July News Letter

This month our photo tips: 1. how to use one of the program modes on your little point and shoot camera, and 2.  for more advanced photographers, we will talk about tripod selection.


June 24, 25, and 26 I will be at Art in the Sun in Northville Michigan, a part of the Art and Acts Celebration of the arts.  I will be in booth 47 in front of Rebecca’s Restaurant on Center Street.  If you are in the area, please stop by and say hi!

July 1, 2, and 3 I will be at Meijer Art in the park in Muskegon.  I will be in booth E43 near the corner of 4th and Webster.  If you are at the fair, be sure and stop and say hi!

July 9 & 10 I will be at the 31st Art in the Park in Warren.  I will be in space number 50.  Pleas stop by this highly attended show!

Then for a few weeks I will take some time off to take some pictures and to travel to Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula.

July 30 & 31 I will be at Marquette Michigan, for Art on the Rocks!



Classes at Tanglewood Center, Muskegon- Starting August 18, from 5-7 PM I will be teaching the 6 week Intermediate Photography class at Tanglewood. In this class we will cover exposure, depth of field and composition. I will critique your photos, give some homework and spend more time in discussion and questions. You do not need to be over 55 to take this class. Contact Kim Scheffler at Agewell Services 231-755-0434 or kim@agewellservices.org for more information.  Expect your photography to move up several notches after this class!!

Group Photo Walks in Montague– These classes are sponsored by the Nuveen Center in Montague. Class size is limited so I will have plenty of time to work individually with each student as well as give general instruction to the class. All camera types and skill levels welcome.
Tuesday, July 5, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Meet at the White River Light Station to take some beautiful shots of this local icon before learning the trick to outstanding beach photography on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Tuesday, August 23, 7:00-9:00 p.m. Practice nature photography as you wander the trails of Montague’s Clear Spring Nature Preserve watching for birds, wildflowers, and vibrant reflections in the water.
To register for a class, fill out and mail  a registration form, or give a call to the Nuveen Center at 231-894-ARTS (2787)

Private or Group Photo Walks- Contact me if you would like to kick your photography up another notch! I have a couple openings for photo walks in July.  Charges are based on the size of group, the location, and the amount of time.


When most people pick up a new point and shoot camera, the first thing they do is turn the control wheel or the main menu to the green A for automatic and spend the rest of the life of the camera shooting in a way the camera decides.  Did you know that there is a lot better way, that allows you to shoot in a more creative way without having to learn more advanced photo techniques?  For the next couple months I will talk about the program modes on the camera, and this month we will talk about the little Icon of a head called portrait mode.  What this program does is attempt to put the object that you focus on in focus and blur the background.  In advanced photography we call that using a shallow depth of field.  Put your camera in the portrait mode and focus on a person or flower, then take a picture and see if the background is blurred.  It will give you a much more professional looking photograph while keeping things simple!


One of the greatest treasures I have are the family pictures that were taken when I was a child and when my children were young.  When was the last time you had professional pictures taken of your family?  Summer is a great time to get those outdoor family groups photographed!  Many times I take pictures at family reunions and these become treasured memories for a lifetime.  E-mail me for more information.


This month was a month of many photo shoots for area companies needing images for advertising and website development.  Call for reasonable rates.


If you have been in one of my classes, you know that I recommend that you spend your money in this order:  First good lenses, second a good camera, and thirdly, get a good tripod.  I have a tripod that I bought about 12 years ago, and I call it fondly, the bazooka.  It is fairly heavy, but it has two leg wraps that cushion it as I carry it over my shoulder.  Sometimes when my pack is full, and we have a long way to go, my lovely bride will carry it.  It is heavy, it is big. but………it is the right height for me, it is solid as a rock, it is the only piece of photo gear that I have named and that I think fondly of!

So what should you look for in a tripod.  First it should extend to a height that you can look through your camera on it comfortably without extending the center extension pole.  I never extend the center pole, and if you have to it is too wobbly and don’t buy the tripod.  Second, it needs to be heavy and stable when you take the picture.  Sure a light weight tripod is fine if you can afford it, but make sure it has a hook to hang your camera bag on so it is heavy and steady when you are using it.  I have had at least 6 or 7 different heads on the bazooka, but everyone has a quick release that allows the camera to be snapped on and off quickly.  If the tripod requires you to screw the base on to the bottom of the camera every time you use it, don’t buy it.  If the salesman says “it is light and handy and you can put it in the corner of your bag”  don’t buy it!  If it fits in your camera bag, don’t buy it.

So what do I suggest?  Sadly the bazooka is no longer made..it is a Manfrotto 3021BPRO with (currently) a Manfrotto 322RC2 quick release ball head.  The head is a current model, and they tell me online that the bazooka is called the 055XProB now.  So if you are taller like me, I would suggest this newer model.  I would also suggest a graphite tripod if you can afford one, but make sure it has a hook at the bottom to weigh it down!


You can find my photography at “THE MARKETPLACE” in beautiful downtown Grand Marais Michigan or at “CREATIVE ENTERPRISES” on Highway 77 just south of Grand Marais Michigan. Plan on spending some time in both these wonderful shops as there is LOTS to see!


It is the time to start thinking about those high school senior pictures, taken by our beautiful Lake Michigan!  Perhaps a wooded background would be more to your liking?  It is time to schedule those pictures this summer….and DO you have a Senior Citizen in your family?  I go to their homes and take beautiful portraits where they live!  What a treasure that is for their family!

I look forward to seeing you at an art fait this summer!  Be sure and take time to stop in my booth!

Paul K. Petersen

Petersen Photography





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