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 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 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 — 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 31, 2018

Quotes

…follow the quiet nudges of your intuition.” — Ursula von Rydingsvard

“...I can doubt pieces before making them, but I have to jump into the unknown to get somewhere. I have to dare to make them.” — Paola Pivi

But most [photo] books will then use end text, or some form of additional context to answer those questions. To make the cause of the tension, or the roots of the intention, known.” — Jonathan Blaustein on Dec 21, 2018

Links

– San Juan Mountain image and story Very short story on the making of a particular image
– Color correction and compensaton 20 minute video
– Fixing edges of cutouts in Photoshop This was very helpful for a common problem.
– Cutting out complex subjects 15 minute video
– Color grading in camera raw 6 minute video
– How to build confidence as an artist
– Portrait approaches
– Wildlife Photography: How to get better and better
– Adjusting luminosity without effecting color
– Best National Parks for landscape photography

 

A small boat on the beach with the Bay Bridge in the background.
Stranded by the Bridge. Taken at Sandy Point State Park.
Boat on a beach with Chesapeake Bay Bridge in the background.
Sandy Point State Park. Would like to get comments on which you perfer.

Monday Missive — December 17, 2018

Quotes

Art Is Not About Understanding. Or Mastery. It is about doing and experience.” — Jerry Saltz

Hide secrets in your work.” — Jerry Saltz

Never just say, “You tell me what it is.” That’s pompous bullshit. When it comes to your work, you’re the best authority there is.” — Jerry Saltz

Links

– How to be an artist Article by Jerry Saltz. Anyone who feels reluctant to go their own way or share what they have done should read this article. Anyone who is in a rut should also read this.
– Fix skin tones in one minute
– Lightroom brush tip
– Panoramas
– A project on ancestry that also reveals a simple way of life Photo essay about a Russian woman’s roots in a small hunting village in the Russian taiga.
– Svetlana: A very special place where people with disabilities are just part of the community.
– Photographing birds in flight
– Putting texture in text
– Portrait lighting with LEDs
– How photography helps an autistic 5 year old understand the world

Still feeling a bit nostaligic about my time out west during and between artist residencies. Pueblo ruins from the Antelope Canyon overlook.

This is the Long House Pueblo at Mesa Verde.

Monday Missive — November 26, 2018

Quotes

Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma,” she once wrote. “They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” — Diane Arbus

I’m trying to please myself; certainly that’s a big criterion… though in a sense, I don’t take images just for myself. I take images that I think other people will want to see. I don’t take pictures to put in a box and hide them. I want as many people to see them as possible.” – Mary Ellen Mark, Mary Ellen Mark : 25 Years by Marianne Fulton, Page: 14

I was never much of a promoter of my work—I’ve probably given away more prints than I’ve sold.” – Herb Quick

Links

– Revisiting Diane Arbus’ most controversial most controversial series Very interesting article about how Arbus empathetically viewed the people she photographed.

– Hyperfocal focusing
– Some hidden changes in PS 2019 9 minute video
– Napping is a creative tool
– Vivian Maier’s never before seen color photography
– Photographing critically endangered mountain gorillas Photo essay
– Dogs catching treats These are just too much fun! Photo essay
– Basics and compositional aspects of depth of field Article
– All about curves 23 minute video. I learned a lot from this video.

Original link from Steve Oney:
– How to create luminosity masks in Photoshop Luminosity masks essentially select a narrow part of the luminosity (brightness) histogram and allow you to modify your image very precisely. So, if you wanted to select and darken only the light/lights you can do that without trying to brush what may be small or intricate areas. You can buy a program that automatically produces luminosity masks from Tony Kuyper or other locations. These programs may break the luminosity histogram into as many as 32 segments for great precision in modifying your image.

Thanksgiving table at my sister’s house. Food was great too.

Monday Missive — July 9, 2018

Quotes

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” — John Maeda

On some level art is first an act arising from the self. Only then can it be concerned about speaking to, engaging with, or pleasing others. The more clear you are about your intent, the more simplified (not simplistic) your vision, the fewer barriers you’ll have to contend with as you execute that vision.” — David duChemin

We have the choice, to actively write a more interesting story, or passively accept the one that comes our way.“– David DuChemin, A Beautiful Anarchy

Links

– Lightroom mistakes to avoid
– Copyright misconceptions
– 5 top landscape photographers
– Attain success through failure
– Neutral density filters
– Excellent photo essay on bagels Learn about bagel making and how a Fuji camera worked in these specific conditions.
– Why you get your best ideas in the shower
– 7 ways to be more creative
– Using the sun for greatest effect

From Steve Oney:
– Great street photography concept

Sort of a take on “yellow brick road,” but I can’t figure out how to make the “road” a consistent angle with the background. Any help out there? Do I need to re-shoot?

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 — 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 — June 11, 2018

Quotes

There is a real magic in enthusiasm. It spells the difference between mediocrity and accomplishment.” – Norman Vincent Peale

Creativity is a natural extension of our enthusiasm.” – Earl Nightingale

Nothing right can be accomplished in art without enthusiasm.” – Robert Schumann

Links

– Keeping your photos safe – Part 2
– Albert Watson: Vogue Covers and Famous Portraits
– Improve your black and white prints
– Jack Delano, the WPA and the nation’s railroads
– Using flash creatively
– B E T T E R P I C S
– Photographic intent
– Color theory and landscape photography

From Steve Oney:
– Berenice Abbott
– Auto mask in camera raw

Colonial market fair at Banneker historical park in Catonsville. Spinning yarn, surveyors transit.

Monday Missive — May 21, 2018

Quotes

Every day you play with the light of the universe.” — Pablo Neruda

To those of you who … have a frustrated streak of anarchy within you: f*ck the rules. Colour outside the lines. Fill your canvas with blazing colours and leave the muted browns for Leonardo DaVinci. He had his chance. Find your own way. You have one life: do you really want to spend it imitating others? … It takes courage to point the camera the other way, to trust your own taste, to do more than what is expected. To open yourself up to the world through your art by saying, “Here it is—here I am—take it or leave it,” knowing that far more people than not will choose to leave it.” — David duChemin

A photograph has a soul in its own right, incorporating numerous elements which range from the books one has read, the music one has heard to the people one has loved.” — Kita Etsuko from Adore Noir, Issue 40

Links

– Getting unstuck when the image just isn’t working
– Making masking easier
– Art of Photography video on Fan Ho, a fantastic Chinese street photographer
– Your camera is better than Ansel’s Gear matters but is a small part of your photography.
– Good story on photographing foxes which I occasionally see in my backyard.
– How art auctions work
– Creative white balance
– Part 2: Greenland in winter See April 30 for Part 1
– Informative article on night photography Discusses several different situations
– Very interesting description of a creative process

Iris

Iris

Iris

Iris

Monday Missive — March 26, 2018

Quotes

We make our own taste, and call it reality
Most of us say, “this is better, therefore I like it.”
In fact, the converse is what actually happens.
“I like it, therefore I’m assuring you (and me) that this is better.”
— Posted by Seth Godin on March 15, 2018

Research concluded, though, that a great deal of emphasis should be placed on the generous, social safety net that Icelanders enjoy. They summed this up with a quote from an Icelandic immigrant who collaborated on the study: “Never underestimate what knowing you will always have food, shelter, childcare, and education will do for your creativity.” –From an article by Casey Lesser, “Iceland’s Population Is Staggeringly Creative. Why?” at Artsy

“What does this remind you of?
That’s a much more useful way to get feedback than asking if we like it.
And while the emotions that are created by your work aren’t exactly like something else, they rhyme.
“What does this remind you of” opens the door for useful conversations that you can actually do something about.
— Posted by Seth Godin on March 17, 2018

Links

– Capturing the teenage experience
– Convert to .DNG?
– Shooting in snow
– Matting and Framing
– Photo essay: Women of Rural India
– 32 examples of long-exposure photography
– National Geographic explores its own racist past
– Amusing Alliterative Photo Tips
– Phony contest
– Links to the new Magnum site Links to 8 articles by Magnum photographers on different aspects of photojournalism, e.g., establishing a portfolio, long-term projects and telling stories.

View from the Blue Mesa Overlook just after sunrise at Petrified Forest National Park. Blue Mesa was my favorite place to photograph in the park during an artist residency in 2012. The landscape looks like another planet in a science fiction movie. The Artist in Residence Program in the National Parks is a great program.

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 — January 15, 2018

Quotes

There is often a huge difference between an idea and its realization. I’ve had what I thought were great ideas that just didn’t work.“ – Andy Goldsworthy

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” – Rollo May

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” — Andy Warhol

Links

– Peter Souza photographing Pres. Obama
– Celebrate what’s right with the world! Inspiring, humorous and definitely worth watching!
– Black Moshannon State Park – landscape opportunities in Pennsylvania
– Shooting for black and white
– 10 tips on macro
– The Briscoe light technique
– Pilgrim: David duChemin’s images from the pilgrimage at Lalibela
– Interesting video of a rising star in wildlife photography Directed by John Ford; English subtitles
– Really interesting story about Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, the first female war photographer to die in the field

From Jon Meyer
– The Hasselblad Masters

Iris leaves after freezing rain.