Friday, September 25, 2015

Modern Techniques for Classical Printing with Emphasis on Luminosity Masks by Dan Anderson

Over the last few years there has been a constant evolution in the techniques available to photographers to use and wherever these new tools and techniques can be employed for increasing my own personal expression in my prints, I welcome and adopt them.

I will be showing several of these techniques that I now use including the use of luminosity masks and a layering technique to make images that I call timescapes.

I will also introduce a brand new method of making black and white images that doesn’t use any current method of conversion to black and white but rather exclusively uses luminosity masks as art objects themselves.

Daniel Anderson is a photographer whose ongoing personal work is primarily dedicated to the landscape in its many forms. For years he concentrated on the 8 x 10 view camera and techniques and methods perfected over years of hand processing and printing to create black and white images of exquisite artistry and sensitivity. Over the last decade, he has transitioned to a high end digital approach to image capture and printing resulting in increased control over the photographic process. 

He has photographed widely throughout the American West, Greece, Iceland, Italy, England, Scotland, Ireland and Antarctica. His work is primarily concerned with the natural scene and his camera has captured both the high drama of storms and vast panoramas as well as the delicacy of the intimate detail of the American Landscape. His work also includes a series of images of European Cathedrals and Abbeys and a series of Wisconsin barn interiors.

His work has been widely exhibited throughout the United States and Europe in numerous one-man exhibits and group shows. His work is included in many public and private collections. He currently has gallery representation in Ellison Bay and Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. He has written articles for Photo Techniques Magazine and other publications. 

Dan has studied with Ansel Adams and other contemporary masters of photography.
He has been an active teacher in photography, participating in many workshops throughout the United States. As founder of Wisconsin’s Door County Creative Photography Workshops, Dan has offered darkroom printing and other workshops to hundreds of students since 1984. In 2004, he began offering workshops in fine art digital printing.  He is also on the faculty of Door County’s Peninsula Art School and has served as a consultant and product beta-tester for several photographic paper companies.

Webpage:  Daniel Anderson Photography - Home page
Facebook:  Daniel Anderson Photography

Dan will be presenting at CAPS- Chicago Area Photographic School on Saturday and Sunday, November 21st and 22nd.  For the CAPS website go to:  Home

To register for CAPS go to: Chicago Area Photographic School (CAPS) 2015 - RegOnline 

Friday, September 18, 2015

How to Plan Your Own Do-It-Yourself Photo Safari by Matt Sparapani and Alison Newberry

Do you ever look at an advertisement for one of those fabulous photo safaris in Africa and think, “That sounds incredible, but I can’t afford that” or “Someday I will do that, but that’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip”? Our philosophy is carpe diem: seize the opportunity and go now. How you ask? By planning your own do-it-yourself photo safari.

As teachers, the three things we love best are June, July and August. Summer is the time of year we get to travel, hike and photograph nature, so we do our best to take advantage of our time off. Many people we talk to say they would love to travel more but feel they can’t afford it. Our answer to that is “Do It Yourself!” With a little bit of research and advanced planning, you can build your own independent photo adventure. You’ll lose the crowds and escape the pre-set schedule of an organized tour. Plan an itinerary that suits your interests and gain the freedom to shoot as many zebra pictures as you want! Why pay someone else to guide you when you can do it yourself more affordably?

Our program will take you through our process of planning great photography trips, from researching potential destinations to booking transportation and locating local outfitters. We will tell you about self-driving safaris in South Africa, Namibia and Iceland, supported trekking adventures in the mountains of India and Peru, as well as some fantastic drivable destinations right here in the US. 

Topics Covered in Program:
  • Thought process involved in planning a do-it-yourself photo safari
  • Timeline and resources available
  • Important considerations:  budget, time, permits, visas, physicl limitations, desired activities, prime times of yer to visit, etc.
  • Lodging, food and transportation options
  • Challenges and rewards of do-it-yourself travel
  • Creative ways to document your adventure

Bio: About Matt & Alison

Matt and Alison discovered their passion for travel (and each other!) while living in Italy nearly 20 years ago.  As newlyweds they discovered a mutual love of nature photography at an Audubon Society workshop in Main.  since then, they have combined travel and photography with a variety of outdoor activities.  From trekking in Nepal to safari in Africa, from backpacking in Patagonia to canoeing in the Boundary Waters, the camera has served as a constant reminder to pause and savor the subtle beauty of nature.  As one of their favorite bands sings, "You get to know things better when they go by slow!"

While not on the road, Matt and Alison reside in Chicago.  Matt teaches Latin, Greek and Ancient History at a private high school, while Alison teaches computer at a K-8 public school.  They have been active members of Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society for the past 10 years which they credit for helping them hone their skills.  You can see Matt and Alison's photography and follow their adventures on their blog, Take a Hike Photography ( Matt and Alison are also contributors to Sidewalk, a new curated online hiking magazine that helps readers discover and plan amazing hiking adventures (

Matt and Alison will be speaking at CAPS- Chicago Area Photographic School on Sunday, November 22nd.
Check out the CAPS homepage at: Home
To Register for CAPS go to: Chicago Area Photographic School (CAPS) 2015 - RegOnline

Friday, September 11, 2015

Optimizing Images for Presentation by Bob Benson

We all have this same problem when evaluating our images: 

We can easily judge others works for flaws (perhaps too readily sometimes), but are blind to our own transgressions. How many times do you find yourself looking at a recent image, and jumping into it, eager to make software improvements before printing or sending it off to the web? Perhaps you remember the magic of the moment of the shutter click, or you are over whelmed by the beauty or uniqueness of the image in front of you. But did you see those little (and sometimes big) improvements or corrections that should be made first?

At my CAPS class, I will talk about the approach I try to use to prevent the above scenario. (It is hard to break habits, and like most people, sometimes fail at my own advice.) I am not talking about understanding the camera functions, or good composition; these are learned processes that are needed to start the digital process not covered here. I plan on discussing not only the approach to breaking the cycle of evaluating the finished results, but by process of examples, show some software techniques to improve the images that have worked for me in the past. No one person’s process flow covers the best for everyone by any means, but hopefully by showing these examples you can get revved up to the next level with your images, or find some technique that helps your process flow.

Below is an example of a before and after that I will show the steps I used to make the final image.

Bob Benson, APSA, is active in CACCA as a current board member and former president. He co-founded the first all digital camera club in the area thirteen years ago. He is also active in PSA as the chair of the international Inter-club Competition for Pictorial Image Division, and writes a regular column for the Journal on Lightroom.  He has received the Charles Stinson and Wanda Christl awards for his local contributions to photography. He started with version 3.0 of Photoshop, and he is still learning all its intricacies.

CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School will be on November 21st and 22nd at Elgin Community College.  Check out the Caps homepage at:  Home

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Using One Light to Get Big Results by Craig Brandt

I’m excited about being back at CAPS Midwest this year. I met and was able to help a great bunch of folks at last year’s CAPS event and I’m looking forward to working with all of you again.

So why only one light? Well, that’s because almost everyone has at least on light source or strobe with their camera. You don’t need to use a ton of expensive equipment and strobes to make a great image. So let’s see what I mean by looking at this example of an image made with only one Nikon flash unit….

In this portrait you can see our subject is dramatically lit with nice, soft, warm light. This image was made with a common flash unit you can pick up at your favorite camera or local electronics store. My goal for this workshop is to give everyone that attends the knowledge and insight to make great images with their cameras and strobes. So what will you learn if you attend this workshop?

      1)     That learning to make your own light is the single most important skill to improving your photography.
      2)     You’ll learn about the characteristics of light and why it behaves the way that it does.
      3)     You’ll learn to control light sources and understand their effects on your images.
      4)     You will learn how to use your gear or make a modest investment to make unique images that separate your photos from the masses.
      5)     The Workshop will consist of theory, examples from my workload to demonstrate that theory, and finally a “hands on” demonstration on how to make it all happen.

Here’s  a few more examples of what you can do with only one flash as your light source:

I look forward to meeting all of you and spending a great couple of days at this years CAPS Midwest. In the meantime, if you want to dive into a little bit more you can check out my business website at:

Thanks again and see you all there!

A photo generalist by nature, Craig’s workload covers a broad base of subject matter and clients. It currently consists of images for local newsprint publications, corporate brochures / advertising, magazines, and editorial work for the international newswire service Penta Press. His images can routinely be seen in local media publications and fine art exhibits. His first book "Sailing by the Belle" released in the fall of 2010 chronicled the sport of competitive sailing along the coast of Racine, Wisconsin and included images from his coverage of several national regattas. His second book, "For the Sake of Light" released in the spring of 2012 is an in-depth look at the use of light in photography and includes images from Craig’s work across the country as a freelance photographer. He is known for his use of creative lighting techniques and the unique perspective he brings to his images.

Craig will be presenting his program on Saturday, November 21st.

CAPS-Chicago Area Photographic School will be on November 21st and 22nd at Elgin Community College.  Check out the Caps homepage at:  Home