Steve McCurry’s Legacy – Witch Hunt? Form your own opinion. I have formed mine


There has been a great deal of controversy concerning Steve McCurry’s Legacy which you can read about at this link.  You will see at the bottom of the article that the comments are not in favor of the author.

The author as far as I am concerned is properly named and you can find his name in the article.  His credentials in the world of photo journalism are pretty minor and it seems to me that there is a whole lot of jealousy on his part in an attempt to destroy the reputation of a rather high-ranking photo journalist.  It almost appears that the writer is on a quest for self-importance which more than likely find him less readers in the future.  He has played his very weak hand and he will have to pay up eventually.  I for one have banned him from my reading list.  You should too. Just my opinion.

I am a photographer and for many years I was a true advocate feeling that any image had to be terrific out of the camera to ever get published.  I firmly believed that parts of an image and most certainly those done for journalism should never be altered in such a way for artistic purposes by removing content.

For as long as I can remember, and I am 73 years old, photographers either in a darkroom or on a computer have enhanced tones and color which the camera with film or the camera with a sensor could not get quite right.  In the digital world software alters a small amount of distortion because of their physical makeup.

It seems to me that there is a concerted effort on the part of the linked article to demean the excellent work of Steve McCurry.  Somehow the act of discovery and critique have become a very unfortunate WITCH HUNT on the part of the writer.

I am not for or against Mr. McCurry’s portfolio of excellent work.  I do not know him personally, and I have not really followed his career but I do read a lot on the internet and having viewed his so called “altered works” as shown in the linked article I can not see in any way, shape or form that he did anything to his images that good in camera processing of jpegs by a cameras own software does.

I do not see anything so radically changed in Photoshop or Lightroom that the software might do on its own.  All images one way or another might get changed.  Even now and for many years images were altered in the darkroom by burning and dodging and in some instances using poly contrast papers and filters to either enhance or diminish certain parts of the image on paper.

I still believe that to remove or add content to an image is wrong when it involves photo journalism which should show the truth, the whole truth. Photo journalism is a reporting mechanism and not an artistic endeavor. I have not yet seen any conclusive evidence to date that Mr. McCurry did anything but enhance color, detail, and tonal ranges to make the image be more eye-catching to the viewer.  It may well be that some of his gallery work for the purpose of artistic expression had parts of an original image removed or altered, but the key word here is artistic expression and not photo journalism story telling.

To trash Mr. McCurry’s reputation in an attempt to make his photo reporting irrelevant and untruthful is a disgrace in my opinion.  Those who continue to harass him and demean him are the real phony, untrustworthy journalists looking for the next hot headline to make THEIR WORK MORE IMPORTANT.

Perhaps those blog sites, editors, writers, should come under more scrutiny for some of the damning things they write with no facts to back them up.


TICKS and Spring is coming -Workshop & Field Trip Photo Outings have Already Started and soon THE TICKS WILL BE HERE

TICKS and Spring is coming workshop & Field Trip Photo Outings have Already Started and soon THE TICKS WILL BE HERE

 Images on this page have been found on the web

Tick Removal

“A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where
they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her
simple instructions. Read this one as it could save you from
some major problems.

Spring is here and the ticks will soon be showing their heads.
Here is a good way to get them off you, your children,
or your pets. Give it a try.

A School Nurse has written the info below–good enough
to share–and it really works!”

Here is a zoomed-in close-up view of the 4 stages of the Deer Tick.
(  Note that the scale is in CENTIMETERS, not inches.)

“I had a pediatrician tell me what she believes is the best
way to remove a tick. This is great because it works in
those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with
tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of
dark hair, etc.”
“Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick
with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few
seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be
stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away.
This technique has worked every time I’ve used it
(and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic
for the patient and easier for me..”
Also, if you just pull a tick off, their heads sometimes break off
and are left under the skin so this is much safer. Be aware
also that a tick with a white speck on its back is a Deer
Tick, these can cause Tick Fever so check yourself and

your family good all over if you see any of these!

“Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that this
would be damaging in any way.
Please pass on. Everyone needs this helpful hint.




More and more I keep hearing about situations where photographers are prohibited from making images.  In some cases the rules are not followed and the photographers are putting themselves out there for trouble, but in reality there are many laws on the books and people trying to stop you from taking a picture are making up their own rules which makes their actions illegal.


Street Photography and the Law: 7 things you need to know.


Some Times It’s The little things That Can Make A Real Difference –UPDATED APRIL 8 2015


I think by now most people who have taken our workshops as well as those who have known me over the years realize that my collection of accessories is virtually unlimited.  Not complete by any means but vast enough that the collection has helped me help others make decisions on the right equipment for the right job.

I have written about tripods, monopods, table top mounts and pretty much anything you can mount a camera on to make it more stable.

I have also been known to make the statement, which was more than likely someone else’ statement before I made it.  “The right tool for the job at hand.”  I have also written that with all the tripods I own there is a selection of heavy duty types and travel types.  Heavy duty for bigger larger cameras and lenses and for all cameras and lenses that find themselves in very windy, snowy, rainy work places.  But when I am out for the day, I have several travel types that I can choose from.  One is the Gitzo Traveler.  (Exceptionally big bucks here).   Is it worth the money.  Yes if you can afford it.  There are so many NEW BRANDS OF TRIPODS AND MONOPODS  that the only way you can find out what is perfect for you is to go to your local camera store and get yourself fitted

Brands I would not look at:



Brands you want to look at:

There are many more, Just search

Quick note:  We receive no price or financial benefit for supporting Photocraft.


You do not have to own every lens focal length–But you should own the right lenses that fit into your shooting style

You do not have to own every lens focal length–But you should own the right lenses that fit into your shooting style

Owning lots of lenses is terrific if you have the budget to own lots of lenses. Most people do not own lots of lenses and the question is, do they really know what focal lengths they should own.

Having that one piece of knowledge about the subjects that are important to you should help make the right decisions what optics are going to work best for you.

Believing you need and knowing you need are two completely different things. If you know you need a wide angle or telephoto or something in between to get the types of shots you like to get on a consistent basis then the solution for you is simple. Go buy it. If you cannot afford to buy it then rent it.3

Yes I said rent it.3 Years ago when we were making a decision as to what lens you had the hot’s you had to take a trip to your local camera store and that is still very much my recommendation especially when it comes time to buy.

Rentals3 today are very available through the web. Because of that I am always recommending that if I always, now, recommend RENT BEFORE YOU BUY.3 By renting you have a very minimal investment and can learn if a particular lens focal length is for your style of shooting. It also will help you make a decision if you are considering expanding your horizons and learning other styles of shooting so you are more diverse in your material. (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED)

Take stock of what you already own. Put all your lenses out in front of you. Even you have just one, put it out there.

If you are thinking about a new camera body put that thought aside. It is more important than a new body ARE EXCELLENT OPTICS.

You can own the most expensive highest res body in the world. It means nothing without very high-end glass in front of that camera.

I am constantly telling students to challenge themselves. Do not get locked into one type of photography. No matter how comfortable you are with that one type of photography, expanding your knowledge base and trying different types of photography will ultimately benefit in all of your photography.

I know a wonderful person for several years now and that person shoots nothing but flowers. There must be 5000 images of flowers and most begin to look the same after a while. But by learning other techniques from different kinds of subjects will get you to apply these techniques and provide a different look to your favorite subject. Do not ever stop experimenting, learning, shooting, and taking field trips or One On One Field Trips

I have also had students that are more than happy with an all in one zoom lens like a 18mm to 200mm zoom lens. It makes life a little bit easier by only having to worry about one body; one lens and I have personally seen some beautiful work coming from this combination.

It boils down to what is going to work for you for the kind of shooting you want to do. I still recommend having a couple of HIGH SPEED primes in your collection is not a bad idea for depth of field control as well what I consider to better optical capability.


14 to 35mm or equivalent prime lens 4

50mm or equivalent prime lens 4

70-200mm or equivalent zoom lens 4

14-24mm or equivalent zoom lens. 1


14 to 35mm or equivalent prime. 1 4

7-14 or equivalent zoom lens. 1 4

Nature “general” photography

28mm or equivalent prime lens4

50mm or equivalent prime lens4

28-85 or equivalent zoom lens 1

70-200 4.0 or equivalent zoom lens4

Wild Life

70-200 2.8 or equivalent 4

300mm 4.0 or equivalent 4

400mm 5.6 or equivalent 4

500mm 4.0 or equivalent 4

600mm 4.0 or equivalent 4

Tele extender


35 to 200mm or equivalent macro prime lenses. 4

Street Photography 2

28mm to 85mm or equivalent 2.8 or faster prime lenses 4


1 wide-angle zoom lenses at the wide-angle setting can have distortions even when the lens is mounted on a tripod and level. While most can be corrected in software like Adobe Lightroom 5.0 it is better to have a lens that is optically corrected.


2 most people think the term “street photography” refers to taking pictures of people on the streets who are not aware you are doing so. Capturing life. But it also refers to everything else on the street and does not have to include human beings at all.


3 I use BORROW LENS on the web when I need to rent a lens. It may be to evaluate that lens, or it may be something I do not want to own but need for a specific purpose i.e. 600mm 4.0 telephotos for bird photography.


4 EQUIVALENT = the focal lengths referred to above would be for a full frame digital camera. If you have a micro four-thirds camera the multiplying factor is 2x (i.e. 35mm = 70mm)

If you have an APS sized sensor, which can vary slightly from camera to camera, it is about a 1.5 multiplying factor (i.e. 35mm = 52.5mm).



Striving for light weight and high quality camera bodies and optics


Striving for light weight and high quality camera bodies and optics

For a great many years having worked in the photography industry for several companies, mainly 33 years with Nikon.  Nikon makes terrific products and they served me well for a long time.  But time had taken its toll and I just could not deal with heavy gear like the wonderful Nikon zoom lenses and pro bodies.

I needed to find something that would work for me that provided quality optics and cameras which would provide me with Dslr build and great optics in a lighter weight, less bulky package.  My search led me to the retro designed Fujicolor X100 fixed lens camera is incredible and has now been replaced by the X100s.  Then the Fujicolor X pro 1 with interchangeable lenses made its debut.  Wow.  Built like a tank but lightweight.  I added it to the collection.  I thought it could not get any bimg_main01etter and then the Fujicolor Xe-1 appeared.  It is well built like the X pro 1 but smaller and lighter and now Fujicolor has replaced it with the Xe-2.  While these cameras are small and light the controls and the handling is exceptional.  I have large hands and the cameras and lenses are very comfortable to handle.  The most important thing is that I am having a blast doing my photography again.

My take on the system

Just to be up front this is not a technical review.  This is a user slant on why this camera and lens system is way ahead of the smaller, lighter mirrorless systems. There are countless numbers of review sites that really enjoy nitpicking the details as well as forums that you should do your best to avoid. I love street photography and the challenges it presents. Fuji advertising like all the other  camera companies makes all kinds of claims about their products.  One of the Fujicolor claims is that it is the fastest autofocus system around.  I have worked with the Fujicolor autofocus and while I am not sure if it is the fastest AF system, I know for sure that it works for me when I am on the streets capturing the movements of life. People walking, transport moving, kids playing, life.

The Xe cameras are really small compared to Dslr Bodies so they could take a short period of time getting used to.  There have been days when I had the Xe camera and a lens hanging from my shoulder and had to check, in a panic if it was still there.

Just The Facts

  • Image Quality. The Xtrans sensor that Fujicolor uses is one of the best I have ever shot with and the Jpeg files that it produces are virtually perfect right out of the camera.  The latitude on the raw files is beyond anything I have worked on. It took a while for raw processors to accept the fact that the Fujicolor sensor was here to stay, but now the most popular raw processors have developed to the point of doing a good job on Fujicolor raw files.  That would be Capture one, Lightroom, Aperture, and one of my favorites, but only for Mac, Irident Raw Developer.
  • The ability of this system to capture detail in shadows and highlights is easily equal to the best Dslr cameras I have used and I am talking an Aps sensor compared to a full frame sensor.
  • Manual Focus is done through focus peaking is okay but far from perfect.  You get a high contrast outline when you manually focus other brand lenses.  You can also magnify the image, which helps a lot.  The Xe2 has a new and much improved manual focusing capability.
  • The viewfinder refresh rate is acceptable but not perfect, but I have not had any problem following through on moving subjects.  But the Xe2 is much faster.
  • The Xe2 has a new sensor modulation feature that guarantees even better edge-to-edge imaging.  There was of course nothing really wrong with the Xe1 edge to edge.  But a feature is a feature.
  • Fuji since the inception of the product has continued to do firmware upgrades to existing X100, X pro 1, and Xe1 models giving them improved performance such as better and better autofocus.
  • The Xe1 uses a new phase detection as well as contrast focus for a more improved system.

How much faster are the new AF systems in the Xe2 and 100s?

From what I have experienced I can only say I do not know.

For me the focus in the past cameras is fast enough. I have not really had any issues

Having worked with and still work with an X Pro 1 and Xe1, I can say that the XE2 is an improvement over that models as far as quicker AF is concerned, but not that much. With the new firmware updates for the XPro1 / XE1 I found very little difference. When I played the XE2 side by side with the XPro1 and Xe1, felt slightly quicker, but the searching seemed to be the same.

The XE2 being the newest and greatest only has marginal improvements over the Xe1. It is faster.

Where does that leave you when it comes to choices?

The Fujicolor X system is more than capable of replacing the big Dslr cameras and lenses for some people but not for the photographer who requires 10 frames a second, and optical viewfinder to do their work.  It could well serve as a secondary system for those times that it is not practical to carry all that heavy gear around which for me is all the time.

For someone looking for a high quality, lightweight, perfect image producer, this is the first place to look. Fuji will not disappoint anyone who is looking for exceptional image quality and fun.

Random images from the X system and lenses.




It shouldn’t happen to any of us but it can and does. Sometimes you have to take the bad and hope for the best.

It shouldn’t happen to any of us but it can and does.  Sometimes you have to take the bad and hope for the best.

So I decided that I was going to go to Prince William Park and take our Parsons Jack Russel for some R&R.

I had two cameras with me; a Fuji XE1 and Fuji Xpro1 with a 14mm on one and 18-55 zoom on the other.  One was secured to my backpack and the other was secured to my belt.  I was able to keep my hands free because of the Peak Design Pro Clamps and  their Arca Swiss mounts.   They provide very fast access to the camera and lens combinations I was using.  They also have a universal mount should you be using Manfrotto quick releases.  And even better the entire assembly can be mounted to a tripod. 

The Pro Clamp can also serve as a lens for a telephoto lens with a collar.

The air was crisp, the breezes light.  It was a morning golden sun making it wonderful to shooting and hiking.  Ginger, (the pup) thought so too as she tried to eat as much of the forest she could get in her little mouth.

It had rained the night before so the leaves and branches as well as the rocks all had drops of water on them making this day even more exciting to get images.

And we hiked for about two miles and Ginger whom I forgot to bring water for was seeking a better way than licking leaves and rocks to quench her thirst.  We headed down towards a near by stream through some very root heavy and mud heavy terrain, and finally Ginger was happy romping in the stream and drinking to hcapturepro hero-310x310er hearts content.

All that time I was happily shooting a variety of interesting subjects with the goal of using the excellent film simulation for black and white that the Fuji cameras provide.

When we were both done we headed back up the steep hill we took down to get back to the car.

Here it comes.

I am sure by now you have guessed but in case you have not I’ll tell you.  As I turned to see why Ginger was behind me and not in front of me, my boot caught a root and I immediately started my journey accelerated by the slick mud down the hill on my back with only the back pack to cushion my head.   By the time I got to where the stream was my backpack and my clothes were caked in mud.arcaplate hero-310x310

So I took and understood the bad part and then realized that something good also happened.  If the camera had been on my shoulder it would have been caked in mud and probably smashed against the rocks like I had been. Or worse broken a couple of my ribs.  Fortunately only my pride and my butt was hurt and the cameras survived.

The camera that was attached to my pants belt and the other to the shoulder strap on the backpack both survived with barely an issue. Capture Pro kept the cameras  right where they were mounted and kept them from flying down the hill.

They survived because they were attached with two Peak Design Capture Pro camera clips.  They fit securely, lock on, and release only with your finger pressure on the unlock switch.

These camera clips as well as quick release camera straps and a host of accessories for me have proven the best way to carry cameras knowing they are always ready topov4-480x480 capture the moment.

In this case it all turnepropad hero-310x310d out okay, and Ginger had a great day especially chasing my body back down the hill.

Thanks Peak Design for once again saving the situation.

I got my Peak gear at WWW.EPHOTOCRAFT.COM and they are located in Burke Va.  A great mom and pop camera shop with great service.

And for those of you who want a perfect Holiday Gift for the wonderful photographer in your life, the Peak Design Products Are The ones to get.  cuff hero-480x480 leash hero-480x480










Through all of the excitement of children, dogs, the happy Irish all enjoying the parade came this moment of calm and sophistication

Welcome to the streets

It was cold, windy, cloudy and we even saw a few snow flurries, but the workshop participants barreled forward to get great images of the St. Patrick’s day celebration in Old Town Alexandria.  I know.  St. Patrick’s day is on the March 17th. Go figure.

But the day was wonderful for street photography.  There was a open air market in the town center and that gave way to an incredible dog show.  Not long after those two outstanding happenings, the parade began and between the folks in the parade and those watching from the side lines the photo ops were everywhere.

It never go above 35 degrees, it was windy, it was damp, it snowed a tiny bit, fingers were frozen, feet numb and the street photography workshop participants were incredible.  The forged forward to capture some really wonderful images at the EARLY St Patrick’s day parade in Old Town Alexandria from 8:30 a.m. to 2 P.M.

Was not happy to get the picture taken and grumped at a few students but ya know public is public.
Was not happy to get the picture taken and grumped at a few students but ya know public is public.

After our discussion in the Garage across from the closed Torpedo Factory about capturing life as it happens, and not allowing yourself to be intimidated at times when the subject catches your eye, as well as zone focusing, composition, shutter speeds, black and white vs color, use of monopod’s, etc. we were able to make it out for our first bathroom stop.  There are priorities and the cold did not help.

We then made our way to an

These guys just loved getting their picture taken.  Were so happy to see all the photographers.
These guys just loved getting their picture taken. Were so happy to see all the photographers.

open air food market with lots of great opportunities to capture the vendors as well as customers.  By 10 a.m. the town center where the food market was had been converted to a stage area and hundred of dogs and people for a wonderful dog show.  Dogs can be the most wonderful PEOPLE to photograph.  Shortly after the dog show the St. Patrick’s day parade began.  Two weeks before St. Patrick’s day.  Go figure.

Here is a student gallery which will be on going as students keep sending me their images.  I hope you all enjoy.

March 5 – After looking at a great many images that the work shop participants have sent me and that I posted in the gallery, I am pretty impressed with every ones imaging which in some cases is close to the same but also different.  They all did a super job on their first street photography workshop.

As always the wonderful people who created these images own these images lock stock and barrel.  They are all to be considered copy righted and the property of the photographers.