Creative Living by Deborah Zeitman


Mentors. Inspiration. All the things that keep us alive as creative people. One entered my life during my freshman year of college. I’d played with a camera and learned darkroom basics during high school, but here I was striving to learn more.

In walked Ted Orland, visiting professor, trailed by a long, healthy resume, which included time spent as Ansel Adams’ assistant. At a school known for its academics over its arts, Ted couldn’t be certain what kind of students he’d get. He ended up writing an op ed for the school paper pointing out the very limited photographic course offerings of the university and how that restricted its students. He went on to challenge all of us by saying that compared to our peers from other institutions, Stanford students needed to learn to take greater artistic risks, expose ourselves more, and seek out a broader range of photographic subjects.

The quarter I spent in Ted’s class was a great beginning to a long-term friendship. For nearly 30 years now (gulp!), Ted and I have been corresponding by letter and email. In 1993, he sent me a copy of his book, Art & Fear, (co-written with David Bayles), which I deem a must read for all creatives. Through the years, other books of Ted’s arrived via post: Man & Yosemite, Scenes of Wonder & Curiosity, The View from the Studio Door. All have inspired me, as have our personal exchanges. Having someone to bat ideas back and forth with for decades, through each of our periods of artistic growth and discovery, has been an irreplaceable gift. All artists should cultivate such a friendship if they can. Ted’s words of encouragement have kept me going through my doubts, and I’ve had the honor of reading early drafts of some of his writing. And just a few weeks ago, I received an updated version of his poster Photographic Truths, a Murphy’s Law list for photographers.

[photopress:Salon0109.jpg,full,centered] © Christina Florkowski

Ted and a group of fellow creators meet monthly for artist salons where current work and food are shared, and I’ve been a happy crasher through the years when my travels have coincided with one of their gatherings. I always leave inspired and enriched and craving a group of my own in my town. As I’ve discovered from this friendship, artists need to seek the company and support of other artists.

Ted has a magnificent eye infused by a deliciously ironic sense of humor. I encourage all to visit his website to view his beautiful images from classic b&w’s, hand-colored gems, Holga explorations, and uniquely woven panoramas.

To contact Ms. Zeitman email her at


Upcoming Events

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Current Exhibitions

  • Getty Center
  • In Focus: Expressions
  • Oct. 7th, 2018
  • 1200 Getty Center Drive
  • Los Angeles, CA. 90049
  • Tel: 310-440-7300
  • Museum of Modern Art
  • Stephen Shore
  • November 19, 2017–May 28, 2018
  • 11 West 53 Street
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel:212-708-9400
  • Yossi Milo Gallery
  • Sanle Sory
  • Through June 23rdst, 2018
  • 245 Tenth Avenue
  • New York,NY 10001
  • Tel: 212-414-0370
  • Howard Greenberg Gallery
  • Through May 5th, 2018
  • 41 East 57th Street, Suite 1406
  • New York,NY 10022
  • Tel: 212-334-0100
  • Peter Fetterman Gallery
  • JEFFREY CONLEY Reverence
  • Through June 9th, 2018
  • 2525 Michigan Avenue Gallery A1
  • Santa Monica, CA
  • 90404
  • Phone: 310.453.6463

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