Monday Missive — September 20, 2021


The worst enemy to creativity is self doubt.” — Sylvia Plath

In art as in love, instinct is enough.” — Anatole France

The imitator dooms himself to hopeless mediocrity.” — The Divinity College Address, Ralph Waldo Emerson

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Lora Webb Nichols worked in the first part of the 20th Century in Encampment, Wyoming documenting small town/frontier life in a mining community as part of that community. Interesting work.
– New York City in the rain
– Gorgeous Pt-Pd portraits in the context of preserving indigenous cultures
– Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary
– Portraits of farmers

– All about curves Curves are one of the most powerful tools for image editing and can be used to control overall luminosity, contrast and color, and with masks you have local control of those aspects of your image.

– About Lenses: Visual Signature
– Customizing your signature, watermark or a font in PS
– NFTs (Non-fungible Tokens)
– Nikon’s Small World Competition These images are always incredible.

Stopped by Patterson Park on Sunday morning. I had never been there so I thought to check it out. I hadn’t realized what a huge park it is. It seemed like half the dogs in Baltimore were being walked. Any way, I saw this soccer game in progress and gave it try. I liked the symmetry of the legs on this one and call it “soccer two step.”

Amateur soccer at Patterson Park, Baltimore.

Poised for the kick. Light was awful at 9:45 AM on a bright sunny day. Unfortunately the second player from the left over lapped the kicker, but I liked the kicker’s pose.

Monday Missive — September 13, 2021


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.” -– Winnie the Pooh, “The House at Pooh Corner” (A.A. Milne)

Originality thrives in seclusion, free of outside influences beating upon us to cripple the creative mind. Be alone — that is the secret of invention: be alone, that is when ideas are born.” -– Nikola Tesla

“… procrastination is simply fear of failure in disguise.” — Anon.

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Quinn A very interesting project approach
– Fisherwomen Another interesting, multi-faceted study with deep preparation. I particularly liked the hand portraits.
– Someone’s daughter About women in the criminal justice system.
– Ellen Jantzen: Midwest Dreaming Interesting images and use of color
– Judith Joy Ross: Portrait photographer

– Simplify time blending with the Lighten blend mode
– Creating a powerful highlight mask

– Protest photography

– The Life Work of George Tice
– Empathy in documentary photography As usual, Sean Tucker has a thoughtful topic to make you think.

Morning in Washington Square Park, NY

Monday Missive — September 6, 2021


“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” — Mary Oliver

Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving. -– Terry Pratchett

“The things that make me different are the things that make me me.” –- Piglet’s song, You’re the One and Only One, “Welcome to Pooh Corner” (A.A. Milne)

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Ana Casas Broda

– Simple way to remove halos and selection fringes in PS
– Cropping in PS
– Separating tone and color for LUTS for better control.
– 21 New features of PS in 21 minutes
– Add light with the reflected gradient

– 3 tips for long-exposure photography
– Finding images in the forest in the summer

– Stephen King on writing Much of this also applies to photography
– How to finish a body of work

Two Clematis flowers in their final stages from a book I am working on called “Senescence.”


Monday Missive — May 17, 2021


“I would look at those images and think of the possibilities. “What would it take to make photographs like that?”, I wondered.” — David DuChemin

“A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know.” -– Diane Arbus

“Originality is neither a matter of inventiveness nor method, it is the essence of personality.” -– Edward Hopper

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– A photograph a day
– Another Western Interesting historical perspective.
– Michelle Moy Interesting use of color
– Ukraine Interesting take on street vs documentary photogaphy.

– Recompose any image in PS using content aware fill

– Understanding “Visual weight” can help to create more compelling compositions
– Motion blur photography

– How photography became art

Leopard frog. This handsome prince confronted me on a trail at Gunpowder State Park/Masemore Rd. We parted amically.

Bleeding hearts from the backyard.

Monday Missive — May 10, 2021


“Indulge your imagination in every possible flight.” — Jane Austen

“Learn to trust your photographic intuition.” — Sean Tucker

“In a strange kind of sense [writing[photography]] frees me to believe in myself, to be able to speak, to have voice, because I have to; it is my survival.” — Joy Harjo

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Sentenced to debt for life in Washington Never heard of Legal Financial Obligations before, but this seems pretty awful for people who usually are lucky if they can get minimum wage.
– Visionary Project
– Bolivian women mountain guides
– Seeing Silicon Valley Really interesting story

– Three landscape tips
– Sean Tucker: Thinking beyond the rules of composition Probably the best lesson on composition I have seen.

– Why black and white?

Monday Missive — May 3, 2021


Don’t try to lessen yourself for the world; let the world catch up to you.” — Beyonce Knowles

As it also turns out, knowing where best to point your camera requires a skill set whose precepts appear to be instinctively derived, rather than intellectually prescribed. What might work in one situation can often prove disastrous in another. As such, employing a formulaic approach to composition will, more often than not, prove ineffectual.Huntington Witherill

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” – Ansel Adams

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Interesting approach to flower photography
– Incarcerated women
– Starling murmurations Really neat images. Sort of like clouds, you can see images in the random patterns.

– Make sure you get your colors right before converting to BW
– Quick tip for loading multiple files into 1 document
– How to make clouds and smoke in PS

– How to improve your compositions
– Composition

– Alec Soth: I Photograph to Remember Alec discusses this work by Pedro Meyer, but also illustrates the impact of constantly changing technology. Alec speaks slowly and I usually run his videos at 1.25 or 1.5 speed.
– How to see the photos you are missing

Quiet sunrise over the marsh at Chincoteage NWR.

Great egret with lunch at Chincoteague NWR.

Reddish egret with lunch at Chincoteague NWR.

Monday Missive — April 26, 2021


Never be limited by other people’s limited imaginations.” — Mae Jemison

The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.” -– Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day founder

Only if we understand can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall they be saved.” -– Jane Goodall, primatologist

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Unfolding the pandemic in NYC
– The forest and the trees
– Suzanne Theordora White: Drawn to the land For Lynn.
– Richard Tuschman: Childhood Reassembled Fantastic story and representation

– Getting color right is critical to good BW conversions
– Reducing foreground noise in astrophotgraphy

– Making a long exposure without a ND filter
– Using flash to enhance your macro photography

– There’s more to color than meets the eye As a color blind male I found this really interesting
– Very thoughtful analysis of some famous images and the concept of photos telling stories

Hi Honey. How was your day? Dinner will be ready soon.

Kids, your Dad is home and dinner is almost ready.

Alice, will you set the table please?

Finally, they’re fed, in bed, and I have a little time to myself.

Monday Missive — April 19, 2021


Bread feeds the body indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” — The Koran

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

Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.” – Wynn Bullock

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Rambling through Eggleston’s Democratic Forest Alec Soth does a fairly extensive review of Eggleston’s work. Frankly, I still don’t get Eggleston. At about 36:28 minutes, Soth describes Eggleston as almost like Seinfeld: A show about nothing. Yet he considers the books important and finds that they have significantly affected him.
– Yoga
– “On My Block” Neighborhood photography with a 4 x 5
– Body Control The capabilities and strength of the human body is amazing
– Counter histories: Desegregating southern restaurants
– More from Lenscratch on the kitchen Some of these are fun, some bizarre and several are quite good.

– Sky replacement in PS … and some free skies. Really shows how sky replacement works and how to modify it.
– Time and Exposure blending in PS The time blending section is very good. The exposure blending uses the TK7 panel that you may not have, but you can do it directly in PS.

– The moon through a super sharp lens The video is brief but dramatic
– Boston, 1970s Thanks Steve O.

Tulip, Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore

Red tulip, Sherwood Garden.

Great blue heron, Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park, MD. 150-600 @ 270 f/8, 1/640 EV +.3, ISO 800.

Monday Missive — April 12, 2021


You have to compose by the seat of your pants.” — Arnold Newman

I shutter to think how many people are underexposed and lacking depth in this field.” – Rick Steves

Photograph the world as it is. Nothing’s more interesting than reality.” – Mary Ellen Mark

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Tales of Heroines
– Sacramento
– The kitchen

– Comparing editing results from LR, Phase1 and Photoshop

– Shooting the Milky Way with a 50 mm rather than wide angle
– Shooting with collodion plates in the field
– Preparing for spring photos in the woodland Also analysis of woodland pictures

– Fill the frame: various street photographers
– Lens culture portrait award winners
– Tips for cleaning your lenses and sensor

It was drizzling when I left, but when I arrived at Cylburn Arboretum the rain had stopped. It was still overcast, but half an hour later, unfortunately, the sun came out. Still it was a good day to explore the Arboretum in spring for patterns and colors.

I don’t know what this is, but it reminded me of the fletching on arrows.

Spiky plant that looks a bit like agave.

The rain had just stopped and everything was dripping with silver balls.

Monday Missive — April 5, 2021


I remember in the past, I would get my pictures back thinking they were going to be great. And they’re not that great because you have one idea in your brain but the camera saw it differently. The more experience you have, the more you can close that gap between what you see and what the camera sees.” — Steve McCurry

Good photography is a conversation; it sparks curiosity and questions.” — Susan Barnett

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

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Faces to remember
– John Sexton: Exploring light with polaroid film
– Tom Barnes: a hard life in Indonesia

– Bird photography
– RAW vs JPG
– Minimalist tree photography
– How to stay safe from angry people when photographing Alan is a macro photographer but this also applies to street photography. If nothing else watch starting at 26:43 for the statistics on photographers being attacked.
– David DuChemin: Make me feel the motion

– The story behind the image
– How to read a photograph

Curtis Bay Hawser (composite image)

Monday Missive — March 29, 2021


“…I’m here to tell you making money off your pictures is not a good reason to be here.
Neither is fame, nor acclaim.
All three goals are elusive, unlikely, and fleeting. Rather, art practice is about self-improvement and self-expression.
And those things are priceless.
” — Jonathan Blaustein

“If people are doubting how far you can go, go so far that you can’t hear them anymore.” — Michele Ruiz

“There’s no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Jason Langer: NY vision
– Jacques Lowe: Pictures of JFK and that era Thanks Steve O.
– JM Giordano: Resistance photos Thanks Steve O.
– Cool approach to street photography Thanks Steve O. This week it is almost your blog.
– Kate Powell: Composite surf image

– Sky replacement AND reflecting the sky in water
– Frequency separation for landscapes Frequency separation is usually used in portraits and fashion to remove blemishes and make skin look perfect. It separates texture from color. This shows how it can also be used in landscapes.

– Reviews from PhotoNOLA Multiple portfolios
– Sean Tucker on Edward S. Curtis This is quite good.
– Irving Penn Very good analysis. Thanks Steve O.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). Roots and stem have a red-orange juice that was used as a dye by Native Americans.

Boat graveyard at Curtis Bay.

Find out more about the Curtis Creek Ship Graveyard

Monday Missive — March 22, 2021

So today we got our first Covid vaccination at M & T Bank Stadium. Here is what I learned. (1) Don’t be more than 30 minutes early, you won’t be allowed in. (2) If you are with someone who has an appointment at a different time, the later appointment applies. (3) There was a rumor that they only provided the J & J vaccine at this location — NOT True. We got the Pfizer. (4) The later appointment was for 11:30, we were done at 12:40. (5) There was good oversight and communication; everyone was orderly and polite. (6) Because we were early we waited in front of Gate A at the stadium, until they lined us up. It was a nice sunny day so we weren’t cold. Once we got into line in the shade of the stadium it felt at least 10 degrees colder. (7) The line moved steadily but not quickly. (8) Your first stop is at the check-in tent. We did the e-check-in with Univ. of Maryland (UMMS runs this site), in advance, highly recommended. (9) We were able to stay together. (10) They scheduled our second shot while we were waiting the 15 minutes to assure there was no bad reaction to the vaccine. (11) We treated ourselves to celebrate and stopped at Vaccaro’s to pick up some outrageous desserts.


I’ve always been shy, and I’ve always been trying to ignore the people I was photographing so that they ignore me.” – Marc Riboud

It is light that reveals, light that obscures, light that communicates. It is light I “listen” to. The light late in the day has a distinct quality, as it fades toward the darkness of evening. After sunset there is a gentle leaving of the light, the air begins to still, and a quiet descends. I see magic in the quiet light of dusk. I feel quiet, yet intense energy in the natural elements of our habitat. A sense of magic prevails. A sense of mystery. It is a time for contemplation, for listening—a time for making photographs.”John Sexton

l want my children and children’s children to be able to look at my pictures and know what my world was like. Even if it only helps a little bit toward this understanding, then I’ve done my job and done it well.” — Gordon Parks

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Bike Messengers
– Cig Harvey’s latest work: Blue Violet
– Stephen Marc: American/True Colors
– Maura Sullivan: Things we remember

– New “Enhance Details” in latest PS update
– Using Blend-If and curves for ultrasmooth dodging and burning

– 10 working photographers you should follow
– Graciela Iturdibe
– Stereoscopy
– Selling prints

Was heading out to Stoney Demonstration Forest in Harford county when I passed this old barn. The forest parking lot was closed, but I stopped on the way back for this, so the trip wasn’t a total loss.

Monday Missive — March 15, 2021


When you are dedicated to a 35mm camera with a 35mm lens, you’ve got to move around a lot. You have to get down, get dirt all over your butt, be there in the traffic. You’ve got to let the dogs come up and sniff you and growl at you – and you just keep taking those pictures. A camera just puts you in a whole other atmosphere. None of us photographers are like flies on the wall. We’re not. It’s really obvious when a camera is in the room.” — Donna Ferrato

Never have I found the limits of the photographic potential. Every horizon, upon being reached, reveals another beckoning in the distance. Always, I am on the threshold.” — W. Eugene Smith

“Photographic technique is no secret and – provided the interest is there – easily assimilated. But inspiration comes from the soul and when the Muse isn’t around even the best exposure meter is very little help. In their biographies, artists like Michelangelo, da Vinci and Bach said that their most valuable technique was their ability to inspire themselves. This is true of all artists; the moment there is something to say, there becomes a way to say it.” — Ralph Gibson

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– The bright lights of Tokyo
– Swiss mountain passes
– Osamu Kanemura’s Urban Chaos
– Donna Ferrato: 50 years of photographing women

– Tablets, pens, presssure sensitivity: what you should know
– Flow vs opacity for brushes Also what those three little symbols in the options bar mean.
– Making difficult selections easy Thanks Steve O.

– In astrophotography the NPF rule is better than the 600 rule

– The greatest female street photographer ever?
– Surreal, minimalist, BW: Contest winners Thanks Steve O.

First daffodil to bloom this spring. So welcome!

Sedum is starting as well.

Monday Missive — March 8, 2021


Here, then, was a paradox of picture taking that appeared from the start. Despite its promise of the ultimate document, of a picture more realistic than art could achieve, the camera was also an instrument of artifice and posing, even fakery and deceit. The invention that enabled people to write with the sun would blur the distinction between appearance and reality, between the image and the event.” — Kiku Adatto

The best images are the ones that retain their strength and impact over the years, regardless of the number of times they are viewed.” — Anne Geddes

I just love to work on something until I get it right. To me, what’s important and what I enjoy is not the finished photograph but the process. The photograph is a record of that process.” — Kim Weston

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Bremerton, WA
– Multi-media landscapes I don’t usually include multi-media bodies of work, but this is particularly interesting.
– Jan Bell Impressive monochrome landscapes

– How to make your images more expressive with color grading
– Julianne Kost on color grading
– Jesus Ramirez’ view on color grading This one is shorter.
– Julilanne on Applying lens blur Applying lens blur can be more flexible than you might expect

– Comparison of Tamron 28- 200 vs SONY 24-105 and 70-200 I don’t generally do lens reviews but this video gives an excellent explanation and demonstration of lens defects, shows what to look for and how to correct them, as well as reviewing the advantages and disadvantages of less expensive lenses.
– Ultrawide macro

– A balanced discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of DSLRs vs Mirrorless cameras

Field sparrow (Spizella pusilla). Tentative.

Baltimore Cemetery-
Life Askew: Alone for a long time.

Monday Missive — March 1, 2021


Every good war picture becomes an anti-war picture.” — Tim Page

In my images I am attempting to make fantasies visible.” — Bea Nettles

Philologically, the word “Kodak” is as meaningless as a child’s first “goo.” Terse, abrupt to the point of rudeness, literally bitten off by firm and unyielding consonants at both ends, it snaps like a camera shutter in your face. What more would one ask.” – George Eastman

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– A visual history of black civil war soldiers
– Without words Interesting creative process and self-portraits

– .tif or .psd? Best explanation I have seen for which format to use and for what purpose.
– Processing for fine art images
– Increasing your photos impact with LR Julianne Kost is always worth watching

– Expressive landscape photography

– Controlling color in photography
– Why a photography project is important As usual, Simon is very thoughtful, and Meg is a blast.

Fantasy or. . . (Right click and select “open image in new tab”, then select the new tab to see larger).