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Hello Friends!

I have been experimenting with video outside of the “How To” realm. This started with my “On the Road” series which will continue, however now I am starting to create  new series. These will develop overtime in 2018 and I already have a whole list of ideas.

These will be cinematic videos and all titled “A Study of ______”. I was inspired to explore this idea after I put together a small sequence of square black and white images titled “A Study“. This can be viewed on my Artists website bethanymccamish.com along with additional series.

For years photography as been used to capture both the real and imagined. It can be a close and intimate look at the photographers world. It can also be an objective assignment to gather data or document.  In my case it is always the latter.

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An Early Start to the Pinhole

A Pinhole camera is any light tight container with an aperture (hole) and a shutter (something to cover the hole.

Interest in perspective and optics during the Renaissance is what led to the first necessary discovery for the pinhole camera: the camera obscura. Leonardo De Vinci described the camera obscura very clearly as early as the 16th century. (Alternative Processes)

A camera obscura is a dark chamber, container or room with a singular entry point of light. Once your eyes have adjusted, the outside will appear on the wall upside down. You can see how this would  be useful for artists to trace and have an accurate perspective.

Create a camera obscura right now out of your own room!

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The ultimate gift guide for ANY photographer. From the darkroom traditionalist to the millennial phoneographer these are my top picks for the photographer in your life…even if that is yourself.

All Amazon linked gifts are affiliate links. This means if you purchase with that link, a small percentage will go back to me. That said, I always clearly state what products I have or use!

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“You don’t take a photograph, you ask, quietly, to borrow it.” -Author Unknown

You are exposed to thousands of images everyday. They scroll in front of our eyes on Facebook, Pinterest, billboards and more. There mode of existence is your computer, phone, car: essentially technology. This new age of technology comes with an over-saturation of images and easy access. In this blog I too contribute to plethora of images being produced. It is this trend that has offered support for a sub category of images marked rephotography.

Rephotographing historical sites or even other artist’s work has been a highlighted theme in the contemporary art world. A peaked interest has been found more recently in the heavy saturation of online images.

Are these advances in technology allowing for more taking rather than making of images?

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The past month has been hectic for me. I started back to work from my summer vacation, started a new set of goals, bought a home (not yet started moving), and had family in the hospital. So not exactly the world ending…but the world is going through hundreds of natural disasters right now including a massive fire really close to us. All this leaves me with zero energy and little inspiration.

The Columbia Gorge going up in flame son my drive home from the hospital.

I feel listless and dull. My work slows and my camera doesn’t plead for me to capture a moment. Like many of you, I hit a slump and my passion took a dive. This led me to write a post on staying inspired.

My art, whether that is drawing or photography, feeds my soul. It allows me to feel and experience the world in a new way. It keeps me self aware and always reflecting on new perspectives. Photography especially, keeps the same world we live in a new and fresh place. It feels like I am searching for that which I don’t even know exists yet.

Simple Practices to Put In Place

Needless to say, when I hit the place of being uninspired…even if from pure exhaustion, I put the following list into practice in order to keep that which is sacred to my person.

  1. Look at other work. If I am always looking at good work, I feel as though mine will stay fresh. I also enjoy a challenge. The feeling of wanting to match another’s level of expertise. One of my favorite artists of all time is Sally Mann. Not only for her whit and cutting edge photos, but for her soft narrative and reflection of those who surround her.

    Sally Mann

  2.  Pick up another medium. I used to think of myself as “only” a photographer. I soon realized how limiting this was. It was a mindset that forced me to narrow in on one thing. The best thing I did in college was take a class in each different  medium. Now, when I feel uninspired to photograph, I turn to watercolor, my sketchbook or even pottery. I am still surprised how much one form of work will inform the other.

    Watercolor Inspired by Ireland. Photo taken in the morning light.

  3. Meditate. This is one of my new goals, and so far I have been doing really well. I meditate every morning before going to work. I was not sold on the idea at first, but after reading books about highly successful and creative people who make it a daily practice…I mean literally every single one of them…giving it a try seemed to make sense. The clarity and general focus I have discovered is amazing. I recommend the app Headspace. They have several free sessions to test it out.

    Orchid in morning light

  4. Make a List. Journal about what inspires you. Create a doodle or a simple list. If you can’t think of anything look back at what you always take photos of. Find commonalities. Then act on it and seek out those things that inspire you.

    My crazy idea of fun.

  5. Create a Series. Often the best time for reflecting on work already created is during a slump. In many cases we are constantly creating. However, taking all of the images and making coherent series or working body of images requires a pause in creation and some serious time devoted to reflection.

    Installation of my Series “Possible Perspectives” 2014 The Art Gym


Enjoy the little things in life…

Whatever happens when you are in a slump, don’t sweat it. Please DO NOT judge yourself. This will make it even harder to keep creating. Prioritize and simplify, make lists, look at other work and enjoy the little things in life. Your work will come back! Mine did.

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