Monday Missive — May 25, 2020

Quotes

“. . . creativity is about doing the work rather than waiting for inspiration or talent to kick in.” — David duChemin

“inspiration is for amateurs, the rest of us show up and get to work.” — Chuck Close

“Do you want to be more creative? You’ve got to be willing to fail and start ugly, sometimes really ugly, and figure it out–refine it–as you go. . . . You need to be relentlessly you, to choose courage and persistence, to embrace your constraints and do something astonishing with them, to let those first efforts be ugly on their way to being beautiful. The only way to be more creative is to create more. We can all do that.” — David duChemin

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Federico Feliciotti – Italy
– Interesting series of single walkers

Links
Post-processing
– Adding sunset color to landscapes
– Montage portraits a la David Hockney Coutesy Steve O.

Links
Field/Studio
– Long lens macro photography
– 1 light beauty setup with graphic make-up
– Night and Astrophotography: A conversation with Rachel Ross

Links
Miscellany
– Three fantastic photography locations
– Sally Mann and the collodion process Thanks to Steve O.
– How to clean your lenses

Great blue heron with an itch.

Great Blue Heron. Over the shoulder “come hither” look.

Monday Missive — May 11, 2020

Quotes

I started not with the feel of the city but with my own emotions. I felt dark, lonely, a little scared, and I built a city—based on New York—out of that feeling. Instead of choosing shapes, I chose lights and shadows. I worked on textures first and added details later. Eventually, I got to a point where all I needed was a small visual anchor to make the image representative rather than abstract. In this case, the delivery man became the recipient (and embodiment) of my emotions.” — Pascal Campion, on his cover for the April 13 edition of The New Yorker.

“I am very sympathetic to the torture of the proverbial blank page: the ways that infinite options can be the greatest source of anguish.” — Sasha Wolf

“. . . we slowly discover that we need not be paralyzed by infinite choices, but rather become gloriously aware of the handful of paths that truly suit each of us.” — Sasha Wolf

Links
Photoessays/bodies of Work
– Lee Miller: Fashion model, photographer, war correspondent Courtesy Steve O.
– Highway 61 by Jessica Lange

Post-processing
– Creating a circular crop with the frame tool
– Skin retouching
– Creating rim light in photoshop

Field/Studio
– Macro photography in your backyard
– Three mistakes to avoid with a wide angle lens when shooting landscapes
– Avant garde beauty portraits

Miscellany
– Creating a diverse portfolio
– Palmer Museum of Art: Very interesting presentation approach of “virtual galleries” From Steve O.

Snowy egret. Although generally a common species, I have not seen a snowy egret at Black Marsh before.

Iris beginning to bloom in the morning sun. Hope this lifts the mood.

Monday Missive — May 4, 2020

Quotes

I have been obsessed for years with finding new projects to work on. … At times, I have purposely let go of that frame of mind and gone with, what I would tell myself, is the pleasure of just taking pictures. Sometimes it has worked out, sometimes it hasn’t.” — Alejandro Catagena

While images are strong individually, the experience of reading the accompanying text is integral to shaping the overall meaning.” — Kelli Connell

To send light into the darkness of men’s hearts – such is the duty of the artist.” – Schumann

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– American Bedroom
– Corona virus around the world
– Stephen Garza: Arriving 2020 One of the more interesting Corona related portfolios.
– Shapes and shadows of Scotland Very nice low key landscapes

Post-processing
– Injecting mood and emotion into your landscape images
– Lighting a portrait in Photoshop

Field/Studio
– Fun with Bokeh
– Simple water drop photography

Miscellany
– Using Instagram to become a better photographer
– The most important lessons for your photography

Finally getting out of the “pandemic funk.” Made it out to Black Marsh on Friday in a light rain. One car in the parking lot; saw two people on the trail, but easy to physically distance. Parts of the trail were completely flooded, with water flowing from one side to the other. Trail leading to the marsh was very muddy in some parts.

Great blue heron on the Black Marsh Trail. Color graded with Teal-Orange LUT at 50%.


Columbine from the front yard.

Monday Missive — April 6, 2020

Quotes

My camera is an extension of my perception and allows me to journey into the personal energy of each subject, breaking boundaries and opening doors. — Seth Resnick

“I look to capture the fantasy of nature.” — Seth Resnick

“I try to find a deeper beauty that is filled with metaphor.” — Seth Resnick

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Rising From the Ashes
– A visual history of lower Manhattan

Post-processing
– Match colors using a gradient map
– 30 Photoshop tips With 30 tips there is something for every one.
– Removing fringes
– A time-blended composite to capture the impossible
– Removing a color cast with the Divide blend mode

Field/Studio
– Adding depth in landscapes
– Frozen soap bubbles This looks like fun and produced some neat images.
Save it for next winter.

Miscellany
– New high contrast film This is interesting and a bit tempting, but I am not going back to film! Credit to Steve O.

Downy woodpecker

Ready to launch. The blooming forsythia make a great background

Monday Missive — February 17, 2020

Quotes

. . . 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

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Modern Boyhood In my opinion, not fine art, but certainly more than family snapshots.
– Stephen Shore: Unorthodox photography Possibly the best explanation I’ve seen for this type of photography. As record, it has value, as art, all I see are, at best, well-chosen snapshots.
– Street photography in Bengal India

Post-processing
– Accurately re-color your images with gradient maps

Field/Studio
– Macro photography tips
– 7 tips on BW Street photography from Alan Schaller

Miscellany
– Emotion in Landscape photography
– Writing your artist statement

Baltimore skyline from Harbor East promenade.

A dock along the promendade at Harbor East.

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 — June 3, 2019

Quotes

You are your own first and most important audience. That’s how you please your audience. By making your art for you.” — David DuChemin

‘“[He] encouraged me to let myself go, not hold anything back, try everything,” she recalled‘ — Helen Frankenthaler in praise of Paul Feely her mentor to Julia Brown, Guggenheim curator

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

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Street photography from 1838-2019 20 minute video slide show. Very international, with one image per year.
– Volcano
– Life in rural Mexico: A love story
– Fascinating flower portraits
– From a graveyard to community conversation This is a very enlightening and interesting story of a Georgia community “Re-seeing” itself. Excerpt: “By installing my portrait banners in a community’s built environment, I have a chance to symbolically disrupt the power structure – the hierarchy of public visibility – that has come to define that community.

Post-processing
– Retouching a portrait in LR He shows some presets in LR that I didn’t know were there using”Teeth Whitening” as an example. The presets are not in Camera Raw, but you can still get the same results manually.
– Making smooth selections Also explains the “Minimum” filter which can be really helpful.

Field/Studio
– Macro photography with a white background This is the “Meet Your Neighbors” program about getting to know the critters in your neighborhood. It also produces some neat images.

Miscellany
– Fake Nikon batteries
– Future of photography This is not a technical analysis, more theoretical and from the “art” side.

Was in Pittsburgh this weekend with the Baltimore Camera Club. The city has a very interesting history.

These chimneys were from the steel furnaces used to heat huge billets of steel before they were modified.

There are two functioning “inclines” that carry people down the steep cliffs to the riverside. The two cars were going in opposite directions as they passed each other.

There is a really nice park called “The Point State Park” on a spit of land projecting into the river. You can see an incline in the background. People run, bike, skateboard and scooter along the river.

Monday Missive — February 25, 2019

Quotes

If it’s a likeness, alone, it’s not a success. If, through my portraits, you can come to know the subjects more meaningfully, if it synthesizes your feelings toward someone whose work has imprinted itself on your mind–if you see a photograph and say, ‘Yes, this is the person,’ with a little new insight–that is a beautiful experience. — Yousuf Karsh

I have always been a firm believer in photographic experiments. Only by attempting everything personally can a photographer begin to understand the scope of photography..…No picture, verbal description or how-to-do-it article can supersede first-hand experience. — Waclaw Nowak

As photographers we sell ’emotion not emulsion.’ the tools are immaterial, the resulting piece is all important.” –– Jeff Adams

Links

– Iconic portraits by photographer Nickolas Muray of artist Frida Kahlo
– Focus stacking in Photoshop
– Sara Silks Two different types of images. I liked them both.
– Is the “decisive moment” too limiting?
– Enhanced details function in Feb 2019 ACR update
– Color matching subject and background in composites Also uses blurs to make it look more real
– Unexpected slider for BW
– 40 inspiring examples of street photography
– Wishing for creativity
– 11 tips for street photography

Faye (at Grafitti Warehouse).

Monday Missive — November 5, 2018

Quotes

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home … . By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” — David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing

“A man without a vote is a man without protection.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

Links

– Michael Avedon’s photo essay on School Shooting survivors These are powerful and emotional stories. Don’t forget to vote.

– Easy export from Photoshop
– The believable surreal work of Robert Jahns
– Kyrgyzstan
– 25 great tips for street photography
– Black and white and color images don’t mix in the same project
– Conservation photography in Africa can be a dangerous life. A husband and wife team were badly injured by a buffalo, but continue their work after recovery.
– Processing fall colors in LR More helpfully, this article also gives a very good explanation of the difference between vibrance and saturation.
– Macro photography All of the set-ups shown can be done in winter and indoors.
– Using textures in Photoshop Includes some modifications and ways to make your own textures I never thought of.

The Rhonda Robinson Trio played some really nice jazz at the Erdman Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library on Saturday. The device she is holding is a “rain-maker” that makes a sound like gentle rain.

The Trio included Rhonda on flute and vocals, Rodney Kelley on keyboards and ….

Shawn Simon on stand-up bass.

Monday Missive — October 22, 2018

Quotes

Art is not about consensus. We need not agree over our reactions or our interpretations. Art that forces itself upon us and has as its chief goal our submission to it is not art, it’s propaganda. … Popular photography culture is wildly culpable of encouraging or desiring our consensus and the only thing that’s going to lead to is homogeny, mediocrity, and a narrowing of thought and experience. We must be challenged and art can do that, but only if we let it. To be challenged we must first listen to it.” — David duChemin

Our job is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow and time that will never come again exactly as it is today.” — Edward Abbey

For me the creation of a photograph is experienced as a heightened emotional response, most akin to poetry and music, each image the culmination of a compelling impulse I cannot deny.” — Ruth Bernhard

Links

– 3 ways to export from Photoshop
– What’s new in PS 2019?
– What’s new in LR?
– More instruction on the content aware fill
– The most complete review of new features in PS 2019
– Fall locations
– How to write about your images
– Sharpen your image by removing motion blur

From Cheryl Atkins:
– Interview with Sally Davies
From Carl Lancaster:
– Nikon Small World competition Even if you aren’t a scientist, some of these images are stunning and all are fascinating.

A bit of street walking:
Lombard St./Bromo Seltzer Tower. I like the dark shaded foreground against the light background and the spots of color from the tail lights and traffic lights in the shade.

These look like fun.

An incongruous juxtaposition.

Monday Missive — October 15, 2018

Quotes

The conversations are exasperated, the verdicts swift, conclusive and seemingly absolute. The goal is to protect and condemn work, not for its quality, per se, but for its values. Is this art or artist, this character, this joke bad for women, gays, trans people, nonwhites? Are the casts diverse enough? Is this museum show inclusive of enough different kinds of artists? Does the race of the curators correspond with the subject of the show or collection? Increasingly, these questions stand in for a discussion of the art itself.” — Wesley Morris, in an article titled The Morality Wars in the NY Times Magazine, Oct. 3, 2018

But criticism isn’t about saying what’s bad — well, not only. It’s partly about situating a work in the world, in your feelings, in your collection.” — Wesley Morris, ibid.

There are as many photographs possible from a single negative as the artist can imagine. I can never bear to finish with a negative, to say, ‘This is it.’ Tomorrow I can come and make new pictures from that negative. This is the thing I love most of all: the making of the final picture. No one else can do that for me, nor do I ever completely satisfy myself.” – Nell Dorr

Links

– Extreme, extreme photography
– Milky Way panorama
– Is your agent really your agent?
– Seven important landscape lessons Acquired wisdom
– Fine art still life, setup and lighting
– Street photography with a twist
– Underwater macro: incredible colors and shapes: animals that look like they come from another planet
– Underwater in the the Inside Passage
– Joel Meyerowitz

From Steve Oney:
– Street shooter in NY
– 10 photographers who immortalized city streets

Dew drop in in the morning.

Monday Missive — May 28, 2018

Quotes

Be unafraid of your imagination.” — Joe McNally in Creative Live

Photography is an immediate reaction, drawing is a meditation.” – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Let’s make things exist and then judge later. Don’t cancel the process of creativity too early: Let it flow.” – Ross Lovegrove

Links

– A bunch of good printing tips
– Play with long and multiple exposures
– Histograms
– Creating a vintage look from scratch (without using presets)
– Dry (heat) mounting
– Bird photography on the cheap
– 12 reasons to start a photography blog File under advice to self
– Landscape light – Part 1
– Gourmet macro
– Focus stacking in PS and LR

Extra

– The Photography blog of the LA Times created by Barbara Davidson, a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist

Framework, the photography and video blog of the Los Angeles Times, celebrates the power and explores the craft of visual storytelling. The blog highlights the work of Times photojournalists who frame by frame, document the drama, the emotion and sometimes the humor of life. Framework also aims to serve as a resource hub for photography, multimedia and video enthusiasts who share our passion. We will trade insights and discuss the tools and techniques of telling stories through images. Have a look and let us know what you think.

Images from the Baltimore Farmers Market.

Monday Missive — March 19, 2018

Quotes

“…a camera gives you a license to explore.” — Adam Davies in a conversation with Ben Marcin in Bmore Art, March 6, 2018

“A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths.” — Anonymous

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.” — Matt Hardy

Links

– 10 predictions for the future of photography
– Intro to IR photography
– Diane Arbus gets a NY Times obituary 46 years after her death Includes a video.
– Architectural keystoning: perspective control lenses vs digital correction
– Two hour video on macro and close-up photography
– Differences between phase and contrast autofocus systems
– Sandhill crane migration Very well-written story
– A photographer and his dog – how can you resist?
– Monochrome portraits by Kelly Castro
– Georgia O’Keefe on how to be an artist Applicable to photographers too

Under the highway.

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 — 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.