Posted by: Liz Massey | May 7, 2008

Surf’s Up: May 6, 2008

It’s another banner week of links from the creative blogosphere!

1. Katherine Tyrrell posted a fantastic primer at her blog, Making a Mark, on 10 tips for how to sketch people.

I like the post because it is so very practical (or it sounds that way to this drawing-impaired writer) and also because she notes that sketching can help artists to draw everyday, which she says “which will bring fluency and confidence to your drawing.” The color and black and white sketches included with the post are also a delight.

2. Elaine Fine, who writes the very interesting blog Musical Assumptions, wrote an intriguing entry recently about the challenges of playing her own music, that is, music she has composed herself.

She notes,

“I have a great deal of difficulty performing (my own music) because I have to make so many decisions in order to give it a successful performance. They are the same kinds of decisions that I have to make when I play music written by other people, but it is much easier to play music by people who are dead and who I never would have known even if they were still alive…

“From the experience of preparing my own music for performance I learn (over and over again) that the emotional content of a piece has a less to do with the pitches and rhythms than the musical moment or sequence of musical moments that happens during a performance.”

3. Open Culture, which bills itself as “your guide to smart media,” alerted me to a lovely interactive feature in the New York Times about the backstory behind many of Ansel Adams’ iconic Yosemite photographs.

The feature has a map and wonderful audio commentary by Adams’ former assistant, Andrea Stillman. The feature has been paired with another story, “What Adams Saw Through His Lens,” which touches upon the pilgrimages many make to Yosemite to take photos from the same vantage points as Adams did.

Reporter Louise Story notes,

“Yosemite does not often appear as it did at the moments Adams tripped his shutter… ‘I’ve had people say they are kind of disappointed,’ says Glenn Crosby, the curator of the Ansel Adams Gallery. ‘They only know the park through Ansel’s eyes, and he was only showing you the keepers. The park is not always as dramatic as his work.’”

All in all, the two items are fascinating for what they reveal about this master American photographer and about those who would follow in his footsteps.


A few more I just can’t let slip under the radar…

Creative Construction has begun a weekly creativity contest to inspire its contributing bloggers and readers. Each week’s winner receives a $10 gift certificate to

Mich Alland, writing at The Online Photographer, has penned a provocative post about an approach to “street photography,” including tips on how to get the best shots and his assertion that composition is king for this kind of photography.

Finally, in the “I’m just excited this blog even exists” category, there is the My GPS Camera Phone blog.

Not only do I love that someone has created a robust blog around a tool almost everyone has (and uses) these days, I just love his artistic attitude. He shows readers how to rework their cel phone pictures into mini-masterpieces using common photo-editing and graphic design programs.

He answers the question, “What is the point of this blog?” by saying,

“It’s more than just shooting photos. It’s about working with limited tools while trying to achieve great results. It’s about looking around at the mundane and realizing that it isn’t so mundane after all. It’s about finding the purpose of each and every thing in my immediate surroundings.”



  1. Wow, is all I can say. I’m flattered by your comments and I truly appreciate the link.

    I was going to rewrite the page you quoted from, but now I’m glad I didn’t. 🙂 I’ll probably do some editing instead.

    Thank you!

  2. Thanks so much for posting the Creative Construction weekly contest, Liz! This week’s prompt is “little black dress.” I hope your readers will participate!

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