Al Alvis

The Mechanics and Art of Bird Photography

Sunday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Bird photography is exciting and relaxing, challenging and rewarding.  You can travel to exotic locations, or go no farther than your own backyard to find your subjects.  In this presentation, we will be discussing not only how to find  & capture these sometimes elusive subjects, but also how to photograph them in a stylish, artistic manner. We will be covering equipment, camera settings, and how to use composition and lighting to make images that are much more creative and artful than just record shots. Also we will talk a little about bird identification and bird habits and mannerisms, and places to photograph birds locally and in Florida.

Bio: Al Alvis is a self-described photography addict who has been involved with photography since the wet darkroom days back in high school.   He has been doing presentations revolving around photography for over thirty years with topics including black and white, landscapes, macro, portraits, composition and lighting.   His favorite field is nature and, for the last four years, almost exclusively, bird photography


Alan Cox

What Mode Should I Be Shooting In?

Saturday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Once you set your camera’s mode, it’s great at making a lot of decisions for you.  But that trusty Aperture-Priority, or Professional (the green P) mode is not always your friend.  Learn when your favorite mode works just fine, and when it’s time to spin the dial to a better choice.

Bio: Alan has been both an amateur photographer and a software engineer for 50 years.   He still makes his living developing software, but spends much of the rest of his time  readily sharing his knowledge and passion for photography.

He is a former large format film photographer and military camera software engineer.

Alan is a past president of the Schaumburg Area Photographic Society, and a member of  the Photographic Society of American. 

In Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association, Alan primarily competes in large monochrome and color prints, where he's won several Prints of the Year.  In PSA, he has won 
international gold medals.

He presents programs in Basic Photography, Image Optimization, Eagles in Flight,  HDR Techniques, and Photographic Printing.


Angie McMonigal

Architecture Photography: A Renewed Perspective

Saturday - Period 2 repeat Period 4

Angie will share tips on approaching architecture photography in a fun, creative way so you can see the city and its buildings in a new light. She'll discuss what to look for in an architectural subject, how to compose your images, the benefits of working in series and how to stay inspired. You’ll leave feeling inspired to see the city from your own unique perspective.

Bio: Angie McMonigal moved to Chicago more than 15 years ago and has been exploring the city with her camera ever since. Raised in a small town in Wisconsin, she approaches the urban environment with the spirit of someone who grew up surrounded by nature, finding moments of meditative calm in terrain that is always transforming. Focusing more frequently on bold architectural details rather than sweeping cityscapes, her photographs celebrate those unexpectedly iconic elements hiding in plain sight.

An award-winning fine art photographer, Angie’s work has been internationally exhibited and published. She frequently works with art consultants, designers, architectural firms, and private collectors.


Bill Brown

Exploring Photoshop Elements

Saturday - Period 1 and 2 repeat at Period 3 and 4

How To Take Snapshots & Create Great Shots With Adobe Photoshop Elements.  Photoshop Elements has nearly all of the functionality of Photoshop, but at a fraction of the price. The class will help you enhance your images with just a few clicks, but when you’re ready for more sophisticated work, there are features for retouching, cloning, adding text, special effects, making selections, masking and sharpening.

Bio: Bill Brown teaches throughout the Midwest and has been a professional photographer for over 40 years.He now produces fine art images for sale. Since 1999 he has been shooting digitally.  He is the past president of the Chicago Area Camera Club Association and teaches Photoshop and Photoshop Elements throughout the Midwest including the Clearing in Door county and SWMCC.


Bill Skinner

On Location Portraits Portrait Lighting Made Easy

Saturday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

 Learn how easy it is to set up studio lighting for Portraits.


Environmental Portraits

Sunday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Learn the fun and magic of getting that great portrait shot out in the enviroment, whether cityscape or nature to add a great background.  Learn how to get the lighting right when out in varying weather.

Bio: As an independent photographer, Bill specializes in wedding and portrait photography. With over 24 years of experience he has photographed over 1,500 weddings and earned not only the top requested photographer slot, but the highest sales average as well for Edward Fox Photography, one of Chicago's leading wedding photography studios and the nation's second oldest family owned wedding and portrait studio.

Bill has been recognized as a featured speaker for training new and experienced photographers through Edward Fox as well as speaking for Calumet Photographic on the topics of posing, lighting and wedding photography techniques.

Bill is currently at PROCAM as the Chicago Fox Valley / Aurora locations Sales Manager.  He brings over twenty one years of photography sales experience to the store. His previous experience with Calumet Photographic includes service, sales and education. His passion is for photography and knowledge.


Bob Marin

Techniques for Creative Images

Sunday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4

This class will include creative vision, examples of a wide range of creative images, and some in-depth techniques used to creative images.

This program will present some of the Photoshop features and some popular Plug-ins that are effective at creating interesting images with artistic impact.

Image derivations and composited images will both be presented along with techniques for successful results.

Bio: Bob Marin started his photographic hobby at an early age right after earning a few dollars and visiting a pawn shop that had an Argus C3 in the window. Serving the government led him to Germany (land of Leica) and the hobby got a lot more serious. Earlier years, as well as now, were spent mainly on strict Nature photography.  Creative allows one to strike a balance.  Influences included serving with Lorraine Vokoun who was CACCA's first Chairperson for Creative Slides.  Also a friend, a Lithographer, introduced him to Kodalith, Diazachrome and 3M Color Key ... the magic began.  CACCA members showed up for lessons ... but then the world went digital.  No more toxic and smelly chemicals.  Bob dug into the depths of Photoshop, and the Creative Life got easier!!!


Chris Smith

Hidden Gems of Chicago

Saturday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Chris Smith, The Author of The Photographer’s Guide to Chicago, shares his hidden photography gems in Chicago. He’ll show you how to get images that everyone else misses. From interiors to parking garages, staircases to hidden parks, and photography shots hidden in plain sight, you’ll find several places that will make you want to adventure into the city. Along the way, Chris will provide tips for getting great shots at these locations.

Bio: Chris Smith is the founder of Out of Chicago Photography. Out of Chicago runs their annual photography conference every June. Chris is the author of The Photographer’s Guide to Chicago and host of the Out of Chicago Podcast.

After 17 years of teaching high school physics, Chris is continuing his teaching passion full time through Out of Chicago. When he is not organizing the next Out of Chicago Conference, you’ll find him at home or at the park with his wife and two kids or playing guitar, golf, or hockey.

Follow Chris Smith's photography adventures on

Dan Anderson

The Art and Philosophy of Landscape Photography

 Saturday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Landscape photography is a term used in photography in a wide variety of ways and there are many definitions of what is meant by it.  In this class I will tell you exactly what I believe Landscape Photography is and my philosophy that guides me when creating my landscape images.  I believe that there is an art to creating photographs of the landscape and I will show examples that demonstrate the creative thinking and principles that I use to build landscape photographs that best allow me to express myself in this rich genre.  I employ both color and black and white in my photographic expression  and will share the factors that I use to decide whether my final image will be a color or a black and white photograph.

Bio: Daniel Anderson is a Door County Wisconsin photographer living in Ellison Bay.  He has photographed widely throughout the United States and Europe.  He is the founder of the Door County Creative Photography Workshops, teaching fine art digital print making.  He teaches additional workshops at the Clearing and at the Peninsula School of Art.  He also leads photographic tours to many exciting locations in many parts of the world.

He began his photographic career after studying with Ansel Adams by making finely crafted black and white prints with an 8 x 10 view camera.  He has evolved into digital printing using the latest high end digital equipment and technologies and now is able to produce both color and black and white prints to even higher standards than were possible in the film era.

His work also includes a series of images of Cathedrals and Abbeys,  Antarctica, Chile, Door County barn interiors, Greek architecture, Italy, Iceland, Ireland and a multi year project of a single Door County farm. His work has been widely exhibited throughout the U.S. and Europe and his images are found in many public and private collections. 

His work may be seen at his Ellison Bay Studio by appointment and at the Cottage Row Gallery in Fish Creek Wisconsin.

He can be contacted either by email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

or call (920)854-4119




Jerry Hug

The Latest and Greatest in Mobile Photography

 Sunday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

From updates and tip and tricks using Snapseed, High Dynamic Range shooting and the values of Adobe products for Cell phones and iPads or similar electronic devices we carry with us every day. This workshop is both a hands - on and watch and learn the quick and easy photo editing with our Mobile Devices. 

Bio: Jerry Hug teaches Mobile photography throughout the Mid-West and around the USA in Clubs, Chapters and Councils as well as other unique photo Conferences. Mobile photography has developed where the photographer can Photograph, Edit, Share and store these images. Jerry has been a professional educator all his life and he uses these skills to inspire photographers to use these modern photographic techniques for their lifelong journey in photography.



Joe and Marie Rakoczy

Winter Up North

Saturday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4

Why limit your photographic adventures to the warm seasons -- especially in the Upper Midwest, where winter takes up so much of the year?  As many far Northerners say, there is no such thing as bad weather -- just inappropriate clothing!  Get out there with your camera and take wonderful winter photographs of snow and ice!

In "Winter Up North," Joe and Marie will tell you where to shoot, how to equip yourself, how to shoot, and what to look for to get great winter photographs.  Many of their favorite winter venues are within a day's drive of Chicago, and barring an active winter storm, are easy to access and photograph. 

With nearly thirty years of winter shooting behind them, they'll offer advice on safety and comfort in the cold, winterizing yourself and your equipment,  choosing the right gear, cold weather shooting technique, exposing for ice and snow, color/white balance settings, and finding subjects that look best in winter.  Part of the presentation includes a digital show of winter images they've taken over the last 20 plus years.  The show is a virtual celebration of winter, cold-weather recreation, nature, and the beautiful northern landscape and Great Lakes coasts.  Areas featured are Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, Minnesota, and Ontario, Canada.

"Winter Up North" will have you looking forward to the first snow.

Bio: Joe and Marie Rakoczy have been involved with the Chicago Area Camera Clubs since joining Green Briar Camera Club in 1988.  They are now also members of the Des Plaines Camera Club and 10-year members of PSA.  

Professionally, Marie has worked as a high school teacher and as a business analyst for Coca Cola. Joe is a Professional Engineer. He retired from the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District where he worked for his entire career as a Civil Engineer with roles including managing the Chicagoland Deep Tunnel project and the Cook County stormwater management program.

Joe and Marie are avid photographers and especially enjoy cold weather photography. They’ve produced a number of travelogues as well as several educational programs. Both are TOPs in CACCA winners and Joe was the recipient of CACCA’s 2016 Wanda Crystal Award for photographic and artistic excellence.  Marie was the first PSA Chicago Chapter recipient of the new PSA Portfolio Award.  Their articles and photos have appeared in several publications, including an article about winter photography entitled "The Magic of Lake Ice" in the December PSA Journal.


John Williams

Night and Low Light Photography

 Sunday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4

What’s the fascination with night photography?  Photography by definition is writing or painting with light. Photography at night can be challenging, but it can also be very fun and gratifying. Many photographers put the camera away as soon as it gets dark, but are you interested in photos with more interest, drama and attention grabbing mystery?  Night photography is not about capturing an image in low light, it’s about doing something very special with your photography.  Night photography plays to strengths of how we can see the world through our cameras. Through the camera lens, using long and multiple exposure techniques, you will see a world you would never see if not through pictures.

In this class, we will cover concepts, methods, techniques and gear for getting it done after dark including night sky and city skylines, light trails, caves and low light interior buildings and architecture.

Bio: John Williams is a passionate and accomplished photographer living in Lake County and a longtime member of the Lake County Camera Club and CACCA community. Modern digital photography presents the perfect intersection of technology and art that John has found totally engaging with his technically inclined interests.  While John enjoys a wide variety of photographic styles and subjects, his favorites include Architectural, Landscapes, Cityscapes, Travel and Night photography.  John has previously presented numerous programs to the photographic community and CAPS including subjects of travel, night and low light photography, Lightroom post processing, HDR, panoramic and black & white photography.  John’s sessions are always fast paced and packed full of information for the beginner to advanced photographer.


Keith French

Get the Right Exposure, Understanding Your Camera's Meter

Saturday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4 

Every setting on your camera has to do with you telling your camera what you want it to do.  It’s a very one-way conversation. If you ponder the function of the light meter that is build into each and every modern camera today, you will soon realize it’s function is to talk back to you. It’s is measuring light and giving you feed back.  However, did you know your light meter is a pathological liar?  Well maybe that’s a bit strong. Rather it is very opinionated and doesn’t always tell you everything unless you ask the right questions.  The modern DSLR has up to 4 different modes of measuring light. Not all of them are for every shooter, yet all of them will give you a very precise answer if you ask the right question.  In this presentation we will be exploring the light meter and present examples when certain settings are better than others in certain photographic situations.   Millions of dollars have been spent by camera manufacturers on research and development for perfecting this tool. Shouldn’t you know how to use it?

BioKeith French has been a full time professional photographer since 2001 with an extensive background in several types of photography dating back to 1984.  His years as an owner of a full service retail camera store, Photo/Video studio, and commercial color and B & W photo lab, gave him a unique look into the full circle of the photographic industry. Buying and selling equipment and accessories, hosting and teaching photography classes and workshops, shooting and printing, combined with his time as a United States Marine Corps Aviator and the travels that were associated there, Keith has a well-rounded repertoire of photographic experience on 4 continents and 3 oceans.

With these photographic experiences and his enjoyment of teaching and being around people passionate for the art of photography, Keith brings a unique combination of fun and knowledge to his workshops and classes. Having had the opportunity to teach hundreds of photographers from novices to advanced amateurs the ins and outs of picture making, you’ll enjoy spending time learning with Keith French.


Ken Carl

Improving Your Photos with Off Camera Flash

 Sunday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

"Embrace light. Admire it. Love it. But above all, know light. Know it for all you are worth, and you will know the key to photography.” – George Eastman

In this seminar we will be exploring light as an emotional element, a tool of creativity and how to use it to enhance your vision. The focus will be on creating your own light using one of the most underutilized yet powerful tools in your camera bag. Your speed light. From a single speed light to a complex multi-unit setup you will gain a solid understanding of the potential for expanding your image that off camera lighting provides.

Do not fear the light! This will not be about flash ratios or inverse square law (?!) This will be about creating images and embracing the light.

“In the right light, at the right time, everything is extraordinary.” – Aaron Rose

Bio: From the top of Kilimanjaro in Africa and the flowing lava of Hawaii to the broad storytelling for American publications, Ken Carl has built a credible name for himself among photographers in his career. 

As the director for Ken Carl Photography, LLC, the Chicago-based freelancer has had his images published in multiple editorial selections such as the Chicago Tribune, Time Out, Cancer Today, and Chicago Magazine to name a few. 

As a passionate humanitarian, Carl’s focus on social issues has lead him to work for Latika Roy a school for special need children in India, the Wounded Warrior program, Helmets to Hardhats, Deeply Rooted Productions and the Olson House with the cooperation of the Fransworth Museum in Rockland, Maine.

Carl’s works has not gone unnoticed. The award-winning photographer has received accolades for his wedding images being named the “National Wedding Photographer of the Year” three years in a row and he has received a Photo District News “Top Knot” selection for his work. Additionally, Carl was selected as a finalist for the PDN “World in Focus” contest.  

Beyond his work editorially, Carl also shares his photographic knowledge through seminars, workshops and customized instruction.

 “My photography is about hope in humanity, who we are, how we care, share and support each other” The visual story is a powerful force in the sharing of ideas, enhancing relationships, and  creation of memories.”

Mike Trahan

Photography 101:  Taking better Pictures

 Sunday - Period 1 repeat at Period 3

Why not take better pictures and impress your family and friends? We'll cover practical things you can do to improve your pictures. 

This program will address need-to-know technical basics, composition guidelines, practical shooting techniques, and other topics related to taking pictures. While all of the material will apply to DSLRs (digital single lens reflex) and mirrorless cameras, the great majority of it is applicable to smart phones and point-and-shoot cameras as well. It's oriented to the novice/beginner to early intermediate photographer.

Bio: Mike Trahan enjoys shooting a wide variety of photos with a special emphasis on nature and birds. He is a member of two Chicago Area Camera Clubs Association (CACCA) clubs: the Lake County Camera Club where he was a past president and Riverwoods Nature, a nature-only club. He has won honors at the club, CACCA, and PSA Nature levels as well as in other Midwest competitions. Mike was a first place winner in the first Stewards of the Upper Mississippi Bald Eagle photo contest as well as a first place winner in the Ottawa National Forest photo contest in a past year. He also has been a Lake County grand prize winner in their annual contest with a picture used on four 20’x50′ billboards along the expressways. Mike was the recipient of the 2015 CACCA Kohout award for nature photography teaching. What really matters though is that he really enjoys photography, sharing what he’s learned with you, and having fun doing it. Check out his photos at


Nick Sinnott

Splash Photography

Sunday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4

Join us in learning the basics of splash photography with Nick Sinnott, Partner and Director at Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes.

During the class, you will learn the basics of using strobes (off-camera flashes) in combination with macro photography to create stunning images with items found in your house.  After seeing the various methods demonstrated, you will also put what you learned to practice and begin to create Drips, Drops & Illusion photographs during the class. You will have an opportunity to test your hand at photographing fruits, vegetables and other items splashing into a tank of water!

Bio: Nick Sinnott is a Partner and Director at Richard Stromberg’s Chicago Photography Classes.  He has taught all levels of photography for 5 years and has written the curriculum for several classes including the popular Drips, Drops and Illusions Workshop and Lightroom In-Depth 7-week Class.  As a photographer, he enjoys photographing landscapes, sports, architecture, real estate and his family of 4 children and amazing wife.


Richard Fisher

Starting in Lightroom and Getting it Right For You

Sunday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4

In this presentation, Rich will explain

·         How to set up Lightroom so that you can use it today and tomorrow, even if your library of images  grows from a few thousand to hundreds of thousands.

·         How to backup your images/files to minimize the risk of losing an image.

·         How to import your images from your cards. 

·         How to quickly export your images

·         How to set up a flexible system that will allow you to quickly find any image

·         How to search through your images to find images that meet different criteria (such as camera/lens combination, date shot, ...)

·         How to process your images to give them that extra snap

·         How to use GPS (geotagging data) to create an interesting addition to your slide shows.

·         How to set up a slide show.

Bio: Rich Fisher has been photographing since graduate school. He started out using a manual Nikon FM camera and he since migrated to digital and Canon-cameras. Photography has allowed him to travel extensively with his wife – Africa, Alaska, South America, Japan and soon China and Antarctica.  He has been active in Garden Photographic Society and Riverwoods Nature Photographic Society as well as CACCA of which he is the former President and PSA where he is Treasurer-elect. Across these organizations he was won numerous awards including the Wanda Christl Award for artistic achievement and photographic excellence (i.e., a lifetime achievement award), numerous Best of Month and Best of the Year awards leading to Tops in Color Prints and Projected images and Masters in Slides.

Rich teaches Photography and Lightroom at Northwestern’s Osher Life Long Learning Institute, presented seminars at numerous Camera clubs and CACCA, and has presented at the previously 3 CAPS schools.


Steve Gettle

Frozen Moments – High Speed Nature Photography

Sunday - Period 2 repeat at Period 4- *2 hour class  

Technological advances have now made stop action photography accessible to virtually every photographer..

This class will start off discussing using just a camera and natural light to create stop-action images of subjects on the move, such as birds in flight and running animals. It will cover such things as, acquiring initial focus lock, tracking your subject, optimizing your auto-focus system, trigger systems, other equipment, and more.

Next you will learn how to use off the shelf electronic flash for true high speed photography.  You will learn how to create breathtaking high-speed images of things on the move with a special emphasize on photographing hummingbirds frozen in flight.

Finally it will look at the creative doors kicked open by adding a simple, inexpensive trigger system (infrared and laser) for both natural light and high speed flash photography. Allowing you to create images of, bats in flight, tiny songbirds on the wing, leaping frogs, insects in flight, flying squirrels, and so much more! The possibilities are truly only limited by your imagination!

Bio: Steve's images have been exhibited in galleries and museums all over the world, including the Museum of Natural History in London, as well as The American Museum of Natural History in New York. In the spring of 2008, Steve was honored to have a one man show at The National Center for Nature Photography in Ohio. Steve's work has been featured in many books, magazines, calendars, and other publications by, The National Geographic Society, Canadian Geographic, Audubon, Sierra Club, The BBC, The World Wildlife Fund, The National Wildlife Federation, Birder's World, Nature's Best, Wild Bird, Natural History, and many others.

Steve has been honored to receive many awards for his photography. Some of the highlights include being chosen Great Lakes Wildlife Photographer of the Year as well as being a multiple award winner in the BBC's Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest, as well as the Nature's Best photography contest. Steve was also honored to receive the People's Choice award his first year at the Michigan Wildlife Art Festival. We are told that no other first time exhibitor has ever received one of these awards.

Steve leads photo workshops and tours all over the world. As an instructor he has taught for such organizations as: The North American Nature Photography Association, The Rocky Mountain School of Photography, The Adirondack Photography Institute, and many more.

Steve's photography has taken him throughout North America and South America from the woods of northern Canada to the Cloud forest of Ecuador, from the coast of Maine to the high plateau of the desert southwest. Although he travels extensively, he finds much of his inspiration in the natural areas surrounding his home, in Brighton, Michigan.




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