Monday Missive — May 25, 2020

Quotes

“. . . creativity is about doing the work rather than waiting for inspiration or talent to kick in.” — David duChemin

“inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us show up and get to work.” — Chuck Close

“Do you want to be more creative? You’ve got to be willing to fail and start ugly, sometimes really ugly, and figure it out–refine it–as you go. . . . You need to be relentlessly you, to choose courage and persistence, to embrace your constraints and do something astonishing with them, to let those first efforts be ugly on their way to being beautiful. The only way to be more creative is to create more. We can all do that.” — David duChemin

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Federico Feliciotti – Italy
– Interesting series of single walkers

Links
Post-processing
– Adding sunset color to landscapes
– Montage portraits a la David Hockney Coutesy Steve O.

Links
Field/Studio
– Long lens macro photography
– 1 light beauty setup with graphic make-up
– Night and Astrophotography: A conversation with Rachel Ross

Links
Miscellany
– Three fantastic photography locations
– Sally Mann and the collodion process Thanks to Steve O.
– How to clean your lenses

Great blue heron with an itch.

Great Blue Heron. Over the shoulder “come hither” look.

Monday Missive — May 18, 2020

Quotes

Like all photographers, I depend on serendipity… I pray for what might be referred to as the angel of chance.” — Sally Mann

I want to record history through the destiny of individuals who often belong to the least wealthy classes. I do not want to show war in general, nor history with a capital H, but rather the tragedy of a single man, of a family.” — James Nachtwey

Understanding grows as you allow the landscape to come into you. Passivity, not acquisition, is the key to this. A good photograph is a received photograph, an exchange between you and the landscape, in which – however unlikely this may seem – there is a dialogue between the two of you. It is simply courtesy to allow the landscape to speak.” — Charlie Waite

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– French doors

Post-processing
– Applying color swatches
– Using the Lighting Effect filter on landscapes
– Editing landscapes in Lightroom

Field/Studio
– Using a telephoto lens to improve your landscapes
– Selling prints
– Minimalist landscapes
– Long exposure photography

Miscellany
– A conversation with Sharon Tenenbaum Architectural and long-exposure photography
– Backyard Birding

Columbine in the morning, with Photomorphis Ethereal Light 04 texture.

Mature female eastern forktail. Note the mites along the thorax and anterior abdomen.

Monday Missive — May 11, 2020

Quotes

I started not with the feel of the city but with my own emotions. I felt dark, lonely, a little scared, and I built a city—based on New York—out of that feeling. Instead of choosing shapes, I chose lights and shadows. I worked on textures first and added details later. Eventually, I got to a point where all I needed was a small visual anchor to make the image representative rather than abstract. In this case, the delivery man became the recipient (and embodiment) of my emotions.” — Pascal Campion, on his cover for the April 13 edition of The New Yorker.

“I am very sympathetic to the torture of the proverbial blank page: the ways that infinite options can be the greatest source of anguish.” — Sasha Wolf

“. . . we slowly discover that we need not be paralyzed by infinite choices, but rather become gloriously aware of the handful of paths that truly suit each of us.” — Sasha Wolf

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Lee Miller: Fashion model, photographer, war correspondent Courtesy Steve O.
– Highway 61 by Jessica Lange

Post-processing
– Creating a circular crop with the frame tool
– Skin retouching
– Creating rim light in photoshop

Field/Studio
– Macro photography in your backyard
– Three mistakes to avoid with a wide angle lens when shooting landscapes
– Avant garde beauty portraits

Miscellany
– Creating a diverse portfolio
– Palmer Museum of Art: Very interesting presentation approach of “virtual galleries” From Steve O.

Snowy egret. Although generally a common species, I have not seen a snowy egret at Black Marsh before.

Iris beginning to bloom in the morning sun. Hope this lifts the mood.

Monday Missive — May 4, 2020

Quotes

I have been obsessed for years with finding new projects to work on. … At times, I have purposely let go of that frame of mind and gone with, what I would tell myself, is the pleasure of just taking pictures. Sometimes it has worked out, sometimes it hasn’t.” — Alejandro Catagena

While images are strong individually, the experience of reading the accompanying text is integral to shaping the overall meaning.” — Kelli Connell

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Schumann

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– American Bedroom
– Corona virus around the world
– Stephen Garza: Arriving 2020 One of the more interesting Corona related portfolios.
– Shapes and shadows of Scotland Very nice low key landscapes

Post-processing
– Injecting mood and emotion into your landscape images
– Lighting a portrait in Photoshop

Field/Studio
– Fun with Bokeh
– Simple water drop photography

Miscellany
– Using Instagram to become a better photographer
– The most important lessons for your photography

Finally getting out of the “pandemic funk.” Made it out to Black Marsh on Friday in a light rain. One car in the parking lot; saw two people on the trail, but easy to physically distance. Parts of the trail were completely flooded, with water flowing from one side to the other. Trail leading to the marsh was very muddy in some parts.

Great blue heron on the Black Marsh Trail. Color graded with Teal-Orange LUT at 50%.


Columbine from the front yard.

Monday Missive — April 27, 2010

Quotes

– 20 photography quotes

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Really excellent nature composites
– Story telling with pictures
– Vietnam Portraits

Post-processing
– Using color properly in landscape photography
– Using gradient maps to increase the luminosity of portraits
– Mind blowing lighting effects filter in PS

Field/Studio
– Lighting a beauty image

Miscellany
– Preparing your images for Instagram
– Abstract with only paper and light
– Making your first photo book Some advice from Thomas Heaton, British landscape photographer. Unlike an exhibit, a book can be available to many more people, over a longer period of time. It is worth considering.

I’m working on a new book called “Winter Marsh: An exploration of color” with images and verse:
The warm sunrise flowed like liquid gold over the marsh
And swirled with the cool shadows of night
To gently overwhelm them,
Slowly taking control of the day.

Monday Missive — April 20, 2010

Quotes

“You think of photography as pictures — and it is. But I think of photography as ideas, and do the pictures sustain your ideas, or are they just good pictures? I’m not that interested in making more good pictures, I wanna have an experience in the world that is a deepening experience that makes me feel alive and awake and conscious, being an artist.” — Joel Meyerowitz

Be unafraid of your imagination.” — Joe McNally in Creative Live

Your camera is your passport into experiences.” -– Zack Arias in an interview with PhotoEditor (Jonathan Blaustein)

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Self-quarantine
– Ancient Forest/Ancient Trees Courtesy of Steve O.
– Coping with loss
– Leng Ung: Street photography in style of Fan Ho and Alan Schaller

Post-processing
– Split toning
– The power of selective color
– How to match colors when combining photos
– Manual processing a landscape focus stack

Field/Studio
– Street photography during the pandemic in Melbourne, AU. He gives a constant narrative while shooting which is what I found interesting. Particularly asking people if he could take their picture. Warning: a lot of cursing that seems to be part of his normal vocabulary.

Miscellany
– Interview w/a NYC street photographer Some interesting discussion of ethics and street photography

A blue jay is an occasional visitor to our feeder.

Monday Missive — April 13, 2020

I have become interested in videography lately and have been saving some links for myself. If you are interested in seeing a few links on video, please leave a comment.

Quotes

The Photograph does not necessarily say what is no longer, but only and for certain what has been.” — Roland Barthes

When catastrophe is sequential, it eventually trains its survivors to greet terror with the serenity of the enlightened.” — Ginia Bellafante in a NY Times article

You do not validate me. I validate myself.”Billy Childish

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Amish Credit to Steve O.
– Distancing portraits
– William Eggleston “perfectly banal, perhaps” and “perfectly boring, certainly” or “crude and simplistic” or “both alarmingly simple and utterly complex”? Great quote from Cartier-Bresson.

Post-processing
– Are you over-editing your images?
– Fun project to make a tiny planet Better yet, it shows how to use several common tools.
– Editing landscapes in LR Great for novices.
– Create and add bokeh

Miscellany
– Seth Resnick on seeing color and enhancing creativity 45 minutes but worth the time.
– Productive activities for photographers at home
– 26 photographic effects From Steve O. This is clever . . . and informative.

More backyard wildlife. For my sister who wanted to see the bunnies.

More backyard wildlife, for my sister who wanted to see the bunnies.

Monday Missive — April 6, 2020

Quotes

My camera is an extension of my perception and allows me to journey into the personal energy of each subject, breaking boundaries and opening doors. — Seth Resnick

“I look to capture the fantasy of nature.” — Seth Resnick

“I try to find a deeper beauty that is filled with metaphor.” — Seth Resnick

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Rising From the Ashes
– A visual history of lower Manhattan

Post-processing
– Match colors using a gradient map
– 30 Photoshop tips With 30 tips there is something for every one.
– Removing fringes
– A time-blended composite to capture the impossible
– Removing a color cast with the Divide blend mode

Field/Studio
– Adding depth in landscapes
– Frozen soap bubbles This looks like fun and produced some neat images.
Save it for next winter.

Miscellany
– New high contrast film This is interesting and a bit tempting, but I am not going back to film! Credit to Steve O.

Downy woodpecker

Ready to launch. The blooming forsythia make a great background

Monday Missive — March 30, 2020

– Corona virus do’s and don’ts for photographers

Quotes

Fortune favors the prepared mind and all that. I might take minutes in a location or [I might take] days. It depends on what I find and connect with. In my humble opinion, there’s no one right way to photograph anything.” — Michael Kenna, Digital PhotoPro, March 17, 2020

I generally prefer suggestion over description, black and white over color and winter over summer.” — Michael Kenna

For me, the most important thing about a photographic project is creating links between the photographs without forcing their connection. I want to suggest a whole but leave room for the viewer to create their own meaning.” — Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Unmistakedly NY street photography
– A vertiginous view of NYC
– Daido Moriyama Courtesy Steve O.: for the streeters among us. But the music is weird.

Post-processing
– 6 ways to import photos in LR
– Fixing edge halos
– More tips from PhotoshopCafe

Field/Studio
– Improve your street photography Some general things to watch for in street photography
– An alternate view on street photography

Miscellany
– W. Eugene Smith A great story-teller and photojournalist. In my opinion, a better photographer than Cartier Bresson.
– The Haikus of Michael Kenna

Stuck in like everyone else, I photographed this Carolina wren from my back window. The tree has a feeder that attracts the birds.

Female cardinal. Both images taken with a Sigma 150-600 resting on a bean bag.

Monday Missive — March 23, 2020

Quotes

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

Light acts like a language.” — Lise Sarfati

… photography functions more like poetry and, like contemporary poetry, is usually free-verse in nature. There are no standards for beginning, middle, and end. It is up to each photographer to create her own structure.” — Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Tunisian street photography Interesting lighting and use of silhouettes.
– Scientist/Street Photographer
– Icons of activism

Post-processing
– Blur the background with perspective
– Using brushes to modify backgrounds
– A very complete and detailed article on focus stacking for macro photography
– Directing the eye with radial gradients

Field/Studio
– Starlings

Miscellany
– Impact of Covid-19 on the photography industry
– Why your images aren’t winning contests Insightful thoughts from someone who has assisted and managed contests.

Only one picture this week. I’m struggling a bit with a lack of creative juices. I hope it isn’t contagious. Can’t really travel to get out of it either. It will pass eventually. Stay well and keep shooting. Hopefully some of these links will give you inspiration.

Oh, by the way, I updated the version of php this blog is running on and it should be a bit faster. Let me know if you see a difference.

I couldn’t believe how crowded it was at North Point State Park yesterday. This is part of an ongoing project for “Winter Marsh.”

Monday Missive — March 16, 2020

Quotes

I don’t like to be called a “female photographer”. We don’t refer to Salgado or Cartier-Bresson as “male photographers”. I feel that calling us “female photographers” perpetuates the idea that we are “lesser than”, in some way. It defines us by gender rather than by the quality of our pictures.” — Jane Evelyn Atwood

From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the Photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation.” — Roland Barthes

I communicate with the world by creating visual narratives of composited photographs, often illuminating that in-between moment in time. It is how I explore dreams deferred, connections to prior generations, the natural world and our place within it. Making art is my psychological release, my obsession and my salvation.” –- Fran Forman

Links
Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Roxanne Darling: Nature and Nurture
– Pioneering women photographers Thanks to Steve O. This is fantastic assemblage of photographs taken by women. This really sheds light on an aspect of the history of photography that is often ignored. Make the time to scroll through this link and follow some of the included links.
– The collector’s eye A collection of some really interesting and creative approaches by multiple photographers
– Waving Farewell
– Trees Really well-composed BW
– Fran Forman: the rest between two notes Very creative and great use of color.

Post-processing
– The Slinky Rule
– Creating mood in your images
– An assortment of tips

Field/Studio
– Recognizing good light in street photography

An older image (2005) from my files. May even have been a scanned slide.

Monday Missive — March 9, 2020

Quotes

The intentionality of being present in the moment is a core component of street photography that resonates strongly…” — Laura Staugitis of Dimpy Bhalotia in Adobe Create

I want my photographs to serve as an invitation to explore what is hidden, not what is shown.” — Lise Sarfati

Practice the art of stillness. . . . When entering a situation where I will be photographing a person or an intimate situation I take a moment to look around, to be still. I want to be present and available. I want the individual to know that there is no place I’d rather be, that I am interested in them, their story, their plight. It not only has helped them to relax, as much as possible, but I feel more comfortable as well.” — Joanna Pinneo

Links
Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Emil Gataullin: Russian countryside These are varied, but some are interesting.
– Howard Lewis: Kinetic Solitude
– Really good street photography

Post-processing
– Create an “evil” red/green color toning
– 10 simple tips in photoshop

Field/Studio
– Focus stacking landscapes
– The visual personality of the street

Miscellany
– Cleaning your camera and tripod
– Dog/Owl friendship These are just fun.
– 3 different takes on equipment for nature photography Just 2 minutes and just for fun.

Harbor East, Baltimore, MD

Monday Missive — March 2, 2020

Quotes

What I see through the lens, what catches my attention, in the woods of my walks, in my interiors and in my beloveds faces and bodies are reflections of my internal world.” — Pam Heemskerk in Lenscratch, Feb. 28, 2020

I’m interested in authenticity of voice. So, the more I trust myself, the more interested I become in my own ideas. The work begins to teah me about my own worldview.” — Kristine Potter

Let’s make things exist and then judge later. Don’t cancel the process of creativity too early: Let it flow.” – Ross Lovegrove

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Gordon Parks: Segregated Alabama
– NY City Reflections
– Black Girl Magic
– Lewis Hine and Child Labor

Post-processing
– Using scripts to simplify exporting files
– Advantages of working in 32-bit files

Field/Studio
– Winter bird photography
– Using a tablet 7 advantages described with how to adjust brush settings

Miscellany
– What makes a photo great?
– Sebastião Salgado: Genesis

Two more images from my “Subtle color” project on the Black Marsh Trail in North Point State Park.

Monday Missive — February 24, 2020

Quotes

…aesthetic harmony means very little unless the photography reveals a personal, emotional truth. I want a viewer to feel like they’re inside the experience rather than looking at it.” — Curran Hatleberg

Originality lies in the embrace of one’s own voice, not in the reaction to others’ voices.” — Peter Kayafas

I create situations that do not exist. I seek the truth from fiction.” — Sarah Moon

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– “House Music” Reminiscent to me of Sally Mann, only indoors.
– WOW! Repeating patterns

Post-processing
– All of the capbilities of “Export As” More than you might realize
– Creating reflections and reflections in puddles
– Create realistic shadows

Field/Studio
– Why you should do projects
– Composing wide angle landscape shots
– Charlie Waite: Great images with small cameras

Miscellany
– Joe Pugliese: Interesting interview and images
– On Photoshop’s 30th birthday (Feb. 19), some stories of its birth

I spent a bit of time this weekend experimenting with different BW processing methods. This was my “traditional” method using a BW adjustment layer in PS and adding tonal contrast and detail extractor in COLOR Efex Pro.

For this image I converted to BW with a gradient map and then added a black layer and white layer and locally masked the layers to get deep blacks in particular.

Finally on this image I used Image > Calculations, with levels, curves and some added noise. Would like to hear comments and what you liked best.

Monday Missive — February 17, 2020

Quotes

. . . it isn’t a visual diary, as with so much contemporary photography; it’s an autobiography of feelings and impressions, not of facts and events.” — Russell Hart on Cig Harvey’s work

I have date nights with my photographs. I put them all up on the wall, look at what I’ve made and try to see what direction the work is taking. This understanding influences the pictures I do from that point on. What the work is about slowly rises to the surface.” — Cig Harvey

I think that emotional content is an image’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Much of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.” –- Anne Geddes

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Modern Boyhood In my opinion, not fine art, but certainly more than family snapshots.
– Stephen Shore: Unorthodox photography Possibly the best explanation I’ve seen for this type of photography. As record, it has value, as art, all I see are, at best, well-chosen snapshots.
– Street photography in Bengal India

Post-processing
– Accurately re-color your images with gradient maps

Field/Studio
– Macro photography tips
– 7 tips on BW Street photography from Alan Schaller

Miscellany
– Emotion in Landscape photography
– Writing your artist statement

Baltimore skyline from Harbor East promenade.

A dock along the promendade at Harbor East.