Thursday, October 30, 2014

CAP Announces 2014 Edition of the Tops in Connecticut Competition

CAP Announces 2014 Edition of the Tops in Connecticut Competition

The Connecticut Association of Photographers is pleased to announced the 2014 edition of Tops in Photography, a photography competition for individuals. This competition is open to all photographers resident in Connecticut as well as members of Connecticut camera clubs. The photographs will be juried by three qualified judges. We plan to select approximately 100 images which will be organized into the Tops in Connecticut 2014 program to be shown at the Annual CAP Dinner planed for Saturday, April 18, 2015.

  • Deadline for entering: Monday, November 3, 2014
  • Entry fee for up to 6 digital images: $8.00
  • Judging: Saturday afternoon, November 15, 2014, at the Whitney Center in Hamden, CT
  • Awards: eleven awards will be selected including a Best in Show award, awards for best in a selection of different categories, and three judge's choice awards
Click to download a copy of the complete rules and an entry form.
If you have additional questions please e-mail them to

Read in browser »

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Photography as Meditation: Tap Into the Source of Your Creativity Paperback

Photography as Meditation: Tap Into the Source of Your Creativity Paperback

Photography as Meditation

For many people, photography serves as a form of meditation; a way to separate themselves from their stressful lives. In this book, Torsten Andreas Hoffmann explores an approach to artistic photography based on Japanese Zen-Philosophy. Meditation and photography have much in common: both are based in the present moment, both require complete focus, and both are most successful when the mind is free from distracting thoughts. Hoffman shows how meditation can lead to the source of inspiration.

Hoffman's impressive images of landscapes, cities, people, and nature, as well as his smart image analysis and suggestions about the artistic process, will help you understand this approach to photography without abandoning the principles of design necessary to achieve great images. Photographing busy scenes, especially, requires an inner calm that enables you to have intuition for the right moment and compose a well-balanced image amidst the chaos.

The goal of this book is to develop your photographic expression. It provides enrichment for photographers who believe that only technical mastery produces great images and shows how important it is to engage with your own awareness to act creatively.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Photography Equipment Sale

Photography Equipment Sale

Past CPPA and PVPA member is closing the studio and selling all equipment. Sale on Sat.,  Nov. 8, 2014 at 177 Hopkins Place, Longmeadow, Ma. from 9:00am to 2:00pm. (

Studio lighting equipment includes: 5 foot x 6 foot light box powered by Speedotron; Lumedyne and  Quantum QFlash; Novatron 420 VR with four heads;  Smith Victors; and  Vivitars.

Large selection of umbrellas; stands; tripods; camera brackets; paper, cloth, canvas backdrops; reflectors; meters; portable backdrop stand; frames; book collection; and many smaller items. 

Camera equipment (all film):
 RB 67 has the following lenses: 65mm: 180mm; 90mm; 2X tele converter.
1) three 120 film backs
2) a Polaroid back
3) two viewing systems and a sport attachment system
4) seven –two sided plate film containers; misc. attachments.
Two Pentax 645 bodies with:
1) two 120 backs and two 220 backs;
2) lenses are 45mm, 135mm, 200mm, and 80-160 mm zoom.

There is a refrigerator full of 120 film, both color and black and white which will be given to purchasers of the medium format cameras.

Several Minolta bodies with a large assortment of lenses.

The darkroom is available for free and has the following:
1) sink is 30” wide by 8 foot long and includes drying racks for prints and the backdrop includes a complete water system including a water filter; and connects to the water lines using flexible hoses: the size permits the processing of 16x20 prints;
2) the print washer is 20” high by 26 “ wide and will wash 10 prints at a time and has a flexible hose from the sink backdrop for its water supply and a drain hose to the sink:
3) the film drying case is 13”x13”x64” tall and has a built in fan:
4) there is a Beselar Dual Dichro 23C  enlarger with stand:
5) a film viewing box is built into a cabinet:
6) a contact printer with multiple exposure options will print up to 8”x10’ negatives;
7) there is a Solar 4x5 printer but was never used;
8) abundance of trays (up to 16”x20”), timers, etc.

 Obviously the space for the darkroom must be large enough to fit the sink into it. At this point the darkroom must go as a complete unit. I realize that it will be quite a job to move the darkroom, especially the sink which will need to be partially dismantled and re-assembled. There is a refrigerator full of black and white print paper which comes with the darkroom. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Predicting Dramatic Sunsets

Predicting Dramatic Sunsets

"I am sure you wish there was some magic formula that could tell you exactly the night for photographing a beautiful sunset? It’s not that easy, but hopefully we can discover some ways to increase your odds."

"A website such as will give you a detailed hourly report for key factors: cloud cover, air quality, humidity, and wind speed."

look for:
  • Mid to high level clouds
  • 30 to 70 percent cloud coverage
  • Clean air
  • Lower humidity
  • Calm winds

"sometimes the afterglow of the sunset, which can occur 15 to 20 minutes after the sun goes behind the horizon, can be much more spectacular than the actual sunset."

If you want some tips for shooting the great sunset you’ve found try: 8 Simple Guidelines for Capturing Spectacular Sunrise and Sunset Images

Read the entire article here: Predicting Dramatic Sunsets

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Photographic Competitions

A follow up to yesterday's post../

Photographic Competitions 

by Alain Briot

"There is a relationship between photographic critiques and photographic competitions, one that fosters interesting and worthwhile remarks.  There is also a relationship between vision and competition.  Just like a print review is a way to find out where you are at in regards to developing your vision, a print competition is a way to gage how far along you are in regards to expressing your vision and making it visible to others."

"Many remarks I made in my previous essay about critiquing photographs apply to photographic competitions.  These include the difference between facts and opinions, the importance of lighting, critiquing images on screen and in print and many more. Because of that I will not repeat any of these comments here preferring to refer you to How to Critique Photographs Constructively."

"What is a photographic competition?"

"A photographic competition is an event in which photographs are entered in order to be evaluated and given a score by judges.  After scoring is completed, entrants are ranked according to their score, with the highest score being first, the lowest score being last and all the other scores placed somewhere between these two extremes.  "

"Photographic competitions fall under the heading of art competitions.  Art competitions are organized for all art mediums, not just photography."

"The goal of these competitions is to find out which entries are the best.  While this intent is commendable the outcome is often less so because of the inevitable shortcomings that befall art competitions.  One of the goals of this essay is to point out what those shortcomings are."

About Alain Briot

I create fine art photographs, teach workshops and offer DVD tutorials on composition, image conversion, optimization, printing and marketing.  I am the author of Mastering Landscape PhotographyMastering Photographic Composition, Creativity and Personal Style, Marketing Fine Art Photography and How Photographs are sold.  All 4 books are available in eBook format on my website at this link

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How to Critique Photographs Constructively

An interesting article on Image Reviews...

How to Critique Photographs Constructively

by Alain Briot

"Critiquing is not criticizing"

"Personally, I see a difference between critiquing and criticizing a photograph, or any work of art for that matter. For me critiquing means looking at the work for the purpose of finding out the strong and weak points of the work.  On the other hand criticizing means taking a critical look at the work for the purpose of expressing a personal opinion.  While there is a gray area between the two, I view the former as constructive and the later as destructive."

"Critique technical and artistic aspects separately"

"Technical aspects include focus, sharpness, exposure, processing, optimizing, cropping, collaging, HDR, printing and other technical aspects."

"Artistic aspects includes composition, light quality, color palette, facture, presence or absence of a recognizable personal style across a collection of images, creativity, motivation and other artistic aspects."

"Be factual, not opinionated"

"The reviewer’s behavior is just as important as the reviewers’ knowledge.  As the old adage says, no one cares about how much you know until they know how much you care."

"Make your critique factual, not opinionated. An example of a fact-based critique is: ‘this print is blurry because the camera was used handheld and the shutter speed was too slow.’  Sharpness is a verifiable fact and if the photographer wanted to create a sharp image there is something wrong with the resulting photograph. "

"An example of an opinion-based critique is: ‘I don’t like blue so I suggest you change the color of the image to a warm tone.’  Color choice is matter of personal taste and if the photographer chose that color intentionally there is nothing wrong with this decision."

"Keep your opinions about art to yourself"

:You don’t have to like a specific photograph in order to make meaningful comments about it.  You may not want to hang this photograph in your living room, however that doesn’t mean it is devoid of qualities.  Point to what works and what does not work in the photograph in regards to artistic and technical aspects and keep your personal taste in art private."

Read the rest here:

 Alain Briot. You can find more information about his work, writings and tutorials on his my website at

Friday, October 24, 2014

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Saturday, November 22, 2014, from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Scarborough High School Auditorium, 11 Municipal Drive, Scarborough, Maine

Three horses image by Rick Sammon

Saturday, November 22, 2014, from 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM
Scarborough High School Auditorium, 11 Municipal Drive, Scarborough, Maine
For directions, click here: Google Maps

In this informative and fun-filled presentation, Rick Sammon will begin by sharing his people, wildlife, landscape and travel pictures from around the globe - illustrating the difference between taking pictures and making pictures. For every image, Rick will share a photographic technique, digital darkroom tip, or a photo philosophy.

This is not just a slide show of pretty images. Rick is here to share what he's learned over his many years as a professional photographer - travelling to almost 100 countries.

In "Exploring the Light," Rick will cover:
  • Composition, the strongest way of seeing
  • Light, the main element in every photograph
  • HDR, when it good and when it's bad
  • Lightroom and Photoshop tips, tricks and techniques
  • Awaken the artist within with plug-ins
  • Noise reduction
  • Travel photography
  • Photographing action
  • Landscape, seascape and icescape photography
  • Black and white photography
  • Shooting on a photo safari
  • What a histogram tells us
  • Wildlife photography
  • Speedlites and lighting
  • Getting and staying motivated
  • Inspiration
  • And more!

There will be an hour for lunch and two 15 minute breaks.  Click here for a list of restaurants located within 5 minutes of Scarborough High School where you can find a quick lunch. Attendees may also bring their own lunch and snacks.

Rick Sammon enjoys sharing his photographs and providing practical how-to advice to a wide audience of photo enthusiasts. In recognition of his talent and influence, Rick has been named a Canon Explorer of Light.
Rick started his professional photography career as an underwater photographer, then transitioned into travel, landscape, wildlife, cultural and nature photography.
Rick's images have been published in many magazines and in his 36 books, including Rick Sammon's Exploring the Light,and 11 apps including Rick Sammon's 24/7 Photo Buffet.  Rick also writes the "Quick Fix" column for Digital Photo Magazine. Rick was also named one of the Top 100 Travel Photographers of the Year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Top 20 Best HDR Software Review 2014

Top 20 Best HDR Software Review 2014

Top 20 Best HDR Software Review 2014 175x175 Top 20 Best HDR Software Review 2014"October 2014 Review – This is a review of the top 20 best HDR software used for creating high dynamic range (HDR) photographs. I’ve been meaning to update this software list for a while. I would have gotten the HDR software list done sooner but it just kept on growing! But eventually I got around to just sitting down and doing it before a new HDR program pops out of no where."

Listed below for review, in alphabetical order, are the top 20bestHDR software for 2014. I downloaded and installed each HDR program to find out which software is the best.
  1. Canon Digital Photo Professional (2 Stars)
  2. Dynamic-Photo HDR 5 (3 Stars)
  3. EasyHDR (4 Stars)
  4. Essential HDR (2 Stars)
  5. Full Dynamic Range Tool (2 Stars)
  6. Fusion (2 Stars)
  7. HDR Darkroom 3 Pro (4 Stars)
  8. HDR Efex Pro (3 Stars)
  9. HDR Expose 3 (3 Stars)
  10. HDR Projects 2 (3 Stars)
  11. LR Enfuse for Lightroom (1 Star)
  12. Luminance HDR (3 Stars)
  13. Machinery HDR (3 Stars)
  14. Oloneo HDR (4 Stars)
  15. Photomatix Pro (5 Stars)
  16. PaintShop Pro X6 Ultimate (3 Stars)
  17. Photoshop CC – Merge to HDR Pro (1 Star)
  18. PhotoStudio (1 Star)
  19. Picturenaut (3 Stars)
  20. SNS-HDR (5 Stars)

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

f11 is a FREE digital magazine

f11 is a FREE digital magazine. Presented in a page flip format, the magazine is published eleven times each year.

Read by tens of thousands all over the world, f11 is for professional and enthusiast photographers, designers and creative people working with images, as well as buyers and collectors of photography.

Each issue is also available for download as a PDF file.