New Age Avoidism…

Avoidism is the new philosophy designed to save modern man from himself. The principle of Avoidism is simple. An Avoidists avoids things. He/She avoids because Nonavoinding  leads to involvement, and most of mankind’s troubles have grown out of involement.

Descrates once said, “I think, therefore I am.  The Avoidist  says “I won’t, therefore I ain’t gonna”

Contemporary man is admittedly heading nowhere fast. This happened because man has an insatiable compulsion to prove himself as a unique and superior being.

It seems obvious that such attempts will lead to anxiety, frustration and dismay, to eventual neurosis (by far the best word in this article).

You see, Avoidism tells us we are already superior by the sheer virtue of belonging to the species of Homo Sapiens. (If you are are not such a species, please email me)

For example, think how superior we are to the common clam! Let us examine the differences between a Man and a Clam, shall we? I chose my good buddy, Harry, as a representative of a typical man and found an exceptional Nova Scotia clam who prefers to keeps remain anonymous.

After exhaustive tests, our team came to the following results, beyond all of our wildest expectations…

Harry vs Clam

Motor Ability: Harry +12 Clam +18

Sense of Humor: Harry +40 Clam +30

IQ : Harry +97 Clam +121

Physical Attractiveness: Harry: +3 Clam +12

Ability to remain under water: Harry: -53 Clam: +750

Tastes good with Horse Radish: Harry: -1 Clam: +60

Ability to keep mouth shut: Harry: -3 Clam: 100

Ping pong skills: Harry: +300 Clam: -143

These tests prove that Harry is clearly superior over the common Nova Scotia clam. (one critic, Dr. Klaus von Krusctraian, a noted expert, claimed that the differential in Harry’s favor was due entirely to the inclusion of Ping Pong, which he claimed was unfair.

…it now seems clear that any man is superior to the common Nova Scotia Clam

The Argument Against Avoidism…

Many reactionary folks will tell you that Avoidists are nothing but slobs

The Rebuttal to The Argument Against Avoidism

This is true

How to Become and Avoidist

This is not as easy easy as it first seems. Any new Avoidist should only listen to nothing. Frequently, though, you will find it necessary to take certain steps to make sure that there is nothing for you not to listen to.

Avoidist conversation should be employed immediately when someone inclines their torso towards you. The danger increases in direct proportion to the cube of the sine of the angle of inclination…calculated with MathLab!

Whenever this sort of danger happens, you may avoid by employing the Seven Tested Remarks!

The Seven Tested Remarks

  1. A girl I used to date is an Operator for a telephone company
  2. I got these socks four years ago in Thunder Bay
  3. I went to sleep last night at eight, but did not sleep until two
  4. I did not have much for Lunch today, just a Salad, pie and coffee
  5. My second nephew will be 8 next month, you should hear him talk
  6. I sure wish I had kept up with my piano lessons
  7. My hovercraft is full of eels

If you practice these remarks, you can avoid almost anyone!


“A new light” : The world in infrared

x-1200One of my photography mentors, Deborah Sandidige, wrote a book about Digital Infrared Photography several years ago and I read it front to back and forth many times and was inspired to attempt to take some of her very intricate techniques and put a bit of a twist on them. I converted one of my old Nikon DSLR cameras to 720nm IR. I was so excited when I received the body back from LIfepixel who executed the conversion…I immediately took a shot of a flame…hmmm LOL! (Not so good result)

Since then I have experimented, learned, failed and failed again and the process continues. I have always liked night photography and light painting. Light painting involves using a steady camera on a tripod, long exposures and illuminating the subject with incandescent light. It is a very cool technique and produces spectacular images. I then thought, why not Infrared Light Painting? I had never seen anyone do this, so time to figure it out!

With a 720nm converted sensor, one needs to find an appropriate light source for illumination. After a bit of thinking, I discovered that a 850nm light source would be perfect. In order to execute IR light painting, one must be in total darkness such that there is no light contamination from any incandescent sources (not to mention the sun). The 850nm light is barely visible to the human eye so most of the painting is done only by imagining the way the light will behave…weird, yes!

I practiced on objects in the dark, then tried some long exposure “Selfies”. I then had the cooperation of some local artists in Southern California who bought into my madness! We all had fun and learned new and exciting things that neither of us had attempted before!

In the words of a great German writer, Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”

Here is a link to Deborah’s website…she is an inspiration: http://www.deborahsandidge.com1-49

Finding a Vision



Vision is seeing the potential purpose hidden in the chaos of the moment, but which could bring to light new possibilities. In our current and probable future environments a certain amount of chaos is inevitable. Often emerging possibilities must be sought out and acted upon before all relevant information is known. Old predictable patterns must be relinquished as comfortable as they seem. For many, this is a terrifying prospect. Vision is seeing what life could be like while dealing with life as it is. Vision deals with those deeper human intangibles that alone give ultimate purpose to life and in the end, vision must always deal with life’s qualities and not with its quantities.

If we wish to be open to new possibilities we also need to be aware of the unexpected ways in which they can surface. Limiting the creative process to officially designated “brainstorm session” we may miss something that may have been there all along, something not visible catching the sun. We must be aware that spontaneous moments of possibility exist, the things that owe cannot touch but know instinctually that they are there.

Take a moment to think about your own experience, core values and what you truly care about in your life. What types of habits, people, things, situations do you gravitate towards and what do you avoid and move away from? Recall your past and identify times where you felt closest to inspiration and vision, and the times you were furthest from it. This should provide a few useful signposts.

In the words of a great German writer, Goethe, “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now”

It all starts with a vision…

Inspirational Leadership… “Shine on you Crazy Diamond”

Wish You Were Here

Wish You Were Here

Hi, Erik again….

I used to Blog every single day for almost three years! Crazy! I have been a Slacker as of late…must get back on the horse that bucked me off!

Anyway, at my other work , I found a book that was discarded like a piece of used snot rag …. I grabbed it! (Wiped off the snot)

It was written by Richard Oliver and it is all about Henry the 5th and interpretations of Shakespeare. It is called “Inspirational Leadership””

“Henry V is Shakespeare’s greatest leader – inspired and inspiring, visionary yet pragmatic, powerful yet responsible. In this fascinating book, acclaimed director and creative consultant Richard Oliver draws on his intimate knowledge of the play, and its absorbing central character, to unmask the secrets of Inspirational Leadership and reveal the timeless lessons it holds for Managers and Leaders today.”

….from the back cover…I am not so eloquent…..such a good find!    Here is but a tiny  snippet….

“O for a muse of fire, that would ascend

The brightest heaven of invention…

         But pardon gentles all

The flat unraised spirits that hath dared

On this unworthily scaffold to bring forth

So great an object….

And let us, ciphers to this great account,

On your imaginary forces work.”


Thank you so much for visiting my Humble Blog


The Quest


Remember when Alice was lost in Wonderland? She serendipitously stumbled upon The Cheshire  Cat and admitted innocently, “I am lost and not quite sure which way to go”

With a wry Grin, the Cheshire Cat  responded with a question of her own…”Where do you want to go?”

To which Alice responded, “I am not quite sure”

Grinning from ear to ear the insightful Cat dropped some clever Wisdom and said…”If you’re not sure where you are going, then any road will take you there”

“…there is only one success in Life, and that is to live in such a way that a skilled Mortician is gonna have a very tough time wiping that grin from your face” … (Rosita Perez)

This shot is from Bombay Beach, Salton Sea, California. Multiflash, long exposure Photography with special Friends!

Thanks for the kind visit to my humble Blog…Erik…

Keep connected by following or @ErikKerstenbeck on Twitter or

Also Visit

Business Contacts: 🙂

Cheers, Erik


Friendly Faces

It has been a long time since I have blogged and my Year End Statistics are lame. I used to blog every day, time to get back on the horse! 🙂  2013 was a Roller Coaster of a year for me due to rapidly changing circumstances – perhaps I will discuss at some later time, but not today. Day One 2014 is one for reflection and watching Hockey!

I would simply like to post some pictures of all the wonderful people whom I have met and gotten to know as friends. (Hopefully I don’t miss anyone, and if so please chastise me with a comment or two).  They are, for the most part,  Artists with their own special talents, troubles, turmoil, but as I have noticed, always positive, smiling and happy (at least when I am Photographing them). So I will write a brief note for each…no particular order, I am not that organized! 🙂


This is Crystal Montes – she is a trooper, runs through mud, climbs anything and likes to make goofy faces!


Dani Kovache introduced me to many wonderful people this year, set up a bunch of fun projects – thanks D


Chary from Temptress Fashion – Thanks Temptress for inviting me to all the special events – always fun


Felina Vie – first real photo shoot with her – it got a bit nuts with the Voodoo Theme 😉 Thanks May for the Makeup work and Daniela too!


Carmel – always willing to try new things, and is an exceptional Burlesque Artist


Lady Borgia – A Temptress Fashion Model, Burlesque Artist and just good people


Eva Mae – a True Southern Belle


Erica Joleen – mysterious creature “Nevermore” 🙂


Veronica from Ramona – her first time doing pin-up, how exciting!


Melanie Monsters – Gave up a lucrative career as a Shrink, Classical Pianist, plays in a Ska Band, Pinup Model…its all about the Music for her *meow meow* 😉


Caitanya Cook – yes she can hot wire a car!


Remele Sparks and Josie Bunny – creatives that will set you back on your heals 🙂 …with 150 lbs of Organic Carrots as props and hours of body painting preparation!


Catherine Madinger – always scheming about new Projects and a fine Lady from Riverside


Dean LeCrone – Chauffer, Creator of Doc Smith Comics and one tough fella – he was so hot in this  outfit with temperatures in the high 90s that there were pools of sweat on the ground!


Chewie – RIP my Friend 🙂


Simone Strauss – meticulous self preparation for any project


Gia LaDolce – wowza, a Spanish Doll from SoCal, and her Mom is awesome!


Kitty Von Rose – always smiling and happy


Sandy Summers never needs direction unless you ask her to use a prop that does not make any sense, like a huge spanner to fix a car


Jean – mysterious and strange animal 🙂


Carrol Morrow – legs! Also really fun!


Megan Martine – Model and Ex US Marine …Semper Fi!


And me, Erik Kerstenbeck, Owner of Kerstenbeck Photographic Art from Ramona California, which is close to San Diego. I am an Army of One. I don’t have a Production Crew, Marketing Manager, Sales Team, Social Media Machine and yet I seem to get along just fine. Always learning from peers and like-minded people.

Remarkable things have happened in 2013 and I feel like I am on the cusp of something really special (More details later, don’t want to jinx it)

Thanks so much for the kind visit to my Blog and wish all a healthly, prosperous and Stellar 2014…Erik 🙂


I hate “Networking”…I do not have “The American Smile and Hand Shake”
I am uncomfortable in crowds of more than One
Once, a special other said, “Get yourself out there” So, I did
Volunteering to be a Grip, Humping Lights around, told to do This and That by a wonderful Friend and Photographer from San Diego, Ken Williams
He looked at every picture I had taken, and was Harsh in his comments – like Daggers sometimes. But, on occasion he would throw out his Iconic Statement of Approval “Well Seen” (now I use that on occasion, only)
 Ken is not with us any more, but strangely he Opened a Door for me as I have met so many amazing people since that time. I guess it was the start of “Networking”. It still terrifies me!
I kept pushing myself and opportunities somehow arise. I do a lot of “Free” work – Events, Models, etc. Why? Because it pushes me to be a better Photographer!
Yeah, so what you say? Because….
There are so many Creative People all around you, Musicians, Writers, Designers….Just reach out! Creatives will enrich your Life
I met Melanie Monsters from “Networking”
Listen to Her Music…I think it is Profound….
Melanie Monsters is a Cassically trained pianist that has been playing piano since the age of 5. Even in elementary school she remembers writing music and entering it into contests and was in every school band since fourth grade up until high school. After college, Melanie did a brief stint in a funk band and later joined the ska/ reggae/ jazz band, “The Amalgamated” and also the band “Unsteady” 

Piano: First you must learn to play by the Rules. Then you must forget the rules and play from your heart.”

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable” – Leonard Bernstein


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