Monday Missive — January 11, 2021

Quotes

Vision is the art of seeing things invisible.” — Jonathan Swift

I believe one has to escape oneself to discover oneself.” — Rabih Alameddine

I’m not a nice girl; I’m a photographer.” — Berenice Abbott – On being told by a Federal Art Project official, after she photographed the Bowery, that “a nice girl should not go into such neighborhoods”

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Art & Science: Combine insects with degraded artifacts
– Art and Science Includes several images from Norm Barker, JHU scientist.

Post-processing
– Duotone for “insane” color
– Get better BW images by adjusting your colors

Field/Studio
– Learning to “see” Follow up from David’s video last week.
– Improve your seascape photography
– Winter photography in an ancient woodland

Miscellany
– Small claims copyright infringement now in effect

House sparrow, male.

Black-capped Chickadee.

Downy woodpecker.

Monday Missive — January 4, 2021

Quotes

For more than a century, certain extraordinary men and women have worked in photography with the unmistakable authority of genius. Each of them has produced unforgettable images, and not once or twice, but again and again, and often throughout the change and evolution of a lifetime. Each is like an eye which, once opened on the universe, cannot be closed again. One after another, they tell us of the curious, intense and vital experience of working in photography, of its challenges, of the stages of growth it demands, the sudden revelations it presents. From their testimony there emerges a concept of photography as a medium that is very different from the casual and rather stereotyped impressions most of us have held till now.” — Nancy Newhall

The greatest challenge to the photographer is to express the inner significance through the outward form.” — Beaumont Newhall

I beleive in self explanatory pictures…” — Moses Oliver

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Kat Bawden: Perceptual Isolation The theme is certainly apropos, and several images perfectly reflect the title.
– The best of 2020 from the Lenscratch staff This is not all photogaphy, there is music (von Bingen with a gorgeous voice for 12th century music, Louis Armstrong with the Ballad of Davey Crockett, and Johnny Cash, Lizzo, and Laura Pausini singing a gorgeous anthem that ended a movie with Sophia Loren), music videos, an hour long movie, books (even a book on fungi), Lenscratch posts). Widen your horizons on some really good art of different types. You can easily spend a morning exploring all of this.
– Madhur Dhingra: Very distinctive street photography processing Thanks Steve O.
– The moon, creatively

Field/Studio
– 3 ways to improve your compositions David DuChemin is always worth listening to.

Miscellany
– How to finish a body of work
– Two exceptional books One pairs birds eggs with their habitat and the story of reduced populations and the other on Karakoram and mountain photography. The underlying story is following your muse.
– Covid restrictions and photographic mood
– Lenscratch collection of favorite 2020 images Multiple photographers, many genres. If you scroll all the way down there are links to more chapters.
– Best photography of 2020

Curious alligator wondering if photographer tastes like chicken. Taken during my artist residency at Big Cypress Preserve in 2013.

Black and white #55: Black vultures and great egret, Big Cypress Preserve 2013.

Monday Missive — December 28, 2020

Quotes

Christmas marks the time when the light starts to come back.” — Heather Cox Richardson

I believe in wonder and look for it every day.” –- Keith Carter

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” – Antoine de Saint Exupery

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Night street photography from Norway
– France’s forgotten towns A fairly complete survey of architecture throughout France. Although only a few images are shown at this link, there is a link to many more. The images are documentary rather than creative, but still worthwhile.
– Forest Finns I found the explanation of the approach more interestng than the images, but some of the images are exceptional.

Post-processing
– Saturation and Vibrance: Which one to use and how to use them together

Field/Studio
– Exposure bracket vs ETTR (expose to the right)
– Long-exposure landscape photography
– A poetic approach to woodland photography This can be really complimentary to the principles of composition.
– 6 things to photograph before you die

Miscellany
– Japanese Photographer Nobuyoshi Araki Warning: some nudity, but also tremendous creativity and variety. Also self-exploration.
– 30 new images from Hubble on its 30th birthday With commentary by NASA scientists

Frosted leaf

Domino Sugar from Tide Point.

Monday Missive — December 21, 2020

Quotes

I think that every photographer should try lots of different kinds of photography, and then listen deep down to what feels right; what’s really resonating within them.” — Alec Soth

I found I could say things with colors that I couldn’t say in any other way – things that I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Nowhere to go but everywhere Ken Kesey family style.
– Japanese Torii These are really wonderful!
– Stephen Bierkman: Predicting the past Some really good fantasy/surreal composites.

Post-processing
– Pre-visualization and the editing process in Capture 1
– Using the Linear Light blend mode to bring out detail in your images
– Changing specific colors in PS This is largely about masks and selections.

Field/Studio
– Shooting and processing winter landscapes

Miscellany
– Japanese photographer Moriyama Daido But also a good explanation of wabi-sabi and Ukiyo-e. Thank you Steve O.
– Roger the Rat Absolutely the most bizarre and surrealistic photography I have ever seen.
– Minimalism

Susquehanna River bridges from Port Deposit.

Outdoor dining, Port Deposit.

Susquehanna River bridges from Marina Park in Port Deposit.

Monday Missive — December 14, 2020

Quotes

Sometimes imperfections make something even better – which is one of the reasons why I still enjoy shooting on film.” — Alec Soth

Anyone can shoot chaos. But the most perceptive photographers can make compelling pictures out of uninteresting moments.” –- Alex Tehrani

There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” -— Robert Frank

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Alec Soth on learning from failure
– Landscapes on the edge
– Daido Moriyama Very distinctive noir work. Thanks Steve O.
– Portuguese photography: Catarina Osorio de Castro
– Burning Man

Field/Studio
– Landscape photography: Success with repeat visits

Miscellany
– Short video on “focus breathing”
– Content Authenticity Initiative This developing technology adds information to your images’ metadata.
– Another analysis on the impact of AI in image processing software Key is really at about 13 minutes.
– Sean Tucker: Getting Good Feedback – Review, mentors and travel companions

Fuel storage at Tide Point.

Sitting on the dock of the Bay, watching the tide roll away.

Monday Missive — December 7, 2020

Quotes

Pick a project. If you are feeling a little bit bereft, pick a project. Make it revolve around your own life; make it revolve around the three square blocks where you live. Pick a project. Go make 35, no let’s make it 36 photographs. See what it might do for you. After all, it’s your autobiography. It’s your work and it’s your life.” — Keith Carter, Optic 2020

Most of the old moles I know wish they had listened less to their fears and more to their dreams.” — John Mackesy, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse

It is our choices that show who we truly are, far more than our abilities.” — Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Collodion tintypes of front line health workers Excellent images, scary story. Thanks Steve O.
– Karen Miranda Rivadeneira
– Joel Meyerowitz waxes poetic over Melissa O’Shaughnessy

Post-processing
– Selective color adjustment: natural intense color boost
– 7 tips for more realistic composites

Field/Studio
– Catadioptric?
– White background macro photography

Miscellany
– Jullia Fullerton-Batten: Creating a Photography Project of the River Thames

Unloading sugar at Tide Point. Notice the sugar falling from the bucket.

Large industrial building, Tide Point.

Baltimore.

Monday Missive — November 30, 2020

Quotes

Flow is a state of being that is possible when the challenge of what we do and the skill level with which we do it are high and equal to each other.” — David duChemin

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” — Man Ray

Photography for me is an exciting and personal way of reacting to and commenting on one’s environment and I feel that it is perhaps a great pity that more people don’t consider it as a medium of self-expression instead of selling themselves to the commercial world of journalism and advertising.” — Tony Ray-Jones

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Conversations with dad

Post-processing
– The new color grading panel in LR and ACR David Duchemin does a real good job on the basics. This is a download link for a 10 minute video. My October 26 blog had more on this with a more detailed explanation by Blake Rudis. Color grading is common for video and this new panel provides increased flexibility.
– Using luminance in the color grading panel to increase/adjust tonal values

Field/Studio
– Landscape photography with film
– Composition: Cartier-Bresson, Ribaud and Mad Men
– Manual focus techniques

Miscellany
– Video recordings of 26 B & H Optic presentation Optic is an annual seminar series. Some of the more famous names this year include Frans Lanting, Keith Carter, Sam Abell, Art Wolfe and Brooks Jensen. Something for everyone. If you have time for only one, watch Keith Carter.

Tomorrow is the last class for Maine Media’s Text & Image class taught by Sal Taylor Kydd. I took this course because I wanted to combine writing with my images more effectively. The two covers below will be for my third and fourth books. I have found that books, rather than gallery exhibits, are more consistent with the way I want to work. They provide a way to share my work at any time with friends and family, and over time they provide a diary of how my photographic inclinations have changed. Getting a small number of copies printed is probably no more expensive than preparing 10-15 images for exhibit and the product is available until you sell them or give them all away. I may end up back at Blurb to publish these books, but the class also provided other options to explore over the next weeks. Although hopefully things will improve quickly this spring with the availability of effective vaccines, currently people are more likely to stay home and read a book than risk attending a gallery opening. One can hope, that the book reading may even continue for the long term even as other things improve.

Cover of “Winter Marsh.”

Cover of “Rising Atlantic.”

Monday Missive — November 23, 2020

Quotes

A world where we, as a society, reckon with our flaws and redirect our collective inertia down a different road.” — Elliot Ross, NY Times, America 2020, in Vision and Verse

Different people can photograph the same things with the same tools and create such different images.” –- John Paul Caponigro

Black and white photography erases time from the equation.” -– Jason Peterson

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Collage Mostly I don’t think of collage as either a form of photography or very artful, but these imags incorporate photography and are very well done.
– Not your typical collages

Post-processing
– Five useless tools in Photoshop
– Using linear light layer for dodging and burning
– New color grading panel in LR/ACR

Field/Studio
– Mastering forest photography
– Joys and hazards of photography

Miscellany
– Back to basics and inspiration
– The two halves of your creative journey
– Mary Ellen Mark Great link from Suku.

Rocks in a river.

Alone on the beach.

Monday Missive — November 16, 2020

Quotes

There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” — Brene Brown

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” — Helen Keller

I believe the world is incomprehensively beautiful–an endless prospect of magic and wonder.Ansel Adams

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Harvey Stein: Mardi Gras
– Hi-res snowflake images
– Idaho: Interesting series of portraits
– Over coming female illiteracy in Arab countries
– Iran: After the revolution and war
– Lockdown through the window Very interesting approach to the lockdown with consistently excellent images.
– Rustic Cabins

Post-processing
– Thomas Heaton: How I edit my images

Field/Studio
– Snowy woods and dramatic seascapes

Miscellany
– Landscape photographer of the year

Monday Missive — November 9, 2020

Quotes

It’s important to remember that the camera is not merely a tool for capturing reality but for interpreting it; it’s even more important to remember those interpretations of our raw materials of space, light, and time are up to us.” — David DuChemin

If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.” — Henry Charles Bukowski

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Tomiko Jones
– Vote
– Hannah Manuelito

Post-processing
– Controlling highlights with luminosity masks
– Fix blown out hightlights
– Fast, easy way to blur backgrounds in PS

Miscellany
– Road Trips! Thanks Steve O.
– Projects and publishing
– Excuses
– 3D model graphics This may be a bit off-topic, but I found it really fascinating. Nominally about using a Canon with a Nikon lens to film part of the Mandalorian, a Star Wars offshoot, it is really about creating the models that made it possible. The enthusiasm of the creators is also amazing.

Shootin’ a little street with the Baltimore Camera Club when I got the news a bit after noon.

Sculpture in front of the Pendry Hotel in Fells Pt.

Man’s Best Friend.

Monday Missive — November 2 , 2020

Quotes

A camera, like a guitar, is just a box with a hole in it. Until it is placed in the hands of a true artist, it will not make a music, only noise.” — Tim Mantoani

Street photography requires patience. More often than not I come home with nothing, but it’s the times that I do come home with a photo that will be with me forever, that makes it so worthwhile. Don’t feel like you have to take street photos just on city streets. Street photos can be taken anywhere… there are great street styled photos to be taken at the beach or out in the countryside. Street photography is about searching, finding and reacting…” — Jesse Marlow

Dig in, follow your instincts and trust your curiosity.” — Susan Meiselas

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Exploring pregancy with self-portraiture
– Young mothers
– Olap Sztaba
– Demonstrations, Marches, Political Action
– Halloween “boo-doir” images
– Israeli beach pictures

Post-processing
– Photoshop sky replacement In depth.
– Sky selection

Field/Studio
– Black and white image making

Miscellany
– How does color/BW influence perception of when an image was made This article includes a really interesting quiz, with results from the takers. Test your own perceptions.

I am taking a class on combining text and images, for example to make a book. Our first assignment was for “Inspiration” and was to “Go for a walk and record what you see . . . in short fragments, poems or prose. Take photographs as you go. …” All of these were taken with a cell phone.

Here are the results:

Rain has stopped, but clouds remain.
Damp and cool, possible frost tonight.
Slippery leaves in yellow and red cover the ground,
Brought down by rain and wind.
Fall has arrived.

The wind blows
The leave rustle,
The water ripples,
Through the trees.

The water roars.
High after the storm,
It flows brown-green
With bits of white where ripples disturb the flow.
Down to the Bay
To mix with the ocean.
No intent – just a natural process.

Yellow leaves of fall
Recall forsythia flowers of spring.

Mushrooms on my lawn.

It rained last night.

Spring and fall together.

Fall colors.

Leaf.

Monday Missive — October 26, 2020

Free Photoshop Summit with some of the best PS instructors

Quotes

A photograph is like a book where the photographer writes the preface, viewers the content and history the end.” — Arturo Macias Uceda

Photography for me is a passion, a mixture of science and art that creates magic. If a day goes by without photography, it’s incomplete.” — Scott MacQuarrie

I make bad picture after bad picture week after week until the relief comes: the good new picture offers benediction.” — Sally Mann

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Exploring pregancy with self-portraiture
– Eight artists imagining
– Self portraits

Post-processing
– PhotoshopCafe: New stuff in PS 2021 Key features.
– Photoshop Training Channel: Favorite new stuff in PS 2021 Most detailed.
– Matt K: PS 2021 features Easiest to follow.
– Matt K: Lightroom update
– Blake Rudis: New color grading in LR and ACR

Field/Studio
– Flattering portraits even in bright sun

Miscellany
– The quality of light

Backyard buddies: An agressive blue jay hogging the feeder.

Backyard buddies: A rather stern looking mockingbird.

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.