Monday Missive — August 31, 2020

Quotes

“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

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

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

Field/Studio
– The Decisive Moment

Miscellany
– 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 — July 13, 2020

Quotes

“They were faded and worn, but the images were alive with a fragile beauty of expression and gesture.” — Soomin Ham

“Photography becomes a prayer.” — Karen Bullock

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
– Paul Lukin
– Nikita Payusov: Coney Island

Post-processing
– Stacked focus for landscape shots
– Everything you want to know about the new Adobe Camera Raw This is the first of a 4 part series that goes into great detail, even on things that aren’t new. It is worth the time to understand everything you can do in ACR. Most of it also applies to LR. The remaining 3 parts of the series are listed below the main window.
– Resolution, resizing and resampling Courtesy Steve O.
– Beginner’s guide to sharpening in PS
– Adjusting color and tone in the new ACR

Miscellany
– How to identify your best images
– Sebatiao Selgado
– Developing your voice as a photographer

Needham’s Skimmer, male, Black Marsh Trail.

From my book “Winter Marsh” that is approaching completion.

Monday Missive — June 1, 2020

Quotes

Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” — Toni Morrison

You don’t need to explain yourself. Shoot what makes you happy.” — Sean Tucker

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” — Matt Hardy

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Ruth Orkin

Post-processing
– Changing day to night in PS One more lesson on Lighting Effects
– Removing shadows
– Double exposure effect
– When to use PS over LR
– Photoshop layers for beginners

Field/Studio
– Camera settings for wildlife photography
– Getting started with landscape photography
– Using lace as a GOBO for creative portraits

Miscellany
– The beauty of platinum/palladium prints Tillman Crane uses a hybrid process taking digital images with a medium format camera but printing Pt/Pd in the darkroom.

Clematis. 200 mm macro in mornng sun.

Tiny mushrooms. 200 mm micro lens with 74.5 mm extension.

Monday Missive — April 27, 2010

Quotes

– 20 photography quotes

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Really excellent nature composites
– Story telling with pictures
– Vietnam Portraits

Post-processing
– Using color properly in landscape photography
– Using gradient maps to increase the luminosity of portraits
– Mind blowing lighting effects filter in PS

Field/Studio
– Lighting a beauty image

Miscellany
– Preparing your images for Instagram
– Abstract with only paper and light
– Making your first photo book Some advice from Thomas Heaton, British landscape photographer. Unlike an exhibit, a book can be available to many more people, over a longer period of time. It is worth considering.

I’m working on a new book called “Winter Marsh: An exploration of color” with images and verse:
The warm sunrise flowed like liquid gold over the marsh
And swirled with the cool shadows of night
To gently overwhelm them,
Slowly taking control of the day.

Monday Missive — March 16, 2020

Quotes

I don’t like to be called a “female photographer”. We don’t refer to Salgado or Cartier-Bresson as “male photographers”. I feel that calling us “female photographers” perpetuates the idea that we are “lesser than”, in some way. It defines us by gender rather than by the quality of our pictures.” — Jane Evelyn Atwood

From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the Photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation.” — Roland Barthes

I communicate with the world by creating visual narratives of composited photographs, often illuminating that in-between moment in time. It is how I explore dreams deferred, connections to prior generations, the natural world and our place within it. Making art is my psychological release, my obsession and my salvation.” –- Fran Forman

Links
Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Roxanne Darling: Nature and Nurture
– Pioneering women photographers Thanks to Steve O. This is fantastic assemblage of photographs taken by women. This really sheds light on an aspect of the history of photography that is often ignored. Make the time to scroll through this link and follow some of the included links.
– The collector’s eye A collection of some really interesting and creative approaches by multiple photographers
– Waving Farewell
– Trees Really well-composed BW
– Fran Forman: the rest between two notes Very creative and great use of color.

Post-processing
– The Slinky Rule
– Creating mood in your images
– An assortment of tips

Field/Studio
– Recognizing good light in street photography

An older image (2005) from my files. May even have been a scanned slide.

Monday Missive — January 27, 2020

Quotes

The work precedes the idea, and the idea initiates the work. I don’t think one necessarily comes before the other — it’s a conversation.” — Doug DuBois

The act of taking pictures is often an intuitive or unconscious one, but the intuition and unconscious are fed by intellect and the conscious mind. So there is a feedback loop — looking at contact sheets informs the conscious mind about what the unconscious is attracted to.” — Gregory Halpern

Dodging and burning are steps to take care of mistakes God made in establishing tonal relationships.” – Ansel Adams

Links
Photoesssays/Bodies of Work
– Saul Leiter
– Regard: Daily life

Post-processing
– Enhancing colors
– Removing fringes from selections
– Get better BW with split toning This video uses Capture One, but LR will do most of the same thing.
– Perspective warp to make buildings look taller.
– Editing photos taken in direct sunlight Direct sunlight often gives very high contrast and featureless shadows or blown out highlights. Here is how to recover the highlights and shadows in LR or ACR. Also good basic processing for beginners. Most aps that come with digital cameras would also work.

Field/Studio
– The rule of thirds is over-rated

Miscellany
– Camera pricing Interesting story on how camera manufacturers think about pricing and the various pricing strategies
– When do you need a model or property release?

Thinking of summer: Lotus.

Monday Missive — January 13, 2020

Quotes

Art is when we can go deeper, and think, and feel, and understand, and analyze. And laugh and cry. And then go even a little deeper.” — Elinor Carucci in Photowork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice, Sasha Wolf (ed.), p 32.

Photographs somehow feel unfinished if they are not part of a completed project. In fact, I’m haunted by particular images that I haven’t been able to connect firmly to others yet.” — Matthew Connors, ibid., p 51.

The photobook is the perfect form for me because, through sequencing, it allows us to tell the story exactly as it should be told.” — Sian Davey, ibid. p 59.

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Peter Dawson landscapes
– Andrea Bruce: Democracy
– Alec Soth: Reframing the American photographic road trip From Steve O.

Post-processing
– Remove a fence Also some blur and sharpening applications
– Improving the color in your images with the calibration palette
– Matt K processes a basketfull ofimages in LR You can learn a lot from these.

Miscellany
– Best images of 2019 John Paul Caponigro has compiled a list of the best photos from 2019 from numerous sources.
– Best photography contests for 2020
– Consistency?
– Famous first photographs

Stream at Ferncliff Nature Preserve, PA

Ferncliff Nature Preserve, PA

Monday Missive — December 30, 2019

Quotes

I want parameters narrow enough to make the work compelling and cohesive, but broad enough to allow myself, and my viewer, the pleasure of being able to find their own way through the work.” — Gregory Halpern in PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice

There are some locations I go to and they scream black and white to me because of the ambiance. For me, great black and white images fall into two categories: very dramatic with stormy skies and bold compositions and at the other end of the spectrum a calm and minimalist composition.” – Helen Rushton

Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– People matching art works
– Photojournalism’s most powerful moments of 2019
– Photographing the white horses of the Camargue

Post-processing
– Advanced color toning
– Six sneaky ways to adjust color in PS
– Black and White Artistry, Part I
– Black and White Artistry, Part II

Field/Studio
– Fun winter projects

Miscellany
– Do the colors in your image seem to change on export? Here’s why.
– Conceptualizing New Projects

For the last several weeks I have been experimenting with adding washes of complimentary colors to images using techiques such as split toning, gradient maps, color balance adjustment layers and others. These images were taken on a foggy morning and were virtually monochromatic before processing. I feel that the colors make for more interesting images, but I am also partially color blind, so I tend to overdo colors that I probably don’t see as intensely as others. Would appreciate getting feedback.

Monday Missive — May 27, 2019

Quotes

…the goal of art was the vital expression of self.” – Alfred Stieglitz

Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; And then do it.” – Duane Michals

Style has no formula, but it has a secret key. It is the extension of your personality. The summation of this indefinable net of your feeling, knowledge and experience.” – Ernst Haas

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Images of the Central American migration

Post-processing
– Tim Grey defines and compares sharpening, the new texture slider in LR/ACR, clarity and dehaze
– Using the new texture slider to smooth skin and enhance landscapes
– Matt K on Texture vs clarity and sharpening
– Color grading in Lightroom
– Making basic selections in PS
– Dealing with a significantly over-exposed image in LR

Field/Studio
– Using negative space in photography
– A photojournalistic approach to wedding photography

Miscellany
– Color Psychology

Images from yesteday’s Sowebo festival in southwest Baltimore.

This bassist was really enjoying the music.

He was pretty happy too.

Artist display.

Monday Missive — January 28, 2019

Quotes

The more personal you make your work, the more universal it becomes.” — Katrin Eismann

The enemy of art is the total lack of limitations.” — Orson Wells

I chose nature photography as a way of capturing and sharing the beauty, power, and fragility of wild places and the life that inhabits them, so that those who have become mired in the man-made chaos may open their eyes to the real world.” – Guy Tal

Links
– Two special blend modes to control color and saturation Neat trick to subtly increase saturation and pop.
– Adjusting levels output (rather than input) to get more subtle BW images
– This Aftermath grant winner provides a much better understanding of a part of American subculture that I haven’t seen in Baltimore
– 13 creative exercises Surprisingly, constraints actually increase creativity. This a helpful selection of projects that will illustrate that point. Give it a try.
– The haunting beauty of ghost towns
– Easy way to cut out a subject to replace background
– Copyright fair use court case The “Lessons Learned” was helpful
– Dehaze: when not to use it and how to use it most effectively Matt K does a good job on this.
– Wildlife photographer of the year Some great images.
From George Spicer:
– 9 Portrait tips These were better than I expected.

Pet Expo at the Fairgrounds ran agility trials this weekend. Lots of fun for everyone. This German Shepherd made it look easy.
The weave poles generally seemed to be the most difficult, but the smaller herding dogs like border collies and Australian shepherds were incredible at weaving through the poles.
Superdog!
… And a composite just for fun.

Monday Missive — January 14, 2019

Quotes

The difference between RC-paper and fiber-based paper is the same as the difference between vinyl and leather. — John Sexton

We tried to present the ordinary in an extraordinary manner. But that’s the paradox because the only thing extraordinary about it was that it was so ordinary. Nobody had ever done it before, deliberately. Now it’s called documentary, which I suppose is all right … We just took pictures that cried out to be taken. — Ben Shahn

“Small, portable digital cameras that exceed the performance of an off-the-shelf Nikon using 35mm slide film are further away from current reality than the proposed NASA manned Mars mission, although I expect both to happen sometime during my lifetime. — Galen Rowell

Links

– Photoshop extensions Many are free and can add to what you can do with PS.
– Pictures from descriptions of dreams
– Creating and using a saturation mask to increase colors realistically 1 minute video.
– 5 common mistakes in PS
– Increase control over sharpening with High Pass and Brightness/Contrast adjustment
– How creative people find their best ideas I thought this was really interesting.
– LaChapelle: modern religious imagery This is way out there, but sometimes looking at extremes can be interesting.
– Artists we lost in 2018 Photographers Laura Aguilar, David Goldblatt, Cui Xiuwen and Jacqueline Hassink.
– Really neat scifi/landscape images
From Steve Oney:
– A non-destructive and straightforward way to dodge and burn

Proud Native American women at the PowWow in Belair on Jan 12.

Monday Missive — November 12, 2018

Quotes

Pilgrim leaves crowd the air with their falling every October. The journey is always the same.” — Linda Pastan

The ritual sadness of the season is more voluptuous than joy.” — Linda Pastan

Art is, or ought to be, a reliable refuge for idiosyncrasy in a society that increasingly views the idiosyncratic with suspicion.” — Colin Dabkowski

Links

– Auto functions in PS that quickly and easily get your post processing started
– Select subject With the use of AI, this has become a really helpful tool.
– Wildfife photographer of the year winners
– Update on copyright issues
– Improving fall color
– Should landscape photographers explore?
– Blend long and short exposures to make the best long exposure images
– Examples of Noir photography
– Removing fringes from a tree after a sky swap
– 50 images of gritty NY in the 1970s

Stigma and anthers of Asian Lily.

From an exercise with friends.

Monday Missive — August 20, 2018

Quotes

Experience has shown that the more fascinating the subject, the less observant the photographer.” – Andreas Feininger

The picture is like a prayer, an offering, and hopefully an opening through which to seek what we don’t know, or already know and should take seriously.” – Emmet Gowin

Some speak of a return to nature. I wonder where they could have been.” – Frederick Sommer

Links

– Be patient and adapt to conditions
– Learning from “bad” images
– Get better HDR results in PS by using 32-bit not available in LR, but here is a followup from Adobe to Kelby explaining his results and showing an advantage for LR.
– Urban landscapes
– How to add color to your images
– Latin American nature photo ops
– Franklin and Nantahala: Not just the National Park
– 2 minute tip on doing the “Orton Effect”
– What do photographeres owe their subjects? This was an exceptionally interesting discussion.

From Steve Oney:
– TED talk by Sabastiao Salgado In my opinion Salgado is the most accomplished BW photographer practicing today. He is in the same league as Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, and Dorothea Lange.

Stone cairns on a beach at the North Cape of Prince Edward Island, Canada on a drizzly day.

Monday Missive — June 18, 2018

Quotes

But Kandinsky did not intend for his theories to be prescriptive. Artmaking, he insisted, was about freedom.” — From How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky, by Rachel Lebowitz, Jun 12, 2017, Artsy.net

Quitting merely because you’re behind is a trap, a form of hiding that feels safe, but isn’t. The math is simple: whatever you switch to because you quit is another place you’re going to be behind as well. It’s not a race, it’s a journey. And the team that scores first doesn’t always win.” — Seth Godin, June 13,2018

It’s true that you’re not good enough yet. None of us are. But if you commit to trying hard enough and long enough, you’ll get better.” — Seth Godin, June 16, 2018

Links

– 6 Great artists on how to be an artist
– Pumas of Patagonia
– Nighttime landscape photography
– Controlling color and tonal edits with blend modes
– Adding an artistic element in nature photography
– More on photographic intent with McCurry’s “Afgan Girl” as an example
– More background on intent and the iconic “Afgan Girl”
– Seeking color and enhancing creativity 45 minute video from B & H Optic 2018, but definitely worth the time. Many great examples on how light, color, position, shape, repetition impact the emotion and perception of the image.
– Showing a sense of place in your travel photography
– Three tools that are more capable in Photoshop than in Lightroom

My Asian Lilies are finally open and are gorgeous in the early morning light.

Monday Missive — March 12, 2018

Quotes

“Photographers should follow their own judgment, and not the fads and dictates of others.” – Bill Brandt

“And only the photographer himself knows the effect he wants. He should know by instinct, grounded in experience, what subjects are enhanced by hard or soft, light or dark treatment.” – Bill Brandt

“I consider it essential that the photographer should do his own printing and enlarging. The final effect of the finished print depends so much on these operations.” – Bill Brandt

Links

– Addiction photography
– Young Love
– Extracting liquid glass and smoke in Photoshop
– Sky replacement in Photoshop Shows lots of tools, including getting rid of the bright halos around selections.
– Photographing mountain hares in Scotland in winter Not for me, but still interesting.
– Capturing mist and fog
– Ralph Gibson
– Chromatic compositions
– The decisive moment: some really neat street photos

From Suku:
-Two houseboats converted to floating studios, touring Europe

On the Beach, part of a portfolio I have been working on for a couple of years.