7th Annual Abstract Exhibit Open

“I’ll get out there next week,” John stated.
“But by next weekend it will be gone,” replied Carla.

Annual Photography Exhibit

For our 7th consecutive year our exhibit is live and in progress.  As of Saturday, 6 May, the 7th Annual Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit is open.  The exhibit hall is open from noon to 5pm every Saturday and Sunday in May.  We will also open it one last day on Monday, 29 May 2017.
There is a fantastic collection of abstract photographs at the Center. Some people create their art at the snap of the shutter. Creating an abstract vision from something they’ve seen or created. Others create a new vision from their extensive collections of images. Applying filters or processing techniques to portray what they’ve seen in their mind.
This exhibit allows for unlimited adjustments. Relying on the final image to express the maker’s concepts. The one rule is that the original work must have come from a photograph. Any technique is possible, with Rounding filters, Reverse Montages, Solarizations, or Swirl filters. Some in-camera techniques are intentional camera movement, textured glass, smoke, and architectural details.
Each exhibit has a unique flow, and this one is no exception. Curator Amie Tannenbaum does an exceptional job creating a museum-like experience. She produces an environment where drastically different images work side-by-side. This is definitely the finest Abstract Photography exhibit in the Washington metro area. It may be the finest exhibit in country.
If you have the opportunity, you should come by the Artist’s Reception, beginning at 2pm on Sunday, 7 May 2017.
You don’t want to end up like John, a day too late to see the exhibit in person.
For those of you who do miss the exhibit? We expect to have all the images posted on the NVACC website, along with previous years.

How to get there

The exhibit is in Gainesville at the Joseph Miller Center for the Photographic Arts.  The address is 4811 Catharpin Road, Gainesville, VA 20155.
Tell Joe that you heard about it here!


Darkroom Equivalents

For all of you who never knew the wonders of a B&W darkroom, here is a video about the darkroom equivalents of some common Photoshop tools.

This week is Photoshop’s 25th anniversary and Lynda.com has produced a free video demonstrating some wet darkroom techniques that are commonly used in Photoshop’s digital darkroom.  It is great to see the dodging and burning techniques that were so common in the wet darkroom demonstrated by a master printer like Konrad Eek as he works his magic to produce a fine art print.

Nearly every tool in Photoshop has its roots in the wet darkroom and I love the comparison of the contact print to Bridge (or the Library module in Lightroom). Even the Unsharp Mask, which I have frequently heard attributed to Adobe making up names (thanks to Beyond Monochrome for the excellent resource) was invented, and named, in the wet darkroom.

Seeing the work that was involved in the wet darkroom is such a great reminder of the simplicity of performing effectively the same action in Photoshop.  Konrad has it right when he talks about the time and effort involved in retaining the information to create the same print a second time.  The notes and masks all had to be filed and managed, when Photoshop (and Lightroom) allow us to save all of that work within the file (or catalog) so the second print is the press of a button.

I personally never had much of an opportunity to work in the wet darkroom, however the few times I did, I remember being able to watch the print develop before my eyes.  And although I appreciate the speed and efficiency of the digital darkroom, there is something magical about the wet darkroom.

I feel a little bit of pity for today’s photographers who will never know the joy of seeing the image appear from that blank white sheet of paper.  As if it was always there, just waiting to be, if you’ll pardon the pun, “exposed.”

Tuan Pham – Photography as Zen Art

My friend Tuan Pham is at it again.  Back by popular demand he is providing his class Photography as Zen Art again at the National Arboretum throughout September and one running in October.

The National Arboretum only updates their website quarterly, so the class will not be posted there until September, but the link will work once they update it.  Here is their write-up that should be posted soon:

Workshop: Photography as Zen Art

September 13, 20, 27 and October 11 (4 sessions)

9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Using the Arboretum collections as inspiration, enhance your photographic vision and produce more meaningful images with lessons from this four-session workshop. Built upon the common denominator of photography and Zen – wise attention – this program incorporates several Zen creative practices, including relaxed awareness, mindfulness of perception, seeing with one eye, and more. These techniques enable you to find beauty wherever you are, loosen the grip of preoccupations and attachments, and capture images that reflect your true nature. For more class details, call the instructor at 703-855-9888. Required: digital camera, tripod, and means of sending digital images. Registration required.

The last class filled up fast, if you or someone you know might be interested.

Tuan is a lifelong practitioner of Buddhist meditation and his creativity in photography exploded when he began to apply the concept of “wise attention” to his practice of photography.  His story about how he discovered the beauty in his “photographs of nothing” is both entertaining and enlightening.  Traveling all that distance to produce photographs that he could have created anywhere is an amusing reminder of the beauty that surrounds us every day.

Tuan’s photography is now not only technically sound, it is emotive.  He has modified his perception so that he is not taking photographs of beautiful things, he is taking beautiful photographs of things.  It seems like a subtle linguistic difference, but the difference in his work is substantial.

A student, who must have been in the class with me this last spring, wrote this testimonial after the class.

Don’t forget to register in advance!  There are usually no seats available at the door.

Zen TTL Poster

More on The Beauty of Things

Zen Art Poster by Tuan PhamTuan Pham’s presentation of Zen Through the Lens is coming up at the National Arboretum on Saturday, February 8th from 10:00 am to 12:oo pm.

This is a great opportunity to learn from a master of relaxed attentiveness.  This style allows Tuan to produce one-of-a-kind images that are not only technically strong, but demonstrate an artistic subtlety.

Simplicity and visual design are apparent throughout Tuan’s portfolio and he is eager to teach others to produce art with their camera.

The Beauty of Things

My good friend Tuan Pham will be conducting a workshop and presentation at the National Arboretum in Washington DC in early 2014.   His presentation, “Beauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable” represents his Buddhist approach to photography and life in general.  His workshop is called “In Search of Artistic Personality” and will meet five consecutive Saturdays.

Beauty of Things by Tuan PhamBeauty of Things Insubstantial, Insignificant and Untouchable

Tuan’s Buddhist background has helped him develop a contemplative approach toward photography, mixing meditation and Wise Attention to see the beauty in things that others are willing to walk past.  This approach makes Tuan’s photography simple and compelling.  Tuan will share his methods for training your eyes and cultivating your mind to perceive your surroundings in an unbiased way; freeing you to create memorable images with a much deeper meaning.  Tuan is a life-long practitioner of mindful meditation and applies those principles to his photography.  The National Arboretum is one of Tuan’s favorite sites for nature photography, please join him for this unique opportunity to learn from one of our areas most accomplished amateur photographers.


8 February, 2014


10:00 am to 12:00 pm


United States National Arboretum

3501 New York Avenue, NE; Washington, D. C. 20002-1958

Tel: 202-245-2726    Fax: 202-245-4575

In Search of Artistic Personality

The workshop that Tuan will be leading will meet at the arboretum during the spring.  As of today, the workshop is still unscheduled.  Stay tuned for additional information.

Tuan’s teaching style is such that anyone with a camera, be it a DSLR, Point and Shoot or camera phone will be able to take advantage of his workshop.

Self-Publishing Artist Books w/ Lauren Henkin

Photoworks is hosting an innovative and artistic workshop with Master Photographer Lauren Henkin on Saturday, September 21 — from 10 AM – 4 PM.  The workshop is titled SELF-PUBLISHING ARTIST BOOKS, and is the perfect introduction for photographers who are interested in preserving or sharing or marketing their images.

Self-Publishing Artist Books with Master Photographer Lauren Henkin

DATE:  Saturday, September 21
TIME:  10am - 4pm (includes 1 hour lunch)
COST:  $225 (includes a comprehensive resource manual)
REGISTRATION LINK:  Self-Publishing Artist Books
QUESTIONS?  Contact Lauren Henkin at lauren AT laurenhenkin DOT com

Image of Photo BookBook publishing for photographers has exploded over the last few years.  Expanded options for printing have enabled artists to consider publishing their own works, through both traditional and handmade processes. There is now a level playing field between established photographers and amateurs and emerging artists, enabling anyone to craft their work specifically for a book.  While most of the focus on self-publishing has centered on available print-on-demand services, creating books produced directly by the artist offers an even wider array of control, options, and methods, making it an attractive option to expand the artist’s storytelling capabilities.  For example, when self-publishing, the artist can take a more active role in choosing the paper, layout, method of binding, and even work with other artists within the bookmaking community.  By viewing sample books and case studies and hearing in-depth descriptions of the steps required to complete a book project, participants of this 1-day introductory seminar will leave with the inspiration and resources to begin their project.  All of the following material will be presented as general topics, but also within the context of Henkin’s own experiences in self-publishing.

Topics covered will include:

  • Why self publish?
  • Advantages and challenges of self publishing
  • Types of Publications
  • Determining specifications for your project
  • Collaborating with other artists
  • Financing your book
  • Marketing and distribution
  • Case Studies: How others are doing it
  • Resources to complete your project

Simply Beautiful Photographs: A National Geographic Traveler Seminar

NatGeo Traveler is doing a full-day photography seminar titled “Simply Beautiful Photograhs” at National Geographic Society on October 6th.

Simply Beautiful Photographs

Your photographs can be artistic creations and you’ll learn the secrets to making the most appealing photographs possible. Renowned photographers Annie Griffiths and Dan Westergren take you on a visual journey and share their perspectives on what creates beauty in a photograph. They’ll cover how to use color, light, composition, and—most important—how to see your subjects with a different eye.

Dates & Locations

October 6, 2013
9:00AM - 4:00PM
National Geographic Society • Washington DC

Cost: $195

Register here: http://www.nationalgeographic.com/ngtseminars/seminars/simply-beautiful-photographs.html

Topics Covered

Composition and Light

Explore two of the most basic elements needed to create any beautiful image. You’ll see the importance of defining your subjects; incorporating shapes, colors, and textures; and using lighting techniques to vary and influence a photo.

Vision and Voice

How do you choose the content for your images? Learn how to express something personal through your images and create your own artistic voice. Great subject matter often comes from seeing something that others don’t within a familiar setting and then capturing it in your photo.

The Power of Moment

Great photographs convey information, ideas, and emotion. Learn how to sharpen your skill for finding and capturing decisive moments that will reflect what’s truly special about the places, people, and experiences you witness.

Learning to See

Train your eyes to look for photos that tell a story. Discover the visual, intellectual, and intuitive elements that go into making stunning photographs. Explore how travel photography styles have changed and what makes certain photos leave a lasting impression.

The Art of Taking Pictures

Color is the most significant element in composition. It commands the viewer’s eye and influences the feel of a picture. Discover how to work with color, contrasts, and balance, so you can make the most aesthetically appealing images possible.

Still have questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page or email: info AT ngtravelerseminars DOT com

Stay & Shoot Overnight at a C&O Canal Lockhouse This Fall

Canal Quarters Interior by Chris Hanessian
Canal Quarters Interior by Chris Hanessian

The C&O Canal has always offered photographers some of Washington, DC’s, best nature and historic structure subjects. This Fall/Winter rediscover this photographer’s playground from evening through morning with an overnight stay in one of the Canal Quarters lockhouses.

Magnificently refurbished with the help of the C&O Canal’s nonprofit partner, the C&O Canal Trust, the six lockhouses dot the towpath from right outside Georgetown to 110 miles out in Washington County and are furnished to evoke different eras in the canal’s history – its construction in the 1830s, the Civil War, the turn of the century, and up through the 1950s.

Capture history, architecture and nature while being immersed in a true Washington experience. Canal Quarters is now booking dates through August 2014 for weekdays and weekends. Fees for staying in the houses range from $100-$150 per night and each can accommodate up to eight people. Visit www.CanalQuarters.org to learn more and reserve a night in Washington, DC, history.

From Leigh Kessler of the C&O Canal Trust.

Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night Walk

To all of you photographers out there, here is an opportunity to develop your skills and provide a valuable service in the process.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Light The Night Walk is the nation’s night to pay tribute and bring help and hope to millions of people touched by cancer. Light The Night Walk funds lifesaving research and support for people battling cancer. Friends, families and co-workers form fundraising teams and millions of consumers help by donating at retail outlets. These efforts culminate in inspirational, memorable evening walks in over two hundred communities each fall across North America. National Capital Area Chapter has three walks in the DC Metro Area:

Northern Virginia will be held on October 5, 2013 at Reston Town Center from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Montgomery County will be held October 12, 2013 at Rockville Town Square from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Washington, DC Walk will be held on October 19, 2013 at Freedom Plaza from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

We are currently looking for photographers of all skill levels to come out and capture the true spirit of Light The Night. For your talents, time, and copies of the photos you would be compensated with marketing incentives, recognition, and photo credit on all photos that are used. Light The Night is a visually stimulating and memorable walk that will give you the opportunity to show case your talents. The time commitment would be from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and potential photographs requested could be team photos, general walk photos, photos of top participants, and walk site.

For more information please contact Emily at Emily.Seeger AT lls DOT org or by phone at 703.399.2924. Our events would not be possible without the support of our local communities, I thank you in advance for your time.

Multiple Exposures Gallery at the Torpedo Factory

MEDIA RELEASE Multiple Exposures Gallery

Henderson & Keating Exhibit AnnouncementThe Torpedo Factory Art Center

105 N. Union Street
Alexandria, VA

“Daily Differences” by Colleen Henderson
“Street Portraits” by Karen Keating

September 3 – October 13, 2013


Sunday, September 8, 2-4pm

Fine art photographers, Colleen Henderson and Karen Keating will present new work in their two-person exhibit at Multiple Exposures Gallery.

Skeleton Tree by Coleen HendersonColleen’s images are from an ongoing body of work from her “shot of the day” series started in 2008 after attending a contemplative photo class.  The challenges of seeing and being present changed the nature of her shooting and image capture. In addition to framed photographs, Colleen will be exhibiting a limited edition of hand bound artist books.






Palermo Chair by Karen KeatingKaren has long used the street as her stage for observing people, often in other countries.  Previous portfolios are from Honduras, Bulgaria, Africa, and most intensely Cuba.  A trip to Sicily during Easter week 2012 and the start of a new project in Key West are the locations for her continuing attraction to street portraits and the observation of daily life.  Watching and waiting for the visual gift is both her challenge and reward.  Her “Cuba: Watching and Waiting” book will be available.


Gallery Hours:

Daily 10am – 6pm; Thursdays, 11am-9pm


Karen Keating, kwkeating AT comcast DOT net ;
Colleen Henderson, colleen AT colleenhenderson DOT com