Monday Missive — June 17, 2019

Quotes

Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world.” – Arnold Newman

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

The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” — Henry Beston

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Almost the North Pole
– Norway and the Sami culture
– Body of work on illnes and treatment Interesting and poetic title. Her manipulation of the images is also an intriguing approach and consistent with the topic.
– Obsessions of 10 Magnum photographers
– What it takes to become a Nat Geo photographer Includes winning images from this year’s contest and an embedded video of a Nat Geo Young Explorer that is worth watching.

Post-processing
– Change backgrounds but keep original shadows
– Adding a sun to an image Using the radial gradient and color dodge blend mode.

Miscellany
– 3D functions in PSCC This is not photographic, but if you have Photoshop CC you also have 3D which might be helpful on occasion. It is amazing what it can do. 30 minute video.
– If you hire an agency to sell your images, read the contract very carefully!
– What is photography? A very brief philosophical statement.

Trail Report: Black Marsh Trail at North Point State Park

North Point State Park is located at 8400 North Point Rd, Edgemere, MD 21219 (southeast Baltimore). You will drive in about a third of a mile from North Point Road to the gate booth. There is a $3 admission charge per car; sometimes on the honor system, sometimes the booth is manned. (Senior passes are available from the Department of Natural Resources). Just past the booth on the left there is a parking lot (with a portable sanitary station). The Park also has a visitor center, beach, picnic tables and other amenities and trails. After parking, walk back out past the booth. On the right is a turn around and then a vehicle fence at the trail head (about 50 feet from the booth). The trail can be muddy in spots, so wear appropriate footwear. It is about a quarter mile through forest to the beginning of a really nice marsh, which extends on both sides of the trail. I have seen Great Blue and Little Blue herons and white egrets so far this spring, also sighted an empty Oriole nest. No worthwhile images of the birds yet, but I have only walked the trail 3 or 4 times so far. I was told there was a good diversity of ducks in winter. Dragonflies and damselflies are numerous and probably keep the mosquitoes down, but low in diversity: I have only seen Blue Dashers, Pondhawks and Fragile Forktails. Bullfrogs are common and commonly heard. The trail continues past the marsh through coastal forest. You will eventually pass an old powerhouse building and end up at a beach. Although never crowded, most of the time you will see some birders on the trail, who have always been willing to share what they have seen. You will want to use insect repellent, although the bugs haven’t been too bad so far this season. Watch for poison ivy as well.

Intersection of Black Marsh and Observation Trails looking left.

Intersection of Black Marsh and Observation trails looking right.

Bullfrog

Eastern Pondhawk male

Eastern Pondhawk female.

Black Marsh Trail, North Point State Park

Monday Missive — June 10, 2019

Quotes

Interviewer James Robert Southard: What makes for your perfect day of shooting?
It is walking into a place, often a new place. It is being in that perfect moment when you see it and you know it and you capture it. Or at least you hope you did. … It is being in that photographic moment, just me and the viewfinder and it is as though there is nothing else around. Or at least it feels that way.” — Sarah Hoskins

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

When you are looking to find photographs… open up your mind and be still with yourself. The photographs will find you.” — Paul Caponigro

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Small town Kentucky
– A playlist of 94 videos on famous photographers From Ted Forbes who does the Art of Photography. People serious about photography can use this list to see the work of many famous photographers. Great bad weather activity. I highly recommend subscribing to the “Art of Photography” You Tube channel.
– Two Caponigros Really good video. I have met Paul C and he is a really nice gentleman. I’ve seen an exhibition of his work up in Maine and it was awesome. Paul C may be the famous photographer you have never heard of. This is a good video to get acquainted.

Post Processing
– Brief video on how to find previously worked on images in PS
– How to edit video in Photoshop This is great for family stuff even if you don’t use video for your “serious” photography.
– Mastering contrast Illustrated on portraits in both color and BW. Provides very subtle control at several levels of detail.
– Cut out trees without halos or fringes in Photoshop

Miscellany
– Lens compression

This past weekend was HonFest, celebrating Baltimore’s “Hons”. It is a tradition derived from “Whatcha need, Hon?” and involves beehive hairstyles and 1950s style sunglasses. Lots of fun and a great excuse for a 2 day street party.

Best Hon 2019

Singer in the band.

Monday Missive — April 29, 2019

Quotes

That’s why I fight against the notion of rules. . . They don’t encourage the kind of questions that will get us to making better photographs. They don’t ask Why. As in, ‘Why am I making this photograph and what do I want to say?‘” — David DuChemin

I was not schooled in photography, I didn’t know what the rules were, and I broke a lot of them. I think it made my work more intriguing.” — Franz Lanting

It takes the passage of time before an image of a commonplace subject can be assessed. The great difficulty of what I attempt is seeing beyond the moment; the everydayness of life gets in the way of the eternal.” — George Tice

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– For animal lovers
– Photographing the most remote places on earth
– Creative self portraits

Photoshop/Lightroom Technique
– A complete workflow for a BW image (from Steve) Mostly LR processing
– Pencil sketch effect
– Better cutouts and crisp edges
– Exploding people using PS 3D tools

Field/Studio
– DNG vs Raw
– Capture emotion in your landscape photography A thoughtful analysis in 13 minute video with some excellent images from Scotland. Made me want to get up to Dolly Sods again this spring.

Miscellaney
– Adobe test for what type of creative you are This is a really fun 16 question self-test that everyone should try — and then get someone who knows them well to take it for them and see the difference

Lighthouse at Campobello Island, Canada. Trying out one of my new Photomorphis textures.

Monday Missive — April 8, 2019

Quotes

One of the greatest barriers to creativity and to life is fear. That fear manifests itself in many ways but one of the more destructive is the perfectionism so many of us are paralyzed by.” — David DuChemin

Being a photographer is making people look at what I want them to look at. – Ruth Orkin

One very important difference between color and monochromatic photography is this: in black and white you suggest; in color you state. Much can be implied by suggestion, but statement demands certainty… absolute certainty. – Paul Outerbridge 

Links

Photo essays/Bodies of Work
– Exploration of the urban landscape With emphasis on Vietnam
– Messy studio –> creativity?
– “Inverse panoramas” and x-rays
– Van Der Zee and the Harlem renaissance
– Very dark, moody street photography

PhotoshopTechniques
– Equalize skin tones
– Workflow for a difficult image
– Basics of layer masks Really good 15 minute video that gives you all the basics of masks in a very straight forward way

From Steve Oney:
– How to safely use smoke bombs
– “Other worldly” images from White Sands, NM

Team effort on the Pride of Baltimore.
Neatly coiled rope on the Pride of Baltimore.

Monday Missive — February 18, 2019

Quotes

The unconscious obsession that we photographers have is that wherever we go we want to find the theme that we carry inside ourselves.  — Graciela Iturbide

The hardest thing in photography is to create a simple image. — Anne Geddes

Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our own private world. – Arnold Newman

Links

– Where the magenta tint on your prints comes from This is a common problem with Epson printers. This is very helpful.
– Adjust skin tones with one button
– Dora Maar, muse of Picasso and surrealist photographer
– Color Range Masking in LR and ACR 15 minute video
– Graciela Iturbide, great Mexican photographer
– Complete landscape edit, start to finish Helpful 20 minute video.
– Visual storytelling winners
– How to add snow to your photograph
– Multi-shot techniques
From Steve Oney:
– Basics of Astrophotography

Reaching back to my artist residency at Petrified Forest National Park. I chose this one because I like the orange/blue color palette.
Such a strange and wondrous landscape. Also from Petrified Forest NP. This was taken from the rim trail right behind the Painted Desert Inn.
Petroglyphs at Puerco Pueblo, also at PetrifiedForest.

Monday Missive — December 24, 2018

Quotes

Why don’t you put that old print on the floor and I’ll step on it for you and make it even more vintage.” — Brett Weston to Scott Nichols

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

I just love to work on something until I get it right. To me, what’s important and what I enjoy is not the finished photograph but the process. The photograph is a record of that process.” — Kim Weston

Links

– Cut out shadows easily for new backgrounds or compositing Also includes matching depth of field blur, color matching and more.
– Realistically colorize BW with gradient maps
– Photographing presidents
– How the stock photography market has changed
– Why you shouldn’t do street photography Very interesting take in a 9 minute video
– Shooting for black and white
– Interesting way to split tone to add color and drama to your images 6 minute video
– A simple guide for working with models
– Better beach pictures

From Steve Oney:
– Master selections and masks using channels Hour and 20 minute video that is fairly complete from basics to advanced. Selections and masks are one of the key advantages of Photoshop over Lightroom.

Great Blue Heron

Great Blue Heron taken on Dewees Island , SC.

Monday Missive — August 27, 2018

Quotes

Creativity works best when we have constraints.” — David duChemin (Have Camera Will Travel video)

Fear is the single greatest obstacle in our creative lives. … The magic happens… in the unexpected.” — David duChemin

It will be about the feel and emotion. You need to take those adjectives and translate them…onto your image.” — Claire Rosen, Imaginarium

Links

– Capturing east LA
– Great explanation of Photoshop blending modes by Julianne Kost who always gives great explanations. Very complete and includes two free videos, links to 4 more videos and a list of keyboard short cuts.
– A bit more on blend modes
– Ultra-wide angle lenses
– On the road with a film photographer
– Refine any mask with a brush
– Basic guide to taking long exposure images
– Big Sur So many wonderful images and stories came of Big Sur from Adams, Weston and others. Truly a magical place.

From Steve Oney:
– Range masking in LR
– Lynn Davis, portrait photographer

Spent a little time at the Fair last evening with some friends. My arteries clogged and acne returned as I walked past this booth.

Just for the color.

Monday Missive — July 2, 2018

Quotes
All by Keith Carter at B & H Optic 2018

“Tell the truth as you know it.”
“We all need the work of others.”
“Make friends with uncertainty.”
“The full weight and mystery of your art rests upon your relationship to your subject matter.”
“Where the world is at once mysterious and completely ordinary.”
“I could make up myths. … I could do anything I wanted because nobody’s paying me for it. Its fun to do.”

Links

– Keith Carter at B & H Optic Some really good philosophy and very interesting images.
– High key images
– Telling the story of your travels
– Photomanipulation (compositing)
– Greenland Part 3
– Interview with HuffPost photo director
– Free alternatives to photoshop
– Painting on masks
– What’s new in the different versions of Lightroom
– Interesting article on the transition from DSLR to Mirrorless

Just playing. Smoke images. Used an incense stick and flash with dark background. Then typically duplicated, flipped and added color.

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 5, 2018

Quotes

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Anthony Robbins

“Concentrate on your motivation… and the thought of what about the scene made you stop to look.” – Richard K. Kaiser

“Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is defracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam?” – Eric Maisel

Links

– High speed flash sync
– 9 BW tips More thoughtful than usual
– Using camera calibration to control color
– Surrealist photographers
– Tips on Nikon settings Some are really neat, like how to save your settings to a card. I would expect that Canon et al. has similar options.
– Color look-up, especially “Crisp-warm” and using the color blend mode
– Introduction to Masks
– Lensbaby velvet lens I rarely do equipment, but I have the 85 mm version so I wanted to see how this experience compares with mine.
– Slow speed synch on flash
– Photographing gannets at the end of the world

Ancient live oak and house on Daufuskie Island, SC.

Ancient live oak and house on Daufuskie Island, SC.

Monday Missive — February 26, 2018

Quotes

What I’m documenting can be hard to distill, because it’s all around us like the air we breathe. I often need to go to a place where I can capture extreme moments.” – Lauren Greenfield

I wanted to make pictures that felt natural, that felt like seeing, that didn’t feel like taking something in the world and making a piece of art out of it.” – Stephen Shore

There’s something arbitrary about taking a picture. So I can stand at the edge of a highway and take one step forward and it can be a natural landscape untouched by man and I can take one step back and include a guardrail and change the meaning of the picture radically… I can take a picture of a person at one moment and make them look contemplative and photograph them two seconds later and make them look frivolous.” – Stephen Shore

Links

– Editing your own work I think most of us have faced this issue
– The art of travel photograpy Long video on travel
– Quick mask mode in PS
– Neutral density filters
– Curate your slides
– Spirit bears and the temperate rain forest
– Awesome time lapse of Canadian wilderness with discussion of how he made it
– Finalists for World Press Photo of the year Be prepared for some heart breaking images.
– Confidential male initiation in Senegal Interesting images and cultural story.
– Is scouting landscape locations worthwhile?

Waiting for summer at Sandy Point Beach, MD. Nikon D800E, 80-400 @ 330, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 200.

Monday Missive — November 20, 2017

Quotes

The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything.” – Malcolm X

. . . there are two important … questions to consider: what do I want to say, and how do I make myself understood by the one with whom I’m communicating.” — David duChemin, The Soul of the Camera

Links

– Pro-tip Part 3
– Julianne does color and luminance masking
– Very fast Phlearn demo on compositing and creating a .gif (cinemagraph) file
– 12 favorite east coast locations
– Annie Griffiths, National Geographic: Using your camera for good WOW, very strong story.
– Handmade books
– Caponigro: What printing can do for you
– Eight great photographers of today
– The difference between levels and curves
– 10 favorite western locations

The prow of the John Brown with anchor lines.

The prow of the John Brown with anchor lines.

Crankshaft in the engine room of the Liberty Ship John Brown, anchored in Baltimore Harbor.

Gun sights and canon from the prow of the John Brown.

Gun sights and canon from the prow of the John Brown.

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