Monday Missive — December 17, 2018

Quotes

Art Is Not About Understanding. Or Mastery. It is about doing and experience.” — Jerry Saltz

Hide secrets in your work.” — Jerry Saltz

Never just say, “You tell me what it is.” That’s pompous bullshit. When it comes to your work, you’re the best authority there is.” — Jerry Saltz

Links

– How to be an artist Article by Jerry Saltz. Anyone who feels reluctant to go their own way or share what they have done should read this article. Anyone who is in a rut should also read this.
– Fix skin tones in one minute
– Lightroom brush tip
– Panoramas
– A project on ancestry that also reveals a simple way of life Photo essay about a Russian woman’s roots in a small hunting village in the Russian taiga.
– Svetlana: A very special place where people with disabilities are just part of the community.
– Photographing birds in flight
– Putting texture in text
– Portrait lighting with LEDs
– How photography helps an autistic 5 year old understand the world

Still feeling a bit nostaligic about my time out west during and between artist residencies. Pueblo ruins from the Antelope Canyon overlook.

This is the Long House Pueblo at Mesa Verde.

Monday Missive — November 26, 2018

Quotes

Most people go through life dreading they’ll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma,” she once wrote. “They’ve already passed their test in life. They’re aristocrats.” — Diane Arbus

I’m trying to please myself; certainly that’s a big criterion… though in a sense, I don’t take images just for myself. I take images that I think other people will want to see. I don’t take pictures to put in a box and hide them. I want as many people to see them as possible.” – Mary Ellen Mark, Mary Ellen Mark : 25 Years by Marianne Fulton, Page: 14

I was never much of a promoter of my work—I’ve probably given away more prints than I’ve sold.” – Herb Quick

Links

– Revisiting Diane Arbus’ most controversial most controversial series Very interesting article about how Arbus empathetically viewed the people she photographed.

– Hyperfocal focusing
– Some hidden changes in PS 2019 9 minute video
– Napping is a creative tool
– Vivian Maier’s never before seen color photography
– Photographing critically endangered mountain gorillas Photo essay
– Dogs catching treats These are just too much fun! Photo essay
– Basics and compositional aspects of depth of field Article
– All about curves 23 minute video. I learned a lot from this video.

Original link from Steve Oney:
– How to create luminosity masks in Photoshop Luminosity masks essentially select a narrow part of the luminosity (brightness) histogram and allow you to modify your image very precisely. So, if you wanted to select and darken only the light/lights you can do that without trying to brush what may be small or intricate areas. You can buy a program that automatically produces luminosity masks from Tony Kuyper or other locations. These programs may break the luminosity histogram into as many as 32 segments for great precision in modifying your image.

Thanksgiving table at my sister’s house. Food was great too.

Monday Missive — November 19, 2018

Quotes

Even if you’re not sure of where it will lead, today’s the day to begin.” — Seth Godin, November 3, 2018

Look at the acknowledged masters of this craft and you will see large bodies of work that focus on specific places, subjects, themes. Do masters only focus on a few things? No. Focusing on a few things is what gives us a chance at becoming masters.” — David duChemin

Do not adjust your mind, the fault is in reality.” — R. D. Laing

Links

– Developing personal projects A fairly long article but very consistent with David duChemin’s advice above.
– Interesting approach to street photography
– How to prepare your images for Instagram to get the best results Includes a tip on how to upload directly from your computer
– New content aware tool in detail
– One minute tutorial on removing dark areas under eyes
– Photo essay on mourning and friendship
– The problem with calling them black and white photographs
– Kost on exporting files or layers Less than 2 minutes
– One minute video on enhancing freckles
– Simple way to whiten teeth 4 minutes

I was taken by this still life, mostly by the warm late afternoon light on my wife’s potting table. Just after the first snow, spring seems so very far away.

A building along Pratt St., near the convention center. I was attracted by the extreme repetition and geometric shape. For some reason two panes stood out and I enhanced the blue with a BW/luminosity layer and a saturation adjustment layer. Left in the top of the tree for scale and to add a bit of “imperfection” to the image.

Monday Missive — October 29, 2018

Quotes

The mystery isn’t in the technique, it’s in each of us.” — Harry Callahan, More Joy of Photography by Eastman Kodak (Editor)

Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision.” — Salvador Dali

In a photograph a person’s eyes tell much, sometimes they tell all.” — Alfred Eisenstaedt, Eisenstaedt: Remembrances by Bryan Holme, Doris C. O’Neil, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Barbara Baker Burrows

Links

– Working with available light
– Flash
– The Art of Movement
– Frames – new in PS 2019
– Compositing transparent objects This video is noteworthy because of all of the details he addresses for the most realistic image.
– Google Images now displays copyright information
– 5 great nature photographers who love what they do
– Mission Monochrome

From Steve Oney:
– Poverty and mythology in America A very insightful and well-done Magnum photoessay.
-Surrealist Hussam Eissa

Farm in Pennsylvania.

A farm in Pennsylvania.

Staring into space at the 9/11 Memorial. I liked the raised foot and unfocused stare.

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 1, 2018

Quotes

I just don’t like having to ask anyone for anything in terms of finances. I don’t like having to wait for someone to approve where I can get my idea off… Like, if I want to make an album and I want an orchestra, I’m gonna figure out how to do that. I don’t want to wait around for people to greenlight my creativity.” — Fatimah Warner (rapper Noname) From an article in The Fader by Rawiya Kameir

He realized that 25 years does something to a picture: ‘A photograph that was candid or simple at the time all of the sudden has a completely different relevance,’ he said. The time in between gives you more than emotional distance, it refreshes the image. ‘We don’t have to overthink the pictures, we just have to give them time.‘” — Mario Sorrenti in an article about his images of Kate Moss

Your work can struggle to fit in. Or you can do the hard work of having it stand out.” — Seth Godin, September 27, 2018

Links

– Your photographic legacy: What happens to your images when you die?
– Magic wand vs quick selection tools in PS
– When to share photos Another insightful article from Julianne Kost.
– Artistic filters in PS
– Very interesting photo essay from a culture and location that is virtually unexplored
– Creative fall impressions
– More techniques for fall photography
– Reasons not to upgrade to that new mirrorless
– Try different approaches to conventional scenes
– Who shot the Colin Kaepernick image for Nike?
From George Spicer:
– Digital backs for film cameras

Having some photo fun at Comic Con in Baltimore. Everyone is really friendly and willing to have their pictures taken. I don’t recognize all of the characters but this lovely ghoul certainly caught my eye.

These four “sisters” were perfectly willing to pose.

Madam Wolverine was very impressive!

Monday Missive — September 24, 2018

Quotes

What ultimately made The Americans a document with real staying power? ‘Frank revealed a people who were plagued by racism, ill-served by their politicians, and also rendered increasingly numb by the rising culture of consumerism,’ Greenough noted. ‘But it’s also important to point out that he found new areas of beauty in those simple, overlooked corners of American life—in diners, or on the street. He pioneered a whole new subject matter that we [now] define as icons: cars, jukeboxes, even the road itself. All of these things, coupled with his style—which is seemingly intuitive, immediate, and off-kilter—were radically new at the time.‘” — From the article on “The Americans” by Scott Indrisek noted below.

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. … If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.” — Goethe

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

Links

– Why Robert Frank’s “The Americans” Matters Today
– Shadowy street photography
– Lighting tips from 5 top photographers
– Making the most of LR presets
– Removing tan lines in Photoshop
– Crafting high energy portraits in the studio
– Some of the rarest pictures ever taken

From Steve Oney:
– New content aware fill capabilities coming later this year
– Gordon Parks and the affliction of poverty
– Michael Kenna Article and podcast interview with several images and an interesting anecdote.

A view of God’s earth from the Baltimore Basilica. Ocean from the Ovens in Nova Scotia, path from Cabot Beach Provincial Park in Prince Edward Island, Boardwalk from Green Swamp Preserve in NC and night sky from Wisconsin.

Monday Missive — September 10, 2018

Quotes

I believe that the essence of photography is black and white. Color is but a deviance.” — Sarah Moon

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

Great photography is about depth of feeling, not depth of field.” — Peter Adams

Links

– A bunch of incredible selection techniques
– Adobe not supporting some older OS’ Take note if you are running an older Mac or Windows OS
– The August Lightroom update
– Jewish Streets
– Travel tips This is partly in support of duChemin’s new course, but the quotes, lessons and images are worth the time.
– Unconventional approaches to landscape and nature
– Hard drive file systems for Mac and Windows
– Interpreting memory cards

From Steve Oney:
– Two minute trailer on upcoming video on Gary Winogrand
– Really great series of monochrome pairs by Czech photographer Alicja Brodowicz

Skipper butterfly. Taken with 200 Nikon micro lens and diffused flash. 1/200; f/13; ISO 500.

Taken at 2018 MD State Fair. Two images taken from a tripod as the ride dropped. Composited in Photoshop.

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 — August 13, 2018

Quotes

Reality-based reality: It’s ever easier to weave our own reality … . We can invent our own rules, create our own theories, fabricate our own ‘facts’. It turns out, though, that when your reality is based on actual reality, it’s a lot more stable and resilient, because you don’t have to be so vigilant about what you’re going to filter out.” — Seth Godin, 8/7/18

Photography extends our perception allowing us to see and experience more – second hand.” –- John Paul Caponigro

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

Links

– All about levels, including manipulating colors
– Forever Y: A Photo Essay about Gen Y
– Mirrorless cameras There are many more differences between mirrorless and DSLRs than just the absence of a mirror.
– Less well known photo opportunities in Utah
– Proper backup work flow
– Neat tips from Matt K on using the adjustment brush in LR and ACR
– Compositing
– Mission: Monochrome

From Steve Oney:
– Nature photography hot spots in Florida
– 16 Inspiring Photographers

High wheel bike race on Saturday, 8/11/18 in Frederick, MD. Check out the expressions of determination. It was a very hot day.

High Wheel Bike Race on Saturday 8/11/18 in Frederick, MD. Spin blur was added to the wheels on two images.

Monday Missive — June 18, 2018

Quotes

But Kandinsky did not intend for his theories to be prescriptive. Artmaking, he insisted, was about freedom.” — From How to Be an Artist, According to Wassily Kandinsky, by Rachel Lebowitz, Jun 12, 2017, Artsy.net

Quitting merely because you’re behind is a trap, a form of hiding that feels safe, but isn’t. The math is simple: whatever you switch to because you quit is another place you’re going to be behind as well. It’s not a race, it’s a journey. And the team that scores first doesn’t always win.” — Seth Godin, June 13,2018

It’s true that you’re not good enough yet. None of us are. But if you commit to trying hard enough and long enough, you’ll get better.” — Seth Godin, June 16, 2018

Links

– 6 Great artists on how to be an artist
– Pumas of Patagonia
– Nighttime landscape photography
– Controlling color and tonal edits with blend modes
– Adding an artistic element in nature photography
– More on photographic intent with McCurry’s “Afgan Girl” as an example
– More background on intent and the iconic “Afgan Girl”
– Seeking color and enhancing creativity 45 minute video from B & H Optic 2018, but definitely worth the time. Many great examples on how light, color, position, shape, repetition impact the emotion and perception of the image.
– Showing a sense of place in your travel photography
– Three tools that are more capable in Photoshop than in Lightroom

My Asian Lilies are finally open and are gorgeous in the early morning light.

Monday Missive — June 4, 2018

Quotes

Becoming “more creative,” whatever that means to you, doesn’t often happen by accident. And it’s not something you either are or are not, so you can check that excuse at the door right now. It’s a choice. It’s something you do. If you’re longing to do more creative work, then stop taking it all so damn seriously; stop thinking about the work you’ve already done and get excited about reinventing it, exploring new ideas, new techniques, and challenge yourself with more interesting problems.”David duChemin

It was the Rainbow gave thee birth,
And left thee all her lovely hues.
W. H. Davies

Great art is the outward expression of an inner life of the artist, and this inner life will result in his personal vision of the world.” – Edward Hopper

Links

– Using images to message about PTSD If you don’t read anything else in today’s blog, please read this.

– Bird photography
– Wildlife rescue photography
– Landscape light — Part 2
– Counterfeit memory cards from Amazon
– Does sensor size still make a difference?
– International image theft lawsuit – interesting video story
– Interesting group photos
– Color grading in PS
– Using “apply image” layer masks

Composite of 2 images taken at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. The background trees were taken across an embayment. The “fence” was duplicated and reversed. Red and yellow color layers were used with a circular gradient for the yellow. The judge didn’t like it, but I do. Let me know what you think.

I had some fun with this one. Judges didn’t like it either.

Monday Missive — April 9, 2018

Quotes

The still must tease with the promise of a story the viewer of it itches to be told.” – Cindy Sherman

A product of the untalented, sold by the unprincipled to the utterly bewildered.” — Al Capp on abstract art

Get the advice of everybody whose advice is worth having–they are very few–and then do what you think best yourself.” — Charles Stewart Parnell

Links

– Pan like a pro
– 5 guides to types of natural light
– Humanism in photography
– Non-camera gear you should carry
– Photographs that capture the legacy of soul
– Curves, clarity, dehaze and high pass sharpening: how they effect contrast and detail.

New Adobe Profiles in the latest updates to LR and ACR are explained in the links below. Adobe also lists sites that are providing free profiles so that users can explore whether they are useful in their own workflow:
— From Adobe: New profiles: Easier access, greater availability
— Matt K’s version on profiles,
— Jared Platt and from Charlie Bowers,
— DP Review’s comments on profiles

SIGNS OF SPRING

Maple syrup tap. Taken at Catoctin Mountain Park.

Daffodil stigma and anthers.

Monday Missive — March 12, 2018

Quotes

“Photographers should follow their own judgment, and not the fads and dictates of others.” – Bill Brandt

“And only the photographer himself knows the effect he wants. He should know by instinct, grounded in experience, what subjects are enhanced by hard or soft, light or dark treatment.” – Bill Brandt

“I consider it essential that the photographer should do his own printing and enlarging. The final effect of the finished print depends so much on these operations.” – Bill Brandt

Links

– Addiction photography
– Young Love
– Extracting liquid glass and smoke in Photoshop
– Sky replacement in Photoshop Shows lots of tools, including getting rid of the bright halos around selections.
– Photographing mountain hares in Scotland in winter Not for me, but still interesting.
– Capturing mist and fog
– Ralph Gibson
– Chromatic compositions
– The decisive moment: some really neat street photos

From Suku:
-Two houseboats converted to floating studios, touring Europe

On the Beach, part of a portfolio I have been working on for a couple of years.

Monday Missive — February 19, 2018

Quotes

… creativity is about two things: the way we think, and the way we turn those thoughts into reality.” — David duChemin

We all start in this medium because of the magic and the challenge is to keep it going.” – John Sexton

I like the simple things. I don’t know why. I’m that way. I came from a simple place.” – Harry Callahan

Links

– Stuck in a rut? Use color to rev your engine
– Progress in cell phone image quality over the last 5 years
– Mastering the pen tool If you make selections, this is really helpful.
– Caponigro: Creative process
– Processing night photography
– Creature captures
– What’s new in Lightroom?
– Compositing in “mini-people”
– Color matching when compositing Good on details of compositing.

From George Spicer:
– Creating depth with color

Congaree National Park, SC