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.”
Book Review, Chesapeake Bay, Chesapeake Views - Catching the Light, Eastern Shore, Exhibition, James Dissette, Macro Photography, Maryland, Photography Book, Sunrises, Sunsets, The Talbot Spy, Thomas Point Lighthouse, Watermen, Wildlife Photos
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 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.
Book signings are akin to opening night at the theatre. Theatre is involved, with a few opening lines…and there is a set, of sorts: a draped table with one’s books spread out for viewing, a pen, and there is a simple wooden chair for the author. Props are sparse.
The real likeness to theatre comes when the curtain is raised. For the first time, the book is presented to the public. All the hard work of writing…or photographing, in my case…the editing, proofs, design, printing, and finally the promotion and distribution, it’s all done, waiting for the first public viewing. The author sits at the table waiting for the audience. Imagine what actors feel, that tumbling in the gut, before the lights. Will they engage their audience?
Yet, when the curtain is raised and the lights are turned on, the energy transforms us. It’s a special feeling. The hour has arrived.
Today was that special time. The audience trailed in, composed of friends and strangers, alike. They picked up the books, opened the pages and sampled my photography. Some read the descriptive narrative. We talked about the unique qualities of the book and how the images were taken. Then, the magic words…I want your book. Will you sign it for me?
It was a good day for an opening. I take a bow to all who bought my book and hope you enjoy Chesapeake Views-Catching the Light. Its 82 images are from my interpretation to your imagination, now and for years to come. Thank you.
Bay to Ocean Writers Conference, Book Clubs, Critique Groups, Delaware, Delmarva Peninsula, Eastern Shore Writers Association, Literary Journal, Maryland, Poetry, Prose, Readers, Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild, The Delmarva Review, Virginia, Writer's Community, Writers, Writing Workshops
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
Books, Borders, Combat Veterans, Delmarva Peninsula, Eastern Shore Writers Association, Healing, Maryland, Novels, Personal Essay, Poetry, Public Radio Delmarva, Publishing, Ron Capps, Salisbury, Veteran's Writing Project, veteranswriting.org, War, Writers, Writing Community, WSDL, www.delmarvapublicradio.net
Several friends are currently publishing their literary work. With each, a writing community contributes to the achievement.
I think of this from time to time. Why do I volunteer to help other writers? Does a writers’ community really benefit writers?
The answers are powerful affirmations.
A writer once told me of a desire to publish more work in local publications, but opportunities were diminishing. Does that sound familiar? I asked why he was thinking locally when he could consider a much larger universe…beyond local borders. A little nudging, and assurances from a larger community of writers, expanded his vision and potential. His determination was fueled for the hard work to complete and publish books capable of reaching a vastly greater audience…now a major accomplishment for the author.
Another example is about a combat veteran of five wars, Ron Capps. Parts of his story have been told in the national media and are still being unveiled.
As a very capable writer, Ron decided to use writing to apply his experiences to three new and meaningful purposes. First, writing enabled him to face and manage the horrors of combat that were relived in his mind daily. It was a means of confronting and healing. Appreciating this strength, he initiated a major project to teach other combat veterans, and their families, writing techniques for their healing and expression.
He recognized the value to show the rest of the world, through veterans’ writing, that there were other costs of war we don’t think about, that aren’t reported by the daily media. Only one percent of Americans are engaged in military duty today. Combat veterans, through writing, can “bear witness” for us to comprehend the personal impact of combat and war. As a society, we can become better informed before making decisions about going to war.
This week, two of us from the Eastern Shore Writers Association, hosted Ron at the Public Radio Delmarva station (WSDL-FM) in Salisbury, Maryland, to record a special radio segment, “The Writer’s Edition,” about his experiences and inspiration to create the Veteran’s Writing Project, veteranswriting.org. It will air on June 28, contributing his message to a new audience.
Ron Capps also wrote a powerful personal essay that will be published in The Delmarva Review’s sixth edition, in October, expanding the reach of his story among literary readers (www.delmarvareview.com).
These stories “bear witness” to a writing community helping writers in their work while contributing something meaningful to a far greater audience. The value of a writing community transcends us…it transcends borders.
Academy for Lifelong Learning, Cameras, Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, Classes, Composition, Critiquing, Digital, Kate Mann, Landscapes, Learning, Maryland, Photography, Portraits, Robert Lippson, Smart Phones, St. Michaels, Tablets, Travel Photography
I was pleased to be joined by two other photographers, Robert Lippson and Kate Mann, offering a three-day course on “Digital Photography for Beginners,” at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, in St. Michaels, Maryland. We had some fun demystifying new technology, showing how to take advantage of the latest in digital photography, from cameras to smart phones, and everything between.
The “hands-on” course was designed for anyone wanting to improve their photography. Like other arts or crafts, we start with the “tools.” Instead of paints and brushes, we use a camera and lens. Once we understand the strengths of our tools, creativity is set free. Photography is about playing with light.
Three classes (on May 10, 17, and 24) were divided between classroom discussion and shooting in the field, on the beautiful campus of the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum. Offered as part of the Academy for Lifelong Learning, 30 students learned and enjoyed sharing their results. The course sold out, with a waiting list. We will consider repeating it in the future.
Butterflies, Chesapeake Bay, Corey Rich, Dragonfly, Flowers, Mark Alberhasky, Marshlands, Maryland, Mentor Series Worldwide Photo Treks, National Geographic, Nikon, Popular Photography Magazine, Thomas Point Lighthouse
– Schooner Heading Home at Sunset, Chesapeake Bay (click photo for larger image)
Photography…learning from a mentor, a master of craft, can be a magical experience. I recommend it for all aspiring photographers. If you want to take better photographs, I don’t know of a better way. In this post, I’ll mention some photographic tips from Nikon’s professional mentors.
Writing and photography are two of my artistic passions. Each is part “craft” and part “art.” Each engages visual perception as a gateway to the mind. Even our memories of events past are visited through the “images” we store in our minds.
I had the pleasure of joining two Nikon mentors recently for a three-day trek through the Chesapeake Bay country of Maryland. On a July blog post, I promised to share more about the experience. Instead, I decided to pass along a few tips and techniques, which may be useful to you. I’ll also post some of my images from the trip.
First, some credits. Mentor Series Worldwide Photography Treks is the group that organized the trek in Maryland, last June. Nikon is a key sponsor. The website is: www.mentorseries.com. You can check out some of their fabulous photo journeys at beautiful spots around the world. But, be prepared to do some serious work (it’s all fun!) and to enjoy meeting a small group of like-minded aspiring photographers. There were about 25 on my trek. We learned from each other, as well as from the pros.
The two mentors were Mark Alberhasky, from Atlanta, and Corey Rich, from San Francisco. You’ve seen their stunning images in national magazines, from Nikon World to National Geographic. You can’t beat the one-to-one learning experience. Mark’s website is http://imagema.com and Corey’s is www.coreyrich.com. Check them out. They have very different approaches to photography, yet they are complimentary teachers. Mentor Series did a nice job of pairing these photographic masters.
– Professional Nikon photographer Mark Alberhasky, above, explains technique to a member of our group.
– Nikon mentor photographer Corey Rich, above, says a great photo should tell a story.
Tips From Our Mentors – for Single Lens Reflex Cameras (SLR):
Photography is all about light, and the way it forms an image. Think about light when you frame a shot…what kind of light (direct or reflective), how does it light your subject, what is in the shadows? To act like the human eye, the camera needs to be adjusted. The following will help.
– Select the file format…raw or jpg. Raw gives you far more latitude to improve your image later, with processing software.
– Select the best ISO for your lighting conditions (for low light or bright light). Modern cameras are amazingly sophisticated. Don’t be afraid to use their technology.
– Color – In your camera’s menu, set the color to Adobe’s “RGB.” It covers far more of the color spectrum than “SKGB.” Also, set your white balance to “daylight,” not “automatic.”
– Camera settings – Think about your creative choices (automatic vs manual; selecting lens aperture and shutter speed). What type of shot…macro, action, landscape, or portrait?
– Don’t be bashful – Do whatever it takes to create an interesting image.
– Shoot lots of photos to get the one perfect shot. Digital storage is cheap, unlike film.
– Look INTO the viewfinder…not through it. Notice the frame marks in the viewfinder. This will be the image. Compose your shot within the viewfinder, with as little excess as possible. Think…and slowly release the shutter. As they say, “Nail it in the camera!”
– Every photo should tell “a story.” What is the story you are going to tell with this image?
– Be a little uncomfortable – Don’t be afraid to get dirty or look a little silly. Lie on the ground and shoot up, or at least even…or eye-to eye with a pet or insect. Stretch…do what it takes.
– Ask, “Is the content interesting…is there a better or more unusual angle?”
– “Make” a photo situation…don’t be passive. If you use a model, don’t be afraid to give direction.
– Shoot in rapid sequence. Use the “continuous” setting on your SLR. Usually, there’s only one chance to get the right image. Don’t lose it.
– Focus accurately on your subject. Hold your camera steady in one hand, elbows into the body, and trip the shutter with the other. Do whatever it takes, including using a tripod (if possible), to get the sharpest possible image.
– Equipment – Before you go on your photo trek, list the equipment you will need for the day (or night). Only bring what you may need for each trek, in a comfortable daypack. Always bring rain gear…for your camera, as well as your protection.
A few more images from the Maryland trek follow:
– “Thomas Point Lighthouse at Sunrise,” above, winner of the Best of Maryland Photo Competition (click on image to enlarge)
– Swallowtail Butterfly, in one of the natural settings we visited. (Click on image to enlarge)
– Sunrise at the Bow, on the Chesapeake Bay (Click on image to enlarge)
– “Who has the biggest lens?” – shooting in the marshes, near Rock Hall.
– Beauty in the marshlands, a visiting butterfly (Click to enlarge image)
– A Dragonfly rests in the marshland
– A parting shot from one of the gardens near Annapolis