Monday Missive — July 20, 2020

Quotes

Magritte was an artist who worked in ideas, not in craft.” – Seth Godin 11/17/14

[Photography is] very related to poetry. It’s suggestive and fragmentary and unsatisfying in a lot of ways. It’s as much about what you leave out as what you put in.” — Alec Soth

There are many teachers who could ruin you. Before you know it you could be a pale copy of this teacher or that teacher. You have to evolve on your own.” – Berenice Abbott

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Soomin Sam: Portraits, windows, once upon a time
– Michael Darough. An interesting approach to exploring racial justice
– Karen Bullock: Presence Obscured Difficult topic done well.
– Tom Leighton: Tokyo

Post-processing
– PS masking tips
– Simple composition tips for Lightroom
– Fix my image

Field/Studio
– Sean Tucker: Minimalist Street Photography

Miscellany
– How durable is your camera sensor
– The bird box diary: Some quiet self-reflection on landscape and wildlife photography

Blue dasher dragonfly, male. Black Marsh Trail.

Coneflowers.

Monday Missive — July 6, 2020

Quotes

Photography is a window to place, time and memory.” — Soomin Ham

If you want more creative photographs, you need to learn to think more creatively: not different gear, but different thoughts.” — David duChemin

The decisive moment is a great concept, but we don’t experience the world that way. Life is a montage of occurrences that comes together over time. By spending several hours shooting a scene and merging elements from each into a single frame, I create, in some way, a truer depiction of that space because I’m not capturing an outlier moment.” — Sean J. Sprague

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Seeing double
– Very well done ongoing photoessay of a young woman with Down’s

Post-processing
– Editing a composite
– Select and mask crash course
– A quick way to remove numerous dust spots
– 10 hidden tools in the new Camera Raw

Field/Studio
– Making more meaningful portraits by connecting with your subject
– How to safely update PS and correct things that seem to be missing

Miscellany
– Henri Cartier-Bresson

Day lily in morning light. It was the light at the base of the blossom that captured my eye.
f/45 with 105 macro lens.

Winter Marsh. From a new body of work that I am working into a book.

Monday Missive — June 8, 2020

Quotes

Great photography is always on the edge of failure.” –- Garry Winogrand

In terms of art, the only real answer that I know of is to do it. If you don’t do it, you don’t know what might happen.” –- Harry Callahan

Of course, there will always be those who look only at technique, who ask ‘how’, while others of a more curious nature will ask ‘why’. Personally, I have always preferred inspiration to information.” –- Man Ray

Links
Post-processing
– Change background color Also includes several selection and masking methods
– How to re-light a scene in Photoshop Using camera raw so it can also work in LR
– Color grading
– Layer masks for beginners
– How to light a portrait in camera raw

Field/Studio
– Single light critiques Lindsay Adler explains how to improve portrait/glamor lighting using only a single light.
– 7 techniques to improve your composition

Miscellany
– Clyde Butcher and the quarantine
– Eileen Rafferty: Seeing in BW Almost 2 hours
– Using a 110 year old camera Thanks to Steve O. This was interesting if not practical.

Found a spider in the house. He agreed to pose for a portrait to show off his gold grill. He is kind of cute, sort of makes you want to scratch behind his ears (if he had them). This is probably a jumping spider, although he didn’t jump, but was really fast.

I just really like the reflected emerald green. All I did to this was lens corrections and darken the light tree trunks.

Monday Missive — June 1, 2020

Quotes

Definitions belong to the definers, not the defined.” — Toni Morrison

You don’t need to explain yourself. Shoot what makes you happy.” — Sean Tucker

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

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Ruth Orkin

Post-processing
– Changing day to night in PS One more lesson on Lighting Effects
– Removing shadows
– Double exposure effect
– When to use PS over LR
– Photoshop layers for beginners

Field/Studio
– Camera settings for wildlife photography
– Getting started with landscape photography
– Using lace as a GOBO for creative portraits

Miscellany
– The beauty of platinum/palladium prints Tillman Crane uses a hybrid process taking digital images with a medium format camera but printing Pt/Pd in the darkroom.

Clematis. 200 mm macro in mornng sun.

Tiny mushrooms. 200 mm micro lens with 74.5 mm extension.

Monday Missive — October 21, 2019

Quotes

I do not understand how anyone can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to.” — Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Pilgrim leaves crowd the air with their falling every October. The journey is always the same.” — Linda Pastan

The tree has been green all summer, but now it tries red…copper… even gold. Soon leaf after leaf will be discarded, there will be nothing but bare tree, soon it will be almost time to start over again.” — Linda Pastan

Links
Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Alabama Hills
– 15 all time iconic images
– Super cool food composites

Post-processing
– The mixer brush and puppet warp
– Four steps to editing your images in PS These steps are all applicable to LR
– Telling a visual story through light and shadow Really good architectural photography
– Great tips on masking and selections
– 2nd part on masking and selections

Field/Studio
– Photographing in the rain
– Law and Ethics in Street Photography

Making a glass pumpkin.


Fall color in Montour Falls, NY.

Long Lake, Adirondack Mtns., NY.

Monday Missive — July 22, 2019

Quote

Quotes

Success to me is being a good person, treating people well.” – David LaChapelle

Mysteries lie all around us, even in the most familiar things, waiting only to be perceived.” – Wynn Bullock

You are responsible for every part of your image, even the parts you’re not interested in.” – Jay Maisel

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– This body of work is titled “Wild Spirits,” but I don’t really see that in the work. It is a somewhat dream-like portrayal of the less developed areas of the south; Ossabaw Island in SC being specifically mentioned.
– How six women photojournalists shaped photography

Post-processing
– Quick and easy way to copy dimensions and resolution from one image to another 90 second video
– Filling in hair gaps using the Lighten blend mode Blend modes are one of the advantages off Photoshop over Lightroom
– Sharpening with the High Pass Filter in PS 4.5 minute video. One of the easiest to follow explanations of this I have seen. Only issue for me is that she said the image was a bit noisy, and I would have reduced luminance noise before sharpening so you don’t sharpen the noise as well.
– How to add a texture to an image, apply it to only part of the image, but keep the color background on the whole image
– Understanding how Lightroom synchs to the cloud
– Simplified color correction

Field/Studio
– Landscape photography tips Some thoughtful general advice on landscape photography.
– Photographing Mountains

In the heat of the last week and a half, I have been thinking back to a trip to the Canadian Maritimes and remembering that it was a lot cooler up there.

Beaulach Ban Falls, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada

Kejimkujik Seaside Adjunct, panorama.

Kejimkujik National Park, Seaside.

Monday Missive — June 24, 2019

Quotes

Don’t cheat the world of your contribution. Give it what you’ve got.” – Steven Pressfield

A very subtle difference can make the picture or not.” – Annie Leibovitz

I want to make photographs whose very ambiguity provokes thought, rather than cuts it off prematurely. I want to make pictures that work on a more mysterious level, that approach the truth by a more circuitous route.” – John Pfahl

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Monochromatic minimalism
– Re-examining “consent” in an age where neither the photographer nor the subject may control where an image shows or how it is used. This is an interesting discussion, but not sure that what Berman suggests is feasible or realistic.
– Widow/er A “poignant and elegant” portrait series

Post-processing
– Blur the background without halos
– Adding an image into text
– How to cut out hair from a busy background 37 minute video, but covers a lot about brushes, masking and selections.
– Create realistic skin texture

Studio/Field
– Packing your gear for air travel

Miscellany
– Be creative every day
– Modern photographic terms: What thoese acronyms mean.

male ruby-throated hummingbird. Taken at Patuxent North Tract Research Refuge, near visitor center. Sigma 150-600, 1/1250 sec; f/8; ISO 1600.

Female ruby-throated hummingbird. Same metadata except shutter =1/400.

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.
6/24/19: Added male Slaty skimmer dragonfly and green snake.

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.