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Scott Thomas
Amateur photographer
Amateur photographer


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During our recent trip to Maine, we made a point of getting to Acadia National Park. While we had visited Bar Harbor, Mount Desert Island, and Acadia many times before, because of the relatively steep entrance fee ($25 per vehicle – up to 15 passengers –…
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Last week we visited Maine for a short vacation. We have been in love with the Maine coast for years, and thoroughly enjoy the many lighthouses along the coast. We had not spent much time on the Blue Hill Peninsula, and had never been to Deer Isle, so…
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Perhaps it has been a funny winter in your area, like it has in mine. Unseasonably warm though much of the winter, the last couple of weeks before the “official” start of spring, we had unusually cold nights (and some days, too), with temperatures below…
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Added photos to LPC Event #101 Be My Valentine.
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For some reason, I’ve been holding back on posting this image. I don’t really know why. Anyway, it’s time has arrived. Last year, visiting family in California, I went out with my son-in-law, who was hunting with his Harris Hawk, Maiden. The story of that…
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If you're interested in improving your photography, especially black and white, you might want to consider this
           256 Shades of Gray™ 2017
    Online B&W Photography Workshop

hosted on G+ using G+ Communities

"Enrollment" will continue into January or until we have 50 people signed up; whichever comes first.

We will soon enter our 5th year of our online B&W photography workshop, 256 Shades of Gray (256SOG). In 2016, we had a great year, started a second mid-year group, learned and grew together and saw some fantastic B&W photography work. We here at 256 LLC are preparing for an exciting 2017 edition with exciting new content and a continuing refinement of the assignments we've presented over the last 4 years.

What is on your 2017 New Year Resolution list? Making those fantastic B&W images…growing your artistic perspective….getting to the next level with your photography.  The 256 SOG (Shades of Gray ) Community will continue its online learning/mentoring structure with feedback and group participation wrapped around challenging assignments.  We will introduce more artistic growth opportunities. We will continue to emphasize growing our photography and post processing skills in Black and White Fine Art Photography.  New 2017 content will explore more contemplative photography, more B&W technique, more tips to improve your artistic perspective and Intent. We all will learn more… grow more…together. So what are you waiting for? Sign up now. 

Looking forward to seeing you online in 2017. We're anticipating a great year and a great group of continuing and new members!

2016 pricing model 
- 120 $ / year new students - 100$ / year for continuing, prior students or our Arcanum apprentices

To sign up leave a comment below. We'll contact you with payment instructions and a community invitation sometime in late-December. The workshop will begin the first week of January with the first assignment running two weeks. 

 The 2017 edition of 256SOG is limited to a total of 50 members. Photographers of all levels are welcome. More advanced meme3brs are a great resource for less experienced photographers.  

The "heart" of the community is peer review in a private setting.  With each new assignment, we try to push people outside their comfort zone to help them grow as artists. We try to help people see the world differently and to understand their photography in news ways. We want you to be able to say, "I'm not a photographer. I'm an artist with a camera." ™ 


It's highly recommended that people signing up have the Adobe Photographer's subscription and the NIK Collection by +Google+ .  As of this writing, the Nik collection is a free download provided by Google.

Tentative 256 Shades of Gray™ 2017 schedule of assignments

The tentative schedule of topics is shown below.  This is an evolving schedule and changes each year. Some of the topics will be combined with other topics, some may be removed and others added as we refine the syllabus. We too want to grow as photographers and educators so we work to push the boundaries by exploring new topics each year.

Module 1: Learning to See
• Vision vs Intent
• Seeing in B&W
• Textures, Overlays and Blending
• Creating Composites & Layering
• Introduction to contemplative photography
• Introduction to Mindfulness
• Introduction to Minimalism
•  Recap assignment, Learning to See

Module 2: Exposure
• The Digital Zone System (DZS) Part I
• DZS Part II
• DZS Part III - luminosity masks.
• Low Key
• On Black
• High Key
• On White
• Shadows/Silhouettes
• Chiaroscuro
• Module recap and introduction to creating series

Module 3: Art & the Photo
• Composition
• Paying attention to your subject
• Patterns, Shapes and Space
• Creating Depth 
• Visual Flow Psychology / Gestalt perception 
• Framing your subject in camera
• Module recap with series assignment

Module 4: Emphasis
• Selective Color
• Light
• Focus
• Leading Lines
• Perspective
• Long Exposure/False Long Exposure 
• Module recap with series assignment

Module 5: Contemplative
• Exercises in Contemplative Photography
• Negative Space
• Minimalism revisited
• Motion
• Mindfulness
Module recap with series assignment ( may be combined with year-end recap)

• Recap of 256 Shades of Gray™ 2017, final series assignment

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A friend of mine, who is a wonderful photographer (Travis Rhoads – you should follow him on Facebook or Google+ if you aren’t doing so already) posted about a recent issue that is a great reminder for all photographers. Travis (who is a very thorough and…
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Most of my photographs tend to be landscapes, florals, and the like. As a result, when we travel for pleasure, I look forward with both eager anticipation, and apprehension, to the opportunities that will be presented. Travel photos really are different!…
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Walking along a canal a few days ago, there was a lovely swan gliding along, hoping for a handout. I took a few shots of it, but hadn’t noticed that the reflection was barely inside the frame. When I went to process the image — it had always been a…
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