Anthony Epes Interviewed : On Capturing Cityscapes At The Dawn

We are delighted to host this amazing interview with photographer Anthony Apes. Anthony was just six when he got introduced to the world of photography and it has been his obsession ever since that. What makes him stand out from others is his unique way of capturing cityscapes at the dawn.

Anthony ApesOver the past 20 years, he has mastered the art of street photography. He truly an inspiration for everyone who wants to follow photography as a carer path.

In this interview, he shares some wonderful experiences and tips that will help you take better shots. Read along for some heart-to-heart conversations.

1. What was it that attracted you to photography?

Photography captured my imagination at a very early age. I must have been about 5 years old; sitting in the front room with my father who was looking at National Geographic magazine. I remember asking him “Who makes all these pictures?”,
“Photographers,” he says. That was it, I was hooked.

2. When did you get your first camera? Do you remember the first photo that you shot with it?

My first experience with a camera was actually my father’s, a Canon AE-1 program. It was the coolest gadget in the house and I snuck in down to play with it a lot. Eventually, at around 14 I received the Pentax K-1000 for my birthday and never looked back.

3. Street photography is exciting yet unpredictable. What according to you is one of the must-have skills that a street photographer should learn?

Patience and the ability to predict patterns in the environment and the confidence of when to make the exposure. Also, learn to edit! Lots of photographers think they have this skill because they take nice photos. The two could not be more unrelated. One is emotional, the other pragmatic. Learn to edit like a pro and you will level-up instantly.

4. Your work has been featured on BBC News. Could you share your experience with our readers?

The BBC has been amazing to me over my career; from my first book launch in Borough Market, London, they were there, to interviews of upcoming projects and finally my second London at Dawn book launch. Working with the BBC has always
been a great honor for me.

5. From the experiences you have had in your dawn escapades is there a story that you would like to share with us?

One morning very early into shooting my first book, London at Dawn, I met two IT guys on a Sunday morning who had been out ALL night celebrating. They asked me what I was doing out before the sunrise with all that gear and I told them I was making a book about London in the morning.

They insisted on being in my book so they dropped their near-empty bottles of wine (nowhere near their first!) and proceeded to climb the nearest tree. I was a bit shocked. But the timing was perfect – the Sun was just rising. I made one of my favorite images for the book. Called it Treemen.

6. You prefer capturing cityscapes at the dawn. What is it about photographing a city at this time of the day that you love the most?

For a long time, I shot cityscapes at dawn. It is the feeling of being out there when everyone else is still sleeping. Then heading back home with many great shots in the bag as the city just wakes for breakfast. Plenty of people in my workshops have also experienced this feeling. They feel Elite. But in a good way, like “wow, I’ve accomplished so much already and the day has barely started!” It’s a great feeling. Plus it’s the best light of the

7. How has shooting at dawn changed your worldview and your approach towards photography?

I guess what it has done for me the most is taught me the true value of great light. Before I thought of light as crucial and necessary for good photographs but now it is almost divine to me. I have had some deeply spiritual moments witnessing the ethereal light of dawn break over the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul or the mesmerizing colors of a winter’s daybreak in Venice.

Also, shooting cityscapes especially when the streets are empty really lets you get into the beauty of a city without the bustle and noise that all city dwellers share in. It is a very liminal experience. Eerie and stunning, resulting in some amazing cityscapes.

8. You also provide travel photography workshops around the world. Could you tell us a bit more about it?

I love teaching and I help people connect with their inner artist. I don’t go on about gear at all. I focus on the skills of observation and how my students can become instantly better photographers with just a small tweak in mindset. You can’t shoot it if you can’t see it, yes? I teach people how to see.

I’ve traveled all over the world for many years capturing cityscapes, and I have now a really incredible collection of workshops in my favorite places. It’s really important to me that I help people take big leaps in their photography knowledge, but also to have interesting and rich traveling experiences.

Even though I go to these iconic places, I don’t want people in my workshops to feel like tourists. I want to immerse them in the feeling and atmosphere of the place we are in. To meet people, make connections have local experiences that make them understand and capture the location we are in in a way that feels unique and special to them. To travel as an artist does.

9. What is your usual go-to gear when you head out for shooting at dawn?

It’s not sexy but the tripod is my favorite piece of kit; the options it gives me are surpassed by nothing else, not even the camera. Totally unsexy, I know, but it is as essential for me as my sexy camera.

10. You have been traveling across the world capturing cities such as Paris, London, and Havana. Is there any city that you love capturing the most?

London. I have never been to a city as diverse as London. The history is in its architecture, the ancient almshouses next to futuristic glass office buildings. People from all over the world make their home and bring their cultures to London.

No place like it in the world, and I just love the street art in the East End. It’s always changing, and always really cool. There are
prettier places, sure, but it is rare to find a city more full of photographic opportunities. I’ve had a chance to get some stunning cityscapes in London.

11. If you have to share your top 3 tips for street photographers, what would they be?

The first tip, always remembers that you want the viewer of your photos to have an emotional reaction to it – that is what makes it memorable. Try to capture emotion in whatever you choose to shoot.

Second, slow down. Your photographs will only be as good as your skills of observation. Be present and keep your attention on your intention of capturing something wonderful. Being a great observer is a skill that is developed alongside camera skills and is just as important, if not more so. It is not camera skills that separate the professional from the amateur but observational acumen – the ability to notice, predict and construct the image before it actually manifests in reality. Very cool!

Lastly, shoot for yourself. Social media has largely twisted what it means to create photos: If you are doing it for thumbs and badges, then you need to rethink why you want to create photos in the first place. Shooting for others is a quick way to burn out and bore yourself out of a passion. All artists create from an inner fire. This is your motivation and inspiration.

I have a really useful and instructive eBook that distills my photo philosophy and gives you a clear way to make beautiful and impactful photos. You can get it for free when you join my mailing list. And you can check out my travel workshops & lots of free photo teaching on my website.

Photoshop overlays

50+ FREE Photoshop Overlays – Download Now!


When it comes to giving your photos that extra touch of class, Photoshop overlays can certainly make a world of difference. That is the reason, here we share some of the finest Photoshop overlays you can lay your hands on, completely FREE of cost!

In simple terms, Photoshop overlays are additional images that are blended onto your existing photos as layers. Therefore, their purpose lies in adding an extra dimension, an additional element into your pictures, thus increasing their overall visual appeal.

Overlays incrementally increase the visual appeal of your photos. Moreover, if you look at the ease with which Photoshop overlays are blended into photos, an equally important factor is convenience.

Otherwise, you could be looking at hours of effort “glamming” up your photos, when overlays make it a matter of minutes, if not seconds!

Free overlays can cast a whole new impression on your photos, such that they have an incrementally heightened appeal of their own.

Firstly, being free they do not have any cost attached to them. On top of that, they bring on an unbelievable charm which is clearly missing in their absence. That is the reason, free overlays are now being so eagerly sought after by photographers worldwide. 

How to use Photoshop Overlays

Using Photoshop overlays could not be any simpler.

First, as we have already explained, these basically image files themselves which you will add to your existing photos as additional layers.

So, let us say you have your overlay image(s) with you on your computer, in a location that you are aware of.

Now, open the photo(s) you would like to add overlays to. 

After that, open the overlays file and drag and drop it onto the photo you wish to be overlaid.

With this done, Photoshop does its magic, with the overlay file appearing as a new layer. You may at best have to resize or reposition to your satisfaction.

Other alterations you could consider include altering the color of the overlay or changing the blending mode. 

Overlay Categories

There are many different categories of Photoshop overlays. In this section, we look at some of the most popular ones. 

The accompanying images will especially give you a good idea of the Free Photoshop overlays we are covering in this piece.

Text Overlays

As might be obvious, these are overlays with accompanying text.

Some sub-categories within text overlays include:

  • Wedding text overlays

Below, you can see a befitting example of a romantic wedding overlay. For more such overlays you can check out this pack of 20 Free Text-based overlays.

Photoshop Overlays

  • Halloween text overlays 

Following is a great example of the latter:

Photoshop overlays

Winter Overlays

Winter overlays do an excellent job of conveying the winter season.

Look at the example below; it will give you an excellent idea of what we are referring to above.

Photoshop overlays

Yes indeed, as you might be wondering, this is a good example of both a winter overlay as well as the previous text overlay example. 

Galaxy Fire Overlays

When it comes to adding a touch of glow and magic to your pictures, there is really no substitute for Galaxy fire overlays. The charm and mystique in them is simply remarkable.

That is the reason, they have easily become some of the most popular Photoshop overlays

Photoshop overlays

There’s just something so captivating about the above image, simply because a Galaxy fire Photoshop overlay has been added to it.

Here’s a pack of 10 free galaxy overlays that you download right away.

Christmas Overlays

Christmas time is all about making merry and having fun with friends and family. But what is the point if your photos do not convey that joy and happiness? 

Christmas overlays serve that very purpose – to portray all-round merriment being celebrated with one and all around us, which is really the essence of Christmas.

There really could not be a more appropriate example than the picture that we have shared below, exemplifying the family element which is sacrosanct during Christmas. 

This bundle here offers 15 free festive overlays that you can use to dazzle up your Christmas photos.

Photoshop overlays

Light Overlays

Simply put, light overlays are ones that have an element of light in them. This could be added in so many ways. 

Photoshop overlays

The above image is definitely a great example of a light overlay. At the same time, there’s so much that is going on in the above picture. For example, this is clearly a newlywed couple. The image would likely be from their wedding or pre-wedding photoshoot.

As an ace photographer, you can easily visualize the charm which you can bring to your pictures. In case you are a wedding photographer, that aspect will be even more obvious to you from the above photo. 

Within such light overlays, there is a subcategory referred to as light leak overlays. Again, as might be apparent to you, these are basically images that give the impression of light leaking in one way or the other. 

Magic Overlays

Who doesn’t like a hint of magic in their lives?

To fulfill that very objective, you have magic overlays. Overall, there’s simply an overwhelming range of magic overlays that you can put to use in your photos. 

Within magic overlays, you have magic sand dust. These tend to incrementally glorify your ultimate photographic output.

Scary Overlays

Well, how about some spookiness in your photos? 

Scary overlays serve that purpose very well.

A great thing about scary overlays is that they can be of so many different types:

  • Bats
  • Ghosts
  • Teddy Head
  • Tree Branches
  • Trees

The possibilities are simply endless! Below is a great example of this: 

Photoshop overlays

This bundle here offers 10 free spooky overlays that you can download right away.


Grunge Texture Overlays

When you are looking for some rather unique Photoshop overlays, then grunge texture overlays would be quite a good choice to opt for.

Confetti overlays 

Photoshop overlays

Confetti overlays convey the spirit of fun and games, of being free-spirited and so much more – like the lady below!

Halloween Overlays

Given the spirit with which Halloween is celebrated, there is a remarkable array of overlays around this unique, fun-loving occasion.

Photoshop overlays

The kids are clearly having a rollicking time above!

Subcategories here include pumpkin overlays (including hollow pumpkins), skulls (as seen above), and spider webs.

Concluding thoughts

In conclusion, we would simply stress the value-add which Photoshop overlays bring to professional – and budding photographers like you.

Time and time again, we have stressed the fact that when it comes to sprucing up images, there is absolutely no harm (or loss of ego – as is the case with some folks out there) in using image enhancement tools.

At the end of the day, you want your images to have a much-needed Wow factor to them; why not use Photoshop overlays for that?


Nude Art

The Finest Top 10 Nude Art Posing Hacks That You Could Ever Think Of!

Nude art clearly has its unmistakable charm, incrementally accentuated by just the right poses! Read on to find out about the finest top 10 nude art posing hacks to take your nude art output to the next level.


There’s little else more pleasing to the human eye than to see a fellow being in their natural self, sans clothes. Yet, there are sceptics out there who have given a negative connotation to nudity.

Against that backdrop, the objective of this piece is to clearly showcase nudity as an art form whereby we look at 10 of the finest nude art posing hacks that you could ever think of.


The key to a great nude art photoshoot is always to plan and ideate well. Whom will you be shooting with, where will you shoot, etc. – right in the beginning, you must have clear and definite answers to such questions.

Remember that just like any other shoot, a nude art photoshoot that is planned and conceived appropriately in advance, always comes out the best.

A well-planned nude art photoshoot invariably comes off well. Image Pixabay.

Signing a Model

A successful nude art photoshoot requires that you appropriately sign a model for it. This especially involves being transparent about the fact that a nude photoshoot is being planned with the concerned model(s).


The first step to signing a model is to go through the selection process suitably. Being clear about the purpose of the shoot will make a big difference for this. Equally important is the target audience which the shoot is meant for.


There are clear and definitive legal formalities to be completed while undertaking a nude art photoshoot. Some callous photographers tend to ignore this vital step. Don’t make that mistake.


Your nude art photoshoot will not come out well if your model is uncomfortable. Therefore, you must ensure the comfort of your models, prior to commencing with the photo shoot.


In this section, we look at various nude art poses. These are essentially the posing hacks that we have referred to in the title of this piece.

Posing Hack #1 – Silhouette

During your nude art photo shoot, try to capture a silhouette of your model. This will create an element of mystique which viewers will especially find captivating.


A silhouette like nude art photo has an unmistakable appeal. Image courtesy Pixabay

Posing Hack #2 – Showing only a part of your model

It is definitely not essential for you to show your model in his or her entirety in every photo. Instead, you can choose to only show a certain part, which goes onto to add to the appeal of your pictures.


This is an example of a monochromatic shadow image that, despite showing nothing to identify the model, has a remarkable aura to it. Image courtesy- Pixabay

Posing Hack #3 – Focus on the face

An incredible nude art posing hack involves focusing on the face, even in case of an image where the model is clearly nude.

See the image below for a perspective.

The model is clearly nude in the above image, yet, except her face, everything else is blurred out. Image by infotheboudoirdivas-com.

Remember that nudes especially come out well where the model has his or her eyes set on the camera – onlookers get the feeling that the model is looking at them!

So, make sure to use this pose hack as frequently as possible.

Posing Hack #4 – Two’s company!

If you have more than one model on location, how about involving them together in your photos? If not in all your images, you can certainly consider doing so in at least some of them.

As we mentioned previously, a lot will depend on the purpose of your shoot.


Getting two models together, possibly involved with each other in some way – like in the image above, further adds to your photos’ appeal. Image by Dan Hecho.

Posing Hack #5 – Props

Your nudes are easily accentuated when you feature your models with props.

Again, as has already been emphasized above, a lot will depend on the purpose of your shoot. If, for instance, it is to push a brand or a product, models could feature the business logo or a particular product, if circumstances permit.


The clock in the above image could easily be replaced by a particular business logo or product. Image by inna mikitas on Pixabay

Posing Hack #6 – Partially Undressed

A nude art photoshoot doesn’t necessarily imply a fully nude model. In fact, sometimes, the sensual appeal of a partially nude individual is greater than one who has left nothing to the imagination!

For perspective, see the image below.


Despite being only partially naked, the model above has a distinct and intense sensual appeal. Image by Pixabay


Posing Hack #7 – It is not only about women!

Nude art is not always about naked women alone. Men can be just as alluring – if not more, in their nude form. See the image below for a perspective, despite the man being partially nude only – in line with our previous hack. Yes, be creative while suggesting poses!

Image by Lindsay Adler.

Posing Hack #8 – NEVER hesitate to use Overlays & Effects

Overlays & effects always have a vibrant impact on all kinds of photos. Nudes are no different; so, feel free to use them on the nude art you create.


The overlay used in the above image has further heightened its appeal. Image by PhotoWhoa.


Posing Hack #9 – Outdoor shoots

Nude art should not compel you to shoot indoors only. Remember that whenever circumstances permit, you can make full use of the outdoors.

Moreover, out in the open, you could experiment with poses and props to a possibly greater extent!

A unique outdoor nude pose in a lotus pond. Image by Dan Hostettler.

Posing Hack #10 – Full body poses against a dark backdrop

Nude art comes out very well in case of full body poses against a dark backdrop. Below we share a few examples that highlight this pose hack especially well.

Image courtesy Pixabay.


So, now you have great insight into nude art pose hacks.

But what about commercializing your efforts? How do you monetize the hard work that you have put in?

Below we share three simplistic tips.


Nude art photoshoots work out best where commercialization is pre-arranged. Let’s say a brand or individual that has contracted you for such a shoot, with payment terms clearly chalked out in advance.

Stock Photo Sites

As you can see above, the images we have used are from Pixabay where pictures are available – even for commercial use, without incurring any expense.

Alongside, there are other sites such as Shutterstock or iStock Photo where you can have your nude art available to the world, for a FEE & not for FREE.

Your Own Website

An excellent commercialization option is to have your own website where users can download your nude art photos for a fee.

The difference in case of stock photos cited in the previous point is that you can set the payment terms here. This is especially relevant since you get ALL the money which customers pay; with stock photo sites, there is typically a revenue sharing arrangement, where customer payouts are split with the sites.


This blog post must have provided you with a conundrum of perspectives on nude art photoshoots.

Anything that you would like to share; anything you feel we missed?

Feel free to share with us!


PhotoWhoa’s Exclusive Membership Program – PLUS

We’ll Treat you Royally if you have the Loyalty! It clearly pays to be a Plus Member on PhotoWhoa!

Read on as we share all the juicy details of what it takes to be a Plus Member on PhotoWhoa, along with all the rich rewards that you can reap from being one!

There are membership programs on photography sites – and then there is PhotoWhoa’s Plus Membership Program, a unique loyalty program where the adage of the sky is the limit does not seem to hold true…since the benefits easily crossover to the stars! 😊

On this page, you will find all the information you need on how to become a Plus Member on PhotoWhoa, along with the advantages that come with being one.

How to be a Plus Member

By paying a small premium, you can easily – and quickly become a PhotoWhoa Plus Member.

As things stand now, you either pay $99/year or $9/month…clearly, it pays off to opt for the annual option!

Benefits of being a Plus Member on PhotoWhoa

OK, this is where the list will be rather long – since there are innumerable benefits coming your way as a Plus Member on PhotoWhoa!

Firstly, you get 20% off on all your PhotoWhoa purchases – valid for as long as you have Plus membership!

On top of that, you also get up to 6 exclusive deals absolutely free!

Examples of such deals include:

Now, these same deals are not always sacrosanct – at PhotoWhoa, we strive hard to offer you new and exciting deals that always get your photographic pulse racing!

So, as a Plus Member, keep checking in to know the latest and best deal we have for you in store!

The Community Feeling

PhotoWhoa is without a doubt a congregation of budding and established photographers, from right around the world.

As a part of this community, you can easily get to share:

  • Photographic tips, tricks, and techniques.
  • Tools for best photographic output.
  • All the gossip on the best gadgets and gizmos to use.
  • Insider info on photo hacks? Our community would love to know – and also share sizzling ones with you!

While none of this would necessitate taking up Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa, your overall bonding on the platform will certainly be higher, once armed with one.

Reviews from our Plus Members

Did someone say, proof of the pudding lies in the eating?

Well, herein, you can see for yourself what our loyal patrons are saying about their Plus Membership experience:

Thanks to the freebies and discounts I have availed, I’ve ended up saving much more than what I’ve spent on being a photo a plus member.

  • Chris Richard, Fayetteville, USA

Notwithstanding my professional status as an established photographer of repute, availing Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa has brought me a whole host of benefits that would not come otherwise.

  • Jonathan Krygowski, Chicago, USA

Worth it!

  • Emily, London

I am bowled over by the sheer variety that PhotoWhoa has in its products. For a seasoned but amateur photographer hoping to go pro, PhotoWhoa’s resources are a virtual Godsend. I wholeheartedly recommend their Plus Membership, because the 20% savings on each purchase work out to more than the cost of the membership.

  • Duncan Attlee, Glasgow, Scotland

For me, the clincher (to get Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa) were the freebies they offered. One of them, in particular, was of relevance to me, especially since there was no other comparable offering in the market. To have got it completely free of cost (with my paid membership, of course) was the icing on the cake!

  • Shania Jenkins, New York City, USA

I love the community feeling on PhotoWhoa which was good enough a reason for me to opt for plus membership.

  • Amanda Lawson, Hoboken, USA

PhotoWhoa is every photographer’s dream – and its Plus Membership is certainly worth it.

  • Steve Smith, Melbourne, Australia

You’re certainly missing out without PhotoWhoa’s Plus Membership!

  • Jack Dawson, Toronto, Canada

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa!

  • Rishabh Singh, New Delhi, India

The quality of my professional output has gone up incrementally once I availed Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa.

  • A wedding photographer in Dubai, UAE


Q1. What is Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa?

A1. Plus Membership is a unique loyalty program on PhotoWhoa that grants you an amazing array of perks. You simply pay a small membership fee with which you can enjoy multiple benefits as long as your membership is valid.

Q2. Can you briefly describe the benefits of Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa?

A2. Well, briefly, these include:

  • 20% discount on all your purchases.
  • An assortment of 6 deals per year, offered completely free of cost.

Q3. How do I avail the abovementioned 20% discount?

A3. Well, it is really simple! Once you are logged in to the system as a plus member, you will automatically see discounted prices on all products. You can then choose the ones you would like to purchase.

Q4. Is there a refund policy available on your Plus Membership?

A4. Indeed, there is! As long as you have not availed any membership benefit, we have a no questions asked, 30-days refund policy. Unfortunately – as we are sure you would understand, refunds cannot be processed once you have availed membership benefits.

Q5. Can I cancel my Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa?

A5. Well, as sad as it would be for us to see you go, you can indeed cancel your Plus Membership on PhotoWhoa any time you like. In this case, since our billings are periodical, you can simply opt out of being charged for the next billing cycle.

John Cornicello

John Cornicello Interviewed : On Making It Big In The Photo Industry

We are extremely delighted to host an interview with lighting master and creative professional photographer John Cornicello.

John Cornicello has been involved in the photography industry since 1979. He started out as a photo assistant in New York and later moved to Seattle Seattle and has been a home studio based portrait and headshot photographer ever since.

John CornicelloThroughout his journey, he had a chance to cross paths with some of the great photographers of the 70s and 80s. With over 40 years of experience in the photo industry, we are sure there is a lot you can learn from John through this interview.

John Cornicello has been very passionate about teaching photographic concepts from basic camera functions to lighting theory and practice.

Read along to know more about his photography journey and honest conversations with none other than Portrait photography master John Cornicello.


1. You have been working on interesting projects like “The chair Project” and “Covid mask project”. We would love to know more about it.

John CornicelloThe chair project started about 6 or 7 years ago. Pretty simple. I bought an old chair at a rummage sale and did a self-portrait in it.

When I posted the selfie people started asking to be photographed in the chair. A few hundred people ended up in the series which expanded when I got an egg chair about 4 years ago. I have suspended that project since Covid.

However, I did start a new project photographing people with their masks. This came out of the isolation of Covid and the need or desire to have safe interpersonal interactions. I have photographed around 80 people for this series.


2. You have already published your first ebook. How has been your experience writing the book?  

The writing and assembling of the book have been great. I have some background in typesetting and design that made that all easier for me. The struggle has been in promoting the book. Photowoah has been instrumental in helping get the electronic version out into the world.


3. How did your interest in photography begin? 

I have had a camera in hand since being a young child. My dad had a Kodak Duaflex that I often used. Then I had some Polaroid cameras like the Big Swinger. I sometimes used an 8mm movie camera, too. I would build model cars and take really bad photos of them.

In high school, a friend worked in the camera department of a large store and suggested I get a real camera. Then I joined the school camera club and learned about darkroom work developing film and printing. That got me to be more serious about photography and started my journey.


4. You also worked as an instructor and a lighting technician at CreativeLive, can you tell us a bit about your experience?  

John CornicelloCreativeLive came about at just the right time for me. I had been working at Adobe for many years running their online community forums. I wasn’t doing a lot of photography at the time, though the introduction of digital was drawing me back in.

I heard about these online photo classes and that they were accepting people to come to the studio to be an audience.

I jumped at that opportunity and was at CL any chance I could (weekends and using vacation time). 

I suggested that I could help them as a photo assistant and it grew from there. At CL I got to meet so many great instructors and got to be friends with many. Many of them became subjects in my Chair photo series. 

The first class I taught on my own was how to photograph fireworks. And soon after that, I did a class on working in a home studio. All the while I kept helping out the other instructors, too.


5. What kind of work are you shooting currently?

With Covid, I have turned to doing more still life photos and composting things in Photoshop. I have also started a series of photo conversations. I have shut down my photo business and am semi-retired. I am teaching for Photo Center NW in Seattle. Time will tell what happens after the pandemic. I plan to keep taking photos as long as I can.


6. What are some of the tips and tricks of portrait photography that you’ve learned over the years? 

Simplicity. Use one light if you can. If you want two lights, still try to do it with one. Portraiture is more about relationships than equipment. Learn your “soft skills.” Plan things and make for the best shooting situation you can. People skills will beat technical skills in portraiture.


7. You have captured some stunning fine art nude shots. What was it that attracted you to this type of photography?  

John Cornicello

I am not sure where that started. I do know the first nude session I did was with a friend of a friend in college. I think I still have one print from that session.

It wasn’t until many years later that I started working with the figure again. Right out of school my emphasis was on still life and product photography.

Somewhere along with the line people started finding their way into my photos. And then I took a couple of workshops that included some nude/figure assignments. Then it came back to the people skills mentioned above.

After one workshop the instructor came to me and told me that the models had all commented to each other how they enjoyed working with me over the other photographers. It comes down to respect and fun. Don’t be “that guy.” Be professional and courteous. But also make for a fun environment.


8. What is your essential camera equipment? 

That is an interesting question. I have a couple of “desert island” options.

Of course, there is the camera. I have been a Canon user since 1974. And you need a lens. 85mm, 100mm, or 70-200 and I am good.

I want light. Right now that is an Interfit Badger Unleashed. And a modifier. That would be a 60-inch Photek Softlighter or a 2×3 softbox. That is enough to do many of my photos.


9.  You had a chance to cross paths with some of the great photographers of the 70s and 80s. Can you name a few photographers that inspired you?

Yes. Irving Penn, Arnold Newman, and Jay Maisel immediately come to mind.


10. What changes have you seen in your industry over the past several years? 

John CornicelloI don’t know. The more things change, the more they remain the same. 

But on the lighting side of things LED technology is getting better. Mixing stills and video is driving that. But I still prefer studio flash for its versatility.


11. Teaching photographic concepts is your passion, what do you love the most about this process?

Seeing the students’ expression when something they have struggled with becomes clear. 


You can check out John Cornicello’s ebook “Anatomy of a Studio Portrait” here.

Grant Collier

Grant Collier Interviewed: On Capturing The Northern Night Skies

Grant Collier, a professional landscape photographer, has captured some of the most mesmerizing shots of the northern night skies and numerous stunning landscapes. We were extremely fortunate to get in conversation with photographer & author Grant Collier.

Grant CollierIn this interview, Grant Collier talks to us about his most favorite places and his love for sculpted sandstone rock formations and canyons from the Colorado Plateau.

Grant Collier also shares some incredible tips on how you can plan your night shoot in extremely cold places like Alaska.

Grant Collier also shares his writing experience as an author of more than 11 photography books. 

Read along for some candid conversations with Grant Collier. We are sure you’ll love reading it as much as we loved conducting it!


  1. Can you tell us a bit about your background and how you got your start in photography? 

I went to school at Pomona College near Los Angeles and was planning to double-major in economics and astronomy. However, I was required to take one fine art class, so I begrudgingly enrolled in a photography class. I couldn’t get too excited about shooting the smoggy scenes of LA, so I decided to take a trip to Moab over fall break. I stumbled upon some really good lighting and weather conditions and came away with some half-decent photos. After that, I became addicted to photography. Once I graduated from college, I decided to start taking then-and-now photos using images shot by my great-great-grandfather in the late 1800s. He was an early pioneer photographer in Colorado and Scotland, so I guess photography is in my genes. I found a publisher to print a book of these photos called “Colorado: Yesterday & Today” in 2001. I later started my own publishing company and eventually released a sequel to this book called “Colorado Then & Now.”


  1. People get awed by your night sky photographs. Is there any photographer who inspired your art? 

Grant CollierDavid Muench was a big inspiration. When I took up photography in 1993, the internet barely existed. So I couldn’t look through images of hundreds of great photographers like you can today. Instead, I found several of Muench’s big coffee-table books at a bookstore and would spend hours poring over the photos. Jerry Uelsmann always inspired me as well. His ability to blend multiple images in a dark room, long before Photoshop, was remarkable. My work doesn’t remotely resemble his, but he’s inspired me to experiment with different techniques. That’s probably reflected more in some children’s books I’m currently working on than in my calendars or landscape photography books.


  1. You have photographed some beautiful landscapes in Arizona and wildlife in Colorado. Which is your favorite type of landscape to photograph?

I usually only photograph wildlife if I happen to see any while out shooting landscapes. I’ve never really had the patience to get up before sunrise and sit and wait for wildlife to show up. As for landscapes, I do love the sections of Utah and Arizona that lie within the Colorado Plateau. The sculpted sandstone rock formations and immense canyons are unlike anything else on this planet. However, if I had to choose a favorite location, I’d go with Iceland. There are just so many things to shoot there, including ice caves, glaciers, seascapes, waterfalls, mountains, the northern lights, and the occasional erupting volcano. I’ve only spent a few weeks there, but 4 or 5 of my all-time favorite images were shot there.


  1. What is your go-to camera gear?

Grant CollierI now use a Sony A7 III for most of my night photos and a Nikon D850 for most of my daytime photos. I also frequently use an ultra-wide 14mm lens. However, I’ve never been much of a gear junkie. I believe you can get great photos with any camera. I have a few big stitched images on my website that were taken with an iPhone, along with some star trail photos taken on a $20 film camera. That being said, good camera equipment is more important for most night photography, in order to reduce noise and increase detail.


  1. What’s one landscape you are dying to photograph?  

There’s a bunch of scenes I’ve found on Google Earth that I want to photograph from the air with my DJI Mavic 2 quadcopter. I’ve done a lot of aerial photography with this drone in recent years, in part because I can’t hike much anymore after two spinal fusions. Since I’m running low on new places to shoot from the side of the road, the drone lets me find new scenes that I’ve never shot before. In fact, it lets me find perspectives that nobody has shot before, which is hard to do anymore from the ground. Some waterfalls and glacial rivers in Iceland are among the top places I’d like to shoot from the air. I didn’t have a drone during my first two trips there, so I hope to return someday. However, I’ve only been shooting aerial photos in Colorado and Moab, Utah during COVID.


  1. You have captured some of the most beautiful shots of the northern lights. What is it about this phenomenon that inspires you so much?

Since I’ll be releasing a calendar on the northern lights in 2022, I think I’ll just use the text I wrote for the back cover to answer this question: “Ancient cultures believed that the northern lights were created by the souls of the departed in the heavens. When one witnesses the aurora borealis in person, it is easy to see why. The ethereal lights dance across the night sky with such a hypnotic rhythm that they seem to be alive. Science has since taught us that the northern lights are created by charged particles from the sun colliding with molecules in our atmosphere. However, this in no way lessens the feeling of awe and reverence that they inspire in people the world over. One sight of the northern lights can reawaken our youthful sense of wonder and renew our appreciation for this small planet that we call home.”

  1. The night sky shots from Alaska are mesmerizing. How do you prepare before going for a night shoot?

Preparing for a night shoot in Alaska is a lot harder than most night shots. For most night shoots, I just need to make sure I have the right lenses, a jacket, and a flashlight. However, when I was in Alaska in February, it was about -10F every night. So I used a base layer of merino wool and tried to get at least two more layers of clothing over every part of my body. I brought plenty of hand and foot warmers, heated gloves, and NEOS overshoes. I also stored my camera in the trunk of my vehicle to keep it cold before shooting. Taking a camera from a warm room to a cold environment can cause the lens to fog up. Sometimes, I also attached hand warmers all around the camera lens to prevent it from fogging up. I also had to bring a lot of fully-charged batteries, as they die much faster in the cold. Finally, lots of caffeine was useful to stay up all night, hoping the northern lights would eventually appear.


  1. You have been an author of 11 photography books, can you tell us a little bit of your experience writing these books?  

Grant CollierI think it’s now up to 16 books if you include my four children’s books. I guess I need to update my bio :). I’ve been collaborating on several children’s books recently with my girlfriend. I take the photos for them and write the text. She draws all of the animals and people, and I use Photoshop to blend them into my photos. With my back problems, I haven’t been able to spend nearly as much time taking photos lately. So this allows me to reuse existing photos in a different way, and it’s nice to have a new challenge. As for my photography books, I started my own publishing company in 2004 in order to have complete control over my books. I had to learn how to design the books and prepare the photos for offset printing. There was a big learning curve for that. Writing the books has also been a big challenge, but it’s something I enjoy doing. One of the more challenging books was “Collier’s Guide to Night Photography.” There’s a lot of new things you need to learn to get good quality night photos, both when taking the images and processing them. So, trying to make it easy to understand, while also including many advanced techniques, took a lot of writing and re-writing. Fortunately, it’s been well-received, and I was able to release a 2nd edition of the book recently.

aurora hdr

Product Review: Aurora HDR


No matter how good a photographer you may be – or how top-notch the photographic equipment you may have, there is always something you feel there’s missing when it comes to regular, everyday photos.

It is in these circumstances that HDR photography has come to the fore, wherein there is a whole new level of zeal and zing injected into your photos!

Without getting into too many technical details, suffice it to say that HDR photography (with HDR standing for High Definition Range) refers to a series of photos taken across multiple light and exposure levels (hence the use of the word “range” in the term).

Now, intuitive, capable software is required to make this magic – and Aurora HDR does precisely that!

After all, at the end of the day, you need competent yet easy software for the job, which is exactly what Aurora HDR is all about!


Aurora HDR comes from Skylum (previously known as Macphun), a company which has made its mark for offering outstanding photo-centric applications that do their job perfectly while being particularly easy on the learning curve.

Aurora HDR 2019 is the latest and by far the best version of this software, after the previous year’s equally capable iteration, Aurora HDR 2018, which incidentally was recognized by Apple as the ‘Best Mac App’.

Is Aurora HDR for me?

Frankly, Aurora HDR is for anyone with a passion for vivid photography that stands out from the crowd.

So, if you are someone who:

  • Is tired of run-of-the-mill, grainy photos which we are all subject to (and tired of!) ad nauseum!
  • Would like to produce photos that create a “Wow” reaction among viewers.
  • Likes color and a special vividity in their photos,

Then Aurora HDR is definitely for you!

Aurora HDR UI

A complex UI is unlikely to work for most, even if you have had your way around photographic applications.

In this case, we find an intuitive UI, similar to Lightroom, with an added element of sophistication.

Alongside, there are Photoshop-like touches added to the UI such as masks, layers, as well as blending modes, all of which work towards making your job as easy as possible.

Software Intelligence

Besides the tools on offer as well as the overall UI, you need software that has its own level of dynamism.

That is exactly where we have consistently noted Aurora HDR to be truly remarkable.

Two aspects particularly stand out on this front:

  • A Quantum HDR Engine™
  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) powered Tone Mapping Technology

Together, these aspects work on thoroughly analysing your pictures to eventually merge them in the smartest way possible.

Tools Exclusive to Aurora HDR

The overall capabilities of Aurora HDR are visibly enhanced, thanks to tools that are exclusive to the software. These include:

HDR Smart Structure

This tool is essentially an AI driven smart slider to give you vivid details in your photos, free of undesirable noise or halos.

HDR Clarity

True to its name, this smart tool works on enhancing clarity in your photos, including specific portions that you may choose (and not necessarily the whole photo).

HDR Denoise

This clever tool not only recognizes noise in your photos but removes them too.

One-Click Retouch

A unique facet of Aurora HDR is the way pictures can be retouched with just a single click.

Below, is an image – with a series of dynamic visuals of the same image below it.

We have taken this directly from the Aurora HDR page on

aurora hdr


While the visuals to the bottom are not clickable here – as they are on the source page, they give you a good idea of the way Aurora HDR works.

With just a simple click, you can infuse life into your pictures – that too in so many unique ways!

Proof of the Pudding – ALWAYS lies in the Eating!

Yes, this adage has always been true for so many unique situations – and it is no different in this case too!

Below, we showcase two different “Before” and “After” images, that clearly showcase the difference made by Aurora HDR.

aurora hdr

Before Aurora HDR worked its magic!

aurora hdr

The “aftereffects” of Aurora HDR!

Images Courtesy – Iurie Belegurschi 

Source Link of Images – Aurora HDR 2019 Review (


Below, we showcase two images of the Sydney Opera House, again as “Before” and “After”.

You will distinctly notice the difference made by Aurora HDR!

aurora hdr aurora hdr


When it comes to HDR photography, there is probably no other program that comes close to Aurora HDR in terms of its overall capabilities.

At PhotoWhoa, we have always striven to guide and assist you on your photographic pursuits – with our free Photoshop overlays being an excellent example.

On your Aurora HDR purchase too, you can save big here!

christmas deals

Best 2020 Christmas Deals for Photographers

You have worked hard on honing your photography skills throughout this difficult year. 

Now while the year is ending, you are eagerly looking forward to upping the ante on your photographic output.

Fortunately, there are tools galore that can help you in this quest.

Moreover, this is easily the best time of the year to grab awe-inspiring Christmas deals

Here, you will find a plethora of irresistible Christmas deals for photographers. We have trawled the Internet far and wide to put them together for you. It’s your one-stop shop where all the best deals are compiled together.

Depending on your needs and preferences, you can opt for the deal(s) that match your requirements the best. Many deals offered are valid throughout the holiday season, giving you ample scope and opportunity to grab them. 

The most alluring part about these deals is the wide range of discount that you can avail; from 20% to 80% (or even more!), the savings opportunity is simply incredible. 

Here we go with all the awesome discounts and offers –


Offer – coming soon…

Coupon – coming soon…

Validity – coming soon…

Link –


christmas deals for photographers

Offer – A whopping 80% OFF on all products

Coupon – NA

Validity – Till 31st Dec 2020



christmas deals

Offer – 25% OFF on all photography ebook and video tutorials and other resources in the store. Shuttermonkeys is a community of creative photographers connecting passionate enthusiasts with top pros. Our ebook and video courses are designed to quickly evolve your photography and help you become the best photographer you can be!

Coupon – HOLIDAY25

Validity – Till 31st Dec 2020



frank doorhof sale

Offer – Flat 50% OFF on all videos and presets

Coupon – christmas2020

Validity – Till 31st Dec 2020

Summarily, these are the best Christmas deals for photographers which we scrounged far and wide to put together for you.

In a year that has presented an inordinate number of challenges, these deals come as magical sweet treats. We especially have a soft corner for deals that come with lifetime validity; for a steal, you get to enjoy some truly fascinating products – for life!

Any alluring Christmas deals for photographers this 2020 which you think we missed out on?

Please feel free to share your thoughts in the Comments section below, and we will be happy to update this deals page!

Till then, Merry Christmas and click your way to fascinating Christmas deals!

Frank Doorhof

Frank Doorhof Interviewed : On Pursuing Photography As A Passion

We are glad to host this fun interview with famous portrait photographer Frank Doorhof.

In this video, you’ll get a sneak-peek into his life as a portrait photographer. We are sure you will enjoy watching this interview as much as we loved hosting it. Catch the complete interview below for some heart to heart conversations with Frank Doorhof.

Frank’s love for photography sparked long ago when he was a kid. He was always drawn towards photography. Capturing photos with a film camera mesmerised him. In this interview, Frank shares a back story of how he got his first film camera and later got more drawn towards videography.

Frank Doorhof also talks to us about how one could perfectly tell a story through a single moment captured in a photo instead of a video. This was the reason he later continued capturing stills instead of videos. His first digital camera was a Canon-10D which he mostly used for capturing action shots of birds, animals, and sports.

Frank Doorhof shares an interesting story of how he got into model photography. It was a local photography club where he had to choose model photography as a topic for his assignments. He never thought he would, but ended up enjoying model shoots more than he had imagined. From someone who loved capturing action shots to capturing model portraits, it’s a story worth listening to. In this interview, you will also understand the importance of proper lighting for photoshoots.

From managing his computer company and later having his own photography company, Frank’s journey is really inspiring. No matter whether you are a beginner or an expert photographer, Frank Doorhof shares some of the most important lessons he has learned in his career and we are sure you will find it worth your time. So come along, let’s learn from this portrait photography genius.