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photo by Michael Geagan

July Photo Newsletter

Dear Photographers,

Have you ever discovered a really special building that you wanted to capture, only to find your attempt just didn't convey what you saw - or worse yet, your picture was flat and uninteresting?  Buildings can speak to us in so many ways: about form in space,  about history, about the scale of the individual in our urban environment, about harmony and disharmony in the man-made world.  How to transfer those kinds of messages to the two dimensional rectangle of a photograph is the theme of this month's Photo Newsletter.  Check out our workshop and field trips for lots of ideas and opportunities to try out this exciting part of our craft.




One good thing about buildings is they don't move.  For the photographer, however, buildings offer plenty of other challenges and opportunities.  Composing an image that shows off the imposing dimensions, or the sleek design, or the cozy charm of a building calls on all our photographic skills.  Considering the lighting, factoring-in weather and time of day, framing thoughtfully, discovering details, patterns and textures, determining the right lenses, thinking about color vs black and white.... all can pay off in compelling pictures that tell us why you were attracted to a particular building and what it says to you.

First Session:  discussion of technical and compositional considerations 7/7  7:00 - 8:30

Second Session:  Share your work from interving week 7/14  7:00 - 8:30

Portraits of Buildings

photo by Owen Biddle


City Hall

Philadelphia's Beaux Art City Hall offers some of the most elegant, charming and even exotic opportunities for photographers.  You may know the grand exterior architecture of this building, but its interior is full of fascinating ornamental sculpture, and the people-watching opportunities are rich. With a tripod (I can lend mine if you don't own one) and a zoom, you can discover and capture images of the amazing details of this classic symbol of Philadelphia

Sunday,  July 16  5:00 - 7:00



Not a photo but.....

Giorgio de Chirico (1888 - 1978) used buildings to define the space and set the mood of his haunting and mysterious paintings.







Photo by Owen Biddle

July Two-Session Photo Workshop:















Photo Field Trips

Victorian University City   Cram-packed with charming Victorian row houses, University of Pennsylvania's urban campus and the surrounding neighborhood provide an exciting visual mix of green areas, sculpture, modern and classical architecture, and of course, young people in their preferred habitat!

Sunday,  July 9  5:00 - 7:00

Amanda Villier (1975 - 2015)
Photo Show

Amanda's  work is  on display at Gallery 26 in Lansdowne until June 30.  A combination of beautiful abstracts of curling smoke and her more straightforward work capturing natural and urban scenes  make for a truly engaging exhibit.  


DSLR and Mirrorless 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.

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Return of the

In-Person Photo Salon

(next date TBD)

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



Photographer of the Month

Michael Geagan










Here is what Michael has to say: "I bought my first camera during college and have been chasing moments ever since. I have always been drawn to the built world. For a time I worked as a freelance architectural and real estate photographer. Today I try to find the architectural and monumental in unexpected places. I also document buildings coming to life and the people who build them. I live in a quiet, rural corner of Media."


One thing that stands out about Michael's photography of architecture is the way he highlights the complex relationships between people and structures: people constructing buildings, people conducting their everyday lives within buildings, buildings as subjects, buildings defining the environment. While Michael's images reveal an awe of the often monumental forms of buildings, at the same time they cherish the humanity of the people who inhabit this built world.

Click on thumbnails to see full images.

DSCF0512 Michael with camera.jpg


Photo Tips of the Month:  Architecture

Instead of using standard white balance, consider experimenting with different icons  to enhance color and change mood; for example bring on a twilight effect by selecting the incandescent setting.   

Framing can make all the difference.  Instead of including the entire building, zero in on a part, or parts that create an interesting composition.

Use juxtapostion to create interest, for example a modern building next to a classic building.


Include people to show scale.

Early morning  and evening provide excellent lighting conditions with shadows that define forms in space.

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