Workshop to help photographers improve skills and create art

2014-03-05T00:00:00Z Workshop to help photographers improve skills and create artLouisa Murzyn Times Correspondent
March 05, 2014 12:00 am  • 

MUNSTER | Photographer James Cook compares himself to French Impressionist Claude Monet, who painted his very own garden in Giverny.

“There’s so much in our own backyards (that) we shouldn’t have to fly across the country,” said Cook. “Put me on a rope and tell me I’ve only got so far to roam and I’ll guarantee I’ll find something of interest.

"Creating great images is a matter of seeing them in the first place. Observing light, shapes and colors is is what turns ordinary scenes into exceptional images.”

The Michigan photographer and instructor will discuss “Seeing Things” as one of three featured speakers at the Calumet Region Photo Club's annual Photography Clinic on March 15 at the Center for Visual and Performing Arts, 1040 Ridge Road. Other speakers include nature photographer Dean Pennala, also of Michigan, and travel photographer Ralph Velasco, of Chicago.

The clinic runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the cost is $60, which includes continental breakfast and lunch. Call Tom Zmigrocki at (219) 924-0537. Registration can be made by check or to register via PayPal visit

Cook's seminar will engage the audience in a dialog about creating art rather than photographs and teach how to become more observant and find the best angles and compositions.

Pennala will discuss “Photographing Nature’s Details.” He has been taking photos for three decades in Southwest Michigan and national parks, and has written on photographing waterfalls and wildlfowers.

His one-hour program will include selecting the best equipment, artful composition, background control, visual heirachy, maximum sharpness, and the use of diffusers and reflectors.

Velasco will discuss “Working from a Shot List to Improve Your Travel Photography,” with tips for creating a well-rounded set of pictures that capture the essence of a place and tell a complete story. Gear and packing tips, image storage and backup will be discussed.

For more information, visit;; and

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