Monday Missive — June 17, 2019

Quotes

Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” – Arnold Newman

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

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” — Henry Beston

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Almost the North Pole
– Norway and the Sami culture
– Body of work on illnes and treatment Interesting and poetic title. Her manipulation of the images is also an intriguing approach and consistent with the topic.
– Obsessions of 10 Magnum photographers
– What it takes to become a Nat Geo photographer Includes winning images from this year’s contest and an embedded video of a Nat Geo Young Explorer that is worth watching.

Post-processing
– Change backgrounds but keep original shadows
– Adding a sun to an image Using the radial gradient and color dodge blend mode.

Miscellany
– 3D functions in PSCC This is not photographic, but if you have Photoshop CC you also have 3D which might be helpful on occasion. It is amazing what it can do. 30 minute video.
– If you hire an agency to sell your images, read the contract very carefully!
– What is photography? A very brief philosophical statement.

Trail Report: Black Marsh Trail at North Point State Park

North Point State Park is located at 8400 North Point Rd, Edgemere, MD 21219 (southeast Baltimore). You will drive in about a third of a mile from North Point Road to the gate booth. There is a $3 admission charge per car; sometimes on the honor system, sometimes the booth is manned. (Senior passes are available from the Department of Natural Resources). Just past the booth on the left there is a parking lot (with a portable sanitary station). The Park also has a visitor center, beach, picnic tables and other amenities and trails. After parking, walk back out past the booth. On the right is a turn around and then a vehicle fence at the trail head (about 50 feet from the booth). The trail can be muddy in spots, so wear appropriate footwear. It is about a quarter mile through forest to the beginning of a really nice marsh, which extends on both sides of the trail. I have seen Great Blue and Little Blue herons and white egrets so far this spring, also sighted an empty Oriole nest. No worthwhile images of the birds yet, but I have only walked the trail 3 or 4 times so far. I was told there was a good diversity of ducks in winter. Dragonflies and damselflies are numerous and probably keep the mosquitoes down, but low in diversity: I have only seen Blue Dashers, Pondhawks and Fragile Forktails. Bullfrogs are common and commonly heard. The trail continues past the marsh through coastal forest. You will eventually pass an old powerhouse building and end up at a beach. Although never crowded, most of the time you will see some birders on the trail, who have always been willing to share what they have seen. You will want to use insect repellent, although the bugs haven’t been too bad so far this season. Watch for poison ivy as well.

Intersection of Black Marsh and Observation Trails looking left.

Intersection of Black Marsh and Observation trails looking right.

Bullfrog

Eastern Pondhawk male

Eastern Pondhawk female.

Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park

Monday Missive — May 6, 2019

Quotes

I decided to accept as true my own thinking. I have already settled it for myself, so flattery and criticism go down the same drain, and I am quite free.” — Georgia O’Keeffe via Cole Thompson

Sometimes you have to be able to listen to yourself and be okay with no one else understanding.” — Christopher Barzak via Cole Thompson

Bread feeds the body indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” — The Koran

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Indigenous cultures of the Phillipines
– The oldest trees by starlight Some of these images are truly magical.
– Exploration of North Africa by a French photographer
– Jordanna Kalman A little avant gard for me, but some interesting approaches in photographing photographs but also using natural objects

Photoshop/Lightroom Techniques
– Great tip to quickly open copies of large PSD files 1 minute video
– Picking a color from outside of photoshop 2 minute video
– Compositing two images and matching color with color match

Field/Studio
– Three things to know as a photographer

Miscellany
– You cannot claim “fair use” just because an image was on the internet
– Great video of Smith Island From Steve. Not strictly about photography but images by Dave Harp and some historic images, narrated by Tom Horton. Worth the time to watch.

Spring is here and it is time to play in the garden again. Early Saturday morning, heavy overcast. I played until the wind came up. Newly opened Clematis.
Budding blue flag iris.
A water droplet trapped between two iris leaves. The reflection is the clump of iris.
The color on these columbine is fantastic.

Trail Report

Choat Mine and Red Run Trail at Soldier’s Delight Natural Environmental Area

The main entrance to Soldiers’s Delight is at 5100 Deer Park Rd, Owings Mills, MD 21117 (restrooms are available at the visitor’s center). About .3 miles north on Deer Park Road, on the left, is an overlook and pull off where you can park. The trailhead for the Choate Mine Tail is across the street and about 50 feet south. This is definitely not a runners’ trail as sections have loose rocks and I would recommned against walking it in sandals. The natural area is largely a serpentine barren with open fields; 39 rare, threatened or endangered plant species have been found there. Photographically it wasn’t particularly interesting at this time of year. There were clumps of small flowers and the occasional butterfly. The old mine openings are fenced and flooded and obvious on the right side of the trail several hundred yards in. Prickly briar plants edge the trail until you get into the forest a bit further on. The forest areas have little understory. About one third mile in, the Choate Mine Train connects with the Red Run Trail just at the back of some apartments and the trail heads up hill in open forest; trail maps are available online. The serpentine barrens can be interesting if you are into the rare plants, but participating in a guided tour with a ranger/naturalist is definitely recommended initially.

Four species found at Soldiers Delight. All identifications are tentative. Confirmations or corrections via comment on the identifications are much appreciated.

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 — November 5, 2018

Quotes

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home … . By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” — David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing

“A man without a vote is a man without protection.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

Links

– Michael Avedon’s photo essay on School Shooting survivors These are powerful and emotional stories. Don’t forget to vote.

– Easy export from Photoshop
– The believable surreal work of Robert Jahns
– Kyrgyzstan
– 25 great tips for street photography
– Black and white and color images don’t mix in the same project
– Conservation photography in Africa can be a dangerous life. A husband and wife team were badly injured by a buffalo, but continue their work after recovery.
– Processing fall colors in LR More helpfully, this article also gives a very good explanation of the difference between vibrance and saturation.
– Macro photography All of the set-ups shown can be done in winter and indoors.
– Using textures in Photoshop Includes some modifications and ways to make your own textures I never thought of.

The Rhonda Robinson Trio played some really nice jazz at the Erdman Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library on Saturday. The device she is holding is a “rain-maker” that makes a sound like gentle rain.

The Trio included Rhonda on flute and vocals, Rodney Kelley on keyboards and ….

Shawn Simon on stand-up bass.

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.

Monday Missive — August 13, 2018

Quotes

Reality-based reality: It’s ever easier to weave our own reality … . We can invent our own rules, create our own theories, fabricate our own ‘facts’. It turns out, though, that when your reality is based on actual reality, it’s a lot more stable and resilient, because you don’t have to be so vigilant about what you’re going to filter out.” — Seth Godin, 8/7/18

Photography extends our perception allowing us to see and experience more – second hand.” –- John Paul Caponigro

If you try to corral or cage the photographic process, it will thumb it’s nose at you. The trick is just to flow with it and stop it when a moment of discovery has met inspiration.” — Paul Caponigro

Links

– All about levels, including manipulating colors
– Forever Y: A Photo Essay about Gen Y
– Mirrorless cameras There are many more differences between mirrorless and DSLRs than just the absence of a mirror.
– Less well known photo opportunities in Utah
– Proper backup work flow
– Neat tips from Matt K on using the adjustment brush in LR and ACR
– Compositing
– Mission: Monochrome

From Steve Oney:
– Nature photography hot spots in Florida
– 16 Inspiring Photographers

High wheel bike race on Saturday, 8/11/18 in Frederick, MD. Check out the expressions of determination. It was a very hot day.

High Wheel Bike Race on Saturday 8/11/18 in Frederick, MD. Spin blur was added to the wheels on two images.

Monday Missive — August 6, 2018

Quotes

I think it was Chase Jarvis from whom I first heard the idea that “it’s called artwork, not artf*ckingaround.” I like that. To see my art as work has given me new perspective. I have stopped assuming that it’s an ad hoc activity, done just when I feel like it, I’ve embraced discipline, I’ve started seeing it as something important, if only to me. And, my art has become better.” — David duChemin, Facebook post.

The enemy of photography is the convention, the fixed rules of ‘how to do’. The salvation of photography comes from the experiment.” — Laszlo Moholy-Nagy

“My aim is to find and catch the storytelling moment”. – Alfred Eisenstadt

Links

– Backyard Bird Photography
– Judging the Audubon photo contest
– 5 ways to speed up Lightroom
– Time blending in Photoshop
– Wildlife photography in Katmai National Park I had no idea that Katmai was volcanic in origin.
– Add perspective to your images
– “Re-lighting” your images in LR (or PS)
– Super-telephotos
– Fill and opacity have different effects on certain blend modes
From Steve Oney:
– National Portrait Gallery: The Sweat of Their Face

Red and blue. The red sandstone at Cabot Beach PEI contrasts with the blue of sea and sky.

Monday Missive — July 2, 2018

Quotes
All by Keith Carter at B & H Optic 2018

“Tell the truth as you know it.”
“We all need the work of others.”
“Make friends with uncertainty.”
“The full weight and mystery of your art rests upon your relationship to your subject matter.”
“Where the world is at once mysterious and completely ordinary.”
“I could make up myths. … I could do anything I wanted because nobody’s paying me for it. Its fun to do.”

Links

– Keith Carter at B & H Optic Some really good philosophy and very interesting images.
– High key images
– Telling the story of your travels
– Photomanipulation (compositing)
– Greenland Part 3
– Interview with HuffPost photo director
– Free alternatives to photoshop
– Painting on masks
– What’s new in the different versions of Lightroom
– Interesting article on the transition from DSLR to Mirrorless

Just playing. Smoke images. Used an incense stick and flash with dark background. Then typically duplicated, flipped and added color.

Monday Missive — May 14, 2018

Quotes

Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies.” -– Diane Arbus

The formula for doing a good job in photography is to think like a poet.” — Imogen Cunningham

Once a woman who does street work said to me, ‘I’ve never photographed anyone I haven’t asked first.’ I said to her, ‘Suppose Cartier-Bresson asked the man who jumped the puddle to do it again – it never would have been the same. Start stealing!” – Imogen Cunningham

Links

– How to make your own profiles Article also links to a software development kit and a white paper explaining the new profiles in detail.
– How to make a “super-resolution” image with any camera
– The histogram panel
– Shooting and sharing one image per day improves well-being
– Sharpening portraits
– Nature composites
– Beauty retouching Good article for portrait shooters
– Adjusting your image for printing on fine art matte papers
– Good article on the basics of composition
From Steve Oney:
– World Heritage sites in the US

Carnivorous pitcher plants. Insects enter the tube and down-facing spines prevent it from leaving. These yellow pitcher plants were photographed in Green Swamp preserve in NC. They grow in nutrient poor bogs.

Monday Missive — April 23, 2018

Quotes

I made a decision to write for my readers, not to try to find more readers for my writing.” — Seth Godin

They should just go out and photograph and stop talking about it. That’s the only way they are going to find themselves. They can’t do it in their heads – they have to go out and do it in the camera and get it on film.” – Berenice Abbott

…the art is in selecting what is worthwhile to take the trouble about…” – Berenice Abbott

Links

– The edge of light
Adobe recently enhanced the profile options in LR and ACR by providing more profiles and a profile browser to facilitate their use. Colin Smith shows you how to make your own profiles. Profiles are like the presets in most cameras that give you a choice of “vivid,” or “landscape,” or other types of images. They can provide a creative starting point for images and greater consistency in the color palette or appearance of your images.
– How to make your own profiles
– Two Free videos: Eliminating selection fringes and Matching color and Tone in Composites
– The Backbone Havana The other, “non-tourist,” Havana.
– A whole bunch of photography resources
– Art of Photography provides a better understanding of the new profiles
– Jim Herrington has photographed mountain climbers and music legends
Hour long video:
– Photographing Acadia National Park

From Steve Oney, via Facebook:
– Combining images and text

Summer snowflake taken during a walk along Roland Run.

Grape hyacinth.

Monday Missive — February 19, 2018

Quotes

… creativity is about two things: the way we think, and the way we turn those thoughts into reality.” — David duChemin

We all start in this medium because of the magic and the challenge is to keep it going.” – John Sexton

I like the simple things. I don’t know why. I’m that way. I came from a simple place.” – Harry Callahan

Links

– Stuck in a rut? Use color to rev your engine
– Progress in cell phone image quality over the last 5 years
– Mastering the pen tool If you make selections, this is really helpful.
– Caponigro: Creative process
– Processing night photography
– Creature captures
– What’s new in Lightroom?
– Compositing in “mini-people”
– Color matching when compositing Good on details of compositing.

From George Spicer:
– Creating depth with color

Congaree National Park, SC

Monday Missive — November 20, 2017

Quotes

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X

. . . there are two important … questions to consider: what do I want to say, and how do I make myself understood by the one with whom I’m communicating.” — David duChemin, The Soul of the Camera

Links

– Pro-tip Part 3
– Julianne does color and luminance masking
– Very fast Phlearn demo on compositing and creating a .gif (cinemagraph) file
– 12 favorite east coast locations
– Annie Griffiths, National Geographic: Using your camera for good WOW, very strong story.
– Handmade books
– Caponigro: What printing can do for you
– Eight great photographers of today
– The difference between levels and curves
– 10 favorite western locations

The prow of the John Brown with anchor lines.

The prow of the John Brown with anchor lines.

Crankshaft in the engine room of the Liberty Ship John Brown, anchored in Baltimore Harbor.

Gun sights and canon from the prow of the John Brown.

Gun sights and canon from the prow of the John Brown.