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photo by Judy Eckert

September Photo Newsletter
Back to (Owen Biddle Photo) School 
Developing Your Skills


Dear Photographers,

   This Photo Newsletter is dedicated to all those who are on the beginning end of the scale- at that exhilarating  time when you take that new camera out of its box, and are getting a taste of the vast capabilities of DSLR and mirrorless photography to express your unlimited visions.  You are seeing that once you get over that beginners' hump, once you start speaking the language of f-stop, aperture, histogram, the artist within you starts to flow in all kinds of wonderful and unexpected directions. This month we offer an assortment of trips and workshops designed to move you along with such basic skills as depth-of field and capturing motion.   There's not much more exciting than those moments of discovery and we are thrilled to join you in the journey! 










           photo by Owen Biddle



Two-Part  Photo Workshop: 

Crash Class in the Basics

Here's an opportunity to try out the functions of your sophisticated camera so that you can take advantage of its amazing potential.  Build you confidence for managing depth-of-field, stopping and blurring motion, color decisions and different lighting conditions.  An assignment in blurring the background will be included with feedback available.  

First Session:  Discussion of equipment and technical matters.  Wednesday,  9/22  7:00 - 8:30

Second Session:  Feedback on your work from the intervening week.  Wednesday 9/29  7:00 - 8:30



 Photo Field Trips

  Freezing Time on Forbidden Drive

This field trip is an opportunity to develop your skills for freezing and blurring motion in your photography. Forbidden Drive in Fairmount Park is a favorite stretch for bikers, joggers, and even an occasional horseback rider - all excellent subjects for practicing the capture of motion.

Friday,  9/24  3:00 - 5:00

Depth-of-Field at Barnes Arboretum

 We will use this charming garden setting to work on the specific skills for controlling depth-of-field.  Learning to  blur out the background (or foreground) will add wonderful new dimensions and possibilities to your photography. 

Sunday,  9/26  3:00 - 5:00




The Exposure Triangle

It is helpful to think of the elements of exposure as  an equilateral triangle with one of the  basic camera controls at each corner.  The first setting is ISO, the camera's sensitivity to light and is important in adjusting to the lighting conditions you encounter.  ISO influences the degree of grain/noise in you picture.  The second position, bottom right, is the f-stop, also know as aperture or lens opening. This controls what is sharp in the picture.  Higher numbered f-stops indicate greater front to back sharpness, or depth-of-field whereas smaller f-stops allow you to achieve a beautifully soft background.  The third position is the shutter speed which allows motion to be frozen or blurred.  As you develop your photography skills you will delve into the fine points of each of these basic settings, and equally importantly, you will learn to coordinate the interplay of the three as you master the essential concept of exposure.







                 In- Person!

Like many of the rest of you, we are taking some steps to reconnect...            in person!!

For those who are vaccinated and comfortable meeting in the classroom setting, small group events and individual lessons are available.  

For those who are not yet ready for this step, we are carrying on with remote lessons via Zoom.

Email or call (610) 626 - 7854 to sign up.


Please Note:  New Cancellation Policy


As we transition to this phase of providing photography instruction both in-person and on-line, we are instituting a new policy covering cancelled lesson.


Students are asked to provide at least 24 hour notice when an appointment cannot kept.  

When a lesson is cancelled with less than 24 hour notice, students have the option of rescheduling for a $10 rescheduling fee.   If no make-up session is scheduled, however, the full amount of the missed lesson will still be charged.


Exceptions in the case of emergencies will be determined by Owen on a case by case basis.

DSLR Fundamentals Tutorials

Below are descriptions of the basic units of our curriculum available to students ranging from beginner to advanced.  Most units are five lessons and include a set of assignments designed to give practice in targeted skills with opportunities to get feedback from the instructor so that you learn from your experiences.

Just give a call and  we can set up individual sessions to keep you moving forward with your photography.

 Call (610)-626-7854 for details.


​(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. 

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.

Fundamentals 3:  Composition  takes photography beyond the subject, and encourages you to 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 - Using self-generated assignments and in-depth critiques we will help you move forward in your work.  


 Photo Salon

​  Sunday  3:00 - 4:30  9/19  In Person at our new address!!!

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

ALSO.... Check out this  facebook link and join the group.  

Our purpose is to provide an online place for our community to stay in touch, stay inspired  and get out there and keep snapping.  You can post pictures and get feedback, ask photo questions, make suggestions etc.  What do you say???

Special thanks to Jonathan Prusky, whose technical skills have saved us more than once and made this whole endeavor possible.


                            photo by Owen Biddle


Not a photo, but ...
We were all beginners once!  Pablo Picasso (1881 - 1973) was nine years old when he sketched these birds. 




Judy Eckert










Here's what Judy has to say...... "In recent years I started taking pictures of our vacations and creating a photo album at the end of the year.  Now that I'm retired I've decided I want to be a better photographer, maybe even a travel photographer.  So I bought a DSLR but still didn't know anything about how to take good pictures.  Luckily I found Owen and now I have some idea what I'm doing.  I really enjoy setting up, or looking for, scenes and lighting that will make a great photo.  I really had fun with the "Picture Diary" assignment.  The Landscape assignment, which included CityScapes, made me look harder for scenes to shoot in this small, rural town in middle Tennessee that I just moved to 9 months ago.  It turns out that Crossville is quite photogenic."

Judy is new to DSLR photography;  she has only been taking lessons for four months.  But, as you can see, she is well on her way to mastering the basics.  It is easy to spot Judy's personality and sense of humor in this selection of images.  As her confidence grows, she will continue to express her unique take on the world.


Click on thumbnail to see full images.                    



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