Monday Missive — December 11, 2017


We become original through practice.” — Posted by Seth Godin on November 29, 2017

How lacking in courage is an art in which the creator examines the collective ideal as opposed to the self-centered individualism of his own being.” —Peter C. Bunnell, in Jerry N. Uelsmann, Aperture Monograph,15:4, 1970

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


– Images from Lesotho
– On going pro
– Making eyes look great in PS
– Composition tips
– Reviewing old photos
– 7 portrait photographers share
– The appeal of BW photography
– Designing a calendar in photoshop
– Being creative with motion

Monarch butterfly on chrysalis after hatching.

Monday Missive — June 26, 2017


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


– 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

Tiny Dancer

My daughter is quiet beside me in the front seat, until at last she sighs and says, with a child’s poetic logic, “This reminds of the place I always like to think about.” — Barbara Kingsolver

Doing more composites.  Will probably update this blog rather than creating a new one with more from this series from the Akimbo Teaser dance event in Station North on August 28, 2015.  Next Akimbo event is Sept. 12, 1:00 – 6:00.


The standing committee stands in judgement.

The standing committee stands in judgement.

Judgement added on Sept. 6, 2015

Defense added Sept. 9, 2015

Jeffers Project

The most effective actions are those conceived in the wisdom of clarity.  – Sylvia Boorstein

Robinson Jeffers was a poet who worked on the central California coast from the 1920s through the 1950s.  His poetry often emphasized ecological themes, addressing the wholeness of earth and that man is part of the ecosystem, rather than separate from it.  I first became aware of Jeffers’ poetry from a book titled “Not Man Apart” that combined Jeffers’ poetry with the work of several famous photographers also working on the California coast at the same time, including Ansel Adams, Edward and Cole Weston, Philip Hyde, William Garnett, Cedric Wright, Steve Crouch and others.

Jeffers writes of man’s destruction of the earth:

…remember that civilization is a transient sickness.

…remember that civilization is a transient sickness.

Through wars and corruptions the house will fall.

Through wars and corruptions the house will fall.









Mourning the broken balance, the hopeless prostration
of the earth
Under man’s hands and their minds,
The beautiful places killed like rabbits to make a

But also of the earth’s beauty:

…but to fling
Rainbows over the rain…
And beauty above the moon, and secret rainbows
On the domes of deep sea-shells,
Not even the weeds to multiply without blossom
Nor the birds without music…
Look how beautiful are all the things that He does. His
Is the beauty of things.

I find Jeffers’ poetry moving and insightful, and often very well-informed technically and scientifically; I connect with his subjects and his metaphor.  I am starting a new project to illustrate verses from Jeffers’ short poems with my images.  The images will perhaps not address the environmental/ecological issues as broadly as did the Sierra Club in Not Man Apart, but I hope that the combination of images and text will be more compelling than either of them separately.  I have organized approximately 75 verses I wish to illustrate into the following categories:  Man Destroying Earth, Beauty, Gulls, Ocean, Metaphor, and “everything else.”

In some ways I have been considering a project of this type for a long time.  I have over 50 pages of quotes, and you  may have noticed that I start most blog entries with a quote. In this case, part of the intent is to focus on a specific project and better develop a personal style and vision, by going out with purpose rather randomly taking (rather than making) images that catch my attention.  I need to do more making and less taking.

These images are very much exploratory — proof of concept images, so I would greatly appreciate any comments that might help me to improve the project.

Old stone building covered in part with ivy and forest growing around it.

Now the spoiler has come …It has all time.
It knows the people are a tide
That swells and in time will ebb, and all
Their works dissolve.
— Robinson Jeffers in “Man Destroying Earth”

Behance Portfolio Review

The fear of being laughed at makes cowards of us all. – Mignon McLaughlin

On Saturday I participated in a Behance Portfolio review hosted by Chris, Jon-Michael and Breck at The Bindery in southwest Baltimore. Behance is an Adobe program/website for sharing your work and getting feedback. Like many other sites, there are buttons for people to follow you and like your work.  The differences are that this site is targeted to creatives that use Adobe products and provides an option for “work in progress” so that you can get feedback as you work. This portfolio review is completely supportive of that concept. It isn’t necessary that you have a Behance account or portfolio to participate, and you can just link to your own website or come just to participate. Participation is free.

There were only five of us and the hosts: Clint, Meagan, Vicky, Rachana and me. It was a pleasant evening (Chris supplied beer, chips and dip — thank you Chris), and a very supportive and positive group. It was also diverse:  I did photography, Vicky is the producer for codebass radio, Clint is a junior at MICA and a really excellent illustrator, Rachana is an exceptional Indian artist and Meagan is just getting back into creative work after several years as a care giver. Each of showed some portion of our work or explained what we did and got feedback from the others.

After we talked about our work, Jon-Michael, Breck and (a little reluctantly) Chris shared their work. Jon-Michael does fashion, commercial and portraiture, Breck does retouching, great composites and HDR, portraiture, fashion and fine art. Chris is semi-retired from band photography. All of them had great portfolios, and as the photographer among the guests, I probably benefited the most.

Chris also gifted each of us with his distinctive, high quality Write Notepads and we ended the evening with a really interesting tour of the printing presses, which brought back some memories for me having taken print shop in high school, and surprised me at how much I remembered. This Behance portfolio review was really worthwhile for networking and meeting other creative people in the community and for the feedback and support we received.