Monday Missive — July 29, 2019

Quotes

We are all faking it. But that’s not a bad thing. Not when faking it means making it up as we go. Learning what it means to be us. To be alive in this world and to create whatever it is we make as our art from that place of vulnerability and humility.” — David DuChemin

Great photography is always on the edge of failure.” – Garry Winogrand

It is one thing to photograph people. It is another to make others care about them by revealing the core of their humanness.” – Paul Strand

Links

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
– Emilio Nadales: Street Photography
– W. Eugene Smith: Country Doctor If you aren’t familiar with Smith’s ground-breaking photojournalism, you should definitely check out this article. It is mostly about his “Country Doctor” essay, but there are some links to Spanish Village and other work. His style was distinctive, the order of images critical, and his work always had tremendous emotional impact.
– Stories on Stockholm streets I like the images, but also like the idea that he keeps people annonymous, but still tells a clear story.

Post-processing
– Scratch disk Often Photoshop needs “work space” to complete commands. Sometimes the required workspace can be considerably larger than the size of the file. If your system is nearing its limits, PS can run out of space to complete the requested changes, especially if you are working with large files. This video illustrates three options for addressing this issue.
– Sharpening without halos Sharpening algorithms actually increase small scale contrast, they don’t actually sharpen the image, they just make it look sharper. When you increase contrast, the lights get lighter, and this can create halos and that “crunchy” look. This video shows how to minimize that effect.
– How to easily straighten buildings Works great for horizons too. (From Steve Oney)
– HDR panoramas
– Make your images pop Using a BW layer in Luminosity blending mode

Field/Studio
– Birding hotspots in the east

Miscellany
– Straight talk about Instagram

Didn’t get out much this past week, so this Monday Missive images are all from my backyard. The butterflies seem to be particularly active this week. I planted specifically to attract pollintors and the most attractive plants seem to be Joe Pye Weed, Butterfly Bush and Agastache.

Tiger Swallowtail on Joe Pye Weed; coneflowers in the backgournd.

Tiger Swallowtail, dark form, on butterfly bush.

Silver-spotted skipper. The skippers are small and often common butterflies that are typically hard to identify. I like the silver-spotted skipper because it is so readily identifiable by its size and distinctive white spot.

Monday Missive — February 18, 2019

Quotes

The unconscious obsession that we photographers have is that wherever we go we want to find the theme that we carry inside ourselves.  — Graciela Iturbide

The hardest thing in photography is to create a simple image. — Anne Geddes

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

Links

– Where the magenta tint on your prints comes from This is a common problem with Epson printers. This is very helpful.
– Adjust skin tones with one button
– Dora Maar, muse of Picasso and surrealist photographer
– Color Range Masking in LR and ACR 15 minute video
– Graciela Iturbide, great Mexican photographer
– Complete landscape edit, start to finish Helpful 20 minute video.
– Visual storytelling winners
– How to add snow to your photograph
– Multi-shot techniques
From Steve Oney:
– Basics of Astrophotography

Reaching back to my artist residency at Petrified Forest National Park. I chose this one because I like the orange/blue color palette.
Such a strange and wondrous landscape. Also from Petrified Forest NP. This was taken from the rim trail right behind the Painted Desert Inn.
Petroglyphs at Puerco Pueblo, also at PetrifiedForest.

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 — 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 — October 2, 2017

Quotes

When we synthesize and invent and leap, we create a rare sort of value.” — Posted by Seth Godin on September 25, 2017

Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.” — Pema Chödrön

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

Links

– John Sexton on black & white printing His love for photography really comes across.
– Creative image sharpening with HDR software One of Caponigro’s enlightening but technical blogs.
– Julianne Kost’s trip to Tasmania Great variety of images; also see another view of Tasmania from July 24, 2017 on this blog. Is Tasmania the new Iceland?
– Overcoming aging and disability to continue photographing
– Control your depth of field with focus stacking Focus stacking software was invented for microscope and macro work, but can also be very helpful for landscapes
– High speed photography with your regular flash
– Fall photography tips
– Using Lightroom to work collaboratively
– Add background blur without halos
– A series of video tutorials on Photoshop basics

Saturday mornings, starting at around 9 am, car aficionados stop by the Hunt Valley mall to show off their cars and discuss specs. Shot this raised Viper hood. Notice the “forked tongue” on the lower left.