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Featured photographer

Featured Photographer: Ben Rifkin
Life and wildlife in Madagascar

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 19, 2012 12:21 PM


Ben Rifkin's host-father in the village of Faux Cap, Madagascar
Photo by Ben Rifkin

By Ben Rifkin

For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me.



Featured Photographer:
Paul Marotta of Arlington

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 23, 2012 09:00 AM

Even though we usually highlight amateur photographers in this feature, I thought it would be helpful to have Paul Marotta, who judges many of our RAW monthly contests, talk about how he moved into the professional ranks and give us all some photo tips. You can see a sample of his work in a gallery linked at the end of this entry. To see his work in person, visit the Artful Heart Gallery in Arlington or Workbar in Boston.

By Paul Marotta
Perfect Bokeh Photography, Arlington

Photographer Paul Marotta.jpgCan anyone ever be thankful to have been let go from an executive position during the economic downturn? Would someone deliberately undertake building a photography career at this stage of life? These are questions I wouldn't begin to presume to answer for anyone else, and at times I'm not sure I even have my own answers!



Featured Photographer:
Kati Mai Seiffer

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 4, 2011 12:00 PM

Photo by Kati Mai Seiffer

Long-exposure shot of the Pacific Grove coastline in California after sunset.

By Kati Mai Seiffer

Talk about starting 2011 off with an unexpected bang: I'm having my first gallery exhibit. I will be showcasing my photography at the Parish Center for the Arts this month.



Featured Photographer:
Ryan Prentiss

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 24, 2011 07:41 AM

Sea kayakers from above Marin Headlands in Point Bonita, California

Kayakers, Marin Headlands, Point Bonita, California.

Just point and shoot

By Ryan Prentiss
West Roxbury

I am a dad of four with a passion for photography and the outdoors. I lead a busy lifestyle between family and work, so when I'm running across rocky ridges, hanging from a ledge, climbing vertical ice, or paddling out in the open ocean, I donít have a lot of space or time to fiddle with technical aspects of photography. Iíve found that with some basic skills, a few tricks of the trade, and a decent point-and-shoot (P/S) digital camera, you can capture amazing adventure photos.



Featured Photographer:
Charlie MacPherson

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 4, 2011 12:00 PM

We usually feature just amateur photographers in this space, but I'm making an exception for Charlie because I want to use this venue to introduce him to the RAW crowd: He has graciously agreed to write tipsheets for us on a regular basis. Watch for his work in both the Gigabytes section and the Tipsheets section on the RAW homepage.

I got my first whiff of photography as a teenager when I discovered my Dad's Argus C3 "brick" camera -- and it was love at first sight!



POTW: Lois Cunniff of Chelsea

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 6, 2010 09:00 AM


Lois Cunniff has been a faithful RAW reader. One day she emailed me about one of her contest photos, and I noticed links in her signature to her budding pet photography business. She agreed to be one of our Featured Photographers. Here's her story.

By Lois Cunniff

My love affair with pet photography is a long story with a few twists and turns along the way.



Photographer of the Week:
Paul Wainwright of Atkinson, NH

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 27, 2010 04:31 PM


Interior, Old Meeting House (1773), Sandown, NH, 2005
From the book, "A Space for Faith: The Colonial Meetinghouses of New England"

By Paul Wainwright
Atkinson, New Hampshire

For me, photography has always been my passion Ė my expressive outlet amidst all the cares and frustrations of life.



Photographer of the Week: Lucy Loomis

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 21, 2010 04:05 PM

There's so much to like about Lucy Loomis's photos: The dramatic manipulation of depth of field on her close-ups, her experimentation with light in both daytime and night shots, her playfulness in shooting everything from toys to words. But it was her use of textures that most intrigued me and that I asked her to make the topic of her POTW essay.

4 Boats

4 boats by Lucy Loomis
1/60 sec. at f/13, ISO 400, focal length 55mm
Texture by Cat Hair Studios and StewBl@ck

By Lucy Loomis
Cape Cod

I stumbled headlong into a love affair with photography last year. I had purchased a digital point-and-shoot, and started out innocently enough -- taking pictures of the kids, the cats, the flowers in the garden. Then one day I took some photos of a dramatic, cloud-filled sky, and that was it. I was gone, head over heels. Within 6 months, I had left my point-and-shoot behind and purchased a DSLR and several lenses.



Photographer of the Week: Jeff Tamagini

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 1, 2010 07:00 AM


By Jeff Tamagini
The Fenway

It all starts with a single click.

That's the motto I've been trying to live by this year. After a rough end to 2009, I decided I needed a fresh start -- personally, professionally, and photographically. I put down the camera for almost two months, picked up books, relearned old techniques, tried out new ones.



Photographer of the Week:
Korri Leigh Crowley and self-portraiture

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 21, 2010 09:15 PM


By Korri Leigh Crowley

I can comfortably say that my life would be much different, and less full, were it not for my self-portraiture photography.



Photographer of the Week: Jack J. DiMaio

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 14, 2010 10:39 AM
Mamma MariaMamma Maria
1/250 sec. at f/5.0, ISO 125, focal length 24mm
This view of Mamma Maria's has been taken by hundreds upon hundreds of cameras.
I looked and said, what more does this photo need? I knew it needed more of a punch.
I like to take many of my photos into the digital darkroom and reinvent the original.

By Jack J. DiMaio

I first became aware of photography and picture-taking as a child. I'd see my Dad with his Kodak Brownie (120 film format) lining us up for family photos to mark all the special occasions. We would also sit around the kitchen table and Mom would open the big box of pictures. She would pass them around for all of us to look at and talk about. We had so many photos, especially of our family. Both of my parents came from families with eight siblings, so there was never a shortage of pictures. I should mention that we were one big Italian family!



Photographer of the Week: Mary Schiess

Posted by Teresa Hanafin June 7, 2010 08:00 AM

I first "met" Mary Schiess online soon after RAW launched almost two years ago when she emailed suggesting that I might want to write about a special Boston neighborhood photo project (which I did; read it here). I've always liked her photography, but when I asked her to be a Photographer of the Week, her first reaction was that I must have chosen her because "perhaps I have scored the largest number of rejections from notable photographers judging the monthly contests!!!!!!!" Hardly. Mary's passion for this craft and the number of photo projects she has created for herself should inspire all of us.

By Mary Schiess

Photography is who I am. Not my original words! Not even my personal idiom! More of a wish, a goal. Adjusted for life's circumstances, adapted by reality, photography is actually a part of who I am, a significant part, a self-defining part.



Photographer of the Week: Ed Doucette

Posted by Teresa Hanafin February 3, 2010 09:16 AM

By Ed Doucette
Hudson, MA

My interest in photography started at an early age when I received a Fisher Price Picture Story Camera for my birthday. It was my first camera, but very limited in scope, as I was only able to take the same eight pictures of a farm. I later moved on to a Kodak Instamatic 126 film cartridge point-and-shoot. The photo quality was dreadful, but I did learn how to frame my shots.



Photographer of the Week: Lee Cullivan

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 9, 2009 06:00 AM

Lee Cullivan of Belmont, aka shoothead, is one of four RAW regulars who have won prizes in two monthly contests; the others are Garry Schlatter of Brisbane, Australia (Garry), Gillian Henry of Revere (amythyst_lake), and Kati Seiffer of Burlington (kseiffer). But Lee is the first one to capture two First Places -- in last November's Motion contest and this September's Jobs competition. I knew I had to make him a Photographer of the Week.



Photographer of the Week: Randy Brogen

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 8, 2009 09:31 AM
Eyes of Hope
"Eyes of Hope" / Photos by Randy Brogen
An impromptu shot taken in Somerville
Canon EOS 5D, 1/250, f/5.6, 285mm, ISO 400

By Randy Brogen

I took up photography about six years ago as a hobby just before my son was born. I had always been interested in taking pictures, but my lack of patience for the development process was enough to keep me sidelined. Worse yet was dealing with the chemicals if you wanted to develop the pictures yourself.

Then came the digital revolution...



Photographer of the Week: Gillian Henry

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 24, 2009 01:22 PM

Gillian Henry, aka amythyst lake, is a two-time RAW monthly contest winner: Her photo of two skiers and a lone tree, "Tis the Season ... for winter sports" finished 2nd in our December contest, and she captured 2nd place again in May with her image of daisies on Belle Isle Marsh in East Boston, "Day's Eye."

In looking over her photos in her Flickr account, I was struck by how Jill is able to capture gorgeous photos in an urban setting. (And I have to admit I was partial to her photos from the Neponset section of Dorchester, where I grew up.) So when I asked her to be a POTW, I asked her to focus on her city photography. Her pictures are proof that to make a great photo, you first have to see the great image that could be right in front of you.

Photos by Gillian D. Henry
Nikon D80, 1/320 sec. at f/5.6, ISO 125, focal length 280mm

By Gillian D. Henry

I have always felt the desire to capture fragments of the world around me. When I was a child, I loved to draw and paint - my father and grandfather were both talented amateur painters, and I received plenty of encouragement at home.



Photographer of the Week: John Gavin

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 7, 2009 02:35 PM
Great Egret Preening
Great Egret preening / Photos by John Gavin
Nikon D80, 1/1000 sec. at f/11, focal length 280mm, ISO 800

By John Gavin

I discovered my passion for photography by accident - or should I say because of an accident.



Photographer of the Week: Caitlin Smith

Posted by Teresa Hanafin March 12, 2009 11:56 AM

Spring is a natural time to dream about summer vacation. But with the recession, many of us are unlikely to be planning trips very far from home. I don't mind living vicariously, so I asked RAW regular Caitlin Smith, an inveterate traveler, to assemble some of her travel photos and write about her thought process and technique when capturing her images.

Segolene, Paris, France
"Segolene, Paris, France"
Nikon D80, 1/400 second, f/5, ISO 400, focal length 70mm

By Caitlin Smith

I've been taking pictures since I was a little girl, when my dad gave me a gray square camera with a red plastic viewer. I remember watching him prowl around in our greenhouse, crouching down to photograph what looked to me like a bunch of dirt. But projected on the slide screen, his quirky shots turned out to be luminous images of tiny green shoots or intricate networks of roots. My dad also traveled extensively, bringing home photos that captured the colors and personalities of far-away cultures. I caught the travel bug, and the shutter bug, from him.



Photographer of the Week: Dominic Casserly

Posted by Teresa Hanafin January 28, 2009 04:36 PM
Late Day Riding
"Late Day Riding" / California, 2008 / Photo by Dominic Casserly

By Dominic Casserly

I found photography, like many people, by accident. My sister is a photographer and she always had photos and camera equipment all over the house. Although it was always around, I was never interested in photography until I began to travel.



Photographer of the Week: Derrick Z. Jackson

Posted by Teresa Hanafin December 16, 2008 05:23 PM
Loon Lunch
"Loon Lunch" Umbagog National Wildlife Refuge, NH by Derrick Z. Jackson
July 2006 / Nikon D70, 1/500, f/6.3, 80-400 zoom lens, ISO 400

Derrick Jackson, an Op-Ed columnist for the Globe, is well known for his annual "Graduation Gap Bowl" columns, written at the time of the college football bowl selections, and his gender graduation brackets, published at the time of the NCAA March Madness basketball tournaments. Sometimes, this native Cheesehead bleeds a little green-and-yellow in his columns. And occasionally, you'll get a glimpse of another of his passions: Photography.



Photographer of the Week:
Pat Glennon and Project 365

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 25, 2008 05:53 PM
Brink Pink
Day 257: "Brink Pink" by Pat Glennon

By Pat Glennon

Do something every day for a year and you're bound to get better.

It was in this spirit that I began my "Project 365."

In its simplest form, Project 365 involves taking a photo every day and publishing it online for, you guessed it, a year. I'm sure versions of this have been around as long as photography itself, but thanks to digital photography and the Internet, capturing a year in images has never been more possible.



Photographer of the Week: Alex Wright

Posted by Teresa Hanafin November 12, 2008 01:12 PM
Rush of the City
Rush of the City
30-second exposure at f/19, focal length 18mm, ISO 200

By Alex Wright
Berklee College of Music, Boston

Photography found me at age 12 on a family vacation to Northern California.

My dad bought a small point-and-shoot film camera for me to use during the trip. Knowing little to nothing about taking pictures, I tackled a few of America's premier photo opportunities with the abandon of a total amateur. Yosemite National Park, San Francisco, and the spectacular coastlines of Monterey and Big Sur posed for my endless shooting. As a native Marylander, I was awestruck by the vast difference and beauty of the California landscapes compared to my familiar East Coast turf.

That trip sparked my interest and love for photography, and influenced the way I shoot today. My toy camera produced a new kind of awe when I saw the magic of alpenglow on Halfdome, captured by pure folly.



Photographer of the Week: Susan Furber

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 21, 2008 03:44 PM
Checkered water droplet
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi with an EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 lens
54mm, 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 400

Even though Susan Furber shoots a wide range of photo styles, I was impressed by her close-ups. Given the theme of our October contest, I asked her to highlight, and discuss, her fascination with intimate shots of everyday objects.

By Susan Furber
South Easton

I can't pinpoint what sparked my interest in photography, but I feel as though my father in particular has helped me progress from a 15-year-old with a point-and-shoot to a 20-year-old with my own digital SLR. My dad has a great eye for interesting angles and composition, and has always aided me in finding new and unique ideas for my work. I'm particularly interested in photographing nature and spotting objects you wouldn't notice at first glance, but produce some wonderful shots.



Photographers of the Week:
Caitlin Quinn, Kate Smith, Max Carrasco, Ashley Murphy, David Paradela
Chelsea Berry, Zoe Kurtz, Caitlee Carrier, Stephen Snider

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 14, 2008 05:08 PM
I attended the opening of a very special photo exhibit at the Boston Children's Museum last week: Project Tomorrow -- A Young Photographers Initiative photographic project. Nine children ages 10 to 18 with a parent under treatment for cancer at the Massachusetts General Hospital's Cancer Center were given cameras and an assignment: Make a portrait of your parent today that will inspire you to remember what is special about who she or he is tomorrow.


Photographer of the Week: Nik Fiore

Posted by Teresa Hanafin October 7, 2008 05:42 PM
January: Town Downhill
Town Downhill, Snow King, Jackson Wyoming
Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, 300mm, 1/100, f/14, ISO 100

We all may be out shooting fall foliage here in New England, or capturing other scenes on these crisp, clear fall days, but it's not too early to think about how we can use our photos as gifts this upcoming holiday season. Nik Fiore of Hanover, NH shoots a wide variety of photos, but what caught my eye on his website was his 2008 photo calendar. I asked him to write a bit about it.

Making a Photo Calendar

By Nik Fiore
Hanover, NH

Photography, for me, is a great way to get the right side of my brain a little exercise. As a professional civil engineer, things can be a little heavy on the analytical side. The creative process of photography provides a channel to think of things in a different light, so to speak. The numbers involved (f-stop, shutter speed, ISO, etc.) may have helped make it an attractive hobby.



Photographer of the Week: Brian Matiash

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 29, 2008 12:30 AM
Charlestown HDR
Charlestown HDR
I was trekking through downtown Boston with two good photo buddies when we noticed that a significant storm was approaching. The onslaught of clouds plowed through the sky rapidly. Fortunately, I was able to grab this scenic shot of Charlestown before the heavy rain set in.
Canon EOS 40D, 90mm, f/6.3, ISO 100, 1-exposure HDR (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2)

By Brian Matiash

HDR -- High Dynamic Range -- is a post-processing imaging technique that allows a photographer to display a much wider tonal range from light to dark in a photograph than today's cameras can actually capture. By taking several shots of the same scene at different exposures and then tone mapping them, the result is often a much more dramatic depiction and closer to what the human eye actually sees.



Photographer of the Week: Linda Cullivan

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 22, 2008 12:28 AM
Marsh Reflections
Marsh Reflections
Early morning reflections on the marsh.
I love this place - it is such a place of beauty and serenity for me.

Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi, 300mm, 1/800, f/5.6, ISO 100

By Linda Cullivan
Scarborough, Maine

I bought my first DSLR almost two years ago.

I had no intention of picking up photography as a hobby. My hobby was birdwatching, and I was content to have my husband take photos of the birds while we were on our birdwatching jaunts.

One rainy day, I saw a beautiful indigo bunting in the pear tree outside my house. There was no one else around to take the shot, so I picked up my husbandís Canon D10 and took a few pictures. I was hooked from that moment on.

It wasnít difficult Ė everyone else in the family is an avid amateur photographer and Saturday night dinners consisted of lots of photography talk. I was late to the party, but I'm trying to make up for lost time!



Photographer of the Week: Brian Buckland

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 15, 2008 02:00 PM
Upside Down Under
Upside Down Under
Australian skydivers start to build a national record for largest Vertical Formation
in 2005 over Picton, New South Wales, about 40 minutes south of Sydney.

By Brian Buckland
Jumptown, MA

If youíre someone whoís lucky enough to find something in this world that youíre passionate about, donít hesitate: Embrace it and enjoy the ride.

Overall, I consider myself a lucky person. I have found things in life that I am passionate about, and Iíve been able to turn them into major parts of my everyday life. Skydiving is one of those things; photography is another.



Photographer of the Week:
Arnold John Kaplan, APSA-AFIAP

Posted by Teresa Hanafin September 8, 2008 03:20 PM

Caught in a Storm

Caught in a Storm

Arnold Kaplan doesn't subscribe to the notion that the image you capture in the camera is the image you have to end up with. At age 92, with 80 years of photography under his belt, he has come to believe that his photos are just a starting point. From there, he brings his creativity and artistic sensibility (he's also an oil painter) to bear on the images he creates, some of which he calls "derivations".

And as such, he fully realizes that his work may offend some purists who believe that absolute realism should be every photographer's goal.

"The purist does not create anything new unless they actually create a drawing, a painting, a sculpture, etc., then take a photo of it -- thus, it is a photograph of their original creation," he says. "When the purist photographs outdoors, or takes a portrait, they are just making a copy of what Mother Nature has created.

"When we all were shooting film, we tried very hard to improve the color slide with all kinds of sandwiched filters or double images, darkening parts of the photo, etc. We did a lot of manipulation of both color slides and prints. In the darkroom, we would dodge and burn parts of the print to improve the impact of the image. Even Ansel Adams used various methods of exposure to get his great photos.

"The original image is just the beginning," he says. "I believe the photographer should be allowed to be as creative as any other artist, and use whatever means to create the image he wants."

Here's Arnold's story, in his own words:



Photographer of the Week: Sarah Colvin

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 31, 2008 10:48 PM
The Prudence
The Prudence, Hyannis Harbor

By Sarah Colvin

Light is an amazing thing. From the newness of first light to the end-of-the-day glow, itís always changing, always moving, always enhancing our lives, and itís essential to the art of photography.



Photographer of the Week: Brian Graves

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 25, 2008 09:30 AM
Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon

By Brian Graves

Everyone needs a creative outlet. I prefer music, but am a spectacular failure when it comes to actually playing an instrument. My gift for off-key notes and absent rhythms knows no bounds and has led me on a misguided path through woodwinds and strings, acoustic to electric and back again.

Enter the camera. While this is not your typical instrument in the musical sense of the word, it is most certainly an instrument and it captures the beautiful music of life. I apologize for the extended metaphor that awaits you in the sentences ahead ... consider this fair warning.



Photographer of the Week: Atyia Martin

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 18, 2008 10:15 AM

Breakdancer by Atyia Martin
Dancer at the Mighty 4 Boston breakdancing competition at the old Villa Victoria church in the South End.

By Atyia Martin

I have been interested in photography my entire life. I always thought that capturing a fleeting moment in time was one of the most beautiful endeavors. Unfortunately, I could not afford to seriously pursue that endeavor until digital photography. Two years ago, I purchased my first real camera, a Nikon D200, and I have not looked back.



Photographer of the Week: Nancy Bray

Posted by Teresa Hanafin August 11, 2008 07:00 AM

Marigold, Rear View by Nancy Bray

By Nancy Bray

I enjoy taking photos of many things, but what I find most fascinating is how natural light plays on things and how it can illuminate a subject in a certain way for only a few moments Ė and then change completely.



Photographer of the Week: Amanda Galvin-Johnston

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 31, 2008 12:28 PM

"Loop Beach at Sunset" / Shot in Cotuit in December at sunset with my Nikon D40

By Amanda Galvin-Johnston

Since moving from Los Angeles to Boston three years ago, Iíve become obsessed with shooting seascapes -- especially on the North Shore and the Cape. My favorite places to shoot are Wingaersheek Beach, near Gloucester, and Corporation Beach in Dennis (on Cape Cod). The rocks at Wingaersheek are really striking, especially at sunset. And at Corporation Beach at low tide, the sand gets these amazing ripples, which I just love to try to capture.



Nominate a Photographer of the Week

Posted by Teresa Hanafin July 31, 2008 12:27 PM

Know some great amateur photographers? We'd like to know them, too, and feature them right here on RAW.

And if that great photographer happens to be you, don't be shy. We may be humble, but we're all proud of our work. Besides, it's a secret process and nobody will know that you nominated yourself.

Here's how:




Welcome to your community for New England's amateur photographers. Take pictures ... get published ... win money ... have a blast!
The Color Green
It's the color of hope, envy, regeneration, relaxation, and money -- as well as the theme of the October contest. Make it the focal point of your best photograph.
Upcoming events

Featured Photographer

Featured Photographer: Ben Rifkin
Life and wildlife in Madagascar
For years before I started college, I knew I wanted to spend a semester studying abroad, but I wasn't sure where. By my junior year at Brandeis, I made up my mind to travel somewhere off the beaten path, and, of course, Madagascar is pretty far off the beaten path for someone like me....
An essay about Rebirth Workshops
Now that it's been several months since I returned from a week-long Rebirth Workshop in Mississippi, I'm happy to look back and provide an overview of what we did that made it such an intense experience for me as a photographer....
Photography apps for your phone
Thinking of ditching your separate camera and moving to just using your phone for all your photos? What apps should you go for? Instagram made headlines recently after being bought by Facebook for $1 billion. What does it include, and what else is out there?...