Monday Missive — April 15, 2019

Quotes

– 10 quotes from writers that will make you a better photographer — From Steve

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– A lifetime of work on 152 acres Interesting concept and execution, although some of the images are so abstract or minimalist, I don’t know how to relate to them.
– Exploding Lamborghini For the car fans among us
– Images of the 1970s
– Lessons from life on the road Great images too
Photoshop/Lightroom Techniques
– Cut out impossible images in PS
– Create presets in PS and Import them to LR
– Creating brush presets in LR Also how to use the ALT key to change opacity of the brush.
– Two little known filters to remove halos and fringing
Field/Studio
– 5 camera settings you should turn on

Union Mills well. The buildings were closed, but it was an interesting walk around the grounds.
Union Mills mill wheel.

Monday Missive — April 8, 2019

Quotes

One of the greatest barriers to creativity and to life is fear. That fear manifests itself in many ways but one of the more destructive is the perfectionism so many of us are paralyzed by.” — David DuChemin

Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at. – Ruth Orkin

One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty. – Paul Outerbridge 

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Exploration of the urban landscape With emphasis on Vietnam
– Messy studio –> creativity?
– “Inverse panoramas” and x-rays
– Van Der Zee and the Harlem renaissance
– Very dark, moody street photography

PhotoshopTechniques
– Equalize skin tones
– Workflow for a difficult image
– Basics of layer masks Really good 15 minute video that gives you all the basics of masks in a very straight forward way

From Steve Oney:
– How to safely use smoke bombs
– “Other worldly” images from White Sands, NM

Team effort on the Pride of Baltimore.
Neatly coiled rope on the Pride of Baltimore.

Monday Missive — April 1, 2019

Quotes

The tool so many of us use to make our art—the camera—is also a way to see the world; to be more alive in this world. It can be a tool that brings such joy, and a means of saying things about the world, and ourselves, that we might not have otherwise. … It holds you to no obligation except that you hold it to your eye and see things anew.” — David DuChemin

Most of the pictures you see, you actually miss. So inevitably, what you end up doing is taking a lot of rubbish. In fact, the basic theory is, the more rubbish you take the better the chances of a good photo emerging as well. So, keep on taking the rubbish.
Martin Parr, Magnum Photographer, from The Art of Street Photography

Saturate yourself with your subject, and the camera will all but take you by the hand and point the way.” — Margaret Bourke-White

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work:
– Nick Brandt: This empty world Incredible realistic composites addressing the constant habitat destruction from “progress.”
– Abstracts on print paper using beer cans The idea is interesting. From the process description I’m unclear on how exposure takes place unless it is simply light leaks.
– Alec Soth: A year meditating and new approaches
– Andrea Modica. An interesting mix of street, documentary and portraiture

Photoshop Techniques:
– Making reflections Uses blend modes, blur, wave and Blend-If
– Fix banding in your images

Camera/Field Techniques:
– Choosing the right neutral density filter Think in advance of what effect you are seeking. Too long, and the effect is overdone, i.e., I don’t like milk in my streams, but smooth water can be very nice.

From Steve Oney:
– Alan Schaller street photography
– How to light glass There are more videos in this series about lighting shapes, dimension and texture, separation, color, etc.
From George Spicer:
– Night Photography Events Calendar

The Stad Amsterdam, a three-masted clipper design, was in town this week. It takes the best qualities of clipper ships, but has some improvements to make it safer like having a steel hull. She is quite fast for a sailing ship. Her normal speed is 15 knots. Her crew is Dutch, but the language on board is English.
Rigging of the Stad Amsterdam with the World Trade building in the background.
Off loading the gang plank.

Monday Missive — March 25, 2019

Quotes

Art isn’t about what others say about our art, but what we say through that art.” — David DuChemin

The first time, I usually skim off the outer layer and end up with photographs that are fairly obvious. The second time, I have to look a little deeper. The images get more interesting. The third time it is even more challenging and on each subsequent occasion, the images should get stronger, but it takes more effort to get them.” – Michael Kenna

If it makes you laugh, 
if it makes you cry, 
if it rips out your heart, 
that’s a good picture.
 – Eddie Adams

Links

– August Sander: What this photo doesn’t show
– Omens and Predictions Some of these images were really creepy.
– Portraits of counter-culture NY youth The writer makes an interesting comparison of this work to that of Diane Arbus
– The establishing shot This applies better to a body of work than a single image, but potentially very helpful. Also references to W. Eugene Smith.
– Edge Dwellers: large format portraits and connection to individuals in marginalized communities in California
– Manhattan wilderness at twilight
– Simulating shallow depth of field with Blur Gallery in PS
– Australian street photographer
From Steve Oney:
– Irving Penn
– Paul Strand

“Slow surf” won second place in the Baltimore Camera Club long-exposure themed competition in March 2019. Taken at Assateague State Park on Feb. 5, 2019. 30 second exposure at f/22, 70-200@125, f/22, 10 stop ND filter.

Monday Missive — March 18, 2019

Quotes

We tried to present the ordinary in an extraordinary manner. But that’s the paradox because the only thing extraordinary about it was that it was so ordinary. Nobody had ever done it before, deliberately. Now it’s called documentary, which I suppose is all right … We just took pictures that cried out to be taken.” – Ben Shahn

I didn’t have any interest in traditional art. – Cindy Sherman

Weston’s life and his work are… simple, effective, and without ceremony… He was one of those who taught photography to be itself.– Robinson Jeffers

Links

– Photo essay/self-portraits on gender identity Award winner
– Removing fringes and halos
– Sometimes its about more than the images
– Using multiple exposures to simulate a long exposure without a ND filter
– Great study on the “Streets of Havana”
– Disturbing landscapes
– Adjusting per channel contrast This can make a HUGE difference to your images
– Madeline Cass I have uneven interest in her images, but really like what she has to say and wish that I had the courage to do what she is doing when I was younger.
– Set up your PS preferences
From Steve Oney:
– Good article on advantages and disadvantages of mild telephotos for street photography


Galanthus nivalis, the snowdrop or common snowdrop are among the first bulbs to bloom in spring and can form impressive carpets of white in areas where they are native or have been naturalised. Roland Run flood plain, Baltimore County.

Monday Missive — March 11, 2019

Quotes

“. . . Look how beautiful are all the things that He does. His signature
Is the beauty of things.” — Robinson Jeffers

And the photographs have a reality for me that the people don’t. It’s through the photographs that I know them. Maybe it’s in the nature of being a photographer.Richard Avedon

Pictures you have taken have an influence on those that you are going to make. That’s life!John Sexton

Links

– Interesting story and images about post-industrial America Strong art supporting social commentary
– Pro vs kit lenses This may be helpful to anyone still building their system
– About brushes with the intent of creating a digital signature or logo
– Southbound: Photographs of the new south Photo essay and analysis. Explores both truth in photography and southern culture and mores.
– Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland: A journey through fantasy and grief Amazing 7 minute video
– Story telling — Imagined Homeland: Documenting the magic of the Lisu culture of Asia
– Turn off PS snapping temporarily 1 minute video tip
– Create light rays Not something to use often, but pretty neat for the right image.
From Steve Oney:
– How to use windows for portraits That’s windows not Windows
From Carl Lancaster:
– International photo awards It is definitely worth taking a few minutes to scroll through these images.

Carl Grubbs band played jazz at the Govans Branch of the Enoch Pratt library on Saturday. Great crowd, great music. Ian played the bass fiddle.

Monday Missive — February 25, 2019

Quotes

If it’s a likeness, alone, it’s not a success. If, through my portraits, you can come to know the subjects more meaningfully, if it synthesizes your feelings toward someone whose work has imprinted itself on your mind–if you see a photograph and say, ‘Yes, this is the person,’ with a little new insight–that is a beautiful experience. — Yousuf Karsh

I have always been a firm believer in photographic experiments. Only by attempting everything personally can a photographer begin to understand the scope of photography..…No picture, verbal description or how-to-do-it article can supersede first-hand experience. — Waclaw Nowak

As photographers we sell ’emotion not emulsion.’ the tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is all important.” –– Jeff Adams

Links

– Iconic portraits by photographer Nickolas Muray of artist Frida Kahlo
– Focus stacking in Photoshop
– Sara Silks Two different types of images. I liked them both.
– Is the “decisive moment” too limiting?
– Enhanced details function in Feb 2019 ACR update
– Color matching subject and background in composites Also uses blurs to make it look more real
– Unexpected slider for BW
– 40 inspiring examples of street photography
– Wishing for creativity
– 11 tips for street photography

Faye (at Grafitti Warehouse).

Monday Missive — February 18, 2019

Quotes

The unconscious obsession that we photographers have is that wherever we go we want to find the theme that we carry inside ourselves.  — Graciela Iturbide

The hardest thing in photography is to create a simple image. — Anne Geddes

Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world. – Arnold Newman

Links

– Where the magenta tint on your prints comes from This is a common problem with Epson printers. This is very helpful.
– Adjust skin tones with one button
– Dora Maar, muse of Picasso and surrealist photographer
– Color Range Masking in LR and ACR 15 minute video
– Graciela Iturbide, great Mexican photographer
– Complete landscape edit, start to finish Helpful 20 minute video.
– Visual storytelling winners
– How to add snow to your photograph
– Multi-shot techniques
From Steve Oney:
– Basics of Astrophotography

Reaching back to my artist residency at Petrified Forest National Park. I chose this one because I like the orange/blue color palette.
Such a strange and wondrous landscape. Also from Petrified Forest NP. This was taken from the rim trail right behind the Painted Desert Inn.
Petroglyphs at Puerco Pueblo, also at PetrifiedForest.

Monday Missive — February 11, 2019

Quotes

“… how did we come so quickly and so far from the time when a guy like Ansel Adams was happy with 12 good photographs a year? Where has the slower, more considered, less frantic approach to craft gone? Want to be happier as a photographer, more content? Slow your roll.” — David DuChemin

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter. — Ansel Adams

Photography’s potential as a great image-maker and communicator is really no different from the same potential in the best poetry where familiar, everyday words, placed within a special context, can soar above the intellect and touch subtle reality in a unique way. — Paul Caponigro

Links

– This free ebook from Muench Workshops is very good for landscape composition and worth downloading
– How to shoot a product shot Both studio and post processing; 30 minute video.
– Quick way to remove blemishes, but you need a pen tablet
– A photo meditation on grief and healing Both real and surreal images from the north of Japan.
– 40 minimalist images Sometimes simplicity = elegance.
– Perspective Crop Tool This can help if you want to scan something, but don’t have a scanner.
– Dodging and burning to add depth This is how I lighten and darken areas non-destructively. I use it on nearly every image.
– Use Multiply blend mode to remove white background 2 minute video
– The Editorial Portrait
– Romanian witchcraft in the digital age  Photo essay.

Winter surfing at Assateague.

Monday Missive — February 4, 2019

Quotes

Fear of failure is the saddest reason on earth not to do what you were meant to do” — J.K. Rowling

I focus on the photographic object, the print, or the artist book, as a keepsake of my experience in the world. It provides me in a very tangible and tactile way of recording the discoveries and holding on to the memories that I am trying to preserve. Photographing gives me a way to capture my impressions and writing and making books lets me distill and reexamine that experience.” — Sal Taylor Kydd

What matters is that you make your art, in whatever way your muse beckons you to make it.” — David DuChemin

Links

– Frequency separation Frequency separation is often used in portrait retouching to smooth out skin without losing detail or changing color.
– Page curl composite
– Retouching lips for better portraits 25 minute video
– Adding Bokeh To add bokeh or soften the background to bring out the subject I usually just use Gaussian blur – this gets much better results.
– Comic book effect
– Story and photo essay about how the Danish people saved Jews from a Nazi round-up Unfortunately this seems to me to be particularly relevant at this time.
– 10 images that changed history Every serious photographer should know something about these images
– Recovering gigabytes of hard drive space in LR
– 12 confessions of an amateur photographer Brief, amusing list of issues to get you on the right track
– A sermon for the amateur

After the snow.
Liked the light.

Monday Missive — January 28, 2019

Quotes

The more personal you make your work, the more universal it becomes.” — Katrin Eismann

The enemy of art is the total lack of limitations.” — Orson Wells

I chose nature photography as a way of capturing and sharing the beauty, power, and fragility of wild places and the life that inhabits them, so that those who have become mired in the man-made chaos may open their eyes to the real world.” – Guy Tal

Links
– Two special blend modes to control color and saturation Neat trick to subtly increase saturation and pop.
– Adjusting levels output (rather than input) to get more subtle BW images
– This Aftermath grant winner provides a much better understanding of a part of American subculture that I haven’t seen in Baltimore
– 13 creative exercises Surprisingly, constraints actually increase creativity. This a helpful selection of projects that will illustrate that point. Give it a try.
– The haunting beauty of ghost towns
– Easy way to cut out a subject to replace background
– Copyright fair use court case The “Lessons Learned” was helpful
– Dehaze: when not to use it and how to use it most effectively Matt K does a good job on this.
– Wildlife photographer of the year Some great images.
From George Spicer:
– 9 Portrait tips These were better than I expected.

Pet Expo at the Fairgrounds ran agility trials this weekend. Lots of fun for everyone. This German Shepherd made it look easy.
The weave poles generally seemed to be the most difficult, but the smaller herding dogs like border collies and Australian shepherds were incredible at weaving through the poles.
Superdog!
… And a composite just for fun.

Monday Missive — January 21, 2019

Quotes

Art is a response to our humanity and the challenges it brings, not a break from it; it shouldn’t be an obligation.” — David DuChemin

I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” — James Nachtwey Quote taken from his homepage (www.jamesnachtwey.com)

My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.” — Helmut Newton

Links

– Crystal ball photography I just bought a small ball to experiment.
– HSL adjustment   38 minute video, everything you need to know
– Full-spectrum conversion 8 minute video on using a full spectrum camera on a balloon ride. Great BW images. A full spectrum camera has filters removed from the sensor so it is seensitive to UV, Visible, and IR. What the sensor sees is then controlled with filters.
– Profile with images of Eleanor Owen Kerr “On the Batture” between levees and the Mississippi River
– Feel free to break the “rules”
– Create long shadows using Photoshop 3D There is probably a lot of capability in 3D that most people, especially me, are unaware of. New Year’s resolution to learn more?
– Overcoming creative block I thought these were some of the better ideas I have seen on this topic
– How to compare two images in photoshop
– Snow Moods
– Getting accurate exposure

Crop 1. Three crops of the same image. Which do you prefer and why?
Crop 2.
Crop 3.

Monday Missive — January 14, 2019

Quotes

The difference between RC-paper and fiber-based paper is the same as the difference between vinyl and leather. — John Sexton

We tried to present the ordinary in an extraordinary manner. But that’s the paradox because the only thing extraordinary about it was that it was so ordinary. Nobody had ever done it before, deliberately. Now it’s called documentary, which I suppose is all right … We just took pictures that cried out to be taken. — Ben Shahn

“Small, portable digital cameras that exceed the performance of an off-the-shelf Nikon using 35mm slide film are further away from current reality than the proposed NASA manned Mars mission, although I expect both to happen sometime during my lifetime. — Galen Rowell

Links

– Photoshop extensions Many are free and can add to what you can do with PS.
– Pictures from descriptions of dreams
– Creating and using a saturation mask to increase colors realistically 1 minute video.
– 5 common mistakes in PS
– Increase control over sharpening with High Pass and Brightness/Contrast adjustment
– How creative people find their best ideas I thought this was really interesting.
– LaChapelle: modern religious imagery This is way out there, but sometimes looking at extremes can be interesting.
– Artists we lost in 2018 Photographers Laura Aguilar, David Goldblatt, Cui Xiuwen and Jacqueline Hassink.
– Really neat scifi/landscape images
From Steve Oney:
– A non-destructive and straightforward way to dodge and burn

Proud Native American women at the PowWow in Belair on Jan 12.

Monday Missive — January 7, 2019

Quotes

In a world filled with empty noise, the most important slots are reserved for the poets we seek to listen to, and the poet we seek to become.” — Seth Godin, December 25, 2018

 “Our ideas regarding success should be our own, and I urge you to pursue it simultaneously from both the inside and the outside. I agree completely with Georgia O’Keefe, who thought that “whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.” ” 

  • Nobody reads artist’s statements. Learn to tell an interesting story about your work that people can relate to on a personal level.
  • Not every project will survive. Purge regularly, destroying is intimately connected to creating. This will save you time.
  • Edit privately. As much as I believe in stumbling, I also think nobody else needs to watch you do it.  

— Teresita Fernández excerpted from On Amnesia, Broken Pottery, and the Inside of a Form, seen on Lens/cratch

Links

– Henri Prestes: Using weather and darkness to control the mood
– Hakan Strand: Silent Moments
– The most influential artists of 2018 Includes photography but also fashion, culture, architecture, etc.
– Removing fly-away hair from portraits
– Anne Brigman: pioneering nude self-portraits
– The woman behind the first photo gallery
– 52 Photography techniques to try In a winter rut, creativity down? Try some of these to get the juices flowing.
– Environmental animal portraits
– 5 photographers to follow
– How meditation can improve creativity

Part of an ongoing series on “Divided Self”, this was taken at Sandy Point, December 2018.
Another for “Divided Self” which will contain both poetry and images.