“In front of the lens, I am at the same time: the one I think I am, the one I want otherws to think I am, the one the photographer thinks I am, and the one he makes use of to exhibit his art.” — Roland Barthes
“Light acts like a language.” — Lise Sarfati
“… photography functions more like poetry and, like contemporary poetry, is usually free-verse in nature. There are no standards for beginning, middle, and end. It is up to each photographer to create her own structure.” — Alec Soth
Only one picture this week. I’m struggling a bit with a lack of creative juices. I hope it isn’t contagious. Can’t really travel to get out of it either. It will pass eventually. Stay well and keep shooting. Hopefully some of these links will give you inspiration.
Oh, by the way, I updated the version of php this blog is running on and it should be a bit faster. Let me know if you see a difference.
I couldn’t believe how crowded it was at North Point State Park yesterday. This is part of an ongoing project for “Winter Marsh.”
“I don’t like to be called a “female photographer”. We don’t refer to Salgado or Cartier-Bresson as “male photographers”. I feel that calling us “female photographers” perpetuates the idea that we are “lesser than”, in some way. It defines us by gender rather than by the quality of our pictures.” — Jane Evelyn Atwood
“From a phenomenological viewpoint, in the Photograph, the power of authentication exceeds the power of representation.” — Roland Barthes
“I communicate with the world by creating visual narratives of composited photographs, often illuminating that in-between moment in time. It is how I explore dreams deferred, connections to prior generations, the natural world and our place within it. Making art is my psychological release, my obsession and my salvation.” –- Fran Forman
“The intentionality of being present in the moment is a core component of street photography that resonates strongly…” — Laura Staugitis of Dimpy Bhalotia in Adobe Create
“I want my photographs to serve as an invitation to explore what is hidden, not what is shown.” — Lise Sarfati
“Practice the art of stillness. . . . When entering a situation where I will be photographing a person or an intimate situation I take a moment to look around, to be still. I want to be present and available. I want the individual to know that there is no place I’d rather be, that I am interested in them, their story, their plight. It not only has helped them to relax, as much as possible, but I feel more comfortable as well.” — Joanna Pinneo
“What I see through the lens, what catches my attention, in the woods of my walks, in my interiors and in my beloveds faces and bodies are reflections of my internal world.” — Pam Heemskerk in Lenscratch, Feb. 28, 2020
“I’m interested in authenticity of voice. So, the more I trust myself, the more interested I become in my own ideas. The work begins to teah me about my own worldview.” — Kristine Potter
“Let’s make things exist and then judge later. Don’t cancel the process of creativity too early: Let it flow.” – Ross Lovegrove
“…aesthetic harmony means very little unless the photography reveals a personal, emotional truth. I want a viewer to feel like they’re inside the experience rather than looking at it.” — Curran Hatleberg
“Originality lies in the embrace of one’s own voice, not in the reaction to others’ voices.” — Peter Kayafas
“I create situations that do not exist. I seek the truth from fiction.” — Sarah Moon
I spent a bit of time this weekend experimenting with different BW processing methods. This was my “traditional” method using a BW adjustment layer in PS and adding tonal contrast and detail extractor in COLOR Efex Pro.
For this image I converted to BW with a gradient map and then added a black layer and white layer and locally masked the layers to get deep blacks in particular.
Finally on this image I used Image > Calculations, with levels, curves and some added noise. Would like to hear comments and what you liked best.
“. . . it isn’t a visual diary, as with so much contemporary photography; it’s an autobiography of feelings and impressions, not of facts and events.” — Russell Hart on Cig Harvey’s work
“I have date nights with my photographs. I put them all up on the wall, look at what I’ve made and try to see what direction the work is taking. This understanding influences the pictures I do from that point on. What the work is about slowly rises to the surface.” — Cig Harvey
“I think that emotional content is an image’s most important element, regardless of the photographic technique. Much of the work I see these days lacks the emotional impact to draw a reaction from viewers, or remain in their hearts.” –- Anne Geddes
“What I respect, and at times envy, about painting is that it never claims to be anything other than a purely subjective vision. And we place no false expections on it in terms of its truth value. Photographs, on the other hand, are never entirely fiction or nonfiction.” — Gregory Halpern
“Photography is serial in nature, and oftentimes a group of pictures becomes a much deeper thing than a gathering of single images.” — Todd Hido
“ . . the photographs gain much of their power and meaning from being seen together, in groups that don’t so much suggest a narrative as they do the rhythms of a family life in rural Maine and a continuing search for beauty in small things that might otherwise go unnoticed.” — Russell Hart on Cig Harvey’s work
I was at Big Cypress National Preserve in Florida (just northwest of the Everglades), photographing in a swamp and concentrating on the trees and moss across an open stretch of water when I looked up to see this guy just a few feet away. I backed up pretty quick. It was amazing how quietly an animal that size can move. After my heart slowed down, I shot this at 300 mm with an 80-400 lens.
“. . . the best public photography was about building relationships. It was about creating connections between elements that in the world had no real relationship to each other, but which did within the confines of the photographic frame. It wasn’t just about the creation of a pleasing composition, but the potential of the photograph to do more than just document what was in front of the camera.
It created context while implying narrative. It could elicit surprise or laughter. While a sense of the beautiful could be conveyed through the photographer’s use of light and color, it wasn’t always a requirement for a successful “street photograph.” The inherent strength of the photograph was rooted in the unique and personal way the photographer observed the scene and that particular moment in time. The photographer succeeded when they conveyed that sense of discovery and recognition in the photograph.” — Ibarionex Perello
“As most people now have photo editing tools on their phones, there is no longer a belief that the captured image is anything more than a record of personalized fictions.” — Christopher Russell, Lenscratch, 1/24/20
“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
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.
“Photographs somehow feel unfinished if they are not part of a completed project. In fact, I’m haunted by particular images that I haven’t been able to connect firmly to others yet.” — Matthew Connors, ibid., p 51.
“The photobook is the perfect form for me because, through sequencing, it allows us to tell the story exactly as it should be told.” — Sian Davey, ibid. p 59.
“You just do what you love, and then a style happens later on.” –- David LaChapelle
“I’ve never been comfortable photographing people I know, myself included. I guess I prefer the mystery of strangers.” — Alec Soth
“The way to get unstuck is to start down the wrong path, right now. Step by step, page by page, interaction by interaction. As you start moving, you can’t help but improve, can’t help but incrementally find yourself getting back toward your north star. You might not end up with perfect, but it’s significantly more valuable than being stuck. Don’t just start. Continue.” -– Seth Godin, 11/4/12
“I want parameters narrow enough to make the work compelling and cohesive, but broad enough to allow myself, and my viewer, the pleasure of being able to find their own way through the work.” — Gregory Halpern in PhotoWork: Forty Photographers on Process and Practice
“There are some locations I go to and they scream black and white to me because of the ambiance. For me, great black and white images fall into two categories: very dramatic with stormy skies and bold compositions and at the other end of the spectrum a calm and minimalist composition.” – Helen Rushton
“Striving for excellence motivates you; striving for perfection is demoralizing.” – Harriet Braiker
For the last several weeks I have been experimenting with adding washes of complimentary colors to images using techiques such as split toning, gradient maps, color balance adjustment layers and others. These images were taken on a foggy morning and were virtually monochromatic before processing. I feel that the colors make for more interesting images, but I am also partially color blind, so I tend to overdo colors that I probably don’t see as intensely as others. Would appreciate getting feedback.
“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