Category Archives: Azaleas

Charleston Reflections April 2 – April 6, 2017

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” -Charles Dickens

Charleston Lilies

Charleston Lilies

Working on images of Charleston’s spring bloom has been a great way to warm me on the chilly winter mornings.
Charleston Photographic Workshop Tour
April 2 – April 6, 2017

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Charleston Photographic Workshop Tour 2-6 April , 2017

On this cold snowy morning in Michigan I have Charleston and its world famous gardens on my mind.

Charleston Spring Reflection 24x60

Charleston Spring Reflection 24×60

In early April Charleston turns into a photographer’s paradise. The formal gardens on the plantations and the gated gardens in the Battery are in there spring bloom and all of Charleston has splashes of color everywhere.
Last night using Lightroom and Topaz software I transformed three images from 2012 into this colorful panoramic. I used Topaz software to bring out the colors and contrast from the RAW images and then used Lightroom to do it’s magic stitching the images into this 24×60 pano.

All RAW images have to be worked on to give you the colors that was there when you captured the image. This is one of the RAW images used to make the pano in Lightroom and then transformed using Topaz software.

Charleston garden RAW Image

Charleston garden RAW Image

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Charleston Photographic Workshop Tour April 2 – April 6, 2017


Azalea Pathway – Charleston Spring Workshop

The enthusiasm of the clients who travel with me always recharges me and I am looking forward to spending time in the field with everyone this year.

Last night Marius Strumyla sent me a few of the images he captured the day after the Charleston workshop ended. I thought this Azalea pathway was exceptional.

Charleston Path - Marius Strumyla

Charleston Path – Marius Strumyla

Charleston’s spring workshop is always a great way to start the years teaching season.

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Evening’s Stillness – Charleston, SC

When talking with clients at the art fairs I am asked what time of day do I usually capture my images. Early mornings and evening’s are usually the best shooting conditions which surprised most people.

Ambient light is softer at sunrise and sunset and gives me a more consistent exposure through the whole image than images shot when the sun is higher. There is usually stillness in the airs movement and everything stops moving. The leaves and flowers stop fluttering and Lakes Rivers and ponds can become mirrors. This is my favorite time of each day and when I usually capture my best images.

This mirrored lake in Charleston is perfectly still at sunset and gave me this beautiful mirror image. It was a great way to start the Charleston workshop this year.

Evenings Stillness - processed using lightroom and Topaz Labs Clarity

Evening’s Stillness – processed using lightroom and Topaz Labs Clarity

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

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Charleston Spring

Each spring I head to Charleston to teach and capture images and every time I am amazed at the beauty that I find. I spent most of today scouting locations I will be taking clients to shoot.  This is one of the locations we will go to at the end of the day to capture the soft light at sunset.

Charleston's spring Bloom

Charleston’s spring Bloom

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

$20 off Topaz B&W Effects allows for stunning black and white conversion and contains unique features like authentic grain and darkroom inspired effects. The discount will reducing the price to $39.99 for the month of March. The coupon code is: MARBW click here

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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.

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here
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Charleston spring location workshop March 29 – April 2

On cold winter nights like this I find my thoughts wandering to the warm shooting locations that I have planned for this spring. In late March and early April Charleston emerges from its winter sleep and explodes in vibrant color. Hope you are able to join me Charleston for early an early spring location shoot in some of Americas best gardens.

Southern Charm - Charleston Spring

Southern Charm – Charleston Spring

In lightroom 5.7 I used the Develop module to for a few basic adjustments and then exported Southern Charm into Topaz Clarity to make this image pop.

Southern Charm - Charleston Spring - Raw adj. in lightroom

Southern Charm – Charleston Spring – Raw adj. in lightroom

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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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Bonaventure Cemetery Captured by Elizabeth

After leaving the Charleston workshop Elizabeth spent some time in Savanna honing the skills that she had learned during the workshop to capture this image at the Bonaventure Cemetery. She used Topaz B&W effects 2 to turn this image into a black and white and then used the masking in the software to bring back the color into the Azalea bushes. 

Bonaventure Cemetery

Bonaventure Cemetery

It is great to see clients taking their photography to the next level and creating wonderful works of art.

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