Category Archives: Photographic Workshops

Provence Photographic Workshop Tour July 2-7, 2017

Gordes-Provence

Gordes-Provence

Built on the foothills of the Monts of Vaucluse, facing the Luberon, Gordes is one of the most well known hilltop villages in the region, and one of the most beautiful in France. Its houses and buildings of white stone root themselves into the sharp cliff of the mountain, its labyrinth of narrow cobblestone streets delights visitors and provide photographic opportunities.

The Luberon was one of my favorite shoots with W Stephen Johnson​ Gwyn Marschall Williams​ Jane Wilhelm​ Robert Parry​ Elizabeth Clasgens​ and Deborah Bondar bringing enthusiasm and laughter to the the hilltop villages and lavender fields.

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My best images come with a story – Tuscan Memories

Tuscan Photographic Workshop Tour June 18 – June 23, 2016

Sangimino in the Mist

San Gimignano in the Mist

The best photographs are often accompanied by the memories that are attached to the image. Your own personal metadata is what makes your images and traveling so important.

This was a wonderful morning image that I captured in 2013 in Sangimino, Italy and is one of my favorite memories.

What makes it my favorite is the smile it brings to my face when I see it. We had arrived and could see the village in the soft morning light before sunrise. Everyone knew it was going to be a great shot. Once I parked the van, everyone dashed of a few steps ahead of Jan and I. Craig, Charlie, Steve, and Bob headed off into the tall wet grass to try to find a vantage point to shoot from and Jan gave me a look that still makes me laugh every time I see this image. There was a little farm road that went  up and off to the left of the wet grass,  it took Jan and I to this great (and dry) vantage point.  As we watched the light change we captured this wonderful sunrise. The men eventually came out of the wet brush and onto the farm road to capture Sangimino from what I think of as Jan’s vantage point.

A journey shared is a journey remembered.

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Tuscany June 18 – June 23 2016

Sunrise anywhere on the planet is always a great time to start shooting. The rain and mist mixed with this morning’s soft light in Michigan would have made for great location shooting. With a little luck we will have a variety of weather for the Italian and French workshops coming up in 6 weeks.

Awakening - Montepulciano, Italy

Awakening – Montepulciano, Italy

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Click here to get to my Links page for the 15% off discount code for any of the Topaz products


Join us for a Spring Day in the Country Photo Workshop to hone camera and processing skills.

May 14, 2016  $75 Limit 8

Farmhouse Lilacs

Farmhouse Lilacs

Now that spring has arrived in Michigan there are a lot of photographers who want to dust off their cameras and spend a time honing their camera and processing skills,  while capturing some great spring images. On May 14, 2016, I will be spending the day shooting and going over image processing in the countryside near my home in Chelsea, Michigan.

We will start the day at 9 a.m. with coffee, while going over camera functions, in Chelsea at the old farm house where I live and work. Then we will head out for some close up work. My neighbors raise horses and they have two Friesian foals that we will spend time with.

After a lunch break, we will go over image processing on the images we have shot, then head out for an afternoon shoot.

In the afternoon we will spend time at the Waterloo Farm Museum, where we will spend some of the afternoon shooting the buildings and some close up images. After a couple of hours at Waterloo, we will go back to work on image processing to wind down the day.

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Perspective using Photoshop’s Transform tool – Charleston’s Spring Wisteria

It doesn’t matter how many times I walk the historic streets of the Battery in Charleston, there is always one window or doorway that stands out a little more than the rest. This historic window on Meeting is always beautiful, and this year I was able to capture it with the perfectly blooming wisteria transforming it.

Wisteria Window - Battery Park, Charleston

Wisteria Window – Battery Park, Charleston

Using the transform tool I was able to change the perspective of this window. To boost the color and contrast I used Topaz Clarity.

Wisteria Window - Battery Park, Charleston

Wisteria Window – Battery Park, Charleston

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Reclaimed Trees by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Composition is what makes an image great. How everything is placed in an image depends on where you place your camera.

“A good photograph is knowing where to stand.”

 Ansel Adams

Reclaimed by the Sea - Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

Reclaimed by the Sea – Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation

The images of the trees reclaimed by the surf that we will capture during next spring’s Charleston workshop at the Boneyard Beach on Botany Bay Plantation will be amazing. There is no shell collecting on the beach which makes this pristine beach one-of-a-kind!

In the darkroom when we needed to bring out shadow areas we would make a variety of wands to dodge the shadow areas. When we needed to bring down the highlights we would expose the sky a second and sometimes a third time while fanning and feathering the edge between the sky and ground with cardboard sheets to give detail to the overexposed areas.

To bring the shadows out and the highlights down I blending 3 HDR files in Lightroom which brought detail into the shadows and highlights. To make the image pop I used Clarity my favorite Topaz software plugin.

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Charleston’s Gas Lights

Charleston is always a great place to capture images and soak up some of our country’s history.

Charleston's Gas Lights

Charleston’s Gas Lights brought into sharp focus by focus stacking two images

I have photographed the gas light in Charleston before, but this spring everything lined up and I produced a new favorite. It doesn’t matter how long you have been shooting, sometime a small change happens and you see things a little differently. That little difference gives you the image you have been wanting to capture. I have a favorite shooting spot a few steps away that I like to take clients to, and while I was there I finally saw this composition. The clients that I travel with often give me input which alters my perception of the environment and locations where I am shooting. The more I listen the better my images and composition have become.

Chuck and his wife Jenny joined me for the Spring 2016 Charleston workshop and they spent time looking at some of the local artist at the market and the gas light paintings and photographs of Charleston. Their enthusiasm for the wonderful gaslights brought my attention back to this composition.

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