Owen Biddle Photo School February Photo Newsletter

January 15, 2017


Owen Biddle Photo School

In Honor of Juan




We devote our February Photo Newsletter to Juan Torres, our dear friend, who passed away in December.   Juan brought his photography to the level of art without fail.  The devotion he committed to his work resulted in images that are profound, original and unforgettable. Each photograph glows with the care and gentleness that were Juan. He was an inspiration to us all, and beyond that, an amazing friend to so many.  We will miss him very much.


February Photo Salon

Sunday, February 19    3:00 - 4:30


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 confirm your spot early!

February Photo Field Trips

Horticultural Center 

Sunday, February 12 1:30 - 3:00      


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



Eastern State Penitentiary​​

Sunday, February 26  10:30 - 12:00


Step  into one of the most intriguing photo destinations in Philadelphia.  Bring your camera to this mysterious and thought-provoking site to capture shots that present unique compositional opportunities and evocative content.

Location:  Philadelphia






February Two-Session Photo Workshop:

Still Life in the Studio

Mondays, February 20 & 27  7:00 - 8:30

Join the Dutch Masters!  In this  photography workshop you will use your own special objects to construct and photograph a world that is personal to you but with appeal to many. During the first session we will investigate lighting, backgrounds, arrangement and framing as we play in the studio. The second session will be showing off your work from the intervening week.

Location:  Lansdowne

Cost :  $80

Once Juan told me a story that made a big impression on me.  When he was a student at a Catholic school he loved his art classes and showed a lot of talent.  In fact, as a youth his favorite place was the art museum and he spent many hours there.  He also wrote poetry when he was young.   This was young Juan.  As he was completing high school he was recognized as an artist and offered a scholarship to an art school.  However, his practical teachers and counselors advised him that pursuing his art dreams was not a wise choice and not an option for him.  Juan continued on in college studying political science. In 1982 he was employed by SEPTA as a bus driver and over 28 years worked his way up to top administrative positions. 

   But the artist in Juan never went away.  Many years later he picked up a camera and there it was!  Juan created the kinds of photographs you see below.  The sensitive artist came out and brought us these incredible gifts of beauty.  Thank you Juan.


Photography by Juan Torres


February Photo Tips for Still Life Photography


Over the course of a day as the sun changes its angle coming through a window, we have a huge range of lighting possibilities.  While you're staying warm inside, you might give yourself an assignment.  Near a window, arrange your still life objects.  Keep in mind a simple background.  Starting early in the morning and every few hours thereafter up until dusk, take pictures of your set up.  To help you learn more about color, for each lighting condition use the following white balance settings:  sun, cloud, shade, and incandescent (light  bulb).  Our February Still Life Workshop will offer other ideas for working with artificial light too.




Upcoming DSLR Fundamentals Classes  for February/March

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.                                                            
Saturdays  1:00 - 2:30  2/11,  2/18,  2/25,  3/4,  3/11


Wednesdays  7:00 - 8:30   2/8,  2/15,  2/22,  3/1,  3/8


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.

Saturdays  2:30 - 4:00  2/11,  2/18,  2/25,  3/4,  3/11



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!

Saturdays  10:00 - 11:30  2/11,  2/18,  3/4,  3/11,  3/18  (note:  no class 2/25)


Fundamentals 4:  Lighting Across the Genres  for students who are ready for the next critical step:lighting.  In depth exploration of both available and artificial light.  A must for students who are preparing themselves for commercial work.



Advanced Photography is designed to help advanced students define themselves as photographers and to move towards independence with their picture-taking.  By the completion of this class, students are ready to take on more professional photography projects







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