Friday, December 31, 2010

My Top 10 Photographs of 2010

Just as is the case when I'm composing and capturing nature and landscape photographs -"editing-out" and staying true to the original intent of the visual message - so it is with selecting my personal top-10 images of 2010. I actually ended-up with a folder containing 18 images, but that's what kind of year it's been, photographically speaking. So many wonderful subjects in such beautiful light, from the start of the year last January all the way through autumn.

Without further to do, here's my top 10 countdown for 2010 -

#10 - Emerging Pawpaw leaves @ Sugarcreek MetroPark, Dayton, Ohio

#9 - Above the music store @ Dayton, Ohio

#8 - Hunter's Moon @ Sugarcreek MetroPark

#7 - October Sunrise on Ilesboro Road @ Hocking Hills, Ohio

#6 - Great Blue Heron in Red Maple @ Lake Logan, Hocking Hills, Ohio

#5 - Sunflower Details @ Centerville, Ohio

#4 - August Journey @ Rockbridge State Nature Preserve, Ohio

#3 - End of the Trail @ Conkles Hollow State Nature Preserve, Ohio

#2 - Winter Afternoon at The Inn @ Inn at Cedar Falls, Hocking Hills, Ohio

#1 - February at Cedar Falls @ Hocking Hills, Ohio

Looking at the images I've left off the list I think a runners-up entry is in order. 

Here's to looking forward to 2011. May the New Year bring peace, joy and nothing but good light.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Art of Elimination | Photography and the Winter Landscape

Opportunities for nature and landscape photography in Ohio can still be found during the cold days of winter. On a recent outing to Hocking Hills State Park I was pleased to discover so many wonderful ice formations, which usually are not prevalent until later in the winter season. Here with this Photographic Moment tutorial video I talk about the importance of eliminating clutter within the composition and staying true to what caught the photographer's eye in the first place. This is also a good preview of the type of subject we'll be photographing at my upcoming Winter Light Photography Workshop, set for the weekend of January 28-30 2011 at The Inn at Cedar Falls @ Hocking Hills.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

January 15 Photo Workshop Now Full | Programs for April and May 2011

The DSLR workshop set for January 15, 2011, at Cox Arboretum, is now officially full. Please email me if you'd like to be added to the waiting list for this workshop or if you'd like early notification on my next introductory DSRL workshop in Dayton. I'm currently considering adding one-day programs in both April and May, 2011.

I'm still accepting registrations for the Winter Light Workshop, set for the weekend of January 28, 2011 @ Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills, Ohio.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Photographers Giving Back | Help-Portrait

When Brands Win Hearts and Minds They Have Nothing to Lose | Fast Company.

There's something very special that's going to be happening in Dayton, this Saturday, December 4, 2010. Help-Portrait is an event that's not about the photographers. It's about providing and donating portrait photography to families who normally wouldn't be able to afford or have access to portrait studio services. Help-Portrait is a phenomenal, national movement and I'm happy for the opportunity to participate and help here locally in Dayton. Here's the 411 -

WHO: We are photographing the local families of the U.S. Armed Forces deployed or deploying.

WHAT: Each family with have a portrait taken, edited, printed and given to them on site. Packet will include 1-5x7, 4-wallets and a digital file if desired. (no pets, please)

WHERE: Hope Hotel & Conference Center

WHEN: Saturday, December 4th from 10am - 4pm.

Walk-ins are welcome throughout the day and you do not have to make an appointment, however if you know that you will be coming to take advantage of this gift, if you email us with your name and approximate arrival time it will help with our work flow. If you would like to help us in that way send your name and approximate time to (She will NOT be replying with a confirmation to your email)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Introductory Photo Workshop Added for January | Published Images

I'm happy to announce the addition of a second photography workshop for January 2011. On Saturday, January 15th, I will be presenting a five hour introductory program on the basics of digital photography and the DSLR camera, at Cox Arboretum MetroPark.

This is an introductory level photography workshop for anyone who has just bought their first DSLR camera. Basic settings and features for more creative control that goes beyond "auto" mode and the limits of point-n-shoot digital cameras. Classroom instruction with field demonstrations, both outside and inside, at Cox Arboretum. Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

$65 per person. $20 Deposit required for reservation. Class limited to first 25 people who register. Deposit payment by check to Picture Ohio, LLC, 7164 Hartcrest Lane, Centerville, Ohio 45459, or PayPal to "" Call 937-432-6711 or email to register.

Also, the most recent issue of Housetrends Magazine includes a feature spread titled "Old Fashioned Colonial Christmas." This was an editorial assignment that was a joy to photograph. Beautiful home in Washington Township (near Dayton) that was full of decorative details that conveyed the warmth and character of Christmas past.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Little Pigeon River in Black and White

Tranquility in black and white nature photography. The Middle Prong of the Little Pigeon River in Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Tennessee.

This image is an excellent example of what can be achieved when converting a high dynamic range photograph (merged from three separate raw captures) to black and white. The programs I use to complete this process are Photomatix Pro and Nik Silver Efex Pro.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Photography Workshop Review

Bringing Photography Skills Into Focus

Review of my most recent workshop, presented at Cox Arboretum in Dayton on November 6, 2010. The program consisted of two sessions - one in the morning for beginner level photographers and one in the afternoon for those more experienced and wishing to market their nature photography.

I am currently in the early stages of planning my next full-day photography workshop program, to be presented at Cox Arboretum on a Saturday in either mid-January or early February. More details will be announced soon. This session will most likely be an introductory program on the basics of nature photography and the DSLR camera. Please email me if you would like to be placed on an early notification list for registration.

My next planned workshop is the Winter Light Photography Weekend Workshop to be presented at The Inn and Spa at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills State Park, Ohio on January 28 - 30, 2011.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

November 6 Photography Workshop Now Full

UPDATE: 11-3-10 Both sessions of the November 6 workshop at Cox Arboretum are now full. Please email me if you'd like to be added to the early notification list for when I announce my next one or half day photography workshop in Dayton.

Also, I will be posting details soon on my winter nature photography workshop, set for the weekend of January 29 at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Ohio Fall 2010

I'm still trying to get a handle on autumn 2010, from the viewpoint of a nature photographer in Ohio. There's been areas of good color, but overall it's been just "okay." The biggest disappointment comes from the fact that conditions have been so dry. In fact southern Ohio has not experienced any significant periods of rainfall since early summer. This is the time of year that I enjoy photographing the flowing streams and waterfalls in Hocking Hills State Park. During a recent visit earlier this month I didn't even bother to get down into Cedar Falls or Old Man's Cave. The area needs at least two to three days of saturating rainfall before the water starts flowing again.

I also look for cool, rainy days as providing the best light for capturing fall color. The reds, golds and purples are more saturated in wet weather. Instead this year we've experienced unusually warm, dry, windy weather. Just not the best for nature and landscape photography.

The upside has been some very colorful sunrises and sunsets, and when the air goes still and cool at nightfall we are blessed with an almost purple hue on the edges of the horizon. Every season here in Ohio is unique and different, from year to year, and as a close follower of the patterns and cycles of light and nature I've learned to appreciate the distinct "personality" of each. Where's there a downside there is always a positive, and it's the job of the nature artist to recognize and accentuate the gifts of each day and the wonderful opportunity to actively engage light and subject.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, October 21, 2010

2nd Most Important Gear for Nature Photography

The all-important tripod, often overlooked when photographers are just starting-out and beginning to build their toolbox of photographic gear. Investing in a pro-grade tripod and ballhead is just as important as top quality lenses when it comes to nature and landscape photography.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Autumn Bird Photography at Lake Logan by Ohio Photographer Jim Crotty

Wildlife photography of birds sighted at Lake Logan in Hocking Hills, Ohio, this past Monday, October 11 2010. Images taken using a Canon 1D Mark III DSLR with a Canon 500mm f4.5 L lens.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Season of the Good Light Photography Workshop Class Web Gallery

A new gallery of student images from this past weekend's "Season of the Good Light Photography Workshop" in the Hocking Hills of southeastern Ohio. I had 18 enthusiastic workshop students, from college students to those recently retired. It was an action-packed weekend of photography sharing, learning and fun, from Friday to Sunday evening. We were able to photograph locations in Hocking Hills including Ash Cave, Conkle's Hollow, Rockbridge and Clear Creek. The staff and facility at our classroom location - The Inn at Cedar Falls - was the best. The problem was I ran out of time before I ran out of material to cover, but the most important - getting out in the field and capturing images - was accomplished.

I was hoping for some flowing water down in the gorges of Cedar Falls and Old Man's Cave, however, the last few weeks here in Ohio have been very dry. Nonetheless we still found many beautiful subjects to photograph, from a brilliant, hilltop sunrise on Saturday morning to sandstone abstracts on the walls of Ash Cave to wonderful shapes and textures of macro subjects in the meadow at Clear Creek.

One of the last things we do is a class image share and critique whereby I ask each student to select his or her favorite six images from the past two days. This was a lot of fun. It's so rewarding seeing the variety and quality of the images that all the workshop students capture throughout the course of the program. Even though as a group we photograph in the same locations, it's always great to see how each photographer makes his or her unique photographic discovery based on what attracts his or her creative eye.

And of course we were impressed with the images captured by Josh Mayes and his Panasonic point-and-shoot digital camera. Josh participated in three of my one-day workshops throughout last year, at Cox Arboretum in Dayton.

The following Picasa web gallery also includes pre-workshop images of beautiful scenes in Hawaii by workshop student Don Baker. Thanks Don !

This workshop was my first two-day, destination program in Hocking Hills. It went so well that I am now in the early stages of planning a similar program at The Inn at Cedar Falls in Hocking Hills for a weekend in late January or early February, with the subject being winter nature and landscape photography. My next scheduled workshops are two half-day programs set for Saturday, November 6 at Cox Arboretum in Dayton.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Form Texture Pattern

Form, texture and pattern in black and white photography. The beauty of details in visually appealing shape and form. Naturally leading the eye through design, both natural and man-made. The art of presenting a sense of texture in two-dimensional, visual art. Depth in tonal range, from highlight to shadow.

Emerging Pawpaw in black and white by Jim Crotty

Antelope Canyon Arizona by Jim Crotty

Late Summer Farmers Garden by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Rain on Mayapple in black and white by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Inside Hunting Island Lighthouse South Carolina by Jim Crotty

Flowing Water and Tree by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Emerging Pawpaw in black and white 1 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trail to the End of Summer

Evening falls in late August, along the trail from Rockbridge State Nature Preserve in Hocking Hills, Ohio.