Category Archives: Cinque Terre Photo Workshop

Panoramic of Manarola in the Cinque Terre at sunset

The last couple of years while teaching the locations workshops I have been looking for images whose compositions would make a nice panoramic over a couch or a queen size bed. This image from the Manarola in the Cinque Terre was captured last October and will be on display for the 1st time this Labor Day weekend at Arts Beats & Eats in Royal Oak as a 24″x60″. If you are at the show this weekend stop by my booth #130 to check out some of the new panoramas that I will be displaying.

Processed 24x60 Pano crop of Manarola Harbor Cinque Terre

Processed 24×60 Pano crop of Manarola Harbor Cinque Terre

To bring out the colors that were in the water and sky in the Cinque Terre at sunset in late October I processes this image using Lightroom and Topaz Clarity.

Unprocessed CR2 image of Manarola

Unprocessed CR2 image of Manarola

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Manarola Tapestry – Cinque Terra

Each year one of the most important art fairs for an art fair artist is the Ann Arbor art show which starts on the 16th of July. For me I always try to bring out new work that I think is not only artistic but marketable. While looking over some of the images that I captured while teaching last Octobers Italian workshops I liked this image which shows the tapestry of homes from Manarola in the Cinque Terre along Italy’s rugged Ligurian coastline.

Tapestry Manarola Cinque Terre

Tapestry Manarola Cinque Terre

My booth is in front of Real Seafood on Main Street #198

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Holy City – Charleston, South Carolina

I processed this image using Topaz Simplify. The Simplify program can turn your image into an oil painting or give it a cartoon effect which if fun and creative. With this image I used the an oil painting and drawing combination at the programs minimal settings to enhance the image and bring out more detail in this nighttime exposure.

Charleston Church Processed using Topaz Simplify

Charleston Church Processed using Topaz Simplify

When the tall ships approached Charleston after a long voyage the first thing the sailors saw were the wonderful Church Steeples and coined it the Holy City. The Battery Park section of Charleston has changed little over the last two hundred years and when you are in Charleston harbor viewing the old city it is easy to imaging sailing ships approaching Colonial Charleston and looking forward to shore leave.

Charleston Church before using Topaz Simplify

Charleston Church before using Topaz Simplify


Pastel Sunset – Cinque Terre, Italy

I was looking through my images of Cinque Terre and wanted to share this wonderful sunset I took during one of the workshops that I teach every October. I take the groups on a wonderful hiking trail to this vantage point above Vernazza for sunset. I love this soft pastel light when the sky is painted with purples and reds  as the day turns into night. After a day of shooting and hiking in the Cinque Terre I have am always ready for a wonderful meal in one of the small restaurants. This area with the moisture from the Mediterranean is famous for its Pesto which is my favorite but you may prefer the seafood pasta prepared with fresh fish that the locals bring in daily.

Pastel Sunset – Cinque Terre, Italy

Pastel Sunset – Cinque Terre, Italy

To process this image I used Photoshop Elements 11 and the Nik software plug-ins  Vivesa and Color Efex Pro 4.

Dinner in Vernazza

Dinner in Vernazza

Everyone is ready for a great meal in Vernazza after a fun day of capturing images.


Sweet light – Vernazza Italy

Often when I am on location capturing images and as soon as the sun sets I find myself alone enjoying the fading light and by using  long exposures I find that I am often capturing the most stunning images of the day after most other photographers who were out shooting have called it a day. This is the Sweet Light and does not  always happen it does happen often. So when I am out shooting after everyone has gone I often think, Don’t stop until the magic happens.

Sweet Light - Vernazza, Italy

Sweet Light – Vernazza, Italy

This image is captured shortly after sunset and the blend of the deep blue light in the sky that often happen after sunset and the lights illuminating the piazza makes this one my favorite images of Vernazza in the Cinque Terre where I will be teaching again in October.


2013 Pisa and Lucca in Tuscany and the Cinque Terre Photographic Workshop

Pisa and Lucca in Tuscany,

the Cinque Terre on the Italian Riviera 

Oct. 17-23 2013

$775 / Limited to 8 Students

Riomaggiore-Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore-Cinque Terre

Pisa famous for its Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli is a great place to spend our first day capturing images.  Pisa has an International airport and is a major train hub which makes it an easy entry and exit location. The Cinque Terre is rich history is the perfect photographic venue with a variety of images that are wonderfully unique. The Cinque Terre is a beautifully rugged stretch of coastline with five tiny villages set like jewels into the Ligurian Coast, we’ll capture it’s charm and beauty. It is one of those places people tend to read about once and then dream about forever. Lucca an ancient Etruscan walled city 20 miles north of Pisa is a great place to spend our first day capturing images

We will photograph sunrise and sunset in these wonderful cities. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There is a training video at my website that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the
world photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

Brief Itinerary:

Day One: 4pm get together in Pisa, Italy to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two: Photograph at sunrise in Pisa then relax over breakfast before heading to the Cinque Terre for afternoon and sunset images.
Day Two– Five: Photograph at sunrise and sunset in the Cinque Terre, Italy and when the light is right.
Day Five: Photograph at sunrise in the Cinque Terre, Italy then relax over breakfast before heading to Lucca for afternoon and sunset images.
Day six: Photograph Sunrise in Lucca and go over final thoughts over breakfast before saying goodbye.


Venice, Cinque Terre and Pisa Oct. 18-24 2012

      Venice, Cinque Terre andPisa 

                 Oct. 18-24 2012

                 $750.00, Limited to 8 Students

Gondola waiting to go our for Sunset Tour

Romance Awaits-Venice

The colorful palette of Venice, The Cinque Terre and Pisa with there rich history is the perfect photographic venue. In Venice the Piazza San Marco and the Canals offer a variety of images that are wonderfully unique. The Cinque Terre a beautifully rugged stretch of coastline with five tiny villages set like jewels into the Ligurian Coast, we’ll capture it’s charm and beauty. It is one of those places people tend to read about once and then dream about forever. Pisa famous for its Leaning Tower and the Piazza dei Miracoli is a great place to spend our last day capturing images. Pisa is a wonderful hub where you can catch a train for Florence or Rome, or a flights home. We will photograph sunrise and sunset in these wonderful cities. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There is a training video at my website that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.

Brief Itinerary

Day One: 5pm get together in Venice to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day Three: Photograph at Sun rise in Venice have breakfast and Travel to Cinque Terre for afternoon and evening images.
Day Four and Five: Photograph at sunrise and sunset and when the light is right.
Day Six: Photograph at sunrise have breakfast and Travel to Pisa for afternoon and evening images. .
Day Seven: Photograph Sunrise and go over final thoughts over breakfast before saying goodbye.

• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the
world photographically.
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!

Workshop Information

In these workshops we will capture landscape images that excite and move, images that trace where the mind has been and form a unique vision that will last a lifetime. These workshops are about applying new skills learned daily and sharing our collective knowledge to take that next step in a supportive environment. We hold a deep passion for the places we travel to, and will help you explore how to create the images that continue to inspire. What takes time to create, time respects, good images don’t just happen. Most often, our best images lie just beyond our greatest failures. We believe through photography and an open mind the best is yet to come.

Paul James is a published, award winning photographer from Southeastern Michigan who offers the best in personalized photographic instruction on every level; whether you’re just beginning or a seasoned veteran. Paul takes great pride in his work, and this translates to some great teaching techniques. He has vast experience in both the artistic and technical aspects of photography; he is adept in Digital, Medium and Large format Cameras, which includes a large range of camera brands and models. He welcomes photographers of all formats and skill levels; however, this class will be geared for the digital photographer.

The October – November 2011 Florence Tuscan and Roma photographic workshops trips were a great success. Each groups came home with some wonderful images and some wonderful memories. I have been posting some of the new images on the website and hope that you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed taking them. Many thanks to my two wonderful friends Steve and Grazia who helped make the Rome workshop very special. For anyone traveling to Roma for a holiday, taking one of their personalized day tours is a must.


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