Category Archives: Fonthill

The Light of Fonthill Castle

On Sunday, I was leading a workshop at Fonthill Castle in Doylestown PA.  One of the participants beckoned me to come see a shot she was excited about. I had to get my camera and make an image of my own!  Thank you Lois.

I’ve been in a B&W frame of mind and so I made a version of this scene.  What do you think?  Color or B&W and why?





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Fonthill Revisited

I have hosted a few camera clubs at Fonthill this spring. On one visit, I brought my camera and a new attitude. Inspired by my friend Dan Sniffin, I decided to leave my gear downstairs and be open to something that might catch my eye as I wandered the Castle. In other words, I was not looking for something to photograph, rather I was going with an open mind and no expectations. I wanted to allow something to call me to be photographed rather than force it to happen. I was called by these four situations and feel I was successful with each. A pretty good hit ratio, four scenes four “keepers.”

About the images. I’ve photographed the vessels with my iPhone, but never with a “real” camera. A triptych seemed like the right creative choice. I’ve photographed the room with the wonderful chair, but never this way. The chair is my favorite in the castle, so I focused the attention on it opting for a medium telephoto lens versus my normal wide angle choice. The items on the desk were newly added, they called to me, I responded. Finally, the shadows on the stairs is something I’ve walked past many times. This time the scene turned my head, I responded and got my camera. 





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Lectures, Tours, Workshops and thoughts on the Fuji X-T1


Fonthill – Fuji X-E2 and 23mm 1.4 lens

Its been a busy couple of weeks.  I had the pleasure of speaking at the Churchville Camera Club meeting on Monday as well as the Digital Image Makers last week. This coming Monday, I’ll be at the Doylestown Camera Club presenting my program “Discovery and the Creative Process”.  

Next week, Dan and I are looking forward to leading a group in the Smoky Mountains!  I am so looking forward to this tour after this LONG cold winter.

Speaking of tours, due to cancellations, we now have a spot open for each of our Palouse Tours.  We know the Palouse very well and would love you have you along!  We also have a few spots available for the fall Colorado tour.

Just a reminder that I’ll be in Hawaii co-leading the “See the light” workshop with National Geographic Photographers Jonathan Kingston, Dewitt Jones and Rickki Cooke.  Who doesn’t want to be in Hawaii the first week of December?  Very excited about this workshop!


Lightroom 5.4 was released yesterday along with ACR 8.4 which now supports the Fuji X-T1!  Good news.  A tip, you can now apply the wonderful Fuji film presets to your RAW images.  In both ACR and LR simply go to the camera calibration module and then click the profile drop-down dialogue.  There you will find the film choices.  COOL!

Really Right Stuff will start shipping “L” brackets for the X-T1 next week!  WOO HOO!

I am loving the Fuji X-T1.  Was playing with the face recognition with Abby and its pretty darn good. (see below) Always tracking her face allowing me to not worry where the focus point is.  Its not perfect, but I would venture to say it allows me to capture more “keepers” than if I were not using it.



The EVF on the X-T1 is CRAZY GOOD!  So big and bright.  It really is as close to an optical viewfinder as I’ve seen. And when you rotate the camera to vertical,the data in the viewfinder rotates too.  A first for a digital camera I believe. For handholding I’ve been using the optional grip along with a Gordy’s Strap, really great for folks with big hands like mine.  The images coming out of this camera are really quite stunning.  The image below of Kara was shot with the 35mm 1.4 lens shot at f/5, click on it to make it bigger. This is a jpeg straight out of the camera, no post processing applied, NONE, okay I cropped it.  Look at the skin tones and sharpness!  Crazy.


The image below is another made with the 10-24mm f/4 Fuji lens from ESP.  I’m in love!  I love to shoot wide and have been waiting patiently for this lens.  A comment about the files I’m capturing with the Fuji X-T1 and X-E2 which this image was captured with, the dynamic range is very good.  Imagine the range in this particular image.  Bright light from the skylight streaming into a dark cell at the prison all captured with one shot. With the limited time I’ve had with this lens, I would say it out performs my Nikon 16-35 f/4 in terms of distortion and sharpness. Oh there is some minor distortion at the edges but most wide angle lenses do.  Overall, I’m a very happy camper!


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First Shots with the Fuji 10-24mm Lens – Weekend Workshop wrap up.

This past weekend was the Eastern State Penitentiary and Fonthill workshop.  The group was very talented and lots of fun, I was sad to see them go.  The images they showed at the beginning of the workshop were incredible!  

As is my style, I don’t shoot much during a workshop, however, I did manage to snap a few as I was anxious to try my new 10-24mm lens.  For my Fuji friends, you might be interested to look at the notes on the images.   The new 10-24mm lens is quite good.  And of course the 35mm 1.4 continues to SLAY me.

For the processing on Kara the operating room and the door, I used the amazing Alien Skin Exposure 5.  If you have not spent time with this great plug-in, you really need to.  Their film presets are so good AND from there you can modify with lots of control with the slider.  And I mean LOTS of control.  


Fuji X-E2 – 10-24mm at 10mm at f/10


Kara – Fuji X-T1 – 35mm at f/4


Fuji x-E2 – 10-24mm at 10mm at f/16


Fuji X-E2 – 10-24mm at 12.5mm f/13


Fuji X-E2 – 10-24mm at 15mm at f/10

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The Fuji X-E1 and 14mm lens at Fonthill

The last two Sundays I was leading groups at Fonthill.  As these were not my workshops, I had a chance to snap a few images with my Fuji X-E1.  All images shot with the Fuji 14mm 2.8 prime lens. The last image is a 5 shot HDR capture processed with Nik HDR Efex Pro 2.

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Also posted in Fuji, Fuji X-E1 Tagged |

Its in the tin, the weekend workshop that is….

Once again, I was blessed with a great group over the weekend for the Eastern State Penitentiary, Graffiti Underground and Fonthill workshop.  My friend Dalyn (see pictures below) was kind enough to join us again as our model.  This time I said, come dressed as you wish, always risky!  Only he would come looking as he did!  Needless to say we had a bunch of fun!

The lead image is a jpeg capture of the wonderful Fonthill before we went inside to shoot.  Its a jpeg, because I accidentally switched my camera to jpeg instead of RAW.  That said, I am BLOWN AWAY by the quality of the jpeg out of the Fuji X-E1.  WOOOWW!   All I did was warm it up just a touch and nothing else.  It is tack sharp and the detail was crazy good.  Exposure spot on in aperture mode and other than being just a tad cool the colors were great!  I have friends that are shooting Fuji jpeg and RAW and never need to convert the RAW file because the jpegs are so good.  I was always suspicious but now understand their comments.  The game is changing folks.  The new crop of “mirror-less” cameras are getting really good.  I can’t wait for the Fuji X-Pro 2 due out later this year.  I’m sure it will have all the goodies from the new X100s and more which means it is gonna be pretty much all I’ll need most of the time.

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Fonthill Workshop

Yesterday, I was with another great group over at Fonthill.  As usual, I was running up and down stairs all day, however, I did manage to squeeze of a couple of shots with my Fuji X100.  The shadows in this room always draw me in, I can’t help myself.  I have many others of this room and all are different.  The light and shadow is always in a different place, always worth a look.  Below is an old favorite from the same room.

If you’re interested in shooting at Fonthill, I have a few spots open for my May 19th one day workshop as well as my weekend workshop that includes Eastern State Penitentiary.  Please see these offerings on my workshop page.

Also posted in Fuji X100, Workshop

Fonthill Bedroom

With the show hanging at Fonthill, I’m in a Fonthill frame of mind.

I went back to look at some images captured in the beginning of this year and stumbled upon this one.  I’m preparing for two upcoming webinars.  One for Topaz next week and the other for Nik at the end of the month.  The preparation is always fun, forcing me to try new things and or find images that  will work well for teaching.

For this image, I used Nik Color Efex to enhance the color version and then Silver Efex Pro for the b&w work.  Back into color Efex for some finishing work, specifically the darken lighten center filter.

Also posted in B&W

Photography Show at Fonthill!

I am proud to be part of a fabulous four person show at Fonthill.  Carla Klouda, Stanley Silverman and Karl Graf have joined me in a display of 30 pieces that are scattered throughout the Castle.  The show will be up for the entire month of September.  All you’ll need to do, is purchase a ticket for a tour to see it.  Of course, all images are for sale to be picked up after the show.  There are smaller prints for sale in the lobby as well.  A share of the proceeds will be given back to Fonthill.   If you have the time and live locally, go have a look!  I think the images will knock your socks off!   I’ve included a number of the images I’m showing in this post.


Also posted in B&W, Color, Show

The Bookshelf

This is from Fonthill, Henry Mercer’s dream home.  It is a very tight space overlooking a spacious room. A balcony if you will, with a railing that I’m leaning against.  There is a large window just off to the right, illuminating the edges of the books and floor.  This is what I wanted to bring out in my processing, the light.  Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.0 is truly an amazing tool for this type of work.  That said, I also love B&W Effects from Topaz and created the alternate faded color version below.  Neither is better than the other, just different.   Let me know if its time to do a video tutorial on Silver Efex Pro?  This image might be a good choice for that.  And remember to check out the discount page for discounts on the software I use.


Also posted in B&W, Nik Silver Efex, Topaz B&W Effects