July 18th-20th, 2014 workshop – 1 opening now available!

•May 12, 2014 • 2 Comments

UPDATE: We’re sorry but the opening has already been filled. Contact us if you would like to be placed on our waiting list!

 

Hi Everyone! This is Vera Ross. We’ve had a cancellation for our upcoming workshop, July 18th – 20th! PLEASE CALL US at 717-923-0269 to make arrangements if you’d like to fill the opening. It’s first come, first served, so please don’t hesitate! We also have spots available for our October 10,11,12, and our November 7,8,9 workshop has only 2 spots remaining. See the link for those workshops HERE. Thanks everyone! WD_Demo

Photograph by Harold Ross

Last minute opening for May 2nd-4th, 2014 workshop!

•April 30, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Hi Everyone! This is Vera Ross. Just a quick announcement letting you know that we’ve had a last minute cancellation for our upcoming workshop this weekend, May 2-4th!

If you think you’d like to make the workshop this weekend, PLEASE CALL US at 717-923-0269 to make arrangements. It’s first come, first served, so please don’t hesitate!

We also have spots available for our October 10,11,12, and our November 7,8,9 workshops if those dates suit you better! See the link for those workshops HERE.

Thanks everyone!

 

Harold_Ross_light_painted_image_tomatoes_scale

 

Photograph by Harold Ross

Delaware Art Museum – Upcoming Exhibition – “Transitions”

•April 28, 2014 • 11 Comments

Today I’ll be delivering three framed prints to the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington. The prints are part of a juried photography exhibition of work by the Brandywine Photo Collective, a terrific group of talented photographers that I’ve had the pleasure of associating with for the last few years.

The show is entitled “Transitions, and looks to be a very good one, with a high level of work. The show has 31 images that were chosen in by juror Eddie Soloway.

I felt that three images from an ongoing series, “Burnt Offerings”, would be appropriate for the theme, and happily, they were accepted!

The images are explained:

“Burnt Offerings” is a series of images of burned leaves. I’ve always been captivated by the beauty and variety of leaves. In photographing things that are “past their prime”, I work with the notion of finding beauty in things which are thought to no longer have any. In the fall, leaves are burned to ash. I decided to burn some leaves to discover what would happen to them, and I found something amazing. Although rendered to near ash they held their shape, albeit somewhat deformed, and are extremely fragile. Although devoid of color and nearly destroyed by the heat, I find them to be quite beautiful and almost metallic.

Please make some time to get to the show to see the show, which opens on May 3rd and runs through August 10th, with the opening reception on Sunday May 4th from 12-4 PM. I won’t be able to see you at the opening reception as my May Group Workshop is that weekend, but we will definitely be down to see the show before it ends!

 

Burnt Offerings #1 by photographer Harold Ross

“Burnt Offerings #1″ by Harold Ross

 

Burnt Offerings #2 by photographer Harold Ross

“Burnt Offerings #2″ by Harold Ross

  Burnt Offerings #3 by photographer Harold Ross

“Burnt Offerings #3″ by Harold Ross

A new tutorial video…Gradating a highlight using the Inverse Square Law.

•March 17, 2014 • 7 Comments

Very often, I’ll place a highlight on the edge of something round. Of course, the highlight is on the “lit” side of the object, and so, the look of the highlight should indicate and be a result of the direction of lighting. In nature, when a hard light source is reflected on the edge of something rounded, the center of the highlight is brightest, and the brightness tapers off toward the ends of the highlight. Depending on various factors, like the reflectivity of the surface and the hardness of the light, this effect can be extreme or subtle. As in most of my work, I like to push things toward the dramatic side a bit. To that end, I employ one of the basic principles of lighting. Most photographers understand the inverse square law, which tells us that light falls off by the square of the distance. In other words, if we double the distance of the light to the subject, the amount of light is quartered. Put another way, if we move the light twice as far away, we lose two f-stops of exposure. This principle of lighting is often looked at in the negative (as a loss of something). In light painting, however, we use this principle to our advantage in several ways. This tutorial covers one of those ways.

Scales with light painted highlight using Inverse Square Law

Highlight on left using consistent distance………..Highlight on right using Inverse Square Law

So, in this image, I’m applying a highlight to the edge of a beautiful old scale. Below is a short video showing the application of the highlight in two different ways. In the first case, I’m keeping the distance of the light consistent as I go around the edge. In the second instance, you’ll see that I’m moving my light in an arc opposite the arc of the subject. This means that my light is closer to the subject at the center of the arc and gets progressively further away as I move through the arc away from the center. Light falls off by the square of the distance, so the center of the highlight is much brighter, and there’s a beautiful smooth gradation of light as we get further from that center point. Not only does this create the illusion of even more roundness of the edge, but it gives us a more dramatic indication of just where the light is coming from.

***Note: The video was shot with room lights ion so you could see the movement of the light. Normally, I am shooting in complete darkness.

This is one of a series of tutorials that I’ve created involving my light painting process, and it is just a quick look at the kind of information that my students learn more in depth at my workshops.

After the video starts, please click on the “gear” icon on the lower right to increase the video resolution for better viewing quality (1080 recommended)… especially if you want to watch it full screen.

To see more of my videos on Light Painting technique click HERE

September, 2014 Light Painting Workshop Announced!

•February 12, 2014 • 3 Comments

We are excited to announce that the next group Light Painting the Still Life Workshop will be held here at my home studio (in beautiful Lancaster County, PA) on:

~ September 19th, 20th and 21st, 2014.

More dates to be announced shortly.

Registration is now open, and the workshop is limited to 6 students. **This workshop has been filled. Please call us at 717-923-0269 if you’d like to be on the wait list.**

Click HERE for the schedule and details of the workshop.

My workshops involve real teaching of the methods I employ, and this is a technical and intensive workshop… you will be given the training needed to produce work at a very high level. You will be receiving personal, detailed hands-on (literally!) instruction on proper light painting (not light pointing), and my post production process. You will actually learn the nuances of lighting, and the nuances of using masking to create beautiful images!

My co-instructor, John Corcoran, will be bringing a lot of experience to the workshop. He has worked as a professional photographer for over 35 years, and has been light painting for almost 20 of those years.

He shoots wonderful floral images and portraits, all using light painting. You can see some of John’s images HERE.

Photographer Harold Ross's student Bill Earle's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Bill Earle

You can see my students’ images in my Student Workshop Images page.


ANNOUNCEMENT: Light Painting Workshop to be held in August, 2014

•February 10, 2014 • Leave a Comment

We are excited to announce that the next group Light Painting the Still Life Workshop will be held here at my home studio (in beautiful Lancaster County, PA) on:

~ August 15th, 16th and 17th, 2014.

More dates to be announced shortly.

Registration is now open, and the workshop is limited to 6 students. **We’re sorry, but this workshop has been filled. If you would like, we can place you on a wait list in case of any cancellations.

Click HERE for the schedule and details of the workshop.

My workshops involve real teaching of the methods I employ, and this is a technical and intensive workshop… you will be given the training needed to produce work at a very high level. You will be receiving personal, detailed hands-on (literally!) instruction on proper light painting (not light pointing), and my post production process. You will actually learn the nuances of lighting, and the nuances of using masking to create beautiful images!

My co-instructor, John Corcoran, will be bringing a lot of experience to the workshop. He has worked as a professional photographer for over 35 years, and has been light painting for almost 20 of those years.

He shoots wonderful floral images and portraits, all using light painting. You can see some of John’s images HERE.

Photographer Harold Ross's student Dave Wood's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Dave Wood

You can see my students’ images in my Student Workshop Images page.

I just finished my first light painting workshop and enjoyed every minute. It was well thought out and perfectly executed. When we got to the “hands-on” portion it had to be challenging for Harold and John to help students who were using different platforms, different equipment and different programs. Everything went smoothly and everyone created an impressive light painted image on their first try. Shooting tethered and using a tablet is definitely the best way to go when using the techniques that are needed. I am so glad that I made the trip and learned from the “master”. It would have taken a long, long time to figure everything out on my own. Now that I know the process, I am up and running. Thanks, Harold and John. You made it a very worthwhile experience.”
- Dave Wood, Florida – Light Painting the Still Life

Workshops Recap… student images

•January 25, 2014 • 9 Comments

I love to show the images that my students create during their first (in most cases) workshop with me, and I’m floored by the consistent high quality of the images that they produce in just 18 hours of instruction!

Day 1… we always spend the first evening getting acquainted, discussing light painting and its advantages, and delving into lighting theory as it applies to light painting. (I actually prefer to call it “sculpting with light”). Each student does an exercise in lighting a baseball for both shape and texture at the same time, and this can be a tricky exercise. I then shoot a demonstration image to show the process and why we can, and should, light our subjects with Photoshop blending in mind.

Of course, having been light painting for 24 years, I had to perfect the technique using film, and transparency film at that! Today we have the wonderful technology of digital capture and Photoshop. We can create images much more easily than in the old days!

Day 2… the first full day, I show how the image is put together in Photoshop using layers and masking, and the rest of the day is spent with students setting up and shooting their own images. I like to call this day “Boot Camp Day”, as in order to get the concepts across, I sometimes feel like a drill sergeant!

Day 3… FUN! It is spent in Photoshop, and students learn the nuances of masking and why I use masking differently than most. They learn to use masking to “bring in” the beautiful stuff as opposed to “getting rid” of the bad stuff, and how to do that in an aesthetically powerful way. It is really fun, to boot!

At my home studio, I have tons of props… old tools and machinery, pewter plates and tankards, vases, rocks, feathers, bones, etc., etc., etc. My co-instructor, John Corcoran and I have amassed a good collection of backgrounds… old doors, painted backgrounds, etc.

Obviously, students end up photographing some of the same props, but the combinations of subjects are quite unique! I love seeing what people come up with in terms of composition. John and I give compositional tips and help with problem solving, but for the most part, the compositions are created by the students.

John Faber, from Pennsylvania, created an image with a gorgeous color scheme. He picked out some huge oak leaves that had fallen in our front yard, and combined them with some other objects that were here. John wanted to learn about lighting shiny glass and how to deal with getting its color to come through, and did so with aplomb. Thanks to the exercise in lighting the baseball for shape and texture, he was able to use the same lighting style for the limes and oranges.

Photographer Harold Ross's student John Faber's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student John Faber

Lisa Cuchara, from Connecticut, was drawn to some of my industrial props. She really liked the gears and cutting wheels, all things with edges, and then added something that these objects need to survive… Oil. Lisa made this composition, which is a study of lines. Using light painting allows us to concentrate light on the edges in order to get great separation. Normally, for instance, one wouldn’t place a dark rusty object in front of another dark rusty object, but with light painting, this is no problem! Lisa originally wanted to light from the left side of the image, but for right handers, this can be difficult. One of the most important things in light painting is to get your eye directly in front of the lens in order to see just what the lens will see. This helps us make good decisions about lighting angle, movement, etc. Most people are used to being behind the camera, not out in front! Anyway, imagine leaning in from the left, while using your right hand to hold the light… not gonna work, usually. Lisa ended up lighting from the right, and she did a fantastic job.

Photographer Harold Ross's student Lisa Cuchara's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Lisa Cuchara

Pam Bredin, who traveled up from South Carolina, didn’t have a ton of experience with layers and masking, but soon became familiar with the techniques. I keep the Photoshop process simple. Basically, we make beautiful aesthetic choices in the lighting, and very controlled ones at that, then we use Photoshop to blend those choices together in a simple way. We all know that there are 57 ways to accomplish any one thing in the program, so I strive to keep it as straightforward as possible. Pam, like John above, worked very successfully with color in her composition. She is the first student to photograph one particular object here, a rusted steel plate that has a wonderful reddish patina. This echoes the color of the feather edge in the foreground. I’ve always loved the square format… it is a static frame, with no inherent movement, and Pam used it to very good effect.

Photographer Harold Ross's student Pam Bredin's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Pam Bredin

Ben Willmore, of “Everywhere”, USA (Ben lives in a motor home, and so the entire country is home to him), came to the workshop with a lot of experience in different kinds of light painting.  When people initially think of light painting, they think of making shapes, or drawing, with the light. This is very cool stuff, and quite engaging. One can make orbs and lots of cool things with the light. Check out some of Ben’s photographs HERE. The process I use would be more aptly described as “sculpting with light”, and is a more naturalistic approach, using light to enhance shape, dimension and texture of a subject. Ben, who has a very solid Photoshop background, was also drawn to photograph some of my industrial props, and he has a love for vintage things. He and his wife own and are currently restoring a vintage 1963 Flexible Bus, and they’ll be living in it! Ben created this very nice composition, and the end result is terrific!

Photographer Harold Ross's student Ben Willmore's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Ben Willmore

Cam Miller, from Maryland, came back for a second workshop. Cam has been working with light painting since her first workshop in January of 2013 and has seen some “light painting success” by getting into shows, selling prints and winning awards! Cam is very energetic and enthusiastic, and really took on a complex image at the workshop. Lots of lighting challenges here. This is the kind of shot that is too complicated for a group workshop, and normally requires some experience to tackle. Great job, Cam!

Photographer Harold Ross's student Cam Miller's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Cam Miller

Bob Lott, also from Pennsylvania, is someone I’ve known for quite awhile. He had expressed interest in doing a workshop in the past, and I’m glad that he finally did so! Bob is very sharp, and came to the workshop with a good working knowledge of Photoshop, and he took to light painting quite well! I like to say: “Simple is good” when it comes to learning light painting, and Bob created a simple, yet lovely image. One of the things I love about light painting is that a very simple setup (and even a mundane one) can be very compelling if seen under the “right light”. Light painting is indeed transformational, and Bob’s photograph is a great example of that!

Photographer Harold Ross's student Bob Lott's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Bob Lott

Adam Elstein, of Brooklyn, NY, was trained as an architect. He has a deep interest in and is quite accomplished at photographing architecture. Adam has a thorough knowledge of the subject, and so it was no surprise that the image he created is quite architectural in nature. Choosing props from my collection of industrial scrap, Adam created an interesting “cityscape” with a variety of shapes and surfaces. Using light painting to isolate and create separation, he was able to compose freely. In other words, when using light painting, we aren’t limited by an object’s brightness or color to separate it from other subjects. As in Lisa’s photograph, second in this post, Adam was able to create relief and depth where there was very little to begin with. The entire depth of his set was approximately 4″! I love making images where three dimensional objects take on a graphic feel, yet remain utterly dimensional, and I love this photograph created by Adam.

Photographer Harold Ross's student Adam Elstein's light painted image

Photograph by workshop student Adam Elstein

To see more student images from my workshops, click HERE.

If you’re interested in learning this powerful and rewarding technique, there are still spaces available in July’s session, to be held at my home studio in Lancaster County, PA.  See more details HERE. Hope to see you!

 
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