Patti is our student of the month for October, 2016. Her studio work explores characters through Dia de los Muertos inspired imagery. Don't miss Patti Sloan's new series in our gallery this month.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Patti Sloan to hear about his work and what inspires him:

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If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Ongoing

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
All of them - I can't pick one

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
Many places - my classmates, my instructors, and fellow photographers.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Definitely me.

Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
I'm not half bad at makeup application. I did all the makeup for these images as well as the costuming.

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Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
The style of these images were shot with techniques from Dave Bever's Studio Lighting Workshop. I volunteer to assist with that class to keep these techniques fresh in my mind.

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
They were all shot with Dia de los Muertos style makeup.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Don't just buy any camera and try to start with difficult concepts. It's really helpful to understand the basics and the capabilities of your camera. Photo Boot Camp was still the best thing I ever did.

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
If time permits, I hope to compose an image by using other small images in a collage.

What's your favorite color?
I have two - red and black but I'm sure that's not a surprise to many that know me.

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See her work at our main gallery through the month of October, 2016.

Steve is our student of the month for September, 2016. His photographs are open and bright. There an unmistakable sense of life to them. Steve utilizes selective focus, vibrant colors and direct light to create a sense of suspended motion in this photographs. Don't miss Steve Tabor's project on Pt. Lobos in our gallery this month.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Steve Tabor to hear about his work and what inspires him:

If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Evolving

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
There is not one photograph that has meant the most to me. I have several personal favorites, but truly every photo has a story. Sometimes you have waited and waited for the right moment. Others you just happen to be in the right place at the right time. Sometimes the image becomes one of your favorites simply because of the story behind it.

For example, when I was creating the self-portrait for the exhibit, a young man was watching intently as I set up the equipment and shot. He stood there probably about 15 minutes. Then watched me shoot the picture. In all, he probably invested 25 minutes out of his schedule. When I was finished, he asked me if I wouldn't mind, could I shoot a picture of his girlfriend and him. He approached the young lady and when he was within an arm's distance, he got down on one knee and began his proposal. I must have click off 50 photos of the event from start to finish. Even capturing the moment she said a teary "Yes!"

Before we parted ways, we had an opportunity to talk. He told me that he did not intend to propose at the moment, but after seeing me work through my portrait, he knew that this would be the right moment and I would be exactly the person to capture the moment. We reviewed the pictures in the finder and I watched the couple as they re-lived the moment. Before parting ways I wished the couple much happiness and the newly engaged couple proceeded down the pathway to live happily ever after.

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
Initially, I was inspired by the photographs taken by Jacques Cousteau and his crew members of the various marine animals, seascapes and landscapes they captured. Then, Robert Talbot brought additional inspiration with his images.

Also, growing up in the 60's, the variety of photos from Life magazine were captivating. As I have continued my photographic journey, I have drawn inspiration from the greats like Ansel Adams. But, I must also give credit to the Mark and the other students in the Tuesday Night Advanced Class.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Let's be honest and a bit selfish, it's me. But, there is a special satisfaction seeing a picture in the viewfinder and having the picture appear in print or on the screen exactly how you pictured it. I do enjoy sharing those photographs with my wife, Lauren, my family, friends and others.

With the monitor on the back of the camera, I find myself in situations where a stranger will come up and ask what are you taking a picture of. Watching their expression as they see something they have not noticed or see in more detail is quite satisfying.

Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
As I stated earlier, my photography is evolving. The more I shoot and the more I talk to other photographers, I have come to look for the light, the details and other factors that make an average picture a better photograph.

Also, I believe that I have become more creative in my thought process and composition. This has expanded my thought process not only in my photographs, but other aspects of my life.

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Was there a class, instructor, Pro Talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
David Bever has been a mentor to me. His intermediate classes have developed my skills in not only photographing people, but how to talk with them and position them in a way that can make such a difference in your photographs.

Additionally, his classes in artificial light have greatly expanded my photography not only in low light, but in a variety of situations.

Our discussions led by Mark in the Tuesday Night Advanced Class have been beneficial in learning techniques. Additionally, studying the variety of photographers has provided food for thought about how and what I shoot.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
I don't think I have one favorite piece of equipment. I do have a variety of lenses and other equipment that allow me to produce a variety of photographs. I feel I have the equipment to shoot in a variety of situations and a variety of subjects. Because you never know what is going to happen, It is very difficult for me to reduce my bag to one lens. I also always carry at least one speed light with a way to have it function off camera.

Maybe that's why my bag is so heavy!

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
All of these photographs were taken over a number of years at Pt. Lobos State Reserve just south of Carmel, California. It is an inspirational place. I am never at a loss for subject manner. I look forward to each visit because the light, the weather and scenery is always different.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Don't buy a camera, lens or piece of equipment just because its is cheaper than the other item. Study your options and know why you want this item and what can you use it for in the future. If you have a chance at all, rent it or borrow it prior to purchasing.

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
Currently, I am spending a lot of time on Catalina. I am hoping this will translate into producing images that are more than pictures of Avalon and bison that are found on the post cards.

What's your favorite color?
I think you guessed it, ocean blue.

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See his work at our main gallery through the month of September, 2016.

Making great travel photographs is an art form. It requires attention to culture, landscape, history and your unique experience of the place. Travel photography works all of your photography muscles: landscape, documentary and portraiture. For this important subject we reached out one of the most seasoned travel photographers, Mark Comon.

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Travel Photography:  The Secrets to a Great Adventure

When you travel you want to share your adventure with family and friends.   There is a formula to producing good travel photographs and great travel presentations.  Take the “National Geographic” approach to your next week-long adventure or weekend get-away.

Tell the Story
Travelers and photographers want to tell the story of the adventure and share our feeling for the location.  The secret is to remember these goals when snapping your photos and while organizing your photo book and slide show.

Find your Title Photograph
Begin with an informative title photos.  Let the audience know where you are with images of well-known landmarks (Golden Gate Bridge, Eiffel Tower) and photos of signs or descriptive images (Santa Fe 10 miles).  Make your titles interesting by including people wherever appropriate.

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Show the Natural Beauty
You visit remote locations because of the natural beauty.  Bring back beautiful scenic photos to make your audience jealous!  What drew you to this place: mountains, oceans, rivers or architecture?  Show the beauty and scenic grandeur through your photography.

Include Local People
A visit to India would not be complete without photos of Indians. Photograph the local people to bring the audience in contact with the place. Nothing says more about a locale than the people that live there. Use wide-angle lenses in close for groups or crowds (the market place in Marrakech) and telephoto for faces and candid images.  Always learn the local customs and respect their rules, regulations and privacy.

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Shoot the Details
Capture the local flavor by capturing pictures that are unique to your destination.  When in Italy great photographs have the taste, smell, and feel of Italy.  What photos makes you feel the location: the marketplace with street vendors, the town square with old men discussing politics or the beautiful stained glass windows in the cathedral.  Search out the local images and bring them home.

Back home is the most difficult process…. EDITING!  Keep only the best, dispose of the rest.  Be ruthless to only show your best photos.

We hope this helps you snap and keep the right pictures on your amazing Vacation.

 

For more on travel photography check out our other articles...

Chuck is our student of the month for July, 2016. He chose to share a specific experience in Tanzania with people he met there. The body of work is composed entirely of portraits. While the technical quality of the photographs is excellent what's more interesting is how they depict their subjects in a casual, intimate way. One staff member commented that his photographs remind them more of family photographs than travels around the world. You're in for a special treat when you stop by our gallery this month and see Chuck's new work.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Charles Greenwood to hear about his work and what inspires him:

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If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Humanizing

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
Ansel Adams’ “Birch Trees,” simple yet engaging

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
Edward Weston, Georgia O’Keefe, Ansel Adams, Calvin Abe

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
I ultimately engage in the process of producing these images for my own satisfaction. I also receive validation and a sense of satisfaction when feelings are shared through responsiveness to my images.

Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
I was reminded that there are so many more ways we are alike than we are different. This experience made keenly aware of how small our World is and how much we share in humanity.

Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
The first was probably the Weston Figure Workshop, and most recently attending the Advanced “Your Creative Vision” class for the last five years.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
I have to say that Photoshop is the one “piece of equipment” I use to produce each of my images. And it plays a big part in bringing my creative vision to fruition

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
I find the facial expressions of vitality in each image ties them together

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Remember that Photography is an experience of art that, like a painting, evokes feelings. Painters have to first obtain the tools and techniques before they can produce paintings with feelings. So learn the techniques needed and then let your feelings take over.

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
I continue to take the “Creative Vision” class which challenges me to produce a new project each year.

What's your favorite color?
Sky Blue

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See his work at our First Tuesday Art Opening on July 5th from 5:30-7:00pm. Learn More: HERE.

Pinelopi is our student of the month for June, 2016. Her live documentary work utilize strong/bold lighting, colors and lines. There is a sense of energy and grandeur to her work that excites rather than slows down, calling the viewer to experience the performer not contemplate the photograph. Come see her work through June.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Pinelopi Athanasopoulos Darras to hear about her work and what inspires her:

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If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Majestic

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
I have so many favorites from my own photos as well as other artists that it's very difficult to separate just one out of a bunch. Each one has its own reasons of becoming a favorite, that being a feeling it portrays, elaborate colors, perspective and the list can go on..

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
Inspiration for me comes from life itself! Around us there is such beauty, even in an abandoned building... in each one of us an interpretation of how we perceive what time leaves behind. If I could put in a blender colors that contrast, feelings, textures and moments, that would be my recipe for a cocktail called inspiration!

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Obviously to fulfill my own curiosities and creative outbursts at first. Secondary for everyone else. I won't lie, I do enjoy the attention and emotions my images bring to people. Especially when it's a heirloom piece of a moment that would be cherished for times to come.

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Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
How fun it is to let go of the daily stresses of life and just be lost right there, in the moment of capture and creation of an image itself! It's a thrill when I look through that viewfinder and see a moment happening , especially when you can't recreate it, like a live event for example. And when I have that " money shot" that itself is the reward.

Was there a class, instructor, Pro Talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
I've always been a photographer at heart but when I met Mark Comon on Christmas, 2013 and saw all the great trips and classes he offers, that was very exciting! Along the way he not only helped me understand equipment better but has also become a friend and that's also important. Meeting people you can click with along the way. One of my favorite classes with him was the artistic nudes course. It opens up perspective of composition and playing with natural light along with the beautiful figures of the female body.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
I really love my 24-70mm 2.8 Nikon lens for my D800 camera. When I'm on the go and don't want to carry heavy equipment with me, I have a Sony a6000 mirrorless camera that works pretty amazingly!

image (3)What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
These are very famous artists in the Greek musical scene as well artist from the United States with global recognition. The fact that I was able to see and create portraits and images of them looking majestic, bold and grand in what they do best, complimented with bold colors I think would be it.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Don't run and buy expensive equipment if you are just starting. Understand the theories behind photography, learn the gear you already have and in the future invest in good lenses. The crystal is where all the difference is made. Educate yourself and photography doesn't end after creating the image, but after you are done with all your final touches through editing.(highlights, shadows, sharpness, blur,color etc).

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
I have many projects I have in mind for the future but as of the near future, I am covering a live concert at the Hard Rock Casino in Las Vegas, June 4th,2016 for the North American Tour "Os to xeimerwma" of Giorgos Tsalikis & Eleutheria Eleutheriou, brought by PowerMuse Production.

What's your favorite color?
White & Blue all day!

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See her work at our First Tuesday Art Opening on June 7th from 5:30-7:00pm. Learn More: HERE.

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Big Photo Month Celebration 2016

May 23           Mon    NIK Software workshop     $99     6:30 pm
May 24           Tue     Mastering Manual Mode Class     $49     7 pm
May 26           Thu     Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich     $49     7 pm
May 30           Mon    Memorial Day Holiday     Closed
June 5            Sun    1st annual Flower Foto Fest     $99     9am -4pm

Jennifer is our student of the month for May, 2016. Her documentry/travel photographs have strong formal qualities with leading lines, repeated patterns and interesting vanishing points. Her use of color is somber and muted. Her photographs elicit a similar feeling for me as Cartier Bresson's where I am witnessing a split second that holds for an eternity, the almost and not yet... Come see her work through April.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Jennifer Morrison to hear about her work and what inspires her:

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If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Wanderlust

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
I love the lighting and feel of Ansel Adams North Court Arches.

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
I love black and white photos, so I have found a lot of inspiration through Ansel Adams.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Myself. To give me something to document my travels and keep me inspired to keep traveling.

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Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
I used to think that editing photos was cheating, but I've come to the realization that I enjoy adding filters and different edits that make the pictures all my own. Even if someone captured the same photo that I did, it wouldn't look exactly the same. I'm learning to have fun with editing.

Was there a class, instructor, pro talk or trip that really helped you connect with photography?
Boot Camp really helped me learn my camera and forced me to get out there and practice different techniques and take different types of photos.

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
They are all streetscape images taken in Germany.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Keep practicing and don't give up even when you start to get frustrated that your photos aren't turning out how you imagined them to.

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
I'm going to Peru in September, so maybe something to do with Manchu Michu or the local life there.

What's your favorite color?
Blue

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See her work at our First Tuesday Art Opening on May 3rd from 5:30-7:00pm. Learn More: HERE.

Dina is our student of the month for April, 2016. Her macro photographs have a calm familiarity combined with an engaging sense of discovery. I feel like I'm exploring the unknown through the known. From a compositional standpoint she has a great sense of color, utilization of bokeh and refreshing frankness of design. Come see her work through April.

We had an interview by Creative Photo Academy's Ryan Chambers with Dina Lauro to hear about her work and what inspires her:

If you could sum up this work in one word what would it be?
Colorful

Which photograph has meant the most to you?
They all mean a lot to me. I put so much thought, sometimes too much, into each one of them.

Where have you found inspiration photographically?
In my yard and on photo walks. I also like to look at other photographers work. Sometimes I'll see a picture and think, "Wow, I never thought to take that picture in that way or from that perspective". I learn from that.

Who do you feel like you were making this work for?
Me

Was there anything about yourself or something else that you discovered making these pictures?
If I think too much about how I'm going to take a picture, I affects my creativity. I just have to relax and let it happen.

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Was there a class, instructor, Pro Talk or Adventure that really helped you connect with photography?
Definitely Boot Camp! I originally took the class just so I could take better pictures of my kids. Then once I learned what my camera was capable of, I wanted to put that knowledge to the test and discover what I was able to do. I love the challenge. Also, Mark's infectious enthusiasm for photography pulled me in. I've learned that it's so much more than just taking a picture.

Is there a piece of equipment that you really love?
I love my 105mm macro lens. It's one of the first lenses I bought.

What thread do you feel ties these pictures together besides you taking them?
They are filled with so much detail. You see things that you can't see with the naked eye.

What is your advice to someone starting in photography?
Take Boot Camp! Also, just go outside and shoot. You can take all the classes you want but the real learning comes from taking as many pictures as you can. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. You will make lots of them. Then all of a sudden you take one photograph that makes you say, "Wow, I did that!". That's a good feeling.

Do you have any projects you're planning to do next?
My project is to improve myself as a photographer. I guess you can say that my project is never ending.

What's your favorite color?
Sage green! I have a large wall in my house painted this color. It's very relaxing to me.

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See her work at our First Tuesday Art Opening on April 5th from 5:30-7:00pm. Learn More: HERE.

We love Death Valley.

It's one of the most interesting landscapes a photographer can explore.

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But aside from the beautiful, stark qualities that accompany a normal exploration to Death Valley, there's something very special happening right now. Death Valley is experiencing a rare wildflower super bloom. The dessert landscape is carpeted by flowers. Super Blooms happen once about every ten years and it's caused by incredibly high rainfall (about 3 inches).

So unless you want to wait ten years, when you'll be.... nevermind, it's time to get out to the desert. If you want to learn more check our friends at the Daily Breeze's article, "Death Valley wildflower ‘super bloom’ may peak soon"

But if you do miss it, or Death Valley just isn't your thing, we're heading out to shoot the flowers in May. Join us on the Wildflower Photo Bus Tour to Antelope Valley in May.

 

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