Subject: LorenPhoto April Newsletter

I can't explain love or eclispes
There are some things in life that just can't be explained or reasoned. I joke with my wife when she says she loves me that I want her to prove it. Fortunately she isn't a violent person or I'd take a good beating when I say that. Proving love just can't be done with words, it takes a lot of actions and shared feelings. I am so blessed that I don't need her to prove her love to me or mine to her. I know it is there.

I've mentioned before that I was mesmerized in 2016 as I stood in the Oregon desert and watched the moon slide in front of the sun and create a total solar eclipse. It was my first total eclipse and up until about five minutes before totality I was thinking that it was pretty cool but wasn't living up to the hype. Then the world started darkening and everything became a strange quiet. As totality happened the light was a color I've never seen and then it hit me. "Oh, now I get it" I thought. There were about 30 people in the area where I took our workshop participants and they had been chatting and laughing but now they just stood there in a bit of a trance, gawking at the sky with huge grins on their faces. My photographers were working to get photos but we really didn't talk to each other. I had warned them to take time to just enjoy part of totality and not try to get photos the whole time. We needed to be able to take this in and each one thanked me afterward because it was a special time.

The feeling when seeing that eclipse in totality is not explainable, it is kinda like love. It is something that my photos or words don't do justice to. It made me decide to be an eclipse chaser and see as many as I can. I have since discovered there are an awful lot of people like me who have been chasing eclipses for years. 

The next eclipse is July 3 and can be seen in parts of northern Chile and Argentina. I'll be hosting a workshop in the Atacama Desert area of Chile. I just had a person cancel so I have one opening. I always do workshops in places I know or have a partner who knows the area. This one is the exception because of how accessible the area is. This is going to be a very small group and two of the other people on the trip are Americans who live in Ecuador, so they will be valuable in helping with any language problems. We'll start in Santiago, go over to the lively city of Valparaiso and then head north to La Serena, which is at the edge of the Atacama. Out in the desert is one of the darkest places on earth, so we will be doing lots of astrophotography and seeing stars like we never have before. The eclipse is so popular that they already have plans to close the road from Santiago to La Serena to control the traffic that day but we will already be there. I have found us great locations to get photos, so this will be a special trip. You can read more about the trip at

There is another total solar eclipse next year in December and it again passes over Chile and Argentina although much farther south. I did a scouting trip to the Chilean Lake Region in December to find scenes to photograph and make sure we have a great location for the eclipse. The Lake Region is a special part of the world, our hotel looks out over a large lake with a volcano on the other side. There are beautiful mountains, unspoiled lakes, hot steam baths and the nearby Pacific coast will make a day of special photos. There will be lots of great pictures and the trip ends with the eclipse passing right over our hotel. You can learn more about the trip at

A total solar eclipse is one of the few things you need to see at least one in your life. You might not be able to fully explain why but you'll fall in love.
A fun weekend of NYC weirdness

I hosted a weekend long workshop in New York City earlier this month. There is always something weird to photograph in New York and I took the group to some unique things. Maybe the strangest was a public pillow fight in Greenwich Village's Washington Square Park. A couple of hundred people came out with pillows in hand to bash each other and have a good time. I don't know why but getting clobbered in the head by strangers was a whole lot of fun and made for some interesting photos. We also had a lot of fun in Central Park, Grand Central Terminal, the World Trade Center, Brooklyn and the new Vessel in Hudson Yards  (see below). I'll do the weekend trip again this fall.
Laughing despite being homeless
While doing all of my workshops in New York, I run into a lot of interesting people. Earlier this month while people were getting out of my van a man came up to us and starting talking. He immediately let us know he was homeless and my mind went to another person asking for a hand out. But this guy was different, he started telling us homeless jokes. He was funny and made everyone laugh. The only joke I can remember is "What's the best part of dating a homeless guy? You don't have to take him home afterwards." He had a ton of them. I wish I knew his name and could find him again. I really admire the way he uses laughter to better his situation.

And then there are the NYC Bridges
I had alway hesitated doing workshops in New York City because it is tough to move a dozen people around the city. It is one of the reasons I bought my Mercedes Sprinter van last year. Now I run one or two trips a month into the city and with the help of friend and photographer Ron Lake it is pretty easy to get around. The Bridges of NYC is a favorite trip, I usually start with the Little Red Lighthouse which is right under the George Washington Bridge. Few people know about it and getting to it isn't real easy but we get the van as close as possible. I usually take people to the Queensboro, Williamsburg, Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges. Each looks different and make for great photos. Sunday we were blessed with a lovely sunset which looked great from under the Manhattan Bridge in Brooklyn. I posted more of my photos at and will be adding photos taken by the other participants as they get them processed. On Aug. 25 there will be another NYC Bridges workshop.

A strange stairway to nowhere
New York's newest major attraction is the Vessel at Hudson Yards, a $150 million stairway to nowhere. It is 150 feet high, is cone shaped and has 154 interconnecting flights of stairs, almost 2,500 individual steps and 84 landings. It was built purely to be a New York City attraction and they succeeded. It has to be one of the cooler things you’ll ever see and it was built with private money. It is free to go in but you have to get tickets in advance, which isn’t easy because of the popularity. But each day they release more tickets for that day right at 8:00 a.m., so jump on the website if you didn't get them in advance. And don't wait until 8:05 or you'll be in a long queue. We'll go there June 15 during my Midtown Manhattan Workshop.
Drones over Vermont
I'm a big fan of photos taken from a different perspective and that's why I got a drone a couple of years ago. For both video and still photos getting up a little higher can make a big difference. The problem with drones, especially if you live in New Jersey, is that there aren't a lot of places where you can legally fly them without special permission. But Vermont isn't one of those places, so I do a lot of my flying when I'm at my home there. I'm hosing a drone workshop July 12-14 and we'll be able to freely fly over some of my favorite places, including a private estate that I am lucky to be able to access. If you have a drone or want to learn how to use one, check out the workshop at
Upcoming workshops

• 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 15 A Day in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY
• June 27 - July 3, 2019  Total Solar Eclipse in Chile, La Serena, Chile
• July 12-14 Drones Over Vermont,
Woodstock, VT
• July 27, Light Painting Workshop, Somerville, NJ
• Aug. 17-23, Iceland Summer Photography Workshop, Reykjavik, Iceland
• Aug. 25 NYC Bridges, New York, NY
• 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 lights star at night
One of the cool effects that can happen with night photography is getting star bursts from lights. The reality is that it is a lens aberration but we have decided that this flaw is cool. It happens naturally when point sources of light come into a lens that is set to a small aperture, like f/16 or f/22. This shot was done with a telephoto lens at f/32. You'll notice that only point sources star, longer lights, like the signs or moving cars, don't create the star effect. You also get more starring when you have the light in front a dark area, like the big red one on the right. You can also buy a filter that will do the same thing when using a bigger aperture. Or if you don't want to spend money put a piece of window screen right up against your lens and the stars will shine bright!

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