Category Archives: 2013 Italian Photographic Workshop

Morning Mist – San Gimignano

Last weekend I was trying to explain why I spend my time capturing images in the morning and I am not sure if I properly explained what happens with light. Light is soft before the sun rises. Sunrise brings a brighter harsher light which makes it harder to capture exposures properly.

Often mornings are the quietest time of the day when there is no movement in the leaves or the grasses in the fields. When conditions are right I can take one long exposure which captures the depth of field in the landscape while retaining the details in the shadows and not burning out the highlights. For me it is the easiest time to capture an image while being conscious of my surroundings before the distractions fill my day. 

San Gimignano, Morning Mist

San Gimignano, Morning Mist

The last couple of years I have taken clients to San Gimignano to capture sunset. In 2013 I decided to stay over with the group to capture Sunrise and was excited to rediscovered this location down an old farm road with huge potholes where I had captured sunrise 20 years ago  On other visits to San Gimignano I had looked for this shooting vantage and thought that it had been reclaimed by the Vineyards.

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Sunrise Venice Lagoon

It is hard to believe that another year is behind us and the holidays are hear. I am home from teaching my last workshop and have spent time working on some of the wonderful images that I have captured this year. I am very fortunate and have been to Venice for many shoots  over the years and every time my eye see something new to photograph and sometimes improve on a composition that I have captured many time before. Sometimes it is new skills and sometimes it is a gift of the light early morning light.

Sunset Venice Lagoon

Sunrise Venice Lagoon

This weekend I am heading to Columbus Ohio to participate in Winterfair my last show of the year and then settle in for a couple of months in front of the computer with new and old images  and a nice hot pot of tea before I head to south for the winter show. I will be in booth # 1047 this weekend.

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Images from Venice and Lucca Italy from the October Photographic Workshops

It has been a great year out teaching photographic workshops and displaying my work at Art Fairs and I finally have time to work on new images with Photoshop and the Topaz Labs software programs.

Simplify 4 Painting - Oil Painting II

Simplify 4 Painting – Oil Painting II

Simplify 4 Painting Oil Painting II

To start off the holiday season Topaz Labs Complete Collection will be sold for $199.99, which is almost 50% off the normal price of $379.99. The sale will run from November 28th through December 2nd

Click on this link to my website http://www.european-images.com/links.phpthe code for the discount is at my website and if you click on the link to the Topaz website so I get credit for the sale. I am hoping to do some onsite training for them and the more activity they see from me the better.

Simplify 4 Painting OP Black and White

Simplify 4 Painting OP Black and White

Simplify 4 Painting OP Black and White

To Save 15% on Topaz  Software products click here

To Save 15% on Nik Software products click here


Valley of Fire, Sunset – November 8-14, 2013 Workshop

First stop for this Novembers workshop is the Valley of Fire about an hour north of Vegas. With some of most interesting  colored and textures sandstone in the southwest it is a great location to start this shoot.

Sunset near the Fire Wave  – Valley of Fire, Nevada

Valley of Fire processed with Topaz software

Valley of Fire processed with Topaz software

I used Topaz Labs software to process this image and in a few steps I was able to transform this image from an nice sunset image into a exception sunset. Often when I am on location the light and feel of the images cannot be completely captured by my cameras and  I find that by using Topaz I am able to convey what I saw and felt in the processed file for printing.

Valley of Fire sunset -  unprocessed image

Valley of Fire sunset – unprocessed image

To save 15% on topaz products click here


Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Bundle Sale

Topaz is running a big promotion on there Bundle starting June 24th going through July 7th.

The promo code for this discount is: july4

Topaz Labs designed the software plug-ins for Photoshop that I used to processes this image, they help me produce an elegant image with a very intuitive software.

If you use my link at http://www.european-images.com/links.php they are able to see that I referred you and it gives me credit as an affiliate.

Topaz Labs designed the software plug-ins for Photoshop that I used to processes this image, they help me produce an elegant image with a very intuitive software.

Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Adjust 5

Sunset is Waiting, Topaz Adjust 5

Sunset is Waiting

Sunset is Waiting


San Gimignano, processed using Topaz Clarity

San Gimignano, Topaz Lens Effects, Vignette

San Gimignano, Topaz Clarity finished with Topaz Lens Effects, Vignette

Topaz software

I captured this image of San Gimignano, Italy at sunset in late October in 2012 while teaching a workshop.  The sky that evening had some clouds but not where I needed them and so we waited. The clients had taken some nice images of San Gimignano with  the vineyards in the foreground and a clear blue sky. We had starting the days shooting before sunrise and everyone was getting a little antsy and were ready for dinner. A few had already  pack up and were waiting by the van  to head home for the night.

I knew that the best chance for everyone to get a great image we needed to wait for the light. I had been on location once when the sky was uninteresting and decided to pack up and leave only to see a spectacular sunset in my rear view mirror. There is never any guaranties on what type of light we will have when we are out shooting but I can guarantee that we will be at great locations capturing the changing light and waiting for the  the magic to happen.

San Gimignano, unprocessed image

San Gimignano, unprocessed image

This unprocessed image was captured as the clouds rolled in after sunset with an aperture of  F/11 at .5sec.  After the sun set I was able to eliminate clipping in both the highlight and shadow areas.

Topaz Clarity Color and Contrast Boost II

Topaz Clarity Color and Contrast Boost II

I decided to process this image using Topazes new clarity software. Often I will stack an image in layers and this worked well for this image.  The 1st layer I applied Color and Contrast Boost II and liked the effect but like Oliver Twist I always want a little more.  The next layer I applied CityScape II  and which I liked even more but kept looking at other affects and liked Macro II. All these effects were processed in progressive layers with Topaz’s  Clarity software. But always wanting a little more I decided to vignette this image using the Lenses Effects software by Topaz and was excited with the finished image.

Topaz Clarity CityScape II

Topaz Clarity CityScape II

Topaz Clarity, Macro II

Topaz Clarity, Macro II


Morning Storm, Venice Lagoon, San Marco

Over the last couple of years the changes in the software for photography have made it an interesting time. This morning I revisited one of the morning images I captured in San Marco during a storm while teaching there and I am very excited on how it turned out. I would have been a completely acceptable darkroom image but by using Topaz software and a little healing and cloning in Photoshop I was able to make this image pop. When I look at this processed image I can feel the moisture on my face and the freshness of the salty breeze coming in from the lagoon.

Morning Storm, San Marco

Morning Storm, San Marco

Topaz Software

This October I plan on arriving in Venice a couple of days before the private workshop I am teaching there. It will be nice spending four or five days shooting in Venice in October before heading towards Lucca to start teach my scheduled workshops.

Morning Storm, San Marco, unprocessed image

Morning Storm, San Marco, unprocessed image

This is one of the rare weekends that I have off from the Art Fairs and teaching and it has been good catching up on odds and ends. Tonight a little after 6:00 pm I pick up my Uncle Jack at the train station in Ann Arbor and tomorrow morning at 12:30 am I retrieve my brother Robert from the airport and when everyone is rested and ready we descend on my sister to pester and help her get ready for my nephews High School Graduation party on Saturday.


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