Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

I wish you all a very Happy and Healthy New Year

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas

I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a healthy and happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

HDRSpotting just got an up-grade. . .

You may just want to check out this site. To be honest, I used to post images on HDRSpotting some time ago.  It was a bit primitive.  Now Trey and his group have made some great improvement. It is free and if you want a Pro level membership, there is a cost of $3.97/month. You can find it here.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Topaz offers a great money saving deal. . .

 There's only 2 days left to save 30% on the NEW Detail™ 3 and ALL other Topaz programs! Featuring the most comprehensive detail enhancement technology, a boost in processing speed, an edge-aware masking brush and an updated interface with new presets, it is easier than ever to create high-impact images with beautiful definition and clarity. Get it now for 30% off (only $27.99) and get incomparable detail control!
Just enter the code "MoreDetail" when purchasing (valid through 12/16/12). Interested in purchasing other Topaz programs? You can use this 30% discount code for the Bundle, Bundle upgrades and ALL individual programs!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Help-Portrait tomorrow. . .

Tomorrow, our Princeton chapter of Help-Portrait will take, print and frame 70 plus individual and group portraits for those who could not normally afford or have access to a professional portrait. The total number of people will be somewhere around 200 guests. It's going to be great.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Topaz Labs Announces a free upgrade to "Detail"

A few days ago Topaz Labs announced that they will be releasing a free upgrade to existing users of their Detail software.  They will be announcing purchase details in a few weeks.
If you have read this blog for a while, you know that I love the Topaz products. As soon as I test drive it, I'll let you know what I think. It looks exciting.

Here are some of the new features:
* Ultimate Detail Control. Selectively control small, medium and large detail throughout your entire image or specifically target details found in shadow and highlight areas.
* Improved Performance. An enhanced workflow with faster processing speeds and the ability to handle larger images.
* New Presets Explore a variety of new presets that offer detail enhancement styles for every type of photographer and any type of image.
* Preset Collections. All of the presets are broken down into collections allowing you to take control of your preset workflow and organization. It also features the new ability to create your own collections.
* Effect Mask. Selectively brush detail in or out using the tools in the Effect Mask tab.
* Opacity Slider. Control the overall strength of your applied detail enhancements using the Opacity slider (located in the Effect Mask tab).
* Improved Toning Control. Achieve more natural and consistent tone throughout your image with the integration of the Topaz IntelliColor™ technology.
* Interactive Sliders. With the improved image processing speed you can now see your results instantly as you move the adjustment sliders.
* Split Screen. Get the perfect look every time using the 2-screen split view for easy before and after comparison.

Monday, December 3, 2012

This Week In Photo meets Creative Live

This week Frederick Van Johnson (TWIP) interviewed Chase Jarvis, one of the founders of Creative Live. Creative live offers free on-line courses. These courses cover many different subjects including photography,  software ,design, business and filmmaking taught by exports in their field. You view the show live in real time. If after that, you would like to own the class video, there is a fee.

I think you should at least check it out.

Friday, November 30, 2012

An exciting few days coming up. . .

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Today's picture was taken in Germany last year. This in the entrance to some kind of way out gallery.  Weird.

Anyway, tomorrow I'm doing a HDR workshop at Unique Photo in New Jersey. Sunday I'm helping out at a Meet-Up Photo walk in Princeton and Tuesday I'm giving my "Introduction to HDR Photography" presentation at B&H in New York for the 3rd time . Cool.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Brian Matiash makes a good case. . .

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I remember the first time I introduced myself as a photographer. I was giving an HDR workshop and the words just came out.  I surprised myself.  I wasn't hit with a bolt of lightening so I guess it's OK.

Brian, of On One software fame and a photographer, makes a good case for just that today as a guest on Scott Kelby's blog. It's worth a read.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A great suggestion I hope to follow

I listen to "This Week In Photo" every week. By the way, you should also. Anyway, Frederick Van Johnson was interviewing Trey Ratcliff about social media. Frederick asked Trey something about posting an image a day on his blog Trey explained his filling system for organizing the images he felt are good enough to be posted. One of my biggest problems with writing this blog is not things to talk about but in organizing my photos to post. How stupid am I. With this new system, I hope to do a lot more posting.
You can listen to the interview HERE.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Thank you Calumet Photo

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Things are getting back to the new normal after the storm a few weeks ago, at least in my area.  I know there are lots of people still hurting, badly. Some members of our local photo meet-up group maned a truck in the snow last week collection food, bottle water etc. for those at the Jersey shore.  The photos of that area and New York are heart breaking.  I wish them all the best.

Anyway, on Saturday I taught a class at Calumet Photo in Philadelphia. It was a small group, but we had a good time. I want to thank Calumet and the people that came. Lets do it again soon.

The photo above is a street scene in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Don't forget to vote

Today is the day. For those of you in the US, it's you're obligation to get out and vote.  I know there is going to be a lot of confusion in New Jersey and New York due to Sandy. Our polling place has been move several time as the electricity has come back on in town.  It's now on the Princeton University campus.
Find your polling place and VOTE

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just before the big storm hit...

Just before the big storm
It's been a rough few days here in New Jersey, USA. I guess you all at least heard about the hurricane that took out the electric for over 2,000,000 homes, including mine for 5 days. If you have seen any of the photos of the destruction, you'll see all the misery it caused to a lot of people. The prediction is for the possibility of another storm later this week. Oh my.

Well, I took this image in Philadelphia last week-end just before the storm hit.  It's a 3 image HDR processed using HDR Efex Pro 2 and finished with some of the other NIK plug-ins.

A friend asked if I had taken any picture of the damage.  I don't have the heart to do that. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Over 35,000 views for my HDR presentation at B&H

I've given my "Introduction To HDR Photography" presentation at the B&H Photo Super Store in New York City twice now, with a 3rd coming up in Dec. The video of the first presentation is up on You Tube and has gotten over 35,000 views. You will not be able to see it on the screen, but there was a full house of over 80 people. How cool is that?  You can find it here.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Photoshop Elements 11 announced

I'm not an Elements user, I have used their trial version, but I can understand the cost differential between Elements and Photoshop. Photoshop is a program for all disciplines. More and more photographers in my classes ask me if Elements would work for them.  The first thing I ask is, "Are you using Lightroom?". I then go on to suggest that the combination of Lightroom and Elements would give them everything they need to produce outstanding images. Later, when they become more proficient, they can upgrade if they feel it necessary.
Matt Kloskowski , one of the NAPP Photoshop guys, has written a good review of Elements that I suggest you read.  You can find it here. You may have to scroll down a bit to find it.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

No matter what your politics. . .

Click image to view it larger
No matter what your politics are, my wife and I are going to meet Michelle Obama later today at a garden party in Princeton. No large cameras or long lenses allowed.  I'll do my best.
I took this picture at the inauguration in January of 2009 and plan to give it to her.  I hope the Secrete Service will allow it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Canon announces the Full-Frame EOS 6D DSLR

Canon Announces Its Smallest and Lightest Full-Frame Digital SLR Camera For Serious Photographers
The EOS 6D Digital SLR Camera Includes a New Full-Frame Sensor, Built-in Wireless and GPS.
It looks pretty interesting. You can read all about it at:

Friday, September 7, 2012

" A Week With Jay Maisel In Paris", finally!

Yesterday, Kelby Training released "A Week With Jay Maisel In Paris". If you're into street photography or photography in general, this is a must. I watched it yesterday and I'm sure I'll watch it again and again just like I did with " A Day With Jay Maisel" and "Another Day With Jay Maisel".
If you enter the discount code ANCJQ12 you can save 10% off the annual subscription.
It's wonderful.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

My #1 tip for HDR shooters. . .

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My #1 tip for any HDR shooter is this, "HDR is not a substitute for taking a good picture". So take good, interesting pictures. If you do, you're well on your way to making a great HDR image.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"Work the scene" - I always show this slide at my workshops

I took this series of shots while in New York City a few months ago. I must have taken these and 8 or 10 others from other locations. I never saw the red building until I started walking around to the other side. I took another series of just that.

When I'm talking about composition at my workshops, I always show this slide, "Work the scene". It's a great tip to use when your out shooting.  Something attracts your attention. Don't just take the shot and walk on. Investigate the subject from all angles. Keep shooting. The best final image may be just a few inches or a few feet away.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

I'll be teaching for the Digital Photo Academy next week-end

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Next week-end I'm teaching 2 classes for the Digital Photo Academy. On Sat. I'll be in in the Lambertville / New Hope area and on Sunday at Princeton University.  Very cool. You can check out the classes at

Sunday, August 12, 2012

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We're off to Maine for a few days to see our kids. Always a good time and a chance to take some interesting photos.
My HDR Processing and Post processing class yesterday, at Frank Veronsky's Meet-Up, was outstanding. You guys did a great job processing and asked wonderful questions. Thanks to all that were there.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This post is not about photography. . .

It's much bigger. Our son Adam's company, Montana Music in Berlin, just signed a contract to become an affiliate of BMG Music Publishing (Sony). We are very proud of him. Take a look here montana

Thursday, August 2, 2012

HDR Efex Pro 2 is very cool. . .

I've just downloaded and tried HDR Efex Pro 2, from NIK Software. They made some really good changes.
1st - it's faster.  That's a good thing.  2nd- They simplified the interface and the sliders.  That's another really good thing.  If you start from the top of the control panel, on the right, and just work your way down, it's pretty simple with good results. I strongly suggest that you give it a try.  You can download a trial version here and if you decide to buy it you can save 15% by using the discount code AKESS.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm excited...

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The new University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro held a photo competition a few months ago. It was open to all photographers in the area. We had access to the entire hospital before any patients were transferred from the old Princeton Medical Center.  Great fun.  Photographers were asked to submit 3 images in each of 2 categories, exterior and interior.

My photo was awarded 2nd place in the Exterior competition.  Very cool.

I just posted my Fall workshop schedule on my website

It's going to be a busy workshop season, but lots of fun.
I have expanded my HDR lectures to include not only more technical information, but HDR in the context of taking and making good pictures. I demonstrate HDR processing software (Photomatix and HDR Efex Pro 2) and NIK post-processing Software (Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 4).
I'll also be leading some photowalks, with the focus on Composition, for Digital Photo Academy, in the Lambertville/New Hope area. Take a look at the schedule her

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Canon introduces the EOM -M mirrorless Digital Camera

Yesterday, Canon introduced a 18.0 MP mirrorless camera. The specs look quite promising. One of the things I like most, aside from the size and weight, is that I'll be able to use all of my Canon lenses. That's cool. Not available until mid Oct. it will give me some time to read all the reviews. You can check it out here.

Friday, July 6, 2012

NIK Software announces HDR Efex Pro 2

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RC, one of the photoshop guys from NAPP, has the announcement today on Scott Kelby's blog. He also has posted a cool video about the new features. There is a new interface with some new sliders integrated from some of their other pieces of software. One of my biggest complaints about the old version was that it was slow.  RC Says they fixed that, cool.
I'll be testing it myself in the next few days. It looks like it has real possibilities.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Ask yourself this question, "Am I a photographer or am I an artist"

When giving a presentation or workshop I always ask if anyone in attendance has ever asked themselves this question. For the most part, only one or two people raise their hands. I shouldn't be surprised anymore, but I am. 

I go on to explain that I have given this question a lot of thought and I have concluded that I'm both. I consider myself a photographer when I'm out shooting and an artist when I come back to process and post-process my images.

It's an important question to ask yourself. The answer may surprise you.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

B&H Photo announces my HDR Workshop

I'll be presenting an expanded version of my "Introduction To HDR Photography" at B&H Photo in New York City on July 10th. We'll talk about the technical aspects of HDR and how they work in the context of taking and making good photographs. It should be fun. Join me if you can.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Be patient. You may just have to wait.

Click on the image to see it larger
We went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art earlier this week. No tripods allowed by the way. Walking down the hall and looking to my left, I saw a group of people looking at these 2 paintings. It had all the elements for a good shot, except the people of course. I had to wait for about 15 minutes for this moment.  I think it was worth it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Vincent Versace at B&H Photo

Yesterday, I spent the day at B&H Photo in New York City.  Vincent is one of my favorite shooters, but it's his philosophy about art and processing that drew me into the workshop. It was outstanding.

I got to talk to him for just a few minutes about his interview on The Candid Frame #130 and his latest work from Myanmar. His new slide show of those images are a must.  You can see them here.

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I did.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

2 new HDR workshops just announced

This is very cool.  I'll be bringing my expanded "An Introduction to HDR Photography" presentation to Unique Photo in Fairfield, New Jersey on June 24 and to the B&H Event Space in New York City on July 10, 2012.  I'm really excited about this.

In addition to the basics of processing and post-processing, I'll be discussing HDR in the context of taking good pictures.  It will be great. You can sign up for the Unique presentation here.  The B&H site is not live yet but as soon as it is I'll be sure to let you know.

I hope to see you there.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A week with Jay Maisel in Paris, OMG

The Kelby gang is is Paris to shoot "A Week in Paris with Jay Maisel" for Kelby Training.
After watching "A Day With Jay Maisel" and "Another Day With Jay Maisel" shot in NYC, I can't wait to see this one.  Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world. It is going to be outstanding. Paris and Maisel, WOW.
I'll let you know when it come out at Kelby Training.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Princeton Photo Workshop and more. . .

The workshop on Saturday was outstanding. We had a full house. As expected, Jack Resnicki did an outstanding presentation as did Steve Dreyer.  From the questions asked during my "Introduction To HDR Photography" talk, I believe it was well received. After the workshop ended most, if not all, the participants came over and thanked us. WOW. Can't wait until the next one.  Stay tuned.

On another note, Scott Kelby goes into great detail today about the Adobe Creative Cloud. You can find it on his blog post. I'm going to have to think about this for a while to see which way I'll go.  I'll let you know when I make a decision.

Have a great week.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Adobe Photoshop CS6 announced

I haven't had a chance to look completely into what's new in CS6 yet, but I wanted you to know about the announcement today. Some of it does look interesting. You can check it out here,

Friday, April 20, 2012

My solo photowalk in New York City

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I had a great time walking around the city by myself. I have shot the interior of Grand Central Station a few times before, but this time I just walk around the outside. New York is always a treat.

There's still time to sign up for the Princeton Photo Workshop on April 28.  Use this discount code when you do. ppw25.  See you there.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Princeton Photo Workshop in 2 weeks

The workshop is coming up on April 28.  It's going to be a kick-butt event. The workshop features  NAPP "Dream Team" photographer Jack Reznicki, Steve Dreyer will discuss NIK Software workflow and I will be talking HDR.There are still a few seats left and you can get a discount by entering the code ppw25 to get a $25 discount. you can find all the information here. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

I just finished giving another HDR workshop

I want to thank professional photographer Frank Veronsky for inviting me to do this HDR workshop at his studio. You can find his outstanding work at
I always enjoy giving this "Introduction to HDR" lecture.  We had a full house and I feel that the group was totally engaged.
We'll be planning a follow up session in the near future. The next one will feature post-processing techniques.

I also want to remind you about the workshop with Jack Reznicki and Steve Dreyer April 28 in Princeton, New Jersey.  I'm sure it's going to be great.
Here's the link

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Adobe announces Photoshop CS6 beta

This is part of the news release today.

SAN JOSE, Calif. — March 22, 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 beta, a preview of what’s to come in the next release of the industry standard in digital imaging, is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. Customers can download the beta, try out the experience and provide feedback to the product team. Packed with groundbreaking new innovations,features and incredible performance enhancements, Photoshop CS6 beta is available for the Mac OS and Microsoft® Windows® platforms. The final release is expected in the first half of 2012.

You can find the whole release here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The "Early Bird" discount for the PrincetonPhotoWorkshop extended for 1 week.

Good news.  The "Early Bird" discount for this great workshop, featuring Jack Reznicki,  has been extended until March 25. If you haven't signed up yet, now is the time. Sign-up here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Don't forget the PrincetonPhotoWorkshop

This is just a reminder that the PrincetonPhotoWorkshop is coming up fast, April 28. I, along with Jack Reznicki and Steve Dreyer will be presenting. Take your digital photography skills to the next level.
Increasing your proficiency in taking and processing your photos will greatly enhance your photographs, regardless of the type of camera that you use.
It's time for you you to sign up at the reduced price.  You can find all the information here

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Arizona desert

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We got back from our trip to Calif. and AZ.  a few days ago.  We did some great hiking in both places and spent time in the desert with some good friends. Here is one of the photos from the back of the adobe house we were staying in. 45 min. from anything.  How cool is that.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Topaz Labs "Star Effects" is a winner

A few days ago I posted that Topaz Labs had announced their new Star Effects program. Well since then I have downloaded the trial version and within a few minutes of working with it, I bought it.

Not only is it easy to work with, but it's fun. There are so many effects and each one is fully customizable. Not only that but you can stack different effects on the same image.  Very cool.

The image above was created in just a few minutes. Now, could I have done that in Photoshop? Yes, but why waste the time.

I strongly suggest that you give it a try. You can find it here  and if you add the coupon code alan8686, you'll get a 10% discount.

One more thing.  Make sure you check out their training videos and all their other products.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Kelby Training discount code

Hi all.  This is great. I can now offer a 10% discount for Kelby Training.  You'll learn more than you thought possible and dramatically improve your photography skills, and it's guaranteed!
I'm from the school that says "gear is good, education is better". You should give it a try. Copy this discount code ANCJQ12 and paste it when prompted.

You'll love the courses. I have for years.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

21 HDR Photography myths busted, from farbspiel

Check out the latest post from farbspiel. You may not agree with them all, but they are thought provoking.

Also, don't forget to sign up for our workshop in Princeton on April 28, 2012. You can find all that information here.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

An amazing response to the Princeton Photo Workshop

We have had an outstanding response to our workshop announcement. It looks like it's going to be an amazing event. You can find all the information here

Along with the speakers, we'll be giving away some NIK Software and a signed copy of
"RC" Concepcion's "The HDR Book" compliments of Peachpit press.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Announcing our new workshop...

Our new workshop has just been announced. The date is April 28, 2012 and will be held in Princeton , New Jersey. Sponsored by NIK Software, this workshop will feature Jack Reznicki of Photoshop World and Kelby Training fame. A popular lecturer, Jack Reznicki is always very informative, insightful, entertainingly outspoken, and refreshingly candid. Jack will discuss in this far reaching session, his commercial and personal work and how they interact, in addition to key concepts and practical information related to lighting and composition.
In addition to my presentation of "An Introduction to HDR" that will include multiple software demonstrations, Steve Dreyer, an international workshop leader, will discuss how to improve photos by reducing digital noise, enhancing color and sharpness, and converting to black and white.
He'll use various software tools such as Lightroom, Photoshop and Nik software in his workflow
For more information and registration, go to

Friday, January 27, 2012

Topaz announces "Topaz Star Effects"

Today, Topaz Labs announces the release of their new "Star Effects" software. The following is from the website.
"This new plug-in gives photographers a more intuitive and simplified way to add creative star and lighting enhancements to images – for the perfect finishing touch! You can easily create a wide range of light enhancements from natural, realistic effects to more artistic, graphic effects."
Topaz is offering this program at a great introductory price of $19.99.  I've added some of these effects using Photoshop.  This should save lots of time with great results.  Find more information here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Adobe's official announcement about CS3 and CS4 upgrade

Today, Adobe published its official upgrade announcement for CS3 and CS4. You can find it here.
It is worth a read and you can make your own determination as to its fairness.  Personally, I think it works.  Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

If you shoot HDR and this doesn't inspire you... nothing ever will

Trey Ratcliff posted this on his facebook page today. It took my breath away. It needs no more introduction than that.

It's a MUST see.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Is the DSLR going the way of the Dinosaur?

There is a wonderful discussion about this subject on You Tube featuring Zack Arias, Gordon Laing from , Frederick Van Johnson, Trey Ratcliff plus others. It's very interesting.  I've been waiting for an announcement from Canon on the upgrade for the 7D, but now I don't know.  Maybe I should wait to see how the mirrorless cameras  evolve.
I'll keep you informed. You can find the discussion here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Adobe CS Upgrade policy

I just got this email from Adobe so I thought it best to pass it along ASAP.  I guess I'm not the only one to write about it.

Hi Alan– Since you have written about the Adobe Creative Suite Upgrade Policy in the past we wanted to give you heads-up that we’ll be offering CS3 and CS4 users special introductory pricing on the upcoming new CS6 when it is released later this year. The special introductory offer will last through December 31, 2012. For more information about the Creative Suite Upgrade Offer, please see

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lightroom 4 beta to be announced

Today, Matt Kloskowski along with Tom Hogarty, will introduce the beta version of Lightroom 4.  This can be found on at 10am, 12pm, 2pm, 4pm live. They claim it will include these new features. We'll see.
   • Enhanced Video Options & Support
   • Soft Proofing Reinvented
   • Map Module for location management
   • Elegant Photo Book Creation
   • Simplified Basic Adjustments
   • Adobe Revel Expert Workflow
   • Powerful new Shadow & Highlight controls
   • And so much more!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The HDR workshop was great

Click image to view larger - Gullfoss Waterfall Bridge - Iceland
We just finished the first of my 2 session HDR workshop in Princeton, New Jersey. I would like to thank all those who came. I also want to thank my friend Steve Dreyer for coming into town to assist. As an aside, see yesterdays post.  Steve is doing a workshop in Lucerne, Switzerland in May.  You should take a look at that. It will be great.
The workshop was intense but a really good time. Almost all of the photographers were at the same skill level making things a bit easier. As always, I started at the beginning, explaining the concepts of shooting, processing and post-processing photos for HDR. We had plenty of time for Q&A and hands-on processing.
I'm really looking forward to the next session.

Steve and I are planning another workshop in Princeton sometime in April. I'll keep you informed

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Steve Dreyer to teach "Digital Workflow" workshop in Lucerne

My very good friend, Steve Dreyer, will be teaching a "hands on" workshop in Lucerne, Switzerland May 12-13, 2012.
He will provide participants with practical experience in the field and in processing their photographs. The workshop will include: 1) capturing photographs in and around beautiful Lucerne, Switzerland, and 2) learning and applying various specific workflows for processing photographs in the digital darkroom.

Steve is a great shooter and his work in the digital darkroom is outstanding.  He makes learning fun and you'll come away with a strong foundation to make all your photos better.

You can find all the information here on the "Meet The Shooters" website and Steve Dreyer's website here.