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.

Monday Missive — December 31, 2018

Quotes

…follow the quiet nudges of your intuition.” — Ursula von Rydingsvard

“...I can doubt pieces before making them, but I have to jump into the unknown to get somewhere. I have to dare to make them.” — Paola Pivi

But most [photo] books will then use end text, or some form of additional context to answer those questions. To make the cause of the tension, or the roots of the intention, known.” — Jonathan Blaustein on Dec 21, 2018

Links

– San Juan Mountain image and story Very short story on the making of a particular image
– Color correction and compensaton 20 minute video
– Fixing edges of cutouts in Photoshop This was very helpful for a common problem.
– Cutting out complex subjects 15 minute video
– Color grading in camera raw 6 minute video
– How to build confidence as an artist
– Portrait approaches
– Wildlife Photography: How to get better and better
– Adjusting luminosity without effecting color
– Best National Parks for landscape photography

 

A small boat on the beach with the Bay Bridge in the background.
Stranded by the Bridge. Taken at Sandy Point State Park.
Boat on a beach with Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background.
Sandy Point State Park. Would like to get comments on which you perfer.

Monday Missive — December 24, 2018

Quotes

Why don’t you put that old print on the floor and I’ll step on it for you and make it even more vintage.” — Brett Weston to Scott Nichols

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” — Eudora Welty

I just love to work on something until I get it right. To me, what’s important and what I enjoy is not the finished photograph but the process. The photograph is a record of that process.” — Kim Weston

Links

– Cut out shadows easily for new backgrounds or compositing Also includes matching depth of field blur, color matching and more.
– Realistically colorize BW with gradient maps
– Photographing presidents
– How the stock photography market has changed
– Why you shouldn’t do street photography Very interesting take in a 9 minute video
– Shooting for black and white
– Interesting way to split tone to add color and drama to your images 6 minute video
– A simple guide for working with models
– Better beach pictures

From Steve Oney:
– Master selections and masks using channels Hour and 20 minute video that is fairly complete from basics to advanced. Selections and masks are one of the key advantages of Photoshop over Lightroom.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron taken on Dewees Island , SC.

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.