Monday Missive — November 30, 2020


Flow is a state of being that is possible when the challenge of what we do and the skill level with which we do it are high and equal to each other.” — David duChemin

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask “how,” while others of a more curious nature will ask “why.” Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” — Man Ray

Photography for me is an exciting and personal way of reacting to and commenting on one’s environment and I feel that it is perhaps a great pity that more people don’t consider it as a medium of self-expression instead of selling themselves to the commercial world of journalism and advertising.” — Tony Ray-Jones

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Conversations with dad

– The new color grading panel in LR and ACR David Duchemin does a real good job on the basics. This is a download link for a 10 minute video. My October 26 blog had more on this with a more detailed explanation by Blake Rudis. Color grading is common for video and this new panel provides increased flexibility.
– Using luminance in the color grading panel to increase/adjust tonal values

– Landscape photography with film
– Composition: Cartier-Bresson, Ribaud and Mad Men
– Manual focus techniques

– Video recordings of 26 B & H Optic presentation Optic is an annual seminar series. Some of the more famous names this year include Frans Lanting, Keith Carter, Sam Abell, Art Wolfe and Brooks Jensen. Something for everyone. If you have time for only one, watch Keith Carter.

Tomorrow is the last class for Maine Media’s Text & Image class taught by Sal Taylor Kydd. I took this course because I wanted to combine writing with my images more effectively. The two covers below will be for my third and fourth books. I have found that books, rather than gallery exhibits, are more consistent with the way I want to work. They provide a way to share my work at any time with friends and family, and over time they provide a diary of how my photographic inclinations have changed. Getting a small number of copies printed is probably no more expensive than preparing 10-15 images for exhibit and the product is available until you sell them or give them all away. I may end up back at Blurb to publish these books, but the class also provided other options to explore over the next weeks. Although hopefully things will improve quickly this spring with the availability of effective vaccines, currently people are more likely to stay home and read a book than risk attending a gallery opening. One can hope, that the book reading may even continue for the long term even as other things improve.

Cover of “Winter Marsh.”

Cover of “Rising Atlantic.”

Monday Missive — November 23, 2020


A world where we, as a society, reckon with our flaws and redirect our collective inertia down a different road.” — Elliot Ross, NY Times, America 2020, in Vision and Verse

Different people can photograph the same things with the same tools and create such different images.” –- John Paul Caponigro

Black and white photography erases time from the equation.” -– Jason Peterson

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Collage Mostly I don’t think of collage as either a form of photography or very artful, but these imags incorporate photography and are very well done.
– Not your typical collages

– Five useless tools in Photoshop
– Using linear light layer for dodging and burning
– New color grading panel in LR/ACR

– Mastering forest photography
– Joys and hazards of photography

– Back to basics and inspiration
– The two halves of your creative journey
– Mary Ellen Mark Great link from Suku.

Rocks in a river.

Alone on the beach.

Monday Missive — November 16, 2020


There is no innovation and creativity without failure. Period.” — Brene Brown

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.” — Helen Keller

I believe the world is incomprehensively beautiful–an endless prospect of magic and wonder.Ansel Adams

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Harvey Stein: Mardi Gras
– Hi-res snowflake images
– Idaho: Interesting series of portraits
– Over coming female illiteracy in Arab countries
– Iran: After the revolution and war
– Lockdown through the window Very interesting approach to the lockdown with consistently excellent images.
– Rustic Cabins

– Thomas Heaton: How I edit my images

– Snowy woods and dramatic seascapes

– Landscape photographer of the year

Monday Missive — November 9, 2020


It’s important to remember that the camera is not merely a tool for capturing reality but for interpreting it; it’s even more important to remember those interpretations of our raw materials of space, light, and time are up to us.” — David DuChemin

If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire.” — Henry Charles Bukowski

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Tomiko Jones
– Vote
– Hannah Manuelito

– Controlling highlights with luminosity masks
– Fix blown out hightlights
– Fast, easy way to blur backgrounds in PS

– Road Trips! Thanks Steve O.
– Projects and publishing
– Excuses
– 3D model graphics This may be a bit off-topic, but I found it really fascinating. Nominally about using a Canon with a Nikon lens to film part of the Mandalorian, a Star Wars offshoot, it is really about creating the models that made it possible. The enthusiasm of the creators is also amazing.

Shootin’ a little street with the Baltimore Camera Club when I got the news a bit after noon.

Sculpture in front of the Pendry Hotel in Fells Pt.

Man’s Best Friend.

Monday Missive — November 2 , 2020


A camera, like a guitar, is just a box with a hole in it. Until it is placed in the hands of a true artist, it will not make a music, only noise.” — Tim Mantoani

Street photography requires patience. More often than not I come home with nothing, but it’s the times that I do come home with a photo that will be with me forever, that makes it so worthwhile. Don’t feel like you have to take street photos just on city streets. Street photos can be taken anywhere… there are great street styled photos to be taken at the beach or out in the countryside. Street photography is about searching, finding and reacting…” — Jesse Marlow

Dig in, follow your instincts and trust your curiosity.” — Susan Meiselas

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Exploring pregancy with self-portraiture
– Young mothers
– Olap Sztaba
– Demonstrations, Marches, Political Action
– Halloween “boo-doir” images
– Israeli beach pictures

– Photoshop sky replacement In depth.
– Sky selection

– Black and white image making

– How does color/BW influence perception of when an image was made This article includes a really interesting quiz, with results from the takers. Test your own perceptions.

I am taking a class on combining text and images, for example to make a book. Our first assignment was for “Inspiration” and was to “Go for a walk and record what you see . . . in short fragments, poems or prose. Take photographs as you go. …” All of these were taken with a cell phone.

Here are the results:

Rain has stopped, but clouds remain.
Damp and cool, possible frost tonight.
Slippery leaves in yellow and red cover the ground,
Brought down by rain and wind.
Fall has arrived.

The wind blows
The leave rustle,
The water ripples,
Through the trees.

The water roars.
High after the storm,
It flows brown-green
With bits of white where ripples disturb the flow.
Down to the Bay
To mix with the ocean.
No intent – just a natural process.

Yellow leaves of fall
Recall forsythia flowers of spring.

Mushrooms on my lawn.

It rained last night.

Spring and fall together.

Fall colors.


Monday Missive — October 26, 2020

Free Photoshop Summit with some of the best PS instructors


A photograph is like a book where the photographer writes the preface, viewers the content and history the end.” — Arturo Macias Uceda

Photography for me is a passion, a mixture of science and art that creates magic. If a day goes by without photography, it’s incomplete.” — Scott MacQuarrie

I make bad picture after bad picture week after week until the relief comes: the good new picture offers benediction.” — Sally Mann

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Exploring pregancy with self-portraiture
– Eight artists imagining
– Self portraits

– PhotoshopCafe: New stuff in PS 2021 Key features.
– Photoshop Training Channel: Favorite new stuff in PS 2021 Most detailed.
– Matt K: PS 2021 features Easiest to follow.
– Matt K: Lightroom update
– Blake Rudis: New color grading in LR and ACR

– Flattering portraits even in bright sun

– The quality of light

Backyard buddies: An agressive blue jay hogging the feeder.

Backyard buddies: A rather stern looking mockingbird.

Monday Missive — October 19, 2020

– FREE Photoshop Summit, November 9-13 with some of the best Photoshop experts and trainers


Picking up a camera to enjoy this craft obliges you to no code, and it makes you responsible to no one more than you were the moment before you decided to start making photographs. This is not a secret brotherhood. It’s not the Sisterhood of the Traveling Photo Vest. So be suspicious when the guy who’s been photographing for all of five years prescribes for you the same path he took; you’re probably going different places.” — David duChemin

Specialization is not a badge of honour; you don’t get bragging rights. You get the possibility of intimacy and experience, and eyes that will see things the less experienced eye will never notice.” — David duChemin

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you. Don’t go back to sleep.” — Rumi

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Spiros Loukipoulos

– Pencil sketch effect to reality Cool effect!

– Storytelling with photography
– Short video on flowers in UV More interesting than flowers in IR

– The history of cameras in space
– Turning space images into sound Really cool!
– How to sell your camera gear
– More than just a photograph Take the time to appreciate where you are and what you are experiencing. Read the comments after the video as well.
– Sean Tucker on Tish Murtha

Just before sunrise over the marsh at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, VA.

Then I shot down to the beach at Tom’s Cove to catch the sunrise.

This looks like it might be a long exposure, but I actually used “statistics” to take the median of 7 images.

Same 7 images, but took the mean.

Salt marsh from the bridge at the entrance to the Refuge.

A snowy egret and cormorant sharing a moment.

Monday Missive — October 12, 2020


. . . the value of the photographer’s work is revealed through the images’ invisible, deep world, one that is the viewer’s intrinsic experience.” — Sajin Paik

To the degree that I apprehend acclaim, I think, ‘Ah, it’s a flaw in the work.’” — Louise Gluck, winner of the Noble Prize for literature.

Every slider movement changes the emotional feel of the photograph.” — Alister Benn

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– California wildfires
– Two interesting projects from Hawaii Both the use of a “case” for diptychs and “jerry-rigging” a lens to cell phone resulted in some creative imagery.

– Repeat transformation This was pretty neat.
– Add texture to a face
– High key processing for landscapes

– Photographing Denmark: When photography becomes art

– Facebook’s Rights Manager helps protect copyrights
– Comedy pet photo awards Just for fun!
– Nail manual focus
– Dissolve the box

Summer holdout.

Monday Missive — October 5, 2020


What I have learned in art school is that art cannot be taught. You can learn techniques, but no teacher or school can make an artist. That comes from the deepest self. That comes from long battles with your ego and the honest reshaping of your consciousness.” — Joel-Peter Witkin, interview with Ken Weingart

There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.” — Ernst Haas

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

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Striking photographs of Bedouins
– Interesting assemblage of street images from London boroughs by an Italian photographer Usually I prefer a more consistent set of images, but these were interesting in their variety.
– Shoes on the street It is often hard to select a photographic topic that generates sufficient images. This was very simple and creative.
– Icons of Activism

– Turn black objects white in PS
– Getting the best fall colors
– How to combine images in photoshop Basic steps

– Stunning landscape photos in boring locations
– Critiquing creative portraiture
– 7 tips for amazing autumn photos

Harbinger of fall.

Fall coneflower.

Monday Missive — September 28, 2020


” —

I would like to be remembered as someone who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the best of her ability.” — Ruth Bader Ginsburg

. . . I photograph because it feeds my soul. . . I find I see the world differently through the viewfinder of a camera. Photography has helped me “see” more deeply because in order to make images that are more than snapshots, requires this skill. All this is true, however, the process required to make photographs and more importantly, the experience I am having doing so, is what feeds my soul. The images are almost a by-product of the process and the experience.” — John Barclay

Arriving at a plateau in any art form, and staying there forever, eventually stagnates both the artist and the art.” — Al Weber

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– New work from Gregory Crewdson
– The illusion of free time
– Narrative portraiture
– Gallery marks 50 years since the passing of Jimi Hendrix
– Western Window: An American Road Trip
– Keith Carter Thank you Cheryl A.


– 3 reasons not to use AI processing
– Controlling color
– The inverse curve for light painting This works when parts of the image are too dark or light to paint in needed highlights.

– 5 Tips on Editing

I saw this and my immediate reaction was “Bad Hair Day!”

Monday Missive — September 21, 2020


Whatever satisfies the soul is truth.” — Walt Whitman

Knowledge is preferable to ignorance.. Better by far to embrace the hard truth than a reassuring fable.” – Carl Sagan

In memory of RGB: “Act boldly and unseen forces will come to your aid.” – Dorothea Brande

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Humorous juxtapositions
– Dan Jaravis: Good London street photography
– Need to connect

– 6 LR editing tools for landscape photographers
– Remove anything from complex perspectives
– Getting perfect skin tones

– When less is more
– Part 1 of David duChemin’s new course on “Why do images look the way they do?” is free and definitely worth watching even if you aren’t interested in subsequent lessons. It covers 7 key factors: shutter speed, aperture, focus, exposure value, light, focal length and point of view.

– Google Images: Licensable image info
– Imitation

Backyard bunny taking the sun on a chilly morning.

Skipper butterfly

Monday Missive — September 14, 2020


The trick now (as it has undoubtedly always been) is in knowing, specifically, what it is that you want to say with your photograph and then being able to employ the appropriate techniques, in the appropriate circumstances and in the appropriate amounts, all in a manner sufficient to convey (while not detracting from) the aesthetic message you are attempting to communicate. That means that you really do need to know precisely what it is that you are trying to say through your photograph.” — Huntington Weatherill

The weakest version of the real you, is stronger than the best imitation of someone else.” — Joanna Davidson Politano

Our photographs look the way they look because of how we see and what we are drawn to.” — David duChemin

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Bugs
– Myth of a woman Good images, but also an interesting story

– Sharpening
– Huntington Weatherill on the necessity of image manipulation His work is always superb.
– Removing wires

– Backyard bird photo studio
– Clouds

– Juxtaposition
– Creativity
– 10 street photographers every photographer should know

Monday Missive — September 7, 2020


I was told that the best way to learn to make photographs is to make a lot of them, and that’s impossible to argue with.” — David duChemin

A photographer’s work is given shape and style by his personal vision. It is not simply technique, but the way he looks at life and the world around him.” –- Pete Turner

All that I have achieved are these dreams locked in silver.” – Paul Caponigro

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Myanmar in monochrome
– Almost surreal street Really good color grading.
– Lewis Hine and child labor

– Sharpening

– Make soap bubbles that look like planets

– Google images will allow more licensing info on your photos
– Corporations should pay for the use of your photos
– What happens to your digital imagery when you die? Everyone should read this one.
– Ethics in photography: How not to photography sex workers
– Minimalist photography awards

Two dragonflies at North Point State Park.

A young goldfinch chowin’ down on coneflower seeds this morning totally ignored me. I went back for a camera, and then for a tripod to shoot some video and he just kept on eating those seeds. Great morining in the garden!

Monday Missive — August 31, 2020


“Good photography is not about zone printing or any other Ansel Adams nonsense. It’s just about seeing. You either see or you don’t see. The rest is academic. Photography is simply a function of noticing things. Nothing more.” — Elliott Erwitt

“Photographers must have a point of view – must have something to say. Without a philosophy, a photographer is simply a technician who clicks the camera.” — Mary Ellen Mark

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” — Maya Angelou

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– The view from above
– Clouds in our midst Interesting idea
– Skateboarding photography
– NYC commute post-covid

– Simple way to make your colors look better in PS
– Intro to color grading
– Understanding “smoothness” in gradient maps

– The Decisive Moment

– Really good analysis on volunteering your photography Thank you Vickie
– A few of the legends Interesting article on Peter Adams 38 year project to interivew and photograph famous photographers. Thanks Steve O.

This tricolored heron was identified to me in the field by another photographer. The white stripe down the neck and along the belly seem to confirm that identification, but if someone is confident that this is actually a Little Blue Heron, please let me know.

Same goes for this one. Is it a late stage immature Little Blue Heron or a Tricolored Heron?

Monday Missive — August 24, 2020


You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou

Here were creatures so exquisitely fashioned that they seemed unreal, their beauty too fragile to exist in a world of crushing force.” — Rachel Carson

I want art to make me think. In order to do that, it may piss me off, or make me uncomfortable. That promotes awareness and change, or at least some discussion.” – Pink

– Cedric Terrell: Portraits and street
– Elizabeth Greenberg: Imaginary Places

– Make eyes sparkle
– Targetted adjustment tool in color mixer in ACR or LR This can act like a luminosity mask based on color.
– Layer mask challenge Better understand how masks work.
– Blake Rudis: Color Theory

– Good evaluation of compositional errors

– Color theory The takeaways for photographers near the end really shows the utility of understanding color theory, even for black and white images.
– Content Authenticity Initiative (CAI): Adobe is proposing a new system to assure content attribution This is interesting and may reduce image theft.
– Potato photographer of the year contest Some interesting images, some just fun, and some great creativity and imagination.

Female ruby throated hummingbird, at the Visitor Station at Patuxent North Tract. Three images taken at fast continuous shutter and combined in post to show the landing sequence.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird.

Female ruby-throate hummingbird.