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.

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.