John A. Verner - Clear Lotus Photography: Blog en-us (C) John A. Verner - Clear Lotus Photography (John A. Verner - Clear Lotus Photography) Mon, 04 Apr 2022 00:37:00 GMT Mon, 04 Apr 2022 00:37:00 GMT John A. Verner - Clear Lotus Photography: Blog 120 80 Social Media One aspect of life that we take for granted but is really unique to the universe is social media. Viewed from the 'outside' it looks like another commercial vehicle for the internet industry to profit. However, it has grabbed many areas of our daily lives from politics to business, entertainment to news, art and community, and on and on. Once inside the platform, social media has a very strong pull and is very powerful. The reality of the matter is that it holds truth and lies, love and hate, and good and bad. It will be interesting to see how society copes with these dichotomies.


That being said, I've jumped into the Instagram game. I find it the most interesting of the social media games (I've played with others). As a photographer, Instagram provides a vehicle to create your own living art gallery. It grows and breathes and moves very fast. That said, there are many very talented people out there doing amazing things on Instagram. On a practical level, I get a chance to post photos that I do not have room for on my website. However, Instagram is like a hungry dog, you must keep feeding it more and more. And I'm trying. That said, please stop by, check out my postings and say "Hi."

Instagram: @clear_lotus
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Exhibition Opportunities for Photographers There is an interesting trend with photography galleries and their exhibitions. While this is a tough business, the best galleries exhibit their shows both online and in their 'physical' gallery space. Each month there is an exhibition theme with a well-known juror familiar with that topic. Photographers submit their photos (usually 3) along with a fee to have their work juried for the exhibition. The shows can be viewed on the gallery's website. With Covid lifting, many galleries are starting to have receptions again. Also, a book of the exhibition work (often from Blurb books) is available for purchase.

This is an excellent model for both the galleries and the artists. The galleries are making money from the submission fees, art sales and books. The photographers have the opportunity to exhibit in a variety of established galleries and sell their work. Also this is good exposure for the jurors.

I'm happy to say that I've been accepted into many of these shows. Currently, one of my photos is in a show at the Praxis Gallery in Minneapolis.

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Quotes! I've always enjoyed reading inspiring quotes! The best ones make you think twice - here's a few of my favorites...


Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art. - Andy Warhol/ Artist                                       

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. - Pablo Picasso/ Artist

Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist. - Pablo Picasso/ Artist

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between. – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart/ Composer

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. - Albert Einstein/ Scientist

You don’t take a photograph, you make it. - Ansel Adams/ Photographer

It's one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it's another thing to make a portrait of who they are.
- Paul Caponigro/ Photographer

I believe that the power of photography is to mark time. - Masayoshi Sukita/ Photographer

Photograph the adjectives not the nouns. - Bryan Peterson/ Photographer

My specialty is not to specialize. - Rick Sammon/ Photographer

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Vassar Brothers Medical Center I'm happy to say that Vassar Brothers Medical Center (VBMC) has purchased 11 of my photos for their collection. VBMC is a medical facility located in Poughkeepsie, NY with 72 physicians covering 22 specialty areas of medicine with 2,200 employees. The hospital has been recognized for 'America's 50 Best Hospitals Award.' My photos (along with several other photographers) will be displayed in their new 8 story building which is a half-billion dollar construction project!

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The Art World Today While life with Covid has been challenging for all of us, it has really taken it's toll on the art world. Gone are the days of concerts and festivals, art openings, conferences, workshops and exhibitions. Since many 'normal' activities are on hold, many photographers are out of work.

These circumstances have had a profound effect on photographers and other artists. I've talked to numerous creative people who are so discouraged with the situation that they've given up making art. There has also been an increase in depression with the population at large.

On the other hand, many artists have turned 'inward' and found this time to be an opportunity to move deeper into the creative process. I fall into this later category. I'm creating more work now than I ever have. It's a matter of letting go and connecting with inspiration and spirit at a deeper level.

While this global crisis will pass, being inside of it today seems like an eternity. As bad as the situation is, it's up to us to decide how we will respond to it.




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The New Normal With Covid taking control of the world, we are seeing a new landscape (pun intended) in the art world!

While it's exciting to go to art openings at various galleries, that has stopped. Gallery openings are very social events filled with people, food, drink, and a good time (and hopefully good art work). And it's exciting to be part of the 'scene.' Instead, we need to stay home. Gallery openings are not happening.

But the good news is everything has shifted to the internet - including art shows. Exhibitions and galleries that I've been involved with are still active and busy. But now they live online. While not quite as exciting as going to a gallery, websites are a great medium for showing artwork. Additionally, lectures and presentations about art can be found on social media such as Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube.

Unfortunately, 'virtual exhibitions' don't seem to generate the sale of artwork in the same way as visiting a gallery. Sales are down. Art buyers want the tactile experience of art (and I can't blame them). How does it look? How does it feel? Will it fit in my living room? At this point, the internet acts as a 'wall' between art and the audience.

While this it is the best we can do, time will change!


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It Wasn't Supposed to be Like This
It's like having a bad dream. But when you wake up, the dream doesn't go away - it's just gets worse. It wasn't supposed to be like this!
They tell us that the virus is not alive. But it seems to me there is an underlying intelligence to it. It moves like a snake and eats like a wild dog. Is this some kind of demonic force from the underworld? Or is it revenge for our destruction of the planet? Where did it come from before the bats got it?
If this were a B-rated sci-fi movie, we'd probably stay at home. But since it's real, we still need to stay home.
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The world of photography... The world of photography is currently going through some growing pains. Camera sales are down 25% from a few years ago. Several camera companies have gone out of business while others are struggling (though they won't admit it). What's the cause? Why is this happening?
Enter the smartphone! Why should you buy a point-and-shoot camera when you can use your smartphone? With each new generation, the photo capabilities of these phone cameras just gets better and better. And that's not to mention all the cool apps that are available for photo editing. It's hard to say "no." Unfortunately, point-and-shoot camera sales have been the bread-and-butter for these companies.
As for professional cameras, don't plan on them going away any time soon. These cameras offer more features, better sensors, and perform better in low light situations (to name a few) - and they cost more money. That said, the traditional DSLR market is going through another change of it's own. And that's called mirrorless cameras. Traditional DSLRs use the same basic design as the old 35mm film cameras of yesteryear. While mirrorless technology eliminates the mirror and allows for a host of new features including cheaper manufacturing costs. While not perfect, mirrorless cameras offer many more advantages than DSLRs. And most people agree it's the wave of the future.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. But at the end of the day, it's about the photograph and not the camera!
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Route 66 In the fall of 2018 we embarked on a road trip down historic Route 66. This photo excursion included visits to old ghost towns, Doo-Wop diners, abandoned gas stations and other historic sites. Like no other highway, Route 66 is full of nostalgia - the hope of a better life, and a better world for many people.

No other road has captured the imagination and the essence of the American Dream quite like Route 66. The Mother Road was speckled with romantic and unconventional attractions and symbolized a pathway to better times.

Peruse this new gallery of photos, enjoy the fun, and imagine what life was like in a bygone era!


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Travel Photography I never thought of myself as a 'Travel Photographer.' However, I realize that all my travels and vacations are based around photography. This year I went to India and will be having a show of that work in 2020. This summer I'll be traveling to San Fransisco to photograph work for the Care Through Touch agency on a book project. Last year we did a road trip of historic Route 66 and will be having a show of that work. In the past, trips to various National Parks were all photography excursions.

This year I've had several requests from Photo Clubs to do presentations on Travel Photography. It has made me think about photography as a sense of place. And ultimately using photography as a medium to express feelings and emotions for various locations. To relive that moment in time that may only last a second, but lives indefinitely through the photograph. And to realize that time is a relative concept.

So maybe I am a Travel Photographer. I guess we all are - as we travel through life!



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When Recognition is Due A gallery owner recently told me a cute story about a mother and her young son who were looking at the juried exhibition on display. After they viewed the show, the mother asked the little boy what his favorite piece of art work was. Without hesitation, he pointed to a black and white photograph of a female nude. Turns out that the photograph was mine - I feel honored!

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Our Client Base While we like to work with individual people (mostly portraiture),                                                                                                                          there are many businesses and organizations that have been great to!

Some of these clients include: 


Omega Institute 

Panasonic Corp

Huffington Post

Ahimsa Festival 

Mohonk Preserve 

Luminary Publishing (Chronogram & Upstate House)

Berkshire Hathaway Realty

Winnakee Land Trust

Art Society of Kingston 

Human Connection Arts

SOS Triathlon

Care Through Touch


Cape Code Leather 

R&F Handmade Paints

Shakti Yoga

Milne Antiques

Gary Friedland Antique Arms & Armour


A big 'Thank You' to everyone involved!

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Abstract Photography Most people think of abstract art as painting or sculpture. And photography as a medium for realism. However, I am drawn to the idea that photography can also be abstract. And while abstract photography is nothing new, I think it is a genre that can be explored more deeply.

I have uploaded a new gallery of abstract photos. In this new series, it is my attempt to explore the abstract side of photography - Impressionism and Expressionism. I should mention that many of these images are still 'sketches' and will be worked on more.

When I was in art school (in a different lifetime), there was a big faction between the 'Realists' and the 'Abstractionists." Not only were their artistic styles different, but so were their social circles. It's kind of like the difference between John Coltrane, U2, and Andres Segovia (for the music lovers out there). I have always had an eccentric taste when it comes to music and art. And to be honest, I don't like a lot of music and art. But what I do like often spans a huge gap in styles and genres.

Check out the new gallery here. However, it's not for everyone. And that's OK!

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Personal Book Projects Personal photography books have been very popular in the last few years. Anyone can print a book of their own work with excellent results.

That said, I recently completed a book project with a colleague called "Path to Healing." Meant more as a memento than a commercial project, this book captures a specific project we worked on. Go to my gallery called CTI (Care through Touch) to read the story behind the project.

This is not just a book with photographs, but there are stories that accompany the images. While this was an exciting project, it was also a lot of work - choosing the right photographs, writing the stories, editing, proofing, etc. With each 'test print' of the book, there were always corrections, edits, and changes that needed to be made. Like photography, everything may look OK on the screen, but once it is printed there are often details that need to be corrected or improved.

We used Apple Books. While I like to support Apple, I do not feel their photo books are of a professional quality. Additionally, their templates are very limited and their support leaves much to be desired.

There are many other companies that specialize in printing personal book. I would be inclined to look elsewhere for my next project. However, I would encourage anyone thinking of creating an art book to give it a try - it's a real learning experience!

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Which is Better? When I grow up, should I be a General Practitioner or an Open Heart Surgeon? Actually, I never had dreams of being a either, but the question is the same - is it better to be a generalist or a specialist? The consensus often leans in the direction of being a specialist. You make more money!

The same holds true in photography. There are photogs that specialize in portraiture, architecture, fashion, editorial, weddings, etc. And then there people like the Hudson Valley photographer extraordinaire, Rick Sammon. Rick states, "My specialty is not to specialize." I like that.

If I had to choose, I'd fall into his camp. Everywhere you look, there is a photograph waiting to be taken. A story to be told, a feeling to be conveyed. And there are so many ways to do it. We have panoramas, image blending, high dynamic range, Focus Stacking, infrared, macro, light painting, etc. It's like being a kid in a candy store. Additionally, I believe that photographing different genres will make you a better photographer.

There is a wonderful saying in the East - the beginner has infinite possibilities, the master has few. I'm not sure which is best, but there is room for all of us.

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A Quick Look at 2016 As they say, time flies when you're having fun... If they say that, it must be true!


As I write this from the beautiful Hudson Valley, we are in the middle of the 2016 holiday season. And unlike last year, we are having a bona fide snow blizzard. Sometimes it's nice to be snowed in (if you don't have to go anywhere)!

Photographically, it has been a wonderful year. The highlight was winning First Place in the NECCC Sigma showcase photo contest. Also, very exciting was having my work included in the multimedia performance of the "Grand Canyon Suite" by The Northern Dutchess Symphony Orchestra. Throughout the auditorium were large screens displaying images of the Grand Canyon as the symphony played. It was an excellent performance. And, of course, the photos were great. Additionally I was in several other wonderful Juried and Open exhibitions this past year.

Travel wise, we went to the Grand Tetons for a week of photography and hiking. This part of the country is incredibly beautiful. It's next to impossible not to get great photographs there. We have also been busy with several commercial projects in addition to photographing large events, and also doing portraiture work.

Feel free to get in touch with us (through the Contact page) if you have a photo project you would like to discuss.

Anyway, hope this past year has been rewarding for you, and wishing you all the best for a great New Year.

John A. Verner                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

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