Category Archives: Photographic Workshops

Carnival in Venice – February 18-24 2017

One of my favorite images in Venice to photograph is the Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, commonly known simply as La Salute, is one of the largest churches of Venice and has the status of a minor basilica. It stands in a prominent position at the junction between the Grand Canal and the Bacino di San Marco on the lagoon.

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice

When I am on location shooting with clients the two questions I am asked the most are why I pick a location to shoot and why I return to many of the same locations over the years.

The answers to both of these questions are simple. Foregrounds matter! The locations provide some of the most exceptional foregrounds a photographer can capture no matter what the weather conditions. This allows each group to come home with images that can hang on their wall. Often when we are shooting in the morning and evening the magic happens and we capture some of the best sunrises and sunsets that I have ever seen.

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Mono Lake, California

Mono Lake is off US 395, the main north-south route in California, just east of the Sierra Nevada range. Much of its length has phenomenal views of the snow covered mountains nearby.

4 Image Pano Mono Lake

4 Image Pano Mono Lake

I spent some time photographing the Tufa around Mono Lake, but my favorite shot from the area is this Panoramic that I shot from high above the lake.

While photographing there last fall, I stayed in the small town of Lee Vining. Located on the west shore of Mono Lake, it is close to the Tioga Road which leads into Yosemite National Park. Mono Lake is a large, shallow, alkaline lake which is impressive enough from a distance, but close up has the added interest of unusual Tufa pinnacles. These calcium carbonate spires have been deposited over thousands of years around underwater springs, and are now exposed because the lake level has fallen in recent times.

Southwest Photographic Workshop Tour
March 13 – March 17, 2016
$695/ Limited to 8 Students

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


Sierra Nevadas – March 13 – March 17, 2016

Photography has become a way of life for me that has always been changing. In the early days, it was usually just me, on a hillside, waiting for the light to change and learning how to take a moment and breath it all in. Now it is more about sharing the hillsides and what I have learned with a few others. Last night was a fun evening; I gave a presentation for the Mid Michigan Photo Club in East Lansing on Lightroom workflow and some luminosity masking. It was a nice change from my solo days on hilltops and in the darkroom.

Sierra's north of Bishop

Sierra’s north of Bishop

I had bracketed this image to create an HDR +2, 0, -2 but only used the 0 exposure with a curves mask on Lights 3 channel I had created to bring down the highlights.

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

Southwest Photographic Workshop Tour
March 13 – March 17, 2016
$695/ Limited to 8 Students


Val d’Orcia, Tuscany – June 18 – June 23 2016

Early morning mist and cypress trees in the Val d’Orcia create breathtaking images that have keep bringing me back over the years. This region is has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site which will help ensure that this area will stay natural and not be overdeveloped.

Morning Mist Val d'Orcia

Morning Mist Val d’Orcia

This June I will be staying with the group in a small village that has ancient mineral springs used by the Romans and the Etruscans before them. There are a couple of spot left and I hope you can join me.

Tuscan Photographic Workshop Tour
June 18 – June 23 2016
$950.00/ Limited to 8 Students

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


Big Sable Lighthouse – Aug 14-17

Big Sable Lighthouse is one of our country’s best kept lighthouses and a gem along the Lake Michigan shoreline.

HDR Pano Big Sable Lighthouse

HDR Pano Big Sable Lighthouse

This image was shot a few hours after sunrise. To preserve the highlights and shadows I merged three separate exposures to create HDR files. To create this panoramic, I merged 2 HDR images. The HDR and Panoramic files were created in Lightroom.

As a Michigan resident and photographer, I am grateful for the hard work put in by the members of Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association to restore and maintain Big Sable, Ludington North Breakwater, Little Sable, and White River Lighthouses. Visit their website www.splka.org and take the time to explore their organization and lighthouses on the east coast of Lake Michigan.

Hope you can join me this summer to photograph some of these wonderful lighthouses.

Lake Michigan Lighthouse Workshop Tour

Aug 14 – 17 2016
$495.00/ Limited to 8 Students

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

 


I Hope you rang in the New Year with peace and joy in your heart!!

Felici Serene Feste a tutti— Seasons greetings to all. For me the holidays have been a wonderful time catching up with family and friends. 2015 was an amazing year where I was able to spend nine weeks on location teaching and capturing images. When I wasn’t on locations capturing images I was displaying my work at Art Fairs like the Ann Arbor show visiting with friends. I have been a participant in the prestigious Ann Arbor Summer Fair for 17 years and this year was the 11th year that I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Guild of Artist and Artisans.

The 2016 schedule shooting schedule will start early this year in the Southwest and I hope that you can join me for one of the workshops or just stop by and say hello at one of the Art Fairs.

South West – Photographic Workshop Tour

March 13-17 2016 $695 Limited to 6 Students

Heaven and Earth - Valley of Fire

Heaven and Earth – Valley of Fire

On the evening of the 13th we will start the workshop in the Valley of Fire where we will be shooting the afternoon and evening of the 13th and a sunrise shoot the morning of the 14th and then follow the weather north towards Zion of west towards the Owens River Valley. Both areas have some of the best locations the Southwest has to offer. I will be staying in the Southwest till March 22nd to capture more images for anyone who may be interested in extending their shooting time.

Owens Valley - Eastern Sierras

Owens Valley – Eastern Sierras

Charleston, S Carolina – Photographic Workshop Tour                       April 3 – 7 2016 $695.00, Limited to 8 Students

Smoky Mountains – Photographic Workshop Tour                               April 24-27 2016  $495.00, Limited to 8 Students

Tuscany Italy – Photographic Workshop Tour

June 18 – 23 2016  $950.00, Limited to 8 Students

HDR Pano Val d'Orcia

HDR Pano Val d’Orcia

Pisa-Cinque Terre Photographic Workshop Tour

June 23 – June 28 2016 $950.00/ Limited to 8 Students

Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre

Riomaggiore in the Cinque Terre

Provence Photographic Workshop Tour

June 30 – July 5 2016 $950.00/ Limited to 8 Students

Lake Michigan, Lighthouse – Photographic Workshop Tour                   Aug 14 – 17 2016 $495.00, Limited to 8 Students

Smoky Mountains – Photographic Workshop Tour

October 23-26 2016 $495.00, Limited to 8 Students

Zion National Park and Painted Desert – Photographic Workshop

Nov. 6-10 2016 $695 Limited to 8 Students

Southwest Slot Canyon – Photographic Workshop Tour

Nov. 11-13 2015 $350 Limited to 5 Students

Workshop Overview

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.

  • 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!

Between art shows and a busy shooting schedule, 2015 was a good year and I am looking forward 2016 to be just as busy and fun. I hope everyone will be able to stop by a show to say Ciao, or join us on one of our photographic workshops tours. http://www.european-images.com/photographic-workshop-tours.php

Paul Christopher James

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


Sunrise Pano of the Valley of Fire

Often mornings are the quietest time of the day, when there is no movement found in the leaves or the grasses in the fields. When conditions are right, I can take one long exposure which captures the depth of the field in the landscape while retaining the details in the shadows and not burning out the highlights. For me, this is the easiest time to capture an image while being conscious of my surroundings. Finding some peacefulness before distractions fill my day.

Last week I spent my time teaching and capturing images in the Southwest. Light is always softest in the morning before the sun rises. After the soft light of sunrise, the light becomes brighter and harsher which makes it harder to capture the exposures properly.

It is great being home but I will miss the morning shoots with everyone.

Sunrise Valley of Fire Nevada

Sunrise Valley of Fire Nevada

I blended three images in the pano section of Lightroom 6 and then popped the color with Topaz Clarity to create this morning image from the Valley of Fire.

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


Southwest Workshop – New Moon

When I have been out west shooting in the past, I have always focused on the first light and the last light of the day. For me, the magic has always happened at sunrise and sunsets. This November’s workshop will be a little different, I am going to be out shooting in Dark Sky areas during a new moon. This means that the skies will be darker and the stars will be brighter and I can pick shooting times when the Milky Way will be visible in the sky without any natural or manmade light pollution. Shooting in a dark sky area with a new moon will be a treat for this seasoned photographer.

I captured this image in Death Valley while camping with my friend Craig Osterloh.

Sands of Time- Death Valley

Orion the Hunter – Death Valley

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Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest workshop is only a few weeks away and I have been going over images getting ready for the shoot. On this fall day I hope everyone is out enjoying corn fields turned into mazes and spending time in the apple orchards.  One of my favorite fall activities has been to find the perfect pumkin to carve my Jack O’ Lantern and with Halloween just around the corner this image popped out at me.

Southwest Jack O' Lantern-Valley of Fire

Southwest Jack O’ Lantern-Valley of Fire

The Southwest doesn’t have corn fields and apple orchards but it does have some of the best Jack O’ Lanterns formed by a millennium of wind and rain.

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Ludington Beach View

This image was captured during the Lake Michigan workshop. To create this image I processed two images in the lightroom Develop Pallet and then used Lightroom’s Panoramic blend mode to create a single Panoramic image. After creating this Panoramic image I used Topaz Clarity to give it a little pop.

Our Lake Michigan shoreline reminds me of the beaches along North Carolina’s Outer Banks both have wonderful sand, dune grass, wild sea oats and lighthouses. Michigan like the Outer Banks has great lighthouses and more of them. Between North and South Carolina there are 16 lighthouses while Michigan has 127 remaining lighthouses.

Ludington Beach State Park – Lake Michigan

Ludington State Park - Lake Michigan

Ludington State Park – Lake Michigan

This is one of the two raw image processed in lightroom only before using Topaz Clarity to make it pop.

Ludington Beach processed in Lightoom

Ludington Beach processed in Lightoom

Click here to get to my Links page for the discount code for ReMask 5.

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


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