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 17, 2018

Quotes

Art Is Not About Understanding. Or Mastery. It is about doing and experience.” — Jerry Saltz

Hide secrets in your work.” — Jerry Saltz

Never just say, “You tell me what it is.” That’s pompous bullshit. When it comes to your work, you’re the best authority there is.” — Jerry Saltz

Links

– How to be an artist Article by Jerry Saltz. Anyone who feels reluctant to go their own way or share what they have done should read this article. Anyone who is in a rut should also read this.
– Fix skin tones in one minute
– Lightroom brush tip
– Panoramas
– A project on ancestry that also reveals a simple way of life Photo essay about a Russian woman’s roots in a small hunting village in the Russian taiga.
– Svetlana: A very special place where people with disabilities are just part of the community.
– Photographing birds in flight
– Putting texture in text
– Portrait lighting with LEDs
– How photography helps an autistic 5 year old understand the world

Still feeling a bit nostaligic about my time out west during and between artist residencies. Pueblo ruins from the Antelope Canyon overlook.

This is the Long House Pueblo at Mesa Verde.

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 — November 6, 2017

Quotes

“. . . what we hope for from the artist is help in discovering the significance of a place.” — Robert Adams in Beauty in Photography

. . . there is an incredible hunger to make and share images. . . . knowing how to use a complicated camera no longer serves as a barrier to creating those images.” — David duChemin in The Soul of the Camera

I impose the way that I see, the way that I feel, the way that I connect on the landscape.” — Michael Kenna

Links

It as been a couple of weeks since the upgrades from Adobe for Lightroom and Photoshop, so by now the confusion should be abating, but for those who missed it, here is another decent explanation: – LR Classic vs CC and a link to the more specific PS upgrades
– A clearer explanation of Lightroom Classic vs Lightroom CC Makes clear that the current version of LR is the last one without a subscription.
– One more time on Adobe updates
– Professional photography with minimal equipment
– Forest photography
– Making the most of mirrorless, a review of advantages and options
– Two great things about LR panoramas
– No excuses! Just Do It!
– The curvature pen tool in the new Photoshop

From Steve Oney
– New and better sharpening in PS 2018

Walking horses out to pasture in the morning at a horse farm in Catonsville, MD on a photoshoot arranged by the Baltimore Camera Club.

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 – February 20, 2017

Quotes

Inspiring photographs…
– Can teach you a lot about photography.
– Can expose you to new techniques and photographers.
– Can provide great fodder for online sharining.
– Can be the ultimate creativity-killing distraction.
” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

Technique and gear seem insignificant if you have a message.” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

The best critiques I’ve seen are not about the image’s technical properties.
The best critiques question why the photograph was created in the first place.
” — CJ Chilvers in A Lesser Photographer

Links

– Photoassignment 3 from the “Art of Photography”– Ted does a great job of explaining the implications of shooting low, at eye level (both viewer and subject), and high.
– Is street photography dead?
– Printing
– Perfect panoramas and time lapeses Includes a link to a huge list of software, much of it free
– Making the most of your kit lens
– Tips for shooting in snow
– Getting shallow depth of field with flash If you can afford a f/1.2 lens
– Color management with ICC profiles
– Everything you ever wanted to know about tripods
– Getting the most out of your point and shoot

One more in my ongoing “Shorelines” project.