New! Fall Workshops at the Berkeley Art Works

•August 2, 2022 • Leave a Comment

The Why and How of the Photographic Project

In Person Workshop

This workshop is offered by the Berkeley Arts Council and will be held at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

(Note that unless otherwise stated, participants for in-person classes will be required to provide proof of Covid vaccination and wear masks while in the Berkeley Arts Council facility.)

Mondays September 12; 26; October 31; November 21; 6:00-9:00pm
(Four Sessions)

Instructor: Rip Smith

Photographers are continually looking for inspiration and opportunities to make photographs. Most of us have a collection of images that we feel are our best. Those are the images that end up being submitted to exhibits, displayed on web sites, presented at clubs, and hung on the walls of our homes. At some point you may have reached the point everywhere you look around you and think “been there, done that.”

A higher level of communication can be achieved if you can put together a series of related images that communicate your feeling about a subject or event, so that the viewer can see it from different perspectives, in different light, or at different times.

This workshop will help you through the process of designing, planning, and execution of the project plan, ultimately resulting in the presentation of the project.

The workshop consists of four sessions over a ten week period. The time between the sessions will give you time to develop the plan and begin photographing your project, with the intermediate sessions designed to provide feedback and guidance on your work in progress. The instructor will be available via email and, if necessary, by phone if you need additional guidance between sessions.

The first session will allow us to get to know each other and to discuss the basic elements common to all photographic projects. The “homework” assignment will be to decide on what your project will be and develop the plan.

In the second session, you will present your concept and plan to the group for discussion and feedback.

Between the second and third sessions, you will begin photographing your project and during the third session, we will look at your work in progress.

The last session you will present your project. If it is not complete, we will assess what else needs to be done.

Note: Students are not required to have any specific equipment or computer capability but putting the concepts and techniques in practice requires a digital camera and a computer with at least basic image editing software. For those who need it, recommendations can be given for software to enable the various techniques.

Schedule: All sessions are 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Session 1 Monday, September 12
Session 2 Monday, September 26
Session 3 Monday, October 31
Session 4 Monday, November 21

Pre-Registration is required. Deadline is September 5, 2022.

Minimum registration: 3
Maximum registration: 6

Register now with the Berkeley Arts Council:

The How and Why of the Photographic Project

$175.00

Buy now


Photographic Composition and Creative Vision

Creative Vision

In Person Workshop

This workshop is offered by the Berkeley Arts Council and will be held at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg, WV.

(Note that unless otherwise stated, participants for in-person classes will be required to provide proof of Covid vaccination and wear masks while in the Berkeley Arts Council facility.)

Composition and Creative Vision Part One

What is it that makes one picture of a particular subject ordinary while another image of the same subject is a work of art? This workshop will explore how composition, light and shadow, form and texture can work together to express something beyond merely recording a scene. The workshop will start with a discussion of the basic concepts of composition and then, through an analysis of some of the instructor’s images, will demonstrate how those concepts are applied in practice from conceptualizing the image in the viewfinder to the final adjustments on the computer.  In preparation for Part Two of the workshop, Students will be given assignments to put the ideas and techniques into practice.

Composition and Creative Vision Part Two

During the four week interval between part one and part two, Students will take their cameras out to practice the ideas and techniques discussed in Part One. They will bring in a selection of images for discussion and “gentle critique” during the second session.

Note: Students are not required to have any specific equipment or computer capability but putting the concepts and techniques in practice requires a digital camera and a computer with at least basic image editing software. For those who need it, recommendations can be given for software to enable the various techniques.

Instructor: Rip Smith

Schedule: All sessions are 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Session 1: Monday, September 19
Session 2: Monday, October 17

Pre-Registration is required. Deadline is September 12, 2022.

Minimum registration: 3
Maximum registration: 6

Register now with the Berkeley Arts Council:

Composition and Creative Vision

$90.00

Buy now

Berkeley County 250 Exhibit [UPATE: Best in Show!]

•May 24, 2022 • Comments Off on Berkeley County 250 Exhibit [UPATE: Best in Show!]

Three of my images will be on display at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg from now through June 25 during the ‘Berkeley 250’ Exhibit, celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of Berkeley County, West Virginia.

Over the years since I moved here, I have photographed numerous historical structures in and around Martinsburg. Three of my favorites are the B&O Roundhouse, Adam Stephen House, and the Interwoven Mills complex. Each of these structures represents significant periods in the history of Berkeley County.

Roundhouse Photo wins Best in Show!

(Click here to see all of the award winners.)

The B&O Roundhouse and Martinsburg Shops complex was constructed during 1848-1850. During the Civil War, Confederate troops under “Stonewall” Jackson burned the roundhouse and captured  or destroyed B&O locomotives and rolling stock as well as more than 36 miles of track. The roundhouse was rebuilt after the Civil War. It was the site of the beginning of the Great Railroad Strike of 1877. The site is listed as a National Historic Landmark and can be toured by appointment.

Adam Stephen was a doctor who was a military officer in the French and Indian War and the American Revolutionary War, serving under George Washington. He helped found what is now Martinsburg, West Virginia. The house, originally built between 1772 and 1789, was long abandoned until it was acquired by the Adam Stephen Memorial Association in the 1960s. They completely renovated the structure and furnished it with period furnishings. The house is open for visitors on weekends.

 

The Interwoven Mills complex was the largest employer in Martinsburg for several decades. Originally built in the 1890s, the Intwoven Hosiery company was among the country’s largest manufacturer of socks. During World War II, Interwoven manufactured socks for army and navy personnel. Gradually, due to competition and other factors, employment dropped from more than 3,000 in the early 1950s to 900 in 1960. Interwoven decided to move most of the operation to North Carolina in 1962 and the complex was eventually closed in 1976. The complex was sturdily built and today plans are being developed for renovation of the buildings for multiple uses.

 

In Four Billion Years …

•March 5, 2022 • 1 Comment

I am very pleased that my image, “In Four Billion Years … ” was accepted into the 12th Annual Art and Earth Juried Exhibit, to be displayed at the Berkeley Art Works in Martinsburg.

'In Four Billion Years ... '

‘In Four Billion Years … ‘

The image combines remote astrophotography with a terrestial image to provide glimpse into the far future when the great Andromeda Galaxy will be nearing its collision with our home Milky Way.

When I learned about the possibility of the collision of the two galaxies, my imagination went hard at work to try to visualize what it would look like. Andromeda, roughly 2.5 million light-years from us, is barely visible with the naked eye under clear dark skies. But imaged through an observatory telescope, Andromeda fills the field of view with clusters of stars, massive dust lanes, and the massive central bulge where the stars are packed so close together that the region blends in to a bright ball of light.

This image imagines the view of the approaching galaxy as seen from Zion National Park. Of course, that far in the future, we do not know if the Earth will still be a viable habitat for us or even if the Sun will continue to provide the Earth with its energy or if the Sun has gone nova and has destroyed the Earth. But I can’t help thinking (hoping?) that Humankind will survivie, even if it requires that we migrate to new star systems and planets. But even if that will be true, the view of the approaching Andromeda Galaxy will likely be much the same.

The galaxy image of the great galaxy in Andromeda, was captured remotely via the Insight Observatory. The image data was acquired with the 16″ f/3.7 Dream astrograph reflector in New Mexico. The data was processed using Pixinsight and Photoshop.

The foreground image was captured my Olympus digital camera during my visit to Zion National Park in 2017. The composite was created in 2022 and processed in Photoshop.

The Art and Earth Exhibit opens April 6 in the Berkeley Art Works gallery at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. The Juror was Alison Helm, Director of the School of Art and Design at West Virginia University.

Berkeley Arts Council Members’ Exhibit

•January 13, 2022 • 1 Comment

My entries for the Berkeley Arts Council’s 2022 Annual Members’ exhibit are two from my archives. These are two architectural studies that I recently re-processed. The prints were made specially for this exhibit.

The first is not the usual view of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC.

National Gallery of Art, East Building; Digital Capture 2009; Re-Process and Print 2021

The second image was taken after the Martinsburg Mall closed but before the structure was demolished.

Sears Store, Martinsburg Mall; Digital Capture 2013; Process and Print 2021

Sears Store, Martinsburg Mall; Digital Capture 2013; Process and Print 2021

Both of these images are approximately 12×18 inches and framed to 18×24.

The Berkeley Arts Council Members’ 2022 Exhibit will run January 12 through February 19, 2022 at the Berkeley Art Works, 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg. Gallery hours are Wed-Fri 11-5, Sat 11-4. Web https://berkeleyartswv.org.

Happy New Year and New Exhibits

•January 2, 2022 • Comments Off on Happy New Year and New Exhibits

Here’s wishing everyone a Happy New Year 2022 and also the wish that you all stay safe from Covid.

Keeping myself safe from Covid has kept me pretty close to home for the last two years. If you have been following me here, you know that I have been experimenting with remote telescope astrophotography. But for the first two exhibit opportunities, I looked back into my archive to find images that have not been shown for quite a while. In the process, I refreshed the processing on these images and made new prints for the upcoming shows.

First up will be the Jefferson County Photography Club exhibit in the Fire Hall Gallery in Charlestown, WV. For this exhibit I brought back some of my favorite images from my film days. I have re-processed three of my early film images that were scanned from 35mm and made new prints.

‘Going Up’: Film capture 1966; Print 2021

Film Capture 1988; Print 2021

Film Capture 1989; Print 2021

The prints are approximately 11×16 inches and framed to 16 -1/2 x 22.

These prints are on display in the Fire Hall Gallery at the Washington Street Artists’ Cooperative through January 23, 108 North George Street in Charles Town, WV. The gallery is open Thursday-Friday 11-5, Saturday 10-4, Sunday 11-5.

Tarantula Nebula, NGC7020

•December 12, 2021 • 1 Comment

One of the showcase objects in the Southern Sky is the Tarantula Nebula, also designated as 30 Doradus. The nebula is an HII region in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC) approximately 160,000 light-years distant. The primary light in the nebula is the star cluster NGC 7020. The cluster has an estimated mass of 450,000 solar masses, suggesting that it will likely become a globular cluster in the future. The name Tarantula Nebula arose the mid 20th century from the appearance in deep photographic exposures. (Wikipedia).

The image data was captured via the iTelescope.net website by a 20-inch telescope at the Siding Springs Observatory in Australia. The image was processed from the raw data in my studio with Pixinsight and Photoshop.

 

 

 

 

 

New M31 Image

•November 25, 2021 • 1 Comment
(Click on the image to enlarge)

This is a new image of the M31 galaxy in Andromeda. This is from multiple observations on Telescope.Live using their new “1-Click Observation Bundle”. The image was compiled from 11 separate observations capturing 91 sub-exposures totaling more than 11 hours of exposure time amounting to just over 3 gigabytes of data. The images were filtered through luminance, red, blue, and green filters, which were combined to create the color image.

The “1-Click Bundle” is a new feature on Telescope.live. It allows users to process images from multiple observations that have already been done, curated by Telescope.live. With that much data, it did present some new challenges in processing. It was all processed and combined in Pixinsight and finished in Photoshop. One of the challenges was dealing with satellite trails in many of the sub-frames but Pixinsight handled them well. By combining this amount of data, noise becomes much less of a problem and I was able to pull more detail out of the image than I was able to over a year ago when I processed a single data set from the same telescope.

Image data was captured using the 10 centimeter Takahashi FSQ-106ED instrument at the IC observatory in Spain. The imaging camera is an FLI PL16083 with a sensor capturing 4096 x 4096 pixels in a field of view of 324 arc-seconds square. The final image was cropped somewhat to fill the roughly 3×4 frame.

Gibbous Moon: 17 September 2021

•September 18, 2021 • Comments Off on Gibbous Moon: 17 September 2021

Last night, for the first time in a while, I broke out the telescope. I thought I would try for a shot of the moon, two days before it is full. Being a bit before full moon, the image shows a lot of detail around the limb (left side of the images) that would be washed out at full moon.

The telescope is an Orion 120mm refractor (focal length 1,000mm; f/6.3). The camera was the Olympus Pen-F at prime focus. The settings were 1/160 second at ISO 200.

The raw file was processed in Photoshop with some enhancement using Luminar and then Topaz noise reduction and a little sharpening.

The biggest challenge was getting good focus because the whole rig is not very rigid. Nevertheless, I thought the result was reasonably sharp. Even the crops, which are only about 20% of the full frame, hold together.

(You can click on the images to see larger versions.)

Astrophotography at the Berkeley Art Works Friday September 3

•August 31, 2021 • Comments Off on Astrophotography at the Berkeley Art Works Friday September 3

M81: Galaxy in Andromeda

Stop by the Berkeley Art Works this Friday, September 3 from 5-9 pm during the First Friday Art Walk!
I will discuss astrophotography using remote telescopes over the Internet. I became interested in capturing images in space while staying at home during COVID. I will discuss the various aspects of remote astrophotography, including the use of telescopes in the northern and southern hemispheres, downloading and processing data, and software. I will also share many of the images I processed this past year.
The Berkeley Art Works is located at 116 North Queen Street in Martinsburg.

 

Eta Carina Nebula in Hydrogen Alpha

•August 15, 2021 • 1 Comment

The image data was captured from telescope.live using the new 20cm Officina Stellare RH200 telescope at the El Sauce Observatory in Chile.

The observation included Hydrogen Alpha, Oxygen II, and Sulfur III narrowband exposures. I processed this only from the Halpha data, partially as an exercise, but also I guess because I have always loved black and white photography.

I will definitely go back and process the full image in color using all three filters. In the meantime, you can look at this image, which I captured and processed last year.

 
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