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Tag : Photography workshop

21 May 2020

Video: Digital Work Flow and Image Storage

Finding your digital photos, knowing where they are stored and making sure you have backups is every photographer’s conundrum. In this free one-hour seminar I show you what works for me starting with ingesting photos to my computer from my camera, deciding where they should be stored, plus options for storing, cataloging and backing up the files.

15 May 2020

Will Iceland be the safest place this summer?

It looks like Iceland will be one of the safest places to be this summer. As of Tuesday there were only 15 active cases in the whole country with one person in the hospital and no new cases in five days. https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2020/05/12/fifth_day_of_no_new_covid_19_cases_in_iceland/. The country has been testing people even before the virus was in the country and has been a model for dealing with the virus. Check out this CNN interview with the Prime Minister https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/05/12/katrin-jakobsdottir-amanpour-iceland-coronavirus-testing-tourism.cnn.
 
They also announced they are screening every person arriving in the country starting June 15. When you arrive at the airport you’ll get tested and the results will come back the next day and you’ll be allowed to travel. You can read more about it https://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2020/05/13/new_rules_regarding_quarantine_in_iceland/. They haven’t released details on how they are pulling this off, where people will be quarantined and what happens if you don’t pass the test but it seems like a great plan. 
 
Being small and being on an island has big benefits.
 
 
07 May 2020

Video: Light Painting Objects Small and Large seminar

One of my favorite things to do in photography is use a flash light to light paint objects. They can be small objects like flowers or big things like bridges or waterfalls. In this one hour seminar, I show the techniques I use and how the results can be rather surprising.

30 Apr 2020

Video: Eliminating objects in Photoshop

There are times when we just can’t get rid of obstacles in our photos and that is when Photoshop comes to the rescue. In this online seminar I show some basic ways to use Photoshop to eliminate things that just don’t belong in our photos.

16 Apr 2020

Video: Pixels, Resolution and Your Digital Files seminar

There doesn’t seem to much more confusing when dealing with digital files than image resolution and pixel sizes. When you are posting, sharing or printing your photos the proper resolution is key to getting the look you want and speedy transmission. In this online seminar I talked about image resolution, knowing how big your files are, what size they should be and how to make them that size. Enjoy the video.

15 Apr 2020

Beth Payne talks about using photography to be more resilient

During my workshop in Cuba last month I was lucky to have Beth Payne as one of the participants. Beth retired from the State Department and now does training to help people become more resilient in their lives. As the covid-19 crisis was shutting down the U.S. and creeping into Cuba, Beth provided valuable assurance to the group, both in dealing with what was unfolding back home but also that we would be able to get home. I asked Beth if she would do a session for photographers, thinking it might be kinda nice. It turned out to be great. While working in Iraq, Beth’s hotel was bombed and she risked her life to help a co-worker and as a result had PTSD. Beth used photography to get through it and still finds photography to be a valuable to deal with life’s stresses and tribulations. I appreciate her sharing her knowledge with us. Check out Beth’s blog at payneresilience.com/blog.

25 Mar 2020

Photos from Cuba

So much happened in Cuba with the coronavirus hanging over our heads, even there was very little evidence of it in Cuba but there was the constant concern that we may be delayed coming home. But the week was magical and we made some great photos. I didn’t do a great job editing, so here are a bunch of photos I shot. If you click on one it will bring up a larger version and then you can use the arrows on the extreme right and left to scroll through the images.

19 Feb 2020

Loving an Icelandic ice cave

Iceland is full of wonder, maybe one of the most amazing is ice cave in the glaciers. The caves are formed by rivers flowing through the ice in the summer, carving out tunnels during the annual melt. Once winter arrives with colder temperatures, the hollowed out ice becomes a special place. I’ve been in several caves during my Iceland journeys but the one we went to today was a special one. I hired a private guide for our group, which is the only way to get there. We rode 45 minutes in a van with huge oversized tires to traverse the bumpy road to the glacier. We then hiked a little over a mile to get to the cave before the sun rose. The hike was long but pretty easy and the scenery on the way was special. There were other photographers at the cave, it is impossible to go to an empty cave. But the photographers worked together to not get each other in the photos. Once the regular tourists appear, the caves become crowded and making good photos are tough with everyone trying to make selfies. 

The glacier glows a wonderful blue as light makes it way through the ice. I moved to the side of the can and used an extreme wide angle lens as one of the other guides posed with an ice axe. The person in the shot provided a sense of scale and helps the scene make visual sense.

We walked farther back in the cave where there were fewer people and the pictures were equally cool. Again, having a person in the photo made the shot. It was a special day and one I’ll remember forever.

17 Feb 2020

Aurora in Iceland

Nature is amazing and one of the most unique sights is the Aurora Borealis – the northern lights. To see them in full fury is a thrill and we had a great display tonight in Iceland. It takes the right combination of dark skies, sun spot activity and no clouds. There is a scale of 1-9 that rates the solar activity and they predict it three weeks in advance. Last week it was showing that we would only be at a 2 all this week, so I sent a note to my Iceland workshop participants not to expect much in the way of aurora. 

Then two days ago when I checked tonight’s rating was 3, which isn’t bad. We had dinner and then went out of town to an area I know would make a good foreground. As we were driving the aurora was glowing bright on the horizon. Once we parked we were treated to an amazing show of light. We had a small mountain in front of us and the green light started on the right side. Then it started appearing on the left side of the mountain. I was doing a happy dance as the aurora danced across the sky. After a while a hook of light appeared on the right side creating a classic Icelandic aurora. We stood out in the dark for over two hours being amazed by what we saw. It finally diminished and we went back to the hotel with a special memory.

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02 Feb 2020

Vermont’s Winter Wonderland

Each year I host a winter workshop from my home in Woodstock, VT. Early February is a beautiful time of year in Vermont and it is a lot of fun getting out and making pictures in the snowy landscape. One thing that I really enjoy is taking photographers out on a frozen lake, especially people who have never walked on water before. It initially sounds scary but when people see the huts and folks out ice fishing, then they realize it is very safe to be on the ice. 

There is something special about a snow covered landscape. The world becomes much simpler looking, everything is clean and free of distractions. I love making images that are simple and minimal and winter is the best time to do that. Before the workshop I drove past a pretty little white barn sitting up on a hill. There was a pure white blanket in front of it and a single white birch off to the side. The scene is one that I am always looking for, simple, clean and pretty. I was pretty happy with the shot and the others I made during the weekend.

26 Jan 2020

A night in New York City

Last night was a fun workshop in New York City. All day there was heavy rain and miserable conditions. I had postponed the workshop from the week before due to snow and ice predictions and it turned out to be a wise idea. Yesterday it looked like the rain would stop around 6:00 p.m. so I decided to go ahead with the workshop. I warned everyone to be ready for rain, it is important to keep yourself as dry as your equipment. Once you get wet clothes you are cold until you change into something dry. 

I made some adjustments to our schedule so we would start with shooting indoors at Grand Central Terminal and then head right down to Brooklyn. My genius came through and it stopped raining by the time we were done at Grand Central. One of the great things about changing weather is that the light usually becomes much better and yesterday it became absolutely special. We went south of the Brooklyn Bridge to photograph old pilings in the East River with lower Manhattan in the background. It was rather blah when we first got there and then as darkness approached the clouds starting doing cool things, clear skies mixed with clouds and it looked great. Then fog rolled in, making for a different look. As we were finishing there I had my back to the city for 30 seconds and when I turned around the fog had covered all of Manhattan and you couldn’t tell the city existed. Pretty cool.

We went up the Dumbo area to photograph around the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. There was still some fog hanging around so I used part of the Manhattan Bridge to frame in a shot of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan. The light combined with the wet ground and fog to make an eerie image. There are always lots of great photos in that area.

We finished the night at a special spot on 42nd St. in Manhattan where we photographed traffic and car lights streaking past. A beautiful way to end the day that started out dismal.

26 Oct 2019

Streaking at the Brooklyn Bridge

A fun workshop that I do with fellow professional photographer Ron Lake is a tour of New York City’s big bridges. We can’t hit them all in one day but we go to five of the most photogenic. Our first stop is usually the George Washington Bridge and the little known Little Red Lighthouse that sits underneath. I’ve written in my blog about it before but it is still fun to take people to something they didn’t know existed. We then go to one of the prettiest bridges, the Queensborough, then the industrial Williamsburg Bridge. Finally we go over to Brooklyn to shoot the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges. Photographing the Brooklyn Bridge at dusk as the lights of lower Manhattan start glowing is always a favorite. A helicopter zipped past tonight as I was doing a long exposure creating a streak of light and dashes from a flashing light. It is a lot of fun and the scene never gets tiring.

14 Oct 2019

Spectacular fall foliage in Vermont

Many people in Vermont said the foliage this year is the best it has been in years. And it has been a long time since I’ve seen it looking this good. There aren’t a lot of the deep reds that we sometimes get but the lighter reds, oranges and yellows are shining through. I did two fall foliage workshops this year and as usual people came from all over the country. It is fun to host people who live in different places and see their reaction to the changing colors. They have usually seen a few trees change but not whole forests of brilliant foliage.

I created a little group of photos that I shot the last week or so, I hope you enjoy it. Click on a photo to see a larger version and then you can click on the right or left side to scroll through them.

09 Oct 2019

Light painting a Vermont island

One of the techniques I enjoy doing with my photography is light painting. Much like it sounds, I illuminate subjects in a similar way as painting a wall. But I use a flashlight, sometimes a big one. During my Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop I like to take people to Chittenden Reservoir and light up an island that is about 250 yards from the shore. I have a big 18 million candle power flashlight that does a great job on the island. The best shots come 20-30 minutes after sunset when there is still some light and color in the sky and it is dark enough that the background is dark. We use a 30 second exposure which gives me time to light up the island. Just like painting a wall, I don’t try to cover the whole island in one splash of light, I paint across it so any one area may get only 5-8 seconds of light. When the conditions are right, it can be a fantastic photo.

29 Sep 2019

Photographing lighthouses in Maine

Maine’s coast is hard to beat for great scenery and when you toss in a bunch of lighthouses it becomes a true visual treat. I hosted a workshop this weekend that started with driving from New Jersey and picking up people along the route to Portland in my 12 passenger Sprinter van. We had people from five states including Florida for the fast three day excursion and we photographed 10 lighthouses.  The weather was ideal giving us brilliant sunrises and colorful sunsets. We went to classic locations that every photographer should see including Portland Head and Nubble and some lesser known ones. 

I rarely take groups to places I haven’t been before but I had a gap and did a ton of research to find us another place to shoot between Portland and our Saturday night location in Rockland. Squirrel Point lighthouse looked good in my research and I knew it would be a fairly long hike but as we were walking out we crossed a small bridge and I noticed the tide was coming in. I tried to see if I could find a high tide line or something to tell if the water came up to the bridge but I couldn’t see anything. Since I hadn’t read about any problems and I couldn’t see anything, we ventured on. We photographed the lighthouse for a while and some of the group was ahead of the rest and a gentleman out running told them to hurry because the rising tide would be a problem. And it was. When we got to the bridge both ends we almost a foot deep in water. Our runner friend came back and asked if there was anything he could do to help. I had some cheap plastic boot covers in the van and he was kind enough to run the 1/4 mile to get them and bring them back. Some of our people had already ventured across before I got there and either took their shoes and socks off or just went ahead and got their feet wet. 

The runner came back, seeming to enjoy running through the water and helping us. I assisted the rest of our group put on the little plastic bag/boots and they made their way dryly through the water. Disaster averted.

For me the best part of the weekend was sunset on Saturday at Marshall Point Lighthouse, which just happened to be where Forrest Gump finished his run. The evening clouds were great and as darkness set in I got out my trusty flashlight and did some light painting of the walkway and the lighthouse. We were given a great show and it was a wonderful weekend.