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.

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 25, 2017

Quotes

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

The point of art has never been to make something synonymous with life, however, but to make something of reduced complexity that is nonetheless analogous to life and that can thereby clarify it.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

What transforms of into about is interpretation — taking all the tools of craft and visual language and pulling at emotion. Colour does that. Motion does that. Tension and scale do that. The challenge … is matching the tools with the thing we are trying to say.” — David duChemin in The Soul of the Camera

Links

– Ruler, notes and counts in Photoshop
– Five pro guides for BW photography
– Ethics in wildlife photography
– Making creative decisions
– Don’t follow the crowd to create unique images
– Winter photography
– Profiles on 6 commercial photographers Lots of interesting images.

Monday Missive — Dec. 18, 2017

Quotes

Criticism’s job is to clarify art’s mystery without destroying it.” — Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography

An expanding mindfulness of visual language gives me new ways to express myself, even if I am never understood.” — David duChemin, in The Soul of the Camera

Photography, like writing, is about storytelling. Pens and cameras are merely the tools we use to bring self-expression to life. If you have nothing to say, you images will reflect that. It’s important to build your own narrative through exploration, learning and diverse experiences that enrich your storytelling.” — Claire Rosen, Imaginarium

Links

– 7 Wildlife techniques
– Julianne Kost edits three images from Tasmania in detail This is as helpful for what she does as how she does it.
– Get out of a creative rut
– Becoming an international freelance photographer
– Use content aware scale to change aspect ratio of image
– Interesting photo essay about street people in Poughkeepsie
– Guides to BW photography Excellent profiles of 7 noteworthy BW photographers, including Kenna and Uelsmann and several techniques profiles
– Embed these concepts into your workflow
– Use multiple exposures to reduce image noise

From Steve Oney:
– Comparison of 10 photoshop alternatives If you haven’t committed to Adobe, several of these are much better than not processing your images at all or using the manufacturer’s software.
– NIK Fans: run NIK standalone

Out of the Maelstrom, color. I should note that all of my photo friends that chose to comment preferred the color version to the BW. What do you think?

Out of the Maelstrom

Monday Missive — November 27, 2017

Quotes

It has been liberating to allow myself to make work that is “really bad” without judging myself for it and without abandoning the journey.” — Claire Rosen in Imaginarium

Successful art rediscovers Beauty for us.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

What’s the best expression of that subject? That is exactly the question we try to answer: a question that can ultimately only be answered by our vision.” — David duChemin in The Soul of the Camera

Links

– William Neill retrospective
– Adding realistic text to an object Uses several techniques including displacment map, bevel and emboss, clipping layers and smart filters/objects to make the text interact with the texture and color of a book cover.
– Adding noise creatively
– Jerry Uelsmann
– Looking at the work of painters can lead to new ways of seeing photographically
– Getting stuff done This is not only applicable to photography
– Assignment 14: Food photography
– Weegee Weegee was a famous photojournalist that is worth knowing about.
– Masking, gradients, collaging Good video at a slow pace to explain how to combine and blend images.
– Easter eggs (hidden options) in Photoshop

Pipe Smoker, Teddy Roosevelt Park, NYC, day after Thanksgiving, 2017


Water towers, NYC, from hotel room.


Experimental: Triple in-camera exposure from a moving train.

Monday Missive — November 13, 2017

Quotes

The job of the photographer . . . is to be coherent about intuition and hope.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

“. . . the best photographs rely more on the fact that the photographer saw something the rest of us overlooked” — David duChemin, in The Soul of the Camera

The more experience you have, the more you can close that gap between what you see and what the camera sees.” — Steve McCurry

Links

– Reflections of Italy David duChemin, one of my favorite photography writers, just completed a workshop in Italy. These are his images from that trip.
– Art of Photography assignment on self-portraits
– Adobe’s version of what updates are included in PS CC 2018
– How is “professional” photographer defined?
– Tips – Get best results consistently, Part 1
– Part 2
– Creative Burnout
– Explanation of the best new tools in PS CC 2018 I found this very helpful on some tools I knew about, but didn’t really understand how to use.

From Steve Oney:
– Blog of blogs Some of the best photo blogs
From George Spicer:
– Game farm photography
From Harry Bosk via Facebook:
– Update on the ‘Bible’ of street photography

Evening in SC

Rabbit in the Trees

Monday Missive — October 9, 2017

Quotes

“‘You’re doing it wrong’
But at least you’re doing it.
Once you’re doing it, you have a chance to do it better.
Waiting for perfect means not starting.
” — Posted by Seth Godin on October 02, 2017

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

You know, I really don’t think you learn from teachers. You learn from work. I think what you learn, really, is how to be- you have to be your own toughest critic, and you only learn that from work, from seeing work.” – Garry Winogrand

Links

– How to use BW photos for creative or social campaigns
– Backlighting wildlife
– An interview with Jach Dykinga
– The Spectrum: Message and Media By Brooks Jensen Interesting hour-long talk by Brooks Jensen, publisher of LensWorks, on the history and future of image presentation. I highly recommend this video for advanced photographers who have been asking themselves “What do I do next?”
– Macro tips for beginners
– Long exposure photography
– Panoramas made easy
– Dealing with creative boredom
– Fast and simple Orton effect
– Feeling anxious about an upcoming photo trip? What is the worst that can happen?

There is a difference of opinion on the two images below. Both were taken at Lake Roland Park with a yellow filter on a 105/2.8 lens. The first may have a greater sense of depth because of the sharp fence, but the out of focus dam in the background creates some room for interpretation. The second has more interesting lighting and perhaps better balance and composition. Which do you prefer and why?


Monday Missive — September 11, 2017

Quotes

Isn’t it amazing how photography has advanced without improving.” – Charles Sheeler

Spend enough time looking through the glass on your tablet and you’ll come to believe that you’re the only one with a less-than-perfect situation. With the right filter, the grass really is greener…
‘Compared to what?’ is not always a great question. It might be better to merely say, ‘this is pretty good.
‘” — Seth Godin, Sept. 7, 2017

Don’t be trapped into accepting shame from someone who is trying to keep you from doing something you have every right to do.

Ignore the mob that would like you to feel badly for not fitting in. Categories are rarely permanent, and most important work is done by people who don’t easily fit in.” — Seth Godin, September 8, 2017

Links

– Techniques for fall color
– FALL FOLIAGE PREDICTION MAP
– 10 National Parks for fall foliage
– Guide to Acadia National Park
– History of photography as fine art
– Focusing in macro photography
– Finicky focus
– Photo assignment: Sub-framing
– Think less literally to be more creative
– Start seeing in more compelling ways Another insightful video from David duChemim

My butterfly garden finally bore fruit. A nice sequence of a Monarch caterpillar feeding, ready to pupate, and a chrysalis.

Monarch ready to pupate.

Monarch ready to pupate.

Monarch chrysalis.

Monarch chrysalis.

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 — July 17, 2017

Quotes

Every time you assume that others will be swayed by your logical argument, you’ve most likely made a significant, irrational mistake.
Your actions and your symbols and your tribe dwarf the words you use to make your argument.
” — Posted by Seth Godin on July 07, 2017 | Permalink

Our thoughts create our reality – where we put our focus is the direction we tend to go.” — Peter McWilliams

Don’t be afraid to fail. Be afraid to not try.” – Michael Jordan

Links

– Let your creativity evolve Being a bit in the creative doldrums myself, this was helpful
– Keeping your passion fresh
– Fixing wide angle lens distortion
– Rafting the source of the Amazon
– Boudoir photography
– 12 photographs celebrated by Sean Kernan
– Red River Palo Duro Etching paper Very reasonably priced for a rag, fine art paper. Etching papers have more surface texture than regular matte papers.
– Storm chaser images
– Better pictures as simple as ABC
– Intro to Theodore Roosevelt NP in N. Dakota

Skipper on lavender.

Monday Missive — July 3, 2017

Quotes

You’re better than you think you are.” — Seth Godin on June 30, 2017

I will not be just a tourist in the world of images, just watching images passing by which I cannot live in, make love to, possess as permanent sources of joy and ecstasy.” — Anais Nin

Links

– Great wildlife photographer Nick Nichols at the Phila. Museum of Art Courtesy of Steve Oney
– Photo essay: The apple pickers of Yakima County
– Zoom vs prime: a detailed assessment of considerations
– Art of photography assignment on “still life”
– Adding a magical glow in PS Uses some aspects of color select that I never noticed before
– Places to photograph in NYC
– Gradients
– Full frame vs crop sensor
– A dog is his muse Short piece, neat story with Instragram link if you want more. Click on the “Nikita” link if you need a happy dog story.
– Sources of creative inspiration

Several Tibetan monks came to Baltimore in early May. They were hosted at the yoga studio on Falls Road behind the Ivy bookstore. Public was welcome to watch and shoot for a small donation. I went twice, but did not make it back for the destruction of the mandala. Amazing skill and patience, beautiful colors.

Tibetan Monk making a sand mandala.

Making a sand mandala

Monday Missive — June 26, 2017

Quotes

I don’t figure out my vision and my direction so I can make photographs, I make photographs so I can figure out my vision and direction.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61

That’s how you discover your vision. By doing, by trying and letting the resulting work speak to you. The stuff you love, that points to an aspect of your vision, your opinion, your taste. The stuff that doesn’t light you up — that points to where your vision isn’t. Go the other way.” — David DuChemin, Vision is Better, Episode 61

The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping from old ones.” — John Maynard Keynes

Links

– MacPhun luminar Soon available for PC. Provides layers, non-destructive editing, numerous presets for $69.
– Cuba
– Star trails in Minnesota
– Histograms
– David duChemin on Vision Episode 61
– 7 tips for street photography
– History of photojournalism From Steve Oney
– Window light
– 7 people who changed photography forever Some names I didn’t recognize. A good opportunity to follow up and learn something.
– Useful ways to view masks in Photoshop

Playing in the Garden

Monday Missive — May 22, 2017

Quotes

When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.” – A. A. Milne

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, It’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. … And that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss

Often the difference between a successful man and a failure is not one’s better abilities or ideas, but the courage that one has to bet on his ideas, to take a calculated risk, and to act.” – Maxwell Maltz

Links

– Sparking your creativity
– Four ways to unblock creativity
– Metaphor and creativity Ted Talk. If your pictures tell stories, they are metaphors, therefore it might be helpful to better understand the role of metaphor in communication
– Protest photography
– Selling your photographs
– Finding the right shutter speed to show movement
– Creativity
– Adding a background blur to show motion without getting a halo
– Adding a field blur to the background to highlight your subject
– Using the gradient filter in LR

In the surf at Calvert Cliffs.

Monday Missive – May 15, 2017

Quotes

Dreams and photographs have something in common… ” — Minor White cited in “Manifestations of the Spirit”

Life rarely presents fully finished photographs. An image evolves, often from a single strand of visual interest – a distant horizon, a moment of light, a held expression.” – Sam Abell

The more you look around at things, the more you see. The more you photograph, the more you realize what can be photographed and what can’t be photographed. You just have to keep doing it.” – Eliot Porter

Links

– Lepp: Accessories for nature photographers
– Shooting the Milky Way This article provides explanations I haven’t seen before.
– Noise
– The meaning of color
– Iceland Part 2
– Creativity
– Match color when compositing
– Adjusting colors in landscapes In the first part it shows how to do color selection using the saturation panel
– Taking total control of a high contrast, high dynamic range image
– Taking multiple exposures for compositing
– Using a telephoto for landscapes No surprise to me, I more often use a telephoto for landscapes than a wide angle.

Iris bud. Taken in my front garden.