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Olympus E-M1 –  1/80 sec @f/8. ISO 400, 40mm, no filters 

I’ve posted “things I’m enjoying right now” lists before, but unfortunately never got in the habit of sharing them regularly. After seeing some good ones online from my favorite bloggers and realizing how much I liked them, I decided to give them another try. So here are five things I’ve been enjoying the past few weeks.

Reading

Louder Than Words: This new book from Todd Henry explores the importance of your personal voice as a creative person, regardless of your medium. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a while about this general subject, with the bonus that Todd provides specific questions, exercises, and practices you can incorporate to help you sustain a creative mindset. He also has a great podcast that I thoroughly recommend – it always makes me thing more deeply about my own “voice” and how I can improve it over time.

Learning

Learn to Draw EverythingI love to draw and have been slowly expanding to different mediums. I’m currently enjoying pen and ink for the immediacy it provides (no erasing) and this youtube channel by Alphonso Dunn has been invaluable. Even if you have a passing interest in drawing, learning the basics can help you improve your vision and appreciation of light – all fundamental skills for photography.

Listening

Marcus Miller “Afrodeezia” on SpotifyI’m a huge Marcus Miller fan and have been for decades. He’s one of the worlds greatest jazz and funk bass players, having worked with the likes of Miles Davis, Grover Wahsington Jr, Luther Vandross, George Benson, Al Jarreau, and many, many more. This latest album draws heavily from African influences and fuses it with jazz, funk, and Marcus’s unique sound. Can’t get enough of this.

Tech

iMac Retina 5K: After five years of heavy use, I decided it was time to upgrade my studio computer. After much research I upgraded to an iMac Retina 5k fully maxed with the fastest CPU and video card. It’s amazing to say the least, with the best display I have ever used. I will continue to use my NEC wide-gamut monitor for printing and color critical work in Lightroom (it’s attached as a 2nd monitor), but for everything else, the retina display is amazing (did I say that already?) I’ll write a separate post to describe how I have it setup in my studio.

Online

Brainpickings.org: I’m very selective in the websites I visit on a regular basis, mostly because I try to avoid distractions and make sure to use my time wisely. Brainpickings is one of those websites I always find worthwhile. Maria Popova writes from the heart about about classic and timeless books, ideas, thinkers, and how they all come together to provide a sense of the meaningful in life.

From the website:

The core ethos behind brainpickings is that creativity is a combinatorial force: it’s our ability to tap into our mental pool of resources — knowledge, insight, information, inspiration, and all the fragments populating our minds — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these pieces and build new ideas.

Highly recommended.

Hope you enjoy this list and look for the next one in a few weeks. Thanks for reading!

RR Jr

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. I have recently discovered Brainpickings. Her work is truly astounding in its width and depth, Surely worth many revisits!

  2. I was peacefully retired, relaxing and just letting life move forward before finding your blog. Since then I’ve signed up for an on-line photography course, a drawing course, bought your book and trying to make better prints with my Epson 1900. Even tried to convince a friend to drive to New York to take your course (failed). I need a nap!

    Have a great vacation!

  3. Regarding your upgrade to the iMac 5K, I am considering the same upgrade and would be curious to know how you feel about the iMac 5K monitor vs the NEC wide gamut. For an average, non pro user, is there any disadvantage to the iMac monitor?

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