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photo (cropped) by Kitty Kono

                                               May Photo Newsletter

Animals Rule!


May Workshop


Two-Session Photo Workshop

In Motion:  Animal, Vegetable or Motorcycle 

Fridays  7:00 - 8:30  5/17,  5/24

To be really prepared to capture  images of animals, cars, runners, bikers or anything that moves,  the ability to manage "a body in motion" is essential.  Stop-action, using a high shutter speed will freeze jumps, leaps, slithers, flights etc etc.  For a more artistic alternative, panning gives the feeling of motion  in a setting by keeping the subject sharp while streaking the background.  And blurred motion, so the subject is a streak across a sharp background is one more approach.  In this workshop we will delve into the why's and how's of these techniques and much more to help you get great pictures of animals (and all sorts of other things that move!!)



photo by Anne Titterton



April Photo Field Trips

Philadelphia Zoo

Sunday 5/26  10:00 - 12:00

This is a SUPER DEAL, as admission to the zoo is included in the cost.  Get shots of a variety of animals, from  reptiles and primates to the big cats and bears.  Special photographic opportunities are the aviary, where you will find exotic and colorful birds and the childrens' zoo, with the young farm animals and so much more.  Photo tips for dealing with challenges such as shooting through glass and less-than-optimal lighting are part of the instruction.

Location:  Philadelphia 



photo by Owen Biddle


Providence Animal Center

Sunday, May 19  10:30 - 12:30

The participants will not only be working on their photography skills, but will be doing their part to help find homes for the animals.  This animal shelter is always in need of high quality photos of dogs and cats and other pets to publicize their mission, and we will  create images to contribute to this goal. With a slant to photojournalism, this animal photography workshop will explore the issues of documenting the realities of our world with the aim of raising the awareness of others about the needs of these homeless pets.  And a portion of our proceeds will be donated to the shelter.

Limited to 6 participants.  RSVP by email or phone (610) 626-7854.

Location:  Media








photo by Owen Biddle


Colonial Plantation

Saturday,  5/18  1:00 - 3:00

Colonial Plantation is a great photo destination. This period farm setting has gardens, farm house, barns, animals, and guides in period clothes demonstrating an earlier, simpler way of life.

Newtown Square, PA






For Students Enrolled in

Photo Assignments from Art History

(and all other photo fans) 

 We highly recommend the show at the Barnes Museum.  See link



Looking for a great professional photographer?  We are pleased to recommend Alan Simpson for head shots, portraits, events etc.  He also does printing!

Upcoming DSLR Fundamentals Classes


Please note:  Private individual classes are always another option. Call (610)-626-7854 for details and scheduling.

All classes held in Lansdowne

(click on links for more information)

Fundamentals 1:  Camera Operations   is for students who are just starting out, or want a
good review of the basic camera functions.                  

Thursdays  6:00 - 7:30   5/9,  5/16,  5/23, 5/30

Saturdays 10:00 - 11:30  5/11,  5/18,  5/25,  6/1

Fundamentals 2:  Applications  is for students who have some comfort with the camera and want to start applying their skills to expand their photographic range.

Wednesdays  6:00 - 7:30    5/8,  5/15,  5/22,  5/29

Fundamentals 3:  Composition  takes photography beyond the subject, and encourages you see the artistic and compositional opportunities in everyday life. Here is a chance for your right brain to come out and play!


Fundamentals 4:  Lighting Across the Genres is for students who are  ready for the next critical step: lighting.  Explore sophisticated means of controlling both natural and artificial light for portraits, landscape and still life to get just the mood and effects you want.


Advanced Photography


Photo Assignments from Art History

An unusual class for advanced photographers looking for a real creative stretch!



Upcoming Photo Salons












Sunday 3:00 4:30  May 19

Sunday 3:00 4:30  June 16

These are very friendly, relaxed get-togethers at my apartment in Lansdowne. Photographers of all levels are welcome to share pictures, get photography tips, and discuss camera equipment. You can also get ideas for entering photography contests, submitting to photography magazines and having photo shows. Feedback from the group provides encouragement and inspiration to go out and take more pictures. These informal photography critiques offer an excellent opportunity to start identifying themes in your work and to get ideas for new directions. Group size is limited, so if you can come an RSVP is required by email or call (610) 626-7854. Cost is $10.  These Salons often fill-up,

so it's best to get your spot early!



Student of the Month:  Robert Zwaan









Here is what Robert has to say about himself:

"My photography journey began in the mid 1980’s while serving in the Army. I was stationed at Schofield Barracks in Hawaii and bought my first camera. I quickly learned about ISO because I enjoyed taking photos of beautiful sunsets, beaches, scenery and street shots and sending the pictures home to my family. From there, due to life getting in the way, I only took pictures of people every now and then or pics of vacations with whatever camera I had and they weren’t very good. Still I loved trying to take great photos. Fast forward to the invention of the iPhone and taking pictures again became a passion of mine but something was missing. I, eventually, broke down and bought a DSLR and realized there was a lot more to this than I ever imagined. What I learned from books, YouTube and websites fueled my passion even more and decided I needed some formal education and enrolled in Owen Biddle’s classes. It has been very enlightening and so much fun! After starting my own Petcare business back in 2011, I have wanted to add pet photography and now it’s a reality thanks to Owen!"

Our theme for the month of May is Animals, and Robert was the natural choice.  He has been specializing in capturing pictures of dogs and shows us how it's done!  Using the range of camera techniques he has mastered, he brings us dogs in motion, dogs interacting, dogs being adorable and dogs just being totally doggy!  Robert also shares with us some beautifully composed landscapes and the stunning results of a trip to the Naval Yard.  It is obvious that Robert brings his passion for photography to whatever subject matter he encounters.

Click on thumbnail to see full images.

IMG_1752 2.jpg


Photo Tips

Animal Action

 Ways to capture animals in motion

 1.  Stop Action - If you can anticipate where an animal will run or jump, you can choose to focus ahead of time and wait for the animal to hit that spot. Use a fast shutter speed, like 1/500 or 1/1000.  This is the way to go to get sharp pictures of animal movements and gestures.

2.  Pan - moving your camera along the animal's trajectory use the burst mode to take a number of pictures at shutter speeds like 1/30 and 1/15.  This can give you the ideal affect of the streaked background.

3.  Blur - Sometimes you may want to suggest speed and movement more than clear details.  In this case you can keep your camera still as the animal enters and crosses the scene.  If  you use a relatively slower shutter speed, like 1/60 or 1/125, the animal will not be recognizable in court, but will give an exciting sensation of velocity.

4.  Sleep - Sometimes you (and the animal) may not be in the mood for a lot of action.  Undeniably, a sleeping animal offers fewer challenges in the capture-motion arena.  Plus, what is more endearing than an animal asleep?  (Can be applied to human babies and young children too!)

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