Snow On The Lake

After over two years of living in Raleigh the area has officially received it’s first “real” snow. Of course by standards of other areas it wasn’t much in my immediate area, but they certainly do take it seriously around here with schools being closed since the morning before it started later that evening… no comment.

Once I was free to go out and explore I headed straight to the nearby Falls Lake. Although the countless kids that visited the park had plenty of time to play in the snow my go-to spot was still untouched. I quickly setup and composed my shot, since the park was due to close shortly. And just like that I had my shot.


Adobe Was Listening

During Photoshop World this week Adobe has confirmed that they have been listening to the collective whole. They will now offer a Photoshop Photography Program within Creative Cloud.

The package is being offered at a price of $9.99 per month and they SAY that is not an introductory price, but IS the price for those of you who sign up by December 31, 2013. With the current program offer you receive the following:

  • Photoshop CC
  • Lightroom 5
  • 20 GB of online storage
  • Behance ProSite
  • Access to Creative Cloud Learn’s training resources
  • Ongoing upgrades and updates

With the new price point a long with the added items to bump the overall value; I have to say that I am now thinking that I will make the jump here soon. It’s nice when companies and especially those as large as Adobe seem to listen to their user base.

Featured Creative ~ Brooke Shaden

Photographer: Brooke Shaden
Location: Los Angeles, CA

When one discusses the subject of finding your style as a photographer you are bound to mention Brooke Shaden.

Brooke, a Lancaster, PA native grew up near the “Amish Country”, which influences of this can easily be seen in here work. However, it was not until after graduating Temple University with bachelor degrees in film and English that she began her photographic journey.

Originally, Brooke started off photographing self-portraits for ease and control much like many of us. She has since grown into the label of a self-portrait artist. The body of her self-portraits however are not of a standard autobiographical overtone, but rather Brooke creates conceptual dream like worlds and places herself within them.

Her technique is hard to mistake as Brooke uses painterly techniques, deep color tones, textures, and conceptual elements in a consistent manner that maintains, but never dilute her working portfolio.

If you are unfamiliar with her work I urge you to take a look.

City of Oaks Celebrates the 4th

Amongst the thousands that attended the festivities in Downtown Raleigh I made my way to the Boylan bridge to meetup with a local photography group. This place is by far the best perspective of the downtown skyline and conveniently so the fireworks as well. We arrived more than 3 hours early to make sure that we had first dibs for the prime composition, relax and mingle.

There was no mistaking what we were all there for…



As the time passed and the sun dropped there was more conversation about which technique, exposure settings, etc people were planning on using.

Being that I’ve shot this scene before (minus the fireworks) I had a pretty decent idea about where the fireworks would break the skyline I had a good mental image of what I was looking for. With my composition set and my shirt off so that I could cover the lens in between bursts for a single exposure, I was ready.


Featured Creative ~ Aaron Nace

Photographer: Aaron Nace
Location: Chicago, IL

Aaron Nace, originally a hobbyist while he was pursuing his Bachelor of Arts degree in Industrial Design from North Carolina State University has since become a well rooted full-time photographer and “Photoshop Master”. His works have been published in such large names as,, and The Huffington Post.

It would seem that this gentleman truly does live and breathe photography as he runs TWO successful photography based companies! Firstly, you have the standard “Aaron Nace” name tagged to his photography work; Secondly, you have his ever-growing Phlearn “Phamily” (“Phamily” is a cute play on words to reference both employees as well as followers). What is Phlearn you ask? Well… as obvious as it is with one glance at his work you’ll immediately recognize that Aaron has truly mastered the ways of Photoshop, but to take it further he graciously teaches all that he knows concerning photography and Photoshop within online instructional videos. The website features both free and paid tutorials, Photoshop actions as well as texture packs (all shot by the Phlearn team).

I am a regular follower of Phlearn and strongly suggest it to anyone who wishes to learn Photoshop no matter their current experience level. Why not now? You have all weekend to see how much you can absorb in a couple of days, but don’t worry the content already uploaded will keep you occupied for weeks if not months to come.

Here is just a small sample of Aaron’s work.

Lastly, here is a recent free tutorial from Phlearn.