Subject: LorenPhotos Decemaber Newsletter

2018 was pretty darn good
2018 was a great year for me professionally, but that wouldn’t matter if it wasn’t for the love, respect and support I get from my wife Robin. Without her in my life nothing else would matter.

This is my 40th year as a professional photographer, it is hard to believe that I am still at it after all these years. It has its ups and downs but this year I’ve made maybe the best images of my life. I lead workshops in Maine’s Acadia National Park, Cape May, NJ, four in Vermont, several excursions into New York City and three workshops in Iceland. I made a trip to southern Chile to scout a workshop for the total solar eclipse in Dec. 2020.

A lovely Christmas card came in the mail from my cousin Carol. She noted my travels and how I’ve gone a long way from Spencerville, my little hometown of 300 people in northeast Indiana. Yes, Iceland and southern Chile are a great distance away from that little town but I hope that I always have Spencerville in me. My parents taught me values that I cherish: being kind to others, helping when you can, living by the Golden Rule and not driving too fast.

I am extremely fortunate to have a great wife, good health, the ability to do work that I love and to have had parents give me the foundation for all that matters. I am fortunate indeed.

I hope your 2018 was great and 2019 is even better.
Honored to be honored
Speaking of being fortunate, I was thrilled to be honored by the Adult Day Center of Somerset County as their volunteer of the year. The ADC is a great organization that takes care of people during the day who would otherwise probably be in a nursing home. Alzheimer’s and other horrific end of life diseases take a terrible toll on the people with the disease, I think it may be even worse for their caregivers. Each year I do videos for their big fundraiser and I have met many caregivers for people with dementia who talk about how they can’t take their eyes off their loved ones or they may wander off or do something dangerous. These caregivers can’t take the time to go to the bank, mow the yard or do any of the basic things in life. The Adult Day Center gives these caregivers a little bit of normal time, which makes a huge difference in their lives. The ADC is one of rare places filled with hugs, laughter and love for people who don’t have a whole lot to be happy about. I am fortunate indeed.
Looking back at 2018
Like I said above, I’m really happy with the the pictures I made this year. When I'm leading a workshop I am there to help others make great images but I'm able to get off a few shots myself. Going to great places is fun but I love some shots I did in my basement or close to my Vermont house. I started the year doing a lot of photos of water drops splashing and colliding. It is great fun to see what happens with simple things like drops when I changed the lighting or used cream rather than water. Lately I’ve been playing with doing other types of high speed photography, like the moment when a dart breaks a balloon or sloshing colored water from glasses.

I really enjoyed my newest Vermont astrophotography workshop where we photographed the stars, the Milky Way, did light painting and got surprise visits from the International Space Station. Seeing it fly over each night was very cool and added something to the photos. I’ll be doing it again in August.

I put together a blog post with some of my favorite photos from 2018, you can see it here.

Looking forward to 2019
Since 2018 was good I’m excited about the many workshops and excursions I have coming up in 2019. I'm calling one of the fun things I’m doing my Indoor Photography Workshop, meaning you can keep your skills sharp or improved during the winter by photographing things in your house. You can attend the five sessions either in person in NJ or live online and get feedback at the next session. I have set it up so there are daytime or evening sessions and they will be recorded so you can always catch up if you miss one.

I’ll be doing many more one day or weekend excursions into New York City and I’ll be adding Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The first is NYC Bridges where we’ll go to some unique places to get fun shots of the city’s big bridges.

The deadline for my May Tuscany trip is Jan. 15 and there are a couple of spots left. I also have space left for my August Iceland trip but my other foreign workshops are filled. I always look forward to autumn in Vermont and in 2019 I added a weekend fall foliage workshop which will be right after my five day fall foliage workshop. They will both be based from my home in Woodstock.

Chile is amazing, join me in 2020
I made a quick run to southern Chile three weeks ago to scout locations for a December 2020 workshop there during the total solar eclipse (read about the workshop here). I went to the lake region of Chile which is a beautiful area featuring a snow capped active volcano, massive lakes and great weather - all along the edge of the Andes Mountains. The town of Villarrica, which is also the name of the volcano and the big lake it sits on, is right in the middle of where the eclipse will be passing. Last year I experienced my first total solar eclipse and vowed to see as many as possible. I’m leading a small workshop much farther north in Chile in June for another eclipse but it will be winter then and the possibility of clouds is higher. December in southern Chile is summer and the highs were in the 80’s and the humidity was next to nothing. I found us a great hotel right on the lake’s beach where we’ll be able to enjoy the eclipse following a week of photographing the surrounding beauty. You can read more about my trip on several blog posts. This is going to be a great trip and I know it will sell out fast, so sign up now!
Cuba in 2020
I’ve been wanting to go to Cuba for a long time to do a workshop and I’ve talked with several guides and companies over the years to put together a great tour. We’ll I’ve finally made the right match and we’re going in March 2020! Details are nearly nailed down and I’ll be posting it in my website in the next couple of weeks. 

Upcoming workshops

• Jan. 8, Jan. 22, Feb. 5, Feb. 19, March 12 Indoor Workshop Series, Live Online or in Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 10 Free Intro to Lightroom seminar, Live online
• Jan 12 The Bridges of New York City, New York
• Jan. 13 High Speed Photography, Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 19 Water Drops and Splashes, Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 19 Macro Photography Workshop, Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 21 High Speed Photography, Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 23, 30 & Feb. 6 Learning Lightroom, Live Online or in Somerville, NJ
• Jan. 25-27, 2019 Vermont Winter Wonderland Workshop,Woodstock, VT
• Jan. 31 Indoor Photography Workshop Series Evening Sessions, Somerville, NJ or live online
• Feb. 3 Free Understanding Your Camera seminar, Somerville, NJ or live online
• Feb. 8-14, 2019, Iceland Aurora and Ice Caves, Reykjavik, Iceland
ª Feb. 24 Using Your Flash Workshop Somerville, NJ
• Feb. 24 Using Your Flash, Somerville, NJ
• March 11 Advanced Lightroom, Live Online or in Somerville, NJ
• May 14-22, 2019, The Beauty of Tuscany, Italy
• June 27 - July 3, 2019  Total Solar Eclipse in Chile, La Serena, Chile
• Aug. 17-23, Iceland Summer Photography Workshop, Reykjavik, Iceland
 • Oct. 7-11 Vermont Fall Foliage Workshop, Woodstock, VT
• Oct. 11-14 Vermont Fall Foliage Weekend, Woodstock, VT
• Dec. 9-15, 2020 Total Solar Eclipse, Villarrica, Chile
Personal mentoring
If you want to improve your photography, learn more about your camera, get a better handle on Lightroom or Photoshop, or need help with your photo business, then I can help you with one-on-one mentoring that is customized to fit your needs. Read more..
Shooting in the cold
There is something important I learned while out photographing in cold temperatures. You need to stay warm. No matter what else is going on, if you are cold, and especially your hands and feet, you are going to be thinking more about heat than making great photos. I get cold fairly easily, but I am rarely cold when I am out shooting because I plan ahead and know how to stay warm. 

I’m a huge fan of chemical hand warmers, I buy them by the box at Costco. I get the ones that really aren’t some weird chemicals, they are natural, just iron, salt and a little water mixed together with vermiculite and they heat up when exposed to oxygen. I have gloves with a special slot for the hand warmers so my fingers stay toasty. I also have warmers that are a little smaller and fit in my boots. They make larger ones for your body but I always have enough layers on that I don’t need those.

Speaking of gloves, I’ve tried tons of different ones and the temperature dictates which ones I use. The photographer's ultimate cold weather gloves have to be the ones made by The Heat Company. They are mittens with fingers inside. The mittens zip open so only your fingers are exposed. My favorite trick is to only have my index finger sticking out to move my camera’s dials.

I always shoot with a tripod, it helps me get steady shots and lets me perfect my composition. Many tripods now come with pads on the legs but I make my own with cheap pipe insulation from Home Depot and some gaffer tape. They make different size insulation, get whatever size wraps around your tripod’s leg, cut it to the length you want and wrap it completely.

I also use a remote shutter release with a cord. Not only does that keep my hands from touching the cold metal camera, I can leave my hand in my pocket along with the cord and fire the camera from there.

It is fun beating the elements and making special photos when everybody else is huddled inside.

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