Announcement: A new opening for the March 3 -5, 2017 Light Painting Workshop **UPDATE: This workshop is now full. Thank you!

•January 24, 2017 • Leave a Comment

As always, if you’re viewing this in an email, please click the title of this post to see the blog, which offers a better viewing experience.

Light Painted Photograph

Photograph by Harold Ross

Just a quick little notice that we have had a student cancellation for our March 3-5, 2017 workshop.

(We also have just one opening in our April 28-30, 2017 group workshop as well.)

There is one spot for that workshop now open.

If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to sign up!

The workshops are limited to 4 students.

To sign up please contact us at 717-923-0269 or via email at

Click HERE for the schedule and details of the workshop.

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

“I have been a professional photographer for the last 38 years, working in Los Angeles and for the last 15 years in Santa Barbara California.  I have always wanted to learn light sculpting but never seemed to have the time.  Well, I’m glad I waited to find Harold Ross!  His expertise and quality instruction has opened my eyes to a new and wonderful way to express my creativity in photography.  My expertise is lighting and I have met very few photographers I admire more than Harold for lighting, amazing.  His quality and attention to every detail is second to none.  The personal attention I got from such a small class gave me a deep understanding of the ideas behind the procedures.  It enabled me to have a fuller experience and benefit from Harold’s personal touch and guidance.  I highly recommend this workshop to anyone who wants to take their photography in a very different direction than the rest of the photographic crowd.  Harold Ross is a craftsman which there are very few left in our profession.”
– Richard Salas, California, Group Workshop

“Anyone who ever gave you confidence, you owe them a lot.” And such is Harold Ross and his Sculpting with Light course. Through patient guided instruction, latitude enough for personal interpretation, over three days, before my eyes an interpretative image developed. The small class were each amazed at their own and each other’s work. Amazing, stimulating, excitement inside and out. My Muse has returned!”
– Donald Crais, La Place, LA, Group Workshop

Images created by students in “One on One” workshops.

•January 21, 2017 • 3 Comments

A number of weeks ago, I posted images from some of my group workshops.

(By the way, we just had a cancellation for our next workshop, March 3rd-5th, so there is one open seat!)

Today, I’m posting images that were shot by students who attended One-on-One (or Two-on-One) workshops.

In individual workshops, there is a little bit more time to spend on slightly more complex images, as there is only one student. Alternatively, instead of shooting more complex images, we sometimes are able to shoot two or even three simpler images.

I really love teaching groups of students, but there is something nice about a One-on-One workshop. There is more of a back-and-forth, resulting in a workshop that is a bit more conversational and can be tailored towards that individual, in terms of material.

As I’ve mentioned before, because my prop collection is limited (although it is extensive), there is often a repetition of props throughout the images. That said, I’m always excited to see the compositions that my students come up with!

The workshop is not about making a masterpiece, but is designed to teach a process and a way of thinking about light. I believe that my “Sculpting with Light” process is very transformative, and the images of ordinary objects shot by my students is a testament to that.

Due to the fact that Chris Jewett of Stevensville, Maryland, had taken a group workshop in the past, he was able to create two images this time around. He also brought along something to photograph, a very interesting antique “Physician’s Field Microscope”. This was used by physicians in very rural areas, or possibly during wartime. With this instrument, a doctor could examine tissues, etc., for an immediate analysis. It’s a beautiful piece, and Chris made a beautiful photograph of it. For his second image, Chris wanted to explore a more “painterly” subject, more along the lines of a classical still life. Well done, Chris!

Cindy Hartman of Hughesville, Maryland, had also attended a group workshop in the past. She also created two beautiful photographs. I just love the image with the three pears, a classically beautiful still life, which Cindy composed so well. The other image by Cindy is of a lovely (and quite small) vase, along with a vintage necklace. Very nice work, Cindy!

Canice Dunphy, who travelled from Gowna, Ireland for a second workshop, brought along a Buddha figure that he had purchased in Nepal. Canice decided to take an extra day with his workshop, so we were able to create a second image, this time of a vintage sewing machine in my prop collection. This was a very complex subject, something we would not be able to shoot in a group workshop environment. Canice did a fantastic job on both images!

Lennie Higgins, of Littleton, Colorado, created a very interesting composition of (seemingly) unrelated subjects. The two objects on the left came from the ocean (the “vertebrae” is actually a piece of machinery (probably a very old boat engine) that I found in the surf in Maine) and the object on the right is a hip implant. I think they work well together. Very nice image, Lennie!

Davey Rudy of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, included in his composition a level and a wrench that his grandfather owned, along with a few things from my prop collection. These tools are worn from of years of use, and I believe that, in some way, they hold the spirit of the person that used them. It’s always nice to share in the experience of someone photographing objects that have a personal meaning. Lighting metal can be a bit challenging, and almost everything in this image is metallic, but Davey rose to the challenge!

Deb Ehrens, of  Dartmouth, Massachusetts, makes beautiful images of leaves in water. I am also drawn to the beauty of leaves, and I have several in my “collection”. Well, Deb saw this one on our prop shelf, and so she decided to include it. As a matter of fact, the wood, acorns and pine cone were all found in our yard. Once again, beauty is all around us if we just take the time to look. Deb also wanted the challenge of learning to light glass and metal. Great job, Deb!

Debbie Harris, of Frederick, Maryland, brought this beautiful teapot which was made by her son. As you may know, Vera and I collect teapots, so it was wonderful to see this one, and working with Debbie to photograph it was even more special because it has a very deep sentimental meaning to her. Also, Debbie raises ducks, and brought along a dozen or so duck eggs (and some feathers!). To give the reader a sense of scale, these eggs are roughly 30% larger than chicken eggs! One thing that Debbie taught me was that these eggs, like fresh chicken eggs, don’t need refrigeration, and will be good for 3 weeks or so. I felt honored to work with Debbie on an image that means so much to her.


The images load onto this page in random order… each time you refresh the page, the order and sizing will be different. I think it’s kind of fun to see the random juxtapositions.

All images from students over the years are HERE.

To sign up for a currently offered group workshop, click HERE.

Make sure to click on any image to get a larger carousel view!

Yes, that’s right… I LOVE old oil cans!

•January 5, 2017 • 4 Comments

Hello everyone and Happy 2017! It’s a brand new year and we hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!

As always, if you’re viewing this in an email, please click the title of this post to see the blog, which offers a better viewing experience.

It’s no secret; I have a thing for old oil cans. There is something appealing about their simplicity of purpose, and yet, how vital they were for the maintenance of complex machinery.

My friend, co-instructor and photographer John Corcoran owns this example from the 1920’s, an Eagle #66.

The many years of use is evidenced by the gorgeous patina.

To see a few more examples of this series, click HERE.


Photographer Harold Ross' Light Painted Image "Still Life With Oil Can and Brass Ring"

Photograph by Harold Ross

Still Life with Eggs… and Solvent?

•December 14, 2016 • 10 Comments

When photographing something that inspires me (in this case, some eggs from a local farmer), I sometimes find that the composition demands another element for balance, and more often than not, the size, shape and color of an object becomes more important than the object itself.

While working on this composition, I remembered my “Squirt” solvent dispenser, which I’ve had for 20 years and still use routinely. Its conical shape and the height of its spout were just the right thing to balance this image. The color was a bonus!

Does one normally think of a solvent dispenser as “going with” organic eggs, or food of any kind? To the contrary!

In fact, I often purposely use elements in a composition that don’t relate at all. These unexpected relationships can be delightful and fun!

Light Painted Photograph "Still Life With Eggs" by Photographer Harold RossPhotograph by Harold Ross

Student Images from our recent group workshops.

•December 5, 2016 • 7 Comments

Hello all,

Although I don’t get to it often enough, I always enjoy posting results from our group workshops. Although there is sometimes a repetition of subject matter (my collection of props is large, but not that large!), my workshop attendees always managed to surprise and delight with their interpretations and compositions. I like to say that the goal of the workshop is not to make a masterpiece, but to learn how to make a masterpiece. That said, I’m constantly amazed at the level of quality of the images that my students have created.

The images load onto this page in random order… each time you refresh the page, the order and sizing will be different. I think it’s kind of fun to see the random juxtapositions; also there is no possible way for me to have favorites; they are all terrific.

All images from students over the years are HERE.

As always, make sure to click on the title to go to the blog, then click on an image to get a carousel view!

A Still Life Lighting Animation

•November 26, 2016 • 7 Comments

Now and then, I make a lighting animation to see how the light plays through a still life photograph. It’s fun, and it’s easy to make these animations, and it gives me an idea of how the light is working. These animations almost feel like videos shot from the camera’s point of view!

There are two pencil sharpeners in this image; the small green one on the left has such an unusual shape, and I love the color. The larger sharpener was given to me many years ago by my father, and although it’s just an object, it’s a sentimental one which I’ve photographed before. It really is a small machine (and it has gears!), and I admire the thought that went into its design.

Photographer Harold Ross' Light Painted Image Still Life with Pencil Sharpener and Bottle

Photograph by Harold Ross

Here’s the video animation, which gives an idea of how the lighting looked as I applied it:

The (almost) forgotten teapot collection…

•November 20, 2016 • 8 Comments

Vera and I have been collecting teapots for some time, but in the four years since moving to our current home, we’d forgotten to unpack them! Finally, a few weeks ago, we found the cardboard box which held the carefully packaged collection.

I decided to photograph them, and here is one of the images from the series.

We love Japanese Tetsubin pots, which are cast iron. Traditionally, when making tea, they are heated over a charcoal fire. Their textures are gorgeous, and with my interest in metal work (started by my blacksmith grandfather, Albert Iten) they really speak to me.

My hope was to capture the sublime combination of craft and design.

As always, if you’re viewing this in an email, please click to see the blog, which offers a better viewing experience.

Light Painted photograph Still Life with Teapot and Red Cloth by Harold RossPhotography by Harold Ross

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