Monday Missive — April 6, 2020

Quotes

My camera is an extension of my perception and allows me to journey into the personal energy of each subject, breaking boundaries and opening doors. — Seth Resnick

“I look to capture the fantasy of nature.” — Seth Resnick

“I try to find a deeper beauty that is filled with metaphor.” — Seth Resnick

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Rising From the Ashes
– A visual history of lower Manhattan

Post-processing
– Match colors using a gradient map
– 30 Photoshop tips With 30 tips there is something for every one.
– Removing fringes
– A time-blended composite to capture the impossible
– Removing a color cast with the Divide blend mode

Field/Studio
– Adding depth in landscapes
– Frozen soap bubbles This looks like fun and produced some neat images.
Save it for next winter.

Miscellany
– New high contrast film This is interesting and a bit tempting, but I am not going back to film! Credit to Steve O.

Downy woodpecker

Ready to launch. The blooming forsythia make a great background

Monday Missive — March 30, 2020

– Corona virus do’s and don’ts for photographers

Quotes

Fortune favors the prepared mind and all that. I might take minutes in a location or [I might take] days. It depends on what I find and connect with. In my humble opinion, there’s no one right way to photograph anything.” — Michael Kenna, Digital PhotoPro, March 17, 2020

I generally prefer suggestion over description, black and white over color and winter over summer.” — Michael Kenna

For me, the most important thing about a photographic project is creating links between the photographs without forcing their connection. I want to suggest a whole but leave room for the viewer to create their own meaning.” — Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Unmistakedly NY street photography
– A vertiginous view of NYC
– Daido Moriyama Courtesy Steve O.: for the streeters among us. But the music is weird.

Post-processing
– 6 ways to import photos in LR
– Fixing edge halos
– More tips from PhotoshopCafe

Field/Studio
– Improve your street photography Some general things to watch for in street photography
– An alternate view on street photography

Miscellany
– W. Eugene Smith A great story-teller and photojournalist. In my opinion, a better photographer than Cartier Bresson.
– The Haikus of Michael Kenna

Stuck in like everyone else, I photographed this Carolina wren from my back window. The tree has a feeder that attracts the birds.

Female cardinal. Both images taken with a Sigma 150-600 resting on a bean bag.

Monday Missive — March 23, 2020

Quotes

In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want otherws to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art.” — Roland Barthes

Light acts like a language.” — Lise Sarfati

… photography functions more like poetry and, like contemporary poetry, is usually free-verse in nature. There are no standards for beginning, middle, and end. It is up to each photographer to create her own structure.” — Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Tunisian street photography Interesting lighting and use of silhouettes.
– Scientist/Street Photographer
– Icons of activism

Post-processing
– Blur the background with perspective
– Using brushes to modify backgrounds
– A very complete and detailed article on focus stacking for macro photography
– Directing the eye with radial gradients

Field/Studio
– Starlings

Miscellany
– Impact of Covid-19 on the photography industry
– Why your images aren’t winning contests Insightful thoughts from someone who has assisted and managed contests.

Only one picture this week. I’m struggling a bit with a lack of creative juices. I hope it isn’t contagious. Can’t really travel to get out of it either. It will pass eventually. Stay well and keep shooting. Hopefully some of these links will give you inspiration.

Oh, by the way, I updated the version of php this blog is running on and it should be a bit faster. Let me know if you see a difference.

I couldn’t believe how crowded it was at North Point State Park yesterday. This is part of an ongoing project for “Winter Marsh.”

Monday Missive — March 16, 2020

Quotes

I don’t like to be called a “female photographer”. We don’t refer to Salgado or Cartier-Bresson as “male photographers”. I feel that calling us “female photographers” perpetuates the idea that we are “lesser than”, in some way. It defines us by gender rather than by the quality of our pictures.” — Jane Evelyn Atwood

From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the Photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation.” — Roland Barthes

I communicate with the world by creating visual narratives of composited photographs, often illuminating that in-between moment in time. It is how I explore dreams deferred, connections to prior generations, the natural world and our place within it. Making art is my psychological release, my obsession and my salvation.” –- Fran Forman

Links
Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Roxanne Darling: Nature and Nurture
– Pioneering women photographers Thanks to Steve O. This is fantastic assemblage of photographs taken by women. This really sheds light on an aspect of the history of photography that is often ignored. Make the time to scroll through this link and follow some of the included links.
– The collector’s eye A collection of some really interesting and creative approaches by multiple photographers
– Waving Farewell
– Trees Really well-composed BW
– Fran Forman: the rest between two notes Very creative and great use of color.

Post-processing
– The Slinky Rule
– Creating mood in your images
– An assortment of tips

Field/Studio
– Recognizing good light in street photography

An older image (2005) from my files. May even have been a scanned slide.

Monday Missive — March 9, 2020

Quotes

The intentionality of being present in the moment is a core component of street photography that resonates strongly…” — Laura Staugitis of Dimpy Bhalotia in Adobe Create

I want my photographs to serve as an invitation to explore what is hidden, not what is shown.” — Lise Sarfati

Practice the art of stillness. . . . When entering a situation where I will be photographing a person or an intimate situation I take a moment to look around, to be still. I want to be present and available. I want the individual to know that there is no place I’d rather be, that I am interested in them, their story, their plight. It not only has helped them to relax, as much as possible, but I feel more comfortable as well.” — Joanna Pinneo

Links
Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Emil Gataullin: Russian countryside These are varied, but some are interesting.
– Howard Lewis: Kinetic Solitude
– Really good street photography

Post-processing
– Create an “evil” red/green color toning
– 10 simple tips in photoshop

Field/Studio
– Focus stacking landscapes
– The visual personality of the street

Miscellany
– Cleaning your camera and tripod
– Dog/Owl friendship These are just fun.
– 3 different takes on equipment for nature photography Just 2 minutes and just for fun.

Harbor East, Baltimore, MD

Monday Missive — March 2, 2020

Quotes

What I see through the lens, what catches my attention, in the woods of my walks, in my interiors and in my beloveds faces and bodies are reflections of my internal world.” — Pam Heemskerk in Lenscratch, Feb. 28, 2020

I’m interested in authenticity of voice. So, the more I trust myself, the more interested I become in my own ideas. The work begins to teah me about my own worldview.” — Kristine Potter

Let’s make things exist and then judge later. Don’t cancel the process of creativity too early: Let it flow.” – Ross Lovegrove

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Gordon Parks: Segregated Alabama
– NY City Reflections
– Black Girl Magic
– Lewis Hine and Child Labor

Post-processing
– Using scripts to simplify exporting files
– Advantages of working in 32-bit files

Field/Studio
– Winter bird photography
– Using a tablet 7 advantages described with how to adjust brush settings

Miscellany
– What makes a photo great?
– Sebastião Salgado: Genesis

Two more images from my “Subtle color” project on the Black Marsh Trail in North Point State Park.

Monday Missive — February 24, 2020

Quotes

…aesthetic harmony means very little unless the photography reveals a personal, emotional truth. I want a viewer to feel like they’re inside the experience rather than looking at it.” — Curran Hatleberg

Originality lies in the embrace of one’s own voice, not in the reaction to others’ voices.” — Peter Kayafas

I create situations that do not exist. I seek the truth from fiction.” — Sarah Moon

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– “House Music” Reminiscent to me of Sally Mann, only indoors.
– WOW! Repeating patterns

Post-processing
– All of the capbilities of “Export As” More than you might realize
– Creating reflections and reflections in puddles
– Create realistic shadows

Field/Studio
– Why you should do projects
– Composing wide angle landscape shots
– Charlie Waite: Great images with small cameras

Miscellany
– Joe Pugliese: Interesting interview and images
– On Photoshop’s 30th birthday (Feb. 19), some stories of its birth

I spent a bit of time this weekend experimenting with different BW processing methods. This was my “traditional” method using a BW adjustment layer in PS and adding tonal contrast and detail extractor in COLOR Efex Pro.

For this image I converted to BW with a gradient map and then added a black layer and white layer and locally masked the layers to get deep blacks in particular.

Finally on this image I used Image > Calculations, with levels, curves and some added noise. Would like to hear comments and what you liked best.

Monday Missive — February 17, 2020

Quotes

. . . it isn’t a visual diary, as with so much contemporary photography; it’s an autobiography of feelings and impressions, not of facts and events.” — Russell Hart on Cig Harvey’s work

I have date nights with my photographs. I put them all up on the wall, look at what I’ve made and try to see what direction the work is taking. This understanding influences the pictures I do from that point on. What the work is about slowly rises to the surface.” — Cig Harvey

I think that emotional content is an image’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Much of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.” –- Anne Geddes

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Modern Boyhood In my opinion, not fine art, but certainly more than family snapshots.
– Stephen Shore: Unorthodox photography Possibly the best explanation I’ve seen for this type of photography. As record, it has value, as art, all I see are, at best, well-chosen snapshots.
– Street photography in Bengal India

Post-processing
– Accurately re-color your images with gradient maps

Field/Studio
– Macro photography tips
– 7 tips on BW Street photography from Alan Schaller

Miscellany
– Emotion in Landscape photography
– Writing your artist statement

Baltimore skyline from Harbor East promenade.

A dock along the promendade at Harbor East.

Monday Missive — February 10, 2020

Quotes

What I respect, and at times envy, about painting is that it never claims to be anything other than a purely subjective vision. And we place no false expections on it in terms of its truth value. Photographs, on the other hand, are never entirely fiction or nonfiction.” — Gregory Halpern

Photography is serial in nature, and oftentimes a group of pictures becomes a much deeper thing than a gathering of single images.” — Todd Hido

. . the photographs gain much of their power and meaning from being seen together, in groups that don’t so much suggest a narrative as they do the rhythms of a family life in rural Maine and a continuing search for beauty in small things that might otherwise go unnoticed.” — Russell Hart on Cig Harvey’s work

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Thomas Alleman: Social Studies
– Hokkaido winter landscapes
– David Freese: Mississippi River
– Cig Harvey: State of Being

Post-processing
– Compositing tips and tricks This is a really good session, with great details on persepctive, color and luminosity matching, levels, curves, smart objects and more.
– Fixing distortions from wide angle lenses
– Using the difference blend mode to color grade and tone A very interesting approach

Field/Studio
– Mindfulness to succeed at street photography
– Creating mood in street photography

Miscellany
– Creating a Portfolio From Steve O.

I was at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida (just northwest of the Everglades), photographing in a swamp and concentrating on the trees and moss across an open stretch of water when I looked up to see this guy just a few feet away. I backed up pretty quick. It was amazing how quietly an animal that size can move. After my heart slowed down, I shot this at 300 mm with an 80-400 lens.

Monday Missive — February 3, 2020

Quotes

. . . the best public photography was about building relationships. It was about creating connections between elements that in the world had no real relationship to each other, but which did within the confines of the photographic frame. It wasn’t just about the creation of a pleasing composition, but the potential of the photograph to do more than just document what was in front of the camera.

It created context while implying narrative. It could elicit surprise or laughter. While a sense of the beautiful could be conveyed through the photographer’s use of light and color, it wasn’t always a requirement for a successful “street photograph.” The inherent strength of the photograph was rooted in the unique and personal way the photographer observed the scene and that particular moment in time. The photographer succeeded when they conveyed that sense of discovery and recognition in the photograph.” — Ibarionex Perello

“As most people now have photo editing tools on their phones, there is no longer a belief that the captured image is anything more than a record of personalized fictions.” — Christopher Russell, Lenscratch, 1/24/20

Links
Photoesssays/Bodies of Work
– Remembering the holocaust You may need to be a Times subscriber, but they usually allow a few free views per month. This is worth one of your views.
– Street vs “Public” photography Interesting analysis; the quote above is from this link.
– Pseudo-night
– Polar changes
– London after dark

Post-processing
– Two-step process to reduce compression artifact from small jpg files
– Creating dramatic BW
– Make a boring white/gray sky blue
– Shooting panoramas

Field/Studio
– Re-think how to find time to shoot street

Whitehouse Overlook, taken Sept.. 2012 at Canyon de Chelly, AZ, in between several artist residencies out west.

Monday Missive — January 27, 2020

Quotes

The work precedes the idea, and the idea initiates the work. I don’t think one necessarily comes before the other — it’s a conversation.” — Doug DuBois

The act of taking pictures is often an intuitive or unconscious one, but the intuition and unconscious are fed by intellect and the conscious mind. So there is a feedback loop — looking at contact sheets informs the conscious mind about what the unconscious is attracted to.” — Gregory Halpern

Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams

Links
Photoesssays/Bodies of Work
– Saul Leiter
– Regard: Daily life

Post-processing
– Enhancing colors
– Removing fringes from selections
– Get better BW with split toning This video uses Capture One, but LR will do most of the same thing.
– Perspective warp to make buildings look taller.
– Editing photos taken in direct sunlight Direct sunlight often gives very high contrast and featureless shadows or blown out highlights. Here is how to recover the highlights and shadows in LR or ACR. Also good basic processing for beginners. Most aps that come with digital cameras would also work.

Field/Studio
– The rule of thirds is over-rated

Miscellany
– Camera pricing Interesting story on how camera manufacturers think about pricing and the various pricing strategies
– When do you need a model or property release?

Thinking of summer: Lotus.

Monday Missive — January 20, 2020

Quotes

“There’s something corny about it,” Soth says of road trip photography. “I’m embarrassed of using that structure. But I keep returning to it.” — Alec Soth

“After I snap the shutter I never know if a photograph is truly special. Even months later I usually don’t know. Great photographs are a mix of light, time, and magic.” — Alec Soth

“I do think my work is as much about exploring the possibilities of picture-making as it is about the subjects I’m interested in.” — Dawoud Bey

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Women Serving Life Sentences The combination of images and text is very emotionally powerful.
– Duane Michals
– An Invented World

Post-processing
– Creating composites and collages

Field/Studio
– Photographing winter waterfalls With a segment on how to dress to stay comfortable in winter weather
– Composition and Foreground
– Mermaid and plastic

Miscellany
– How Lightroom actually works with your files
– Nikon symphony About as “miscellany” as it gets. Just a minute and a half.
– Dealing with online criticism

Sunset at Chinde Point in Petrified Forest National Park.

I have been mostly working on my Foggy Morning Marsh pictures, so I decided to give you all a break and look backwards. It can be embarassing, but also comforting to know that I have made at least a little photographic progress since about 2016.

Monday Missive — January 13, 2020

Quotes

Art is when we can go deeper, and think, and feel, and understand, and analyze. And laugh and cry. And then go even a little deeper.” — Elinor Carucci in Photowork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice, Sasha Wolf (ed.), p 32.

Photographs somehow feel unfinished if they are not part of a completed project. In fact, I’m haunted by particular images that I haven’t been able to connect firmly to others yet.” — Matthew Connors, ibid., p 51.

The photobook is the perfect form for me because, through sequencing, it allows us to tell the story exactly as it should be told.” — Sian Davey, ibid. p 59.

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Peter Dawson landscapes
– Andrea Bruce: Democracy
– Alec Soth: Reframing the American photographic road trip From Steve O.

Post-processing
– Remove a fence Also some blur and sharpening applications
– Improving the color in your images with the calibration palette
– Matt K processes a basketfull ofimages in LR You can learn a lot from these.

Miscellany
– Best images of 2019 John Paul Caponigro has compiled a list of the best photos from 2019 from numerous sources.
– Best photography contests for 2020
– Consistency?
– Famous first photographs

Stream at Ferncliff Nature Preserve, PA

Ferncliff Nature Preserve, PA

Monday Missive — January 6, 2020

Quotes

You just do what you love, and then a style happens later on.” –- David LaChapelle

I’ve never been comfortable photographing people I know, myself included. I guess I prefer the mystery of strangers.” — Alec Soth

The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now. Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can’t help but improve, can’t help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star. You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck. Don’t just start. Continue.” -– Seth Godin, 11/4/12

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Kramer O’Neill: Where they fall
– Creative soul photography
– Pretty cool industrial photography
– Swallowed by Darkness: Fine Art/Street Photography
– Keith Carter: 50 years on

Post-processing
– Look-up Tables (LUTS)
– Getting really sharp cut outs

Field/Studio
– Cole Thompson: 5 steps

Miscellany
– Women conflict photographers
– Favorite books of 5 famous photographers

Hand-made brooms won 4th place last week at the camera club. Processing included using a gradient map.

Continuing my experiments with adding color.

More foggy mornings.

This one used antique sepia.

Monday Missive — December 30, 2019

Quotes

I want parameters narrow enough to make the work compelling and cohesive, but broad enough to allow myself, and my viewer, the pleasure of being able to find their own way through the work.” — Gregory Halpern in PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice

There are some locations I go to and they scream black and white to me because of the ambiance. For me, great black and white images fall into two categories: very dramatic with stormy skies and bold compositions and at the other end of the spectrum a calm and minimalist composition.” – Helen Rushton

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– People matching art works
– Photojournalism’s most powerful moments of 2019
– Photographing the white horses of the Camargue

Post-processing
– Advanced color toning
– Six sneaky ways to adjust color in PS
– Black and White Artistry, Part I
– Black and White Artistry, Part II

Field/Studio
– Fun winter projects

Miscellany
– Do the colors in your image seem to change on export? Here’s why.
– Conceptualizing New Projects

For the last several weeks I have been experimenting with adding washes of complimentary colors to images using techiques such as split toning, gradient maps, color balance adjustment layers and others. These images were taken on a foggy morning and were virtually monochromatic before processing. I feel that the colors make for more interesting images, but I am also partially color blind, so I tend to overdo colors that I probably don’t see as intensely as others. Would appreciate getting feedback.