Fingerprints of Cannon Beach

abstract landscape photo Cannon Beach Oregon
Cannon Beach, OR. Fuji Pro 200 film photo. Scan of optical print. March 2019. Yes, framing is deliberate.

Sometimes what you think is right side up, is upside-down. Being conventional and “safe”, can be flippant. Non-linear perspectives offer convex dynamics. Reality is unpredictable, and often times requires new perspectives.

10 Tips for Honing Your Creativity 

I agree with much of this and find I do a lot of it naturally day-to-day. Hopefully this helps you, too.
This link came courtesy of the recent NEA newsletter, and if anything, is worth subscribing to for nice bits like this.

Bird on a Wire

lomography photo of bird on a wire art by paul ottaviano

“Like a bird on the wire… I have tried in my way to be free… ”

– Leonard Cohen, “Bird On The Wire”

I recently listened to this song again, after many years. Like a good old friend who you haven’t seen in a long while, it came at a welcome time, and was familiar and refreshing all the same. The lyrics have been haunting me since, but not in a disturbing way. It feels more like a reminder that we’re all human, and within that humanity, in all of its murky corners and beautiful moments, the true at heart are all yearning for the same thing.

Lensbaby: Changing the Focus


Recently, while at a photo mixer, I was introduced to the Lensbaby line of products. I was immediately impressed by their selective focus capabilities. But it’s not ordinary selective focus.

Their lenses are a blend of soft focus, tilt shift, selective focus, shallow depth-of-field, and the fun unpredictability of a Polaroid. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to shift the lens and you can go for depth-of-field if you want to. There are probably hundreds, perhaps thousands, of different creative and spontaneous combinations that you can choose from. All for a reasonable price, I should add.

Lensbaby’s motto is “See in a new way” and this is spot on. I bought the Composer Pro with the Sweet 35mm optic for a Sony a7 and I have to say it’s pretty rad. It has reinvigorated my photography and encouraged me to bring intuition back into my shooting.

Above you’ll see my first two photos with it, shot at Nick’s Coney Island in Portland (great soup there, by the way). The first is a shallow-depth shot and straight on. The second is the same aperture and shutter speed, but vertical and with the lens shifted. The big difference, as you can see, is the “Beer Me Now” double vision, which I think is both very cool and a bit cheeky given the subject matter.

Another nice thing about Lensbaby is they’re located nearby in Portland, OR. Earlier this week I went to their office to pick up my new lens (I ordered the wrong mount initially) and they were very friendly and helpful. I highly recommend giving them a try.