Exciting Fall Photo Events

Summer’s over and we’re all getting back to our normal routines but that doesn’t mean the fun is over. Keep the fun in your photography by learning new skills and exploring the photo community for inspiration and support.

Here are some fantastic ways to do just that. Each month offers us an exciting and unique photo event to enjoy, some local, some in New York but all are worth a look.


Drawing The Viewer In - Characteristics of Great Photos

When you look at a really good photograph, whether it’s a nice portrait shot or a beautiful landscape, something inside you gets excited and you almost intuitively know it’s great. But have you ever wondered how we know? Why do we like some photos and are unimpressed by others?

When it comes to great photographs, there are a few things in common whether you consciously realize it or not. So what are the common threads between these photos? And how can you incorporate these ideas into your own work? Here is a short list of what elevates a photograph from being just ‘okay’ to something that inspires and moves your viewer.



The complete list of ALL blog articles with links.


Photography Books For A Great Summer Read

August gives us one more month of summertime! What better way to chill out than spending a lazy afternoon at the beach or poolside with a great photography book.

Here are some of our favorites. Whether you’re an amateur or professional, photograph people or landscapes, we hope you find some of these books helpful and even inspiring.


Summer Camera Care

It’s summertime and we all want to photograph our family playtime, our vacations and our gatherings with friends.

Here are a few tips to keep your camera working well capturing all the fun throughout the season.


An 8 Step Photo Workflow

In terms of photography, a workflow is a way of working which encompasses setting up your camera, taking photos, downloading and saving them in a safe place, editing and exporting them for their final use. The idea behind a workflow is creating a simple and standardized way to work to minimize mistakes and utilize your time better.

This 8 step workflow list can help you create or improve your own workflow.


Seeing in Black and White

With digital cameras everywhere today, it is easy to capture vivid color images, yet black and white images are stil relevant in our color world.  When you remove color from an image, the viewer is forced to focus on the shapes, lines and lighting in the image. 

When I am out photographing, I like to look for interesting shadows, textures and patterns that would make great B&W photos.  When you start to train your eyes to look past the color of things and instead focus on their shape, you’ll be on your way to “seeing in B&W.” You will discover that subjects that you would normally pass over due to their unpleasing or distracting colors can make an effective B&W image.


Swipes, Swirls and Zooms For Creative Captures

I don’t remember exactly who I learned the technique of swipes and zooms from but I’ll never forget how much fun it was when I first tried it!  To this day I still look for ways to use this technique to mix things up and to exercise the creative side of my brain.   

In a nutshell, you use a long exposure and move your camera or lens while exposing for a very creative and abstract looking image. Read on for all the details. 


Instructor’s Favorites For Spring Shooting

Whether it’s people, wildlife, flowers, landscapes or cityscapes, nothing beats photographing on a beautiful spring day! Read what our instructors like most about spring shooting then dust off your camera and get shooting!


Tips For Shooting Sports

Capturing the fast action of sports is fun and exciting. With the spring season here we’ll find soccer, lacrosse, field hockey and other sports on the field so it’s the perfect time to grab your camera and head to a nearby practice or game.

For the most compelling sports images we need to control the brightness with our exposure settings, control the sharpness with our focusing settings and frame the action with exciting compositions.

Here are a few tips that we hope will help.


Better Photographs Are Made By YOU

If you’ve ever been shooting in the field with a good instructor, you’ve probably heard them ask “why are you making this photograph”. This question begs an answer more substantial than a simple description of what’s in front of your camera.  Answering is a good way to get you thinking more about the intention of the image rather than just the subject matter. Capturing your intention is the key to making better photographs.


Waterfowl In Winter

The tundra swans on the Chesapeake Bay are one of those winter marvels that fascinate me. In fact, wintertime is my favorite time for birding and bird photography. The birds are plentiful and are larger than the tiny warblers that migrate through in spring time.

While I await for the bird migration season to begin and in particular, the thousands of Snow geese that arrive at Middle Creek, Pennsylvania, I decided to see what I could find closer to home.


Photo Challenges for 2017

One of the best ways to get you excited about photographing again or get your creative juices flowing is by participating in a photo challenge. A photo challenge is a thought out list of assignments for you to photograph that can either last a week, a month or even the entire year!

We’ve rounded up a few of our favorite websites dedicated to challenges along with some simple and fun photo projects that will inspire and excite you.


Fun with Holiday Lights

At no other time of the year do we have so many opportunities to capture Holiday scenes with colorful twinkling lights and holiday bling.

A few helpful tips to help add some sparkle to your Holiday captures.


Nature Visions 2016

It’s that time of year again, the annual Nature Visions Photo Expo is just around the corner on November 18 - 20, 2016. Held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Nature Visions offers the best value in photography education and we’re happy to support it!

Held at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Nature Visions features two full days of lectures by noted photographers, preceded by a full-day seminar on Friday by an internationally known photographer and teacher. Novice and advanced photographers alike have the opportunity to learn from these experts.

Stop by the vendor tables and talk with representatives from leading manufacturers who can help with technical questions and showcase (and sell) the latest in photographic equipment and supplies.  Another popular activity offered is the chance to photograph hawks and owls. Thanks to the Raptor Conservancy of Virginia, photographers can focus their cameras on these magnificent wild birds in a natural setting just outside the Hylton Center.