Brown Water, Kawaikui Beach #3, Honolulu, 2018, David Ulrich

Awake in the World

Brown Water, Kawaikui Beach #3, Honolulu, 2018, David Ulrich An ever-increasing group of photographers and artists—and I count myself among them— believe that the arts are essential to a healthy society. Images can reflect a culture back on itself, offer hope and inspiration, highlight the myriad forms of injustice and inequality, and reflect both the sublime elements of nature as well as the rapid degradation of the environment. In the eyes […]

Charleston, South Carolina, 1955 by Robert Frank

The Potency of Metaphor in Photography

Ralph Waldo Emerson observes in his essay, Nature: “Every appearance in nature corresponds to some state of the mind, and that state of the mind can only be described by presenting that natural appearance as its picture. … A lamb is innocence; a snake is subtle spite; flowers express to us the delicate affections. Light and darkness are our familiar expression for knowledge and ignorance; and heat for love.” Our […]

I have been deeply inspired by spending time on the island of Kaho‘olawe, historically sacred to the Hawaiian people and used for ordnance training by the US Military for fifty years. Crest of Moa‘ulaiki, Kaho‘olawe, HI, David Ulrich

Finding Your Mojo

What inspires you? When I wrote Zen Camera, you, the readers, were my constant source of inspiration and my creative, motivating catalyst. I wanted to summarize my forty plus years of teaching photography and get it right, make it clear, and speak to the development needs of creative individuals. Creativity flourishes in a full, active mind. Discovery inevitably comes to the inquisitive disposition and eludes the bored and disinterested. The […]

Photograph left, Hengki Koentjoro and right, Lydia Panas

Featured Photographers of Zen Camera: Hengki Koentjoro and Lydia Panas

Since the recent publication of my book, Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography, students have asked me a surprising, but understandable, question. They want to know which photographers best exemplify the aims and goals of the book. I then ask for a clarification — contemporary or historical photographers, living or dead? They haven’t thought it through, but, in general, they are curious about contemporary photographers. I […]

SF MOMA by David Ulrich

On Learning Photography: The Terrors and Pleasures of Instagram

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” — Anais Nïn I recently joined Instagram to promote my upcoming book, Zen Camera: Creative Awakening with a Daily Practice in Photography, and am struck by the incredible variety, range of quality, and diversity of content found within its digital realm. Everyone is a photographer. As I browse the platform, it is increasingly clear to me that […]

Photography for Social Change

Chaminade University, Fall 2014 The following images were drawn from the final portfolios in my Chaminade University class, Photography for Social Change, Fall 2014. The class is an introduction to photography with an emphasis on using the camera as an instrument to reveal social issues or to assist in seeking positive solutions to the problems which vex us all. —David Ulrich Chantelle Aguilar: It is my greatest hope that all humans […]