Monday Missive — October 19, 2020

– FREE Photoshop Summit, November 9-13 with some of the best Photoshop experts and trainers

Quotes

Picking up a camera to enjoy this craft obliges you to no code, and it makes you responsible to no one more than you were the moment before you decided to start making photographs. This is not a secret brotherhood. It’s not the Sisterhood of the Traveling Photo Vest. So be suspicious when the guy who’s been photographing for all of five years prescribes for you the same path he took; you’re probably going different places.” — David duChemin

Specialization is not a badge of honour; you don’t get bragging rights. You get the possibility of intimacy and experience, and eyes that will see things the less experienced eye will never notice.” — David duChemin

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Spiros Loukipoulos

Post-processing
– Pencil sketch effect to reality Cool effect!

Field/Studio
– Storytelling with photography
– Short video on flowers in UV More interesting than flowers in IR

Miscellany
– The history of cameras in space
– Turning space images into sound Really cool!
– How to sell your camera gear
– More than just a photograph Take the time to appreciate where you are and what you are experiencing. Read the comments after the video as well.
– Sean Tucker on Tish Murtha

Just before sunrise over the marsh at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA.

Then I shot down to the beach at Tom’s Cove to catch the sunrise.

This looks like it might be a long exposure, but I actually used “statistics” to take the median of 7 images.

Same 7 images, but took the mean.

Salt marsh from the bridge at the entrance to the Refuge.

A snowy egret and cormorant sharing a moment.

Monday Missive — October 12, 2020

Quotes

. . . the value of the photographer’s work is revealed through the images’ invisible, deep world, one that is the viewer’s intrinsic experience.” — Sajin Paik

To the degree that I apprehend acclaim, I think, ‘Ah, it’s a flaw in the work.’” — Louise Gluck, winner of the Noble Prize for literature.

Every slider movement changes the emotional feel of the photograph.” — Alister Benn

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– California wildfires
– Two interesting projects from Hawaii Both the use of a “case” for diptychs and “jerry-rigging” a lens to cell phone resulted in some creative imagery.

Post-processing
– Repeat transformation This was pretty neat.
– Add texture to a face
– High key processing for landscapes

Field/Studio
– Photographing Denmark: When photography becomes art

Miscellany
– Facebook’s Rights Manager helps protect copyrights
– Comedy pet photo awards Just for fun!
– Nail manual focus
– Dissolve the box

Summer holdout.

Monday Missive — October 5, 2020

Quotes

What I have learned in art school is that art cannot be taught. You can learn techniques, but no teacher or school can make an artist. That comes from the deepest self. That comes from long battles with your ego and the honest reshaping of your consciousness.” — Joel-Peter Witkin, interview with Ken Weingart

There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” — Ernst Haas

Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Striking photographs of Bedouins
– Interesting assemblage of street images from London boroughs by an Italian photographer Usually I prefer a more consistent set of images, but these were interesting in their variety.
– Shoes on the street It is often hard to select a photographic topic that generates sufficient images. This was very simple and creative.
– Icons of Activism

Post-Processing
– Turn black objects white in PS
– Getting the best fall colors
– How to combine images in photoshop Basic steps

Field/Studio
– Stunning landscape photos in boring locations
– Critiquing creative portraiture
– 7 tips for amazing autumn photos

Harbinger of fall.

Fall coneflower.

Monday Missive — September 28, 2020

Quotes

” —

I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the best of her ability.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

. . . I photograph because it feeds my soul. . . I find I see the world differently through the viewfinder of a camera. Photography has helped me “see” more deeply because in order to make images that are more than snapshots, requires this skill. All this is true, however, the process required to make photographs and more importantly, the experience I am having doing so, is what feeds my soul. The images are almost a by-product of the process and the experience.” — John Barclay

Arriving at a plateau in any art form, and staying there forever, eventually stagnates both the artist and the art.” — Al Weber

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– New work from Gregory Crewdson
– The illusion of free time
– Narrative portraiture
– Gallery marks 50 years since the passing of Jimi Hendrix
– Western Window: An American Road Trip
– Keith Carter Thank you Cheryl A.

Post-Processing

– 3 reasons not to use AI processing
– Controlling color
– The inverse curve for light painting This works when parts of the image are too dark or light to paint in needed highlights.

Miscellany
– 5 Tips on Editing

I saw this and my immediate reaction was “Bad Hair Day!”

Monday Missive — September 21, 2020

Quotes

Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” — Walt Whitman

Knowledge is preferable to ignorance.. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.” – Carl Sagan

In memory of RGB: “Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid.” – Dorothea Brande

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Humorous juxtapositions
– Dan Jaravis: Good London street photography
– Need to connect

Post-Processing
– 6 LR editing tools for landscape photographers
– Remove anything from complex perspectives
– Getting perfect skin tones

Field/Studio
– When less is more
– Part 1 of David duChemin’s new course on “Why do images look the way they do?” is free and definitely worth watching even if you aren’t interested in subsequent lessons. It covers 7 key factors: shutter speed, aperture, focus, exposure value, light, focal length and point of view.

Miscellany
– Google Images: Licensable image info
– Imitation

Backyard bunny taking the sun on a chilly morning.

Skipper butterfly

Monday Missive — September 14, 2020

Quotes

The trick now (as it has undoubtedly always been) is in knowing, specifically, what it is that you want to say with your photograph and then being able to employ the appropriate techniques, in the appropriate circumstances and in the appropriate amounts, all in a manner sufficient to convey (while not detracting from) the aesthetic message you are attempting to communicate. That means that you really do need to know precisely what it is that you are trying to say through your photograph.” — Huntington Weatherill

The weakest version of the real you, is stronger than the best imitation of someone else.” — Joanna Davidson Politano

Our photographs look the way they look because of how we see and what we are drawn to.” — David duChemin

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Bugs
– Myth of a woman Good images, but also an interesting story

Post-Processing
– Sharpening
– Huntington Weatherill on the necessity of image manipulation His work is always superb.
– Removing wires

Field/Studio
– Backyard bird photo studio
– Clouds

Miscellany
– Juxtaposition
– Creativity
– 10 street photographers every photographer should know

Monday Missive — September 7, 2020

Quotes

I was told that the best way to learn to make photographs is to make a lot of them, and that’s impossible to argue with.” — David duChemin

A photographer’s work is given shape and style by his personal vision. It is not simply technique, but the way he looks at life and the world around him.” –- Pete Turner

All that I have achieved are these dreams locked in silver.” – Paul Caponigro

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Myanmar in monochrome
– Almost surreal street Really good color grading.
– Lewis Hine and child labor

Post-Processing
– Sharpening

Field/Studio
– Make soap bubbles that look like planets

Miscellany
– Google images will allow more licensing info on your photos
– Corporations should pay for the use of your photos
– What happens to your digital imagery when you die? Everyone should read this one.
– Ethics in photography: How not to photography sex workers
– Minimalist photography awards

Two dragonflies at North Point State Park.

A young goldfinch chowin’ down on coneflower seeds this morning totally ignored me. I went back for a camera, and then for a tripod to shoot some video and he just kept on eating those seeds. Great morining in the garden!

Monday Missive — August 31, 2020

Quotes

“Good photography is not about zone printing or any other Ansel Adams nonsense. It’s just about seeing. You either see or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more.” — Elliott Erwitt

“Photographers must have a point of view – must have something to say. Without a philosophy, a photographer is simply a technician who clicks the camera.” — Mary Ellen Mark

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

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– The view from above
– Clouds in our midst Interesting idea
– Skateboarding photography
– NYC commute post-covid

Post-processing
– Simple way to make your colors look better in PS
– Intro to color grading
– Understanding “smoothness” in gradient maps

Field/Studio
– The Decisive Moment

Miscellany
– Really good analysis on volunteering your photography Thank you Vickie
– A few of the legends Interesting article on Peter Adams 38 year project to interivew and photograph famous photographers. Thanks Steve O.

This tricolored heron was identified to me in the field by another photographer. The white stripe down the neck and along the belly seem to confirm that identification, but if someone is confident that this is actually a Little Blue Heron, please let me know.

Same goes for this one. Is it a late stage immature Little Blue Heron or a Tricolored Heron?

Monday Missive — August 24, 2020

Quotes

You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou

Here were creatures so exquisitely fashioned that they seemed unreal, their beauty too fragile to exist in a world of crushing force.” — Rachel Carson

I want art to make me think. In order to do that, it may piss me off, or make me uncomfortable. That promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion.” – Pink

Links
Photoessays
– Cedric Terrell: Portraits and street
– Elizabeth Greenberg: Imaginary Places

Post-processing
– Make eyes sparkle
– Targetted adjustment tool in color mixer in ACR or LR This can act like a luminosity mask based on color.
– Layer mask challenge Better understand how masks work.
– Blake Rudis: Color Theory

Field/Studio
– Good evaluation of compositional errors

Miscellany
– Color theory The takeaways for photographers near the end really shows the utility of understanding color theory, even for black and white images.
– Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI): Adobe is proposing a new system to assure content attribution This is interesting and may reduce image theft.
– Potato photographer of the year contest Some interesting images, some just fun, and some great creativity and imagination.

Female ruby throated hummingbird, at the Visitor Station at Patuxent North Tract. Three images taken at fast continuous shutter and combined in post to show the landing sequence.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird.

Female ruby-throate hummingbird.

Monday Missive — August 17, 2020

Quotes

If you’ve worked hard for it, it’s a skill.
If it’s something that other people have that you believe you can’t possibly achieve, it’s a talent.
Of course, they think the same thing about your skill, don’t they?
Being jealous of talents that are actually skills is a great way to let yourself off the hook and make yourself miserable at the same time.
” — Seth Godin on December 10, 2016

That’s my ambition: that you look at the pictures and realize what complex, fascinating, interesting people every single one of my subjects is.” – Jock Sturges

Where the world is at once mysterious and completely ordinary.” — Keith Carter

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Water is life
– Ayanava Sil: India Not as cohesive a body as I prefer, but individually most of the images are interesting.
– BW in Tokyo
– Munich silenced by Covid

Post-processing
– 5 tricks in Photoshop
– 5 tricks in Lightroom
– Saturation vs Vibrance

-Field/Studio
– If sharpness truly mattered . . .
– Telephoto sunset minimalist photography from Denmark

Miscellany
– The Truth about becoming a professional photographer

Gulf Fritillary, Deweese Is., SC. October, 2017

Ghost crab, Deweese Is., SC.

Monday Missive — August 10, 2020

Quotes

At first glance the photograph is a medium of great limitation. The primary function of the camera is to describe the surface of an enclosed scene. Yet, for perhaps ineffable reasons, certain imagery surpasses it’s technical purpose, instead conjuring sensations that span the senses and inspiring curiosity as to what lies beyond the frame.” — Macaulay Lerman, Lenscratch, Aug. 4, 2020

I am always looking for the extraordinary in the ordinary. I have to turn my brain off and use my eyes to see, and forget what I think I know. Observe the light, the shadows the moment. Really, it is about paying attention, since nothing ever looks the same twice.” — Elizabeth Greenberg, Lenscratch, April 8, 2020

Anyone can pick up a fancy camera and call themself a photographer but those who can take the cheapest gadget and the most menial subject and make something beautiful from it… are the true photographer.” — Abigail Marie

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Peter Essick: Fernbank Forest

Post-processing
– 5 most useful layer blending modes
– Editing your landscape images
– Customizing Photoshop Back to Basics. Really helpful. I just used trial and error, this shows how to actually move tools and palettes around.
– Gradients

Field/Studio
– Is street photography exploitative?
– The power of moving 12 inches
– Lindsey Adler: Vintage pinup portraits
– Lindsey Adler: Shooting at super wide apertures

Miscellany
– Creating PDF books or presentations in PS

Little Blue Heron: “Mirror, Mirror in the pond, who is the fairest…”

Little Blue Heron with tadpole prey.

Monday Missive — August 3, 2020

Quotes

A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option—for peace cannot exist where justice is not served.” — John Lewis

You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates.” — John Lewis

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” — Peter Adams

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Minimalist BW
– Larry Cohen: Baltimore
– Iris Wo: In the calm of your arms An interesting little zine.
– Bryce Watanasoponwong: Thailand Interesting color and framing.

Post-processing
– Using puppet warp
– Select subject in the latest version of PS is much better
– Speed up Lightroom performance

Field/Studio
– Street photography at night Thanks Steve O.
– Wide angle landscape composition Gorgeous Lake District scenery.

Miscellany
– 11 photographers that will inspire you Good list; some well-known, some not. Thanks Steve O.

Looking back at my images from my artist residency at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012. Reflections on Bear Lake.

The view from Prospect Mountain, Rocky Mountains National Park, 2012.

Monday Missive — July 27, 2020

Quotes

Seeing things pleasing to the eye is more and more about experiencing them and less about capturing a trophy of the moment. And in more and more moments, I sense through the camera a parting of some veil only to see beyond it yet another one. This is where I think the fog mimics the greater truth that each moment of clarity is nothing but a smiling invitation to a shrouding mist just beyond. Come forward it says, and with that encouragement, I do.” — Paul Van Slambrouck

“Once the experience occurs there is no longer a painting or a photograph, or a poem, there is only the experience. Is there any other way to reach the meaning of a T. S. Eliot, or a Dylan Thomas, or a Bach, or an Alfred Stieglitz?” — Carl Chiarenza (Aperture Vol 6. No.2 1958) From aransomephoto.com.

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Black Resistance/Vivid Symbolism
– Incredible wave photography
– Toward a vanishing horizon
– Channeling Eggleston But better in my opinion.

Post-processing
– Paint with light in PS
– Color grading with the diamond gradient
– Which file types to use for which uses
– Instantly removing color artifacts

Field/Studio
– Sean Tucker: Minimalist Street Photography
– How to plan (or not) your photo shoot

Great Blue Heron framed by purple loosestrife, Lake Redman boardwalk. Purple loosestrife is an invasive plant that degrades wetland habitat values.

Semi-abstract look back: Needlerush Beach, Deweese Is., SC; 2017

Monday Missive — July 20, 2020

Quotes

Magritte was an artist who worked in ideas, not in craft.” – Seth Godin 11/17/14

[Photography is] very related to poetry. It’s suggestive and fragmentary and unsatisfying in a lot of ways. It’s as much about what you leave out as what you put in.” — Alec Soth

There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own.” – Berenice Abbott

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Soomin Sam: Portraits, windows, once upon a time
– Michael Darough. An interesting approach to exploring racial justice
– Karen Bullock: Presence Obscured Difficult topic done well.
– Tom Leighton: Tokyo

Post-processing
– PS masking tips
– Simple composition tips for Lightroom
– Fix my image

Field/Studio
– Sean Tucker: Minimalist Street Photography

Miscellany
– How durable is your camera sensor
– The bird box diary: Some quiet self-reflection on landscape and wildlife photography

Blue dasher dragonfly, male. Black Marsh Trail.

Coneflowers.

Monday Missive — July 13, 2020

Quotes

“They were faded and worn, but the images were alive with a fragile beauty of expression and gesture.” — Soomin Ham

“Photography becomes a prayer.” — Karen Bullock

What have I done wrong?” he said later.” Nothing, I think. I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don’t find it, invent it!” –- Pete Turner

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Paul Lukin
– Nikita Payusov: Coney Island

Post-processing
– Stacked focus for landscape shots
– Everything you want to know about the new Adobe Camera Raw This is the first of a 4 part series that goes into great detail, even on things that aren’t new. It is worth the time to understand everything you can do in ACR. Most of it also applies to LR. The remaining 3 parts of the series are listed below the main window.
– Resolution, resizing and resampling Courtesy Steve O.
– Beginner’s guide to sharpening in PS
– Adjusting color and tone in the new ACR

Miscellany
– How to identify your best images
– Sebatiao Selgado
– Developing your voice as a photographer

Needham’s Skimmer, male, Black Marsh Trail.

From my book “Winter Marsh” that is approaching completion.