Monday Missive — December 10, 2018

Quotes

You push the button, we do the rest.” – George Eastman

The key to artistic photography is to work out your own thoughts, by yourselves. Imitation leads to certain disaster.” – Gertrude Käsebier

More and more are turning to photography as a medium of expression as well as communication. The leavening of aesthetic approaches continues. While it is too soon to define the characteristic of the photographic style today. One common denominator, rooted in tradition, seems in the ascendancy: the direct use of the camera for what it can do best, and that is the revelation interpretation and discovery of the world of man and of nature. The greatest challenge to the photographer is to express the inner significance through the outward form.” – Beaumont Newhall

Links

– Great photo essay on youth in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland
– Japanese rope art in isolated areas of Finland Another interesting, but very different photo essay.
– Stretching an image to adjust the aspect ratio
– HDR toning in 1 minute 1 minute video. I didn’t know that these options were available.
– A River Journey
– Interesting photo essay on people in their bedrooms
– Everybody Street This is a full-length (1.5 hours) video shot in 2013 on NY street photographers by Cheryl Dunn
– Using 3D bump map to control contrast This is new and amazing. 11 minute video
– Colorized photographs from Auschwitz
– 7 photo stories capture adolescence

I had a recent conversation about National Park Artist Residencies, so I thought it might be nice to go back and look at some of my work during the several residencies I was privileged to participate in, to see if my photography has improved or changed. This image was from Acadia, at the Schoodic Peninsula in 2007. I don’t know that I would take different scenes today, or taken them differently, but I am pretty sure the processing would be different from the original. This was edited last night from an unedited image; I would not have edited it like this in 2007.

A year later, in 2008, I took this in the north Cascades, but reprocessed it last night to add signficiant contrast in the details and darken the sky. It can be hard to be creative and depart from the obvious the first time you see mountains like this.

This was taken in Jan. 2013. With only 3 images it is hard to determine if I have made progress, but I do believe the processing is better. Big Cypress in Florida.

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 — November 5, 2018

Quotes

“If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who please rest assured are not dumb, and who are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible reason to stay at home … . By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.” — David Foster Wallace, Up, Simba!

“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” — Larry J. Sabato, Pendulum Swing

“A man without a vote is a man without protection.” — Lyndon B. Johnson

Links

– Michael Avedon’s photo essay on School Shooting survivors These are powerful and emotional stories. Don’t forget to vote.

– Easy export from Photoshop
– The believable surreal work of Robert Jahns
– Kyrgyzstan
– 25 great tips for street photography
– Black and white and color images don’t mix in the same project
– Conservation photography in Africa can be a dangerous life. A husband and wife team were badly injured by a buffalo, but continue their work after recovery.
– Processing fall colors in LR More helpfully, this article also gives a very good explanation of the difference between vibrance and saturation.
– Macro photography All of the set-ups shown can be done in winter and indoors.
– Using textures in Photoshop Includes some modifications and ways to make your own textures I never thought of.

The Rhonda Robinson Trio played some really nice jazz at the Erdman Branch of the Enoch Pratt Library on Saturday. The device she is holding is a “rain-maker” that makes a sound like gentle rain.

The Trio included Rhonda on flute and vocals, Rodney Kelley on keyboards and ….

Shawn Simon on stand-up bass.

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 — 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.

September 3, 2018

Quotes

Your photography is a record of your living, for anyone who really sees.” — Paul Strand

Results are uncertain even among the more experienced photographers.Matthew Brady

There is only you and your camera. The limitations in your photography are in yourself, for what we see is what we are.Ernst Haas

Links

– More than snaphots and postcards
– Foregrounds in focus
– Paul Roark His work is very good (the best BW photographer you never heard of) and worth a visit to his website as well.
– Avoid distracting backgrounds in street photography
– Landscapes
– Getting great maternity images
– Soulful pictures of sanctuary animals
– Hidden wetlands
– Saul Leiter’s pioneering color work

Sally Mann
– Interview with curator of Sally Mann’s Thousand Crossings exhibit The exhibit at the National Gallery closed May 28, 2018.
– A list of NGA holdings of Sally Mann including 16 images from Thousand Crossings and a short video of her photographing dancer Bill T. Jones

From Steve Oney:
– 6 ways to remove distractions in Photoshop
– Astrophotography tourism for those who were inspired by Robert Fawcett’s presentation last week.

Boat lineup at the dock, Prince Edward Island, Canada

Cabot Beach Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island, Canada

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 20, 2018

Quotes

Experience has shown that the more fascinating the subject, the less observant the photographer.” – Andreas Feininger

The picture is like a prayer, an offering, and hopefully an opening through which to seek what we don’t know, or already know and should take seriously.” – Emmet Gowin

Some speak of a return to nature. I wonder where they could have been.” – Frederick Sommer

Links

– Be patient and adapt to conditions
– Learning from “bad” images
– Get better HDR results in PS by using 32-bit not available in LR, but here is a followup from Adobe to Kelby explaining his results and showing an advantage for LR.
– Urban landscapes
– How to add color to your images
– Latin American nature photo ops
– Franklin and Nantahala: Not just the National Park
– 2 minute tip on doing the “Orton Effect”
– What do photographeres owe their subjects? This was an exceptionally interesting discussion.

From Steve Oney:
– TED talk by Sabastiao Salgado In my opinion Salgado is the most accomplished BW photographer practicing today. He is in the same league as Cartier-Bresson, Eugene Smith, Lewis Hine, Jacob Riis, and Dorothea Lange.

Stone cairns on a beach at the North Cape of Prince Edward Island, Canada on a drizzly day.

Monday Missive — July 30, 2018

Quotes

Photography offers so many different ways to tell a story.” — Fiona Struengmann in an interview with Cat Lachowskyj in Lens Culture

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible.” – Paul Klee

Creativity isn’t about wild talent as much as it’s about productivity. To find new ideas that work, you need to try a lot that don’t. It’s a pure numbers game.” — Robert Sutton

Links

– Nature conservation and BW Photography
– Horizons
– Interesting approach to street photography
– The tripod ban in Zion
– Experiment
– One LR feature to turn off a second to turn on
– Enhance lighting in LR
– Photographing shorebirds
– Natural Light/Open Shade
– Flash

Lighthouse on Prince Edward Island, Canada


Cabot Beach Provincial Park, Prince Edward Island, Canada. The area is known for its red sandstone beaches.

Summerside Lighthouse, long exposure, Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada.

Monday Missive — July 16, 2018

Quotes

Kindness. Expertise. Attitude. Skill. Emotional intelligence. Honesty. Generous persistence. Willingness to take risks. Loyalty. Perceptivity. Attention span. Care. Self awareness…” — Seth Godin, June 28, 2018

There are no bad pictures; that’s just how your face looks sometimes.”– Abraham Lincoln

I used to think that I could never lose anyone if I photographed them enough. In fact, my pictures show me how much I’ve lost.”– Nan Goldin

Links

– Using content aware to remove distractions
– Neat little trick in 60 sec video on “guided upright” in LR or PS
– Choosing a workshop
– Dorothea Lange
– Street photography winners Take the time to “View the Full Series.” These are very good examples of a body of work.
– Two New Nikon mirrorless cameras I am excited about this because I would really like a smaller, lighter, but fully capable camera AND be able to use my existing lenses. We will see what is on the table later this summer.
– Adobe alternatives without a subscription Some are very reasonably priced with a great array of features
– Don’t ask “is it good?” ask “did it succeed?”
– Vintage NYC in found photos

From Steve Oney:
– Apps for landscape photographers Some post processing aps but also: ephemeris, peak identifier, long exposure calculator. light pollution, weather, etc.

Monday Missive — July 9, 2018

Quotes

Simplicity is about subtracting the obvious and adding the meaningful.” — John Maeda

On some level art is first an act arising from the self. Only then can it be concerned about speaking to, engaging with, or pleasing others. The more clear you are about your intent, the more simplified (not simplistic) your vision, the fewer barriers you’ll have to contend with as you execute that vision.” — David duChemin

We have the choice, to actively write a more interesting story, or passively accept the one that comes our way.“– David DuChemin, A Beautiful Anarchy

Links

– Lightroom mistakes to avoid
– Copyright misconceptions
– 5 top landscape photographers
– Attain success through failure
– Neutral density filters
– Excellent photo essay on bagels Learn about bagel making and how a Fuji camera worked in these specific conditions.
– Why you get your best ideas in the shower
– 7 ways to be more creative
– Using the sun for greatest effect

From Steve Oney:
– Great street photography concept

Sort of a take on “yellow brick road,” but I can’t figure out how to make the “road” a consistent angle with the background. Any help out there? Do I need to re-shoot?

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 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 1, 2018

Quotes

“Patience is allowing yourself longer than you thought it could possibly take to master your craft.” — David duChemim

“I have accepted influences but I think I have always known ow to dominate them.” — Matisse, quoted by Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

“Let the beauty of what you love be what you do.” — Rumi

Links

– Surrealism in street photography Fascinating article. I do some surrealism and street, but never made the connection.
– Ethereal monochrome
– Composition: line of sight of your subjects
– Medium format monochrome only back This is a review of a $50K medium format back, but there is a lot about how sensors work, resolution and spectral sensitivity.
– Use Image Processor in PS to resize multiple images
– Image splitter: making big images with small printers
– Dream big!
– How to brighten up portraits
– 5 ways to be more creative

The goddess contemplates the gold she has lifted from the earth as her counselor makes a point. The counselor is from a Giacometti sculpture, the goddess is Water-Moon Guaynin and the gold post were all from the BMA.