Monday Missive – May 30, 2016


‘…photography is a craft that requires experimentation, risk and growth, and that getting better at photography is a journey that never ends.” – Chris Orwig, Photography Issue 5

In general, I have found that people who pour their energy into thinking about an approach and insisting that it is too early to act are wrong just as often as people who dive in and work quickly. The over-planners just take longer to be wrong (and, when things inevitably go awry, are more crushed by the feeling that they have failed). There’s a corollary to this, as well: The more time you spend mapping out an approach, the more likely you are to get attached to it. The nonworking idea gets worn into your brain, like a rut in the mud. It can be difficult to get free of it and head in a different direction. Which, more often than not, is exactly what you must do.” –- Ed Catmull, Pixar


– Balance – A Better Approach than Rule of Thirds
– Risking Death to Get the Shot
– Six tips on Wildlife Photography
– Really Good Article on 500-600 mm Super Telephoto Lenses
– Conceptual Photography

Cemetery Angel series

Cemetery Angel series

Monday Missive May 23, 2016

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” — John Maynard Keynes

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

The truth is that one is more frequently blessed with ideas while working.” – Jerry Uelsmann


Dobsonfly female attracted with a bright light at night and transferred to a tree for better background. Lit with a flashlight for 2 seconds at f/22 to avoid the blank highlights of flash.

– Dreamy Lighting Techniques
– Goin’ to Africa? – Read this…
– But South Dakota is much closer and also has a lot to offer
– Foreground, midground, background
– Panoramas and Contests: The analysis of contests was interesting
– Edit BEFORE Pressing the Shutter
– Shoot for Mono Mid-day
– High Speed Splash
– 20 best “fine art” images
– Sunsets Perfected with Luminosity Masks

Bug Shot Austin Days 1-4

What we choose not to do matters.Seth Godin, 5/20/16

Two years ago I heard about Bug Shot workshops given by some entomologists who are also great photographers. I was too late to register the first year I heard about it and the second year was in California. I was hoping that this year it would have moved back east, but it was in Texas, further than I would have liked, but close enough to be feasible. I decided to drive and explore several wildlife refuges along the Gulf coast.

We left on Sunday and the first two days were strictly travel. The fun began on day 3. In the morning we stopped at the Mississippi Sandhill Crane National Wildlife Refuge (N 30.45124; W 088.65537). Saw a couple of cranes by the side of the road outside the refuge but couldn’t safely stop. Although we couldn’t photograph cranes, we saw loads of great bog plants including yellow trumpet and parrot’s beak pitcher plants, and dwarf sundew. Also Orange Candy Root and Yellow Colicroot. The Refuge did a great job with little signs by various plants that were really helpful as was the volunteer manning the visitor center. We also stopped at Bayou Davis, the mainland part of the Gulf Islands National Seashore. Nice visitor center, saw an alligator, but the half mile nature trail didn’t produce anything but mosquito bites. Then onto New Orleans.

Traffic and traffic patterns were so crazy we decided to bag going downtown. A local (we stayed in Gretna which was half the price of downtown) restaurant, Cafe 615 Home of Da Wabbit, recommended by the hotel served a a great shrimp etouffe with two fried fillets; service was excellent, kitchen was fast, servings were large and reasonably priced.

The next morning off to Lake Charles. In the afternoon we went to Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge. The “Lacassine Pool” is the main attraction. Saw coots and ibis. Tried to go from Lacassine to Cameron Prairie NWR; got lost, but finally found the visitor center at about 3:45 to find that it closed at 3:00. Two miles down the road however was a wildlife drive and a very nice boardwalk loop through a marsh. Marsh was gorgeous, but it must have been wrong season or time of day for wildlife.

Tomorrow will head west to Bastrop, TX southwest of Austin. Workshop starts at 6:00.

Yellow Trumpet Pitcher Plant, Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge. 10 image stack

Yellow Trumpet Pitcher Plant, Mississippi Sandhill Crane Wildlife Refuge. 10 image stack

Egret at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge.

Egret at Lacassine National Wildlife Refuge.

Monday Missive May 9, 2016

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham
A good photograph is one that communicates a fact, touches the heart and leaves the viewer a changed person for having seen it. It is, in a word, effective.
Irving Penn
I went into photography because it seemed like the perfect vehicle for commenting on the madness of today’s existence.” – Robert Mapplethorpe


Improving Landscapes with LR HSL
Steve McCurry’s Sidewalk Vignettes
Animals in the Environment
Blend adjustments in Photoshop
Break the Rules

Monday Missive May 2, 2016


“My work is inviting, hopefully, it’s also evocative and tells a story. Ultimately, the goal in my work is to elicit emotion, be it wonderment, joy, silliness, happiness, solitude. I think because I shoot for feeling rather than just for a scene, perhaps that makes my vision of the world and thus my photography, different.” — Marianne Drenthe in an article by Caresse Muir; Rangefinder Aug 2011, p. 130

‘Be suspicious of thoughtless praise. When you want to learn, your more faithful teacher isn’t praise but constructive feedback from someone who is making art that’s stronger than yours.” – David du Chemin June 8, 2015

“I want to sing like the birds sing, not worrying about who hears or what they think.” — Rumi


Imperfectly Invisible If you read any of these, read this one.
Exquisite Portraits of Older Women
Color Correction in Lightroom
Focus Stacking is Not Just for Macro
Put People In Your Landscapes
Practical Tips for Macrophotography
Renaissance Cat Ladies
60 Great BW Images
Lens Focus Calibration This can be important if your shots are not sharp. I had to send my camera back because it was so far off, even the fine tuning wasn’t enough.
Low Light Photography Tips
Making a Custom Brush

Brookside Garden Butterfly House is open.  Check their website for times; $8 admission.

Brookside Garden Butterfly House is open. Check their website for times; $8 admission.