Subject: LorenPhotos May Newsletter

Thinking about being creative
One of my favorite workshops is three days spent in Cape May, NJ, talking, thinking and working on creativity. I do it the first weekend of May and it is great to think less about the technical aspects of photography and more about the creative side. I like to talk about spending the weekend exploring, discovering and imagining. I've noticed that when I let myself do that with my photography and in life in general I'm much more content.

To make consistently good photos, or to excel at anything really, it is a combination of the technical and the creative. But modern cameras eliminate the need to have deep technical knowledge. But the cameras still don't do a thing to help with the creative side.

My wife Robin and I recently watched a Netflix special by Dr. Brene Brown who was talking about being vulnerable and how we grow when we let ourselves be open to new experiences and the unknown. While doing research for the workshop I ran into her thoughts on creativity. "Unused creativity is not benign. It metastasizes. It turns into grief, rage, judgment, sorrow, shame." Wow, that is heavy! We experience those horrific things when we aren't creative in our lives. It is interesting that creativity comes out in many ways, art and photography are obvious ways but it could be finding a way around a traffic jam or figuring out how to carry all the groceries in from the car in one load. Creativity has nothing to do with intelligence nor is it a God-given asset. It really comes down to two processes: thinking and then producing. If you have great ideas but don't act on them you are imaginative but not creative. Creativity simply means being able to come up with something new, it doesn't matter how big or little the project. 

I hope to spend a lot more time exploring, discovering and imagining.
I'm opening my own photo gallery

I've been working out of my home office for a little over a year. I call it my Subterranean Photo Education Center (SPEC) and Robin reminds me that is really the basement, even if I did make it look nice. While it is great working from home I decided it wasn't enough space and I needed to get an office again. So I've rented space a couple of towns north in Bedminster, N.J., where I'll be able to hold my local workshops and have space for a fine art photography gallery, which is something I've wanted to do for a long time. I'm still getting settled in, figuring out how I want everything arranged and what kind of store hours I'll have. The town is pretty fussy about signage, so the front of the building is plain until I can get the proper approvals. I'm not doing many art shows this year but I'm doing a lot more workshops, so I'll be needing help in the gallery (Holler if you know of anyone looking for a part-time job!). I'm adding printing and framing services but that will take more time to get established. Stop by when you are in the area.
Great light in Tuscany
Tuscany is known by photographers for the great light and for a good reason. While we had some rain during my workshop there this month for the most part the scenes were tremendous and even if our shoes got muddy we were able to have a lot of fun and make some great images. We spent three nights in the Chianti region so we could make a run into beautiful Florence. Then we headed back down to Pienza to a beautiful hotel right in town just a block away from a great gelato store. Need I say more? You can read more about the trip on my blog at https://lorenphotos.com/2019/05/23/chasing-the-sun-in-tuscany/

Touring the gardens of New Jersey
After all, New Jersey is the Garden State. There are many elaborate gardens that were part of major estates and are now open to the public. The gardens are truly gems and gifts to people who take the time to go and enjoy them. I took a group of photographers on a tour of three amazing gardens earlier this month inclduing Leonard J. Buck Garden in Far Hills, Cross Estate Gardens in nearby Bernardsville and then up to the crown jewel of NJ’s gardens, the New Jersey Botanical Gardens in Ringwood. If you haven’t been there it is an experience. It includes 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by 1000 acres of woodlands. You can see photos made by the participants at https://lorenphotos.com/nj-gardens-tour-may-2019/

Being creative in Cape May
I like to shoot sunrise during my Cape May workshop in early May. At that time of year the sun doesn't come too early and being on the Atlantic Ocean means fun light coming onto the beach. Unfortunately this year it was raining on Sunday morning and foggy on Saturday morning. But the fog can be fun too, so some of us were out on the boardwalk well before the sun was due to rise making images of the first light. Street scenes weren't what I was expecting to shoot but flexibility is part of creativity and we were rewarded with some fun shots. The sun did make plenty of appearances and you can see photos made by me and workshop participants at https://lorenphotos.com/cape-may-creativity-weekend-2019/
Still space for Vermont drone workshop
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 https://lorenphotos.com/mevents/drones-over-vermont-photography-weekend/
Upcoming workshops

• June 1 Advanced Lightroom Workshop Bedminster, NJ & Online
• June 2 Bucks County Barns and Covered Bridges, New Hope, PA - SOLD OUT
• June 7 High Speed Photography, Bedminster, NJ - SOLD OUT
• June 8 Bucks County Barns and Covered Bridges, New Hope, PA - SOLD OUT
• June 15 A Day in Midtown Manhattan, New York, NY - SOLD OUT
• June 27 - July 3, 2019  Total Solar Eclipse in Chile, La Serena, Chile 
- SOLD OUT
• July 12-14 Drones Over Vermont, Woodstock, VT
• July 27, Light Painting Workshop, Bedminster, NJ
• Aug. 5-9, Night Skies and Light Painting in Vermont Photography Workshop, Woodstock, VT
• Aug. 17-23, Iceland Summer Photography Workshop, Reykjavik, Iceland - SOLD OUT
• 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 - SOLD OUT
• 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..

Visit the gallery
Stop by and see me and my work
2493 Lamington Rd, Bedminster, NJ 07921
908-375-8389

Getting out of a creative slump
There are times when we all hit a creative slump and can't see a good photo even when it is right in front of us. Frequently it happens when we are looking for the same photos we shot before. If it worked once, I should be able to do it again, right? Well, not always. That is where creativity comes in. We have to think in a new way and that isn't always easy. An exercise I have participants of my Cape May Creativity Workshop try is to find objects in town that spell each letter in their name. It doesn't count to find an "L" on a sign, it has to be something shaped like an L. It is a fun exercise that really makes you think and look. And the more we really look, the more we see. And when we see more we see differently and suddenly the slump is over. 

Another exercise is to find something that is somewhat interesting and find five different ways to photograph it. In Cape May there is a church with two bright red doors that really caught my attention but I couldn't see the best shot right away. I shot the doors every way I could think of, up close, far away, wide angle, down low, as high as I could get and then I put on my 70-200mm zoom and racked it out to 200mm while lining up a railing going up the stairs to one of the doors. I really like this one and it reminded me to try many things when I'm not quite getting the shot.

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