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.

Monday Missive — January 8, 2018

Quotes

The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention.” — Julia Margaret Cameron

I do not document anything, I give an interpretation.” – Andre Kertesz

What matters is not what you photograph, but why and how you photograph it. Even the most controversial subject, if depicted by a sensitive photographer with honesty, sympathy, and understanding, can be transformed into an emotionally rewarding experience.” – Andreas Feininger

Links

– Look and see
– Guide to winter photos
– A neat photo-challenge with lots of good example images
– Renaming and moving files in LR One of the main reasons I have resisted LR is that moving files and creating folders was a problem in LR. Apparently that is now addressed. Best video I have seen on organizing, moving, naming and deleting files in LR.
– Macro studio closeups
– Best photographs of 2017 – Multiple sources and categories
– Blending modes
– 10 good tips for birds at the beach
– Travel tips

From Larry Fogelson: – Local blogger wins award for using photos to illustrate life in Baltimore

Damselfly

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 18, 2017

Quotes

We’re all capable of huge leaps of insight and empathy if we’re willing to go to work to learn how.” — Seth Godin on September 10, 2017

Don’t shoot the nouns . . . Shoot the adjectives.” — Arthur Ransome

The photograph is secondary to the experience.” — Arthur Ransome

Links

– Using Lab color
– Helpful one minute tip on how to be sure you know where your photos are in LR
– Super weird 2X macro lens
– Cheap super macro set up
– sRGB vs Adobe RGB I don’t agree with the conclusion, but he explains color space reasonably well.
From Steve Oney: – 40 camera hacks
– Finalists Wildlife Photographer of the Year
– Canyon Country
– Good ideas for fall foliage

Iris leaves, backlit.

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 – June 19, 2017

Quotes

The camera is an excuse to be someplace you otherwise don’t belong. It gives me both a point of connection and a point of separation.” — Susan Meiselas

We are making photographs to understand what our lives mean to us.” — Ralph Hattersley

What I have learnt and what I teach now is all about experimentation and learning to pick yourself up and try again when you fall down.” – Lara Jade

Links

– The new Apple file system
– Photoshop techniques you should know
– Field macro studio
– Color Lookup tables in Photoshop
– Removing tattoos
– Personal Projects
– Photography in Yucatan Mexico: ruins and wildlife
– Retouching hair in Photoshop
– How to Geo-tag your photos
– Social media

Young woman walking at Sandy Point State Park.

Monday Missive — June 5, 2017

Quotes

If you try to corral or cage the photographic process, it will thumb it’s nose at you. The trick is just to flow with it and stop it when a moment of discovery has met inspiration.” — Paul Caponigro

A good snapshot stops a moment from running away.” – Eudora Welty

Photography is a language more universal than words.” – Minor White

Links

– Macro at 1:1 and beyond
– Falls of the Columbia River gorge
– Details and grand landscapes
– Colorizing Historic BW photos Shared by Kay. This isn’t a “how to” but looks at the work involved to be accurate and the implications. Interesting video.
– Art of Photography Assignment 7: Motion
– Safety tips for travel
– Quick tips
– Finding critics
– Consider the frame

Another approach to an image posted on Feb. 27, 2017 ( http://richeskinphoto.com/blog/?p=1991). Compare and comment. Which do you prefer and why?

Bayscaping (Butterfly Garden) Redux

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place…. I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.  — Elliott Erwitt

I first talked about Bayscaping — landscaping for habitat using native species — in April 2013, with an update in August of that year.  Well the garden has come along with fairly robust stands of Joe Pye Weed, Swamp Milkweed and butterfly weed and others which should attract numerous insects.  [Last year I mostly got a huge crop of aphids.]

Two years ago I saw 8 monarch caterpillars, but last year — nothing; very disappointing, but there was national concern about a huge kill of monarchs due to bad weather at the wrong time.  Hopefully this year will be better.  So far just some red and black milkweed bugs, that were not photographed.

Because I enjoy macro photography, my original intent in starting the garden was two-fold:  Provide a convenient (right outside my backdoor) location for macro photography of flowers and bugs and eventually to teach a macro class out of my home studio. So to start using it productively, I plan to update this blog post approximately weekly with at least 1 image per week (yeah, I know, not terribly ambitious, but hey, its summer and I’m retired).

May 29, 2015, mid-afternoon

ButterflyWeed_DSC4817

D200, 55 mm micro-Nikkor with 1.4x Tamron Teleconverter, f/5.6, 1/640 sec, ISO400. Butterfly weed.

MilkweedLeafBeetle_DSC4824

Milkweed Leaf Beetle, D200, 55 micro-Nikkor w/1.4X Tamron telextender, f/8, 1/125, ISO 400

Pretty warm, didn’t see too much, mostly those gold-bodied flies, so I shot some butterfly weed buds. Went back out an hour later and found this gaudy milkweed leaf beetle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 1, 2015, mid-afternoon

Experimented with a used 55 mm micro-Nikkor I bought earlier this year with a 52.5 mm Nikon extension tube (PN-11) that may have been made specifically to achieve 1:1 with this lens.  The tubes have their own foot, increasing the stability of the camera/lens on the tripod.

June 10, 2015D800E, ISO 400, f/16, 55 mm micro with 52.5 extension tubes.

Butterflyweed has opened.

ButterflyWeed_D8E1343

55 mm micro-Nikkor with 14 mm extension tube on D800E

 

BayScaping

“BayScaping” is the local (Maryland) term for natural landscaping that uses native plants and specifically provides habitat and food for wildlife. There are numerous advantages generally including lower maintenance and high success, since the native plants are better adapted to the local environment.

I have just completed digging out 400 square feet of old forsythia to make room for plants that will attract wildlife including:  columbine, milkweed, butterflyweed, Joe Pye weed, coneflower and goldenrod.

This project addresses both my conservation concerns and, hopefully in the future, will provide numerous photographic opportunities for macro subjects and small wildlife, as well as the potential for teaching small classes on closeup and macro photography from home.  I did not think ahead to photograph the starting point with really over grown forsythia, but will try to document my progress, successes and failures moving forward.

As we develop more and more land, plant more lawns and lay down more asphalt for roads, it is increasingly necessary for those who care to at least make an effort to provide pockets of natural habitat in support of wildlife.