Monday Missive — December 17, 2018

Quotes

Art Is Not About Understanding. Or Mastery. It is about doing and experience.” — Jerry Saltz

Hide secrets in your work.” — Jerry Saltz

Never just say, “You tell me what it is.” That’s pompous bullshit. When it comes to your work, you’re the best authority there is.” — Jerry Saltz

Links

– How to be an artist Article by Jerry Saltz. Anyone who feels reluctant to go their own way or share what they have done should read this article. Anyone who is in a rut should also read this.
– Fix skin tones in one minute
– Lightroom brush tip
– Panoramas
– A project on ancestry that also reveals a simple way of life Photo essay about a Russian woman’s roots in a small hunting village in the Russian taiga.
– Svetlana: A very special place where people with disabilities are just part of the community.
– Photographing birds in flight
– Putting texture in text
– Portrait lighting with LEDs
– How photography helps an autistic 5 year old understand the world

Still feeling a bit nostaligic about my time out west during and between artist residencies. Pueblo ruins from the Antelope Canyon overlook.

This is the Long House Pueblo at Mesa Verde.

Monday Missive — December 10, 2018

Quotes

You push the button, we do the rest.” – George Eastman

The key to artistic photography is to work out your own thoughts, by yourselves. Imitation leads to certain disaster.” – Gertrude Käsebier

More and more are turning to photography as a medium of expression as well as communication. The leavening of aesthetic approaches continues. While it is too soon to define the characteristic of the photographic style today. One common denominator, rooted in tradition, seems in the ascendancy: the direct use of the camera for what it can do best, and that is the revelation interpretation and discovery of the world of man and of nature. The greatest challenge to the photographer is to express the inner significance through the outward form.” – Beaumont Newhall

Links

– Great photo essay on youth in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland
– Japanese rope art in isolated areas of Finland Another interesting, but very different photo essay.
– Stretching an image to adjust the aspect ratio
– HDR toning in 1 minute 1 minute video. I didn’t know that these options were available.
– A River Journey
– Interesting photo essay on people in their bedrooms
– Everybody Street This is a full-length (1.5 hours) video shot in 2013 on NY street photographers by Cheryl Dunn
– Using 3D bump map to control contrast This is new and amazing. 11 minute video
– Colorized photographs from Auschwitz
– 7 photo stories capture adolescence

I had a recent conversation about National Park Artist Residencies, so I thought it might be nice to go back and look at some of my work during the several residencies I was privileged to participate in, to see if my photography has improved or changed. This image was from Acadia, at the Schoodic Peninsula in 2007. I don’t know that I would take different scenes today, or taken them differently, but I am pretty sure the processing would be different from the original. This was edited last night from an unedited image; I would not have edited it like this in 2007.

A year later, in 2008, I took this in the north Cascades, but reprocessed it last night to add signficiant contrast in the details and darken the sky. It can be hard to be creative and depart from the obvious the first time you see mountains like this.

This was taken in Jan. 2013. With only 3 images it is hard to determine if I have made progress, but I do believe the processing is better. Big Cypress in Florida.

Monday Missive — December 3, 2018

Quotes

I often think of that rare fulfilling joy, when I am in the presence of some wonderful alignment of events. Where the light, the colour, the shapes and the balance all interlock so beautifully that I feel truly overwhelmed by the wonder of it.” – Charlie Waite

To me, pictures are like blintzes – ya gotta get ‘em while they’re hot.” – Weegee

Creativity with portraits involves the invocation of a state of rapport when only a camera stands between two people…mutual vulnerability and mutual trust.” – Minor White

Links

– Bokeh The out of focus highlights behind your subject.
– Interesting interview and approach from an emerging Angolan photgrapher
– One minute video on how to upload to Instagram from your computer
– The Freezing Land: A photo essay on Northern China
– Canadian Far North Wildlife photographer Michelle Valberg I doubt I would ever go, but this article on a totally unfamiliar part of the world was very interesting.
– Sky replacement using Blend-If Simplified way to replace sky. 17 minute video
– Wildfire photographer
– Rituals of fraternity life in photos Photoessay
– The photographer, not the camera, makes the picture
– How to use a BW layer to control your colors

Went out on Sunday for wet dead flowers. You can find visual poetry and beauty anywhere and anytime if you just look.

Monday Missive — November 26, 2018

Quotes

Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma,” she once wrote. “They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” — Diane Arbus

I’m trying to please myself; certainly that’s a big criterion… though in a sense, I don’t take images just for myself. I take images that I think other people will want to see. I don’t take pictures to put in a box and hide them. I want as many people to see them as possible.” – Mary Ellen Mark, Mary Ellen Mark : 25 Years by Marianne Fulton, Page: 14

I was never much of a promoter of my work—I’ve probably given away more prints than I’ve sold.” – Herb Quick

Links

– Revisiting Diane Arbus’ most controversial most controversial series Very interesting article about how Arbus empathetically viewed the people she photographed.

– Hyperfocal focusing
– Some hidden changes in PS 2019 9 minute video
– Napping is a creative tool
– Vivian Maier’s never before seen color photography
– Photographing critically endangered mountain gorillas Photo essay
– Dogs catching treats These are just too much fun! Photo essay
– Basics and compositional aspects of depth of field Article
– All about curves 23 minute video. I learned a lot from this video.

Original link from Steve Oney:
– How to create luminosity masks in Photoshop Luminosity masks essentially select a narrow part of the luminosity (brightness) histogram and allow you to modify your image very precisely. So, if you wanted to select and darken only the light/lights you can do that without trying to brush what may be small or intricate areas. You can buy a program that automatically produces luminosity masks from Tony Kuyper or other locations. These programs may break the luminosity histogram into as many as 32 segments for great precision in modifying your image.

Thanksgiving table at my sister’s house. Food was great too.

Monday Missive — November 19, 2018

Quotes

Even if you’re not sure of where it will lead, today’s the day to begin.” — Seth Godin, November 3, 2018

Look at the acknowledged masters of this craft and you will see large bodies of work that focus on specific places, subjects, themes. Do masters only focus on a few things? No. Focusing on a few things is what gives us a chance at becoming masters.” — David duChemin

Do not adjust your mind, the fault is in reality.” — R. D. Laing

Links

– Developing personal projects A fairly long article but very consistent with David duChemin’s advice above.
– Interesting approach to street photography
– How to prepare your images for Instagram to get the best results Includes a tip on how to upload directly from your computer
– New content aware tool in detail
– One minute tutorial on removing dark areas under eyes
– Photo essay on mourning and friendship
– The problem with calling them black and white photographs
– Kost on exporting files or layers Less than 2 minutes
– One minute video on enhancing freckles
– Simple way to whiten teeth 4 minutes

I was taken by this still life, mostly by the warm late afternoon light on my wife’s potting table. Just after the first snow, spring seems so very far away.

A building along Pratt St., near the convention center. I was attracted by the extreme repetition and geometric shape. For some reason two panes stood out and I enhanced the blue with a BW/luminosity layer and a saturation adjustment layer. Left in the top of the tree for scale and to add a bit of “imperfection” to the image.

Monday Missive — November 12, 2018

Quotes

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

The ritual sadness of the season is more voluptuous than joy.” — Linda Pastan

Art is, or ought to be, a reliable refuge for idiosyncrasy in a society that increasingly views the idiosyncratic with suspicion.” — Colin Dabkowski

Links

– Auto functions in PS that quickly and easily get your post processing started
– Select subject With the use of AI, this has become a really helpful tool.
– Wildfife photographer of the year winners
– Update on copyright issues
– Improving fall color
– Should landscape photographers explore?
– Blend long and short exposures to make the best long exposure images
– Examples of Noir photography
– Removing fringes from a tree after a sky swap
– 50 images of gritty NY in the 1970s

Stigma and anthers of Asian Lily.

From an exercise with friends.

Monday Missive — November 5, 2018

Quotes

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home … . By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” — David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing

“A man without a vote is a man without protection.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

Links

– Michael Avedon’s photo essay on School Shooting survivors These are powerful and emotional stories. Don’t forget to vote.

– Easy export from Photoshop
– The believable surreal work of Robert Jahns
– Kyrgyzstan
– 25 great tips for street photography
– Black and white and color images don’t mix in the same project
– Conservation photography in Africa can be a dangerous life. A husband and wife team were badly injured by a buffalo, but continue their work after recovery.
– Processing fall colors in LR More helpfully, this article also gives a very good explanation of the difference between vibrance and saturation.
– Macro photography All of the set-ups shown can be done in winter and indoors.
– Using textures in Photoshop Includes some modifications and ways to make your own textures I never thought of.

The Rhonda Robinson Trio played some really nice jazz at the Erdman Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library on Saturday. The device she is holding is a “rain-maker” that makes a sound like gentle rain.

The Trio included Rhonda on flute and vocals, Rodney Kelley on keyboards and ….

Shawn Simon on stand-up bass.

Monday Missive — October 29, 2018

Quotes

The mystery isn’t in the technique, it’s in each of us.” — Harry Callahan, More Joy of Photography by Eastman Kodak (Editor)

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” — Salvador Dali

In a photograph a person’s eyes tell much, sometimes they tell all.” — Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt: Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O’Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows

Links

– Working with available light
– Flash
– The Art of Movement
– Frames – new in PS 2019
– Compositing transparent objects This video is noteworthy because of all of the details he addresses for the most realistic image.
– Google Images now displays copyright information
– 5 great nature photographers who love what they do
– Mission Monochrome

From Steve Oney:
– Poverty and mythology in America A very insightful and well-done Magnum photoessay.
-Surrealist Hussam Eissa

Farm in Pennsylvania.

A farm in Pennsylvania.

Staring into space at the 9/11 Memorial. I liked the raised foot and unfocused stare.

Monday Missive — October 22, 2018

Quotes

Art is not about consensus. We need not agree over our reactions or our interpretations. Art that forces itself upon us and has as its chief goal our submission to it is not art, it’s propaganda. … Popular photography culture is wildly culpable of encouraging or desiring our consensus and the only thing that’s going to lead to is homogeny, mediocrity, and a narrowing of thought and experience. We must be challenged and art can do that, but only if we let it. To be challenged we must first listen to it.” — David duChemin

Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.” — Edward Abbey

For me the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny.” — Ruth Bernhard

Links

– 3 ways to export from Photoshop
– What’s new in PS 2019?
– What’s new in LR?
– More instruction on the content aware fill
– The most complete review of new features in PS 2019
– Fall locations
– How to write about your images
– Sharpen your image by removing motion blur

From Cheryl Atkins:
– Interview with Sally Davies
From Carl Lancaster:
– Nikon Small World competition Even if you aren’t a scientist, some of these images are stunning and all are fascinating.

A bit of street walking:
Lombard St./Bromo Seltzer Tower. I like the dark shaded foreground against the light background and the spots of color from the tail lights and traffic lights in the shade.

These look like fun.

An incongruous juxtaposition.

Monday Missive — October 15, 2018

Quotes

The conversations are exasperated, the verdicts swift, conclusive and seemingly absolute. The goal is to protect and condemn work, not for its quality, per se, but for its values. Is this art or artist, this character, this joke bad for women, gays, trans people, nonwhites? Are the casts diverse enough? Is this museum show inclusive of enough different kinds of artists? Does the race of the curators correspond with the subject of the show or collection? Increasingly, these questions stand in for a discussion of the art itself.” — Wesley Morris, in an article titled The Morality Wars in the NY Times Magazine, Oct. 3, 2018

But criticism isn’t about saying what’s bad — well, not only. It’s partly about situating a work in the world, in your feelings, in your collection.” — Wesley Morris, ibid.

There are as many photographs possible from a single negative as the artist can imagine. I can never bear to finish with a negative, to say, ‘This is it.’ Tomorrow I can come and make new pictures from that negative. This is the thing I love most of all: the making of the final picture. No one else can do that for me, nor do I ever completely satisfy myself.” – Nell Dorr

Links

– Extreme, extreme photography
– Milky Way panorama
– Is your agent really your agent?
– Seven important landscape lessons Acquired wisdom
– Fine art still life, setup and lighting
– Street photography with a twist
– Underwater macro: incredible colors and shapes: animals that look like they come from another planet
– Underwater in the the Inside Passage
– Joel Meyerowitz

From Steve Oney:
– Street shooter in NY
– 10 photographers who immortalized city streets

Dew drop in in the morning.

Monday Missive — October 8, 2018

Quotes

I don’t just look at the thing itself or at the reality itself; I look around the edges for those little askew moments – kind of like what makes up our lives – those slightly awkward, lovely moments.” – Keith Carter

I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck.” – Dorothea Lange

Along the way I tried to convey that while nature has power and fury and should always be respected, she can also be funny, elegant and whimsical.” — Photographer Ruth Fremson about a poem by Joy Harjo in How poems inspire pictures

Links

– Luminosity Masking in Photoshop
– Refining your masks
– National Park Odyssey Part 4
– Selling sotck images and footage
– The best Instagram hashtags
– Retain the original color after applying effects that change color or desaturate
– Control your neutral tones to make your image believable
– Colorful images to look for in fall You might find similar images much closer in Shenandoah and West Virginia
– 10 National Parks for fall color

From Steve Oney:
– Color spaces, gamut, calibration Good explanation of these key concepts.
– Fall foliage getaways Includes suggestions for Shenandoah

Titled: “Nike.” Taken on the lightrail. Not sure what attracted me except that it was a different picture from any I have seen.

Monday Missive — October 1, 2018

Quotes

I just don’t like having to ask anyone for anything in terms of finances. I don’t like having to wait for someone to approve where I can get my idea off… Like, if I want to make an album and I want an orchestra, I’m gonna figure out how to do that. I don’t want to wait around for people to greenlight my creativity.” — Fatimah Warner (rapper Noname) From an article in The Fader by Rawiya Kameir

He realized that 25 years does something to a picture: ‘A photograph that was candid or simple at the time all of the sudden has a completely different relevance,’ he said. The time in between gives you more than emotional distance, it refreshes the image. ‘We don’t have to overthink the pictures, we just have to give them time.‘” — Mario Sorrenti in an article about his images of Kate Moss

Your work can struggle to fit in. Or you can do the hard work of having it stand out.” — Seth Godin, September 27, 2018

Links

– Your photographic legacy: What happens to your images when you die?
– Magic wand vs quick selection tools in PS
– When to share photos Another insightful article from Julianne Kost.
– Artistic filters in PS
– Very interesting photo essay from a culture and location that is virtually unexplored
– Creative fall impressions
– More techniques for fall photography
– Reasons not to upgrade to that new mirrorless
– Try different approaches to conventional scenes
– Who shot the Colin Kaepernick image for Nike?
From George Spicer:
– Digital backs for film cameras

Having some photo fun at Comic Con in Baltimore. Everyone is really friendly and willing to have their pictures taken. I don’t recognize all of the characters but this lovely ghoul certainly caught my eye.

These four “sisters” were perfectly willing to pose.

Madam Wolverine was very impressive!

Monday Missive — September 24, 2018

Quotes

What ultimately made The Americans a document with real staying power? ‘Frank revealed a people who were plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and also rendered increasingly numb by the rising culture of consumerism,’ Greenough noted. ‘But it’s also important to point out that he found new areas of beauty in those simple, overlooked corners of American life—in diners, or on the street. He pioneered a whole new subject matter that we [now] define as icons: cars, jukeboxes, even the road itself. All of these things, coupled with his style—which is seemingly intuitive, immediate, and off-kilter—were radically new at the time.‘” — From the article on “The Americans” by Scott Indrisek noted below.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. … If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Goethe

I don’t figure out my vision and my direction so I can make photographs, I make photographs so I can figure out my vision and direction.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61

Links

– Why Robert Frank’s “The Americans” Matters Today
– Shadowy street photography
– Lighting tips from 5 top photographers
– Making the most of LR presets
– Removing tan lines in Photoshop
– Crafting high energy portraits in the studio
– Some of the rarest pictures ever taken

From Steve Oney:
– New content aware fill capabilities coming later this year
– Gordon Parks and the affliction of poverty
– Michael Kenna Article and podcast interview with several images and an interesting anecdote.

A view of God’s earth from the Baltimore Basilica. Ocean from the Ovens in Nova Scotia, path from Cabot Beach Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island, Boardwalk from Green Swamp Preserve in NC and night sky from Wisconsin.

Monday Missive — September 17, 2017

Quotes

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

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

The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” — E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Links

– Olympic National Park
– 4 tips for writing a good artist statement
– Setting up your Wacom tablet Best I have seen for getting the most out of your pen and editing tablet.
– Improving BW images with Lookup tables (LUT’s)
– Full spectrum photography This is really neat and worth a look.
– Polarizing filters
– New card formats: XQD and CFExpress: Why?
– Best places to shoot in Florida

From Steve Oney:
– Lewis Hine and the creation of child labor laws
– The Somerville Toy Camera Festival

I have been playing with the idea of “Abstract::Motion.” Would really like to get comments.

Monday Missive — September 10, 2018

Quotes

I believe that the essence of photography is black and white. Color is but a deviance.” — Sarah Moon

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

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” — Peter Adams

Links

– A bunch of incredible selection techniques
– Adobe not supporting some older OS’ Take note if you are running an older Mac or Windows OS
– The August Lightroom update
– Jewish Streets
– Travel tips This is partly in support of duChemin’s new course, but the quotes, lessons and images are worth the time.
– Unconventional approaches to landscape and nature
– Hard drive file systems for Mac and Windows
– Interpreting memory cards

From Steve Oney:
– Two minute trailer on upcoming video on Gary Winogrand
– Really great series of monochrome pairs by Czech photographer Alicja Brodowicz

Skipper butterfly. Taken with 200 Nikon micro lens and diffused flash. 1/200; f/13; ISO 500.

Taken at 2018 MD State Fair. Two images taken from a tripod as the ride dropped. Composited in Photoshop.