Overexpose on Purpose


I enjoy overexposing some images on purpose.  You get a light, airy look.  Keep in mind the scene should be on the light side to begin with. A dark room overexposed would not be pretty!  f/9 @ 1/100 for slight blur

_MG_0113            _MG_0097-radial-Edit

Overexposed shots work very well when adding textures and other effects.  With a Multiply blend mode you will knock out the white and leave your subject clean. In this one I cropped and also added a radial blur.  With the image light to begin with, the effect doesn’t get overly dark.


Landscapes on an overcast day can benefit from overexposing too.



White subjects against a blue sky and clouds are nice too.


Plan a Project


Charleston garage doors


Charleston doors missing steps!

The Old Schoolhouse

Door of old schoolhouse providing light for my subject.

We all have favorite subjects but sometimes still get in a rut.  One way to lift yourself up and get excited about your photography is to plan a project around your favorite subjects. You can plan a book or exhibit or calendar using all those images.

I love photographing doors and windows, especially in historic buildings.  This collage includes doors found in downtown Raleigh.  I made them into a poster.

Doors of Raleigh

You certainly don’t have to do doors, but they can be great fun. They are full of texture, interesting shapes and color too.

And planning a project can be very motivating!

Mirror Images

Open image you want to mirror

Crop as desired – I try to use easy numbers like 4×6 for the math!

Image > Canvas Size > put in the height or width that you are doubling depending on whether a vertical or horizontal shot – for instance, if you have a horizontal 4×6, then put 6 in the width and click on the left or right pointer in the center row of the position tool.  I use white for the extension color but it does not really matter as you will fill that in.



Photoshop will add extra space below the image in this case.


Click in the white space to select.

Ctrl/Cmd Shift I to inverse and select the bridge photo.

Ctrl/Cmd J to put a copy of the bridge on another layer.

Drag the new image to the white area.

Edit > Transform > Flip Vertically.


You can also flip both layers vertically again to get a different look.

On the layer with the white, use Magic Wand W to select the white and delete those pixels with Ctrl/Cmd X.

If you have trouble with the background layer, double click the lock to make it editable.



Start Your New Year Right!

I love designing and sending greeting cards.  An easy way to let someone know you  care is to send a greeting card.  Start your new year off right by committing to send a card a week.  People love getting cards and it’s so easy.  You can buy greeting card stock online or in some office supply stores.  I purchase from Red River Paper. They have so many different finishes and sizes that suit most any photo.  Share yourself and your work!

Wishing you all a wonderful  and creative 2018



“New Dawn, New Year”


Beautiful Abstracts



Final abstract

You can use this technique on a lot of different photographs with beautiful results. I’ve posted before, but worth repeating. Start your new year off right with fun and creativity!



1. Choose an image that has symmetry for best results and a defined center.

2. Crop the image to a square format, ie. 6”x6”

3. Make a copy of the Background Layer by selecting it and clicking Ctrl/Cmd J.

4. On duplicate layer – Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Polar to Rectangular

5. On duplicate Layer > Edit > Transform > Rotate 180 degrees

6. On duplicate Layer >Filter > Distort > Polar Coordinates > Rectangular to Polar

7. On Layers palette, click the dropdown and select Flatten Layers.



2018 Photo Walks

_1040448 watercolor

For anyone who lives in the Raleigh area I teach at the JC Raulston Arboretum and the 2018 Photo Walks have just opened for  registration.

Next year 3 of them are indoor workshops and the other 9 are part lecture, part shooting in the garden.

Here is the complete listing with times and costs – limit 12 attendees each.

Register at:  http://www.jcra.ncsu.edu      Events – Calendar   

Go to the month you want and register.


JC Raulston Arboretum

Photo Walks 2018

Thursday, January 18   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Black and White

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: any camera including the iPhone that has a way to set black and white

Any lens

We will explore the possibilities in the winter garden during this session using black and white.

Thursday, February 15   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers I

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

We have 3 sessions on indoor photography of flowers and other natural subjects this year. Each class will cover a unique area of indoor photography. This first class will cover some basics and emphasize setting up simple subjects and a variety of backgrounds. A macro lens is suggested but you can use other lenses. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, March 15   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Wide angle

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with wide angle lens.

You can do this class with a smartphone but a DSLR is recommended with a wide angle lens for best results. You will find new perspectives for your photographs.

Thursday, April 19   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Backgrounds

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Camera and lens in the 35mm – 135mm range. Smartphone can be used.

Tripod recommended.

Your subject is very important, but this class will emphasize making the background work for you too.

Thursday, May 17   2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Macro

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro lens or the ability to focus close and tripod

A long lens option will be explained if you do not have close-up equipment:

Exploring the close-up world in the garden is an exciting experience and you can achieve strong compositions and fun abstracts.

Thursday, June 21   10am – 11:30am

Topic: Composition   

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera DSLR preferred but can use a smartphone, macro or normal lens – zooms okay

Tripod recommended

This class will expand on the traditional ideas of composition as you really work with each subject beyond the standard “snapshot”.

Thursday, July 19        10am – 11:30am

Topic: Lighting

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with macro or normal lens, tripod

Optional: white foamcore or reflector and diffuser – some will be available

Lighting is the center of the photographic experience and this short class will introduce some easy controls to greatly improve your flower photographs.

Thursday, August 16   10am – 12pm

Topic: Indoor Flowers II

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This class will emphasize a variety of lighting ideas for indoor flower photography. A macro lens is great but not required. A tripod is highly recommended.

Thursday, September 20      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Color 

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones.

Tripod recommended.

It may seem obvious to think about color when photographing in a garden setting. However, thoughtful consideration of the colors before pressing the shutter button will lead to better images. We will discuss monochromatic color schemes, interaction between certain colors to set a mood along with the impact of certain colors.

Thursday, October 18    2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Textures

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: Any camera and lens including smartphones can be used.

Tripod recommended.

We will search out various textures in the garden and notice how the light accents or diffuses the texture of different plants.

Thursday, November 15      2pm – 3:30pm

Topic: Depth of Field

Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members

What to bring: camera with adjustable settings, ISO, aperture, shutter

Tripod encouraged

If you usually use Automatic or Program modes, you will especially enjoy this class. You will learn how to get sharp focus… and how to control areas you want to soften too.

Thursday, December 12   2pm – 4pm

Topic: Indoor Macro

Cost: $20  members, $30 non-members

This is 3rd in the series of indoor classes.  Various subjects will be available in addition to flowers. A variety of surfaces for your subjects will be discussed and provided for the hands on portion.  A tripod is highly recommended.