Monday Missive — July 30, 2018

Quotes

Photography offers so many different ways to tell a story.” — Fiona Struengmann in an interview with Cat Lachowskyj in Lens Culture

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

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

Links

– Nature conservation and BW Photography
– Horizons
– Interesting approach to street photography
– The tripod ban in Zion
– Experiment
– One LR feature to turn off a second to turn on
– Enhance lighting in LR
– Photographing shorebirds
– Natural Light/Open Shade
– Flash

Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, Canada


Cabot Beach Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The area is known for its red sandstone beaches.

Summerside Lighthouse, long exposure, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Monday Missive — July 16, 2018

Quotes

Kindness. Expertise. Attitude. Skill. Emotional intelligence. Honesty. Generous persistence. Willingness to take risks. Loyalty. Perceptivity. Attention span. Care. Self awareness…” — Seth Godin, June 28, 2018

There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”– Abraham Lincoln

I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.”– Nan Goldin

Links

– Using content aware to remove distractions
– Neat little trick in 60 sec video on “guided upright” in LR or PS
– Choosing a workshop
– Dorothea Lange
– Street photography winners Take the time to “View the Full Series.” These are very good examples of a body of work.
– Two New Nikon mirrorless cameras I am excited about this because I would really like a smaller, lighter, but fully capable camera AND be able to use my existing lenses. We will see what is on the table later this summer.
– Adobe alternatives without a subscription Some are very reasonably priced with a great array of features
– Don’t ask “is it good?” ask “did it succeed?”
– Vintage NYC in found photos

From Steve Oney:
– Apps for landscape photographers Some post processing aps but also: ephemeris, peak identifier, long exposure calculator. light pollution, weather, etc.

Monday Missive — July 9, 2018

Quotes

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” — John Maeda

On some level art is first an act arising from the self. Only then can it be concerned about speaking to, engaging with, or pleasing others. The more clear you are about your intent, the more simplified (not simplistic) your vision, the fewer barriers you’ll have to contend with as you execute that vision.” — David duChemin

We have the choice, to actively write a more interesting story, or passively accept the one that comes our way.“– David DuChemin, A Beautiful Anarchy

Links

– Lightroom mistakes to avoid
– Copyright misconceptions
– 5 top landscape photographers
– Attain success through failure
– Neutral density filters
– Excellent photo essay on bagels Learn about bagel making and how a Fuji camera worked in these specific conditions.
– Why you get your best ideas in the shower
– 7 ways to be more creative
– Using the sun for greatest effect

From Steve Oney:
– Great street photography concept

Sort of a take on “yellow brick road,” but I can’t figure out how to make the “road” a consistent angle with the background. Any help out there? Do I need to re-shoot?

Monday Missive — July 2, 2018

Quotes
All by Keith Carter at B & H Optic 2018

“Tell the truth as you know it.”
“We all need the work of others.”
“Make friends with uncertainty.”
“The full weight and mystery of your art rests upon your relationship to your subject matter.”
“Where the world is at once mysterious and completely ordinary.”
“I could make up myths. … I could do anything I wanted because nobody’s paying me for it. Its fun to do.”

Links

– Keith Carter at B & H Optic Some really good philosophy and very interesting images.
– High key images
– Telling the story of your travels
– Photomanipulation (compositing)
– Greenland Part 3
– Interview with HuffPost photo director
– Free alternatives to photoshop
– Painting on masks
– What’s new in the different versions of Lightroom
– Interesting article on the transition from DSLR to Mirrorless

Just playing. Smoke images. Used an incense stick and flash with dark background. Then typically duplicated, flipped and added color.

Monday Missive — June 25, 2018

Quotes

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” — Ansel Adams

Don’t ask “‘Should I …?’. Instead, ‘Ask what happens if I …?’” -– John Paul Caponigro

Links

– Focus stacking
– A quick primer on color gamuts
– “Philosopher’s Tree” by Michael Kenna
– Use water to add light to your landscapes
– Lightroom tricks to improve your workflow
– 25 Technical terms for beginners
– What’s new in LR 7.4
– Wildlife action
– Fine art architectural photography
– Good article on the basics Read this article and practice over the summer to win competitions next year.

Dianthus.
It has really been a pleasure to head out to my little garden first thing in the morning to capture the early light on flowers.
Normally I don’t care about metadata, but it can be helpful for macro work: 200 macro lens, f/10, 1/160, ISO 400, tripod.

Coneflowers. 105 mm macro lens. f/16; 1/80; ISO 400; tripod.

Coneflower.
105 macro lens.
1/100; f/16; ISO 400; tripod.

Monday Missive — June 18, 2018

Quotes

But Kandinsky did not intend for his theories to be prescriptive. Artmaking, he insisted, was about freedom.” — From How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky, by Rachel Lebowitz, Jun 12, 2017, Artsy.net

Quitting merely because you’re behind is a trap, a form of hiding that feels safe, but isn’t. The math is simple: whatever you switch to because you quit is another place you’re going to be behind as well. It’s not a race, it’s a journey. And the team that scores first doesn’t always win.” — Seth Godin, June 13,2018

It’s true that you’re not good enough yet. None of us are. But if you commit to trying hard enough and long enough, you’ll get better.” — Seth Godin, June 16, 2018

Links

– 6 Great artists on how to be an artist
– Pumas of Patagonia
– Nighttime landscape photography
– Controlling color and tonal edits with blend modes
– Adding an artistic element in nature photography
– More on photographic intent with McCurry’s “Afgan Girl” as an example
– More background on intent and the iconic “Afgan Girl”
– Seeking color and enhancing creativity 45 minute video from B & H Optic 2018, but definitely worth the time. Many great examples on how light, color, position, shape, repetition impact the emotion and perception of the image.
– Showing a sense of place in your travel photography
– Three tools that are more capable in Photoshop than in Lightroom

My Asian Lilies are finally open and are gorgeous in the early morning light.

Monday Missive — June 11, 2018

Quotes

There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” – Earl Nightingale

Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.” – Robert Schumann

Links

– Keeping your photos safe – Part 2
– Albert Watson: Vogue Covers and Famous Portraits
– Improve your black and white prints
– Jack Delano, the WPA and the nation’s railroads
– Using flash creatively
– B E T T E R P I C S
– Photographic intent
– Color theory and landscape photography

From Steve Oney:
– Berenice Abbott
– Auto mask in camera raw

Colonial market fair at Banneker historical park in Catonsville. Spinning yarn, surveyors transit.

Monday Missive — June 4, 2018

Quotes

Becoming “more creative,” whatever that means to you, doesn’t often happen by accident. And it’s not something you either are or are not, so you can check that excuse at the door right now. It’s a choice. It’s something you do. If you’re longing to do more creative work, then stop taking it all so damn seriously; stop thinking about the work you’ve already done and get excited about reinventing it, exploring new ideas, new techniques, and challenge yourself with more interesting problems.”David duChemin

It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues.
W. H. Davies

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” – Edward Hopper

Links

– Using images to message about PTSD If you don’t read anything else in today’s blog, please read this.

– Bird photography
– Wildlife rescue photography
– Landscape light — Part 2
– Counterfeit memory cards from Amazon
– Does sensor size still make a difference?
– International image theft lawsuit – interesting video story
– Interesting group photos
– Color grading in PS
– Using “apply image” layer masks

Composite of 2 images taken at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The background trees were taken across an embayment. The “fence” was duplicated and reversed. Red and yellow color layers were used with a circular gradient for the yellow. The judge didn’t like it, but I do. Let me know what you think.

I had some fun with this one. Judges didn’t like it either.

Monday Missive — May 28, 2018

Quotes

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

Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

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

Links

– A bunch of good printing tips
– Play with long and multiple exposures
– Histograms
– Creating a vintage look from scratch (without using presets)
– Dry (heat) mounting
– Bird photography on the cheap
– 12 reasons to start a photography blog File under advice to self
– Landscape light – Part 1
– Gourmet macro
– Focus stacking in PS and LR

Extra

– The Photography blog of the LA Times created by Barbara Davidson, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist

Framework, the photography and video blog of the Los Angeles Times, celebrates the power and explores the craft of visual storytelling. The blog highlights the work of Times photojournalists who frame by frame, document the drama, the emotion and sometimes the humor of life. Framework also aims to serve as a resource hub for photography, multimedia and video enthusiasts who share our passion. We will trade insights and discuss the tools and techniques of telling stories through images. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Images from the Baltimore Farmers Market.

Monday Missive — May 21, 2018

Quotes

Every day you play with the light of the universe.” — Pablo Neruda

To those of you who … have a frustrated streak of anarchy within you: f*ck the rules. Colour outside the lines. Fill your canvas with blazing colours and leave the muted browns for Leonardo DaVinci. He had his chance. Find your own way. You have one life: do you really want to spend it imitating others? … It takes courage to point the camera the other way, to trust your own taste, to do more than what is expected. To open yourself up to the world through your art by saying, “Here it is—here I am—take it or leave it,” knowing that far more people than not will choose to leave it.” — David duChemin

A photograph has a soul in its own right, incorporating numerous elements which range from the books one has read, the music one has heard to the people one has loved.” — Kita Etsuko from Adore Noir, Issue 40

Links

– Getting unstuck when the image just isn’t working
– Making masking easier
– Art of Photography video on Fan Ho, a fantastic Chinese street photographer
– Your camera is better than Ansel’s Gear matters but is a small part of your photography.
– Good story on photographing foxes which I occasionally see in my backyard.
– How art auctions work
– Creative white balance
– Part 2: Greenland in winter See April 30 for Part 1
– Informative article on night photography Discusses several different situations
– Very interesting description of a creative process

Iris

Iris

Iris

Iris

Monday Missive — May 14, 2018

Quotes

Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” -– Diane Arbus

The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.” — Imogen Cunningham

Once a woman who does street work said to me, ‘I’ve never photographed anyone I haven’t asked first.’ I said to her, ‘Suppose Cartier-Bresson asked the man who jumped the puddle to do it again – it never would have been the same. Start stealing!” – Imogen Cunningham

Links

– How to make your own profiles Article also links to a software development kit and a white paper explaining the new profiles in detail.
– How to make a “super-resolution” image with any camera
– The histogram panel
– Shooting and sharing one image per day improves well-being
– Sharpening portraits
– Nature composites
– Beauty retouching Good article for portrait shooters
– Adjusting your image for printing on fine art matte papers
– Good article on the basics of composition
From Steve Oney:
– World Heritage sites in the US

Carnivorous pitcher plants. Insects enter the tube and down-facing spines prevent it from leaving. These yellow pitcher plants were photographed in Green Swamp preserve in NC. They grow in nutrient poor bogs.

Photo Location: Green Swamp Preserve, North Carolina

Green Swamp Preserve is a nature conservancy site near the Cape Fear area of southeastern North Carolina, just a bit west of Wilmington. There is a parking area just under 6 miles north of state route 17 (Ocean Highway) on 211. Google Maps readily identifies the Preserve. About 100 yards before the parking area there is a small sign that indicates the parking area is ahead. The nearest lodging we found was about 7 miles away in Shallote, NC.

The Preserve is a bit over 16,000 acres with long-leaf pine forest, savanna, bog (pocosin) and swamp. It is known for insectivorous plants (sundew, pitcher plants and Venus fly trap) which we saw on May 8, 2018. According to the Nature Conservancy, several types of orchids can also be found but we did not see any on this trip.

The pine forest is very serene and pleasant in May. I was hoping for some ground mist for photography, but no luck on that. On my own, I only found some yellow pitcher plants and after several hours we were preparing to leave, when Julien and Jude arrived hoping to identify Bachman’s Sparrow. They were very familiar with the preserve and graciously offered to show us pitcher plants, sundews and fly traps. There are tons of these interesting plants especially in the savanna after the short boardwalk over a swampy area. The pitcher plants really stand out, but the fly traps are more cryptic and you need to know how to look for them. Sundews are quite small and you need to look carefully for them as well.

In early May, there weren’t many insects although we did see a swallowtail and dragonfly, which is good and bad: no pesky bugs, but not many interesting ones. I was assured that as the season progressed there would be plenty of insects. There were also tons of ferns of several different species.

Photographically I found my 105 macro to be most useful, but also used a 14 mm to try and capture a close-up of purple pitcher plant, and a 24 mm with extension tube to get really close to a Venus fly trap. If you are interested in photography, I highly recommend the work of Skip Pudney and his “Beginner’s Guide” to the preserve.

In the right season, this preserve is definitely worth a half day’s visit to experience both the forest and the bogs. If you are in the area, visits in all the seasons would be worthwhile.

Monday Missive — May 7, 2018

Quotes

“Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.” -– Cecil Beaton

“Allow yourself the freedom to step away from perfection because it is only then that you can find success.” -– Chase Jarvis

“Be yourself. I much prefer seeing something, even it is clumsy, that doesn’t look like somebody else’s work.” -– William Klein

Links

– Advanced Black and White (ABW) on Epson printers
– Perspective
– Custom Brushes
– Explore different aspect ratios Aspect ratios are the proportions of the image, for example, square (1:1), 4 x 5 (= 8 x 10), or 2:3 (= 24 x 36 standard sensor/slide ratio)
– A pro level Lightroom alternative?
– Improving your landscapes with Lightroom This is a series of 5 short videos showing how to improve your landscape images with LR. It includes using the new profiles, dehaze, gradients, straightening, content aware, HDR and panoramas in different videos. Highly recommended for camera club members before the next competition.
– If your images are consistently too dark, this article explains why and how to correct it
– Cape Hatteras/Outer Banks
– Rainy days
From Carl Lancaster:
– Simplifying how to use curves

Inspiration from Steve Adkins – Refine edge.

Monday Missive — April 30, 2018

Quotes

The Trap of Listening to Feedback
You’re devoting your life to making something important. … Something that matters. Mostly, something that hasn’t been done before, that’s going to bend the curve and make an impact.
If you begin and end with surveys and focus groups, all you’re going to do is what’s been done before.
We’re counting on you to trust yourself enough to speak your own version of our future. Yes, you’ll need the empathy to put yourself in our shoes, and the generosity to care enough to make it worth our time and trust. But no, don’t outsource the hard work of insight and creation to the rest of us. That’s on you.
— Posted by Seth Godin on April 26, 2018

To me, it is better to ‘guess’ at how something works, experiment, fail, guess again, fail, and keep repeating that process over and over again until you either figure it out or you discover a multiplicity of other cool tricks along the way.” -– Trey Ratcliff

Creativity needs to extend beyond the lens. Find creative ways to showcase your work and get it seen. Straight up tenacity, hard work and determination will always be part of the equation, so get to it.” -– Jimmy Chin

Links

– Three nature photography tips
– National Parks Odyssey Interesting story of husband and wife who sold their stuff, bought a travel trailer and traveled and photographed full time. I know that I have thought about doing the same, and probably several of you have as well.
– Most prestigious photo awards
– Keep your photos safe: Part 1 of 4 Everyone should read this. Explains about differences between SSDs and HDDs as well as data preservation.
– 10 images that changed photography
– Part 1: Shooting in Greenland Some unusual images, but I will forgo the frost bite.
– Using natural light in portraiture
– Lightroom Classic and CC updates
– Focus stacking for landscapes
– Guides to BW from 7 photographers Includes Michael Kenna and Jerry Uelsmann, two of my favorites.

Christina. Not really sure about the photographer.

Helena. Lovely, with a red dress on. Both from a modeling workshop at Vickie Gray’s Studio.

Monday Missive — April 23, 2018

Quotes

I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.” — Seth Godin

They should just go out and photograph and stop talking about it. That’s the only way they are going to find themselves. They can’t do it in their heads – they have to go out and do it in the camera and get it on film.” – Berenice Abbott

…the art is in selecting what is worthwhile to take the trouble about…” – Berenice Abbott

Links

– The edge of light
Adobe recently enhanced the profile options in LR and ACR by providing more profiles and a profile browser to facilitate their use. Colin Smith shows you how to make your own profiles. Profiles are like the presets in most cameras that give you a choice of “vivid,” or “landscape,” or other types of images. They can provide a creative starting point for images and greater consistency in the color palette or appearance of your images.
– How to make your own profiles
– Two Free videos: Eliminating selection fringes and Matching color and Tone in Composites
– The Backbone Havana The other, “non-tourist,” Havana.
– A whole bunch of photography resources
– Art of Photography provides a better understanding of the new profiles
– Jim Herrington has photographed mountain climbers and music legends
Hour long video:
– Photographing Acadia National Park

From Steve Oney, via Facebook:
– Combining images and text

Summer snowflake taken during a walk along Roland Run.

Grape hyacinth.