Monday Missive — March 21, 2022


Optimism is a perfectly legitimate response to failure.” — Stephen King

Am I good enough? Yes, I am.” -— Michelle Obama

Your life is already a miracle of chance waiting for you to shape its destiny.” -— Toni Morrison

Photoessays/Bodies of Work
— Sarah Hadley: Story lines
— Vibrant Green: Drone photography in Poland
— Through the eyes of Ukrainian refugees
— War Diary: From a basement in Kyiv This one is powerful.

— Sean Tucker: Shaping the light in your portraits

Field and Studio
— Street photography tips
— Marc Koegel: BW Landscapes Marc uses a monochrome medium format camera, and the images are striking. He also has an interesting approach and philosophy about his photography.

— A photo book: Lost and found
— Denis Brihat: An ecologist before his time.
— City anonymity I don’t generally like out of focus or blurry images, but these work with concept.

For the next few weeks I am going to try something new. I will present some images that I thought at the time I took them, that I saw something special, but looking back, I ended up not capturing it effectively.

For the first image of cypress trees taken in 2018 at the newly established Congaree National Park in South Carolina, I was trying to capture the depth, density and mystery of the cypress trees, so I set my f-stop at f/2.8 on a 70-200 mm lens at 150 mm focal length thinking that the out of focus foreground would give that impression. Instead, now I find it is just distracting. I think I would have a better image if I either (1) set the f-stop to f/11 or higher and increased my ISO OR (2) did a stacked focus set so that everything was in focus. What do you think?

For this picture of a small house snuggled at the base of a huge live oak, I think the basic premise was good. It is uncommon to see a scene like this. One thing that could have been better is to come back at a different time of day. The bright sky and highlights of the branches could have been diminished earlier or later. A polarizer might have helped as well. The cropped BW is I think an improvement on the color image because it removes the worst of the excessive highlights. The image was made with a 24-120 at 24 mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec, ISO 125. I wonder if the image would have been improved with a wider angle lens (I have a 14 mm) that would have let me get closer and still include the whole tree, while diminishing the bright foreground. What do you think?

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3 Responses to Monday Missive — March 21, 2022

  1. George Spicer says:

    I didn’t see the /w version o the cottage photo. I know one landscape/waterfall photographer who claims one should always use a polarizer unless there is a reason not to. He always keeps a polarizing filter on each of his lenses, even those with the same filter size.

  2. Rich says:

    Hi George –
    The BW version comes up readily for me – I don’t know what to tell you other than check again. I disagree with the constant use of a polarizer for several reasons. One, is that it is an extra piece of glass that can slightly degrade your image. Two, it potentially decreases the light reaching the sensor meaining more noise, higher ISO or less flexibility with shutter speed or fstop. Third, since the effect of the polarizer varies with the angle of the sun, it potentially results in a sky that changes intensity across the image, especially with wide angle lenses. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with using a polarizer when there is a good reason to, and this was potentially the case for this image, but just leaving it on your lens all the time isn’t a good approach in my opinion.

    Thanks for commenting.

  3. George Spicer says:

    I closed my webmail and reloaded 3 times. So, twice the image was missing and twice it was there. Weird but the problem has to be on my end.

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