Bob Kidd Photography: Blog en-us (C) Bob Kidd Photography (Bob Kidd Photography) Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:02:00 GMT Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:02:00 GMT Bob Kidd Photography: Blog 120 120 Giving Pictures help portrait pvdHelp-Portrait Providence - 2017photographer: Linda Hawkins


Help-Portrait is a global movement to give not take pictures. Help-Portrait was founded  in 2008 with the mission is to empower photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists to use their skills, tools and expertise to give back to their local community. Each December, photographers, hairstylists and makeup artists all around the world will find people in need, take their picture, print their picture and then deliver it—free of charge. These portraits aren’t for a portfolio, website, or sale. It’s about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory…and a whole lot more.


Help-Portrait Providence began in 2016. The 2017 edition was an immeasurable success thanks to the continued unselfish work of its organizers, Alex Says and Terry Rajsombath as well as the the volunteer photographers, editors, hair and makeup stylists and other community members. I was fortunate to do post processing for the talented Linda Hawkins Photography, LLC. This is a small sampling of her stunning work. You would never know that these portraits were made in a school gymnasium. The 8x10 prints made from these images delivered the joy of the season to every family and to each volunteer.


Merry Christmas, 


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) help portrait Sun, 10 Dec 2017 11:02:19 GMT

Open Mic 04-29-2017-188Backlight adding flareApril Open Mic at Pump House music Works - 04-29-2017-188



A musician works his stock-in-trade on stage.

The light framing his concentration, the feeling,

Moments suspended in time.


Tones ring out in shades of commitment

A performance framed by gesture

The light flares through the lens,

Frozen in time.


This is our last post until the New Year.


Our best wishes for warm holidays shared with friends and families and a Happy New Year,




Post Script

We will continue to explore BW printmaking over the holidays and will report back during the new year


IMG_5115Work-in-Progressmore to follow...


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) backlight Sun, 26 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Presets; blessing, curse, or both? DXT16939Eastman archtop guitarKodak Gold emulation


Presets that can speed up your workflow with a simple 'click' of a mouse or tap on a touchpad or screen. Lightroom comes with them and you can make new ones and save them for future use easily. A google search for "Lightroom presets" results in over three million hits. That's a lot of hits. You can buy them, make them or use an add in program that essentially clicks your way to awesomeness. 


There is nothing wrong or evil about them if they help you attain your vision. If you just randomly click them for discovery purposes that is ok too, but the real power is knowing what you want to accomplish and determining the best way to get there. Understanding how dodging and burning as well as sharpening, effects the eye would be a great starting point. Many folks suggest studying the master painters to see how they accomplished feeling as well as seeing with paint, brush and canvas. They had neither presets or filters (another topic for another time).


I was reminded of this while reading a passage in Clapton's Guitar contributed by George Gruhn...




Post processing is not unlike repairing a guitar in that you are trying to make your photograph look and feel like what you saw. The best post processing leaves your viewer admiring your photograph and wondering how you made it. If your photograph is distinctive, if you have put your heart and soul into it, it will be a better photograph. One that will stand the test of time, rather than simply what was once a popular trend achieved by a few clicks of your mouse.

The choice is yours.

See ya around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) claptons guitar photography post processing presets wayne henderson Sun, 19 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT
Dream Job



What would be your photography dream job?

Would it be to fly around the world and make photographs of a working president of the United States? Could you do it non-stop for eight years? Would you be willing to miss most of your own family's events for this job?


Pete Souza is a photographer's photographer, now best known as the White House Photographer during the two terms of the Obama Administration. He is lesser known for his photography as the Washington photographer for the Chicago Tribune during the Obama Senate candidacy or as an Assistant Professor of Photography at Ohio University or as a White House Photographer during the Reagan administration. His book Obama: An Intimate Portrait was released this week and I am delighted to have received a copy of it from my editor-in-chief (pre-ordered in April, as soon as she discovered Souza's to-the-point Instagram postings). Over 300 photographs made by Souza are divided into two sections: First Term and Second Term. The selected photographs are a fraction of the almost two million photographs that Souza made during this period (that's 250,000 photographs a year for eight years). 


It has been said of Souza that if he is in a roomful of photographers, you can count on him getting the shot that the others wish they had. After looking through his book, I believe that to be true. Although not many of his published photographs would be considered fine art, as a collection they document the path of a president through many of the ups and downs during his two terms.  Because of the depth and breadth of the images, you come away with more of a 360 degree view, almost a three dimensional rendering, not only of the President of the United States, but of the man who held that office: Barack Obama. There is no doubt that this collection also illustrates the comfort level that these two men have shared. From the onset, Souza's one requirement in accepting the job as White House Photographer was: "access to everything." He he received that, along with top level security clearance. It is one thing to claim transparency, quite another to deliver on that commitment. NPR broadcast an interview with Souza on the day the book was released. It is well worth the time to hear his own words as he reflects on this amazing photographic period. 


Pete Souza's photographs helped me connect to President Obama during his first term. Through his images, I saw the man who held the office in a way that the media were never able to present him to me. He showed Obama as a three dimensional person rather than reducing him to a headline or a comment. I doubt that this will happen again over the next few years, which makes this a treasured collection of portraits that create not only a visual history lesson but a unique view into the life and persona of the man. The book is a large format (10x12) and has a hefty weight. It is an excellent example of top notch photojournalism. Many of the photographs are as poignant as only family photographs can be. That is the true mark of a photographer's photographer.  


See ya around,



A quick look at Souza's recent posts on Instagram

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) pete souza president obama Sun, 12 Nov 2017 05:00:00 GMT

_DSF0885-HDRChelsea Bridgedigital raw file



There is no shortage of hype or promises in the photography marketplace regarding improving your photography. At the same time, there is a perceived need to make photography simple and easy to share. This appeals to anyone who wants instant recognition and has created a vast supply of products and features that promise to make it easy to create and share photographs without the need to develop the craft of photography or spend any significant amount of time reflecting on the art. It is an arms race to the bottom.



Old & New - Medium Format Kodak Tri-XPiezography prints the shadow detail in the lower windows



Sitting all alone on the other end of this photographic technology spectrum is Piezography (pees-og-raphy), a dedicated black and white inkjet printmaking system developed by Jon Cone. Piezography utilizes a set of of monochromatic inks and proprietary media profiles that double the optical resolution of an Epson legacy inkjet printer, producing greater acuity and detail and substantially more gray levels than Epson Advanced Black and White (ABW) printing. Piezography makes exceptional prints from digital raw image files or scanned film. It is not, however, a turn key system and requires a solid understanding of the concept of linearization and the operational workflow to make beautiful black and white fine art photographs in the tradition of master printers. Fortunately, the R&D team at Cone Editions are experienced educators and they brought me up to speed during their Fine Art Black and White Printmaking Workshop held at their headquarters in Vermont. One of the first steps to creating amazing Selenium BW prints is to scan 129 step targets to create a linearized curve used in the printmaking process. 


Scanning 129 step targets



So, why bother? Doesn't the Epson ABW methodology create an adequate print? Yes, it does and Epson would like you to believe that it is the best that their printers can produce, but the demonstrated results from Piezography are not only visibly better than an ABW print, they are the best that can be made from an Epson printer. I am finally printing my BW photographs the way I want others to see them - with a lusciously smooth tone latitude, seductively smoother skin tones and increased shadow and highlight detail that encourages your gaze to linger longer than any other method of printmaking. 



2014 06 Fuji 645 Tri-x 02-1Close Up - Medium Format Kodak Tri-X The highlight and shadow detail in the portrait is exquisite



I will be exhibiting and making Piezography prints for other photographers in 2018. Let me know if you are interested in learning more or want to see what these prints look like first hand. 


See ya around,










]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) cone editions piezography Sun, 05 Nov 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Good in Color, Powerful in Black & White Open Mic 02-25-2017-76Open Mic 02-25-2017-76




Different images resonate with different people. Powerful images resonate deeper.


The best music and magical moments often happen late at night, when more sensible people have returned to their homes.


I linger when the mood encourages it. Not wanting the night or the magic to end.


The musician's defiant raised fist occurred as a surprise.  A moment in time. There and gone, like the music.


Good in color,

powerful in black & white


See ya around,



Post Script 

We now have a printer converted to Piezography (pees og raphy) that makes amazing black and white photographs using many shades of Selenium toned ink. More to follow...


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) black and white photography Sun, 29 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Slow - School Zone IMG_482716x24 fine art print, hand framed



The longer I pursue this photography thing, the slower I want to go. I don't want to post an image that I just made. I want to consider, edit and finally, print my photograph to see if I like it when it hangs on a wall.



IMG_484116x24 fine art print, hand framed


I do this because I am always learning...


See ya around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) Sun, 22 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Down Time DXT14498-HDRfrom left to right: Peabody, Rocky, Bullwinklenot in photograph: Boris



Our server had an unplanned severe crash this week, possibly caused by a drive failure. That should not have crashed our Network Attached Server (NAS), but it did. The drive was replaced, the volume was rebuilt and the data was completely restored. Our data files are simply structured to made this fairly easy.



IMG_4906Data Structure



Our main groups of data (Photographs, Time Machine backups from several Mac computers, Music and Documents are stored on Bullwinkle, a four drive NAS with a Random Array of Independent Drives (RAID) designed to duplicate data files in the event of a non-catastrophic failure of one of the driver. Therein lies the nature of our crash. The drive that failed caused a catastrophic failure. No idea why that happened.


Fortunately, Photographs and Time Machine files are backed up nightly to Rocky, a two drive NAS with Just a Bunch of Drives (JBOD) file structure. Another backup copy of the photograph files is also stored on an external drive named Boris. Documents and Music are backed up to an external drive nightly named Peabody.


That how we keep it simple and safe - a NAS and two external drives backing up all of our data groups from our main server. Restoring data took about 24 hours.


See ya around,



Post Script

I am excited to be participating ina BW Fine Art Printmaking workshop next week. More to follow...







]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) nas server crashed Sun, 15 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Beautiful Evidence ~ reflections L.E. BeachL.E. Beach16x24 print on baryta paper.
Pricing available upon request.



After the opening reception of Beautiful Evidence at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, I came to realize, again, that having folks see your work hung on a wall is the best reward. The exhibit will be up through Sunday, October 29,2017.


Exhibit, chat, have fun. Repeat.



Rust Never SleepsRust Never Sleeps16x24 print on baryta paper.
Pricing available upon request.


Shoot what you can’t help but shoot.


Gregory Heisler from Maine Media Workshops + College on Vimeo.


See ya around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) beautiful evidence courthouse center for the arts gregory heisler Sun, 08 Oct 2017 12:11:53 GMT
Come for the Snacks, Stay for the Art...  

Going HomeGoing Home16x24 print on fine art matte paper.
Pricing available upon request.



The Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingstown, RI is a stones throw away from the Kingston Train Station where this image of a southbound train in winter was made. Both the courthouse and the train station are both old enough to be considered historic.


On Thursday, October 5, 2017 Bob Adams, Kathleen Caswell, Tim Thayer and I will host an Opening Reception at The Courthouse Center for the Arts from 6:00 to 8:30pm. Come join us to view limited edition prints in the gallery space of this historic courthouse building. There will be beverages and snacks.


I look forward to seeing you there,








]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) photography printing Sun, 01 Oct 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Beautiful Evidence California DreamingCalifornia Dreaming9x32 print on premium luster paper.
Pricing available upon request.



"Science and art have in common intense seeing, the wide-eyed observing that generates empirical information. Beautiful Evidence is about how seeing turns into showing, how empirical observations turn into explanations and evidence."

Introduction to Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte, 2006


I am grateful for the photographer friendships that I have. We can get all techno-nerdy-geeky among ourselves without embarassment and although we don't always agree, we respect each other's point of view. I will be joining three of them - Kathleen Caswell, Bob Adams and Tim Thayer in a joint exhibit at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston, RI  For me, this is the culmination of the last several years of photography and printing and I am excited and pleased to be in the company of others who share a keen interest in how seeing turns into showing, how empirical observations turn into explanations and evidence.

Please join us  for the opening reception at the Courthouse Center for the Arts in Kingston, RI on Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 6:00 - 8:30pm. I will be exhibiting a limited edition of photographs made in Yosemite National Park, Denmark and New England over the last six years. 

Come for the snacks, stay for the art...


See ya then,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) courthouse center for the arts photography Sun, 24 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Three legged stool RBK_0204RBK_0204


Picture a three legged stool...

Great photographs that start with visualization deserve great execution with a camera, post processing to nurture and shape that vision and printing on the right paper so that others can appreciate what you saw and felt with nothing more than their eyes. This is the culmination of the approach Ansel Adams described in his three books: The Camera, The Negative and The Print.


click here to learn more



click here to learn more



Each step plays a part in creating the final work, but also relies on the other two the same way that spirit, mind, body keep you in balance. Gestalt photography is much more than just the camera.

If you are ready to become a better photographer, you need to have a strong three legged stool. I can help you build it. Individual fall photographer classes are being scheduled now.   


See ya next week,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) ansel adams photography Sun, 17 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Broken Glass _DSC7276_HDR-EditLynvig FyrHvidesande, Denmark


Ben Aronson, a talented and accomplished portrait artist, told me that success only comes after crawling on broken glass on your hands and knees.

This is a powerfully accurate metaphor for the trial and error that occurs as we attempt to create order out of chaos (or chaos out of order if that is your work flow). One step forward, two back. Ouch, more broken glass that I did not see coming. Cutting a mat board for a 16x30 print inside of a 24x36 sized mat only required one mathematical error (24-16 <>6, ouch!). Take out another sheet and go back Jack and do it again.

"Broken glass" adds deeper meaning to the German phrase üben, üben, üben.

Do the work.

Expect broken glass.


See ya Around,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) ben aronson broken glass Sun, 10 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT
The Road to Success... Foresta Barnimage made in 2011 with Kodak TMAX film and printed in 2017


The road to success is littered with failure.


“The fact is that relatively few photographers ever master their medium. Instead they allow the medium to master them and go on an endless squirrel cage chase from new lens to new paper to new developer to new gadget, never staying with one piece of equipment long enough to learn its full capacities, becoming lost in a maze of technical information that is of little or no use since they don’t know what to do with it.”

~ Edward Weston


Get used to it.

Learn from it.

Do the work.


See ya next week,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) broken glass do the work edward weston failure foresta barn photography Sun, 03 Sep 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Hard Obscure Language 2014 03 06 F100 #024-13-3


"... a single photograph, it's provocative, it's an idea, but if you can do two or three maybe you make of that a phrase and if you can do ten maybe it is a sentence. It's a hard obscure language, but it is worth studying".

Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits by Linda Gordon


We are still on summer vacation and wresting with decisions about what to leave out and what to leave in.


"Science and art have in common intense seeing, the wide-eyed observing that generates empirical information. Beautiful Evidence is about how seeing turns into showing, how empirical observations turn into explanations and evidence."

Introduction to Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte, 2006


Knowing that less is always more, I have been searching my portfolio for beautiful evidence for a fall exhibition.


Lynvig FyrLynvig Fyr16x30 print on fine art cotton matte paper.
Pricing available upon request.


The closing paragraph of an interview with Magnum photographer Stuart Franklin provided a few more clues to help me. 


"But if people want to speak to a wider audience and to produce photographs that other people want to put on their walls, a higher level of sophistication is needed. It’s like music: if you want somebody to go and listen to you or buy your song, there’s quite a level of sophistication that goes into producing that. It’s not like me singing in the bath. For great photography, a level of depth is necessary, but also an openness to interpretation. Memorable photographs have this quality of openness. They don’t bring closure, necessarily, to the moment or internally, they allow viewers to bring their their own thoughts to bear."  


I want to exhibit more than sharp or large prints. I am looking for images that I have not displayed that form a sentence. I want to invite and attract casual viewers to ponder my photographs.


See ya around,






]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) beautiful evidence dorothea lange edward tufte Sun, 30 Jul 2017 12:21:46 GMT
Adventures in Printing  

RBK_0204Beautiful Evidence



A lucky photograph - I had not planned to make it, but there it was and I Got Lucky - and the process used to print it. The final print is a 9x32 pano made with a 35mm lens from a distance.  Before I committed a 12x36 sheet of paper and ink to the project, I wanted to evaluate the printed image.



Soft Proofing evaluation and gamut checknote limited out of gamut - highlighted in red



After I finished my edits and Soft Proofed the image, I selected a section of the image to print on 5x7 paper that represented the main attraction of the printed image. This is easy to do in Lightroom by clicking and dragging the image within the viewing section of the Print function. Satisfied that my test print was what I had in mind, and within the capability of my printer to faithfully reproduce the photograph, I was ready to commit a 12x36 sheet of paper to the project.



5x7 test print




See ya around,



Post Script

I chose a pano print to feature the broad scope of the image, hoping it would delight the viewer as they panned across it. I had an unused matted frame that was designed to hold multiple 5x7 prints. I used a mat cutter to recut the mat to accommodate a 9x32 print with a 1.5 inch border.


matting for multiple 5x7 prints




Recut mat for 9x32 print



Printing, mating and framing complete the process that starts with your vision. Want to learn more? Check out 








]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) mat cutting photography printing in lightroom soft proofing in lightroom the print Tue, 11 Jul 2017 14:43:48 GMT
Embrace the Possibilities



It comes down to this... 


Respect the elders.

Embrace the new.

Encourage the impractical and improbable, without bias.

- David Fricke





See ya around,



]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) nightscape photography Tue, 04 Jul 2017 14:11:21 GMT
Back to the Future 700_1989 - Version 2off on adventure


I have traveled with a laptop computer since before it was a big deal to bring one onboard an airline. Over time, I got really good at removing and placing it in a bin in one motion and then picking it up and repacking it on the sterile side of security. From what I read on my news feed, any device larger than a cell phone may soon have to be stowed in checked luggage. 


FullSizeRender-2Laptop Life


What's the big problem, you may be wondering?  Well, for one, this means that my laptop is no longer secure in my custodial care which concerns me, even though I travel with a backup drive. While exploring inconvenient and expensive cases that might withstand the checked bag option, it occurred to me that not too long ago I traveled to Europe with a large stash of 35mm film (in the digital era, imagine being "that guy" in every security line requesting hand inspection of film - there were about six of them on that trip - and having the honor of receiving an individual police interview at least once). The significant point is that I did not get to see my photographs until after I had returned home and the film was processed. The delayed gratification added a second enjoyable verse to the trip.


VW Bulli Treffen in KalsVW Bulli Treffen in Kalsfrom the days of Kodak Ektachrome



Not traveling with a laptop and backup drive now simply means two things: more memory cards safely stored in a wallet that I can keep with me, and more use of smartphone photographs for posting while away. Simple. The laptop can be safely left at home while I revisit the experience of the days of film.



IMG_0680keep focused on the Gestalt



Now I just hope that I can still keep my camera with me. Some items you can just not do without. If that also changes between now and my trip this summer, I just might pack a large bag of film for hand inspection (and a film camera) and be that guy again. (Editor's Note: Oh no. Oh, Lordy, I hope not.) Either way, I will let you know when we return from our Summer Holiday. Which


See ya in September,



post script

The DHS decision on laptops remains unclear

]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) Kodak film photography Sun, 18 Jun 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Simple Elegance DXT14485DXT14485



If this memoriam image of a failed hard drive an irretrievable data does not frighten you in the least, you can stop reading now. For everyone else,  you may want to consider these inevitable occurrences:


Sooner or later your computer will not be able to store more data because the storage drive will be full.

It does not matter how large your storage capacity is. Big ones just take longer, but all of those image files add up over time. If your computer is old and painfully slow, you can look forward to purchasing a new, shiny fast one and then wait until that drive fills up, which will not take long once you transfer your image files to it.


Sooner or later all storage drives fail.

While storage drive reliability seems to get better all of the time, hardly a week goes by that I do not heart about another person, usually a photographer, who lost ALL of their data and that always makes me feel sad because it could have been prevented. Both Windows and Mac Operating Systems (OS) provide backup functions to easily store all of your data on an external drive. 


This is my Simple, Affordable and Elegant solution that requires two large external drives and a pinch of forethought. 




The best part is that it works like a charm with Lightroom, lets you keep your external drives at home when you travel and provides inexpensive peace of mind. Let me know if I can help implement this solution.


See ya next week,


]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) data backup external storage Sun, 11 Jun 2017 04:00:00 GMT
Easy. DSC_9999Blue Angels at the 2015 RI Air Show



I like easy. Most things in photography are. Some are not. Let's start with easy.




a simple multivariate equation




Exposure Triangle - a simple multivariate equation

Zone System - Ansel Adams and Fred Archer's gift that keeps on giving

Gamut - why my camera sees differently than I do and considerations for printing

Photographing what you feel - this one is easy. Listen to yourself

Learning how to use Lightroom - many small steps

Learning how to print - a natural progression from Vision -> Print


Not Easy

Academic Photography - I would rather have a sharp stick in my eye.

Lesson Assignments - where did that stick go?

Aesthetics - so subjective, like art. 

All aspects of composition - if it works, it is great. if it doesn't work, keep on trying.

Decisive moment - overused term, but still valid

Framing and matting - aesthetic considerations (see aesthetics above)


I help photographers with the easy aspects of the art known as photography. My Vision -> Print teaching approach follows what Ansel Adams wrote in  The Camera, The Negative and The Print.


cam neg printcamera - negative - print


Let me know if I can help you become a better photographer.

See ya next week,




]]> (Bob Kidd Photography) ansel adams the camera the negative the print vision to print Sun, 04 Jun 2017 04:00:00 GMT