Prints that Win: Fonthill Castle

Fontihill Castle by Andrea Phox

Fonthill Castle in Doylestown, Pa., lends itself to photography because it’s a piece of artwork in and of itself. Built by Henry Chapman Mercer between 1908 and 1912, Fonthill Castle is built almost entirely of stone, cement and tiles, including artistic tiles with intricate designs and font work (thus Fonthill).

Now a museum, Fonthill Castle was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1985, and was a setting photographer Andrea Phox was itching to capture. Phox got her chance recently, and made the most of it, entering it in the Photo NorthEast competition and winning a Sunset Print Award in the process.

“I had never been there before, but I knew I wanted to go, so I went in with eight other photographers and rented it for three hours. It’s not a place you can shoot easily, and it has a lot of challenges from a lighting standpoint,” says Phox.

Phox shot this scene inside Fonthill Castle with a panoramic setup on top of a ball head, yielding 49 images stitched together using Autopano Pro.

“Using a ball head and the Really Right Stuff panoramic setup allows me to find the nodal point, or sweet spot, so I can capture a 360-degree panorama without parallax, which is a crossing over of the lines when they’re stitched together. I really try to get perfection in my images and I like to shoot 360s, but it is really difficult to capture those without a panoramic head,” explains Phox. “The lighting was all natural and it’s a 21mm to 33mm change of focal length during the panoramic. I put a very tiny aperture opening, f22, so that for the most part I was allowing that shutter to make its own decision. I put it on manual and rolled things around until it reached a nice middle point and then I would expose the images. Some images were two seconds and others were just under one second, depending on where my camera was pointed. The biggest challenge was the windows, and the severity in contrast between the windows and the room was very big. The fireplace inside is very dark, but I have information there. It’s all about detail for me.”

After capture, Phox says she first looks at the RAW files, stitches them together in Autopano Pro and then processed them through LightRoom, making the images smaller in the process.

“It’s a very digitally-complicated process and there’s no reason for me to have a panoramic that is 80″ x 40″ unless I want to print it out at that size,” says Phox.

Free Webinar this Friday with Chris Orwig Explores Lightroom

Lightroom Webinar with Chris OrwigCalifornia-based photographer, author and educator Chris Orwig, who has a reputation for bringing practical experience, technical expertise and passion to the teaching he provides, will lead a free webinar hosted by X-Rite this Friday, April 11, starting at 1 p.m. ET.

Using his own images from start to finish, Chris will highlight how photographers can use an X-Rite ColorChecker Passport with Adobe Lightroom, to make better photographs. Attendees of this live webinar will also have the opportunity to ask Chris questions.

Here are some of the topics Chris will discuss:

  • Lightroom new features
  • Working with Catalogs and backing up your work
  • Creating custom profiles with the ColorChecker Passport
  • Organizing with the Library Module
  • Enhancing your photographs with Develop Module
  • Crafting expressive photographs
  • Lightroom workflow from start to finish

To register for the free 1 p.m. ET webinar on April 11, visit:

WPPI Announces Speaker Lineup for WPPI U

Wedding & Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) announced today its speaker and instructor line-up for WPPI U, taking place Friday, March 8 and Saturday, March 9 at WPPI 2013 in Las Vegas. This university-style, two-day workshop provides the fundamentals of photography to help today’s up-and-coming photographers strengthen their shooting skills and learn how to be successful in their business and marketing practices, according to WPPI.

Educational seminars for professional photographersScheduled to teach at WPPI U are renowned professional photographers Jerry Ghionis, Kevin Kubota,  Henk Van Kooten, Doug Gordon, Moshe Zusman, Lindsey Adler, JP Elario, Jared Platt, Tim Meyer and many more.

All WPPI 2013 classes, events and trade show will take place at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas from March 7-14.

WPPI U classes will include topics such as:

  • Lighting and Posing
  • Business and Branding
  • Marketing
  • Postproduction (Lightroom and Photoshop)
  • Social Media
  • Weddings, Portraits, and Seniors

Each class is two hours and a Portfolio Review and Reception for participants will be hosted at the conclusion of the first day. Attendees will receive a certificate of completion from WPPI and a WPPI U T-shirt. The advance-purchase price for WPPI U is $125 for the two-day program if purchased online by March 6. The onsite price is $150. WPPI U sponsors include: Graphistudio, Bay Photo, Sigma, Millers, Adobe and more.

Registration (Http:// for WPPI 2013 and is open now. Registration rates are $275 for WPPI members and $399 for non-members. These rates include one free guest, all Platform classes, special events and a three-day pass to WPPI.

For more information about WPPI 2013 and all of its workshops and events, go to:

Next Level Photography Workshop at Great Smoky Mountain National Park

Photography workshop in the Great Smoky Mountains

Winners of the past four Photographer of the Year titles in Ohio (PPA of Ohio), and with more than 40 years of professional experience between them, Darrell Moll and Rod Brown are hosting a Next Level Workshop at Great Smoky Mountain National Park, April 11-14.

Geared toward advanced amateurs and professionals looking to take their landscape photography to the next level, the workshop will take place mostly in the field capturing the best landscape shots possible.

“Rod and I are both very familiar with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We know where all the iconic images are, but we also know where the quieter areas of the park where you can get just as good, if not better images, than the iconic spots,” explains Moll. “We keep it flexible based on the conditions: based on the light we’ll know where to go that will be the best spot for the best chance to get good images. We teach what techniques the professionals use in the field to guarantee they get the best results before they move onto the next spot, as well as what they may have missed.”

Moll adds that he shoots Canon and prefers to process in Photoshop while Brown shoots Nikon and prefers to use Lightroom.

“If you’re shooting Canon, I’ve got you covered, and if you’re shooting Nikon, Rod’s got you covered, and the same with Photoshop and Lightroom,” says Moll. “But beyond that we both use the same tools right down the line, including LexJet paper for our studio printing.”

The workshop is $795 while spots last, and for more information go to

Upcoming Landscape Photography Webinars from X-Rite

X-Rite Photo Marketing announces its schedule of July 2012 Webinars that have been developed for photographers to gain new confidence and learn quick, easy and powerful ways to enhance Free webinar on landscape photographytheir color workflow and improve their landscape photography. Webinar attendees will also have the opportunity to ask questions of the live trainers.

Tuesday, July 24, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET
Landscape Image Edits and Enhancements in Lightroom 4:
Adobe’s new Lightroom 4 offers new options for editing and output that make this a must-have upgrade for Lightroom users. In this free webinar, Professional Photographer Joe Brady will explore both basic and advanced image editing techniques in this new update. During this session, he’ll focus on the new editing capabilities offered in this upgrade. (In future sessions, Joe Brady will explore the new modules and Lightroom file organization.)

One of the new additions to Lightroom 4 is its ability to soft-proof. Now users can choose their printer profile and see what effects it will have on the printed image. This makes monitor profiling and accurate printer profiles an important feature of Lightroom 4’s workflow.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Why monitor color is important for Lightroom 4
  •  Image edits and batch processing including
  • Global image edits
  • Local color and light adjustments with Lightroom 4’s new options
  • Retouching
  • Composition
  • Image sharpening, noise reduction and lens profiles
  • Preparing files for lab printing

To register for this webinar at 11 a.m. ET, visit:, and to register for this webinar at 1 p.m. ET, visit:

Tuesday, July 31, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. ET
Edit & Enhance Landscape Images in Photoshop:
During this hour-long webinar featuring professional photographer Joe Brady, attendees will learn how to enhance landscape images using Adobe Photoshop. In this free webinar Joe Brady will share some of his favorite techniques and processes to bring out the beauty in landscape photography.

There are times when photographing landscapes when the conditions just don’t seem to want to cooperate. During this session, Joe will share his workflow, decision-making process and enhancement techniques to bring life into image files that don’t match the beauty and spirit of the scene the way the photographer remembered it.
Following a short discussion about workstation color and calibration, Joe will show attendees step-by-step Photoshop edits that they can put to work right away to bring life and drama back into their landscape images.

Topics that will be covered include:

  • Monitor color for consistent results
  • Image edits from minor to major
  • Using Adobe Camera RAW – even with JPEGs
  • Exposure, contrast and light shaping
  • Global and local color adjustments
  • Compositing new skies
  • Composition
  • Removing unwanted elements from an image
  • Image sharpening options
  • Preparing files for lab printing

To register for this webinar at 11 a.m. ET, visit:, and to register for this webinar at 1 p.m. ET, visit:

For more information an all X-Rite Photo webinars visit the Webinar page found under the Learning section on All webinars are also archived for online viewing any time.

Prints that Win: Walking the Lonely Street

Award winning photography and inkjet printing

One of the great ironies of photography is that you can turn a certain weakness in the original capture into a strength that sets the tone and separates it from the usual. Such is the case with Bob Klein’s LexJet Sunset Award-winning image at the Photo NorthEast competition called Walking the Lonely Street, which was captured in a village near Vienna.

The image has just the right elements that evoke an Old World scene. Or, as Klein puts it, “You can project yourself walking down the street in this scene.” Perhaps that’s what caught the judges’ eyes, but much of the beauty of portrait – aside from the framing of the street, the lone figure with an umbrella slightly off center walking away from the camera and the way the buildings come to a satisfying point on the horizon – is in its weakness.

Klein explains, “It was overcast with poor light and light rain, but I loved the way it looked. At the time I considered it unfortunate, but in retrospect it was fortunate. That camera I used is more for speed than high ISO, so it was kind of noisy. I had to figure out what to do with the noise, and decided to put more noise in it.”

Klein spent 25-30 hours on the image to get just the right effect, or as he calls it, “trial and error.” He essentially took all the color out of it and treated it like a painter’s canvas using Photoshop and Lightroom.

“The sad thing, or really the good part of photography for me, is that it’s a borderline obsession where I get lost in time. It offers an opportunity to be creative in capture and creative afterward,” he says.

Print master Jonathan Penney output the image for him and added the appropriate matting and deckled edges of the print to complement the image.

“The printing and the presentation are wonderful, and it’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else; it really enhances the image,” says Klein. “I sent it to Jonathan and he said that he’d hang it in his house. I was really encouraged by that, because he has some great images he’s printed for others.”

Klein is a partner in a media buying and strategy business. Photography is his creative outlet, especially on his extensive travels. Though not a full-time photographer, Klein says he spends almost as much time on his photography as he would if it were his full time job.

“I joined the Westchester PPA and started competing, and the critiques helped me see things differently and I worked to try and improve what I do. Fortunately, I have come up with some images that others say are good, and not just me thinking they’re good,” says Klein.