Monday Missive — June 25, 2018

Quotes

I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” — John Cage

No man has the right to dictate what other men should perceive, create or produce, but all should be encouraged to reveal themselves, their perceptions and emotions, and to build confidence in the creative spirit.” — Ansel Adams

Don’t ask “‘Should I …?’. Instead, ‘Ask what happens if I …?’” -– John Paul Caponigro

Links

– Focus stacking
– A quick primer on color gamuts
– “Philosopher’s Tree” by Michael Kenna
– Use water to add light to your landscapes
– Lightroom tricks to improve your workflow
– 25 Technical terms for beginners
– What’s new in LR 7.4
– Wildlife action
– Fine art architectural photography
– Good article on the basics Read this article and practice over the summer to win competitions next year.

Dianthus.
It has really been a pleasure to head out to my little garden first thing in the morning to capture the early light on flowers.
Normally I don’t care about metadata, but it can be helpful for macro work: 200 macro lens, f/10, 1/160, ISO 400, tripod.

Coneflowers. 105 mm macro lens. f/16; 1/80; ISO 400; tripod.

Coneflower.
105 macro lens.
1/100; f/16; ISO 400; tripod.

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 — May 21, 2018

Quotes

Every day you play with the light of the universe.” — Pablo Neruda

To those of you who … have a frustrated streak of anarchy within you: f*ck the rules. Colour outside the lines. Fill your canvas with blazing colours and leave the muted browns for Leonardo DaVinci. He had his chance. Find your own way. You have one life: do you really want to spend it imitating others? … It takes courage to point the camera the other way, to trust your own taste, to do more than what is expected. To open yourself up to the world through your art by saying, “Here it is—here I am—take it or leave it,” knowing that far more people than not will choose to leave it.” — David duChemin

A photograph has a soul in its own right, incorporating numerous elements which range from the books one has read, the music one has heard to the people one has loved.” — Kita Etsuko from Adore Noir, Issue 40

Links

– Getting unstuck when the image just isn’t working
– Making masking easier
– Art of Photography video on Fan Ho, a fantastic Chinese street photographer
– Your camera is better than Ansel’s Gear matters but is a small part of your photography.
– Good story on photographing foxes which I occasionally see in my backyard.
– How art auctions work
– Creative white balance
– Part 2: Greenland in winter See April 30 for Part 1
– Informative article on night photography Discusses several different situations
– Very interesting description of a creative process

Iris

Iris

Iris

Iris

Monday Missive — April 2, 2018

Quotes

Critics are useful, but remember that the first to believe in your work must be you.” – Lorenzo Meloni

Sometimes there’s a unique picture whose composition possesses such vigour and richness and whose content so radiates outward from it that the single picture is a whole story in itself.” — Henri Cartier-Bresson

I prefer people to look at my pictures and invent their own stories.” – Josef Koudelka

Links

– Photographing in the far north
– Glare
– Bottom weighting when matting
– Aspect ratios This short video specifically references filming but provides food for thought when cropping.
– Candid photography
– Flash modifiers
– Curing dehaze color shifts
– 10 post-processing terms every photographer should know and understand
– Long exposure photography

From Steve Oney:
– Protect your highlights

Long’s Peak from the White cabin at sunrise, Rocky Mountain National Park.

Monday Missive — March 19, 2018

Quotes

“…a camera gives you a license to explore.” — Adam Davies in a conversation with Ben Marcin in Bmore Art, March 6, 2018

“A tear contains an ocean. A photographer is aware of the tiny moments in a persons life that reveal greater truths.” — Anonymous

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

Links

– 10 predictions for the future of photography
– Intro to IR photography
– Diane Arbus gets a NY Times obituary 46 years after her death Includes a video.
– Architectural keystoning: perspective control lenses vs digital correction
– Two hour video on macro and close-up photography
– Differences between phase and contrast autofocus systems
– Sandhill crane migration Very well-written story
– A photographer and his dog – how can you resist?
– Monochrome portraits by Kelly Castro
– Georgia O’Keefe on how to be an artist Applicable to photographers too

Under the highway.

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 — March 5, 2018

Quotes

“One reason so few of us achieve what we truly want is that we never direct our focus; we never concentrate our power. Most people dabble their way through life, never deciding to master anything in particular.” – Anthony Robbins

“Concentrate on your motivation… and the thought of what about the scene made you stop to look.” – Richard K. Kaiser

“Who knows how many artists fail because the light that shines through them is defracted in a thousand directions and not concentrated in a single beam?” – Eric Maisel

Links

– High speed flash sync
– 9 BW tips More thoughtful than usual
– Using camera calibration to control color
– Surrealist photographers
– Tips on Nikon settings Some are really neat, like how to save your settings to a card. I would expect that Canon et al. has similar options.
– Color look-up, especially “Crisp-warm” and using the color blend mode
– Introduction to Masks
– Lensbaby velvet lens I rarely do equipment, but I have the 85 mm version so I wanted to see how this experience compares with mine.
– Slow speed synch on flash
– Photographing gannets at the end of the world

Ancient live oak and house on Daufuskie Island, SC.

Ancient live oak and house on Daufuskie Island, SC.

Monday Missive — February 26, 2018

Quotes

What I’m documenting can be hard to distill, because it’s all around us like the air we breathe. I often need to go to a place where I can capture extreme moments.” – Lauren Greenfield

I wanted to make pictures that felt natural, that felt like seeing, that didn’t feel like taking something in the world and making a piece of art out of it.” – Stephen Shore

There’s something arbitrary about taking a picture. So I can stand at the edge of a highway and take one step forward and it can be a natural landscape untouched by man and I can take one step back and include a guardrail and change the meaning of the picture radically… I can take a picture of a person at one moment and make them look contemplative and photograph them two seconds later and make them look frivolous.” – Stephen Shore

Links

– Editing your own work I think most of us have faced this issue
– The art of travel photograpy Long video on travel
– Quick mask mode in PS
– Neutral density filters
– Curate your slides
– Spirit bears and the temperate rain forest
– Awesome time lapse of Canadian wilderness with discussion of how he made it
– Finalists for World Press Photo of the year Be prepared for some heart breaking images.
– Confidential male initiation in Senegal Interesting images and cultural story.
– Is scouting landscape locations worthwhile?

Waiting for summer at Sandy Point Beach, MD. Nikon D800E, 80-400 @ 330, f/5.6, 1/640, ISO 200.

Monday Missive — January 29, 2018

Quotes

Paint the spirit of the bird in flight, not its feathers.” — Robert Henri

I always say that photography’s closest cousin is poetry because of the way it sparks your imagination and leaves gaps for the viewer to fill in.” — Alec Soth

The people that I photographed allowed me to photograph them because they didn’t want to be alone, and the truth is I didn’t want to be alone making the pictures.” — Alec Soth

Links

– The Appeal of black and white photography
– 5 Cool films (Film??!!)
– Some simple composition tips
– Life cycles approach to nature photography: Part I
– Part 2
– Photojournalism: Portraits in the Field Long video
– 3 Macs vs PC comparison iMacPro, MacPro, MacBook, Alienware
– Photographing a LUNAR eclipse
– 12 East Coast locations
– Alec Soth’s “Sleeping by the Mississippi – 13 years later

New Feature: Portfolios
On occasion, I will include websites or portfolios of photographers whose work I find interesting.
Ellie Ivanova

Taken at the “Cascade” in the Avalon section of Patapsco State Park.

Monday Missive — January 15, 2018

Quotes

There is often a huge difference between an idea and its realization. I’ve had what I thought were great ideas that just didn’t work.“ – Andy Goldsworthy

If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself.” – Rollo May

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.” — Andy Warhol

Links

– Peter Souza photographing Pres. Obama
– Celebrate what’s right with the world! Inspiring, humorous and definitely worth watching!
– Black Moshannon State Park – landscape opportunities in Pennsylvania
– Shooting for black and white
– 10 tips on macro
– The Briscoe light technique
– Pilgrim: David duChemin’s images from the pilgrimage at Lalibela
– Interesting video of a rising star in wildlife photography Directed by John Ford; English subtitles
– Really interesting story about Robert Capa and Gerda Taro, the first female war photographer to die in the field

From Jon Meyer
– The Hasselblad Masters

Iris leaves after freezing rain.

Monday Missive — December 25, 2017

Quotes

To be more creative is to get closer to childhood.” — Sarah Moon

The point of art has never been to make something synonymous with life, however, but to make something of reduced complexity that is nonetheless analogous to life and that can thereby clarify it.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

What transforms of into about is interpretation — taking all the tools of craft and visual language and pulling at emotion. Colour does that. Motion does that. Tension and scale do that. The challenge … is matching the tools with the thing we are trying to say.” — David duChemin in The Soul of the Camera

Links

– Ruler, notes and counts in Photoshop
– Five pro guides for BW photography
– Ethics in wildlife photography
– Making creative decisions
– Don’t follow the crowd to create unique images
– Winter photography
– Profiles on 6 commercial photographers Lots of interesting images.

Monday Missive — Dec. 18, 2017

Quotes

Criticism’s job is to clarify art’s mystery without destroying it.” — Robert Adams, Beauty in Photography

An expanding mindfulness of visual language gives me new ways to express myself, even if I am never understood.” — David duChemin, in The Soul of the Camera

Photography, like writing, is about storytelling. Pens and cameras are merely the tools we use to bring self-expression to life. If you have nothing to say, you images will reflect that. It’s important to build your own narrative through exploration, learning and diverse experiences that enrich your storytelling.” — Claire Rosen, Imaginarium

Links

– 7 Wildlife techniques
– Julianne Kost edits three images from Tasmania in detail This is as helpful for what she does as how she does it.
– Get out of a creative rut
– Becoming an international freelance photographer
– Use content aware scale to change aspect ratio of image
– Interesting photo essay about street people in Poughkeepsie
– Guides to BW photography Excellent profiles of 7 noteworthy BW photographers, including Kenna and Uelsmann and several techniques profiles
– Embed these concepts into your workflow
– Use multiple exposures to reduce image noise

From Steve Oney:
– Comparison of 10 photoshop alternatives If you haven’t committed to Adobe, several of these are much better than not processing your images at all or using the manufacturer’s software.
– NIK Fans: run NIK standalone

Out of the Maelstrom, color. I should note that all of my photo friends that chose to comment preferred the color version to the BW. What do you think?

Out of the Maelstrom

Monday Missive — October 16, 2017

Quotes

In large measure becoming an artist consists of learning to accept yourself, which makes your work personal, and in following your own voice, which makes your work distinctive.” — David Bayles and Ted Orland in Art & Fear

I have reached the point where the craft is sufficient to the purpose, or at least attainable, but the purpose to which I will apply that craft is proving more elusive.” — Richard Eskin

Photography can light up darkness and expose ignorance.” – Lewis Hine

Links

– We have probably all felt this way at some time
– Photographing wildlife at rescue shelters
– Make it not take it!
– Best solar eclipse images
– Proper behavior around wildlife
– 2017 MacArthur Award winning photographer Dawoud Bey

URLs courtesy of Steve Oney
– Nikon Small World winners Some of these images are amazing.
– Monochrome images of national parks Some of these are quite good and some are taken with the Leica M Monchrom camera that is only BW.
– 50 great BW photographs A good way to take better photographs is to look at good photographs. Also links to previous lists. How many names do you recognize?
– Processing a Faroe Island image Learn something about BW from Cole Thompson.

Images from my recent workshop on #Dewees Island, SC with National Geographic Photographer Peter Essick.

Monday Missive — October 9, 2017

Quotes

“‘You’re doing it wrong’
But at least you’re doing it.
Once you’re doing it, you have a chance to do it better.
Waiting for perfect means not starting.
” — Posted by Seth Godin on October 02, 2017

I am steadily surprised that there are so many photographers that reject manipulating reality, as if that was wrong. Change reality! If you don’t find it, invent it!” – Pete Turner

You know, I really don’t think you learn from teachers. You learn from work. I think what you learn, really, is how to be- you have to be your own toughest critic, and you only learn that from work, from seeing work.” – Garry Winogrand

Links

– How to use BW photos for creative or social campaigns
– Backlighting wildlife
– An interview with Jach Dykinga
– The Spectrum: Message and Media By Brooks Jensen Interesting hour-long talk by Brooks Jensen, publisher of LensWorks, on the history and future of image presentation. I highly recommend this video for advanced photographers who have been asking themselves “What do I do next?”
– Macro tips for beginners
– Long exposure photography
– Panoramas made easy
– Dealing with creative boredom
– Fast and simple Orton effect
– Feeling anxious about an upcoming photo trip? What is the worst that can happen?

There is a difference of opinion on the two images below. Both were taken at Lake Roland Park with a yellow filter on a 105/2.8 lens. The first may have a greater sense of depth because of the sharp fence, but the out of focus dam in the background creates some room for interpretation. The second has more interesting lighting and perhaps better balance and composition. Which do you prefer and why?


Monday Missive — September 25, 2017

Quotes

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God.” — Anne Frank

Every single story that nature tells is gorgeous.” – Natalie Angier

I sat some minutes, lost in my thoughts of the beauty of the place.” — William O. Douglas, The Maroon Bells of Colorado

Links

– Using Nikon’s auto fine tune properly
– Autumn in the northeast
– Fall tip– Backlighting
– Photographing nature with UV
– Black and white slides from Tri-X Great latitude; works for other BW films too.
– Increasing speed and capacity in your desktop
– Street photography: “The Sartorialist”
– Shooting birds in your backyard

Thanks to Steve Oney:
– In Memoriam: Pete Turner Excellent video by the Eastman House. Turner had an exceptional eye and amazing use of color. Also see – Peter Turner dies at 83
– And representing the other side of the spectrum (opposite UV), an article on IR with work by Laurie Klein

A house on a hill off of a dirt road in Vermont.

A house on a hill off of a dirt road in Vermont. Taken during a Piezography workshop.

New England soldier: Hiram E. Pearsons