Posts Tagged ‘Ralph Nordstrom’

Color Management Made Simple – From Computer to Print

June 29th, 2013

Color Management is the science of getting the colors you want in your photographs – consistently.  And in my workshops I hear all too often that people are disappointed because the colors they get in their prints are not what they saw on their monitors.  They often go to a lot of work preparing an image and when they print it it’s as if all that work was a waste of time.

Color Management is indeed a science and can be very complicated and technical.  But getting the same colors on the print that you see on your monitor is essential if you are to have control over the creative process.  For that, color management is the key and in these series of articles I’m trying to break it down to make it more understandable and accessible for all of us.


In the previous two articles I presented the concept of a color space and what happens behind the scenes when you move the image from the camera to your computer.  See Color Management Made Simple – Color Space and Color Management Made Simple – From Camera to Computer.  In this article I’ll be covering the all important aspect of getting your prints to look like what you see on your monitor; that is, from Computer to Print.

Continue reading “Color Management Made Simple – From Computer to Print” »


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Journey – First Steps

November 26th, 2011

I’m very excited to announce that I just published my first book.  It’s something I’ve been thinking about for along time.  The title is “Journey – First Steps” and it showcases 24 of my favorite photographs from 2005 up into 2010.  It’s also a chronicle of my development as a photographer from those early uncertain days to today.  Not only does the book contain these photographs but I share with you where I was at the time they were taken and the discoveries I made along the way.

Your are invited to check out the preview.  It contains a sampling of the 54 pages and is available in eBook format (viewable on iPad and iPhone), soft cover and hard cover on Blurb.  It would make a beautiful gift for someone dear.

Oh, and let me know what you think.  Thanks.

We do photography workshops.  Come on out and join us.  Click here to check us out.

You can also check out our photography.  Click here.


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Photography Workshops in 2012

July 29th, 2011

I’m excited to announce the 2012 Ralph Nordstrom Photography Workshop schedule.  More beautiful locations; more wonderful photography.  But before discussing each of the workshops I’d like to say a few words about my philosophy on photography because it carries over into the workshops.

death_valley_dunes_2011I believe that photography is art.  And I believe art is interpretation and communication.  That is to say, we are each artists to one degree or another.  And our photography is a unique expression of our view of the world and our interpretation of reality.  One way to grow as an artist is to expand the way we see the world, to see the world in new and fresh ways.  And we also continue to grow when we become more fluent in communicating our world view through our photographs, when we expand our Creative Vocabulary.

Granted, a large component of a successful photography workshop is being in the right place in the best of light.  And work on technical skills is also important.   But I also like to challenge the participants to stretch themselves creatively, to get in touch with how they relate to a location and explore how they can express their feelings and impressions in their photographs.  It’s a meaningful experience and I’ve received feedback from some telling me that it has helped them slow down and see photography in an entirely new way.  I’m always humbled when I get that kind of response.  So you can expect to be challenged to shoot things you normally wouldn’t see, to perhaps get outside your comfort zone and hopefully to return home with new insights into your art.

But where does all this magic take place?  Well, in magical places of course.

Death Valley Photography Workshop, February 11-14, 2012

badwater_dawn_2011The Death Valley Workshop is always very popular so if you’re interested you better sign up right away.  I like to go in February because it’s still the ‘rainy’ season.  And for three years running we’ve been delighted with a lake in Badwater.  This is really an incredible time of year with clear air, wonderful temperatures and great light.

2012 Death Valley Photography Workshop – click here.



Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop, June 2-7, 2012

mt_whitney_first_light_2009I love the Sierra Nevada Mountains and this workshop takes us to some of the most amazing wonders this area has to offer.  You may ask yourself, “Why June?”  The answer is simple. This is springtime in the mountains.  The aspen are sending out their first shoots of foliage.  The streams are splashing and dancing.  The bristlecone pines are always an inspiration.  Everything is fresh and clean and full of life.  There is so much to experience that we it takes a full five nights and six days to cover it all.

2012 Eastern Sierra Photography Workshop – click here.


Big Sur Summer Photography Workshop, August 6-9, 2012

bixby_bridge_2011If you haven’t been to Big Sur you’re in for an incredible treat.  Quite simply, it’s the most spectacular meeting of mountain and sea on the entire West Coast.  Nowhere else will you find mile-high mountains that plunge into the sea in as little as two miles.  But Big Sur is more than majestic headlands.  Coves and beaches with crashing surf dot the coast.  Streams splash down narrow canyons and leap over waterfalls.  Hidden groves of coastal redwoods abound.  And the name of the famous restaurant in the village of Big Sur sums it all up – Nepenthe, the cure for sorrow (by the way, once the home of Orson Wells and Rita Hayworth).

2012 Big Sure Summer Photography Workshop – click here.


Zion National Park Photography Workshop, October 13-16, 2012

Riverside_Walk_2007Zion is one of the most inspiring places I know of.  There’s something almost spiritual about this beautiful canyon and its surroundings.  And I’m not the only one that feels that way.  Zion means “Place of refuge.”  There is a tremendous feeling of contrasts here with the gentle Virgin River set against the power and majesty of the towering red cliffs.  Many call this the red Yosemite.  And we are here at a magical time when the first touch of autumn begins to paint the trees.

2012 Zion NP Photography Workshop – click here.


Bryce Canyon National Park Photography Workshop, October 16-19, 2012

silent_city_2010If you’re already in Zion you may just as well drive the short two hours to take in the other wonder in this corner of Utah – Bryce Canyon.  I don’t know where on earth you will ever find more stirring sunrise than at Bryce Canyon.  But that’s not all.  Surrounding Bryce are many other exciting wonders that we will explore.  It’s a perfect extension of the Zion workshop.  And when you’re in country this beautiful who in their right mind would want to rush back home?

2012 Bryce Canyon NP Photography Workshop – click here.

So we offer a special Utah Southwest Super Workshop that combines these two workshops and is offered at a very special price.  It’s a full week of exciting, challenging and immensely rewarding photography.

2012 Utah Southwest Super Workshop – click here.

Big Sur Winter Photography Workshop, November 5-8, 2012.

plaskett_rock_north_2011Big Sur is such a magnificent place that it deserves a second visit.  In winter this wild coastline offers a completely different experience.  Early winter storms can churn the surf and turn gentle streams into rushing torrents.  It’s even been known  to snow higher up in the mountains.  And I’m the lucky one; I get to be there for both summer and winter.

2012 Big Sur Winter Photography Workshop – click here.

I’m working on some other workshop ideas.  I have some really special places in mind but it’s too early to announce them.  Stay tuned.

Take Advantage of these Discounts

We offer a number of discounts that are spelled out on the website.  But I want to point out a couple you might be especially interested in.

The Early Bird discount of 10% is available to those who sign up for a 2012 workshop by December 31st, 2011.  This is 10% off the 2012 workshop prices.

Returning participants can take advantage of the Alumni discount of 15%.

I also want to let you know about the ‘Bring a Friend’ discount.  If you go to the trouble of recruiting another participant I am happy to give you a whopping 33% discount.  After all, there ought to be something in it for you.

Only one of these discounts can be applied to any given workshop.

To help you get started, here are links to the signup forms.

2012 Registration Form – click here to download

Assumption of Risk Form – click here to download

Pick the workshop that inspires you and reserve your space now.  Download these forms and return them to me with your deposit either by fax or mail and you’re in.  We accept check, Visa, MasterCard and American Express.

I’m looking forward to shooting with you in these incomparable locations.

To see more of my photographs click here.


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Death Valley Workshop Map

February 23rd, 2011

I use a device called Spot while in the field.  It keeps track of where I am and transmits my location to a communications satellite.  I can check in whenever I want (and call for help if I need it).  This all gets captured on a map.  It shows many of the locations where we were shooting during the workshop.  I added pictures from flickr and presto, changeo, we have an account of the workshop. 

Click on the title above the map to see it in interactive mode.  Enjoy.

Death Valley Workshop 2011

Share your Adventures with SpotAdventures


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Photography Tutorial – Getting the Shot

August 8th, 2010

Last week I published a post in which I presented a photographic situation and solicited input on what decisions might go into getting the shot.  The situation was to photograph the interior of the beautiful Cologne Cathedral in Germany.  Here’s a link to the post.

Getting the Shot – Cologne Cathedral

In this post I’d like to share what was going through my mind as I prepared to push the shutter.  For starters, here’s the final photograph (click the photograph to enlarge it).

_A1P6721-Edit Cologne Cathedral

You may recall from the original post that I spoke of two things that go into every work of art – the artists Creative Vocabulary and the Interpretive Decisions he or she makes.

In this instance, which focused on the technical aspects of getting the shot, the Creative Vocabulary consists of the capabilities of the camera and the knowledge to use them.  The Interpretive Decisions are those decisions made in the moments that lead up to the instant the shutter is pressed.  So let’s step through what was going through my mind as I prepared to capture this image.

Continue reading “Photography Tutorial – Getting the Shot” »


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Eastern Sierra Photographs

August 6th, 2010

I finally got a chance to work on a few more Eastern Sierra workshop photographs from June.  It’s amazing how many things barge to the front of the line.  But I finally got to these.  I hope you enjoy them.

alabama_hills_vignette_2010Alabama Hills Vignette

This one was taken before the workshop started.  It’s just one more wonder to be found in the Alabama Hills.  I get a very quite feeling from this one.

lone_pine_creek_2_2010 Lone Pine Creek 2

One of the exercises we did during the workshop was to photograph the chapter, paragraph and sentence on Lone Pine Creek at Whitney Portal.  This was my sentence photograph.  The water is swirling around the rocks going every which way.  This image captures the whole turbulence of the cascade in this little microcosm.

bristlecone_dusk_2010 Bristlecone Dusk

I keep coming back to this bristlecone pine in the White Mountains.  And each year the interpretation is different.  It was somewhat overcast this year and as night was coming on the clouds created subtle patterns in the sky.  One of the things I like about this tree is how it grows high above Great Basin.  It’s been here for thousands of years.  On this evening it softly glows as the day turns to night – one more time.

half_dome_storm_2010 Half Dome Storm

The Tioga Pass road opened just a few days before we arrived in Lee Vining.  So there was no doubt that we would photograph sunset in Yosemite.  Olmsted Point provides a unique view of Half Dome from the back side.  As luck would have it a storm was rolling across the Sierra and we were there.  I love the power in this photograph.  When I look at the image I can’t help thinking how good it would look in a Southern California arts and crafts style house.

These will be up on my website soon but I wanted to give you a preview.

Join me on an upcoming workshop.

To see more of my photographs click here.


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Photography Tutorial – Getting the Shot

July 28th, 2010

I have what I think is a fun idea that can lead to an interesting discussion.  Let me explain.

I often think of art in general and photography in particular as involving two very important elements – creative vocabulary and interpretive decisions.  Creative vocabulary is the knowledge, skills and techniques we use as artists and just like our verbal vocabulary, we use the ‘words’ in our creative vocabulary to express ourselves.  As we grow as artists our creative vocabulary grows and we are able to more fully and richly communicate our thoughts and feelings.

Interpretive decisions recognizes the fact that each of us has a unique world view and a unique thing to say.  When creating a work of art we make numerous decisions, decisions that shape the way we interpret our subject and thereby communicate what it is we have to say about it.

So, this leads to my fun idea.

Continue reading “Photography Tutorial – Getting the Shot” »


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Family Vacation

July 7th, 2010

We’re leaving tomorrow for a family vacation in Europe. We’ll be eight days on the River Rhein with a little extra time at the start and the the end. And yes, I’m taking my camera with me.


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Honesty in Photography

July 5th, 2010

I just read a great email from Brian Peterson, founder of The Perfect Picture School of Photography.  He ran an unscientific opinion pole on whether photographers felt it was OK to dramatically alter photographs in Photoshop.  Now, by ‘dramatically alter,’ Brian means to add major elements to an image that were not present in the original scene or make other major changes that alter the content of the image. 

He has a provocative blog post with the title that starts, “Every photograph is a ‘lie,…’,  In it he raises the excellent point that even those photographs that aren’t altered in Photoshop are still an abstraction of reality and thus a ‘lie.’  I recommend you read it.

What were the results of his opinion pole?  Brian reports that 41% of photographers felt that it is OK to dramatically alter images in Photoshop and NOT tell anyone unless asked.  And if asked, some would say, “It’s none of your business.”  The reason photographers felt this way boiled down to two words – Artistic License.

I have my own thoughts on “artistic license” and would like to share them with you.

Continue reading “Honesty in Photography” »


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Lightroom Tutorial – LR 3

July 3rd, 2010

Lightroom 3 came in the mail yesterday (along with CS5) so today I’m trying it out.  There’s not a lot of new functionality like there was when LR2 introduced local adjustments.  But there are some new things I’m really excited about.

Continue reading “Lightroom Tutorial – LR 3” »


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