Monday Missive – July 24, 2017

Quotes

Be unafraid of your imagination.” — Joe McNally

I just think it’s important to be direct and honest with people about why you’re photographing them and what you’re doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul.” – Mary Ellen Mark

I wanted my vision to be just that, my personal vision. Photography is a great way to express your emotions and I think the best work comes from deep inside.” – Sarah Hadley

Links

– 10 photographers who have defined fine art photography
– Lightroom camera calibration and import presets
– Tasmania This is a photo location you don’t hear much about. The pix are pretty good too.
– Possible customs complications for photographers
– PC vs Mac: The perennial question
– Seeing art in automobiles
– Upgrade monitor calibration
– Enjoy your time in the field
– Photographer shot and killed for his gear at sightseeing location on west coast
– Nomad photographers I can dream.

Young woman walking in the surf at Calvert Cliffs Beach in Maryland.

Monday Missive — July 17, 2017

Quotes

Every time you assume that others will be swayed by your logical argument, you’ve most likely made a significant, irrational mistake.
Your actions and your symbols and your tribe dwarf the words you use to make your argument.
” — Posted by Seth Godin on July 07, 2017 | Permalink

Our thoughts create our reality – where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” — Peter McWilliams

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try.” – Michael Jordan

Links

– Let your creativity evolve Being a bit in the creative doldrums myself, this was helpful
– Keeping your passion fresh
– Fixing wide angle lens distortion
– Rafting the source of the Amazon
– Boudoir photography
– 12 photographs celebrated by Sean Kernan
– Red River Palo Duro Etching paper Very reasonably priced for a rag, fine art paper. Etching papers have more surface texture than regular matte papers.
– Storm chaser images
– Better pictures as simple as ABC
– Intro to Theodore Roosevelt NP in N. Dakota

Skipper on lavender.

Monday Missive — July 10, 2017

Quotes

Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.” — Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.” — Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses: The Sea of Fertility

The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” — E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Links

– How to photograph fireworks
– Eyes on the world: travel photography
– Settings for action and sports photography Courtesy of Gary Faulkner
– Working the Scene, learning to see
– Copyright
– Tilt-shift blur This could have general applicability to control depth of focus
– Mastering autofocus

Apocalypse Now: Diane Arbus with social outcasts in NYC parks, survival in Indian coal mines reminiscent of Selgado’s work and Burtynski with the beauty and devastation of man’s works on earth.
– Critical summary and exhibition video for Diane Arbus’ works “In the Park”
– Survival in an apocalyptic landscape
– Burtynski: Indian salt pans

Cicada from the 2004 brood.

Cicada from the 2004 brood.

Field cricket

Monday Missive — July 3, 2017

Quotes

You’re better than you think you are.” — Seth Godin on June 30, 2017

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.” — Anais Nin

Links

– Great wildlife photographer Nick Nichols at the Phila. Museum of Art Courtesy of Steve Oney
– Photo essay: The apple pickers of Yakima County
– Zoom vs prime: a detailed assessment of considerations
– Art of photography assignment on “still life”
– Adding a magical glow in PS Uses some aspects of color select that I never noticed before
– Places to photograph in NYC
– Gradients
– Full frame vs crop sensor
– A dog is his muse Short piece, neat story with Instragram link if you want more. Click on the “Nikita” link if you need a happy dog story.
– Sources of creative inspiration

Several Tibetan monks came to Baltimore in early May. They were hosted at the yoga studio on Falls Road behind the Ivy bookstore. Public was welcome to watch and shoot for a small donation. I went twice, but did not make it back for the destruction of the mandala. Amazing skill and patience, beautiful colors.

Tibetan Monk making a sand mandala.

Making a sand mandala

Monday Missive — June 26, 2017

Quotes

I don’t figure out my vision and my direction so I can make photographs, I make photographs so I can figure out my vision and direction.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61

That’s how you discover your vision. By doing, by trying and letting the resulting work speak to you. The stuff you love, that points to an aspect of your vision, your opinion, your taste. The stuff that doesn’t light you up — that points to where your vision isn’t. Go the other way.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” — John Maynard Keynes

Links

– MacPhun luminar Soon available for PC. Provides layers, non-destructive editing, numerous presets for $69.
– Cuba
– Star trails in Minnesota
– Histograms
– David duChemin on Vision Episode 61
– 7 tips for street photography
– History of photojournalism From Steve Oney
– Window light
– 7 people who changed photography forever Some names I didn’t recognize. A good opportunity to follow up and learn something.
– Useful ways to view masks in Photoshop

Playing in the Garden

Monday Missive – June 19, 2017

Quotes

The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.” — Susan Meiselas

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley

What I have learnt and what I teach now is all about experimentation and learning to pick yourself up and try again when you fall down.” – Lara Jade

Links

– The new Apple file system
– Photoshop techniques you should know
– Field macro studio
– Color Lookup tables in Photoshop
– Removing tattoos
– Personal Projects
– Photography in Yucatan Mexico: ruins and wildlife
– Retouching hair in Photoshop
– How to Geo-tag your photos
– Social media

Young woman walking at Sandy Point State Park.

Bug Shot Delaware June 8 – 11, 2017

Several years ago I became aware of this specialty workshop that is all about photographing insects. It is run by three entomologists who are also fantastic photographers: John Abbott, Alex Wild and Piotr Naskrecki. Last year I went to Austin, TX for the workshop and learned several new approaches to insect photography, and especially learned about using flash in different ways to photograph small subjects, both in the field and in the studio. I even got to bring back a free, home made studio “white box” that provides even illumination for flash. The instructors are all extremely knowledgeable and approachable about insects and photography and will work with you to help you accomplish your goals.

This year, with Bug Shot practically in my neighborhood (2 hours away) at the St. Jones Reserve near Dover, Delaware, it was too close not to go. The workshop includes dinner the first day, three meals Friday and Saturday, and breakfast and boxed lunch on Sunday. Participants ranged from young adults accompanied by parents to retirees, with many professional or academic entomologists in the enthusiastic group. Some folks stayed on site, but had to bring bedding; others stayed at nearby hotels.

This year’s specialty was horseshoe crabs and the workshop was arranged to encompass the full moon and tides when the crabs come up on the beach. While horseshoe crabs are common in this area, Delaware Bay is a hotspot, to much of the country horseshoe crabs are a novelty. This is not typical and the usual focus is on terrestrial or aquatic insects. There were two night sessions and a day session at Ted Harvey Beach to shoot the crabs, but the beach area was available at any time.

One of the more helpful aspects of the workshop is that interesting specimens are kept in the meeting room/studio in a temporary “zoo” for participants to practice their studio techniques on. The June bug, Bess Beetle and trogid (hide) beetle were made in the white box with two flashes. I am also increasingly using Piotr’s approach of getting close-up with a wide angle lens with extension tubes. The lighter lens is easy to hand hold and the depth of field allows me to keep the focus without needing a tripod, something that I can no longer do with a telephoto.

The only negative about the workshop was the low abundance and diversity of insects at this time and location, for no apparent reason. Last year in Austin, there was tremendous diversity, including both male and female 6 inch long dobson flies. If you have any interest in nature macro photography or insects, I highly recommend this workshop. It travels across the country in successive years from west coast, to mid-country to the east.

BugShot participants at Ted Harvey Beach ready for horseshoe crabs.

Horseshoe crabs at night, Ted Harvey Beach, Dover, DE. 14 mm Rokinon, light painting with a flash light.

Horseshoe Crab, Ted Harvey Beach, Dover, DE,. 14 mm Rokinon. Light painting with a flashlight.

BugShot Delaware, St. Jones Preserve. 200 micro with 1.4X tele-extender.

June beetle taken at BugShot Delaware held at the St. Jones Reserve and Ted Harvey Beach using the white box.

Bess beetle, St. Jones Reserve, Dover, DE.

Hide Beetle, St. Jones Reserve, Dover, DE.

Monday Missive — June 12, 2017

Quotes

It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin

Your opinion is your opinion, your perception is your perception–do not confuse them with “facts” or “truth”. Wars have been fought and millions have been killed because of the inability of men to understand the idea that EVERYBODY has a different viewpoint.” – John Moore

Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.” – Steven Pressfield

Links

– Dealing with the airline laptop restrictions
– Photography on skid row If you are in to street photography, this is about as gritty as it gets.
– Fantastical wildlife This is a new approach to wildlife photography
– 7 great tips on the ps interface
– Color Theory
– Getting published in magazines
– The Art of Art Wolfe
– Lightroom best practices
– Does ETTR apply to night photography?
– The value of Critique

June beetle taken at BugShot Delaware held at the St. Jones Reserve and Ted Harvey Beach using the white box.

Monday Missive — June 5, 2017

Quotes

If you try to corral or cage the photographic process, it will thumb it’s nose at you. The trick is just to flow with it and stop it when a moment of discovery has met inspiration.” — Paul Caponigro

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty

Photography is a language more universal than words.” – Minor White

Links

– Macro at 1:1 and beyond
– Falls of the Columbia River gorge
– Details and grand landscapes
– Colorizing Historic BW photos Shared by Kay. This isn’t a “how to” but looks at the work involved to be accurate and the implications. Interesting video.
– Art of Photography Assignment 7: Motion
– Safety tips for travel
– Quick tips
– Finding critics
– Consider the frame

Another approach to an image posted on Feb. 27, 2017 ( http://richeskinphoto.com/blog/?p=1991). Compare and comment. Which do you prefer and why?

Location Review: Tacquan Glen Nature Preserve

What attracted me to Tacquan Glen nature preserve was that it was new to me and it was fairly close. Only about an hour (45 miles) away in Lancaster County, PA and worth a visit to find out more.

After a rainy night, the morning was clear and sunny and it was a very pleasant ride north on Dulaney Valley Road (MD-165) going opposite of the morning traffic. Although it wasn’t in my GPS, Google Maps was able to find it, and my GPS did find Tacquan Glen Family Campground, which is about a half mile before the preserve on River Road. Once you turn on River Road, the Preserve is about 3 miles with parking on the right and the primary trails about 75 yards further on the left. There was a well-marked parking area on the right that could probably accommodate about a dozen cars and some additional parking at the main trail head. There were numerous signs that you cannot park on the road — go find a different nature preserve if the parking area is full. No sanitary facilities.

Despite previous rainfall, the eddies and cascades were not impressive although there was a small cascade just upstream of where the creek ran under the road. This area, and the rock formation, could be accessed by a small path to the right of parking lot after clambering over some rocks. I did not take the time to fully explore the area, but its proximity to Baltimore is an advantage if you have only a half a day and want to explore someplace new and peaceful. On a Friday, I saw only one other visitor while I was there.

More information can be obtained at The Lancaster Conservancy.

Tacquan Creek

Rock formation near Tacquan Creek

Monday Missive — May 29, 2017

Quotes

The doing is the thing. The talking, and worrying and thinking about the thing is not the thing.” — Amy Poehler

Every photograph is altered, to one degree or another.” – John Paul Caponigro

Many oriental cultures make a distinction between two ways of looking – ‘hard eyes’ and ‘soft eyes’. When we look with hard eyes, we see specific details with sharp focus, but we don’t see the relationships between different details as well. When we look with soft eyes we see the relationships between everything in our field of vision, but with this softer focus, we don’t see all the details as clearly. It’s possible to look in two ways at once.” – John Paul Caponigro

Links

– Using color gradients in compositing to add emotional impact Another excellent Kost video
– Venice rookery in FL
– Award winning composites
– What it is really like taking pictures at Antelope Canyon
– Focus stacking in Photoshop Although more commonly used for close-ups, focus stacking can also be useful for landscapes to keep the foreground, mid-ground and background all in focus.
– Minimalism I think the author is too negative about this compositional approach, probably mostly because he feels it is overused. It is one tool in the box and works really well for some images.
– Nature photography
– 10 Nudges toward action
– Shooting close-ups with extreme wide-angle lenses
– Bellows for macro photography

They are 4 years early and getting noisier by the day. Climate change?

Monday Missive — May 22, 2017

Quotes

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – A. A. Milne

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. … And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Maxwell Maltz

Links

– Sparking your creativity
– Four ways to unblock creativity
– Metaphor and creativity Ted Talk. If your pictures tell stories, they are metaphors, therefore it might be helpful to better understand the role of metaphor in communication
– Protest photography
– Selling your photographs
– Finding the right shutter speed to show movement
– Creativity
– Adding a background blur to show motion without getting a halo
– Adding a field blur to the background to highlight your subject
– Using the gradient filter in LR

In the surf at Calvert Cliffs.

Monday Missive – May 15, 2017

Quotes

Dreams and photographs have something in common… ” — Minor White cited in “Manifestations of the Spirit”

Life rarely presents fully finished photographs. An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.” – Sam Abell

The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.” – Eliot Porter

Links

– Lepp: Accessories for nature photographers
– Shooting the Milky Way This article provides explanations I haven’t seen before.
– Noise
– The meaning of color
– Iceland Part 2
– Creativity
– Match color when compositing
– Adjusting colors in landscapes In the first part it shows how to do color selection using the saturation panel
– Taking total control of a high contrast, high dynamic range image
– Taking multiple exposures for compositing
– Using a telephoto for landscapes No surprise to me, I more often use a telephoto for landscapes than a wide angle.

Iris bud. Taken in my front garden.

Monday Missive — May 8, 2017

Quotes

…truly understanding our narratives is the essence of doing work that matters, that connects, and that spreads.” — Posted by Seth Godin on May 02, 2017

The notion of one photographer being better than another doesn’t interest me. You can’t win at art.” — David du Chemin

“My work is certainly more about suggestion than description.”Michael Kenna

Links

– A good article about donating (or not) art to non-profits
– Arctic Ice
– Architectural photography
– Intro to Architectural photography
– Seeing composition
– Wildlife Panorama
– Feeling inadequate as a photographer?
– Really good explanation of sharpening
– Insurance for photographers
– Natural light
– High key/Low Key

Eye candy: Created in Corel Paint Pro using Reflections>Kaleidoscope.

Monday Missive — May 1, 2017

Quotes

“Creativity is always enhanced by a constraint. This is true in filmmaking, music, painting, writing and even photography.”

Comfort is where art goes to die.

The best critiques I’ve seen are not about the image’s technical properties. The best critiques question why the photograph was created in the first place.

— CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

Links

– Therapeutic photography
– Photography and mental health
– Street photography This is an hour long video with Steve Simon on street photography. Worth the time.
– Interesting one light set up for portraits
– Printing your work can make you a better photographer
– Blending modes to control luminosity, hue and saturation
– Oregon Photo Odyssey
– A 12 week project photographing an eagle’s nest
– 7 Nikon tricks Nikon menu options for focusing you probably didn’t know were there
– Difficult removals in photoshop This is pretty good and is applicable to many different images

A young woman fiddling for a charitable cause. Baltimore Farmer’s Market, 4/23/17.