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 — 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 — May 27, 2019

Quotes

…the goal of art was the vital expression of self.” – Alfred Stieglitz

Trust that little voice in your head that says ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; And then do it.” – Duane Michals

Style has no formula, but it has a secret key. It is the extension of your personality. The summation of this indefinable net of your feeling, knowledge and experience.” – Ernst Haas

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Images of the Central American migration

Post-processing
– Tim Grey defines and compares sharpening, the new texture slider in LR/ACR, clarity and dehaze
– Using the new texture slider to smooth skin and enhance landscapes
– Matt K on Texture vs clarity and sharpening
– Color grading in Lightroom
– Making basic selections in PS
– Dealing with a significantly over-exposed image in LR

Field/Studio
– Using negative space in photography
– A photojournalistic approach to wedding photography

Miscellany
– Color Psychology

Images from yesteday’s Sowebo festival in southwest Baltimore.

This bassist was really enjoying the music.

He was pretty happy too.

Artist display.

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 — November 12, 2018

Quotes

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

The ritual sadness of the season is more voluptuous than joy.” — Linda Pastan

Art is, or ought to be, a reliable refuge for idiosyncrasy in a society that increasingly views the idiosyncratic with suspicion.” — Colin Dabkowski

Links

– Auto functions in PS that quickly and easily get your post processing started
– Select subject With the use of AI, this has become a really helpful tool.
– Wildfife photographer of the year winners
– Update on copyright issues
– Improving fall color
– Should landscape photographers explore?
– Blend long and short exposures to make the best long exposure images
– Examples of Noir photography
– Removing fringes from a tree after a sky swap
– 50 images of gritty NY in the 1970s

Stigma and anthers of Asian Lily.

From an exercise with friends.

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 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 – March 27, 2017

Quotes

I believe in wonder and look for it every day.” – Keith Carter

Sometimes nature seems more beautiful than strictly necessary…” — Steven Weinberg

And frosts are slain and flowers begotten,
And in greet underwood and cover
Blossom by blossom the spring begins.

Swinburne (Atlanta in Calydon)

Links

– Cityscapes
– General tips for difficult situations
– Photo Assignment Red; Color Palettes
– More on selections
– Wildflowers
– Expose for the highlights
– Willem Wersen, Street Photography
– Natural History Videography This one is a little outside what I generally include, but I have met Clay Bolt, this is an interesting story, and it was recently in the news because it is the first time a bee has been listed as endangered.
– Composites
– More compositing techniques

Longwood Gardens, March 24, 2017. Aloe (Halathia) processed in NIK with Brilliance and Warmth, and Tonal Contrast.

Monday Missive – March 20, 2017

Quotes

There is one thing the photograph must contain, the humanity of the moment.” — Robert Frank

There will be times when you will be in the field without a camera. And, you will see the most glorious sunset or the most beautiful scene that you have ever witnessed. Don’t be bitter because you can’t record it. Sit down, drink it in, and enjoy it for what it is!” – DeGriff

Photography is a small voice, at best, but sometimes one photograph, or a group of them, can lure our sense of awareness.” – W. Eugene Smith

Links

– Alfred Stiegelitz
– Ethical wildlife photography
– A photographer’s guide to Iceland
– The return of film?
– 10 tips for PS selections This is pretty good. Also the first time I saw someone using “Matting” in the Layer menu or “Calculations” in the Image menu.
– Criticism of modern “art” photography From Leo Charpentier
– Photography by the alphabet – Part 4
– Retouching with the brush and color blending mode
– Water portraits in the studio This looked like fun.
– Three quick, simple lighting techniques