Monday Missive — June 24, 2019

Quotes

Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.” – Steven Pressfield

A very subtle difference can make the picture or not.” – Annie Leibovitz

I want to make photographs whose very ambiguity provokes thought, rather than cuts it off prematurely. I want to make pictures that work on a more mysterious level, that approach the truth by a more circuitous route.” – John Pfahl

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Monochromatic minimalism
– Re-examining “consent” in an age where neither the photographer nor the subject may control where an image shows or how it is used. This is an interesting discussion, but not sure that what Berman suggests is feasible or realistic.
– Widow/er A “poignant and elegant” portrait series

Post-processing
– Blur the background without halos
– Adding an image into text
– How to cut out hair from a busy background 37 minute video, but covers a lot about brushes, masking and selections.
– Create realistic skin texture

Studio/Field
– Packing your gear for air travel

Miscellany
– Be creative every day
– Modern photographic terms: What thoese acronyms mean.

male ruby-throated hummingbird. Taken at Patuxent North Tract Research Refuge, near visitor center. Sigma 150-600, 1/1250 sec; f/8; ISO 1600.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird. Same metadata except shutter =1/400.

Monday Missive — March 25, 2019

Quotes

Art isn’t about what others say about our art, but what we say through that art.” — David DuChemin

The first time, I usually skim off the outer layer and end up with photographs that are fairly obvious. The second time, I have to look a little deeper. The images get more interesting. The third time it is even more challenging and on each subsequent occasion, the images should get stronger, but it takes more effort to get them.” – Michael Kenna

If it makes you laugh, 
if it makes you cry, 
if it rips out your heart, 
that’s a good picture.
 – Eddie Adams

Links

– August Sander: What this photo doesn’t show
– Omens and Predictions Some of these images were really creepy.
– Portraits of counter-culture NY youth The writer makes an interesting comparison of this work to that of Diane Arbus
– The establishing shot This applies better to a body of work than a single image, but potentially very helpful. Also references to W. Eugene Smith.
– Edge Dwellers: large format portraits and connection to individuals in marginalized communities in California
– Manhattan wilderness at twilight
– Simulating shallow depth of field with Blur Gallery in PS
– Australian street photographer
From Steve Oney:
– Irving Penn
– Paul Strand

“Slow surf” won second place in the Baltimore Camera Club long-exposure themed competition in March 2019. Taken at Assateague State Park on Feb. 5, 2019. 30 second exposure at f/22, 70-200@125, f/22, 10 stop ND filter.

Monday Missive — February 25, 2019

Quotes

If it’s a likeness, alone, it’s not a success. If, through my portraits, you can come to know the subjects more meaningfully, if it synthesizes your feelings toward someone whose work has imprinted itself on your mind–if you see a photograph and say, ‘Yes, this is the person,’ with a little new insight–that is a beautiful experience. — Yousuf Karsh

I have always been a firm believer in photographic experiments. Only by attempting everything personally can a photographer begin to understand the scope of photography..…No picture, verbal description or how-to-do-it article can supersede first-hand experience. — Waclaw Nowak

As photographers we sell ’emotion not emulsion.’ the tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is all important.” –– Jeff Adams

Links

– Iconic portraits by photographer Nickolas Muray of artist Frida Kahlo
– Focus stacking in Photoshop
– Sara Silks Two different types of images. I liked them both.
– Is the “decisive moment” too limiting?
– Enhanced details function in Feb 2019 ACR update
– Color matching subject and background in composites Also uses blurs to make it look more real
– Unexpected slider for BW
– 40 inspiring examples of street photography
– Wishing for creativity
– 11 tips for street photography

Faye (at Grafitti Warehouse).

Monday Missive — February 4, 2019

Quotes

Fear of failure is the saddest reason on earth not to do what you were meant to do” — J.K. Rowling

I focus on the photographic object, the print, or the artist book, as a keepsake of my experience in the world. It provides me in a very tangible and tactile way of recording the discoveries and holding on to the memories that I am trying to preserve. Photographing gives me a way to capture my impressions and writing and making books lets me distill and reexamine that experience.” — Sal Taylor Kydd

What matters is that you make your art, in whatever way your muse beckons you to make it.” — David DuChemin

Links

– Frequency separation Frequency separation is often used in portrait retouching to smooth out skin without losing detail or changing color.
– Page curl composite
– Retouching lips for better portraits 25 minute video
– Adding Bokeh To add bokeh or soften the background to bring out the subject I usually just use Gaussian blur – this gets much better results.
– Comic book effect
– Story and photo essay about how the Danish people saved Jews from a Nazi round-up Unfortunately this seems to me to be particularly relevant at this time.
– 10 images that changed history Every serious photographer should know something about these images
– Recovering gigabytes of hard drive space in LR
– 12 confessions of an amateur photographer Brief, amusing list of issues to get you on the right track
– A sermon for the amateur

After the snow.
Liked the light.

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 — October 2, 2017

Quotes

When we synthesize and invent and leap, we create a rare sort of value.” — Posted by Seth Godin on September 25, 2017

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” — Pema Chödrön

To be more creative is to get closer to childhood.” — Sarah Moon

Links

– John Sexton on black & white printing His love for photography really comes across.
– Creative image sharpening with HDR software One of Caponigro’s enlightening but technical blogs.
– Julianne Kost’s trip to Tasmania Great variety of images; also see another view of Tasmania from July 24, 2017 on this blog. Is Tasmania the new Iceland?
– Overcoming aging and disability to continue photographing
– Control your depth of field with focus stacking Focus stacking software was invented for microscope and macro work, but can also be very helpful for landscapes
– High speed photography with your regular flash
– Fall photography tips
– Using Lightroom to work collaboratively
– Add background blur without halos
– A series of video tutorials on Photoshop basics

Saturday mornings, starting at around 9 am, car aficionados stop by the Hunt Valley mall to show off their cars and discuss specs. Shot this raised Viper hood. Notice the “forked tongue” on the lower left.

Monday Missive — July 31, 2017

Quotes

Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” — Dorothea Lange

The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.” — Susan Meiselas

Well, I try my best
To be just like I am
But everybody wants you
To be just like them
” — Bob Dylan (Maggie’s Farm)
Links

– Photography as therapy
– Motion Blur
– Marc Muench: Wildlife in the landscape Marc is always worth following
– Sensor cleaning
– The stages of becoming a photographer
– New York City from a German perspective
– TSA now checking cameras as well as devices larger than a cell phone
– Use flash to control the light
– Pet photography
– A landscape photographer’s bucket list

Sunday Farmer’s Market in Baltimore right off Pleasant Street exit from I-83. Two hours free parking nearby. Huge selection of fruits, vegetables, baked goods, live plants, flowers…..

Monday Missive — July 10, 2017

Quotes

Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.” — Roman Payne, Rooftop Soliloquy

Again and again, the cicada’s untiring cry pierced the sultry summer air like a needle at work on thick cotton cloth.” — Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses: The Sea of Fertility

The crickets felt it was their duty to warn everybody that summertime cannot last for ever. Even on the most beautiful days in the whole year – the days when summer is changing into autumn – the crickets spread the rumor of sadness and change.” — E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

Links

– How to photograph fireworks
– Eyes on the world: travel photography
– Settings for action and sports photography Courtesy of Gary Faulkner
– Working the Scene, learning to see
– Copyright
– Tilt-shift blur This could have general applicability to control depth of focus
– Mastering autofocus

Apocalypse Now: Diane Arbus with social outcasts in NYC parks, survival in Indian coal mines reminiscent of Selgado’s work and Burtynski with the beauty and devastation of man’s works on earth.
– Critical summary and exhibition video for Diane Arbus’ works “In the Park”
– Survival in an apocalyptic landscape
– Burtynski: Indian salt pans

Cicada from the 2004 brood.

Cicada from the 2004 brood.

Field cricket

Monday Missive — May 22, 2017

Quotes

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – A. A. Milne

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. … And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Maxwell Maltz

Links

– Sparking your creativity
– Four ways to unblock creativity
– Metaphor and creativity Ted Talk. If your pictures tell stories, they are metaphors, therefore it might be helpful to better understand the role of metaphor in communication
– Protest photography
– Selling your photographs
– Finding the right shutter speed to show movement
– Creativity
– Adding a background blur to show motion without getting a halo
– Adding a field blur to the background to highlight your subject
– Using the gradient filter in LR

In the surf at Calvert Cliffs.