Monday Missive — November 18, 2019

Quotes

I became wary of simple interpretations that assumed fixed and final meanings.” – John Pfahl

Great photography is always on the edge of failure.” – Garry Winogrand

My photographs are not pure: they are a seething wealth of imperfection.” – Frederick Sommer

Links
Photoessays/Bodiesof Work
– Nocturnal New York
– Urban Nature
– Greek self-portraits
– Julia Fullerton-Batten: Old Father Thames Great story-telling and very natural implementation

Post-processing
– How to fix the glitches in the first release of PS 20202
– Black and white conversions using calculations
– High contrast BW
– Creating a depth map in PS 2020 and blurring the background with lens blur This is a lot of work, but may be worth it for some photos where a blurry background really improves the image.

Field/Studio
– Shooting motocross

Miscellany
– TED talks by 24 famous photographers
– Overcoming creative burnout

Green snake. Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.

Monday Missive — November 11, 2019

Quotes

Ideas, bread and books are all the same–they’re better when they’re shared.” — Seth Godin

Staring out the window to me is very constructive time. I bounce off the walls of my imagination and, every once in while an idea gets dreamed up that actually becomes a picture.” — Joe McNally

. . . photography is a craft that requires experimentation, risk and growth, and that getting better at photography is a journey that never ends.” – Chris Orwig

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Single tree photos Courtesy Steve O.
– 15 photographers reveal what is hidden in their work
– Interesting color street photography from India

Post-processing
– New selection and gradient tools in PS
– Six new features in Photoshop 2020
– 20 New features in Photoshop 2020

Field/Studio
– Amy Touchette: Developing a career and approach to street photography
– All of the basics for street photography

Miscellany
– How to write your artist’s statment
– How to fine-tune your artist statement

Adirondack Lake in the early morning fog. Oct. 9.

Two boats, early Adirondack morning.

Monday Missive — November 4, 2019

Quotes

I work in color sometimes, but I guess the images I most connect to, historically speaking, are in black and white. I see more in black and white – I like the abstraction of it.
–- Mary Ellen Mark

Basically there are informational photographs and emotional photographs. I don’t take informational photographs. I am not a journalist. I am an author. I am not interested in facts. I want a photograph you can take out of context and put on your wall to read like a poem.” —- Leonard Freed (Worldview, Steidl 2007)

When I was a boy, I used to pretend my little bed was a one-man spaceship. It was a place to simultaneously explore my dreams and hide from the world. In some ways that’s how I now think of my camera.” —- Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– 2019 Wildlife competition winners
– Dogs
– Interesting story and photoessay on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan
– Nikon 2019 Small World competition winners

Post-processing
– How to cast a shadow in PS Creating believable shadows is important in composites, but also shows how to use gradients and other effects.
– How to remove a color cast from your images
– Change a daylight image to night
– Adding a pattern or logo Neat technique that may be good for street as well as commercial work.
– Transform panel in LR: Correcting perspective of your images

Miscellany
– Model and property releases
– Heads up: Adobe data breech

Juvenile little blue heron eating a frog. Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.

Splash landing in the sand. Cape May, NJ

The pier at Avalon, NJ at sunrise.

Monday Missive — October 28, 2019

Quotes

Inquiry is more important than answers, for it is the questions we ask and the way in which we ask them that defines us.” – John Paul Caponigro

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

Rules are foolish, arbitrary, mindless things that raise you quickly to a level of acceptable mediocrity, then prevent you from progressing further.” — Bruce Barnbaum, from the book, The Art of Photography

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– What it means to be a National Geographic photographer
– Portraits from Papua New Guinea
– NY architecture
– Rosemarie Yang: Whimsical images

Post-processing
– Advantages of a tablet and a great tablet for $30

Field/Studio
– The Benefits of Woodland Photography
– Sports and action photography Thanks to Steve O.
– Juxtaposition in street photography

Miscellany
– 8 Questions to ask a prospective art dealer
– Six tips for artist residencies I did several residencies at the National Parks and found it to be a wonderful experience.

Dragonfly (tentatively identified as Ruby Meadowhawk). Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.; Oct. 2019.

Great blue heron with fish. Black marsh trail.

Gray catbird. Black Marsh Trail.

Monday Missive — October 21, 2019

Quotes

I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to.” — Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Pilgrim leaves crowd the air with their falling every October. The journey is always the same.” — Linda Pastan

The tree has been green all summer, but now it tries red…copper… even gold. Soon leaf after leaf will be discarded, there will be nothing but bare tree, soon it will be almost time to start over again.” — Linda Pastan

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Alabama Hills
– 15 all time iconic images
– Super cool food composites

Post-processing
– The mixer brush and puppet warp
– Four steps to editing your images in PS These steps are all applicable to LR
– Telling a visual story through light and shadow Really good architectural photography
– Great tips on masking and selections
– 2nd part on masking and selections

Field/Studio
– Photographing in the rain
– Law and Ethics in Street Photography

Making a glass pumpkin.


Fall color in Montour Falls, NY.

Long Lake, Adirondack Mtns., NY.

Monday Missive — October 14, 2019

Quotes

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

Well you can’t teach the poetry, but you can teach the craft.” – David Hockney

All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.” – Elliott Erwitt

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Cig Harvey’s current exhibition
– Katerina Christina: Quiet moments in chaos
– For the dog-lovers: Dogs in mid-air Thanks to Steve O.
– Wendi Schneider: Evenings with the moon Really interesting images and effects.

Post-processing
– Reality, Believability and creative satisfaction
– Add a rim light in PS
– Hidden, but simple control of highlights and shadows
– How to understand and use brushes in LR and ACR

Field/Studio
– Street photography process: lots of shots, lots of losers to get a few keepers
– A more sophisticated look at composition

Heavy morning fog on Long Lake, NY in the Adirondack Mtns.

Making a glass swan at the Corning Museum of glass.

Monday Missive — October 7, 2019

Quotes

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” – Matt Hardy

Just put on the lens and go.” – Miroslav Tichy

When someone looks at an image and it beats them over the head—grabbing them by the heart to emotionally and completely pull them into it—that’s a powerful photograph. They’re not analyzing it; they’re experiencing it by having an emotional connection to that image, and they don’t even know why. The power of photography is making that connection with the viewer.” — Paul Nicklen, Photographing Wild

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Sonia Goydenko: Fragments of Consciousness
– History of Photography: Gertrude Kasebier An interesting analysis and comparison to contemporaries
– Interesting story of domestic abuse and recovery through photography
– Josephine Sacabo: Moments of being and structures of reverie

Post-processing
– Create an IR effect in Photoshop
– 5 tools every photographer should know
– Don’t make these post-processing mistakes in LR

Field/Studio
– Using in symmetry in your compositions
– Photographing fall foliage
– Doggie portraits

Paddle boarder at dawn, Avalon, NJ.

Bullfrog, Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park

Monday Missive — September 30, 2019

Quotes

It’s pretty simple, really. Be decent, friendly, curious and respectful. Works most of the time.” — Joe McNally

Ultimately, the goal in my work is to elicit emotion, be it wonderment, joy, silliness, happiness, solitude. I think because I shoot for feeling rather than just for a scene, perhaps that makes my vision of the world and thus my photography, different.” — Marianne Drenthe

But sometimes, when all our energy goes into progress, acquisition, and productivity, it leaves a huge emptiness of the heart.” — John O’Donohue

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Photographs of childhood
– Rust
– Marcia Resnick’s “Re-visions”: Concerns and fantasies of an adolescent girl
– Photographers comments on their favorites from The Americans

Post-processing
– 4 ways to remove a color cast
– How to fix oversaturated images Pretty technical, but interesting approach. Also some implications for processing BW images.
– How to get 1000 free brushes from Adobe if you are subscribed Also shows how to use the Library effectively

Field/Studio
– Going back to re-photograph the same location can pay off
– Featuring Simon Baxter: Introverts and landscape photography

Miscellany
– Finding your camera’s shutter count

Images from a workshop in Cape May, NJ with Road Runner Photography Tours

Cape May Lighthouse at dawn from the end of Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ.

Sand fence on the beach.

Young woman with a casually elegant pose at Sunset Beach, Cape May.

Monday Missive — September 23, 2019

Quotes

Like a boxer trains for a fight, a photographer, by walking the streets, and watching, and taking pictures, and coming home, and going out the next day — same thing again, taking pictures,” Frank said in 2009. “It doesn’t matter how many he takes, or if he takes any at all. It gets you prepared to know what you should take pictures of.” — Robert Frank, who died on Monday 9/9/19 at age 94

Exposing your film or sensor is not the same as exposing your soul.” — David DuChemin

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

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Antarctica
– Community journalism and defining democracy
– Cowboy pix

Post-processing
– Easy way to add GPS data to your images in LR
– Using Blend-If like a luminosity mask
– Saturation
– 90 second video on using the Mixer Brush to create painings from your images.

Field/Studio
– Simon Baxter: Compose, capture, edit and print Simon is a British woodland photographer. This is a very thoughtful 30 minute video, with most editing in LR. Some really helpful approaches.
– 3 ways to improve your composition
– Learning to see photographically

Miscellany
– Image Inventory Management

Playing around with color and graphics.

Monday Missive — September 16b, 2019

Ooops. I published September 16 on September 9, but won’t change the dates because the URL uses the title and I am not sure what will happen to the posting. That’s why this is labeled “16b.” Sorry for the confusion.

Quotes

[There is] “a fundamental dichotomy in contemporary photography between those who think of photography as a means of self-expression and those who think of it as a method of exploration.” — John Szarkowski

“It would not be wrong to speak of people having a compulsion to photograph: to turn experience itself into a way of seeing. Ultimately, having an experience becomes identical with taking a photograph of it, and participating in a public event comes more and more to be equivalent to looking at it in photographed form.” — Susan Sontag

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

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– The ULTIMATE photo destination
– The photography of Margaret Bourke-White (Thank you Steve O.)

Post-processing
– How to create a long-exposure effect without a neutral density filter
– How to speed up LR
– Using Vanishing Point to add graphics to complex perspectives

Field/Studio
– Photographing when it is forbidden
– Stroboscopic portraits (Thank you Steve O.) Something to try when you are stuck indoors during winter.
– How to succeed at a photographic portfolio review

Miscellany
– Description of Leiter’s work– Biography of Saul Leiter, a seminal color photographer 1 hour 15 minute video
– How to get gallery representation

Renaissance wizard

Renaissance drummer

Renaissance archer

Monday Missive — September 16, 2019

Ooops. I published September 16 on September 9, but won’t change the dates, because the URL uses the title and I am not sure what will happen to the posting. Sorry for the confusion.

Quotes

For each of the artists, photography provides the jumping off point to create objects, prints, books, assemblages and poetry.” — Sal Taylor Kydd (LensScratch)

Well you can’t teach the poetry, but you can teach the craft.” – David Hockney

If the photographer is not a discoverer, then he is not an artist.” – Paul Strand

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Pretty good street photography from Turkey
– More street, this one is from the Netherlands
– Alan Schaller I think I have linked to his work before. He is worth following if you like great street photography. Thank you Steve O.

Post-Processing
– Separate your subject from the background for more flexible editing
– How to select the background This was particularly helpful for your best work. Also some tricks from Select and Mask that I wasn’t aware of.
– Playing with Bokeh
– Julianne Kost with crop tool tricks

Field/Studio
– Refraction photos: shooting through water drops and glass beads Thank you Steve O.

Miscellany
– Theory of Photography Perhaps a bit academic, but anyone serious about photography should be at least a little familiar with the people and ideas.
– Part II: Preparing for a portfolio review

Artists at the Madonnari Festival in Little Italy, Baltimore. 9/7/19

Monday Missive — September 2, 2019

Quotes

Three rules of work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
” — Albert Einstein

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” — Leonardo da Vinci

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
– Simon LaChapelle: Some really cool architectural images

Post-processing
– 3 step process to add great color to landscapes This is a little like split toning, but much more flexible
– Removing a shadow in PS

Field/Studio
– David Yarrow: Incredible BW Wildlife photography Thank you George S.
– If you liked David Yarrow above also see his TedX talk
– Is consistency important in your work?
– Escape to landscape photography

Miscellany
– Photographing Woodstock
– The Death of Photoshop?
– How to clean a lens

Little Blue Heron, Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.

Life in the marsh: turtle, little blue heron, blue dasher dragonfly.

Monday Missive — August 19, 2019

Quotes

Your first task is not to figure out what “art” means, or to have an exhibit, write a book, or get business cards that say “artist” on them. It’s to be (and to become) you. . . . “You” is not something you look for, or find, but something you own. I don’t mean you possess it, but that you accept it, without apology for the rough edges and the ways in which you don’t match the template, or how the squishy bits overflow the mold into which you feel we should all fit. The best artists in history, and by this I mean those who made art with their lives, on canvases of many different kinds, share only one thing: they were boldly themselves and no one else. Monet, Picasso, and Warhol asked no one for permission to follow their whim, their muse, their own voice.” — David DuChemin

You have to do stuff that average people don’t understand because those are the only good things.” — Andy Warhol

It’s essential that we make new mistakes. We don’t make nearly enough of them. Not enough original effort, not enough generous intent, not enough daring in search of something better.
But at the same time, we need to stop making the old mistakes again and again. What did you expect to happen when you did the very same thing that didn’t work last time?
For some of us, it’s more frightening to do something new than it is to retry something that failed.
” — Seth Godin

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Hasselblad heroines Celebrating female photographers
– Art School Confidential Portraits of students at an art school in London.
– Documenting the vanishing history of Appalachia

Post-processing
– Art of composite photgraphy Part1
– Art of composite photography Part 2
– Create magic with solid colors 1 minute video
– Removing glare from glasses
– What’s new in Lightroom

Field/Studio
– Shooting (and driving) steam engines in winter Lot’s of images.
– Cold, windswept and dramatic

Images this week were taken from the Black Marsh Trail at North Point State Park. Chow down time: a Little blue heron eating an immature bullfrog. Note the remaining tadpole tail. Also a eastern forktail damselfly eating another damselfly.

Little blue heron eating a bullfrog.

Eastern forktail damselfly eating another damselfly

Little blue heron eating a bullfrog.

Monday Missive — August 12, 2019

Quotes

Toni Morrison: In Memoriam

Freeing yourself was one thing. Claiming ownership of that freed self was another.

If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.

At some point in life the world’s beauty becomes enough. You don’t need to photograph, paint or even remember it. It is enough. No record of it needs to be kept and you don’t need someone to share it with or tell it to. When that happens — that letting go — you let go because you can.

The function of freedom is to free someone else.

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Morgana McGee
– Chinese youth culture captured by 5 photographers
– 10 photojournalistic images from July

Post-processing
– How to blur a background
– How to add a golden tone to skin
– How to remove anything in PS
– Hidden color settings for landscapes Simple but sophisticated use of smart objects.
– Cloning along a curve

Field/Studio
– Upgrade gear or travel to shoot? Simon Baxter is a thoughtful woodland photographer
– Taking portraits of strangers 25 minute video

Used remote shutter release

Painted turtle.