Archive for the ‘On being creative’ Category



“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  — Anne Lamott I didn’t set out to unplug this summer. It happened organically, thanks to meandering morning walks that took longer than expected — and work deadlines that came up faster than expected, too. I felt guilty at first […]

After shooting some 15,000 frames in the past 12 months it took me a while to choose my 2016 Picture of the Year. But here it is, at last: Supermoon over Downtown. I know what you’re thinking. “IT’S TOTALLY OUT OF FOCUS!” Which is why it seems like a perfect metaphor for my past year. […]

I may have emitted an involuntary little squeal last month when I happened across this scene in Paris: a Citroën deux-chevaux in front of the Place des Vosges. Could it get any more classic? But that wasn’t the first frame I shot. My first frame was an unimaginative, wide-angle snapshot. I take a lot of […]

I take a lot of crap about my note-taking. Constant scribbling is so central to my persona, in fact, that one colleague recently expressed concern during a meeting when I wasn’t taking notes. “I forgot my pen,” I shrugged. Here’s the thing: I have a terrible memory — so if I don’t write it down […]

“You’re going to Paris again?” The annoyance is palpable when friends ask that — and it’s a fair question. There are so many beautiful places in the world, so many interesting cities besides Paris. “Don’t you get bored, seeing the same stuff?” I’m always tempted to reply: This quote came to mind last month in […]

My only personal connection to Prince Rogers Nelson is that I once saw him walking across the street. is presence belied his tiny stature, and I thought him one of the most elegant, regal, and — yes — beautiful men I’d ever seen. He made such an impression in that fleeting moment, in fact, that […]

It’s been almost six months since Esteban’s and my big trip, but we’ve been so busy that I haven’t dug any further into my photos than the 16 I posted last October. But two things happened last week that inspired me to drag out the ol’ hard drive: 1. I saw this wonderful piece at […]

Have you seen that “nature photo challenge” that’s going around on Facebook? I’ve been nominated by [beloved friend] to participate in the 7-Day Nature Photography Challenge. I’ll post one photo each day for seven days and will nominate one (lucky) person each day to pass this along, so we can flood Facebook with beautiful photos […]

It’s funny how conversations and events sometimes conspire to get you off your [creative] butt. First it was the ongoing discussion with a photographer friend who encouraged me to “digitally darkroom” some of my old photos. Then on Saturday I had the pleasure of seeing Peter Turnley’s gorgeous new book, French Kiss – A Love […]

I’ve had a running conversation with my photographer friend Craig for some weeks about processing digital images. For whatever reason, I’d come to think that “real” photographers produce great images straight out of the camera, and that retouching them in Photoshop is cheating. But Craig took a different view. And through his gentle persistence — […]

One of my favorite things about blogging is connecting with other curious, creative people — especially when those people become real-life friends. I wrote about graphic artist Carolyn Porter last May after being deeply moved by the beautiful but heartbreaking story behind a font she designed. But I never imagined she would email me many […]

I was surprised on Thursday when I awoke to a bunch of comments awaiting moderation. Then the page views started piling up by the hundreds, as did the new subscribers — and they were all coming here for one reason. “Waaaaait a second …” I thought. Sure enough, my post about stamp collecting (or “philately,” […]

The post from Melody Moves to Bulgaria was the first thing I read this morning as I was lolling in bed like a walrus, my head still hazy and heavy with sleep. “So, here is the truth about why I haven’t been writing on my blog,” she began. The experiences she shared seemed dreamlike, when […]

Remember about a month ago, when I introduced the undisputed-queen-of-creative-inspiration, Keri Smith? And I listed 10 ways to make yourself miserable as an artist? No? Well, never mind. What matters is that I bought a copy of her book How to Be an Explorer of the World. The reviewer at Brain Pickings summed it up […]

During Esteban’s and my recent trip to New York, I noticed a curious development: Although I was surrounded by world-famous landmarks and monuments, I was interested mostly in the people. I don’t know whether this fascination was a side-effect of my flirtation with street photography, or my love affair with Humans of New York. (If […]

I don’t often post re-runs on HBlog, but this one serves and important purpose. (Check back tomorrow and all will be revealed.) With apologies to my friends — and faithful readers — who may have seen this post a couple of years ago: Every so often, my friends at work and I are asked to […]

Among HBlog’s notifications today I found this lovely note from WordPress: Although I titled my first post “Why blog?” I honestly don’t remember what compelled me to start HBlog. But I do remember being painfully self-conscious at first, worried that I would offend — or worse, bore — my online audience. My worries were unfounded, […]

Although I’m increasingly disenchanted with social media, occasionally I still get to see one of my friends’ posts. This one caught my eye today: Curious about the source of all this priceless advice, I Googled “How to feel miserable as an artist.” *PING*! Up popped illustrator Keri Smith’s wise and wonderful website. Clearly, she’s done […]

I had the unbelievable good fortune today to attend the fifth annual Sea Change conference at the University of Minnesota. I’ll write (much!) more about this inspiring event when I get permission to share some PowerPoint slides and republish a few photos. In the meantime, the story I can share pertains to one of the […]

Chalkboard cards and signs seem to be all the rage these days. And although I tend to avoid most trends, I’ll admit I rather fancy this fad. This morning I was brainstorming titles for a script I’m editing, when I stumbled upon this quote: It’s a bit simplistic, but it really hit home. I decided […]