Category Archives: 2012 Magnolia Plantation and Gardens Photo Contest winners

Selective focus of Charleston’s Wisteria

When Spring comes to Charleston the wisteria brings wonderful splashes of purple to the landscape. With this image I wanted to use the selective focus technique to sharply focus on the wisteria and leaves in the foreground while leaving the background soft and out-of-focus. To capture this image I focused halfway into the wisteria trying a variety of f stops  and found that F/13 worked the best keeping the foreground in sharp focus while giving the background a dreamy soft look.

Charleston's Wisteria - processed with Topaz Clarity

Charleston’s Wisteria – processed with Topaz Clarity

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A Photographers View of Charleston – eBook

I have finished an eBook of images from Charleston using the Topaz Labs software. I am using it as a promotional giveaway to help promote Topaz software and my workshops and would be grateful if you share it with your friends.

To download “A Photographer’s View of Charleston” click on the link below

https://www.dropbox.com/s/fa00odinw6cg967/A%20
Photographers%20View%20of%20Charleston.pdf?dl=0
A Photographers View of Charleston

A Photographers View of Charleston

Charleston is an American treasure, rich in our early history. This beautiful city shows visitors what southern charm and grace were like in the colonies. When you photograph the streets around Battery Park, you capture images of homes and churches that were built before the signing on the Declaration of Independence. Stroll through my collection of favorite images in this eBook.

Topaz Labs software plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom were used to give my images the finishing touches that make them sing and make you will feel like you are there.

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Charleston Photo Workshop – March 29 -April 2, 2015

After teaching last springs Charleston workshop Jonathan sent me a nice email and a few of the great images that he captured while we were on location.

Civil War Memorial

Civil War Memorial

This infrared composition that Jonathan shot in a Charleston graveyard that we visited is amazing.

Charleston Church

Old Charleston Church

Hi Paul, Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your workshop.  I learned so much on this workshop that I am looking forward to going out with you to Las Vegas next year. I was really touched by the way you welcomed me and Gina into your group even though I was the only shooter you did not leave out the non shooters. It was a pleasure to meet you and learn from you.  You are a very gifted photographer and teacher. Here are a couple of images I processed.Thank you again for sharing your knowledge and friendship.
Great Workshop!
Jonathan and Regina Davis

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Glow can be used as a stand-alone or a plugin to transform your photos from dull to dazzling. Containing more than 70 unconventional and quirky filters, you can infuse your images with neon, graphic, liquid and other electrifying effects.

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Charleston’s Spring Photo Workshop

This morning Charlie W and I worked on a early morning reflection image he captured during last spring’s workshop in Charleston. Charlie’s composition and exposure were great and we only needed to spend a few minutes working in Lightroom 5.7 to make the image sing.

Live Oaks Charleston processed in Lightroom

Live Oaks Charleston processed in Lightroom

On this cold winter night I am looking forward to capturing images and working with clients in late March and early April when Charleston’s spring colors explode.

Live Oaks Charleston unprocessed

Live Oaks Charleston unprocessed


Charleston Churches-Charleston Photographic Workshop

The churches in and around Charlestons  are some of the oldest in our country and the photographic opportunities are amazing. I found the ruins of this old church during my last visit to Charleston and am looking forward to spend more time photographing the grounds during next springs photographic location workshop.

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

 To process this image I used the Deep 1 preset in Nik software HDR Efex Pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

Sheldon Church processed using Nik HDR efex pro 2

All images need a little post processing. If an image is exposed properly it can be turned into a great image you can hang on your wall in a few minutes. This is the unprocessed raw CR2 file that took me 10 minutes to process.

Canon Raw CR2 file

Canon Raw CR2 file

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Dark Shadows- Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of my favorite places to teach and from late March through early April is a great time to catch the spring bloom. On the way in to Charleston last night I was able to check out a new location that friend suggested I photograph. The old Sheldon Church framed by live oaks and Spanish Moss has a haunting feel. I have been capturing images in Charleston for 20 years and there is always something new to photograph.

Sheldon Church, Charleston

Sheldon Church, Charleston

After capturing this image I used Photoshop to Clone and Heal the ramp and a few other distracting objects before turning it into a black and white in Topaz BW Effects 2 to create the shadows, highlights and great textures.

Sheldon Church-Raw Image

Sheldon Church-Raw Image

The raw unprocessed image give me a nice starting point.

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Charleston Doors

Charleston if full of wonderful wrought iron gates and textured walls from america’s early history.  These gates and walls invite you to spend time photographing them.

After capturing this image I used Topaz BW Effects 2 to create the shadows, highlights and great textures in this Black and White image.

Gated Charleston

Gated Charleston

This raw unprocessed image is a nice image  until you see it along side the processed black and white.

Charleston Doors

Charleston Doors


Black and White of Three Windows of Charleston

An old traveling and photography friend from my Navy days liked the three window image from Charleston that I posted a couple of days ago and asked if it would look good in Black and White. This image casts some wonderful shadows created by the Morning Sun and I think it does look better as a Black and White than it did in color.

Three Windows. Charleston-Silver Efex Pro

Three Windows. Charleston-Silver Efex Pro

To process this image I used Silver Efex Pro 2 part of the Nik Software suite makes this image pop the way the old B&W films would and for this image I used the following settings shown in the screen capture. Green filter, Kodak 100 TMAX Pro, Copper Toner 16, Burn All Edges Image Border-Off.

Silver Efex Pro 2 work flow

Silver Efex Pro 2 work flow

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Charleston Windows – Capturing Highlights and Shadows

Most of the images that I display at the art fair are captured in the time between sunrise and sunset when the light is soft and has that ethereal feel to it. Often when the sun has crested the horizon just after the soft light in the morning or in the few minutes just before sunset the sun rays will create wonderful shadows and highlights. When the sun is creating this play between highlight and shadows is a great time to capture images.

Three Windows of Charleston processed with Topaz software

Three Windows of Charleston processed with Topaz software

The image below is the Raw unprocessed image.

Three Windows of Charleston-Raw unprocessed image

Three Windows of Charleston-Raw unprocessed image

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Charleston Azaleas – Spring Photo Workshop

It has been a long cold winter in Michigan and  the Midwest and I am looking forward to teaching this Spring in Charleston.  In late March and early April the Azaleas explode with color to make Charleston a photographers Paradise. Hope you are able to join me for a little spring shooting time in one of my favorite cities.

Charleston Spring Azaleas - Horizontal

Charleston Spring Azaleas – Horizontal

It hard to think about composition when looking at a stunning scene but that is what keeps us at a location when others stop for a few seconds and wander off. Sitting with a location as the light changes helps slow us down and allows us to capture that moment and carry it with us.

Charleston Spring Azaleas - Vertical

Charleston Spring Azaleas – Vertical

Hope you join me in Charleston for the spring workshop to capture some wonderful images.

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