The Essence of Photography, Book by Bruce Barnbaum

The Essence of Photography, Book by Bruce Barnbaum

In Bruce Barnbaum’s book, The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity. he takes the reader through many personal experiences of not only why he made specific images but the personal reasons for doing so. From his work in architecture, landscapes, and abstracts, Bruce describes his work as an ongoing journey of how he sees the world and the visual elements that inspire him. This combined with advice from years of teaching workshops along with a lifetime of making art.

I found his writings, advice, and images chosen, to be of great interest in allowing one to begin to understand the inner workings of a great photographer. Nothing extraordinary or even surprising and that seems to be where the impact prevails. Most of the images chosen were due to personal reasons. Be they of visual interest, intrigue, or to make a personal statement.

A very enjoyable and enlightening book that seems to deviate from many if not most photography books in that it is not a book about “Greatest Hits”, which personally I find almost completely lacking in helpful thoughts or ideas. Not so with the images and shared experiences Bruce presents in The Essence of Photography.

Even though I have not spent much time with black and white photography I found myself enjoying each image for how it is presented regardless of if it was black and white or color. I think that says much for the power of the images as personal creations of art rather than simply photographs of any specific subject.

A beautiful high quality book by Rocky Nook. It can be purchased directly from Bruce’s website or from the Rocky Nook site. I’m thinking “The Art of Photography” may be my next Bruce Barnbaum book.

The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity 

The Essence of Photography, Seeing and Creativity - by Bruce Barnbaum

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Color Of The Year 2017

Color Of The Year 2017

Each year Pantone releases their “Color of the Year”. I usually come across an article or two about this, but until know didn’t pay much attention other than a casual peek. This years color grabbed much more of my attention. My image collection is overflowing with this years color which is, Greenery. Or for most of us just good ol’ green.

Living in and among one of the worlds great grasslands green is dominant for much of the year. It is not just the spring and summer grasses but most all other flora that goes with it. This goes for trees of course, but the plethora of wildflowers, forbs, and just good old weeds all have a good amount of green in them. This may not be much different than many places in the world. As a planet the colors of our oceans and lands are our primary colors all the time. I believe I would be quite right to think much of the lands have some type of greenery on it somewhere at some time of the year.

This green theme may not be more dominant than the grasslands. There is not just a good deal of green among the grasslands from early Spring to late Summer, you can literally get lost in the sea of green.

I had a hard time deciding which image to go along with this post. I finally just said the heck with it. Along with the image here I thought I would post a link to all the images I have accumulated over the years that show up when you search for green on the gallery site.

May green be plentiful through out 2017! Pantone’s color of the year, Greenery


Pantone's Color of the year. Greenery | Image ©Brad Mangas

Spring In The Kansas Flint Hills | ©Brad Mangas


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The Need To Grow

The Need To Grow

In The Gap | ©Brad Mangas

In The Gap | ©Brad Mangas

Regardless of age I am a firm believer in the need to grow. Grow in any way necessary to improve what ever it is that needs improvement in ones life. This can and should happen on an on going basis, but the beginning of a new year is traditionally the time we think about changes. Or as many may say, resolutions. I intentionally made sure there were no resolutions set for this coming year. I have sworn off of resolutions. I guess you might say I made a resolution some years back to not have resolutions.

The changing of the calendar year seems to have very little effect on what I do, how I do it, the attitudes I chose to have about everything I do. I very much prefer it that way. It seems like a cop-out to me to use the changing of a year as the reason to make needed adjustments in ones attitude or way of living. Any day of the year should have just as much importance as any other day.

The new calendar year does not go unnoticed. It is very useful as a form of timer, or maybe more appropriate, a reminder. Reminder to take inventory, go through ones check list and make needed changes. Of course this could be done any day of the year, but it does seem suited for this time of year. I try to do this without delay or notification of the calendar date. There are a few things that I have neglected over the previous months. A few things that I will be changing in the coming months. Hopefully with the growth needed to reach goals or at a minimum make improvements to daily life.

On the personal side of making improvements is and has been for the last month or so,  a desire to increase my reading. The simple and enjoyable act of reading books. Over the last six months I have accumulated a small stack of books. I get in the mindset that I need to read something and end up buying it. Many times there is no immediate effort to read it, but for some reason I feel an immediate need to buy it. Weird I know. I come across books that I know there is a good chance I will enjoy so I purchase them before I forget about them. Then over some months they accumulate and I end up with a stack of unread books.

I thought I would share my reading adventures here as they progress. As time allows I will share thoughts and opinions on my reading endeavors over the coming months. I will start with a book I finished a few weeks ago.

The main reason for purchasing this book was due to the author, Joe Cornish. I discovered Joe’s work about 5 years ago and immediately was taken by it. I found it exquisitely beautiful in an almost simplistic natural way. I then came across a few videos on you tube with Joe at work and knew right away this guy is an artist in the true sense. I have love his work ever since.

My current reading is a book by Bruce Barnbaum, The Essence of Photography: Seeing and Creativity. I am enjoying it very much. If the past is any indicator of my reading endeavors I may approach this in spurts. But the plan is to take time everyday to do some reading and make it part of my daily life and routine. I don’t necessarily like much of a routine since they seem to create a type of rut over time. But some routines, such as reading enjoyable material on a consistent basis is one that is welcomed and over due.

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2017 Kansas Calendar & Print Promotion

2017 Kansas Calendar & Print Promotion

2017 Kansas Calendar

Along with the new 2017 Kansas calendars this year I have added an extra offering that can be purchased along with the calendars. Prints of any month including bonus and cover image can be purchased with any calendar order. A total of 14 images to chose from. You can see them all on the order page.

  • Calendars are $14.95 each.
  • Calendar plus loose unmatted print sized 8×12 inches are $39.95.
  • Calendar plus print matted (white) 12×16 inches are $49.95.
  • 20% discount on all order of 5 or more.
  • Free shipping within the Continental US.

Various combinations of calendars and prints (matted or unmatted) can be made as well. Just email us with what you are wanting and we will let you know what the total cost will be. Please keep in mind these prints are not available at these reduced prices without the purchase of at least one calendar per print order. For example, if you are wanting 5 prints, 3 unmatted and 2 matted this will require the purchase of 5 calendars at the prices mentioned above. As also mentioned you will receive a 20% discount on orders of 5 or more of any combinations.

Prints, whether matted or unmatted are personally printed in house on Red River UltraPro Satin Photo Paper. Prints are museum mounted (removable) matted with white 4 ply conservation quality materials. Personally packaged and shipped along with calendar. Allow up to 3 additional days for orders that include prints.

Since these make wonderful gifts for the holidays we can also help fulfill your gift list. Calendars or calendar and print combinations can be purchased and shipped to any address you would like. We will include a personal note letting your recipient know who the gift of the calendar is from. Just email us your us your gift list letting us know the addresses where calendars are to mailed and how many. We will then email you an invoice that can be paid via paypal or card. We will do the work for you and you can get all the credit! Hey that’s a good deal! Note:Quantity discounts not available for this service.

In addition I am very happy have calendars available in 4 select bookstores in Kansas. These bookstores are:

These are premium wall calendars, 11×17 inches (open), beautifully printed on heavy paper. Calendars include moon phases and US holidays. Calendars are produced in limited quantities and are available only while supplies last.

Sold Out. Look for the 2018 Kansas Calendar first week in November, 2017.

Thank you all for your support!



Exhibitions Without Walls – Interview

Exhibitions Without Walls – Interview

Brad Mangas

In March I was contacted by Ed Wedman co-founder of Exhibitions Without Walls, an international organization that offers photographers and digital artists the chance to grow and develop professionally. Ed was inquiring if I would be interested in doing an interview for an upcoming edition of their online publication. I have participated in a couple of low key interviews of local interest but thought this may be an opportunity to expand my voice to a greater audience.

When I started to answer the questions posed to me I knew I wanted and needed to be as upfront and honest as possible. This took not only some soul searching, but reflection as well as a look forward for what may lie ahead. I enjoyed the process.

Thank you Ed, I appreciate the opportunity.

You can read the interview here: Exhibitions Without Walls – Interview with Brad Mangas