My photo, “Winter Cardinal,” is the cover of Chesapeake 360‘s January 2014 issue. Another image, “December Reflections,” illustrates a full-page article on Chesapeake Views – Catching the Light. Thank you to The Star Democrat newspaper, on the Eastern Shore, for sharing these photographs of the Chesapeake Bay region. As I say in my book, “Photography is all about working with light, a mere blink of light, measured in time. The camera is a kind of clock.”
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A camera is a kind of clock, to borrow a metaphor from Roland Barthes, in Camera Lucida. Photography is about catching light, a blink of light, measured in time. As I prepare for the last book signing of 2013, the year becomes an image of time passing, almost as quickly as “a blink of light.”
I remember starting my book a year ago, selecting 82 images from 26,000 taken over eight years. Then came the writing, formatting, image proofing, the editing…and more editing. Finally, the printing. The hours seem like seconds, in memory. Now the year closes with a final book signing.
Pleasure comes from holding the book in my hands, remembering when I captured the images and what inspired me… those magical feelings that come from photographing nature. Sharing the images adds to the enjoyment. Unlike photographing a brief moment, a book lives on in time.
I look forward to tomorrow’s book signing as the year draws to a close. For those of you who haven’t attended one, it is a celebration of sorts, regardless of how many books are sold. The conversations and camaraderie between authors and readers are festive occasions, paying homage to creative words and images, in my case, on paper. It’s a respectful way to celebrate the year.
If you’re in the area, join me and nine other authors, for a festive holiday “Authors Night,” tomorrow (December 18), at the Kent Island Library, from 6 to 8 p.m. We’ll celebrate books, writing, and photography. The library’s address is: 200 Library Circle, just off Main Street, in Stevensville, Maryland, on Kent Island, the Chesapeake Bay.
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It’s a pleasure to receive a review by James Dissette, publisher of The Talbot Spy (go to: http://talbotspy.com/chesapeake-views-captures-shore-beauty/).
Sometimes we have to see through someone else’s eyes to newly appreciate the world at hand. Our workaday lives can dull our appreciation for the rich visual palette the Shore has to offer: the omnipresent Bay; the web of tributaries twisting through panoramas of forest and field; its vast array of marine, field and forest wildlife.
Good photographic images reintroduce us to the world around us. They are both a re-visiting and a discovery, and leave us wanting to explore with a refreshed curiosity. Wilson Wyatt’s collection of Eastern Shore photographs, “Chesapeake Views—Catching the Light,” is an invitation to rediscover the Eastern Shore, and sometimes discover facets of it for the first time.
While there are many wonderful wildlife photos, from soaring osprey to graceful mute swans, fawns silhouetted by orange dawns, along with a gallery of exquisite macro-images of butterflies in a section Wyatt calls “All the Little Live Things,” the spirit of the book glows within its selection of purely Eastern Shore motifs—fog-shrouded waterman tonging for oysters, fiery sunrises spilling gold across still rivers, a sailboat limned by the setting sun or a heron poised like a sentinel on the bow of a fishing boat.
Each image has a caption—some with technical advice for fellow photogs—poetically describing the image. The distinct captions become a helpful narrative for the reader. It’s a bit like walking through an art exhibition with a friendly and articulate tour guide.
Thank you for a delightful book review on The Talbot Spy! For more about the book, see “About,” on this blog.
Authors, Book Signing, Brent Lewis, Centreville, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Views - Catching the Light, Christmas Gifts, Delmarva Peninsula, Gerald F. Sweeney, Holiday Books, Joseph Ross Jr., Kent Island, Kenton Kilgore, Mark Lidinsky, Nick Hoxter, Photography, Robert Bidinotto, Stevensville, Susan Jones, Susan Reiss, The Delmarva Review, Yosemite - Catching the Light
Because books make great gifts!
My photography book, Chesapeake Views – Catching the Light, and The Delmarva Review will be among the many books presented at “Holiday Authors’ Nights” at two libraries on the Eastern Shore. I’m delighted to join with other authors to sign and sell books for the season. Refreshments available. You’re invited!
Authors’ Night in Centreville – Wednesday, December 11, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Queen Anne’s Free Library, 121 S. Commerce Street, in Centreville, MD.
Authors’ Night on Kent Island – Wednesday, December 18, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at the Kent Island Library (Queen Anne’s Free Library branch), on Kent Island, 200 Library Circle, in Stevensville, MD.
Join us . . . we’ll talk about books, writing, and photography (in my case). Nothing is formal . . . just a festive evening. Books are the lasting gifts of words and images.
Meet the authors, including: Robert Bidinotto, Nick Hoxter, Susan Jones, Kenton Kilgore, Brent Lewis, Mark Lidinsky, Susan Reiss, Joseph Ross Jr., Jerry Sweeney, and Wilson Wyatt Jr. (me).
Just bring your good spirit!
Authors, Book Reviews, Creative Nonfiction, Eastern Shore Writers Association, Editors, Fiction, Inspiration, Literary Reviews, Literary Writing, Maryland, Poetry, Recognition, Submissions, The Delmarva Review, The Pushcart Prize, Writers
The Delmarva Review nominated the writing of six authors for The Pushcart Prize. It’s one of the greatest pleasures an editor can experience, recognizing the writers among the best, all in contention with other selected authors around the nation, their work competing for the coveted Pushcart Prize.
Being nominated for a prestigious literary prize gives authors more than recognition. It propels their work to another level of discovery. It’s a powerful incentive for writers to seek the best in literary writing, one of the primary purposes of the Review.
Personally, this caps a long year of hard work. A gifted team of editors, all skilled volunteers, can appreciate our selection of poetry and prose, all over again. We’ve gone through the difficult task of reading hundreds of submissions, making tough choices, accepting and rejecting the words that so many authors have labored over, sometimes for years.
The selection process was followed by the careful eyes of our copy editor, proofreaders, and designer. All of us felt an obligation to print a quality journal that respected the words of our authors. This often goes unnoticed, but a fine literary review is not just glued together and haphazardly sent to readers or posted online. It takes time, and a creative, caring hand.
The pleasure we feel today is from knowing that our authors appreciate their opportunity. It’s now up to another set of editors to make their choices. We’ll know next year.
The Delmarva Review nominations include:
– “Writing My Way Home,” a personal essay by combat veteran Ron Capps
– “Melissa,” a poem by William Peak
– “Immigrant,” a poem by Holly Karapetkova
– “November Morning,” a prose poem by Devon Miller-Duggan
– “Dioscuri,” a poem by Paul Otremba
– “Flowers Scarcely Withered,” a short story by Nancy Ford Dugan
Thank you to Pushcart Press for its continued support of literary work published in the small presses. And, thank you to a gifted team at The Delmarva Review…and to our sponsor, the Eastern Shore Writers Association. For more about the Review, copies, and submission guidelines, please see the website: www.delmarvareview.com.
His greatest fear for the civilized world was atomic weapons in the hands of “dictators and chieftains” in the Middle East and other parts of the world. My short story in the previous post carries his actual message.
Andy Mizerek, Andy Peeke, Brooklyn, Chance favors the prepared., Christopher Rex Stone, David Tejada, Flash Photography, Lucas Gilman, Manhattan, Mentor Series, New York skyline, Nikon, Painting with light, Paul Peregrine, Popular Photography Magazine, Portrait Photography, Rachael M. Woods, Richelle Oslinker, Roosevelt Island, Speedlight
You become the light, in a good portrait photograph.
“Chance favors only the prepared mind,” Louis Pasteur wrote. Applying this wisdom to portrait photography, advance preparations for background, foreground, composition, and lighting give photographers a much better “chance” to create a great image.
This is part 2 of my summary about the Mentor Series lighting workshop in New York City this summer. I promised some “photo tips” and an assortment of images taken with the professional models. The primary sponsors of this specialized lighting workshop were Nikon and Popular Photography magazine, on behalf of Mentor Series (www.mentorseries.com).
The more we learn, the more we want to learn. I wanted to sharpen my lighting skills for portrait photography. The workshop objective was to refine the use of flash photography and portable lighting equipment (soft boxes, umbrellas, grids, etc.) to achieve excellent portrait photographs…indoors and outdoors. We used Nikon Speedlight flash units. The program was primarily for advanced amateurs and professionals, but the information would be helpful to all photo enthusiasts.
I am posting some of my portraits from the workshop below, followed by eight “photo tips” for aspiring photographers. Working with experienced models was a pleasure. I’ll also post a photo of our Mentor group in New York, at the end. We learned from each other, as well as from three excellent Nikon Mentors: Lucas Gilman, David Tejada, and Paul Peregrine, all mentioned in my last article. A special “thank you” goes to the Mentor staff, who created a flawless workshop experience.
One of the keys to taking effective portraits is the choice and color tone of the background, which can make an eye-catching contrast to the clarity and natural color tones of the subject. This is a photographer’s choice and an advantage afforded by using flash to assist ambient light. Simple changes in white balance were used to alter the background colors in the outdoor images above, in contrast to the models’ natural skin tones.
Here are eight “photo tips” I’m pleased to share:
Tip #1 – Always choose the background first. Consider the ambient (natural) light, the desired focus (or lack-of-focus), and the color tones you want in the background.
Tip #2 – Rule: shutter speed controls ambient light and motion; the aperture controls light from the flash.
Tip #3 – Therefore, the shutter speed controls the natural light of the background. Light on the subject is altered by the flash and, therefore, it is controlled by aperture.
Tip #4 – A basic principle of lighting: Exposure = Aperture + Shutter Speed + ISO.
Tip #5 – Subject lighting: The angle of incidence equals the angle of reflection. Think of the three points of a triangle as: light source – subject – camera.
Tip #6 – To blur the background of an image, use a high-speed shutter synchronization with the flash, allowing for a larger aperture, changing depth-of-field.
Tip #7 – For critical control of skin tone, use a gray card to set the camera’s white balance.
Tip #8 – “The eyes make the shot.” Paying special attention to the eyes gives intimacy to a portrait, as seen above. Catching the blink of the flash in the eyes brings life to a still photograph.
Factoid – Regardless of a camera’s advanced technology today, for every increase of 1/2000 sec. shutter speed, the camera loses some degree of light accuracy.
Our happy group of experienced photographers for the Mentor Series Lighting workshop:
Brooklyn, David Tejada, Flash Photography, Lucas Gilman, Manhattan, Mentors, New York, Nikon, Paul Peregrine, Photo Treks, Popular Photography Magazine, Portrait Photography, Roosevelt Island, Studio Lighting Techniques, Visual Arts
Learning a craft opens the door to artistry. It’s true for literary and visual arts, alike. Photography is no exception. I recently experienced a Mentor Series Photography trek in New York City to learn more about flash photography for portraits. It turned out to be an eye-opening lesson about the qualities of light, like gaining a new vision of the world through a lens.
I’ve written before about the Mentor Series Photo Treks (www.mentorseries.com). They take aspiring photographers to unique locations around the globe. On this trip, 25 like-minded enthusiasts (serious amateurs and professionals) participated. The New York trek was a three-day learning venture focusing on flash photography techniques, in the studio and outdoors. Sponsored by Nikon and Popular Photography magazine, you expect the best, and Mentor delivered.
About the Mentors:
Three Nikon pro photographers, with a combined 84 years of professional experience, were our instructor-mentors. Their work has been featured in numerous magazines, commercials, and exhibitions, worldwide. They gave each of us individual instruction, as well as helpful critiques of our images.
David Tejada (www.tejadaphoto.com), of Denver, is an amazing teacher who specializes in location photography for business and industry clients, both domestic and international. He has 30 years of professional experience. He is a master at achieving an artistic balance of lighting on the subject and background, for an outstanding image.
Lucas Gilman (www.lucasgilman.com), is an award-winning adventure photographer who grew up in the mountains of Western Colorado. He was a winner of the American Photo Emerging Photographer Award, sponsored by Apple. While favoring natural light, he uses flash to take images beyond the ordinary.
Paul Peregrine (www.peregrinestudios.com), of Denver, is a product designer and photographer with over 40 years of experience in the business and advertising world. He is known as a problem solver for technical and logistical issues in photography. We used some of the equipment he designed.
The Mentor staff, including Michelle Cast and Erica Johnson, were instrumental in providing a flawless learning experience for all of us, regardless of changing weather conditions. A typical day of shooting started early in the morning and ended at 10 p.m.
I’ll post some portrait images after I gather releases from the professional models. Meanwhile, the photos, below, are from our lighting shoots. I’ll write more in future posts, including some great “photo tips.”
More to come…
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Video interview, by The Talbot Spy, highlights the significance of a growing “writers’ community” across the tri-state Delmarva Peninsula. Part 2, Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GWoGf1Y4DI
Today’s digital age gives local writers everywhere the ability to reach a worldwide audience. Regional borders are disappearing. This technological phenomenon, combined with dedicated volunteers, has spawned a vibrant writer’s community across the Delmarva region of Maryland, Delaware, and Virginia.
The Eastern Shore Writers Association (ESWA), Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, new critique groups, writers’ workshops, book clubs, Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild (RBWG) and many writers’ groups are growing at a healthy pace in the region. Website www.easternshorewriters.org.
The Delmarva Review, in its sixth year as a quality literary journal, is attracting prose and poetry submissions from hundreds of writers across the U.S., far beyond regional borders. Website www.delmarvareview.com
It’s a wonderful time to be a writer. Of course, along with opportunities for writers to reach a vastly greater readership, the Internet also gives readers more reading choices than ever before. The quality of writing has never been more important, as readers become the discerning gatekeepers of good writing.
The strength of an active writers’ community is writers inspiring each other to improve their work, share marketing and distribution experiences, and become successful.
These and other subjects were discussed in the two video interviews by The Talbot Spy: http://talbotspy.com/arts-2/
Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, Eastern Shore, Eastern Shore Writers Association, Jim Dissette, Maryland, Talbot Spy, The Delmarva Review, Virginia, Volunteering, Wilson Wyatt, Writer's Community
The strength of a writers’ community is the support it provides writers, chiefly from other writers, editors, and educators…in the forms of learning, improving, and sharing our experienced information. We give to enrich each other. Our rewards are immeasurable. An example of a thriving writer’s community is on the Delmarva Peninsula, home of the Eastern Shore Writers Association, The Delmarva Review (a literary journal), the Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, critique groups, and many other organized opportunities for writers…all provided by volunteers. This is one of the messages in Part 1 of a video interview by Talbot Spy and Spy Publications publisher, James Dissette.
You can find the interview on Talbot Spy.com, at the following link (or you can paste in your browser).
Or…link to YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3Y0SfcNIJc