top of page

photo by Imogene Cunningham

August Photo Newsletter
The Kingdom of Plants

Dear Photographers,

Plants:  vegetables on the vine waiting to be picked, flower gardens in a their profusion of colors, trees in their leafy fullness.  There may be a hint of melancholy as we sense the closing of the season so now is the time to celebrate the  glories of summer's botanical bounty.  This month we consider novel ways to picture our plant brothers and sisters.  




  Flower-lovers and plant-aficionados, join our Botanical Workshop to discuss equipment, learn techniques and get tips to make the most of this glorious season.

Topics covered will include use of macro, managing various lighting conditions, composing stellar shots, applying depth-of-field and black and white vs color.  Come see the marvels an hour or two in the garden can yield.  


First session: Thurs, 8/17  7:00 - 8:30

Discussion of equipment and technique and presentation of how masters  have addressed botanical photography

Second session:  Thurs 8/24 7:00 - 8:30

Share your work from intervening week.

Portraits of Plants

photo by Owen Biddle



Not a photo but.....

This illustration from Historia Plantarum by Swiss botanist, physician, and linguist, Conrad Gessner (1516-1565) is a deep homage to the complexity and beauty of a "simple plant".  







 Two-Session Photo Workshop:















Photo Field Trip

Horticultural Center   

This beautiful greenhouse located in Fairmount Park lends itself to a more meditative photo experience. Inside you will find a variety of plants to explore. Here is an opportunity to slow down, to really see and appreciate the incredible structures, patterns and textures in these living things. The intricate lines and shapes of leaves and stems are also outstanding for black and white. An ideal chance to learn about close-up nature photography.  Bring your tripod and macro lens, if you have one.                        

Location:  Philadelphia

Monday  8/28  11:00 - 1:00

photo by Owen Biddle

Bill Patterson
oto Show at

Camellia Coffee House

  French Postcards 

A series of images captured during travels through the Loire, Normandy, and Paris.

Show starting August 13


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.

a paragraph. Click here to add your own text and edit me. It's easy.


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

Imogene Cunningham

(1883 - 1976)









One of our master photographers, Imogene Cunningham shows how plants are marvels of design.  Her abstract approach and black and white  treatment bring out the elegance of these natural forms.  

Click on thumbnails to see full images.



Photo Tips of the Month:  Botanicals

See how close your lens can focus. Some lenses that are not macro, can still get you great closeups.

Overcast days are often better than bright sunny days, but if it's a  sunny day try casting your shadow over your subject to reduce glare and to bring out color.  You can also change the white balance setting to shade.  

Using the widest aperture of your lens you can successfully blur out the background to feature a foreground blossom. You can even shoot through leaves to give an unusual blurred out foreground!

Remember, botanicals can be very successful in black and white.  

Don't forget to bring a spray bottle to add droplets of water that create miniature lenses on leaves and petals.

To capture your whole garden, or a big section, use f-11 on your wide angle lens. For maximum depth-of-field, focus one third in.  

You can add lots of interest by experimenting with composition.  As Imogene Cunningham shows us, abstracting plants can be brilliant.  Try focusing on just a part of a flower.  

bottom of page