Category Archives: Digital Photo Workshop

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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The Lens Correction tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws

One of the ways you can use the Lens Correction tool is to correct Vertical distortions in a portrait. Open the raw image in Camera Raw select the Lens Correction Pallet and then click on the Manual tab to use the transform sliders. In this image I used the Vertical slider to bring back proper perspective to the image.

Lens Correction Tool

Lens Correction Tool

The Lens Correction tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws such as barrel or pincushion distortion, chromatic aberration and vignetting.

Finished Cropped Image

Finished Cropped Image

I set the vertical slider adjustment at +47 to tilt the image back and eliminate the perspective distortion. To correct the darker edges I set the Lens Vignetting slider at +51 which blended the exposure of the perimeter of the image with the center of the image.

The Lens Correction tool can be used in Camera Raw where I processed this image or in CS6 under Filter > Distort > Lens Correction. This tool can correct a number of common camera lens distortion flaws such as barrel distortion, chromatic aberration, vignette, and perspective flaws. In my screen capture I have used the Lens Correction tool to correct the vertical perspective distortion caused when I shoot this picture of my nephew with the camera angled down to include his graduation cake.

Using Lens Correction I transform the perspective of this image in just a few seconds but it took my sister and her husband Joe a lifetime of persistent reinforcement to transform Robert into an Eagle Scout, Honor Student and nice young man.

R. J. I hope you work hard and enjoy college! Love You!!

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Depth of Field – Charleston Workshop

Paul Godwin who has been on three workshops sent me two images from last springs Charleston workshop that shows what I think is amazing use of infinite depth of field.

These two images of Paul’s demonstrates not only great composition but also his technical use of infinite depth of field.

White Garden Bridge

Morning Reflections – White Garden Bridge

Red Garden Bridge

Red Garden Bridge

Depth of Field is one of the techniques I work on with clients on all of the workshops. With the right settings and equipment an image can have infinite depth of field where the foreground which is inches away from the lens and the background which can be hundreds of yards or a mile away are both sharp as a tack.

Often I enjoy an image that has selective focus where there is a focus point that is sharp as a tack with the foreground and background have a soft focus. Soft focus images are more artistic but Art Fair clients seldom buy a soft focus image.

Each spring I give a workshop in Charleston, which has always been one of my favorite places to capture images. The rich history of Charleston and its wonderful gardens whose spring blooms give us amazing subject matter for the class.

Paul Godwin emailed a very nice comment on my teaching that I appreciated.

“Paul, you are a great teacher and I have been able to improve my shots thanks to you.”

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Fallen Live Oak – Charleston Photo Workshop

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Oriental Cherry Tree with Spanish Moss – Spring Charleston Photographic Workshop

While out scouting for images this morning I found a white Oriental Cherry tree with Spanish moss hanging form its braches. The backdrop was a combination of red and purple azaleas which had an elegant look I try to find in the gardens and villages while I am out capturing images.

Cherry and Azelia blossems

Cherry and Azelia blossems

This image was processed using Photoshop CS6 and Film Effects and Tonal Contrast in Nik software Color Efex Pro

The Charleston Workshop starts tomorrow and the flowers are looking great. It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit again this morning when I was out shooting but weather.com tells me that it will be in the 50’s for the first morning shoot with the clients which will make it a little more pleasant for everyone and speed up the blooms. This weekend the gardens of Charleston will be at their prime and I am excited to work with everyone.


Southwest Slot Canyon Workshop Nov. 8-14 2013

The southwest’s slot canyons with their sculptured sandstone walls shaped by water and wind over thousands of years provide photographers with the southwest’s most sought after photographic images. In the fall when the sun is lower in the sky the muted red and purple tones are breathtaking. We will start this workshop in the Valley of Fire just an hour from Las Vegas which has wonderful slot canyons, one of which has wonderful pink walls and another canyon has some of the best examples of native American petroglyphs in the southwest. We will be staying in Overton for the first two nights before heading to Utah for an overnight stay at ZionNational Park before heading to Page Arizona for two days of shooting in wonderful sandstone canyons that feel as spiritual as any of Europe’s wonderful old cathedrals and they will take your breath away.

Into the Light – Antelope Canyon, Southwest Photo Workshop

Into the Light – Antelope Canyon, Southwest Photo Workshop

In the Fall slender shafts of light penetrate the narrow canyons and bounce soft light off the rock walls casting wonderful muted colors against the  sandstone walls. In this workshop you will learn how to capture these images and improve your compositional and technical skills.

My friend and fellow photographer Craig Osterloh will be working with me on this a photographic adventure.

What’s included in my tuition:

Tuition includes fieldwork, guiding, software training and critiques of your digital files during our classroom sessions, transportation during the workshop, Navajo guides  and entrance fees onto the Navajo reservation and park entrance fees.

What’s not included in my tuition:

Airfare, lodging and meals are not included.

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Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Photo Workshop

Long before photographers started recording images to document their world ancient civilizations were recording their world with Petroglyphs. These ancient carvings left by ancient artists are also called rock engravings and are created by removing part of a rock surface by incising, picking, carving, and abrading.

Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Workshop

Petroglyphs – Slot Canyon Workshop

The Valley of Fire north of Vegas where we will be spending time capturing images during this Novembers slot canyons workshop has amazing Petroglyphs carved into the canyon walls that we will be photographing.

Petroglyphs are found world-wide, and are often associated with prehistoric peoples. The word Petroglyphs comes from the Greek words petro meaning “stone”, and glyphein meaning “to carve”.

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Angels Wings – Snow Canyon, Utah

When I am out capturing images I am always looking for textures and patterns in nature and in the structures man has built into the natural world. In January I was out photographing some of the National parks and canyons Nevada Utah and Arizona with my friend Craig Osterloh. While we were in route back to Valley of Fire in Nevada Craig wanted to show me Snow Canyon near his home in Lake George, Utah. I wasn’t sure what I would find but this wonderful canyon was full flowing textures in the sandstone. While we were photographing the last rays of the day Craig and I were both fascinated by the textured lines in the sandstone which we thought looked like Angels Wings flowing through the Sandstone. Using a just a little imagination I see the outline of the two wings in the center bordered  by many wings flying together.

Angle Wings in flight

This Sandstone formation looks like a group of Angels in flight

I used Photoshop CS6 and the in Color Efex Pro I used Film Effects and Darken Lighten Center to process this image.

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Slot Canyon Photographic Workshop

“From time to time everybody needs a little bit of desert.”
Sven Hedin, Swedish geographer and explorer.

I just returned home from photographing in the southwest where I will be conducting in November. I spent my time photographing several canyons in Nevada Utah and Arizona. These images were photographed on Navajo land within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation where I have arraigned for one of the Navajo guides to take us onto tribal land to capture the beauty of several of the canyons. The workshop will start  will be visiting Valley of fire Two of the slot canyons we will be photographing are Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew. The Navajo name for Upper Antelope Canyon is Tsé bighánílíní, which means “the place where water runs through rocks.” Lower Antelope Canyon is Hazdistazí or “spiral rock arches.”

Heart Light, Arizona

Heart Light, Arizona

In the desert there are places where the sands constantly flow and over time the flowing sands and water form wonderful sculptures.

Sands of Time

Sands of Time

Both of these images were processed using Photoshop CS6 and Pro Nix software Film Effects in Color Efex. Both images were captured at F-16 with 15 and 20 second time exposures which allowed me to have everything in focus.


Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

When I am out capturing images I always look for something that stands out something that sets it the image apart. Last year at sunrise we caught the first rays of morning light casting shadows across these three wonderful flowerboxes. The composition of these three well planted flower boxes with the Crape Merle drawing your eye through to image and then the strong light casting shadows of the ivy leading you out of the image. The Wrought Iron casting the straight lines and swirls on the top center of the image was a gift.

Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

Window Boxes and Crape Myrtle – Charleston Photographic Workshop

During the Charleston workshops we spend time in the Battery Park area famous for its stately antebellum homes. Named for a civil-war coastal defense artillery battery at the site, it stretches along the lower shores of the Charleston peninsula, bordered by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers, which meet here to form Charleston harbor.

Land was a premium in the Battery Park area. The wealthy could afford small gardens but most of the homes used every inch of land and built up to the sidewalk. These homes often have the wonderful window boxes. Each spring I look forward to seeing what the owners of this historic home will be planting in this set of three window boxes.


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