Archive for the Concerning Photography Category

JEREMY LOCK for NPPA Board of Directors

Posted in Concerning Photography, Family, Multimedia, National Press Photographers Association, New Media, NPPA on November 29, 2015 by A Photographer's Life

NPPA Voting Members – My friend and colleague Jeremy Lock needs your vote for NPPA Board of elections. We have one more day before voting ends November 30, 2015. Jeremy is determined and dedicated to give back to the community that has helped him grow as a photojournalist over the last few decades. He will provide the same energy, commitment, and esprit de corps to NPPA as he once did as a service veteran in the U.S. Air Force.   Don’t waste your vote, take note and click one for Jeremy Lock for the 2016 NPPA Board and Regional Elections.



Jeremy Lock  Jeremy-Lock-150x150

Giving back as freely as I have received, has been instilled in me by my mentors since the start of my photojournalism career, which began over twenty-one years ago in the military. I would like the opportunity to give back by holding a seat on the board and representing you, the NPPA members. Serving you in this capacity is an opportunity that would allow service to both the profession and the members while growing professionally.

My background would enable me to collaborate with the team of fellow board members, while bringing a unique perspective with more than two decades as a military photojournalist, photography teacher, mentor, manager and leader. I still enjoy serving the up and coming military photographers now as both a consultant and a facilitator to the United States Military’s DoD Visual Information Awards Program, as well as producing and running the annual weeklong DoD Worldwide Military Photographic Workshop. I would like to put my personal and professional life experience skills to work for you, the NPPA members.

Thank you for this opportunity. I look forward to serving you in this capacity.


SEVEN-TIME MILITARY PHOTOJOURNALIST OF THE YEAR, JEREMY T. LOCK – For the past 21 years, photojournalist and military photographer Jeremy Lock directed his lens towards the elements of the world that many of us will never have the opportunity or even the desire to see first hand.  His images are beautiful, heartbreaking, provocative and devastating – sometimes all in the same frame.

“My photographic journey is rooted in my ability to capture the essence and reality of humanity at its finest and at its worst,” says Lock. “I’ve captured everything from the hunt for Osama bin Laden, to the playful nature of our young military who are defending our freedom, and the plight of humans in search of food after the Haiti earthquake disaster.”


Lock is not only an accomplished military veteran receiving the Bronze Star Medal for distinguished service in Iraq, his experience as a seasoned photojournalist have led to his work being published in magazines, newspapers and books including National Geographic, Time, New York Times, The Washington Post among others. His work has also earned multiple awards from prestigious organizations including World Press Photo, National Press Photographers Association and Oasis.

“Not only do I get to live my life, but I’ve been able to live the lives of those I photograph, even if it was just for a moment,” notes Lock. “I constantly want to share my experiences to remind myself and others that what I am doing is very important and the world needs to see it. I like to think the experiences haven’t changed me, but I know they have, and I’m thankful for that change. There is more to the world than what is outside your front door.”


Picture Taking Fun During Walla Walla’s Red Badge Project Class

Posted in Concerning Photography, iPhone Photography, Multimedia, New Media on August 24, 2014 by A Photographer's Life


Red Badge Project visual media faculty member Johnny Bivera prepares to conduct a presentation on visual storytelling to veterans with PTSD.

Red Badge Project visual media faculty member Johnny Bivera prepares to conduct a presentation on visual storytelling to combat veterans.

I want to thank our students and staff for participating in a little shooting assignment for our first mini two-day Red Badge Project Workshop in Walla Walla’s Public Library. The assignment to use one’s cell phone camera to produce an image with the concentration on content I thought went really well.

So with that in mind, without worry to technical requirements, but more on subject placement, moment and graphical composition, I want to show what photographers can do in post work to make their images more interesting artistically and visually through Photoshop.

Please bear in mind that my manipulations are not intended to show that these are what your images should finally look like but more of a sample on what can be done from an illustrative point of view.

I have compiled the images as a side-by-side note before and after to better show how much work is used to alter and enhance each of the images everyone has turned in.  If we look at John’s image

WW_001of what appears to be a dog outside the yard looking in, the original makes it hard to read and it is a soft and blurry image. But there’s a possible graphical interest by using editing tools through Photoshop in the way of filters and third-party plug-ins such as NIC Software ( In John’s image I used sharpening tools as well as pushed the image’s pixel structure to a harsher edge and to also play with the saturation and warmer color balance levels to add additional tones and take it away from its original flat surface. Content wise, the graphics of John was on the right track and interesting to look at, I would in the same instance take additional shots to hopefully get a better silhouette of the dog and hold the camera as still as possible, helping to retain a sharper image. If holding the camera as still as possible hand-held but still your images are soft and not sharp, this is when the use of a tripod or setting yourself up against a wall or some solid object that will help keep your camera steady.


In Michael’s image WW_002of Army veteran Jerry Leisley’s tattooed arm and hat, is a very nice and clean image that supports the story article of our workshop published in the Union-Bulletin( Again, the original is nice enough not needing much post work, but I want to show what changes are accomplished with the enhancement of the images pixel structure and a little burning and dodging of the highlights and shadow areas using that particular Photoshop tool.

Evan’s work on either a wood bench or fence is really nice when you de-saturate the color to black and white, apply sharpening and enhance the pixel structure to a harsher line adds a little more contrast to enhance a blacker shadow. For these images, you really want to pull out as much detail of the wood as possible. WW_003  A lot of detail shots are done by the use of a tripod, the shutter is slowed to gain greater depth of field and lighting and time of day is taken into account to gain the best possible three-dimensional feel to an image.  His second shot of a very cute baby is greatly enhanced by the use of sharpening tools to include structure enhancements and a little dodging and burning. Indoor photography without the use of fill flash is very challenging, and one of the most used for cell phone camera photographers. Both images have great content.









Brent’s six images below show when applying the use

WW_007  of Photoshop editing and third-party software plug-ins, really pull out Brent’s great eye for graphic lines and design.

WW_008There would be great commercial or fine art value in Brent’s work should he continue to pursue photography more seriously. To get more out of Brent’s eye, talking technically, the time of day and studying where the light is coming from can greatly enhance these images or any future image he shoots.WW_006  Using a tripod for very early in the morning or when the sun sets, will add color saturation, three-dimensional shadows and detail, helping to add more to his images without having to use so much post Photoshop editing.



Skips’ image of his dog is very nice and has a reflective relationship between man and his best friend. De-saturating the color to black and white and pulling the shadow detail out with a little burning of tone into the highlights balances the tonal value overall, as well as kicking in a little structural value of the pixels pulls out detail in the carpet lines and his dogs fur gives a more readable image overall.  WW_011


All in all the content of everyone’s images are very visually interesting and I hope that this gives all a better idea that the pictures that one is taking has an even greater value with a little work in post. But to better create a product, shooting the originals and taking into account your lighting and time of day for better color saturation and depth, using tripods or ways to steady the camera for a sharper image will greatly make for a better picture with less work later in post production.

The DC Shoot Off

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2012 by A Photographer's Life

Join us for the upcoming 7th annual DC Shoot Off Photography Workshop happening 15-18 March 2012 in Arlington, Va.

Register here

Photo by Kurt Lengfield

Starts at 6pm Thursday evening for a social meet & greet at the Hilton Garden Inn bar lounge, to be followed by portfolio reviews and one-on-one career counseling.  Friday will be an all-star packed open presentation panel with keynote speaker and three-time Pulitzer Prize photojournalist Michael Williamson.  Shooters continue  on with edit and mentoring sessions during Friday night into Saturday to continue their evening with three more presenters.  Once all images are turned in from their theme assignment we go into Sunday morning from 9am – noon for judging and a small awards ceremony by 12:30.

Don’t miss out and if you can’t physically make it to DC compete online with SHOOT OFF INTERNATIONAL an online competition running parallel with the on site event but judged in its own category.

Also our speakers presentations are open to those reading this post.  Come join us and enjoy the work of some of our most creative and talented photographers of our time.

The Faculty

The Schedule

The Sponsors

Submission Guidelines

For additional information contact Johnny Bivera at or call 202-251-8094

Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops is a not for profit program for military, civil service photographers and invited guests.  The best speakers, mentors, editors and judges throughout the country volunteer for this prestigious event that aligns our service members with the national press corps, industry leaders and veteran military photographers. These workshops are for all levels and provide professional development in helping to fill training gaps for our service dedicated photographers throughout the year.

Concerts Kick Off 4th of July Celebrations – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , on July 4, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

At Yards Park between the baseball stadium and Navy Yard, concerts hailing over 40 bands play for the 4th of July celebrations.  It was a very hot afternoon that may have kept foot traffic from leaving AC dwellings to maybe watching the Nats play the Pirates before joining us for some live music.  It was still early and by 3:30 a breeze from Suitland and across the river came in steadily, providing some much-needed relief just before the possibility of heat stroke.

The 4th will most likely bring in quite a crowd, the kind I was hoping to see today, but I did get to see a few groups give it their all despite the heat.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Fuzz, a modern rock and pop cover band from Arlington, Va.  With their new frontman singer, keyboardist and performer Mandi Meros made for a great addition alongside

singer Mike Leverone.  Drummer Mike Lumer or the “Animal” was great to watch despite the heat and sweat building up behind the stars and stripes and also with the occasional rift from guitarist Matthew Berry… this is a tight and exciting sound that I would very much enjoy watching again.

The festival boasts a number of food and drink vendors as well, giving the Yard a boardwalk feel next to the water.  I find the area that I’m experiencing for the first time pretty cool and look forward to future events in the days to come.

I did manage to capture some of the dancers.  The best part was that it wasn’t crowded, so there was a lot of room to play with a little drag shutter I hadn’t done in awhile.

I stayed long enough to make it through a glass of lemonade and the $2 refill and left for a dinner party where a nice cold glass of Corona was waiting.  I also made it out just in time before the thunderstorm… I hope the rest of the evening portion of the concert went well for everyone…  Happy 4th of July!

Shoot Off Video Workshop Open Invite – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 9, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

The Inaugural Video Shoot Off coming this week!

If you’re in the DC area late this week through the weekend, we have an open invitation for you to attend this Friday’s speakers series and Sunday judging critiques of the inaugural Shoot Off Video Workshop at the Navy League Building in Arlington, Virginia.

2300 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22201

Speaker Highlights for Friday are:

Bethany Swain, a veteran CNN photojournalist, creator of CNN’s “In Focus” series, and the current WHNPA Video Photographer of the Year

Bill Gentille, award-winning independent journalist and documentary filmmaker, professor at American University

Pierre Kattar, Emmy Award-winning video journalist and filmmaker, 2007 WHNPA Editor of The Year, former journalist for Washington Post Digital

Arun Chaudharry, official White House videographer, producer of “West Wing Week” and a former New York University film instructor

Tyler Ginter, freelance producer and filmmaker, former operations officer for the Army’s 55th Combat Camera, and a DSLR Professor for FXPHD

Jim Fabio, award-winning producer, director & editor (HBO, ESPN, and NFL Films among others.) Currently a Lt Col in the Air Force Reserves

Emmanuel Etim, producer and videographer based in Washington DC with over 10 years experience in Film, Video and TV Production, currently working with RHED Pixel

Inaugural Workshop of Military Videography

The Shoot Off Video Workshop in Washington D.C. mentors military, civil service and government video journalists with an emphasis on storytelling fundamentals.  Participants are given the tools and advanced techniques to become creatively faster and better.  Whether you’re an experienced videographer or new to the field, this workshop is for you!

Fundamentals, Teamwork, and Mentorship

The four day workshop includes key training sessions, guest speakers and presentations. Students are split into teams and assigned mentors. Teams shoot, edit and produce a shot-form documentary or news feature. These products are critiqued and judged for awards. For more information, click o the button below to download our press kit.

Registration Open

Registration is open for the 2011 DC Shoot Off Video Workshop with a few seats left!  In this, our inaugural event, we will be accepting 45 participants and up to 30 mentors.  The registration fee to participate in the workshop is $75.00. Click on the button below or the banner at the bottom of the page to begin the registration process.


DAY ONE     12 May     Thursday

1400 – 1700    Registration and Optional Reel / Portfolio Review

1800     Mixer/Meet and Greet (Participants, Mentors, Staff, Guests and Sponsors) Location: Ireland’s Four Courts

DAY TWO     13 May     Friday

0730 – 0800     Breakfast

0800 – 0830     Intro Video/ Workshop General Rules

0830 – 0915      Speaker 01 – Jim Fabio (What Is a good story?)


0930 – 1015      Speaker 02 – Pierre Kattar (Editing)


1030 – 1115     Speaker 03 – Bill Gentile (BackPack Journalism)


1130 – 1215     Speaker 04 – Arun Chaudhary (Documenting History In Real Time)

1215 – 1315       Lunch

1330 – 1415     Speaker 05 – Bethany Swain (Nat Packages)


1430 – 1515     Speaker 06 – Emmanuel Etim (DSLR Shooting)


1530 – 1615     Speaker 07 – Tyler Ginter (Adobe DSLR Workflow / Interview Techniques) Break

1630 – 1700     Presentation – GoPro (Tyler Ginter)

1700 – 1730      ShootOff Ground Rules (Maureen Stewart) and Topic Selection

1730      Shoot Off Begins

DAY THREE     14 May     Saturday

• Teams & Mentors shooting/editing all day

• Mentor Updates (Mid Morning (1100) & End of Day (1800)

• Venue available for editing

DAY FOUR     15 May     Sunday

0730 0800     Breakfast

0800     All projects due/uploaded

0800 – 0845     Speaker 08 – Quentin Kruger (New Media)


0900 – 0915     Judge Introductions (Bill Gentille & Pierre Kattar)

0915 – 1200     Project Viewing / Critiques (open to the public)

1200 – 1300     Lunch / Judging (closed)

1300 – 1400     Judges Comments / Questions

1400 – 1430    Award Ceremony

1430 – 1445     Multimedia Presentation

1445 – 1500     Feedback Session

1500     Workshop Concludes

For sponsors info and press kit:

Shoot Off Visual Media Workshops

Johnny Bivera, Executive Director,   202-251-8094,

Juan Femath, Workshop Producer/Director,   843-743-9013,

Blake Stillwell, Workshop Producer/Director,    814-504-2287,

Burn Magazine Extends Emerging Photographer’s Grant for 2011, also Retrospect Influences and LOOK3 – by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 25, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

$15,000 BURN Grant deadline extends to May, 15, 2011

Funding is designed to support continuation of a photographer’s personal project. This body of work may be of either journalistic mission or purely personal artistic imperatives. The primary intent is to support emerging photographers who will become the icons of tomorrow.

The Emerging Photographer Fund grant was initiated by David Alan Harvey in 2008, and is awarded by the Magnum Foundation, a non-profit created by the member photographers from Magnum Photos, Inc…Funding for the EPF has come from several private donors who have chosen to remain anonymous.

Previous jurors have been: Carol Nagar, Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Eugene Richards, Maggie Steber, Fred Ritchin, Bruce Gilden, David Griffin, John Gossage, Susan Meiselas, and James Nachtwey

See more about BURN here:

A Restrospect of Influences I got from David Alan Harvey and James Nachtway

I am blessed, like the many other photographers who have been influenced by greatness.  I live and breathe imagery, the aesthetics of it, long discussed theories, the boundaries that are constantly challenged, other photographers work and those that influence.  It would be very hard to prove that in my over twenty year career I had not gone a day without having some thought to it.  And along that time I have compiled a list of great people from artist, activist and leaders that have given much influence in my life, enriching me to love this world and this life of ours more so than I could have ever imagined from the beginning.  Their time no matter how small or large, helped shape my life into what I believe to be a very successful existence today.  And in 2009 I was fortunate to have been given the time to learn from two mentor icons whose work and ethics I greatly admire, David Alan Harvey and James Nachtway.

If you have not attended a LOOK3 event in Charlottesville, Va., where one is coming this June 9-11, then you are missing out on a great festival.  I have attended two of its last three and found it to be an awesome experience.  Coupled with the beautiful location and creative vibe, it is a festival with like-minded individuals founded by a diverse and broadly tailored program of many interests.  This event is what provided me with the opportunity to meet and be influenced by two of my most admired role models.

What I learned:

Over the years there has been one constant to learning that has crossed over, and that is to learn and repeat, learn and repeat.   We continue to repeat things we should already know, but for some lessons require the right time, moment or level of influence before they sink in.  Even I who almost shoots daily, provide consultation and teach in all levels, require a kick or two of growth and direction for one’s own path to success, no matter what that may be, the point is to proceed in a forward and upward motion.  One must always be learning…

To study in a class between Harvey and Nachtway was like standing in the middle of two pillars housed on Mt. Olympus.  Yes, that may seem farcical, but I don’t mind placing my heroes on pedestals when there is no doubt as to the reasons why.  I came with no preconceived notion on what I was going to do when asked for what my project was going to be.  Which for a brief period after introduction was slightly embarrassed for myself as I became, along with a few others in the room, students with big floating question marks as to how providential our ideas were going to be.  With their careful study of my portfolio they began to catechize me as to the why and what concerning my work.  I was challenged to support it, which I did, but in the end I had an even deeper sense of asking myself the same question as to why?

They killed what I thought was going to be my project, “too literal, too broad, too little time to pull off your shots,” they said.  And all I could say to that was okay!  I’ve heard the same thing come out of my own mouth before.  They looked at a series of what I did show and they asked, “What was going on here concerning some of these singles?  You seem to have a love for horses,” they remarked, as they started to pluck individual images I had from different project stacks.  The new stack showed horses from different places in the world, performing different functions in society… “You know that you’re in horse country don’t you? asked Nachtway.  I replied nodding yes!  “Well then you might want to do something about that while you’re here,” said Harvey.  And with that my project for the next four days was to find a story in horse country and accepting the realization that I did have a love for horses.

The quest and having something to prove drove the adrenaline.  What in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains provided that treasure of a story… I drove for many hours and spoke to many people, and it was just my luck that this Sunday was the day all the major horse owners and ranch managers would be in Richmond, spending the day at the track.  The sun was going down and the eastern shadow was slowly creeping across the valley.  Did I just waste a day with no picture and no contact, but worst of all no story?  I was about to give up when out of the corner of my eye as I passed, I saw a little old lady driving a lawn tractor on a small family owned horse farm.  As I turned the car around, pulled in and lowered my window she called out above the barking dogs, “May I help you?”  I told her I was in search of a story in the setting of Virginia horse country, and without hesitation she walked up to me, leaned in and said, “Well.. it sounds like you were looking for me!”

Her name was Phyllis and she was a strong 70-year old woman who took care of the horses from sun up to sun down.  This was a wonderful family and she was the matriarch that allowed me in their lives for a very brief period, and this century old, family owned farm showed the love they had for this life and the struggle they faced in retaining this lifestyle for future generations, where the appeal to live and work on the farm fell on one little granddaughter.  As I worked, the voices of Nachtway and Harvey were never far away.

As the days went by with Jim and David (notice first name basis), I eventually earned their respect and to hear from them what I already knew but never took seriously to admit about myself.  I did start to believe in the prediction they bestowed upon us, that if we took to heart what we needed to learn, we were going to end up hating our portfolio, and we were going to see things differently (for the better of course).  Strange that I didn’t believe that possible, maybe it was with all the years of being institutionalized as a Navy combat cameraman or beltway executive photographer, that teaching an old dog different tricks was conceivable.  But here it was, creeping in like the silent night I slowly found, as I studied what I had in hand to what I was now producing that they were right… It was a great exercise and wonderful experience, one I’ve done and continue to do with my students, where I look forward to doing again for myself the next time I need a good horse kick in the head.  Jim and David matured me in how I viewed myself as a photographer, they taught me to slow down, to appreciate the next venture by making sure I finish the last one.

Tragedy Far Away in a Small World…by Johnny Bivera

Posted in Concerning Photography with tags , , , , , , , , on April 20, 2011 by A Photographer's Life

Nominees for Pulitzer Prize and Academy Award pay Ultimate Sacrifice

Wednesday, April 22 – I have many things to be thankful for like my family, health, friends and colleagues.  News struck today slowly about photojournalists killed and injured in Libya while I was out in morning traffic, and I asked myself if I knew them?  Then a little while later on NPR they said the names, my eyes glazed and my heart began to weigh, a sudden deep breath and I whispered “oh no”.

To be personally associated with photographers killed or injured while in the conflict zone sobers me into the reality of what’s at stake.  And that no matter how much we hide behind the false protection of our camera, we as photographers are prone to injury and fatality, as death plays out what I fear is, an indiscriminate act in who’s life it decides to take.  I assume it has no care for division but for soul.  And when it takes from someone we know, a part of us is taken with it.

We hear and watch the news of troubles from far away but yet, as for what the journalists bring back for us to read and see, we enjoy it in relative safety and comfort from troubles that do not directly affect us until the messengers are ones we know.  We are a society of desensitized humans; violence viewed in the media is a daily affair where our psyche has made it bearable for us to accept.  It is a human act in protecting oneself from emotion that could possibly prove overwhelming.  But that’s why our messengers must play their roles in places far and away for us in the safety of our peace and order.  We must all be thankful for those that sacrifice their life daily so that we continue to see the reality of poverty, chaos and despair, to never forget that it’s out there, nearer than we realize, that we are ever thankful for our blessings.

Like so many of our professionals who have given unlimited support to me, my family, friends and colleagues; Chris Hondros and Tim Hetherington who died today covering the Libyan conflict are those very people.  Chris was giving in his support to other photographers as he was to me a few years ago while visiting DC.  His mentorship and guidance helped me with a project that ended successfully.  And for that his words echo still.  Tim was supposed to meet my team this May in support of the very first DC video shoot off for our military and civil service photographers.  We are honored by his gesture but very saddened for the loss of a truly gifted talent and giving person.

To all those that are out there far away in harms way in our small world, I pray for your safety and very thankful for what you do!

Thursday, April 23 – Again in traffic and driving home in the relative safety of my car, I catch NPR’s Fresh Air as they release Terry Gross’ interview with Bang Bang Club co-writers, Joao Silva & Greg Marinovich as they talk about injuries and ethics of being combat photographers.  The interview was conducted on Tuesday,  the day before the Libyan incident with Chris and Tim above… It is an ironic sense of timing.

See more on “Restrepo”