Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Nik Software’s Analog Efex Pro

Posted: December 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

Classic cameras at your fingertips

Get the photo you’re looking for, even if you don’t own the equipment. Effects inspired by traditional cameras bring you back to a specific era. Choose from Classic Camera, Vintage, Wet Plate and Toy Camera.

Go beyond filters

Use vintage effects designed for the serious photographer. Create professionally stylized images by picking a preset, then diving in to fine-tune your approach. Adjust bokeh, textures, frames and other elements, then pinpoint the location of your effects with precise on-image controls.


I did a series of images processing this calla lily with the Analog Efex Pro from Nik Software. Here is the original image out of the camera.



Processed with the filter Classic Camera #9

Classic Camera #9


This one processed using the Vintage Camera #8

Vintage camera #8


Processed with the Toy Camera #7

Toy Camera #7


Here is the Wet Plate #2

Wet Plate #2


With this last image I just had some fun with the different presets.



Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at

To see my processing videos click here

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

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Lensbaby Sales

Posted: December 17, 2014 in Uncategorized
Here are some recent deals for Lensbaby Products.


Circular Fisheye


Composer Pro System Kit.


Holiday Gift Guide


So yesterday I had tons of feedback on my blog, facebook, emails, about my post on camera clubs that are not willing to pass on info about workshops in their area to members.

One person said that I was a business and I’m just complaining because I can’t get free advertising from the clubs.  Camera clubs talk about and promote all the latest gear, software, photo books, and they don’t ask for a single dime from those manufacturers for promoting their products. But for some reason they look at the workshop leader as getting free advertisement when they mention a workshop, You think I should  pay for that when they don’t ask Canon or Nikon to pay when they talk about the latest camera or lens, or Adobe’s latest new upgrade to photohop.

If I join a photo club it would be to advance my skills as a photographer, and if a club knows of a workshop in the area where we live and doesn’t at least let me know, then I miss out on that learning experience, and the club fails me by not letting me know about that workshop.

One comment was that when their club promoted a workshop and it turn out to be a dud, the members were mad at the club for promoting the workshop, so the club decided never to promote anymore workshops. To bad for those members because they may miss out on other great workshops because of this one bad workshop.

A club should have someone in charge of gathering the basic info about workshops held in their area and pass that info on to it’s members. The club is not to decide what workshop is good or bad, but to just pass on the info with no endorsement, and it’s up to the individual member to do their own investigation about a workshop they would like to attend.

You tell the members here it is, it’s up to you to decide whether it’s a good fit for you. If you take the workshop and liked it, let us know and we’ll pass that info on to the members, if you didn’t like it, we’ll pass that on as well. Then a member can go to the reviews and decide if they would like to take that workshop in the future.

Amazon sells millions of books, they provide the basic info about a book,and you decided whether to buy it or not. They are not endorsing all the books, just letting you know what is available. They have a rating system and if you have ever read the reviews, every book has people who love the book and those who hate the book. I’m sure workshops reviews would be the same. You can’t always judge something by what others say, I have people tell me they hated a movie they just saw, and I love the movie. So because one person may have not liked a workshop, doesn’t mean that you would not like it, you may have to try it for yourself and then judge that workshop.

So clubs should have this system in place for their members, and let members give reviews for the future attendees, and they can decide for themselves if they want to take it or not.

But to say a club should never promote another workshop because some members were not happy with a workshop that they mentioned in the past would be like Amazon pulling all its books because some people complained they didn’t like one of the books they offered.

You are all adults and have a brain, you can do research on a local workshop and find out about that workshop and the workshop leader, and yes sometime the reviews are good and you take that workshop, and you don’t like it. sometimes in life that’s the way it goes. But you should at least have that info provided by your club so that you have the chance to take that workshop.

Again it’s the job of a club to help you grow as a photographer, and holding back info about a learning experiences goes against the purpose of a photo club.

If you just want your club to be a social club, then I guess it wouldn’t matter whether you give them this kind of info, let each members take care of finding workshops on their own.

If I was a beginning macro photographer and a pro macro photographer was in the area and my club officials new about this workshop and I miss out because they failed to tell me about it, I would be upset with those club officials.

Do I want clubs to promote my workshops when I come into their area, you bet, and am I glad that this would be a free service to me, you bet, it’s what helps me to stay in business, and it provides a good learning experience to the members of those clubs. If workshop leaders had to pay for expensive ads to promote the workshops, the price to attendees would go up, and if we lose attendees when the price goes up, we go out of business, and the photographers lose that learning experience.

You not only help the members of your clubs but you also help the workshop leaders stay in business that provide learning for the photographer.

It’s a win for the club members and a win for the workshop providers.

Just like reviews of a workshop, book, or movie, I’m sure I will get positive and negative comments to this post, sorry we can’t make everyone happy. :) That’s my rant for today.

Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at

To see my processing videos click here

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

If you like this post share it below through your social media groups.

My understanding of a camera club is that all it’s members come together, meet, and share information that helps each photographer grow into better photographers. The members do this by passing on their knowledge to the lesser experienced photographers, through speakers that come in for meetings and present on what they know, and through competitions and critiques that also help photographers to grow.

When I set up a workshop in different parts of the country, typically major cities with large populations, I will contact the local area camera clubs letting them know to let their members know that this three day course about macro photography will be in their area, and that it would benefit their members and help them become better at macro photography.

Most clubs are very happy to see my workshops being offered in their area, and they do contact their members to let them know, as that is what a camera club should be about, helping their members grow as photographers. Why would you not want to offer this information.

It amazes me on how many clubs refuse to let their members know about this opportunity. The club president will say, well if you are not a member of our club, or haven’t presented at one of our club meetings, then we will not promote your workshop.

I don’t understand the reasoning that they would withhold this information from their members, which would be a benefit to their members that could help them grow as photographers. This is what a camera club is about, helping photographers grow, and not about withholding information that may help them.

Now I can understand that they wouldn’t promote workshop leaders workshops that are in other state, but mine are right in their backyard, close for the members to attend without any cost for travel.

I think all clubs should have a page on their websites for workshop leaders to post their workshops for the members to be able to find workshops all over the country that they may be interested in attending.

Some will say, well Mike you are a business and making money, so maybe that’s why they don’t want to promote your workshops in their area. Well of course workshops are making money, that’s how they exist, but the fact reminds that the people attending are all benefiting from an experienced photographer, and money is what allows a workshop leader to come into the area and teach the workshop. Without the money there is no workshop, and the photographer loses the benefit of an experienced teacher.

Maybe I’m missing something with these clubs that refuse to let members know about these opportunities for their members to learn and become better photographers, or maybe they are trying to keep all the learning within the club, like some kind of secret society.

The absurd idea that if you are not a member or haven’t presented at our club, we can’t let our members know about your workshop, is ridiculous. If I was a member of a club and interested in macro photography and found out that a pro was in town teaching on this subject, and the club refused to let that info be known when they knew about it, I would be a little upset.

If you have a good reason why some clubs act in this way, let me know, maybe I’m missing something.


Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at

To see my processing videos click here

To save 15% on Topaz products click here

If you like this post share it below through your social media groups.

Macro Workshop – Pittsburgh Area

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized
Macro Boot Camp  – Holiday Inn, Monroeville, near Pittsburgh,PA,
Feb.6,7,8, Cost $199

The “MACRO BOOT CAMPS” are three days of in depth learning, fun, and entertainment. You will need a camera, macro lens, tripod, as you will be shooting in the classroom. It is for the beginner to the intermediate photographer wanting to learn more about the macro world in nature.

Times for the Macro Boot Camps,
Friday 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Saturday 9:00am – 5:00pm
Sunday 9:00am – 2:00pm

Covered in the Macro Boot Camp:

The Best, Cameras / Lenses / Tripods / Heads / Accessories.
Controlling light with diffusers and reflectors, and LED lights / working with natural lighting

Camera functions for Macro
How to control depth of field with f/stops / macro and ISO / focus stacking with Helicon Focus

Learn how to compose properly / finding character in nature / elements of design / textures
contrast / lines / light / visual weight / learning to work camera angles for blurred backgrounds / Two Subject Compositions / What not to do when composing.

Finding Subjects
Learn when, where, and how when looking for subjects through out the four seasons.
How to shoot macro indoors.

Post Processing
Learn how to process images with photoshop and Topaz.
Enhancing images using Nik Software’s Color Efex Pro / Viveza 2 and Topaz.



Having Fun On The Beach

Posted: December 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

I can’t take credit for this idea as I got it from my photog friend Ken Robb. Ken had a great shot of a starfish that he bought at a shell shop and then took it down to the beach and photographed it as the water rushed over it. So when I was in St Augustine, Florida, I bought lots of shells from the local shell shops and took this starfish down to the beach to shoot this image of the water as it flowed over the starfish. Set my f/stop to f/32 to slow down the shutter speed and give the water a little softness. Not as nice as the shot Ken made, but not bad.



Website, Workshops and E-Books

You can buy my images from a select group at

To see my processing videos click here

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Hotel Wall Art

Posted: December 14, 2014 in Uncategorized

I was in a Chicago suburbs hotel and in the breakfast area there was this interesting artwork hanging on the wall.  I liked the lines and design and thought it would be fun to shoot and do a little processing with Nik Color Efex Pro. You never know where you will find interesting subjects.

Here is the piece that was hanging on the wall.



I shot a small section.



Did the first processing with the Solarization filter in Nik Color Efex.



The second with Bi-Color User Define, and Solarization.


Website and Workshops

You can buy my images from a select group at

Save 15% on Nik Software Products, Discount Code, “Moats”

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