Monday Missive — August 3, 2020

Quotes

A democracy cannot thrive where power remains unchecked and justice is reserved for a select few. Ignoring these cries and failing to respond to this movement is simply not an option—for peace cannot exist where justice is not served.” — John Lewis

You are a light. You are the light. Never let anyone—any person or any force—dampen, dim or diminish your light. Study the path of others to make your way easier and more abundant. Lean toward the whispers of your own heart, discover the universal truth, and follow its dictates.” — John Lewis

“Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” — Peter Adams

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Minimalist BW
– Larry Cohen: Baltimore
– Iris Wo: In the calm of your arms An interesting little zine.
– Bryce Watanasoponwong: Thailand Interesting color and framing.

Post-processing
– Using puppet warp
– Select subject in the latest version of PS is much better
– Speed up Lightroom performance

Field/Studio
– Street photography at night Thanks Steve O.
– Wide angle landscape composition Gorgeous Lake District scenery.

Miscellany
– 11 photographers that will inspire you Good list; some well-known, some not. Thanks Steve O.

Looking back at my images from my artist residency at Rocky Mountain National Park in 2012. Reflections on Bear Lake.

The view from Prospect Mountain, Rocky Mountains National Park, 2012.

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 — November 18, 2019

Quotes

I became wary of simple interpretations that assumed fixed and final meanings.” – John Pfahl

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

My photographs are not pure: they are a seething wealth of imperfection.” – Frederick Sommer

Links
Photoessays/Bodiesof Work
– Nocturnal New York
– Urban Nature
– Greek self-portraits
– Julia Fullerton-Batten: Old Father Thames Great story-telling and very natural implementation

Post-processing
– How to fix the glitches in the first release of PS 20202
– Black and white conversions using calculations
– High contrast BW
– Creating a depth map in PS 2020 and blurring the background with lens blur This is a lot of work, but may be worth it for some photos where a blurry background really improves the image.

Field/Studio
– Shooting motocross

Miscellany
– TED talks by 24 famous photographers
– Overcoming creative burnout

Green snake. Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park.

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 — 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 — 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 — 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 — January 21, 2019

Quotes

Art is a response to our humanity and the challenges it brings, not a break from it; it shouldn’t be an obligation.” — David DuChemin

I have been a witness, and these pictures are my testimony. The events I have recorded should not be forgotten and must not be repeated.” — James Nachtwey Quote taken from his homepage (www.jamesnachtwey.com)

My job as a portrait photographer is to seduce, amuse and entertain.” — Helmut Newton

Links

– Crystal ball photography I just bought a small ball to experiment.
– HSL adjustment   38 minute video, everything you need to know
– Full-spectrum conversion 8 minute video on using a full spectrum camera on a balloon ride. Great BW images. A full spectrum camera has filters removed from the sensor so it is seensitive to UV, Visible, and IR. What the sensor sees is then controlled with filters.
– Profile with images of Eleanor Owen Kerr “On the Batture” between levees and the Mississippi River
– Feel free to break the “rules”
– Create long shadows using Photoshop 3D There is probably a lot of capability in 3D that most people, especially me, are unaware of. New Year’s resolution to learn more?
– Overcoming creative block I thought these were some of the better ideas I have seen on this topic
– How to compare two images in photoshop
– Snow Moods
– Getting accurate exposure

Crop 1. Three crops of the same image. Which do you prefer and why?
Crop 2.
Crop 3.

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 — 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 — 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.