Archive for Creative Photography

Macro Image takes 1st Place in Print Competition

Very cool to announce that our image “Into the Center” image won 1st place in the Macro division of the SCVPA Print Competition.  The image was captured at the Frederik Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids, Michigan during this past year.

Into the Center

Tips for Your iPhone Home Button

Today, we have some tips for your iPhone, since so many are using their iPhones to take pictures.

Your iPhone’s home button has a whole bunch of uses that vary depending on your location and how many times you press it in succession. Here’s a look at (practically) all of them.

Single Press

Pressing the home screen button once while on your first home screen page will take you to the search page. When on the search page, pressing it will take you back to the first page. If you’re on the second, third, fourth page (or higher), a single press of the home button will return you to the first page. When your phone is locked, a single tap will bring up the lock screen. If you’re in an app, pressing the home button will take you to the home screen (surprise!). Finally, if you press and hold the home button you’ll initiate voice control.

Double Press

Pressing the home button twice while on the lock screen will bring up your iPod controls. Doing that on any other screen will bring up the multitasking bar where you can access apps and settings.

Triple Press

Triple press is reserved for accessibility options. You can set them as you like by going into Settings -> General -> Accessibility -> Triple-click Home.

It’s not what you have, but how you use it

I hear so many beginning photographers that come through our workshops talk about how you need to spend thousands of dollars in order to take great pictures.  But in reality, the equipment is just the vehicle  that helps you create the photograph.  Yes, certain cameras have different functions, or handle things better or worse, but all of the current DSLR’s give you the basic functions to take that photograph.  No question, having a wider range of lenses and accessories helps, but acquire those items over time as you find what interests you and while you are learning and growing as a photographer.

So take your time in buying equipment, so that you only buy an item once.  As you grow as a photographer, let your creativity tell you what equipment is necessary in capturing the photographs that move you, thus not purchasing equipment that will just sit in a camera bag.

HDR Images with HDR Efex Pro from Nik Software

I have been experimenting with Nik Software’s new HDR Efex Pro.  I am really liking the results and the ease of use in using this new software.  Nik has also incorporated the U-Point technology that is in many of their other programs, so making local adjustments instead of global adjustments is very easy.

If you are interested in purchasing the software, then head over to www.niksoftware .com and during checkout, put in the discount code of SCVPHOTOCENTER and receive a 15% discount on ALL Nik products.

Here are a few examples using the new HDR Efex Pro software:





Shooting Ideas…..

There are times when your photographic creative juices fail you, and you just can not come up with any ideas of what to photograph, but you want to photograph.  Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

  1. Your Yard:  You may think this is funny, but your  yard is a target rich environment.  Most of you are likely to have flowers, roses, herbs or plants.  These items always make great macro subjects.  And don’t forget the grass, which first thing in the morning with dew and sunlight can be pretty pleasing.
  2. Your House:  To be more specific, the kitchen.  Consider those hanging pots, or the many utensils you have laying around.  If you just look around, you may be surprised what you see.
  3. Park:  Most us have a park fairly close to home.  The kids play area always has some interesting objects, that might be interesting macro shots.  The kids playing, laughing and running are great photos to send the grandparents.  You may even be lucky to have a water fountain or other textures to consider.
  4. Industrial Park:  Take a drive though the local business park.  Check out the textures on the building, as they can make for some interesting abstracts.  A lot of businesses have some pretty nice landscaping, so again, flowers, plants and even water treatments can make for great photos.
  5. Farmers Market:  Most towns today have a local farmers market, and this can be an awesome place for photographs.  You should always ask the vendors if they mind having the produce photographed, but generally, most have no problems.

Hopefully these tips can you help you jump start your creative juices on those slow days.  Enjoy, and keep shooting.  If you are interested in other ideas, please log onto our website at and check out our many workshops each month at the SCV Center for Photography.

Special workshop Deal

Special offer:

If you attend our “Tools of the Trade, taking your Photography and business to the Next Level” workshop this Saturday, and you bring a friend, you may qualify for a 25% discount for each of you.

Here’s the catch: one of you has to be a first-timer attending a session at the SCV Center for Photography.  Cost is $109 before discount.

Workshop agenda:

Designed for aspiring professionals, serious amateurs, and pros alike, this session tackles several topics important to success in today’s environment.

Morning Session: Studio Planning & Set-up.

Physical Environment and Ergonomics, Lighting.

Display/Monitor Selection.

Discover the latest software and hardware the pros use to manage workflow and achieve consistent results.

Getting the Most Out of Your Inkjet Printer:

Camera to printer workflow, selecting a printer, accurate color previews, printing from image editing software, successfully wrestling those pesky printer dialogues into line, media selection, printer troubleshooting, print correction, archiving.

Lunch: on your own

Afternoon Sessions: Fine Art Printmaking

Create Fine Art and Decor Prints for other photographers and galleries. Learn price points, media types, how to work with galleries and organizations, Fine Art Reproduction, etc.

Fine Art Media for Limited Editions, Matching Media and Client Needs, Media Types for Social Photography/Commercial/Fine Art/Other Purposes Q&A & Printing.   If time permits, we will make a few prints from student’s files.

Award Winning Images

The SCV Center for Photography had a very successful print competition at the Santa Clarita Photography Associations’ Fall event.  Karen Carll won a 3rd place for her Geber Daisy, Mel Carll won a 2nd place fro his HDR Pa louse Truck and 3rd place for his HDR Barber Shop.  Instructor David Green also had a 2nd place photo.  The big winner was instructor Ted Dayton who won Best in Show, Judge’s Choice and two 1st place images and a 2nd place.   We look forward to seeing you in the studio learning from our award winning instructors.

Palouse truck web

November 2009 Calendar Released

We have just released our November 2009 calendar, and we are offering some new and exciting workshops.  We start off with a 3 part Photoshop series that starts from the beginning.  This is a great beginning series of classes.  Next up is Painting for Photographers taught by Corel Master Painter, Karen Sperling.  At the end of this 3 full day workshop, you will walk away with a canvas print of your artwork.  Another exciting workshop is Developing your eye: Finding art all around you.  This workshop will help you create beautiful images and assist in finding your creative mojo.  Dan Holmes will help take the mystery out of Lightroom this month.

These are just a few of the great workshops being offered in November.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at  Click this link to go directly to the November Calendar

October 2009 Calendar Announced

We have just released our exciting October 2009 Workshop Calendar, and have some great workshops you are sure to not want to miss.  We have a 4 week workshop on Creative Photography, and an exciting 2 day workshop on Off-Camera Flash along with the Nikon CLS system.  So check out the schedule, and don’t forget about all the hot workshops in September as well.