Location Review: Tacquan Glen Nature Preserve

What attracted me to Tacquan Glen nature preserve was that it was new to me and it was fairly close. Only about an hour (45 miles) away in Lancaster County, PA and worth a visit to find out more.

After a rainy night, the morning was clear and sunny and it was a very pleasant ride north on Dulaney Valley Road (MD-165) going opposite of the morning traffic. Although it wasn’t in my GPS, Google Maps was able to find it, and my GPS did find Tacquan Glen Family Campground, which is about a half mile before the preserve on River Road. Once you turn on River Road, the Preserve is about 3 miles with parking on the right and the primary trails about 75 yards further on the left. There was a well-marked parking area on the right that could probably accommodate about a dozen cars and some additional parking at the main trail head. There were numerous signs that you cannot park on the road — go find a different nature preserve if the parking area is full. No sanitary facilities.

Despite previous rainfall, the eddies and cascades were not impressive although there was a small cascade just upstream of where the creek ran under the road. This area, and the rock formation, could be accessed by a small path to the right of parking lot after clambering over some rocks. I did not take the time to fully explore the area, but its proximity to Baltimore is an advantage if you have only a half a day and want to explore someplace new and peaceful. On a Friday, I saw only one other visitor while I was there.

More information can be obtained at The Lancaster Conservancy.

Tacquan Creek

Rock formation near Tacquan Creek

Monday Missive — May 29, 2017

Quotes

The doing is the thing. The talking, and worrying and thinking about the thing is not the thing.” — Amy Poehler

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

Many oriental cultures make a distinction between two ways of looking – ‘hard eyes’ and ‘soft eyes’. When we look with hard eyes, we see specific details with sharp focus, but we don’t see the relationships between different details as well. When we look with soft eyes we see the relationships between everything in our field of vision, but with this softer focus, we don’t see all the details as clearly. It’s possible to look in two ways at once.” – John Paul Caponigro

Links

– Using color gradients in compositing to add emotional impact Another excellent Kost video
– Venice rookery in FL
– Award winning composites
– What it is really like taking pictures at Antelope Canyon
– Focus stacking in Photoshop Although more commonly used for close-ups, focus stacking can also be useful for landscapes to keep the foreground, mid-ground and background all in focus.
– Minimalism I think the author is too negative about this compositional approach, probably mostly because he feels it is overused. It is one tool in the box and works really well for some images.
– Nature photography
– 10 Nudges toward action
– Shooting close-ups with extreme wide-angle lenses
– Bellows for macro photography

They are 4 years early and getting noisier by the day. Climate change?

Monday Missive — May 22, 2017

Quotes

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – A. A. Milne

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. … And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Maxwell Maltz

Links

– Sparking your creativity
– Four ways to unblock creativity
– Metaphor and creativity Ted Talk. If your pictures tell stories, they are metaphors, therefore it might be helpful to better understand the role of metaphor in communication
– Protest photography
– Selling your photographs
– Finding the right shutter speed to show movement
– Creativity
– Adding a background blur to show motion without getting a halo
– Adding a field blur to the background to highlight your subject
– Using the gradient filter in LR

In the surf at Calvert Cliffs.

Monday Missive – May 15, 2017

Quotes

Dreams and photographs have something in common… ” — Minor White cited in “Manifestations of the Spirit”

Life rarely presents fully finished photographs. An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.” – Sam Abell

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

– Lepp: Accessories for nature photographers
– Shooting the Milky Way This article provides explanations I haven’t seen before.
– Noise
– The meaning of color
– Iceland Part 2
– Creativity
– Match color when compositing
– Adjusting colors in landscapes In the first part it shows how to do color selection using the saturation panel
– Taking total control of a high contrast, high dynamic range image
– Taking multiple exposures for compositing
– Using a telephoto for landscapes No surprise to me, I more often use a telephoto for landscapes than a wide angle.

Iris bud. Taken in my front garden.

Monday Missive — May 8, 2017

Quotes

…truly understanding our narratives is the essence of doing work that matters, that connects, and that spreads.” — Posted by Seth Godin on May 02, 2017

The notion of one photographer being better than another doesn’t interest me. You can’t win at art.” — David du Chemin

“My work is certainly more about suggestion than description.”Michael Kenna

Links

– A good article about donating (or not) art to non-profits
– Arctic Ice
– Architectural photography
– Intro to Architectural photography
– Seeing composition
– Wildlife Panorama
– Feeling inadequate as a photographer?
– Really good explanation of sharpening
– Insurance for photographers
– Natural light
– High key/Low Key

Eye candy: Created in Corel Paint Pro using Reflections>Kaleidoscope.

Monday Missive — May 1, 2017

Quotes

“Creativity is always enhanced by a constraint. This is true in filmmaking, music, painting, writing and even photography.”

Comfort is where art goes to die.

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

– Therapeutic photography
– Photography and mental health
– Street photography This is an hour long video with Steve Simon on street photography. Worth the time.
– Interesting one light set up for portraits
– Printing your work can make you a better photographer
– Blending modes to control luminosity, hue and saturation
– Oregon Photo Odyssey
– A 12 week project photographing an eagle’s nest
– 7 Nikon tricks Nikon menu options for focusing you probably didn’t know were there
– Difficult removals in photoshop This is pretty good and is applicable to many different images

A young woman fiddling for a charitable cause. Baltimore Farmer’s Market, 4/23/17.

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