Category Archives: F-Stop

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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Sunrise on Mirror Lake – Munising, Michigan

Often clients and friends have asked why I get out early to capture images and my answer is usually something like this. Early mornings have the best light of the day and often give us special effects. As the sun was rising on this wonderful fall day a soft mist lingered over the lake giving it a surreal look. Most mornings the early morning fog burns off before the sunrises.

At the sun was starting to make the horizon glow I captured this image at 1 seconds at f/11, ISO 100

Misty Morning Sunrise - Munising, Michigan

Misty Morning Sunrise – Munising, Michigan

For a list of upcoming Workshops click here

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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

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Battery Park Wisteria – Charleston Spring Photographic Workshop

I have arrived in Charleston, South Carolina a few days before my workshop clients arrive and spent the morning capturing images on this brisk spring morning. The temp was probably around 38 degrees Fahrenheit this morning but will be in the mid 40’s to 50’s when the clients arrive. Both the weather and garden conditions are going to be great for the workshops! The Wister and Azaleas are just starting to bloom and will be at its prime this weekend. It will be great capturing images going into and through Charleston’s prime shooting time.

This Wisteria in the Battery Park section of Charleston is just staring to bloom. By the weekend it will be an explosion of color and aroma. This is a great time to be photographing in the South!

Wisteria - Charleston South, Carolina

Wisteria – Charleston South, Carolina

Egret – St. Augustine Alligator Farm

This week I am spending a little time in Saint Augustine photographing Sunrise and Sunsets near in the historic sections and in the harbor. Shortly after sunrise I spent a little time at the Alligator farm photographing some of the birds. It is the mating season and tall of the males are showing off which makes it a fun time to photograph the Rookery. This little Egret was putting a lot in energy looking for a mate and provided entertainment and quite a few images.

Egret - St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery

Egret – St. Augustine Alligator Farm Rookery


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Everyone’s Waiting – Seaside

Last weekend I displayed my work in Gulf Breeze, Florida and have time to take a few sunset images on the beaches in the Florida Panhandle. It is a great location to capture a few images the sands are sugar white and the waters are beautiful. This Florida beaches have less traffic than the southern Florida beaches and I find them more relaxing. While walking the beaches looking for that perfect shot I found this Pavilion with its wonderful Adirondack chairs that was deserted at Sunset and it was so inviting that I spent some time photographing this location as the light changes. This is a location I will return too and spend time photographing under different lighting conditions.

Everyone's waiting

Everyone’s waiting

I captured this image on my Canon 5d mark 2 my Tokina 12-24 wide-angle lens was set at 21mm which gave me the coverage of the area that I wanted and also gave me the infinite depth of field allowing for both the foreground and the background to remain in focus. The shutter speed was set for 1/25th of a second and the ISO was set for 200.

EEveryones Waiting raw CR2 file

Everyones Waiting raw CR2 file

The Exposure was perfect and the only post processing I did on this image was to run it through Nik software’s Film Effects in Color Efex Pro.

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Sunset – Grayton Beach State Park, Florida

Sunset at Grayton Beach State-Park, unprocessed

Sunset at Grayton Beach State-Park, unprocessed

Last night I stopped by Grayton State park one of my favorite parks in the Panhandle of Florida to capture a sunset image and enjoy the park for a day before setting up for a small show in Gulf Breeze for the weekend.

The unprocessed image looked nice but I decided to enhance the images using the Film Effects and Pro Contrast filters in Nik software’s Color Effects Pro

Sunset at Grayton Beach State Park, processed

Sunset at Grayton Beach State Park, processed

I set my f stop for F 22 with the lens set at 24mm which is a wide angle setting. By focusing 1/3 into the image I am capturing I will have everything in the image in perfect focus. The term for this is “Hyper Focal”. My ISO was set at 100 which gave me the longest shutter speed of 1.3seconds that available light would allow without using a neutral density filter. I wanted to have a little motion in the water without smoothing out the water with a longer exposure.

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Sunset in Chianti Tuscany


During the Italian October workshop Janice Maguire a portrait photographer from New Jersey captured this image in Chianti Tuscany just south of Florence. Her composition has the grape vine leading you into the picture with the fence poles, road and rolling vineyards draws your eye across the image to the mist. The clouds and light of this amazing sunset was a gift we all enjoyed capturing

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

Tuscan Mist at Sunset

This image was processed using Film Effects in Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro.

Check out Janice’s portrait work at smug mug.

Harvest Time in Tuscany – Tuscan Tractors in the Mist


These tractor images were captured by Connie while we were out shooting in Chianti Tuscany last year on one of the early morning shoots. Each morning the group goes out to  photograph sunrise in the vineyards and on this morning we were fortunate to capture this tractor in the early morning mist working its way through the Vineyard.  

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist – 1

I used Film Effects in  Nik Software Color Efex Pro to process these two tractor images.

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist - 2

Tuscan Tractors in the Mist – 2

The best part of spending a week on location capturing images is that it gives you time to become immersed in the local culture while enjoying  the small Villages and Vineyards that most tourist miss because of their rush to try to see it all.

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.

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