Photographing Rural Industrial Abstracts in B&W

Abandoned Granary

I recently co-led a full workshop in Washington’s Palouse region, where landscapes are most people’s major focus. But when traveling in the countryside, I love the meditation of photographing graphic abstracts in abandoned and industrial spaces. Such details provide an opportunity for me to get close, and provide a mental balance to photographing grand landscapes, local people and rural life.    I try to seek out graphic compositions where various materials overlap with textural shadows, and where fasteners, cracks and holes … more >>

Capturing Historic Palouse in B&W

Sheep farm, Palouse

There is deep American history imbued within every stalk of wheat and worn wooden plank in eastern Washington’s Palouse region. I sensed it when I slowed down and quieted my anticipation. I paused intentionally and inhaled the sweet air to further inform my senses. The region is a must-shoot destination for thousands of photographers each year, and every one of them prizes the rolling fields and aging barns. But from my experience, few take the … more >>

Why I Went Mirrorless With the Fuji X-T1

Fuji X-T1 system

In 2014 I decided to refresh my approach to photography. I was heading to Cuba to collaborate on a historical photography project. I wanted a greater connection to subjects than I’d been having with my face obscured behind my big beloved Canon dSLR. I needed a camera that could also frame subjects if held high, held low or when shooting from the hip. I wanted a lighter and smaller system for greater agility and spontaneity. Image quality had to be excellent, with great low-light performance … more >>

A Realistic Photoshop Composite for Yankee Magazine

I was contacted by the art director at Yankee Magazine asking me to illustrate a feature for their 80th anniversary issue. The subject: “Inventions and Ingenuity from New England”. Nancy had seen several of my Photoshop montages over time, and believed that my style would be ideal the project. She especially liked my “Telling History” piece, a realistic montage project I’d done for the Baltimore Sun. I accepted the assignment knowing I’d enjoy another challenge of creating a illustrative visual using historic images. … more >>

Photography, Lightroom and Lobsters, oh my!

New in this post:

• Seattle workshop “Creative Photography With Any Camera”
• Maine workshop “Autumn Photography and Creativity in Lightroom”
• Download a much-requested image from my collection

There’s more good stuff to share…
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The Story Behind Photographing “The Buddha of Borobudur”

This is the story of my favorite and most collected images: “The Buddha of Borobudur“. I’m often asked about the location of this unusual place, and also how I made this image. I’ll describe my personal process, the gear I used and my Photoshop technique. I’ve learned from photographic travels that my best images come when I manage the excitement that could otherwise occupy my senses. When I have attempted to capture the quiet essence of … more >>

A preview of “The Beautiful Reverence of Mexican Altars”.

While touring the countryside, I became fascinated by the reverent shrines within small Mexican cemeteries. The shooting conditions were difficult at best, and I thought it would make a great blog post to illuminate how I approached the work shot in midday sun, through dusty glass and with very limited time. I’m still editing the work, and finishing several concurrent projects. more >>

Adventures and Tips From a Weekend Photo Safari

Cal Academy African Antelope

There I was, finally alone in the wilds on a photo safari.  Barely off the plane, I met the others in my group and we drove through the busy streets and markets to find some photogenic wildlife. Two hours into our tour, we huddled together, checked our cameras and stared across steamy African wetlands and grasslands. Suddenly, a territorial bull Antelope surprised me on the grassy hillock, staring me down from just yards away. My heart … more >>

My Photoshop Process : A Revealing Collaboration

Duggan's book DJ spread on Sky 6k

Recently, I received a little gift— a chance to slow down, reflect on my favorite creative Pho­toshop tech­niques and recall how my artistic style emerged from grade-school experiments.

This collaboration began with an email from artist/author/instructor Seán Duggan. We had met a few summers ago while both teaching Photography and Photoshop at Maine Media Workshops, and revealed that we admired each others’ work. In his email, he asked if I would like to con­tribute to “Pho­toshop Masking and Com­positing”, a new Pho­toshop book he was co-writing with digital artists Katrin Eismann and James Porto. more >>

Announcing Three New Creative Photoshop Workshops in Seattle!

After many requests, I am excited to be leading three new Creative Photoshop day-long workshops in downtown Seattle. Learn the creative potential of Photoshop by attending one (or all) of my three new workshops tailored to fit any artist or photographer’s abilities and goals. Creative Photoshop workshops are held in small groups of up to 10, so they’re more content-efficient and personalized than the larger classes at conferences and touring workshops. The day consists of on-screen … more >>