Special Guests – Greg Barnett & Patti Russotti




Having special guests always adds extra positive energy into an already dynamic mix. Special guests Greg Barnett and Patti Russotti, both long-time high-level educators at RIT with vast experiences in the medium and it’s digital evolution, participated in my recent field workshop Along the Waterline. Their presence and the receptivity of the students encouraged me to ramp up the curriculum to an even more advanced level conceptually. We moved progressively varying our modes of inquiry, to identifying ways of looking, focussing on themes, and identifying ways to make the finally images more psychologically loaded. Each day built upon the previous one. At the end, everyone had increased their skillset, learned a lot of different ways of looking, and deepened their authentic voice. It’s great to see everyone progress together, all in different ways. It was really stimulating for everyone involved. In many ways, both small and large, it will change my teaching for the better.
Greg and Patti mind at the end of the week here.
“Over the last few days while working with John Paul, I’ve had somewhat of a breakthrough …”
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Facebook Group – John Paul Caponigro Alumni



I started a Facebook Group for my workshop and seminar alumni.
If you’re one of my alumni you can use this group to …
Network – Connect and stay in touch.
Learn – Exchange information.
Promote – Grow an audience for your projects.
I use Facebook to stay in touch with people. I let them know what I’m doing. I find out what they’re doing.
My hope is that this group will be useful to you to … Read More

Kathy Beal – Alumni – Antarctica


Kathy Beal has a thoroughly unique approach to making images, capturing out of focus fields of color on location and using them as a jumping off point for creating unique compositions in Photoshop. Though still inspired by specific places and their palettes, her images take you to entirely new places with a palette all her own.
Kathy’s one of my long standing alumni who has come so far so fast it’s thrilling to watch! It took a combination of many things to make breathroughts – commitment, research, persistence, risk, courage, feedback, sensitivity, passion, and the most important of all hard work. But she enjoys what she’s doing so much, it doesn’t seem like hard work. She’s become incredibly productive, producing thoroughly unique work. Her growth can only be described as an explosion of creativity.
Check out more of Kathy’s work from Antarctica here.
Check out my workshops here.

Olaf Willoughby – Alumni Success Story


Olaf Willoughby is one of my workshop alumns with an amazing success story. It’s a testament to how one man with focus can succeed personally and make a significant contribution in a short time.

“It all started with the mesmerising impact of a photographic expedition with Michael Reichmann and John Paul Caponigro. Antarctica was even more dramatic than I had expected. Glowing pink light at sunset. The vivid blue depths of the ice. Drifting sculpted icebergs. It was almost like a fairytale.
But the reality is different. Antarctica is under threat. Apart from the impact of climate change; the accords on land exploitation, whaling and tourism are all on a course of seemingly irreversible change for the worse.
This contrast between splendour and sadness led me beyond a photographic portfolio to produce a 48 page colour book, a work of environmental advocacy. “Antarctica, A Sense of Place”. The images and text contrast the natural beauty with the dark detail of the dangers facing Antarctica.
I produced the book within 6 months of the trip but I was still only halfway. John Cage said he didn’t consider his music complete until someone had heard it and similarly I needed marketing to create awareness and demand.
The World Wildlife Fund endorsed both the book and the images, using them in its web and print marketing activity. They also distributed over 5000 copies of the ebook on CD to help raise money for environmental causes. I have also blogged for the International Polar Year and their web site has featured the images. Additionally an article on the trip appeared in the UK’s most popular photographic magazine, Amateur Photographer, who also gave the book a very favourable review. A selection of images were exhibited at the ‘White Worlds’ exhibition at Nature In Art in the UK, Summer 2008. Prints have also been sold to support corporate environmental marketing programmes.
Through the WWF I have managed to create a good level of awareness, far higher than I might have managed on my own. I am going again in Jan 09 with John Paul and am currently planning the second edition.
JP’s workshops bring together a wonderful collection of like minded artists, rich with different talents. There are many benefits but, for me, the one outstanding lesson has been the expansion of the way I ‘see’ images, both provoking me to push harder and allowing me greater freedom to express my vision.”
Olaf Willoughby is a photographer, writer and researcher who lives with his wife Monique in London, UK. Creator: the WIT test of individualists and team players used in market research. Author: photography & travel books and articles. Values: the need to connect, environmental advocacy. Interests: the rhythms of data, images and words fuse into a long term fascination with creativity and pattern detection.
Check out a recent feature on Ag magazine here.
Find Olaf’s book here.
Learn more at olafwilloughby.com.
Stay tuned for stories from our upcoming January 2009 voyage to Antarctica.

Enjoy my Antarctica galleries, book, and statements.
Learn more about my workshops here.
Early registrants get discounts at home.
Members get discounts abroad.

Peg Fredi – Simulating Alternative Processes / Waxing Prints


This week at The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop (taking place at Brooks sponsored by Epson) Peg Fredi wanted to simulate the look of the alternative process prints she’s been making with digital contact negatives. She tried several toning solutions – variations of traditional warm toning solutions. She found that she like the black of the inkjet prints, which is even blacker than alternative process blacks. She tried several paper types, ultimately deciding on Epson Velvet paper, which she then planned to wax (with butcher’s wax) to enhance the surface further. Actually, waxing print surfaces has been around a long time. It adds an extra dimension and quality to any print. And it doesn’t affect longevity. It pays to experiment. You may find new solutions that are just right for your work.
Have you finished your prints in unusual ways? Tell us about it! Comment here!
See Peg Fredi’s work here.
Look for upcoming Epson Print Academy dates here.
Check out The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshops here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print workshops here.

Steve Robeck – Thinking File Structure


This week at The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop (taking place at Brooks sponsored by Epson) Mac Holbert and I reviewed file structure at the end of the week – by processing student work. Everyone participating in the workshop got a valuable review of the file building workflow Mac and I use and recommend. Steve Robeck also got more than one possible window into the art of interpreting digital files. Time and time again, you modify how you apply a tool, eliminate it from the process, or add another. In this case we added a Photo Filter adjustment layer applied selectively to the highlights to add subtle warm ambient color and we used an additional Hue/Saturation layer to increase the saturation of yellow accent colors throughout the image. Adopting a consistent file structure and working methodology is important. And, knowing when and why to make exceptions is equally important.
Look for upcoming Epson Print Academy dates here.
Check out The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshops here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print workshops here.

Carlos Conseco – Print Surface


This week at The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop (taking place at Brooks sponsored by Epson) Carlos Conseco discovered how important it is to test materials and evaluate images side-by-side. He printed one of his best images on a variety of surfaces – Epson Watercolor, Velvet, Ultrasmooth Fine Art, Luster, and Exhibition Fiber. They were all good. Each material added something new to the expression of his print. Materials affect print quality in technical ways (glossy papers produce blacker blacks) and aesthetic ways (matte papers seem softer and more organic). So he slept on it before making his final decision. The most important thing he learned was that materials matter.
What papers do you like? Why? Comment here!
Look for upcoming Epson Print Academy dates here.
Check out The Fine Art of Digital Printing workshops here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print workshops here.

Cheryl Medow – Consistent Style


Cheryl Medow creates wildlife composites. She’s attending the Fine Art of Digital Printing workshop (Caponigro and Holbert at Brooks sponsored by Epson). Yesterday, some of them looked like photocomposites (surreal) and some looked like paintings (graphic). Today, after a long discussion about the most successful components in separate images and the intent she wants to communicate, they all look like they’re made by the same person who has a cohesive message. Some of the keys to unlocking her style included keeping shadow and highlight detail extremely full (none of them pure black or white, sometimes with significant color). In addition to keeping luminosity contrast low, she did the same with hue contrast, glazing the different colors in her images with a single color. Both create a more softly modulated color palette. Cheryl had to reconsider what she had learned about traditional photographs to find her own personal style. Her first step was to find the words to describe the new qualities she found through exploration (trial and error) and now wanted to repeat. The next step is to ask why. She’s got a lot of ideas, but she’s still working on it. That’s great. That’s when work starts to get really interesting.
Check out Cheryl Medow’s work here.
Check out the Fine Art of Digital Printing workshops here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print workshop series here.

Ken Carl – Extreme Low Light Shooting


Ken Carl has attended every one of my Fall Foliage workshops. Over the years, he’s turned pro. Just when I think he’s done, he keeps coming back for more. After a long day of shooting past sunset at Pemaquid Point, Ken walked up the streets of Damariscotta while the rest of the group was being seated for dinner – and got some great shots. After dark? Hand held? ISO 8000? Really? And it’s actually useful, with surprisingly little noise by traditional standards. You’ve got to try it to believe it. The LCD on the back of the camera actually shows you more than you can see at that moment. Add a tripod to the equation and you’ll see even more. Today’s cameras can capture more than you can see at any one moment in time. With a little experimentation, you’ll find hours of new possibilities at the beginning and ends of the day. This weekend we tested shooting in many extreme lighting situations. Participants are seeing in new ways. I’m seeing in new ways. I recommend frequently testing new techniques to expand your repetoire and your vision.
Check out Ken Carl’s work here.
Check out my workshops here.

Kevin Ames – Perfectly Imperfect


Kevin Ames found that perfect wasn’t and imperfect was, while he was a special guest during a special session of my Fine Digital Print workshops this week. After years of doing top notch commercial photography, to get the most expressive results from a developing body of work, he first had to follow the lead of a very happy accident. Replicating the look and feel of a color crossed, soft focus, grainy original from pristine originals challenged him to be clear about every move he made. Ultimately, he found that rather than going back to lesser tools to distress his images he had much more flexibility and freedom when simulating the look using high quality originals. The results became perfectly imperfect. In the end, given the subject matter and his treatment of it, a perfectly lit, perfectly processed original was just too perfect – and far less emotive. It wasn’t easy to go in the opposite direction years of good habits had taken him. He had to give himself permission to do so – and was encouraged unanimously by the other participants to pursue his unconventional results. Even then, it took repeating the results with several images to get the final confirmation he needed. The results were undeniably strong.
Here’s what Kevin shared about his experience. “Breaking rules is part of being artistic. This odalisk was made during the very early days of digital portraiture with a three chip camera the when given enough light was really quite good. I broke the flash sync socket at the beginning of the shoot forcing me to use the
modeling lights in the soft box as the sole and dim source of illumination. That camera shot at ISO 40 and the exposures were quite long adding a lot of noise to the image.  During portfolio reviews at
John Paul’s Digital Print II workshop last spring it was the pick of my work by the group. I added it to my print portfolio for last week’s workshop and again it was the unanimous favorite of my submissions.
Understand that at the beginning of the workshop it was not the direction that I thought I wanted to follow. The breakthrough came when it was printed out to a large scale–forty by forty inches. Up
close it looks impressionistic. From ten feet it becomes painterly. Using the odalisque as a touchstone I am adding grain, noise and color washes to current high resolution work that is very sharp and well
lit. Printed larger than life the figures take on a whole new aspect. I can control the size of the grain in the subsequent photographs as part of the visual vocabulary. When the body of work is finished this
touchstone image will be the one that doesn’t truly fit. Breaking the rule of “noise free is better” has led me to seeing my work in a whole new way–all due to collaborating with the participants of the
workshop and of course John Paul’s guidance.”
Tell him what you think! Comment here!
Check out Kevin’s website here.
Check out my Fine Digital Print workshops here.