est pas une pipe (This is not a pipe) from the series "The Treachery of Images" by René Magritte (1898-1967). He was making the point that images are representations of objects, not the objects themselves.