Subject: LorenPhotos March Newsletter

Thankful for the gift
I've become rather obsessed with the Aurora Borealis, you know, the Northern Lights. I've seen them on three of the four trips I made to Iceland in the last year but they weren't the super spectacular dancing lights that frequently occur. They were cool but hung pretty low to the horizon. There is a long explanation about how the sun spots that create the aurora are on an 11 year cycle and we are in an extended trough of low activity but I want them now! Last week when all the talk in the northern U.S. was about how everyone would see them I made a last minute run to Vermont. From my house in Woodstock I drove another 90 minutes north to a place on top of a big hill that has a covered bridge and no towns to the north. It is dark there. The day before they had a nice 15" snowstorm and the bridge I wanted in the foreground was 100 yards out in a field. On top of the hill the wind was whipping and the air temperature was 14 degrees. I had planned on the cold so I was ready for that but I didn't think to take my snowshoes. As I started trudging across the field I immediately sunk to my thighs in the snow. That makes for tough walking. I took my time and got to where I wanted to be as total darkness set it. I was ready for the lights to be dancing overhead but they were only widely glowing on the horizon. It was cool to see but not what I expected. I wanted a huge light show overhead! Once I was done panting from my snowy hike I decided to take the gift I was given and quite crying because the gift wasn't greater. Plus the tears were freezing on my face, so that didn't help. There are too many times when I have great expectations and then I feel disappointed. But there I was, standing alone on top of Vermont, thigh deep in snow and the only sound is my heart still beating too fast. How lucky am I? I thought. Not many people are seeing this great natural show. Could it really be here only for me? I worked for an hour and used a flashlight to bring the bridge out of the darkness but I didn't get the killer photo I was hoping. But I got a nice one. Even if the photo isn't want I wanted, the experience was. I am thankful for the gift.
Costumes and models in Venice

Earlier this month I held a workshop in Venice during Carnivale. Venice is a special place and it is even crazier during Carnivale. The whole city seemed to be a big Halloween party with everything from fancy professional models wearing ornate costumes to people walking around dressed like kangaroos. There isn't the public rowdiness and drunkedness that you get in New Orleans, so that is pretty nice. Each morning at sunrise the government pays masked models to hang out near St. Peter's Square so photographers can make pictures of them. There are a bunch of models and lots more photographers but since it is early the regular tourists aren't out and there is room to shoot. I wrote about the models on my blog at https://lorenphotos.com/2019/03/06/costumes-take-over-venice-during-carnival/
Burano is a place of amazing colors
Of course while in Venice we photographed more than just the activities around Carnivale. One of my favorite days was going over to the island of Burano where the houses and buildings are painted bright colors. Like Venice itself, there are lots of canals which make for great reflections of the colors. It was nearly a color overload! Once a house is painted in Burano, they aren't allowed to change the color. So I guess if you get tired of bright blue you have to buy a different house. There are lots more photos from Burano on my blog and general Venice photos.

Photography at night workshops
Making photos after the sun goes down is one of my favorite things. I'm hosting a couple of special night photography workshops, the first is in New Jersey, Saturday July 27. We'll go out and photograph some cool locations and I'll show everyone how to use flashlights to illuminate large objects like town hall, a barn and a NJ's only old covered bridge. In Vermont, Aug. 1-4, it is a weekend of night time excitement focusing on the stars and especially the Milky Way. We'll also do light painting there of barns, covered bridges and other things. In the fall I'll do a New York City at night workshop, which is a lot of fun. Like all of my workshops, the group is small and I provide transportation in my Mercedes Sprinter van.
Lightroom class date change
I'm a big fan of Adobe's Lightroom for organizing and processing images. I put all of my photos in Lightroom and I use only Lightroom for processing about 85% of my images. Every digital photo needs a little processing and Lightroom lets me do it fast and with high quality. I teach a couple of different Lightroom classes. Getting the Most Out of Lightroom is a full day class to get you started and I'm offering it on Saturday, April 27. My three hour Advanced Lightroom digs deeper into the program and concentrates heavily on the Develop module. It is on Saturday, June 1.
Novice Bootcamp
I mentioned this last month but it is so much fun I wanted to make sure people are aware of it. On May 11 I'm leading an exciting workshop in Somerville, NJ. I call it Novice Bootcamp but it is really about getting out and learning what your camera does. There are so many menus and buttons on our digital cameras that we get overwhelmed. In the Bootcamp we'll dig into the basics and discuss what you need to know about your camera and what you don't. We do all of this with a combination of classroom and getting out and using your camera. It is a lot of fun and will take the intimidation out of photography. Read more at https://lorenphotos.com/mevents/novice-photography-bootcamp/
Upcoming workshops

• April 5-7 NYC Photography WeekendNew York, NY
• April 27, Getting the Most Out of Lightroom, Somerville, NJ and Live Online
• April 28 NYC Bridges New York, NY
• May 9 NJ Gardens
• May 11 Novice Bootcamp Somerville, NJ
• May 14-22, 2019, The Beauty of Tuscany, Italy
• June 1 Advanced Lightroom Workshop Somerville, NJ & Online
• June 27 - July 3, 2019  Total Solar Eclipse in Chile, La Serena, Chile
• July 27, Light Painting Workshop, Somerville, NJ
• 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
•Jan. 31 - Feb. 2, 2020 Vermont Winter Wonderland Photo Workshop Woodstock, VT
• Feb. 16-22, 2020 Iceland Aurora and Ice Caves Reykjavik, Iceland
• March 14-22, 2020 Cuba Photo Workshop Havana, Cuba
• May 31-June 4, 2020 Acadia National Park Photo Workshop Bar Harbor, Maine
• Dec. 9-15, 2020 Total Solar Eclipse, Villarrica, Chile
Personal coaching
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..
Making flowers look special
I see a lot of flower photos that make me yawn, including my own. Yes, the flower may be pretty and have nice color but the photo is nothing special. My reaction is often, "yup, pretty" and I'm quickly moving on to something else. Why are some flower photos engaging while most leave you wanting for more? I've pondered this quite a bit and I've decided that it is usually one of three things. 1) I've seen the photo done better by somebody else; 2) the light is boring or 3) there isn't a strong center of interest. And that strong center of interest is the key for me. Whenever I'm not too excited by my photo it usually comes down to I didn't provide the viewer with a strong center of interest. Most good photos have a place that initially attracts the eye and lets the viewer discover the rest of the photo from that base. If a photo doesn't have a strong visual element then viewers tend to gloss over the whole photo and don't look at it very long. Of course, the great flower photo needs good light and some originality too. If you would like to work on your flower photos, I'm hosting a workshop May 9 where we are traveling to four of New Jersey's spectacular public gardens. You can get more info at https://lorenphotos.com/mevents/new-jersey-gardens-photo-workshop/


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