Are you one of the thousand who will support water development fine art?

I am Seeking 1000 supporters willing to give $6 for water development issues around the world!

Mind As Water – is an ancient saying passed from teacher to student in far eastern cultures for generations to show the lessons illustrated in nature.

I had heard of such instruction – but never practiced it. Until I was confronted with the exit of my lover and the mother of my children from my life, in an unwanted divorce after 11 years of relationship. I felt more pain than I knew was possible. Pain that stopped me from functioning, burned down my personality, and stole my will to live. So I had to find a way out, and that way was a way in — a practice that allowed me to experience the pain. In opening up to that experience, I could allow healing to flow in like warm water. The separation from my children, and life change from a stay at home dad whose life was filled by caring for his children — to single father was an unnatural pain that left a raw, gaping hole. As soon as I was willing to stare the pain in the face, God was there to fill and heal my heart with the warmth and gentleness of water.

Naturally, I tried to make pictures about ‘it’…

…here we are over a year later, and I have shared this experience with over 100 subjects.

I believe that warmth and gentleness instilled in me, is changing the world around me though this project – and I wish to focus that change. Your support of my project will kick-start my imagery for showing in a large scale exhibit. The gallery event is designed as a fundraiser event for water awareness and development organizations to use to further their cause by engaging the public in a face to face experience with water. Right now I have over 33,000 images of humans experiencing water. My imagery has been created across the US with as many cultural groups and age groups as I have been able to gain access. I will continue producing imagery until I get a solid cross section of the global population, however I think the time is right to make the show available for events. (will you support water development now with $6?)

The goal in presentation of the show is to display a COMPOSITE PORTRAIT. To achieve this visual effect on the gallery walls I wish to mount the show prints edge to edge. My choice of presentation method contrasts to the gallery standard of framing images individually. The wall will become the image from floor to ceiling, and show the individual images in a comparative sense as they tie individual experiences into the whole. For this reason, there are a lot of prints to be made. Each print costs $32 from the lab, and I estimate the average gallery space will need between 160-220prints. I am seeking 1000 people to invest $6 raising $6,000 to print, mount and package the show so that I can begin to offer it as a fine art event to water development organizations. (will you support water development now with $6?)

Mind As Water shows my personal commitment to pouring out my own healing into positive change in the world. To date I have not taken a cent for the images or sessions while I have personally invested $2000 into the Ugandan economy on behalf of water development. I will treat your dollars with the same high regard for the sacrifice you have made to obtain them. I believe your dollars will see a generous return as your kick-start inspires others to give to water development in the future. Please donate a minimum of $6 and receive my mailings to stay up to date on my project. If you are not able to donate $6, please suggest my project to someone you know who would be impacted by this imagery and intent. Please become a subject! Young or old (especially old) contact me to schedule your shoot when I am in your city. I am especially looking to connect with aged subjects, 60+ years old. If you know of an agency, editor or other creatives working in Uganda or with water topics, interested in a book project – please make an introduction for me – as I am seeking a creative partner/editor for possible. (will you support water development now with $6?)

Kickstarter Project for water development through fine art


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Hold The Eye photography workshops Silicon Valley

A great staff of instructors, and a wide variety of workshops to fit a broad range of interests and skill levels. Hold the Eye workshops are small with personal attention (maximum of 12 people), include hands-on instruction, shooting together, and image critique. We have a newly built studio with great natural light, filled state-of-the-art equipment, with lots of Profoto and Elinchrom lights, a whole wall of light modifiers, a wonderful projector and 10 foot screen, an audiovisual recording studio, and large print making capability. Right now, we’re offering smokin’ introductory pricing.

Listen to this, to learn more about our first set of workshop offerings:

We’re conveniently located in Campbell, in Silicon Valley, near Highway 17 and Highway 85.

We’re building a photography community, and we want you to be a part of it. Come and join us, and let us share our knowledge and inspiration.

We just launched our new website for Hold The Eye Images Workshops. Please check it out, and learn more:

via Naturography – Nature Photography By Mike Spinak ».


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Mind as Water Journals: individualized inspirational journals

The Mind as Water Creative Journal kit

  1. A 6×8 organic fair trade handmade book from Nepal
  2. Customized painted and mounted Mind As Water images in acrylic with ink
  3. Your own Mind As Water Portraits if you have been a subject!
  4. 16gb digital memory stick for storage of video journals or digital files
  5. $100 of your purchase is invested in the Ugandan economy for water development
  6. Finding Water: The Art of Perseverance by Julia Cameron = textbook for guidance

Order Now HERE

For Creative Retreat teachers and organizers

If you are teaching creativity, artistic direction, meditation, yoga or awareness consider using the Mind as Water experience for your students to have an immediate experience and container for reflection. Neil will photograph each of your participants mindfulness in water and present them with a custom, hand made journal with their own images before your event concludes. This reverential, thought provoking and challenging experience resonates with lasting change in the heart which is guided into lasting change in the world’s ecological balance. Contact Neil directly to check on timing and group package rates.




Handmade Sensual Erotic Journal : 6x8"

Handmade Sensual Erotic Journal : 6x8"

Handmade fairtrade creative journal

Become Like Children

‘The Way to Love’ by Anthony de Mello

If you allow yourself to really feel the pains of this hell on earth, the utter emptiness it brings, you might experience within you a revolt,


a disgust so powerful that it will shatter the chains of dependence

and the deceit that have been forged around your soul and you will break loose into the kingdom of innocence where mystics and children dwell.

Mind As

(that is why I say ‘hear the shadows’)

to speak with conviction

to speak with conviction



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Simple artistic photo retouching tip and resources


Learn photographic Lighting

The trick to doing artistic photo retouching effects is to keep them simple.

In this image, I used an An image from my Organic Vignette package to bring a slight dreamy quality to the image.

I knew what I was looking for when I started, but let me outline the art theory principles behind what I ‘saw’ in my minds eye before I completed the image.


First, hue I knew that I wanted to blend and tie in the warm yellow skin tones, and the blues/purples of the grooms suit and boutonnière. The dreamlike quality of the image comes from the blended and smudged look of the tonalities so their close relationship in Hue is very important. The clever part of my texture sets is their interrelationships within the close Hue relationships-here that close relationship is yellow to orange, with a vignette in the complementary color of blue. Here is the sample image form the texture set for you to see what it looked like:

Organic Vignette Texture Set by Make Light Real


If you notice carefully there is a rim of natural light on the bride’s right cheek – the sunshine was coming through trees near sunset, and the bride and groom had their backs to it. So the overall contrast in the luminance of this photo is not very high – that’s good for applying a lighting effect or texture…because you can trick the viewer more easily. So it’s important to note that I’m starting with an image basically lit by open shade…nice and soft. The Hue of the overlay image is important because I want a unified color theme – but also because it creates a brighter spot of sunlight (of sorts) on her dress. That dapple of bright highlight where her hair ends and the semicircle of her necklace dips rounds out the counterpoint of her smile in the composition.  The rest of the image’s contrast is burned down by the vignette pushing the viewer’s attention to the warm emotional embrace, and the warm sunshine dappled across their embrace.

The simple steps to getting this done in Photoshop is to use a “Hard Light” layer of somewhere between 15-25%.  You want to look to smudge the tones, but not make the texture file in any way prominent to the main  image’s subject matter.

photography lighting instructor teacher

The Core Synergistics workout::discipline is the primary discipline

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

I just wrapped up my P90X Core Synergistics workout.

And heavy breathing aside.

It brings me to thoughts of discipline, as the core workout for the creative indivisual.

How’d I make that big leap? I dunno, I think it’s my creative intuition telling me so, maybe I’ll be able to explain it after a shower.


The P90X graduates are all people who took control of their lives for 90 days straight and said, “I am going to do this. I will not back down, and I will not give up. I will stay focused on my goal of making it to day 90, and I will not allow myself to be distracted in any way from reaching my goal.”
Hmmm…that sounds a bit like the recipe for success in any endeavor, doesn’t it? The P90X grads, however, have an edge that most people don’t: They know that the system works.
They know that by staying disciplined and on track, that the results will be there. It isn’t hearsay to them, it isn’t a rumor, it isn’t some vague bit of personal development advice – it is a fact.

Someone today after looking at my website said “How do you get such amazing colors?”

And I’m afraid the answer is in my current life situation.  I am traveling on a commercial photo assignment photographing a new hotel each day.  For 7 days straight.  I’ll take a few days off and do it again.  I compose, light and make a final image for 7-12 rooms a day.  ”Neil, how to do you get so good at lighting?”


Such amazing color and tonality is the pinnacle of composition, then lighting, then processing.

This just popped up in my twitter stream:

imagination is to reality what a root is to a tree.

Discipline is the pattern of the roots in the soil and branches in the air.

“Once a musician has enough ability to get into a top music school, the thing that distinguishes one performer from another is how hard he or she works. That’s it. And what’s more, the people at the very top don’t work just harder or even much harder than everyone else. They work much, much harder.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

“In fact, researchers have settled on what they believe is the magic number for true expertise: ten thousand hours.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

“Practice isn’t the thing you do once you’re good. It’s the thing that makes you good.”
— Malcolm Gladwell (Outliers)

Want to be better at lighting?  Then stop reading this…and shoot a 10 rooms a day until you get to 10,000 hours.

New York photojournalist signature

Mac Pro quad 2.6ghz for sale

Mac Pro quad 2.6ghz for sale $1350

• 6gbRAM

• 500gHD

• SuperDrive PLUS LightscribeDVD (both slots full)

• 4 Slot SATA PCI card

• 2 slot STAT external converter (from motherboard to external)

This is a massive data crunching machine! You can easily run in 9 SATA connections putting you at 9TB of fast live storage. Two slots for RAM are still open so there’s space to upgrade if you need more RAM.

I will ship UPS or FedEx 3 day insured delivery included in the asking price of $1350 – OBO, want to sell by Oct. 5.

PAYPAL (click link here) – Credit Card (call with your details 585.721.0632) – and money order by mail accepted.


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Fast water

Fast water


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Oil Painting Effect in Photoshop CS5 & Pixel BenderGavin Hoey

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