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 — 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 20, 2020

Quotes

“There’s something corny about it,” Soth says of road trip photography. “I’m embarrassed of using that structure. But I keep returning to it.” — Alec Soth

“After I snap the shutter I never know if a photograph is truly special. Even months later I usually don’t know. Great photographs are a mix of light, time, and magic.” — Alec Soth

“I do think my work is as much about exploring the possibilities of picture-making as it is about the subjects I’m interested in.” — Dawoud Bey

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Women Serving Life Sentences The combination of images and text is very emotionally powerful.
– Duane Michals
– An Invented World

Post-processing
– Creating composites and collages

Field/Studio
– Photographing winter waterfalls With a segment on how to dress to stay comfortable in winter weather
– Composition and Foreground
– Mermaid and plastic

Miscellany
– How Lightroom actually works with your files
– Nikon symphony About as “miscellany” as it gets. Just a minute and a half.
– Dealing with online criticism

Sunset at Chinde Point in Petrified Forest National Park.

I have been mostly working on my Foggy Morning Marsh pictures, so I decided to give you all a break and look backwards. It can be embarassing, but also comforting to know that I have made at least a little photographic progress since about 2016.

Monday Missive — December 16, 2019

Quotes

We’re more likely to learn from diversity than we are from homogeneity.” — Seth Godin, 12/12/19

Just stop thinking, worrying, looking over your shoulder, wondering, doubting, fearing, hurting…besmirching, grinding, grinding, grinding away at yourself. Stop it and just DO.” — Sol LeWitt to artist Eve Hesse

If pictures cannot be understood without knowing details of the artist’s private life, then that is a reason for faulting them; major art, by definition, can stand independent of its maker.” – Robert Adams

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Stephen Wilkes: Day to Night

Post-processing
– Move two sliders to create dreamy fog
– Broken glass effect with displacement maps
– Selective color for better tonal values Blake calls it “nerdy and dorky” but it is really pretty simple.
– Shape the light and shadow with dodge and burn

Field/Studio
– Finding Balance in Your Composition
– Extreme macro insanity

Miscellany
– Finding a direction for your photography

Foggy Morning in the Marsh

I spent a foggy morning in Black Marsh and then (very) late that evening, started to play.

Monday Missive — October 14, 2019

Quotes

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

Well you can’t teach the poetry, but you can teach the craft.” – David Hockney

All the technique in the world doesn’t compensate for the inability to notice.” – Elliott Erwitt

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Cig Harvey’s current exhibition
– Katerina Christina: Quiet moments in chaos
– For the dog-lovers: Dogs in mid-air Thanks to Steve O.
– Wendi Schneider: Evenings with the moon Really interesting images and effects.

Post-processing
– Reality, Believability and creative satisfaction
– Add a rim light in PS
– Hidden, but simple control of highlights and shadows
– How to understand and use brushes in LR and ACR

Field/Studio
– Street photography process: lots of shots, lots of losers to get a few keepers
– A more sophisticated look at composition

Heavy morning fog on Long Lake, NY in the Adirondack Mtns.

Making a glass swan at the Corning Museum of glass.

Monday Missive — September 23, 2019

Quotes

Like a boxer trains for a fight, a photographer, by walking the streets, and watching, and taking pictures, and coming home, and going out the next day — same thing again, taking pictures,” Frank said in 2009. “It doesn’t matter how many he takes, or if he takes any at all. It gets you prepared to know what you should take pictures of.” — Robert Frank, who died on Monday 9/9/19 at age 94

Exposing your film or sensor is not the same as exposing your soul.” — David DuChemin

I’ve never been comfortable photographing people I know, myself included. I guess I prefer the mystery of strangers.” — Alec Soth

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Antarctica
– Community journalism and defining democracy
– Cowboy pix

Post-processing
– Easy way to add GPS data to your images in LR
– Using Blend-If like a luminosity mask
– Saturation
– 90 second video on using the Mixer Brush to create painings from your images.

Field/Studio
– Simon Baxter: Compose, capture, edit and print Simon is a British woodland photographer. This is a very thoughtful 30 minute video, with most editing in LR. Some really helpful approaches.
– 3 ways to improve your composition
– Learning to see photographically

Miscellany
– Image Inventory Management

Playing around with color and graphics.

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 — February 12, 2018

Quotes

The choice of motivation is a fork in the road. … It changes the story we tell ourselves.” — Posted by Seth Godin on February 02, 2018

Photographs can be reduced to light, lines and moments. Everything else is derivative, a subcategory or effect of those three fundamentals.” — David duChemin

But the truth is, it’s not the idea, it’s never the idea, it’s always what you do with it.” — Neil Gaiman

Links

– Understanding raw processors
– Fan Ho, BW master street photographer
– Working with layers in PS
– Part 2 of Mastering your craft: Overcoming obstacles to mastery
– Part 3 of Mastering your craft
– Getting your LR CC images back from the cloud
– Composition
– The Kallitype process
– Accessories for macro photography
– Changing color in LR There are similar controls in Camera Raw if you use PS. It also seems you could do similar things with a color layer.

Catwoman waiting for you in the dark.

Monday Missive — February 5, 2017

Quotes

Begin. With the humility of someone who’s not sure, and the excitement of someone who knows that it’s possible.” Posted by Seth Godin on January 25, 2018

Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.” – Christina Rossetti

“…how extraordinary the commonplace world can be–miracles can come from it.” — Robert Adams

Links

– Photographic “Portals”
– Save paper and ink, soft proof before printing!
– One click selection in PS and defringing with decontaminate colors Really helpful video if you use selections
– TEDx: Two views in documentary photography
– Photo blinds
– Barriers to mastering your craft
– Clarification on Zion tripod ban
– Optimizing a PC for LR

From Harry Bosk:
– New copyright rules make registration more expensive for more than 750 images at a time but there are positives too:
– Infringement now applies for each image

Petrified Forest National Park, Nizhoni Point Overlook. Taken during an artist residency in 2012.

Monday Missive — January 29, 2018

Quotes

Paint the spirit of the bird in flight, not its feathers.” — Robert Henri

I always say that photography’s closest cousin is poetry because of the way it sparks your imagination and leaves gaps for the viewer to fill in.” — Alec Soth

The people that I photographed allowed me to photograph them because they didn’t want to be alone, and the truth is I didn’t want to be alone making the pictures.” — Alec Soth

Links

– The Appeal of black and white photography
– 5 Cool films (Film??!!)
– Some simple composition tips
– Life cycles approach to nature photography: Part I
– Part 2
– Photojournalism: Portraits in the Field Long video
– 3 Macs vs PC comparison iMacPro, MacPro, MacBook, Alienware
– Photographing a LUNAR eclipse
– 12 East Coast locations
– Alec Soth’s “Sleeping by the Mississippi – 13 years later

New Feature: Portfolios
On occasion, I will include websites or portfolios of photographers whose work I find interesting.
Ellie Ivanova

Taken at the “Cascade” in the Avalon section of Patapsco State Park.

Monday Missive — January 1, 2018

Quotes

“Patience is allowing yourself longer than you thought it could possibly take to master your craft.” — David duChemim

“I have accepted influences but I think I have always known ow to dominate them.” — Matisse, quoted by Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” — Rumi

Links

– Surrealism in street photography Fascinating article. I do some surrealism and street, but never made the connection.
– Ethereal monochrome
– Composition: line of sight of your subjects
– Medium format monochrome only back This is a review of a $50K medium format back, but there is a lot about how sensors work, resolution and spectral sensitivity.
– Use Image Processor in PS to resize multiple images
– Image splitter: making big images with small printers
– Dream big!
– How to brighten up portraits
– 5 ways to be more creative

The goddess contemplates the gold she has lifted from the earth as her counselor makes a point. The counselor is from a Giacometti sculpture, the goddess is Water-Moon Guaynin and the gold post were all from the BMA.

Monday Missive — December 11, 2017

Quotes

We become original through practice.” — Posted by Seth Godin on November 29, 2017

How lacking in courage is an art in which the creator examines the collective ideal as opposed to the self-centered individualism of his own being.” —Peter C. Bunnell, in Jerry N. Uelsmann, Aperture Monograph,15:4, 1970

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley

Links

– Images from Lesotho
– On going pro
– Making eyes look great in PS
– Composition tips
– Reviewing old photos
– 7 portrait photographers share
– The appeal of BW photography
– Designing a calendar in photoshop
– Being creative with motion

Monarch butterfly on chrysalis after hatching.

Monday Missive — September 4, 2017

Quotes

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Have faith and pursue an unknown end.” — Francis Bacon, as written in Robert F. Kennedy’s daybook

No pessimist ever discovered the secrets of the stars, or sailed to an uncharted land, or opened a new doorway for the human spirit.Helen Keller

Links

– Composition
– Why your prints are too dark
– How to make your images more compelling I recommend this 5:30 minute video for every novice.
– 10 predictions for the future of photography
– Composition conventions Part II
– Add sun flare
– Working with the Layers Panel and How to zoom in Photoshop
– Imogen Cunningham
– Breaking a creative block
– Cristina Mittermeier and sacred ecology

Covered bridge.

The re-build of the covered bridge near Jerusalem Mills Village has now been completed. Can be a good subject, but avoid really sunny days.

Covered bridge on Jericho Rd., near Jerusalem Mills Village.

Monday Missive — August 28, 2017

Quotes

When we look at our photographs and find not the slightest reflection of ourselves, it is a good sign that our images have lost their souls.” — David duChemin in “The Soul of the Camera”

Creativity is about two things: the way we think, and the way we turn those thoughts into reality.” — David duChemin in “The Soul of the Camera”

“The more curious we are, the more creative we become.” — David duChemin in “The Soul of the Camera”

Links

– An analysis of Bresson’s composition technique Includes 25 minutes of video
– Sharpening
– Think outside the box
– Photo assignment on negative space Some images are really good; worth watching the slideshow.
– Easily cut out trees in photoshop
– Rainy day images
– Photographing eagles in the Adirondacks
– Create a mist in photoshop
– Making compelling images
– Best eclipse pictures

Extra link:
– How to assemble an eclipse sequence

Single image HDR of Turtlehead flower.

Monday Missive — May 8, 2017

Quotes

…truly understanding our narratives is the essence of doing work that matters, that connects, and that spreads.” — Posted by Seth Godin on May 02, 2017

The notion of one photographer being better than another doesn’t interest me. You can’t win at art.” — David du Chemin

“My work is certainly more about suggestion than description.”Michael Kenna

Links

– A good article about donating (or not) art to non-profits
– Arctic Ice
– Architectural photography
– Intro to Architectural photography
– Seeing composition
– Wildlife Panorama
– Feeling inadequate as a photographer?
– Really good explanation of sharpening
– Insurance for photographers
– Natural light
– High key/Low Key

Eye candy: Created in Corel Paint Pro using Reflections>Kaleidoscope.