Monday Missive — April 24, 2017

Quotes

I don’t pretend to relate, which is why I turn to art to learn things I don’t understand.Jonathan Blaustein on Apr 14, 2017, Photofolio

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

Diane [Arbus] is no longer pretending to photograph life uninterrupted. These people are aware that they’re being photographed, and the images are more loaded for it. Here I am, their faces seem to say, so what do you need to know?” — Alex Mar

Links

– The impact of scratches on your lens
– Depth of field and macro photography
– What makes an experienced photographer?
– How to change the background color in photoshop
– Ideas for traveling lighter
– Quality of light
– Titling your work
– Robert Glenn Ketchum’s great conservation work The mine proposal was really horrific when you see what an incredible natural area it is.
– Reflections
– Photo composites
– Plan a road trip

Tulip stem and petals. Sherwood Gardens, Baltimore. 200 mm micro lens, f/16, 1/100, ISO 400, EV +1, diffuser.

Monday Missive — April 17, 2017

Quotes

“I often think of my work as visual haiku. It is an attempt to evoke and suggest through as few elements as possible rather than to describe with tremendous detail.” – Michael Kenna

Photography’s great difficulty lies in the necessary coincidence of the sitter’s revealment, the photographer’s realization, the camera’s readiness. But when these elements do coincide . . . when the perfect spontaneous union is consummated. . . the very bones of life are bared. — Edward Weston

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

Links

– Moving around in Photoshop
– Graduated and radial filters in LR
– Creating a home studio
– Lighting for the home studio
– Speedlights
– Data management and workflow
– The story behind Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother”
– How to photography meteor showers
– Conceptual Photography Another assignment from the Art of Photography
– Adding textures in photoshop
– Abstract landscape photography
– Removing logos in PS This is applicable to a lot more than just removing logos. Includes spot healing, clone stamp, content aware, selections, brush and dropper tools.

Model, April 2017 Grafitti Warehouse

Monday Missive – April 10, 2017

Quotes

Self-doubt kills talent.” – Edie McClurg

Confidence is the most important single factor in this game, and no matter how great your natural talent, there is only one way to obtain and sustain it: work.” – Jack Nicklaus

“Art is what you can get away with.” — Andy Warhol

Links

– Adventure photographer Chris Burkard
– Hated and Loved Fonts Not directly photography, but I know use fonts in documents with photographs as well as for my watermark.
– Good primer on mat board
– Water photography
– Street Photography
– Abstracts
– How to recover shadows and highlights
– Making dramatic images
– Wide angle lenses for landscapes Explains a lot about lenses and includes prices.
– Climate change and equatorial mountain glaciers Really interesting story.
– 5 steps to make your subject pop

Agave leaf. Longwood Gardens.

Monday Missive – April 3, 2017

Quotes

It’s tempting to diversify, particularly when it comes to what you offer the world. …
More breadth, though, doesn’t cause change, and it won’t get you noticed.
Focus works. A sharp edge cuts through the clutter.
” — Posted by Seth Godin on March 25, 2017

If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.” – Colin Powell

You learn to see by practice. It’s just like playing tennis, you get better the more you play. The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.” – Eliot Porter

Links

– Using Dehaze in LR and PS
– Julianne Kost in Antarctica A bit of advertisement, but also good tips on preparing for a major photo trip.
– Beating the creative rut A topic near and dear to my heart.
– Part 5 of Photo tips by the alphabet
– Richard Avedon From Steve Oney
– NY Street Photography Video and numerous images
– George Lepp tips
– Good story on photographing the great gray owl
– Rights and Risks of street photography
– New Zealand! Wow!

Blue poppy bud, taken at Longwood Gardens in PA, Mar. 24, 2017. Second place in camera club competition on 3/30.

Monday Missive – March 27, 2017

Quotes

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

Sometimes nature seems more beautiful than strictly necessary…” — Steven Weinberg

And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in greet underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Swinburne (Atlanta in Calydon)

Links

– Cityscapes
– General tips for difficult situations
– Photo Assignment Red; Color Palettes
– More on selections
– Wildflowers
– Expose for the highlights
– Willem Wersen, Street Photography
– Natural History Videography This one is a little outside what I generally include, but I have met Clay Bolt, this is an interesting story, and it was recently in the news because it is the first time a bee has been listed as endangered.
– Composites
– More compositing techniques

Longwood Gardens, March 24, 2017. Aloe (Halathia) processed in NIK with Brilliance and Warmth, and Tonal Contrast.

Monday Missive – March 20, 2017

Quotes

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

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!” – DeGriff

Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.” – W. Eugene Smith

Links

– Alfred Stiegelitz
– Ethical wildlife photography
– A photographer’s guide to Iceland
– The return of film?
– 10 tips for PS selections This is pretty good. Also the first time I saw someone using “Matting” in the Layer menu or “Calculations” in the Image menu.
– Criticism of modern “art” photography From Leo Charpentier
– Photography by the alphabet – Part 4
– Retouching with the brush and color blending mode
– Water portraits in the studio This looked like fun.
– Three quick, simple lighting techniques

Monday Missive – March 13, 2017

Quotes

Every photograph is altered, to one degree or another.” – John Paul Caponigro

Sometimes reality is too complex. Stories give it form.” – Jean Luc Goddard

Your photography is a record of your living.” – Paul Strand

Links

– Winter wildlife photography in Yellowstone
– George Lepp tips: focus stacking landscapes, lens focus calibration and sizing images
– Moving multiple exposures
– Submissions from Forbes Photo Assignment 4 and the next assignment
– A conversation with Malin Fezehai, a cultural photographer
– Achieving sharper images
– Shooting stars
– Helpful tip for the PS Patch Tool – Diffusion option
– Telling a story in landscape photography
– Photography by the alphabet part 3
– Doggy pix Too cute.

This week’s images reflect tonight’s forecast. Stay safe on roads!

Dried leaf on snow.

Dried leaf on snow.

Shoveling snow.

Monday Missive — March 6, 2017

Quotes

Lazy but talented
That’s most of us.
You can work really hard to get a little more talented.
And you can also work to get a little less lazy.
It turns out that getting less lazy, more brave—more clear about your fears, your work and your mission—are all easier than getting more talented. — Posted by Seth Godin on March 05, 2017

And as we let our own light shine we unconsciously give other people the permission to do the same.” – Marianne Williamson

How did a creative art form end up so bound up in its own rules that we all feel an ingrained need to comply with them? How did we come to value perfectionism above creative expression?” — Janet Broughton, Perfectionism vs Creativity: Letting Go of the Need to Conform

Links

– Photographing the Iditarod
– Climbing Out of a Creativity Rut
– Quality of Light
– Photo-tips Part II
– Don’t get modern art: this may help
– Comparison of Bayer array Fuji X-trans array Didn’t see most of differences discussed, but was interested that Fuji uses a different sensor array.
– Thorough and fair analysis of “working for free”
– Perfectionism vs Creativity
– Noise minimization and reduction

Late afternoon at Assateague

Monday Missive — February 27, 2017

Quotes

Creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find new ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.” — Robert Sutton

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 does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.” – Paul Klee

Links

– Creative flower photography
– Are photography trade shows worth it?
– Lightroom’s tone curve
– Photographing textures
– How to create a surreal photo collage Includes several brief tutorials on different aspects of compositing
– How to create a dramatic sky in photoshop Shows how to use Blend-If
– The Art of Photography: images from Assignment 3
– Flash diffusers
– Mt. Assiniboine – The story of the picture
– Photography by the letters
From Steve Oney: – Portfolio review video with James Estrin of the times of Kristin Adair’s project related to incarceration This gives good insight into creating a body of work for those who generally shoot without specific intent.
– Inspirational BW photo

Beach Walker, Cape Cod, 2013

Monday Missive – February 20, 2017

Quotes

Inspiring photographs…
– Can teach you a lot about photography.
– Can expose you to new techniques and photographers.
– Can provide great fodder for online sharining.
– Can be the ultimate creativity-killing distraction.
” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

Technique and gear seem insignificant if you have a message.” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

The best critiques I’ve seen are not about the image’s technical properties.
The best critiques question why the photograph was created in the first place.
” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

Links

– Photoassignment 3 from the “Art of Photography”– Ted does a great job of explaining the implications of shooting low, at eye level (both viewer and subject), and high.
– Is street photography dead?
– Printing
– Perfect panoramas and time lapeses Includes a link to a huge list of software, much of it free
– Making the most of your kit lens
– Tips for shooting in snow
– Getting shallow depth of field with flash If you can afford a f/1.2 lens
– Color management with ICC profiles
– Everything you ever wanted to know about tripods
– Getting the most out of your point and shoot

One more in my ongoing “Shorelines” project.

Monday Missive – February 13, 2017

Quotes

We are only trying to tell a story. Let the 17th-century painters worry about the effects. We’ve got to tell it now, let the news in, show the hungry face, the broken land, anything so that those who are comfortable may be moved a little.” — David Seymour (Chim); David Seymour will be the subject of Tom Beck’s presentation on March 9

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

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley

Links

– Developing a Portfolio
– Best presentation on color I have seen
– Psychology of color– Using adjustments on a Smart Object preserves future editing Pretty cool – I didn’t know you could do this.
– Quick sky adjustments in LR
– Beating the Creative Rut
– DIY light tent for close-ups and products
– Adding stars to a night sky
– Medium Format Landscape Photography

Ma’kayla Hall; taken at Graffiti Warehouse 2/11/17

Monday Missive – February 6, 2017

Quotes

I do what I feel, that’s all. I am an ordinary photographer working for his own pleasure. That’s all I’ve ever done.” – Andre Kertesz

Sometimes you don’t know why you’re doing something. You’re intuitively following, to see where it leads.” – Edward Burtynsky

If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.” – Jay Maisel

Links

– Put a photo inside text This is a fun effect and might be neat if you want to create some cards for Valentines Day or Birthdays.
– Photo make over Matt Kloskowski does a good job at this. Shows how to edit 3 photos using LR, PS and ON1 to make the most of them. Things to think about before competitions.
– Conversation with Susan Burnstine, Part I
– Conversation with Susan Burnstine, Part II
– Long exposure tips A personal note: some blurring in streams and cascades to show motion is fine, but some images use such long exposures it looks like the stream is filled with milk. Personal opinion: that looks yucky!
– Incredible National Geo pictures
– Nature’s Best Winning Images

A beach at sunrise with rays hitting on the water and a beautiful cloud formation.

One more from the Beaches series that is still a work in progress.

Photo Journaling and Art of Photography Assignments

It is easy at times to get into a creative slump or to feel that you are not making progress artistically. Taking on an external assignment can help get you out of the slump, expand your skills and promote your creativity.

Creating a journal as you proceed with the self or external assignment can deepen your thinking about the project, provide a history that may be helpful in future projects, and provide a great keepsake to look back on. As Ted Forbes points out in some of the links below, many famous artists have used journals to explore ideas and project, clarify their thinking and leave a record how they came to their decisions about the project broadly, or about individual images. I haven’t yet decided to participate in Ted’s assignments, but have taken up the journaling idea and I am finding it very helpful for a current project.

The project basically is about “Beaches”, but not just the “bathing beach” shoreline part, but the broader system including the sand beach, the backbays and wetlands, and the dune systems that are found on many east coast sandy shores. I often have trouble with projects, getting three or four satisfying images out of what seemed to be good idea, but then running out of appealing ideas. I hope that this project, will have some legs because there are so many beaches, they are relatively accessible with respect to travel time, and I have some existing images that may jump the project and give some depth to the project.

I will be sharing progress on this project including pictures of my journal, and occasionally using the blog itself as a supplement to the hard copy journal.

Please offer your comments and thoughts on the journal as well as the project.

Journaling

– Photographer Sketch Books
– Photo Journal Challenge from Ted Forbes
– My Journal for Photo Assignments
– More sketchbooks

– Photo Assignments 2:: Low Angle Shooting
– Work submitted for Assignment 2 and heads up for Assignment 3

Earlier assignments and background were captured at on Nov. 21, 2016

Journal entries for project on barrier islands/beaches.

Monday Missive — January 30, 2017

Quotes

What we choose not to do matters.” — Seth Godin, 5/20/16

As soon as we say the truth is relative, and shiftable, and a matter of opinion, we lose the power that comes from knowing.” — Seth Godin 4/1/16

Art is the great democrat, calling forth creative genius from every sector of society, disregarding race or religion or wealth or color.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Links

– Interesting assignment and creative solution
– 40 tips for better photos
– Making fog and light beams Also free downloadable fog brush
– Tips for airline travel with photo gear
– Part 2: International Travel
– Animal Portrait Tips
– Post-processing software and plug-ins in 2017 Interesting read
– Selective sharpening in Lightroom
– Black and white street photography
– Arches National Park
– Processing Start to Finish in Lightroom Definitely worth 10 minutes to watch this video
– Using a Wacom tablet effectively

Sunrise at Chincoteague, 2007. Part of my Boundaries series.

Monday Missive — January 23, 2017

Quotes

Photography is the easiest medium with which to be merely competent. Almost anybody can be competent. It’s the hardest medium in which to have some sort of personal vision and to have a signature style.” – Chuck Close

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

Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Links

– Comparison of DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras
– Instagram photographers worth following
– Great light after storms
– George Lepp: Transporting heavy gear, eclipse, MFT
– Critter cam
– How to cull your images in Lightroom
From Harry Bosk: – Keeping your files organized in Lightroom
– Whey registering copyrights is important
– Understanding DPI and print resolution
– Creating a portfolio
– Photography trends for 2017

Assateague Island National Seashore, Jan. 1, 2017