Group Workshops – Light Painting the Still Life

2016 and 2017 Workshop Dates:

2016 Dates:

~ November 11th, 12th, 13th, 2016 ***This workshop is FULL. Contact us if you’d like to be placed on a waiting list. Thank you***

~ December 9th, 10th, 11th, 2016 (seats are available)

2017 Dates:

~ March 3rd, 4th, and 5th, 2017

~ March 31st, April 1st, and April 2nd, 2017

~ April 28th, 29th, and 30th, 2017

~ May 19th, 20th, and 21st, 2017

Class Size:        Limited to 4 attendees

Please scroll down the page to see the full schedule.

If you’re interested in a 1-on-1 or 2-on-1 workshop, please click HERE.

Instructors:      Harold Ross ~ John Corcoran
Location:         Pequea, PA  CLICK HERE for a map with local B&B’s, hotels, and campgrounds.
Tuition:            $1195 USD

**NOTE**:  In order to keep things running smoothly and efficiently in the workshop, we will be supplying all students with Macintosh computers with current tethering and post processing software. If you are a Windows user, don’t worry… the software interfaces are virtually identical! 

Important: We ask that you please scroll down and read through all of the information provided on this page. We get inundated with phone calls and emails asking questions that are answered here. If you still have questions after reading through this page, we’d be happy to answer them! Thank you very much!

Registration: Call: 717-923-0269 or Email:  (Please contact us prior to sending a deposit to confirm availability.)

Due to the overwhelming number of occurrences of students switching from one workshop to another after registration, we will be charging a $25 fee per scheduling change initiated by a student.

Address: 204 Lakewood Drive, Pequea, PA 17565

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

Please join us for what promises to be another weekend filled with invaluable light painting training… and fun!

MRAS16877 copy 2_1

With 30 years as a full time professional photographer, Harold is an experienced night and still life photographer and educator, and for almost 30 years, has been using light painting as his primary lighting technique. Harold has developed a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies of the technique. His approach to light painting is a subtle and naturalistic one. This isn’t light painting with streaks and light trails, but rather a more contemplative approach, which is focused on revealing that which is beyond the eye’s normal scope. These workshops involve real teaching of Harold’s methods, 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 Harold’s post production process. You will actually learn the nuances of lighting, and the nuances of using masking to create beautiful images. The techniques you will be learning are simply not taught anywhere else.

When a workshop is filled with 4 students, assisting in teaching will be John Corcoran, a professional photographer of over 35 years who has been light painting for over 20 years. At every workshop, someone asks the question: “Can you light paint people?” Well, John does! See John’s work HERE.

This intensive studio light painting workshop will answer all of your questions and give you the hands-on training that you need to create your own images using this powerful technique. You will also learn about various light sources, their properties and uses, in-depth use of layers and masking in Photoshop, as well as advanced post production image enhancement techniques. Don’t worry… extensive experience with Photoshop is not needed (basic navigation in the program is recommended… see below), and by the end of the workshop you will be quite comfortable in the use of layers and masking. The masking techniques involve a nuanced use of brush techniques… more akin to painting than to photography.

NOTE***  I am now offering a REMOTE “pre-workshop” for students who feel that they need to get up and running with basic navigation in Photoshop layers and masking. This session will take place several days before the normal workshop, and will be done remotely over the internet with screen sharing. It will require 1.5 to 2 hours of time. We will install the actions needed in the workshop, create a custom workspace on your computer, and teach you basic navigation in Photoshop, including the layers window, and the creation of masks and adjustment layers. The cost for this remote session is $140. Check out the “Pre-Workshop” offering HERE. Just call or email to arrange it!

We will supply all computers and light sources for your use; you just need to bring your DSLR camera, a shutter release cable (cable preferred over wireless remotes, which can be finicky), and the USB connection cable that came with your camera (an extension is highly recommended, and for a link to the recommended one, see my tools and equipment page HERE). ***Important*** you must also bring a spare camera battery and charger*** Contact us if you have any questions about these items. We will be supplying you with a USB3 thumb drive for you to take home your images as well as all of the important files that Harold will be supplying. Please scroll to see the Equipment section for more detailed information.

You will have access to Harold’s extensive collection of props and vintage objects for your image composition. Additionally, we will also have fruits, vegetables and other organic subjects for use in your photograph. If you wish, you may bring your own subject(s), just let us know ahead of time what you would like to bring, as some subjects may be too challenging for a beginning workshop.

“I have attended several photography workshops over the past few years; some as long as 7 days.  I have no hesitation in saying that I learned way more photography, lighting and photoshop skills in 3 days with Harold and John than I have in all of the other workshops combined. The structure and timing of the sessions were perfect.  The new iMac computers streamlined the tethered captures and the CaptureOne and Photoshop software set-up helped us spend more time on learning and less time on solving technical issues.  All in all a great weekend and well worth every dime.”
– Mike McGinnis, Colorado

“My Father’s Tools”

Here is our  schedule:

Friday – Day 1 – Approximately 6-7 Hours of instruction.

1:30PM Start time.

Meet and greet followed by Harold’s talk on lighting theory with a slide show of Harold’s and John’s work and a lecture on lighting tools, techniques and image capture, with Q&A. Harold will then photograph a still life, using light painting, to demonstrate the technique and to discuss lighting angles and movement. Post production of Harold’s image follows. A short talk on visual adaptation followed by the students’ hands-on exercise on how to light a simple object for shape and texture.  There will be a 30 minute snack break with cheese and crackers, fruit, drinks, etc.

Saturday  – Day 2 – 8:30AM – 6-7PM (can run later)

8:30am – 9:00am:     Coffee (or tea) and Bagels
9:00am:     The students compose and light paint their own still life image.
12:00pm:   Lunch Break (lunch included)
12:30pm:   Continuation of students composing and light painting your own still life image.

Sunday – Day 3 – 8:30AM-5:30PM (can run later)

8:30am – 9:00am:     Coffee (or tea) and Bagels
9:00am:     Hands-on Post-production of your image
12:00pm:   Lunch Break (lunch included)
12:30pm:   Hands-on Post-production of your image continued
4:30pm:     Wrap-up and Review of student images

Still Life #2

A partial list of training topics:

Color management

Resolution vs. file size

How to resize images non-destructively

Creating a “test strip” print to zero in on a perfect print more quickly

Sharpening, simple and straightforward

Setting black and white points for final output

Archival print presentation and framing methods, mat layout in PS and mat cutting

Layers and masking basics

Advanced methods in masking

The use of groups… when and why

Creating a simple and appropriate workspace in PS

Setting up an appropriate environment for your computer

Visual adaptation… why it’s a problem and how to mitigate it


Space is limited to 4 attendees on a first come first served basis, secured by deposit.

Full tuition for the workshop is $1195, with a required deposit of $250 to reserve your place in the workshop. Your reservation is not confirmed until we receive your deposit.

***Any past Harold Ross Light Painting Workshop attendee will receive $60 off their tuition.

***Attendees must make payment in full 45 days prior to beginning of workshop.

We accept payments by check (preferred), credit/debit cards or Paypal.

Space is limited to 4 attendees and will fill up quickly, so please contact the studio by phone or email to register for the workshop.

TECHNICAL and EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS: This will be a Digital Capture ONLY workshop. While you may not be an experienced light painter, it is expected that you can operate your DSLR camera in manual mode with longer time exposures, and have an understanding of the relationship between f-stop’s and shutter speeds.

CAMERA: You are required to bring a DSLR or camera with Digital Back with a WIRED shutter release (wireless shutter releases are somewhat unreliable, and we need to minimize technical troubleshooting), tripod (We can provide a tripod at no charge if you let us know ahead of time so we can reserve it for you), all necessary cables/cords to shoot tethered (shutter release, USB camera cable, and USB extension) and CHARGED batteries, as well as your battery charger. It is also recommended, as a backup, to bring CF cards and a card reader in case you have issues shooting tethered. (See Shooting Tethered Below).

COMPUTER AND SOFTWARE: In order to keep things running smoothly and efficiently, we will be supplying all computers and software needed to the students for the workshop. It reduces the number of variables that we have to deal with, such as different cameras,  different OS’s and different versions of Photoshop.  You will be using our computers and software as your tethered capture workstation on Saturday, as well as on Sunday for the Photoshop classroom part of the workshop.

NOTE: Attendees need only have a basic knowledge of Photoshop tools, menus and navigation. We will be teaching the advanced use of blending layers, masking and other advanced image enhancement techniques as they apply to the image(s) you will be shooting at the workshop, so knowledge of layers and masking is NOT needed prior to the workshop. If you need “brushing up” on Photoshop, or would like to gain an understanding of layers and masking prior to the workshop, please check out the “Pre-Workshop” offering HERE.

**SHOOTING TETHERED:  You will be shooting tethered (if your camera supports it) to our computer, as opposed to shooting to a memory card. Shooting tethered gives you greater control in evaluating your image and lighting while shooting.

**NOTE: Some cameras may not support tethering and this is fine… we will shoot to the card and use the camera’s screen for exposure verification. We also may have a workaround for your particular camera.

LIGHTING: For use during the workshop, we will supply each attendee with a soft light source and LED hand held flashlight with accessory attachments for detail work.


CLICK HERE  for a map with local B&B’s, campgrounds and hotels.

If you like, there are also unique places to stay for rent on AirBnB. Click HERE and type in Pequea, PA or Lancaster, PA to find locations.

MEALS: We will start each morning with coffee (or tea) and bagels, yogurt and fruit for breakfast.  Lunch will also be provided each day.


In the very small likelihood that the workshop needs to be canceled by us, your tuition/deposit will be refunded in full if you paid by check, or less a $25 processing fee if paid by credit card or Paypal.

Should you have to cancel prior to 60 days before the workshop, refunds will be given on the following basis:

-If you have only paid the deposit, there will be a $50 cancellation fee.

-If you have paid the entire tuition, there will be a $100 cancellation fee.

Should you have to cancel less than 60 days before the workshop, we cannot give a refund unless we can fill your spot, and then on the following basis:

-If you have only paid the deposit, there will be a $50 cancellation fee.

-If you have paid the entire tuition, there will be a $100 cancellation fee.

After the workshop begins, no refunds will be granted should you need to withdraw.

We cannot be responsible for any cancellation due to medical or other reasons.

We highly recommend that you purchase refundable tickets and/or trip insurance to protect yourself in the event of an emergency that prevents you from attending.

TRAVEL: The studio address for Google Maps or GPS units is:

Harold Ross Studio
204 Lakewood Drive
Pequea, PA 17565

There is ample free parking for all attendees. The workshop is in the beautiful countryside of Southern Lancaster County, PA. Please watch for Amish buggies as you drive to the workshop!

If you need detailed directions, please contact us.

Please contact the studio or sign up for our blog to be notified of future light painting workshops:

“The light painting workshop with Harold and John was a very rich and enjoyable learning experience! The small group size along with constant hands-on guidance was like no other workshop I have attended. Harold and John are experts in the field, and they conveyed their knowledge effectively and efficiently. I hope to be repeat attendee!”
– Beth Ruggiero, Arizona

“I had been wanting to take one of Harold’s workshops for several years, and when it all came together, I was not disappointed! Harold is an organized, passionate, gifted teacher as well as photographer. This is a difficult area of photography to master, but I feel I now have some great tools and skills and can’t wait to get started on my own. The setup, the many choices for our own still-life subjects, the close personalized attention to every detail as we worked, and the equally important post-production instruction were unbeatable. Harold, Vera, and John are friendly, made us feel like family, and fed us well, too. They all shared and gave so much, creating an enriching experience all around. It gets a 10 out of 10 in my book! “
– Sara Goodnick, Arizona

“As a photographer who was fairly new to the idea of light painting, I heard about Harold’s workshop from a friend and decided to sign up.  I couldn’t be happier that I did!  Harold and John are true masters of light.  They are able to precisely light a scene with some very basic tools in such a sophisticated way.  They also have a simple and effective teaching method to help you achieve the same kind of results.  And for how expensive lighting equipment can get it’s amazing to think with just some simple and cost effective tools you have finer control and can produce some incredible results!  I also enjoyed constructing from Harold’s amazing selection of interesting and inspiring objects. By no means am I a master light sculpture, but I came a long way in two days and feel with years of practice I could potentially get there.  If you are thinking about taking a workshop with Harold and John, do it!”
– Andrew Johnson, Delaware

I have taken many workshops but this is the best one I’ve ever taken. The concepts and techniques I learned from Harold and John will extend well beyond the workshop and help me in many other areas of photography. This was not a “mass” workshop but very individual. When’s the last time you had a student/participant ratio of 2:1? And for the price? What a bargain! I felt like I had quality personal attention. It won’t be my last workshop. I felt Harold and John were every bit or more interested in me personally than they were collecting my money. Everyone in my workshop produced a masterpiece (no exaggeration) by the end of the course! Thanks again Vera for all of your hard work behind the scene. It was very much appreciated.”
– Bill Watson, Kansas

“Harold and his colleague John are very dedicated teachers who take a great interest in the work of their students and do everything possible to insure that the student’s experience is successful and rewarding. Both are expert artists and both have the ability to convey their ideas clearly and patiently. Harold’s studio is equipped with a vast number of resources to use in the students’ compositions, and his ideas for improving a composition are always right on the money. It was a real pleasure to attend this workshop and walk away with a polished image, and the techniques learned apply not only to light painting but also to working with light in general. A great experience all around.”
– Dennis Miller, Massachusetts

“The workshop was fantastic. It was more than just the technique; it was the foundation, and the post processing that made a quick weekend a complete education in light-painting. Frankly what I learned in photoshop technique alone made the course worth the money. Highly recommend.”
– Scott Hartzell, MD, Pennsylvania

“A weekend of action packed instruction (actually three days worth) where one gets fully introduced to the world of Light painting, Capture One Pro (live camera capture) and Photoshop processing along with “art” instructions. These days I no longer have the time for endless experimentation so I took Ross’s course. My Photoshop time is now more productive with my new well-organized approach to layers. The hardest part was choosing a combination of props from Harold’s vast collection. I think all of the class pictures looked great, which surprised me since we were all continuously learning new methods and not knowing how the process would end. Thanks goes to Harold and John Corcoran for their continuous ongoing efforts and the detailed pre-planning. Best of all, at home I find the booklet {Harold’s printed material} a great memory aid in keeping my time productive.”  
– John Tichenor, Virginia

“Harold and John are both excellent instructors, understand light thoroughly and have similar yet subtly different styles.  Our class was small so that we all received individual instruction and assistance from either teacher. We learned a process with precision and close supervision so that by Sunday afternoon our images reflected what we had learned over the weekend regarding light, direction of light, intensity of light, sculptural attributes of light, exposure and precision, in addition to newly discovered {use of} channels in PhotoShop. It was a richly textured weekend from all directions.”
– Julie Stauffer, Connecticut

“Harold Ross and John Corcoran are excellent instructors and make a great team:  personable, knowledgeable, and, even more important, blessed with the ability to clearly explain the principles and techniques involved in light painting. The workshop flowed very smoothly from abstract concepts such as lighting theory and composition to the hands-on techniques for capture, and finally post-processing to completed images. I am not a Photoshop “power user,” but Harold’s workflow is logical, straightforward and actually fun!  This workshop reinvigorated my interest in photography, and I would highly recommend it to any photographer wanting to rekindle their creativity.  Harold and John:  Thank you both again – I have enough (light painting) projects lined up to keep busy for some time.”
– Dan Gerth, New Mexico

“This workshop is the best I’ve ever attended, and a HUGE value!  Harold and John are fantastic instructors.  They show you the best way to capture the images, and then how to easily put them back together in photoshop, which is where all the magic happens.  I would highly recommend this seminar to anyone interested in learning how to paint with light.”
– Sean Hoover, Utah

“When I take a workshop, whether I have a great image at the end of the workshop isn’t as important to me as whether I have learned the techniques and skills to take better images in the future. Your light painting workshop didn’t disappoint and far exceeded my expectations. From the first hour to the last, you and John Corcoran delivered more information in an hour than many workshops deliver in an entire weekend and that information was explained in simple terms that made the concepts easy to grasp. Moreover, your and John’s patience in guiding me through the process, particularly in lighting my still life, was exemplary. Thank you for the new tool set for creating beautiful light painted images.”
– Brian Zwit, Virginia

“You and John made a good team, specifically because you both approached the methods and processes of light painting from different directions. For me this added dimension to the presentation, creating a realm of possibility and exploration, realizing that there are many ways to accomplish the final product, and that over time I will develop my own style.  I liked that.
 Thanks Harold for giving us your time and energy.  The workshop was a success for me, and I look forward to trying out what you showed us and gaining a bit of experience.”
– Rob Goldsborough, Massachusetts

“What an amazing experience it was to work with Harold and John! They have remarkable command of light painting techniques and both of them are thoroughly committed to the success of each and every student in the class. There was lots of friendly teamwork. We all worked hard and had fun. The results were just amazing.  Everyone’s project was unique and interesting. And, due to the vigilance of the instructors, by the end of the weekend, every participant demonstrated command of the techniques. It was a truly exciting, inspiring, rewarding and outright amazing weekend. Highly recommended!”
– Steven Maxx, New Jersey

“I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is interested in the art of Light Painting.  Both Harold and John are excellent instructors, they are patient beyond words, great communicators and very willing to share their knowledge.  The workshop covered all aspects of Light Painting, from lighting concepts, composition, camera settings, image capture and post processing. 
After taking Harold’s Light Painting Workshop, I have found that both the handout material and the Photoshop actions we received have been invaluable tools in my photography. 
In short, the Workshop exceeded my expectations, I had a great time, learned a tremendous amount, the cappuccinos were excellent and I hope to take another workshop with Harold in the near future. Thanks again.”
  Ron Studebaker, Colorado

“Thank you for a great workshop! I learned a lot, about light painting, about highlights, and about post-processing. I appreciate that you went the extra mile for us, I can tell that you put your all into everything that you do! I will definitely recommend your workshop to other people! People with little photoshop masking experience and people more familiar with Photoshop alike will get a lot out of it. I will definitely be using many of the tips that I learned from you in all of my post-processing. Some of those small tips were icing on the cake! I know that what I learned this weekend will affect everything that I see in the future. I will see everyday objects in a new light. You are a wealth of knowledge and it is refreshing that you share what you know so readily. I have been on some workshops where the leader left out so many of the important parts that it was like getting their cake recipe with the amounts and ingredients changed. “
– Lisa Cuchara, Connecticut

“The workshop was everything I hoped for and more. Harold is an excellent teacher and goes above and beyond to help. He is so patient! He explained light painting in a way that I can understand. I felt “right at home” the minute I walked thru the door. The attention I received before the workshop helped me to prepare for the class and the knowledge I gained from the workshop is priceless.”  
–  Pam Bredin, South Carolina

6 Responses to “Group Workshops – Light Painting the Still Life”

  1. Wonderful photo!

  2. Sir, your work is truly inspiring. Look forward to learning from you at the earliest.

  3. Love your work! Do you have a 2016 workshop schedule at this time?

  4. Please don’t take this the wrong way because I’m very interested and live in Lancaster. Is the cost of your course $1,195 or did I read that wrong? Thank you, fantastic work.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for your comments and your appreciation of my work! Yes, that is the price, and I do realize that it is a bit low. I hear from my students all the time (after the workshop) that it is a real bargain. If you haven’t done so already, please take a quick look at student testimonials HERE. In this day and age when there is so much value placed on equipment, and the importance of good training is undervalued, we try to keep the tuition as reasonable as we can. Thanks again, and we hope to see you at workshop in the future.

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