Page 1

Fall 2012



President Cayce Newman, S–PPC (951) 737-7310


1514 N. Elm St Escondido, Ca 92026 (800) 439-5839

First Vice President Marcy Dugan, CPP, F-PPC, S-PPC (310) 322-2917

Second Vice President Michael Sauer (530)-276-8404

Secretary Penny Palumbo, CPP (626) 826-1836 pcubed@

Treasurer Robin Swanson, CPA (818) 790–6333

Chairman Of The Board Phillip Abel (619) 435–0583

Staff Business Manager

Roger Daines

M.Photog, Cr, CPP, ASP, API,, F–PPC, S–PPC (800) 439–5839

Conference Manager

Dea Meyer

Trade Show Manager

Bill Thomas

M.Photog, Cr, CPP, F–PPC, S–PPC (951) 780–2627

West Coast School Director

Kathy Metz

(626) 915-4449 PBKPIX@AOL.COM

Pro Photo West Editor

Rodney Ninow

Professional Photographers of California, Inc. is a non–profit, 501(c)6 trade association of professional photographers, employees, suppliers and others allied to the profession. Professional Photographers of California offers a variety of opportunities and benefits to its members and is one of the largest state affiliates of the Professional Photographers of America. Pro Photo West is the official publication of Professional Photographers of California, and is published quarterly for the purpose of keeping members informed of photographic information, news and activities of the state. Subscription is included with member dues, or is available for $26. per year. Articles, with or without photographs, are welcome for review for inclusion in this publication; however the Editor reserves the right to edit and use articles on a space–available basis. Materials will not be returned unless a postage paid envelope is provided. Letters and contributions must include a phone number. Send all communication, articles or advertising to the Editor. Articles appearing in Pro Photo West reflect the opinions of the writer. They do not necessarily represent those of the editor or Professional Photographers of California. Permission to reprint contents of this magazine is granted to similar photographic publications, provided the author, Professional Photographers of California and Pro Photo West are credited as the source. Printed by Marathon Press, Norfolk, Nebraska .


| Professional Photographers of California

Contents Features

10 16 22 26


The Veteran and the Newcomer R ae DeVito

4 Affiliate Directory

West Coast School Instructor Spotlights

Lightroom: Overlooked Troy Miller


Unused Features







18 Conference Manager 21 Membership Message

Topaz Labs: Black & White Effects R eview Rodney Ninow

35 Best in Show 44 The End


Photoshop: Layer Masks 201 Suzette Allen


Quickbooks for the Professional: Lesson 15: Backing Up Part 2 Robin Swanson


Creating a Winning Image: Janel Pahl Michael Collins


Changes to Print Competition 2013 Tim Mathiesen

Cover by

Christopher M. Stillians This month’s cover image is by Christopher M. Stillians. He wrote the following description:

Your favorite PPC magazine is now available online! That’s right! You can now view the most current issue of ProPhotoWest magazine at Click on the “current issue” link at the top of the page. Click on the cover to access the pages inside, and navigate from one page to the next by clicking on the arrow buttons on either side of each 2 page spread. You can also click on the pages to zoom in automatically and read the print quality text. Enjoy!

It’s such a beautiful thing we do-- documenting generations. Like layering in Photoshop, one generation on top of another. I photographed the mother of these sweet little twins, when she was their age. I went on to photograph her family as she grew, and eventually photographed her wedding. I have recently photographed these two girls with their brother. Yes, I have been around a while! I photographed this portrait during one of my spring trips to Memphis. It was at Grandma’s home in her garden. The irises were just beautiful and caught my eye. I picked up a wrought iron patio chair and placed it amongst the flowers under the overhanging shade of a tree. This gave me some directional light coming from the side. I photographed several different poses, but this one captured a very intimate shared moment between these two, and my heart. This was photographed using an RB with a 180mm lens. Remember those days? The negative was scanned with an Imacon scanner. I used Photoshop initially and then took the file into Painter to create the finished painting.

Fall 2012



Your Local Affiliates Affiliate AIM – Associated Image Makers, Fairfield


3rd Th

Robert Pierce (707) 528–0850

2nd W

Penny Palumbo (626) 826-1836

2nd M

Dan Holmes

3rd M

Michael Collins (805) 733-5197

3rd W

Troy Miller

2nd Tu

Kevallyn Paskos (925) 766–3121

3rd M

Nicole Roberts

PPLAC – Los Angeles County

4th Th

Bob Young

PPNV – North Valley, Redding

3rd Th

Michael Sauer (530) 276-8404

2nd W

Anthony Holguin (949) 728-2955

PPSCV – Santa Clara Valley

2nd W

Linda Krakow Eaman(408) 979–9179

PPSDC – San Diego County

2nd Tu

Jeff Davidson (619) 244–6841

PPSV – Sacramento Valley

3rd W

Traci Kinney (916) 717-1874

SPP – Stanislaus, Modesto

3rd Tu

Marian Miller (209) 847-0540

2nd W

Rod Thornburg (661) 827–8710

AVPP – All Valley, La Canada CIPPA – Channel Islands, Camarillo GCPPA – Gold Coast, Pismo Beach IEPPV – Inland Empire NCPP – Northern California NorCalPPA - Chico

PPOC – Orange County

SVPIP – South Valley , Bakersfield



| Professional Photographers of California

(805) 701-5559

(951) 737–7310

(530) 895-8000 (310) 338-9385


Robin Swanson is a professional photographer and CPA (Certified Public Accountant) who realized her accounting and business skills could be combined

with her photography skills to create a successful photography business. Swanson has always loved photography, and several years ago became a professional photographer. She is a member of San Fernando Valley Professional Photographers (SFVPP), Professional Photographers of California (PPC), and Professional Photographers of America (PPA) and attends every photography convention, seminar, and class she can fit into her busy schedule. She photographs anything that gets in front of her camera. Her great rapport with adults, children, and even pets creates an environment conducive to capturing beautiful images. Several of Swanson’s photographs have earned merits in regional print competitions and in PPA’s International Print Competition. Robin has easily adapted her business and accounting skills to her growing photography business. During these past few years she learned a lot about photography from her peers, but also noticed that some of them could benefit from her accounting and business knowledge. As a Certified QuickBooks Professional Advisor, Robin is helping other professional photographers use QuickBooks software to accurately account for their finances.

Donna Jirsa, owner of Lasting Impressions Portraiture & Photographic Art located in Redlands, CA is a creative entrepreneur, profes-

sional photographer and graphic artist, exercising her inventive talents for set design, portrait enhancement, new product development, artistic portrait design and photo restorations since the studio opened in 1980. As a member of Inland Empire Professional Photographers (IEPPV) Jirsa has received the following awards: 2003, 2005, 2006 “Illustrative Photographer of the Year”; 2005 IEPPV “People’s Choice Award”; and the first “IEPPV Chuck Jones Memorial Presidential Award for Service” in 2006. She has served as IEPPV secretary and membership chair. As a member of Professional Photographers of California (PPC) she has earned the following: Fellowship Degree (F-PPC); Service Award (S-PPC); 2007 Top Ten Photographer; and is an Evans-Kingham Service Award Recipient. She been a speaker at Western States Conventions, served as Digital Cafe Chair for Western States Pro Photo Expo, Convention Committee Member, magazine editor of Pro Photo West, and currently serves as Membership Chair.

Dea Meyer is a professional photographer who has traveled the world in search of history, art, diverse cultures, and challenging

topography. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in art history, literature and music and brings a wealth of experience in non-profit and corporate management to her position with Professional Photographers of California as their Conference Manager. Currently a member of Professional Photographers of California and Channel Islands Professional Photographers Association, she has been actively involved as a PPC volunteer for many years through the Expo, Conference, Silent Auction, West Coast School and Print Competition; and was a member of the board of directors of Professional Photographers of Santa Barbara County for three years. Meyer has worked in the photographic industry for over twenty-five years, most currently with Meyer Photography alongside her husband Tim Meyer. Her decades of photographic experience and images spanning many photographic medium illustrate an abiding love of the craft of photography.

Rae DeVito is a South Bay professional photographer who specializes in capturing personalities of two and four-legged beings, mainly through portraiture and special events. She is currently serving her second year as board secretary and third as editor for Professional Photographers of Los Angeles County. Rae is also a member of Professional Photographers of America, Professional Photographers of California, the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, and Nikon Professional Services. She has merited at state and local levels. With a Bachelor’s in Journalism degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Rae also enjoys writing web content and press releases for photo clients as well as articles and screenplays. You can view some of her imagery at

Troy Miller is the current president of Inland Empire Professional Photographers and Videographers (IEPPV) and has been a mem-

ber of PPC for several years. He has been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years and together with his wife, Marjorie, runs Imagery Concepts, a wedding and portrait studio in Corona, CA. A late adopter to shooting digitally, Miller has now fully embraced digital capture and prides himself on his knowledge of image editing software. He has written close to 100 actions to improve his workflow in Photoshop and is always eager to get his hands on the latest raw editing software. Switching to Adobe Lightroom from Adobe Camera Raw for his raw conversions last year, he has immersed himself in the program, learning everything he can about it.

Suzette Allen is the “in-demand” Photoshop instructor in the photographic industry and is well known for

her down-to-earth and easy-to-understand teaching style. She has a remarkable talent for simplifying Photoshop down to understandable terms and easy-to-master techniques, and consistently gets rave reviews from her students! She has been an international speaker for Photographic Conventions, as well as a teacher at many of the PPA-affiliated schools. She is the recipient of the Fuji Masterpiece Award for Digital and Commercial Photographer of the Year for California in 2002. She’ll be teaching her class: Photoshop, Basics and Beyond at West Coast School this year.

Michael Collins retired from Law Enforcement at the rank of Sergeant after 30 years of service.

He has been a professional photographer for over 15 years and served on the board of directors for the Professional Photographers of California becoming President in 2007-2008. He has also served as President of the Gold Coast Professional Photographers Association 7 times. Collins’ passion in photography is mostly photographing high school seniors. As he says, “I am at the same maturity level as they are.” He has written several articles, published in both photographic and law enforcement magazines.

Fall 2012



From The Editor award winning image with his column “Creating the Winning Image” and Robin Swanson presents the much anticipated part two of her article on backing up Quickbooks files. If you like black and white photography, you’ll want to read my review on Topaz Labs’ Black & White Effects. You’ll also find a farewell message from outgoing PPC president Cayce Newman, and yes, he finally shares some photos! I’ve been suggesting to him each issue that he give me a photo for his column and he gladly supplied not one, but four for this issue! Rae DeVito continues her contributions with a story about not one, but two West Coast School students. Tim Mathiesen, PPC’s print competition chairman, has some important news to share about next year’s print competitions. Note, I said competitions, plural! There are a few more goodies hiding in this issue, but I want you to find them on your own.


y the time you read this, Fall is in full swing, and winter is knocking at the door. I love this time of year, there’s a crispness in the air and the leaves are turning beautiful colors. Not to mention the crowds are gone from some of my favorite shooting locations like Yosemite.

In this issue, I am excited to bring you part two in Suzette Allen’s Photoshop Layer Mask series as well as the last installment, for now anyway, in Troy Miller’s Lightroom articles. If you have read all of his articles, you should have a firm understanding of how the program works and how to use it efficiently. Michael Collins brings us another

A few issues back I issued a challenge. I challenged you all to do some shooting outside your normal comfort zone. Have you taken me up on that challenge? Have you shot something that fits this theme? If you have, I am happy to publish it in this magazine. Just email me at I mentioned in a previous column that I was going to be doing some Milky Way photography this summer. I went to the White Mountains of California with PPC Commercial Photographer of the Year, Fred Blood to camp and shoot the stars at night. The campground up there is a well known dark sky location and we were rewarded with an amazing light show the two nights we were there. This is a shot from that trip. After the White Mountains, we decided to head to Sedona, Arizona in hopes of capturing some of the monsoon season. There I shot lightning for the first time and I was excited about what I was able to capture, both during the day and at night. During the day, when I was watching frequent lightning bolts over a distant rock formation, I set my camera to high speed frame advance and shot dozens of images waiting for a bolt of lighting. I was rewarded with the image you see here. Remember, readers like you are what makes this magazine great. I am always looking for submissions and ideas! Send them to me at


| Professional Photographers of California

-Rodney Ninow

Fall 2012



From the



nd so it’s down to this, my final column as president of the Professional Photographers of California. Oh, I’m not off the hook quite that easy as my term runs through to the end of the year, but January’s column rightfully (and thankfully) moves to our incoming president Marcy Dugan who will do a spectacular job.

by Cayce Newman

Change has built in resistance and every sacred cow has defenders who hold on. Sometimes until it’s too late and beyond, but I still believe it is a debate that is not only worth having but that must happen, over and over again. No company can operate in 2012 the way it did in 2005, 2000 or 1995. Or, as another Greek philosopher (Canadian hockey player) said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky. And this also, “In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.” -Warren Buffett. (American business magnate and icon)

A Greek philosopher once said that there is nothing permanent in life except change, and it’s true that all things must change.

A Greek philosopher once said that there is nothing permanent in life except change, and it’s true that all things must change. Some sooner than we’d like, and some not as soon as they should have, but change is always inevitable. Innovation and trying to set a course that hits the right track of needed change without pushing the line too hard can be a maddening and frustrating exercise.

continued on page 43 8

| Professional Photographers of California

Fall 2012




Veteran and the

by Rae DeVito

Newcomer Š Christopher Stillians


| Professional Photographers of California

The story of two photographers, old and new, and how West Coast School impacted their careers. “[West Coast School] was overwhelming at first, but I found out that nobody cared that I was as young as I am. They just treated me as an equal, a photographer there to learn. They didn’t baby me, which was really nice.” - Garret Geyer

Fall 2012



Background image © Garrett Geyer

© Garrett Geyer

You can always learn something new as a professional photographer — whether you have been in the business nearly half a century or you’re just getting started. Take PPA Master Photographer and PPC Fellow Christopher Stillians, who started in the business 46 years ago in what he calls the golden age of film. Back then he was doing all his own printing, developing and retouching while attending Brooks Institute with a double major in Illustration and Portraiture.

“You come out of school and think you’re Jesus Christ the photographer,” shares Stillians. “I learned a lot from the guy I worked with about the business. I always tell people to make your mistakes on someone else’s money before venturing out on your own.” - Christopher Stillians

“One of the biggest, most valuable reasons PPC exists is the promotion of our profession and the education of people who do it.”

When Stillians graduated from Brooks, he traveled south to work for an environmental photography studio.

© Christopher Stillians

In 1980, Stillians returned home to the South Bay to embark on his on-location family portrait business, CMS Design Portraiture. He embraced a traditional approach, based on tried-and-true classic lighting and posing techniques. Stillians joined PPA, PPC, and PPLAC soon after launching his business. “One of the biggest, most valuable reasons PPC exists is the promotion of our profession and the education of people who do it. We can’t get better as a professional without education; we can’t grow and advance without it. PPC promotes that through West Coast School, the convention and the local affiliates,” explains Stillians. Stillians first enrolled in a boudoir class at West Coast School back when it was held at Brooks Institute. Years later, he took Photoshop with Eddie Tapp at the annual PPC convention, repeating the course at WCS six months later. Bells and whistles went off. “I realized I needed to learn Photoshop to give myself the control that I’d been giv-


| Professional Photographers of California

ing the lab. I felt reborn, and I couldn’t wait to get to work,” Stillians recalls. Ten years went by, and Stillians decided he needed to expand his Photoshop knowledge. He signed up for Richard Sturdevant’s Composite Class at WCS last June. “I appreciate all the creative avenues you have in the digital realm,” reflects Stillians. “I thought I’d broaden my horizons and take his class. I’m still filtering through my notes and getting it to make sense because he was teaching so much so fast. It was terrific.”

© Garrett Geyer

Stillians found the social aspect of WCS exhilarating. “It’s enjoyable to get together with my peers and talk about the industry. It’s a lightning rod for me to see where we’re at and where we’re going.”

© Christopher Stillians

Experimentation remains part of Stillians’ photography philosophy. After 46 years, he continues to push his creativity. “That’s why I wanted to take Richard’s class, to open my horizons to a broader look, a little more artistic, illustrative grunge look.” While Stillians’ a seasoned veteran still yearning to learn more, 17 year-old Santa Barbara native Garrett Geyer hungers to immerse himself in everything photographic. He even pushed himself to take the high school equivalency exam so he could graduate from high school early. All to pursue a career in photography. Geyer finished high school last summer, and enrolled in Santa Barbara City College’s School of Media Arts with a major in photography. He interned for a year at 240 Studio in Santa Barbara. “I learned a lot of studio lighting because I worked with photographers who shot products. I’d never been in a studio before that so I learned lighting techniques, how the equipment works, the basics,” says Geyer. “It gave me a solid foundation to do things on my own.” He joined PPA, PPC and CIPPA this year, deciding to take the leap and attend West Coast

Fall 2012



© Garrett Geyer

School last June to learn Photoshop. He found himself the lone teenager in a sea of grown-ups.

worthwhile. “I got the ‘You’re young, you can handle it’ excuse when volunteering—I heard that all day long.”

“It was overwhelming at first, but I found out that nobody cared that I was as young as I am. They just treated me as an equal, a photographer there to learn. They didn’t baby me, which was really nice.”

Geyer credits his affiliations with PPA, PPC, and CIPPA for recently obtaining representation, especially at such a young age, with Rock Paper Fine Art Photography in New York City. “They knew I was a member of these professional organizations and said, ‘He is serious.’ It made them take me more seriously as a professional.”

Geyer took Suzette Allen’s Photoshop class. “I thought Suzette’s class was awesome. I learned so much more than I expected to. It’s allowed me to experiment with different kinds of shots I wouldn’t have tried.” And in August, Geyer entered his first CIPPA Print Competition to see how he’d do up against the seasoned pros. “I was getting a little bit cocky, and it was good that they shot me down. I didn’t do well, and it showed I have much, much, much more to learn,” he admits. Geyer also dove in to volunteer at this year’s PPC Pro Photo Expo and Conference because he wanted to see behind the scenes, get better acquainted with fellow photographers, peruse the trade show, and take advantage of the classes. He found the volunteer work more physical than expected, but


| Professional Photographers of California

Where’s this ambitious teen pro photographer going from here? Now, he’s signed up for PPC’s Business and Arts Degree—something he says will take him a couple of years to complete, at least. “Hopefully, in that time, I’ll find my voice in photography,” muses Geyer. Something tells me that motivated, young Garrett Geyer will find his photographic focus, while veteran Christopher Stillians will continue to hone his skills as he nears his 50th anniversary in professional photography. You can see more of Christopher Stillians’ work at, and Garrett Geyer’s images are at

© Christopher Stillians

Self Portrait by Christopher Stillians

Photo of Garret Geyer by JB Brookman.

© Garrett Geyer Fall 2012




| Professional Photographers of California

Fall 2012



Photo © Art P. Suwansang

2012 Observations


ro Photo Expo and Conference 2012, which took place August 9-12 at The Pasadena Center, was by most accounts a certifiable achievement. The vendors were pleased with the quality and the constant flow of attendees who made the choice to take advantage of one of the highest ranking regional expo/ conferences in the nation. They noted the organized, welcoming nature of the event and an uncommonly high level of support. National level speakers maintained the high caliber of programming which the Professional Photographers of California offer on an annual basis, as well as throughout the year via the local affiliates. New and unique event offerings were met with overwhelming approval.

by Dea Meyer as Tony Corbell’s time commenced. They just picked up as a whole and moved over. What a wonderful scene that was, and what a confirmation that the idea was not only worthwhile, but a rousing success. Beginning with Kevin Kubota on Thursday and Joel Grimes on Friday, Rebecca Ford-Soren, Joyce Wilson, Kirk Voclain, Arthur Rainville, Tony Corbell, Sarah Petty, Chris Orwig and Doug Gordon presented a weekend of incredible programs of skill building, business management, history, the love of photography, inspiration, and Kleenex moments that will never be forgotten. Mental light bulbs turned on repeatedly in the audiences and professional photography studios across the state are better today than they were on August 8. On Saturday evening, the highly respected Canon Explorer of Light, George Lepp, in spite of a nasty cold, delivered a program that proved why he has had such a successful career and holds such an esteemed place in our industry. In addition to these national speakers, local and emerging talent was showcased through Dennis Nisbet, Arica Dorff, Kathy Metz and Robin Swanson. We are proud of the programs they presented and look forward to watching them share their knowledge on ever growing stages.

Photo © Michael Nadler

As specially selected, cherished voices and spirits of our industry took a moment to spend time with attendees in the Mentor Lounge, opinions were shared, wisdom was doled out, and inspiration was sparked. Each changing circle of participants invested their time and energy, joined with the mentors’, and came out better than they entered one hour earlier. The tables at the back of the trade show proved to be a great addition to the Expo environment. They were steadily populated with relaxing, dining, thoughtful attendees. “Should I buy that new lens? Why yes, I should!” They served as an overflow Mentor Lounge when the circle that gathered with Arica Dorff didn’t wish to relinquish their time with her

Achievements were recognized through the Professional Photographers of California Annual Awards Program and the Affiliate and Print Competition Print Displays. We are proud of those who progressed in their personal and professional journeys during the last year. We also raised needed funding for West Coast School education through the silent auction - a worthwhile endeavor which allows photographers, every year, to continue their path to success. The look of the event engendered welcome through the banner and board signage (so generously provided by Colorado Timberline and ACI) and the human, dynamic greetings of our red-shirted volunteers. These individuals came through both in front of and behind the scenes. They stood in lobbies and hallways and at doorways with genuine smiles and helpful communications. They carted and hauled and built an amazing number of easels! We can never thank them enough because events such as these do not happen without them. That’s not lip service. That’s the truth!

continued on page 20


| Professional Photographers of California

Fall 2012



Conference report continued from page 18

Thank you to all the volunteers - PPC Members and Brooks Institute alike. We value our continuing relationship with all of you and look forward to the involvement of others down the road. Photo © Art P. Suwansang

The Professional Photographers of California Booth was a place of swirling activity. Donna Jirsa outdid even herself (and knowing her, that’s quite an accomplishment) with the planning and implementation of a place where members and non-members alike felt welcome. It was a place of information, of sharing, of encouragement of affiliates and West Coast School. It was a place to find out how they, as individuals might become involved and how their membership is one of the best investments in their career. In addition to exceptional efforts on the parts of Karen Nakamura, Jim Doyle and Duane Murphy in the distribution of hard copy marketing to retailers and schools throughout much of southern California, we partnered with the vendors as part of a very aggressive marketing plan. We utilized all the tools of modern technology to spread the word to not only our own membership, but to the interested public through many avenues untried until this year. We were on target and strategic in our outreach and extremely grateful for the support proffered on us by the vendors and photography industry in general. We are excited to continue these relationships as we move forward on the plans for 2013.

Photo © Art P. Suwansang

From the inside, as a manager of this event, I was personally grateful for the board of the Professional Photographers of California in their willingness to allow new ideas in programming and event management. As forward thinking individuals and as a voting group, their support was extremely important to the movement of the cogs of the planning wheel. Pro Photo Expo and Conference is a team effort not only for those who prepare it, invest their time and money to bring their booths and personnel to share their wares, come to speak on its stages, offer their support as advertisers and sponsors, or volunteer their time and talents for a successful outcome, but for those who come to attend. To paraphrase the definition of conference, it means the exchange of information or discussion. Exchange implies a minimum of two way communication. A conference doesn’t exist without the vital presence of both parties - presenters and attendees. Pro Photo Expo and Conference exists only for the attendees’ confirmation that the event is imperative for their business survival. If not for that, we are a party of one.

Photo © Art P. Suwansang

Pro Photo Expo and Conference 2013 is already on the PPC books for August 22-25. Why not put it on YOUR BOOKS TOO?

Photo © Michael Nadler

Photo © Robert R. Fletcher


| Professional Photographers of California

What’s Your PPC Membership “ROI?” by Donna Jirsa


s the owner of a professional photography studio, I’m passionate about photography, an enthusiastic graphic artist, and I’m fanatical about keeping my business profitable!

You see, the art is rewarding, but it doesn’t automatically pay the bills. Each time I make a purchase or introduce a new product for the business, I ask myself this question: “What will be my return on investment (ROI)?” If the absolute true answer is that I’ll make no profit, or worse lose money, experience tells me I should save my time and money! That’s really just basic good business practice, or what would be called common sense. How can you figure this out for your own business? What does this have to do with Professional Photographers of California? I’m glad you asked! My ROI on PPC membership is enormous, and continues to grow each year I remain an involved member. So I’ll ask you, “What is your PPC Membership ROI?” If your answer is less than profitable, then I wonder, are you taking advantage of every educational, networking and mentoring opportunity available exclusively to you as a member of the PPC family? A perfect way to hone your skill and improve your business expertise is to participate in PPC’s Photographic Business and Arts Degree program. The program was established to encourage PPC members to continue their professional education and to recognize those members who have completed the educational requirements for the degree. The degree provides an incentive for members to gain a well-rounded background in the business and technical disciplines required to become successful in the business of professional photography. Recipients of the degree receive a medallion on a ribbon and a parchment style diploma. For complete details and requirements for the Business & Arts Degree, go to Other educational opportunities available to you as a PPC member are: West Coast School of Professional

Photography; Print Competition; Judging Academy; Camp Certification; California Sunday; and our annual Pro Photo Expo & Conference. Growth opportunities include our Quarterly RoadShows; Service Medallion; and the new PPC Master Degree. You can also volunteer to serve on a PPC Committee or volunteer at Pro Photo Expo & Conference. Contemplating the value of my own PPC Membership, I think back to the day I timidly became involved as a volunteer, while asking myself, “What could I possibly know that will help other photographers?” Turns out that being a seasoned exclusively digital portrait studio owner gave me the tools to, and allowed me the privilege of, mentoring a large number of photographers who were barely entering the digital age. The more I became involved, the more I grew, both on a personal level and in my business. What I learned is that we all have special talents, ideas and areas of expertise. Never be afraid to share! At this stage in my career, there’s one more indescribable benefit of PPC membership that we don’t seem to promote often, but I feel compelled to share with you: being part of a family of compassionate colleagues who jump in to take care of your needs in times of crisis or tragedy, without question or reservation. I have seen this occur many times, regardless of the level of participation by a member, and have personally experienced this kinship more than once during the time I’ve been a PPC Member. I would wish that none of you ever have to be the beneficiary of this kindness, but just knowing that it exists is priceless, in my book! So, get involved and apply the skills and knowledge you’ll acquire through these programs, then stand back and reevaluate your expanding career success! I’m confident you’ll see an enormous ROI for your PPC Membership investment! Donna Jirsa, F-PPC, S-PPC Membership Chairperson

Fall 2012



Lightroom Overlooked


U n u s e d F e at u r e s by Troy Miller


ightroom has literally hundreds of features you can use to match your workflow needs. I have compiled a list of some of the most over looked settings and options for this article. Smart Collections Smart collections is one feature I use every day to help organize my images. A smart collection is a set of images that have certain rules in common. Those rules, set by you, can be based on a variety of things, like keywords, rating, metadata, date shot and file type to name a few. The options are nearly endless. (top) For example, let’s say you shot 650 images today of a building that you were hired to photograph for a client. To best take advantage


| Professional Photographers of California | Professional Photographers of California

of smart collections, you’ll want to set as many rules for the images as you can. For this example, we can give all the images a keyword, such as the client’s name. Then, as you go through the images, give the best ones a rating, like five stars. After you star the top images, you can create a smart collection based on that client name and rating. If you only use the five star rating, the smart collection will show every five star image in your entire library. This is why the key wording is so important. To make the smart collection, in the library module, on the left side, scroll down to collection and click the plus. You will get a popup window with some choices. Choose “create new smart collection.” You can also do this by clicking “Library” at the top and choosing the same option. You will see a dialog open with some choices to make. (next page, top) First give the collection a name, in this case we will use the client’s name plus the subject. Below that you see “Placement.” Leave that at the default setting of “top level.” Keep the setting for “match” to “all” and change the first box below that to “keywords.” Set the next box to “contains” and in the text

box, type the client’s name. Now click the + sign at far right to add another rule. Set this rule to “rating” and “is five stars.” Click “create” and Lightroom will create your new smart collection which will display all the images that follow those rules. It doesn’t copy the images or move them, it just references them to this collection so you can see the ones you want to work on quickly. Once you start using smart collections, you will realize the advantage of having a more organized library.

Filtered Searches While we are on the subject of organizing your images, let’s talk about another way to find a set of files with specific parameters.

Say for example, you want to find all the photos you have taken with your fisheye lens. In the library module, select the folder or folders you want to search. If you want to search subfolders as well, at the top, click “library” and select “Show Photos in Subfolders.” Now we’ll use the “Library Filter” bar which may not be visible. If not, click “View” at the top and choose “Show filter bar.” You can also use the shortcut key backslash (/) if you prefer. Choose various options as shown to sort images as you like. For this example, (above) I will click the 16 mm lens, which is the fish-

eye I want. Lightroom will show me all the photos captured using that lens, in the folders I have chosen. You can change these choices by hovering over them and clicking the name and a long list of parameters appears. You can also add more filter columns by clicking at the top right of a column and choosing “add column.”

Fall 2012 Fall 2012

| |

23 23

Virtual Copies


Virtual copies is a tool I use all the time, I think they are great. A virtual copy is not really a copy, because it doesn’t take up any extra hard drive space. What it allows you to do is edit an image a few different ways and save those edits without having to export the file.

Stacks (below) are a really cool feature that I use every day. They are useful for keeping multiple copies of the same image organized. For example, let’s say you exported different sizes of the same image for different clients. You don’t need to see all those sizes in your library. Stacks store them beneath the main file. Virtual copies automatically create stacks, which is a nice touch. If you want to use stacks, when you export an image, be sure to check the box, “Add to Stack” in the export dialog box.

To create a virtual copy, right click an image and choose “create virtual copy.” You now have a copy of your file that you can edit a different way if you like. If you create a virtual copy of an edited image, you may want to hit the reset button on the copy to start editing that image from default settings. This is very useful if you want to have a color and a black and white of the same image and still maintain full control over editing.

I hope this series of articles on Lightroom has been useful to you. Next time, I will shift gears and bring a new topic to my column.

Quick Tips

Importing Quickly Choose “Minimal Previews” to get them into your library quickly. Later, you can render them as 1:1 or standard previews. Auto Advance When rating images, in the library module, at the top click “Photo” and choose “Auto advance.” This will automatically advance you to the next photo after you choose a star rating. Solo Mode For a cleaner look in any module, right click the top of any panel on the right and choose “Solo Mode.” You can also uncheck any panel you don’t use. Find Keyboard Shortcuts Click “help” at the top and choose the third one down to show the keyboard shortcuts for that module. View Options In the library module, right click an image and choose “View Options.” Play around with these options to see what they do. The cool thing here is Lightroom makes the changes instantly.


| Professional Photographers of California | Professional Photographers of California

Fall 2012



TOPAZ Labs B&W Effects

Text and Images by Rodney Ninow Fall 2012




opaz Labs makes a suite of plug-ins that have a variety of uses. The plug-ins work with Photoshop and Lightroom,

among others, and can be purchased all at once for a bundle price of $299 or individually for various prices, depending on the chosen plug-in. Over the next few issues, I’ll be reviewing some of those plug-ins, starting with the B&W Effects which sells for $59.99. After downloading and installing the suite, I installed their free program, Fusion Express. Fusion Express allows you to use the plug-ins in Lightroom, Aperture and Iphoto. This is really great if you don’t have Photoshop but do have one of the other programs. For this article, I used the plug-ins through Photoshop CS5, and with Lightroom 4 and it seemed to work equally well in both programs. There are a few steps you have to follow to make Topaz Labs plug-ins available in Lightroom, so be sure you follow the instructions carefully on the website. The compatibility with Lightroom and Aperture is great for those of us who can’t afford Photoshop. However, when you use the plug-ins in Lightroom, you lose


| Professional Photographers of California

the ability to create a new layer upon which to use the plug-in, which you can do in Photoshop. It would take another article to explain all the advantages of using a new layer, so just be aware that if you are using Lightroom, once you complete your adjustments in any Topaz Plug-in and hit “OK,” the effect becomes a permanent part of the image. With any new piece of software, I usually go online and look for basic tutorials to get me started. Topaz Labs has a great deal of help right on their website, so I didn’t have to look very hard for some help. For Black & White Effects, I found a 10 minute quick intro video and a 45 minute in depth webinar. I found the first 14 or so minutes of the webinar gave me all the information I needed to get started for this article. I wanted to work on a portrait and a landscape for this article and I found the perfect portrait in my library. I shot this image of Ness Vasquez by natural light and I used a high ISO. To hide some of the noise, I chose to convert the image to black and white. In Lightroom, I made basic adjustments to my image: I brought down the highlights and whites a bit to preserve the detail in her dress, while turning up the exposure about 1/3 of a stop. Happy with the color image, I right click it and select, “Edit in Photoshop.” This opens the image in Photoshop as a 16 bit PSD, which I have specified in my Lightroom preferences. In the Pho-

toshop Layers palette, I right click my image and choose “Create Duplicate Layer.” In so doing, I will be using the Topaz plug-in on a new layer, and leaving the original image untouched. This is important because it allows me to undo everything the filter does if I am not happy with it. I also gain control over the effect with the use of the opacity for that layer. With the new layer selected I click “Filter>Topaz Labs>Topaz BW Effects.” The interface that opens (far left) is intuitive and easy to understand. On the left side, there is a panel with a small preview image and two options. The top one is Effects, which are a set of collections of various black and white effects. Below that are a set of presets, different for each of the previously mentioned effects. If you have worked with other black and white programs, or like me, spent some time in the dark room, then the names of many of these presets will be familiar. You can quickly see how a preset will affect your image by first choosing from the effect list, then by mousing over the presets and watching the preview image at the top of the panel. The choices seem nearly endless. In fact, there are over 200 presets available. Once you choose one you like, you can stop there, or on the right side use the options to fine tune the effect. There are four panels, each with several sub-panels. By expanding each of these panels, you can see which ones have been preselected by the preset you have chosen. If you want to see what they do, you can uncheck them and watch your image change. For the image of Ness, I chose one of the antique sepia looks in the Tone Collection. To bring back detail in her dress lost in the conversion, I had to go into the Conversion panel on the right side, click Adaptive Exposure, and then turn up the Protect Highlights slider. The second image I worked on for this article is a shot I took this summer in Sedona, Arizona. I really love the color version, especially the clouds and I thought it would be a great choice for a black and white conversion. I decided to try doing this one through Lightroom just to make sure that Fusion Express works the way it is advertised. In Lightroom I made a few adjustments to the raw file to bring out the clouds and improve the overall image. To get to my Topaz Black and White Effects, I right click and choose “Edit In: Fusion Express 2.” Lightroom opens a dialog box (right, top) with a few choices. You can’t change the first option, so you’ll be editing a copy with Lightroom adjustments. The next one is a choice of Tiff, PSD or Jpeg. You have to choose either a Tiff or JPEG for use with this plug-in. Below that is color space and bit depth. I use 16 bit and sRGB, but there seems to be some valid arguments for using Pro Photo RGB. I leave that up to you to research and decide for yourself. Note: these choices could be slightly different if you are starting with a jpeg. I always work with raw files. Click “Edit” and you get the Topaz dialog box. (right, bottom) Choose the filter you want to use, in this case BW Effects and click “Run.” For the Sedona image, I used one of the traditional collection choices and then did a few modifications in the right hand panel. I made a couple changes to the Adaptive Exposure to preserve some highlights in the clouds and then in the Finishing Touches panel, I chose the Transparency option which, when used, brings back some of the color to the image. The final image has a hint of color and gives me a kind of old fashioned look that I like. Overall, I am satisfied with what Topaz Labs Black & White Effects delivers. I did find one landscape image that the plug-in could not handle and the sky got “blotchy.” I’m not quite sure

why, but I will be investigating further and reporting back in the next issue if I find an answer. It is possible there was an adjustment that would have corrected the problem. To be fair, it only happened with one image and every other image I worked with looked very nice.

If you are in the market for a black and white conversion software and prefer not to spend an arm and a leg, give these plug-ins a try. You can download a free 30 day trial at http://www.topazlabs. com/

Fall 2012



Photoshop by Suzette Allen

Layer Masks 201


his is part two, or level two, in a series about Photoshop’s Layer Masks. If you are not sure what a mask is or how to apply and paint on it to change visibility of your layer, please review Layer Masks 101 for the foundation. Part one can be found in the Spring 2012 issue of Pro Photo West. Once you have applied a layer mask and realize you need to modify, view, feather or otherwise change your layer mask to change the visibility of your image, here are the awesome tools at your fingertips to make this EASY! 30

| Professional Photographers of California

View it: You've done an overlay or a watercolor edge with a mask and you need to see if you missed any spots, OR you have done a head swap and want to see exactly what parts of the face {or church} you have used. (right and far left)

Disable it: You've done a great job (you think) but want to make sure you didn't miss any important bits in the surrounding areas, this is a great time to disable your mask for a second to see what is still hidden: Hold the SHIFT key and click on the thumbnail of the mask and you can see the image temporarily with no mask on it. A big red X lets you know it is disabled. (right)

Copy it to another layer: You've carefully masked out your horizon to add a pretty blue to the sky and now you want to duplicate that mask on the new layer with clouds, just hold the ALT/OPTION key and drag the mask thumbnail from one layer to the other. It will duplicate it! (right)

Move it to another layer:

Same as above, but don’t hold Shift. Then it just moves the mask to the other layer.

Fall Fall2012 2012



Layer Masks 201 continued

Unlink it: You've done a "faux crop" on your image for a composite and realized you should have made a rectangle instead of a square or, you masked carefully around a sky and now you want to move your new cloud or color layer over just a bit: Just click on the little chain link between the image and mask thumbnails on the layer in the layer panel and you can move or transform the image or the mask, depending on what mode you are in. (see Layer Masks 101 to know what mode you are in, or to see what a "faux crop" is)

Feather it: Ok, you did a "faux crop" on a layer and want the edges "fuzzy,� or maybe you fixed a sun tan line with a curve layer and you want to blend the edges to feather the tan lines invisibly: Yeah, this is awesome with the new Mask Panel in CS4 - CS6! Just go to Window>Masks and in the panel, move the feather slider over, yeeaaaaaahhhh! But what if you are in CS3 or earlier? No problem! Just go to filter>blur>Gaussian blur and blur the mask! (just make sure you are in Mask Mode!)

32 32

Professional Photographers Photographers of of California California || Professional

Gradient it: OK - here's the cool one, and also the one that baffles everyone. Gradients on a mask! It's actually really easy and fool-proof if you know where to draw the segment! Just add your mask, pick the black to white version of the gradient color combos and the linear pattern and draw your segment FROM invisible TOWARD the part you want visible and keep the whole segment on the layer to be blended. The segment is only as long as the transition and makes a beautiful blend! Well, there you have it: all the super controls for masking power! Would you believe there is MORE to masking? Stay tuned for Masking 301 and see some advanced tips like dissolving an ugly halo or outline around cut-out subjects, or using channels to create a perfect mask, or dodging and burning on a mask. You'll have to see it to see how cool it is! Hoping your digital life is making more sense, :) Suzette, Photoshop Fanatic

Fall Fall 2012 2012


33 33


| Professional Photographers of California

Best in Show PPSDC This is a new feature for Pro Photo West. Each issue, we will feature a recent best in show winner from a PPC affiliate. The stories will be written by the photographers. First up is Monica Royal’s image titled Spring Rain Drops.


omeone said to me after the last Image Comp “What’s with the water drops all the time?” Well, I wouldn’t exactly call it obsessive; it’s more of a fascination that just hasn’t been satisfied yet. I’m a little bit competitive by nature, (my squash partner is roaring right now) so making these images with the water drops offer just the challenge that I like. I can’t make these images all the time; this one took me four hours. I know that four hours isn’t really that long of a time for one image. Heck, nature photographer Tom Mangelson spent 4 years chasing that image of the grizzly catching the salmon perfectly in his mouth. The problem for me is, that it’s dizzying. I use a medical syringe to place each one of these water drops. Incidentally, it’s really hard to get a doctor to give you a hypodermic needle - jeepers, if I wanted to it for illicit drug use, I certainly wouldn’t ask a doctor for it! But I digress. Some of my images contain just one main water drop and the rest are sprayed with a water bottle to make a fine mist - love that bokeh effect! Bokeh refers to the effect that is achieved when using a very shallow depth of field. So when I light the water drops in the background and use an F-stop of 1.8 on my 80mm fixed macro lens, it creates awesome bokeh. The term Bokeh comes from the Japanese word boke which means “blur” or “haze”, or boke-aji, the “blur quality”. The Japanese also use the word boke to describe a “sense of metal haze or senility.” Hmmm, that could explain a few things. Don’t tell my kids that, they don’t need any more ammunition to make their case. Ok so first step is to use a flower that is waxy enough to support water’s property of cohesion. This is me trying to sound really smart now, ready? Here goes: water is made up of hydrogen atoms which have a positive charge and oxygen atoms which have a negative charge, they create polarity. Simply put, since opposites attract, they make water ‘stick’ together. Zzzzzzz asleep yet? Anyway, the reason that it’s dizzying to make these images is because I have to be so still and careful when placing the drops that I end up holding my breath until I can trip the shutter with the remote. Even if my dog is running around under foot, I have to tell her to sit still for a second; any movement on the floor can cause camera shake. So with this image in particular, it was challenging because the water drops in the background were evaporating before I could get all of them on the places that I wanted them. Plus, you want the drop to be as big as possible without making it so heavy that it falls. That’s the killer. I have to place a drop and then add to it by nanoliters to get it as big as possible. A nanoliter is a billionth of a liter. Ok, maybe I don’t exactly work in nanoliters, but it sounds cool, eh? That’s the story of ‘Spring Rain Drops”. I encourage you all to go out and make some kind of crazy image today. You never know what you might get out of it. Cheers, Monica Royal, Professional Photographers of San Diego County

Fall 2012




for the

Professional Photographer Lesson 15:

Backing Up Part 2: The Accountant’s Copy by Robin Swanson

INTRODUCTION In my last article, I promised that this article would focus on backing up using the accountant’s copy. An accountant’s copy is a version of your company file your accountant can use to make changes while you continue to work. The accountant’s copy can seem a little intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, you will find that it is actually quite simple.

WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO USE AN ACCOUNTANT’S COPY? Simple - you can keep working. Back in the day, when it came time to send your QuickBooks file off to the accountant for month, quarter, and year end adjustments, you had to wait for your accountant to finish working with your file before you could start using it again. Depending on your accountant and the complexity of adjustments, this could take weeks. That’s a long time when you have invoices to send out and bills to pay. Now, you can back up to an accountant’s copy, send it off to your accountant, and keep working. Gone are the days of falling behind while you wait for your accountant to finish with your file. Now that you know such a wonderful thing exists, I’m sure you’re itching to get started.

HOW TO CREATE AN ACCOUNTANT’S COPY: 1. First, make sure your accountant is aware that you will be sending him/her an accountant’s copy and not just a regular backup file. If he/she don’t know how to use an accountant’s copy (or worse…has never heard of such a thing) maybe you are using the wrong accountant or at a minimum, it’s time he/ she learned. 2. That being said, to begin: Click on File>Create Copy


| Professional Photographers of California

3. The “Save Copy or Backup” widow will open. a. Choose “Accountant’s Copy” and click “Next”. i. Note: Some accountants use an Intuit web server. If this is the case, you need to close this window and go to File>Accountant’s Copy>Send to Accountant. b. QuickBooks will ask you to confirm that the accountant’s copy is appropriate. Make sure “Accountant’s Copy” is selected and click “Next”. 4. The “Save Accountant’s Copy” window will open. a. QuickBooks will ask you to set a “Dividing Date.” You will be able to view (but not change) transactions before the dividing date. You will only be able to work on transactions after the dividing date. Conversely, your accountant can only work on transactions dated on or before the dividing date. The accountant can add new transactions and view but not change existing transactions after the dividing date. i. The best thing to do is ask your accountant what dividing date he/she needs you to set. b. QuickBooks gives you the option to enter “End of Last Month, 2 Weeks Ago, 4 weeks ago, or Custom” Enter the appropriate date in the “Dividing Date box and click “Next”. (image, L) c. A window will appear that says “QuickBooks must close all windows to create an Accountant’s Copy.” Click “OK”. d. A new window will open asking you where you want to save the file, File name, and Save as type. In the “Save in:” box, navigate to the desktop. Leave the defaults that QuickBooks has entered for the “File name” and “Save as type” and click the “Save” button. e. QuickBooks will create the Accountant’s Copy and will give you a confirmation window that the file has been created. This window will tell you where you have saved the file, the name, and the dividing date. Click “OK”. (image, L) 5. That’s it! Your QuickBooks company file will reopen and you can continue to work (on transactions after the dividing date).

Fall 2012




| Professional Photographers of California

6. Go to your desktop and send your QuickBooks Accountant’s Copy to your accountant using whatever method you have discussed with your accountant (email, cd, etc). 7. You will notice that the next time you open your company file you will get a window that let’s you know that an “Accountant’s Copy” was created. It also reminds you that you can only work on transactions after the dividing date. There is an option to not display the message again. My advice is to let QuickBooks continue to give you this warning when you open the company file. Believe it or not, you may forget that your accountant is working on the “Accountant’s Copy” and that could cause some problems for you. Just click “OK” and continue working. a. You will also notice that at the top of the window where it shows your company file name that it will also say “(Accountant’s Changes Pending)”.

IMPORTING ACCOUNTANT’S CHANGES: Once your accountant has finished working on your file, he/she will send you a file with the changes/entries that he/she has made to import into your QuickBooks file. The file they send you will have a QBY extension (i.e. Fantastik Photographers(Acct Changes).QBY). To import the changes: 1.

Open your QuickBooks company file.


Go to File>Accountant’s Copy>Client Activities>Import Accountant’s Changes from File.


Navigate to where the change file is located (I put them on my desktop). Make sure the file shows up in the “File name” box and click “Open”.


An “Incorporate Accountant’s Changes” window will open. a. Review the changes that your accountant has made. You can look at the detail of each entry by clicking the “Expand All” button. b. Click the “Print” button so you will have a record of the changes that you are importing. c. Click the “Incorporate Accountant’s Changes” button to accept the changes and import them into your company file. 5. Another window will open (L)that tells you “QuickBooks must close all windows to import Accountant’s Changes.” Click “OK”. 6. You will get another window saying “You must back up your data before importing Accountant changes.” Click “OK”. 7. Now you go through the normal backup routine. Choose the type of backup you normally do (Online or local) and click “Next”

Fall 2012




| Professional Photographers of California

a. Browse to where you want the backup to be saved and click “OK”. b. If you are saving the backup on the same hard drive as the original file, QuickBooks will ask you if you really want to save it there. Click “Use this Location”. c. A “Save Backup Copy” window will open. Confirm the location and file name and click “Save”. d. A “QuickBooks Information” window will open confirming that it has just saved a backup copy of your file. Click “OK”. 8.

You’re almost done…QuickBooks will incorporate the Accountant’s changes. It will also create a PDF of the changes that were just incorporated and save it in the same location as your company file. A window will appear that tells you this. Click “OK”.


There should be a window open that tells you “Your Accountant’s Changes have been incorporated. All changes were incorporated successfully. Click “Close”. 10. One last window will open. It is the “Closing Date” window. QuickBooks is suggesting that you set a closing date and password so that you don’t mess up anything that the accountant has just worked so hard on. I highly recommend that you do this. Click “Yes” 11. A “Preferences” window will open. Click the box that says “Set Date/ Password”. 12. Enter a closing date. It should be the same date as the Dividing Date that your accountant just worked with. Also, enter a “Closing Date Password” and confirm it. This way, you cannot accidentally make any changes before the closing date. Click “OK” and then Click “OK” in the Company Preferences window. (left)

Yippee!!! You’re done. The next time you open your company file, you will not have the Accountant’s Copy warnings. That’s because QuickBooks knows that you have entered the accountant’s changes and there are no longer any restrictions. QuickBooks is really smart that way. So now you know how to save an Accountant’s Copy and then incorporate any changes your accountant had made to your file. Advise your accountant that you have acquired this new skill and that you would like to deploy your newfound knowledge the next time there are any changes that need to be made to your QuickBooks company file. I’m sure he/she will be ecstatic! -Robin Swanson

Fall 2012



Creating a Winning Image

by Michael Collins

workshop with several speakers. Needless to say at the end of the day she said to herself, “Holy #$@%”, do I have a lot of work to do.” She says, “Joining PPC and PPA was the best thing I ever did for my career and business.” Entering print competition has also made a difference in her work, Pahl explains, “As tough as it is to get those below 80 scores, it is such an amazing learning experience.” The award winning photographer was in the top ten this year for the Western District Image Competition and her image, “Goddess of Life” was selected as the PPC/Bay Photo “Image of Excellence.” The subject in this photograph is her daughter-in-law Kim, making the baby her future grand-son or daughter. Pahl says, “Kim, the model, is so beautiful that I just wanted to create an image out of the normal pregnancy shots we often see.” Pahl created her winning image in her studio with soft flowing fabrics that she had on hand. Kim is a natural at posing, so she really just let her pose herself and only fine tuned her as needed. Note the beautiful Rembrandt light that adds emotion, skimming off of her body and fabrics.


anel Pahl joined the Professional Photographers of California shortly after she joined Professional Photographers of Orange County about 20 years ago. She cringes as she says this. Before she joined these organizations, she was under the impression that she knew everything about photography. After all, she took a lot of courses at her local junior college and therefore did not need to go to meetings, conventions, or workshops, right? Pahl says she went about her photography business for nearly eight years with that thought in mind and sold mainly 8x10’s and 5x7’s. One day, she was talked into attending a day-long

42 42

|| Professional Professional Photographers Photographers of of California California

For those technical people, she shot this image at ISO 160, a shutter speed of 1/80, and f6.3. She used Photoshop highlighting with NIK Glamour Glow in certain areas. Liquify was used on the fabric, to repeat the lines in her hair and create movement. Pahl says, “I never would be where I am today, without all of the experiences that PPC has given me. My fear is that so many of the “newbie” photographers are not interested in joining these groups, for the very same reason that I was hesitant in the beginning of my career. Now, with digital cameras, it is much easier to take a picture. A photographer must seek knowledge on all levels, not just the computer. When you can say you are creating artistic images (rather than a picture), then you truly become a photographer. When you not only see an image, but FEEL it, you know you have arrived.”

president’s message continued from page 8 PPC, (Yes, I acronym’d) has three monumental undertakings for the benefit of our members; Pro Photo Expo and Conference, West Coast School and Western District Image Competition. In attempting to dispassionately assess how we did this year on those three fronts I can honestly say that our teams did unbelievably well in nearly every metric one would use to judge. There are always nits that can be picked by those so inclined, but we had a great, great year and Marcy Dugan with Image Competition, Kathy Metz at West Coast School and Dea Meyer for Expo and Conference and the fantastic teams they assembled are a huge reason for that and they have my unending thanks. Another innovation and contribution that can’t be overlooked is that while we are a membership group and a service (to our members) organization we are also a business, and one thing I feel a business that wants to excel has to have is great customer service. In order for us to have truly great customer service we had to have a quality, dedicated, strong, membership chair. Since we didn’t have a membership chair at all, that had to change in a big, big way. Donna Jirsa, who, against long odds, agreed to take on membership chair this year has brought a level of ability and above the call of duty dedication and competence to that position for us that at times has been awe inspiring. She was everything I was hoping for and so much more. So I would encourage you as readers and members to take a moment, just one quick moment, out of

your day to drop Dea, Kathy, Marcy and Donna a note letting them know that you appreciate the uncountable hours, dedication and expertise they brought to those events and positions for our membership. So many times the hours and efforts that are dedicated to volunteer positions go un-thanked with get little recognition. That little extra effort to extend a well-deserved thank you goes a long way to letting volunteers know they are appreciated. Our editor has been bugging me to let him run a few of my images along with this column, and I think, since this is my last chance, I should probably listen and throw a few out there just to show that I actually do know my way around a camera a bit and have some ability to recognize and use quality light and I really am an actual photographer and haven’t been pretending just so I could score this juicy gig. (winky emoticon here) Finally, (my final finally) I would like to express how much I enjoyed being here for both the highs and the lows and how much I appreciate the opportunity. I am fully aware that just being offered the chance to be here is very rare and I have more respect than I can say for those who have been here before me and for those who will follow after. Ladies and gentlemen, presidents of PPC past, (and future) (My last parenthetical comment!)

Thank you- Cayce Newman

Changes to Print Competition 2013 Print competition for the members of PPC in 2013 will be very exciting.


or the first time in the history of PPC, there will be 2 district competitions next year. The first competition will be in February and the second will be in August, in conjunction with Pro Photo Expo and Conference.

Why is this happening? Since PPC changed their dates for Pro Photo Expo from winter to summer, we have had to change the sequence of competitions photo by Michael Collins to stay within the competition calendar of PPA. The PPA international competition is held each summer and PPC has to conduct their competition prior to the PPA judging. The February district competition will be for the 2012/2013 competition year. The August District competition will be for the 2013/2014 competition year. This will only happen next year. All following years, we will only have one district competition which will be conducted during our annual conference in August. The district competition is hosted by PPC, but run by PPA. All entrants will have the opportunity to earn the PPA Seal of Approval. The competition this year (2012) was a district event. We will hold our state competition in conjunction with the district event. The same categories will be judged and awards will be selected by the PPA qualified jurors. The award ceremony for both competitions will be held at the 2013 Pro Photo Expo in Pasadena. As print chairman for these events, it is my responsibility to keep our members informed. All PPC members will receive email notices, on a regular basis about the print competition containing important updates. If you have any questions, please email me. Tim Mathiesen M.Photog.Cr. F-ASP, FPPC

Fall 2012



The End


ormally this column features an image depicting the theme “The End.” But this issue, I thought it would be fitting to showcase two more of outgoing PPC president Cayce Newman’s images. These two images show the versatility of Newman’s talent in the studio. You can see two more of his images on his column on page eight.


-Rodney Ninow, Editor

| Professional Photographers of California

Fall 2012




| Professional Photographers of California

Pro Photo West Fall 2012  

Pro Photo West is the magazine for PPC, Professional Photographers of California. Lightroom, Photoshop and other tips from top pros. As we...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you