Monday Missive — June 8, 2020

Quotes

Great photography is always on the edge of failure.” –- Garry Winogrand

In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen.” –- Harry Callahan

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

Links
Post-processing
– Change background color Also includes several selection and masking methods
– How to re-light a scene in Photoshop Using camera raw so it can also work in LR
– Color grading
– Layer masks for beginners
– How to light a portrait in camera raw

Field/Studio
– Single light critiques Lindsay Adler explains how to improve portrait/glamor lighting using only a single light.
– 7 techniques to improve your composition

Miscellany
– Clyde Butcher and the quarantine
– Eileen Rafferty: Seeing in BW Almost 2 hours
– Using a 110 year old camera Thanks to Steve O. This was interesting if not practical.

Found a spider in the house. He agreed to pose for a portrait to show off his gold grill. He is kind of cute, sort of makes you want to scratch behind his ears (if he had them). This is probably a jumping spider, although he didn’t jump, but was really fast.

I just really like the reflected emerald green. All I did to this was lens corrections and darken the light tree trunks.

Monday Missive — December 2, 2019

Quotes

The question is not, “Should I manipulate a photograph?” Since the invention of photography, all kinds of things have been done to photographs. The question is, “What happens when I do or don’t manipulate a photograph?” — John Paul Caponigro

Be yourself – not your idea of what you think somebody else’s idea of yourself should be.” – Henry David Thoreau

That’s one of the interesting things about photography – we all get to play and our voices all get a chance to be heard.” — David DuChemin

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Street: Cool juxtapositions
– Very interesting approach to family photography
– Niphisi: Minimalist Thank you Cheryl A. Good follow on to the 2 mimimalist links from last week.
– Judy Iranyi: Remembering Michael
– Incredible birds

Post-processing
– Sky replacement
– Missing presets or brushes after updating PS? This is how to fix it.
– 25 tip and tricks Many of these are really good, especially the calculations for creating a BW image at 27:25.

Miscellany
– How much editing is OK? Simon Tucker is a thoughtful photographer, who addresses photography “philosophical” issues quite well. I was surprised that the issue he discusses is actually still an issue. Maybe more in Britain than here?
– Conceptual images of the life of an artist This is different from anything I have seen before.

East River Skyline, NY, Thanksgiving 2019

Monday Missive — November 25, 2019

Quotes

“I tend to question photography, not regurgitate it.” — Duane Michals

I think photographs should be provocative and not tell you what you already know. It takes no great powers or magic to reproduce somebody’s face in a photograph. The magic is in seeing people in new ways.” – Duane Michals

A photograph is an invitation to look – and to look at looking.” – John Paul Caponigro

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Street photography with a good use of shadows and silhouettes
– Duane Michals
– Conflict Photography: Lynsey Addario

Post-processing
– Dramatic BW processing
– Using gradient maps for BW
– Black and white processing
– Convert flat 2D to 3D in Photoshop This was really neat but complicated. Using 3D is learning a whole new set of tools and options; it is like learning a whole new appliction. Still – worth watching just to know what is possible.
– Comparison of the new 1-click selection tools in PS 2020

Field/Studio
– Minimalist photography: 6 tips learned from Michael Kenna
– Simplification and negative space

View from the head of the Observation Trail off of the Black Marsh Trail.

Black Marsh, North Point State Park, MD, shortly before Thanksgiving.

Monday Missive — September 2, 2019

Quotes

Three rules of work:
Out of clutter find simplicity.
From discord find harmony.
In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
” — Albert Einstein

It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” — Leonardo da Vinci

What have I done wrong?” -he said later.” Nothing, I think. I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don’t find it, invent it!” –- Pete Turner

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Simon LaChapelle: Some really cool architectural images

Post-processing
– 3 step process to add great color to landscapes This is a little like split toning, but much more flexible
– Removing a shadow in PS

Field/Studio
– David Yarrow: Incredible BW Wildlife photography Thank you George S.
– If you liked David Yarrow above also see his TedX talk
– Is consistency important in your work?
– Escape to landscape photography

Miscellany
– Photographing Woodstock
– The Death of Photoshop?
– How to clean a lens

Little Blue Heron, Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.

Life in the marsh: turtle, little blue heron, blue dasher dragonfly.

Monday Missive — April 29, 2019

Quotes

That’s why I fight against the notion of rules. . . They don’t encourage the kind of questions that will get us to making better photographs. They don’t ask Why. As in, ‘Why am I making this photograph and what do I want to say?‘” — David DuChemin

I was not schooled in photography, I didn’t know what the rules were, and I broke a lot of them. I think it made my work more intriguing.” — Franz Lanting

It takes the passage of time before an image of a commonplace subject can be assessed. The great difficulty of what I attempt is seeing beyond the moment; the everydayness of life gets in the way of the eternal.” — George Tice

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– For animal lovers
– Photographing the most remote places on earth
– Creative self portraits

Photoshop/Lightroom Technique
– A complete workflow for a BW image (from Steve) Mostly LR processing
– Pencil sketch effect
– Better cutouts and crisp edges
– Exploding people using PS 3D tools

Field/Studio
– DNG vs Raw
– Capture emotion in your landscape photography A thoughtful analysis in 13 minute video with some excellent images from Scotland. Made me want to get up to Dolly Sods again this spring.

Miscellaney
– Adobe test for what type of creative you are This is a really fun 16 question self-test that everyone should try — and then get someone who knows them well to take it for them and see the difference

Lighthouse at Campobello Island, Canada. Trying out one of my new Photomorphis textures.

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 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 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 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.