Category Archives: Photographers

Cheboygan Area Public Library Photography Classes Starting April 3, 2018

Starting April 3rd at the Cheboygan Area Public Library, I begin a four-part photography digital photography class for beginning photographers.

Here is a synopsis of the four sessions:

Class #1 Digital Photography Basics – Tuesday April 3, 2018
As the title states, in this class we explore the basics you need to know about digital cameras and photography. Topics start with photo terminology, digital camera features and functions. Then we explore how the digital sensor, shutter speed, aperture size and light work together to make a photo image. I discuss how color temperature and white balance affect your images; how and when to use auto modes or preset scene modes and the most important items to have in your camera bag. If you have a digital camera, bring it and the instruction manual to class.

Welihan 20130604 Cheboygan Library-04681

Class #2 Photo Composition & Creativity – Tuesday April 10, 2018
The second class begins with a discussion on six photo characteristics that add visual appeal to your images. Then I show how to place the subject in way that adds additional interest in your photos. Next we discuss how to frame, balance and simplify your images; steady the shot; change camera settings that change the look of your photo and when and where to use flash. We look at some “bad” photos and discuss how to improve them. We look at many more “good” photos to inspire your creativity.  If you want to learn how to create photos that impress your family and friends, this is your class.


Class #3 Camera to Computer – Image Organization and Storage – Tuesday April 17, 2018
People have told me this is the class they wish they attended before downloading their first images. Why? Because they have no idea where images are stored in their computer and, worst of all, where to find them.  That problem is fixed with this class. You will learn how to move images from camera to computer and how to effectively set up a system for photo storage and retrieval. I discuss why keywords and tags are important and demonstrate an easy-to-use and free photo management program. If you have images in your camera or computer and don’t know what to do next, this class is for you.

Welihan 20170809 Cheboygan County Fair Rodeo (24) 5684

Class #4 Creating a Digital Masterpiece & Showing Your Work – Tuesday April 24, 2018
I will show what you need to know to create good prints; how to create photo books for gifts or to display on your coffee table; photo guidelines that lead to great prints; how to tell a story with photos and some tips to improve your smartphone photos.  We end the class with a slide show of images made by class participants. You do not have to submit photos to attend, but it will be more fun if you do.

During the first class, we will schedule an afternoon or early evening photo shoot to be held between the second and fourth classes.  This will give students the opportunity to practice newfound techniques. There is no charge for the photo shoot, but you must enroll in the first or second class to attend.

Welihan 20171007 Cheboygan Photowalk 7308

The workshop and classes are limited to twenty students and pre-registration is required. The classes are $10.00 each or all four for $35.00.  Classes start at 5:30pm (sharp) and end at 7:30pm.  Attendance at all four classes is not required, but each class builds on information covered in previous classes and so I strongly recommend students attend all four classes.

To register for the Cheboygan Area Public Library Digital Photography Class call:  (231) 627-2381.

Hope to see you there…   Dan Welihan



Cheboygan Area Photography Club Starts May 23…

At the encouragement of several of my photography students, with the offer to help from friends and because I’ve kicked the idea around for a while myself, I’m starting a photography club.  An organizational meeting for the club will be held at the Cheboygan Area Public Library on Thursday May 23, 2013.  The meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. and is open to anyone interested in photography. 

I know there are many avid photographers in the Cheboygan area.  They have attended my classes and I’ve seen the photos of many good photographers around Cheboygan.  I hope a photography club attracts a wide range of folks from beginners to professional photographers.  If in the process we learn a thing or two from each other, take some good pictures and have some fun along the way, then it will be a success.   

Sharing photo ideas and information, taking some photography day trips and the promotion of photography in the community seems to me like a good place to start.  As the club grows and evolves I am sure there will be other objectives and goals added.

To help at the first meeting, I asked my friend and neighbor, Neil Rankin, to talk about his life as a commercial photographer at Western Michigan University.  Over the years Neil has photographed two U.S. presidents, dozens of sports figures and covered hundreds of other events for Western.  Neil will show some of his work and tell us what it’s like to be a photographer on a college campus.

If you would like to join, but cannot attend this meeting, feel free to contact me or just wait until June.  We have meetings scheduled for the fourth Thursday of the month at the Library through August.


Whether you like to take photos of peaceful lakes or more inclined to search for wild animals, this club is for you…

welihan 20131022 Mac Island-1224welihan 20111001 Tahquamenon Falls-2269

Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light

Ibarionex Perello is a freelance photographer based in Los Angeles, a writer, a podcaster and now author.  His book, published in late 2011 is titled, Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light.  For the past five years Perello has hosted a podcast called, The Candid Frame (Available as a free download at iTunes.).  I stumbled upon The Candid Frame a year or so ago.  There are dozens of photo podcasts on iTunes, but The Candid Frame is one of the best.  Now, I eagerly await each installment as I work my way through the three-year backlog.  Each podcast is an interview and conversation between Perello and one photographer.  It doesn’t matter if the photographer is well-known or someone still working to be discovered, Perello asks intelligent, well thought out questions.  For his effort Perello gets interesting responses in return.  The podcast is well worth subscribing to.  But I digress.  This is not a review of the podcast; it is about Perello’s book.

At about the same time I began thinking about writing this blog, Perello, in one of his podcasts, mentioned his book, Chasing the Light.  Through the podcast I felt I knew Perello’s photographic interests and style and I believed the book would be to my liking.  I was not disappointed.

This is not a “how-to” book that tells you where to set your shutter or aperture.  The first sentence in the book reads, “Each time I venture out with my camera, I’m filled with a sense of hope.”  Perello goes on to talk about how it was only after he learned to see light as it affected his subject and his mood, did his photography become what he hoped it could be.  “Start by asking yourself three questions,” he writes, “Where is the light coming from?  What is the quality of light? How much light do I have to work with?”  He answers these questions and more in an easy to comprehend style.

Do not shy away from this book if you are new to digital photography or think that a book length discussion on seeing light is not what you are looking for.  Perello provides basic camera exposure and metering information geared toward beginner and experienced photographers alike.  All written with his eye on the light and how it affects your images.

The heart of his message was for me, Perello’s explanation of the way brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness and pattern (He refers to them as the Five Visual Draws.) consistently affects how we are drawn to an image.  Through the rest of the book, Perello tells and shows with his own excellent photos how the five visual draws are weaved into images of landscapes, cities and people; in color or black and white; and with subjects that are obvious and subjects that become obvious when you learn to see the light.

As photographer and author, Rob Sheppard writes in the Forward of the book, “Ibarionex’s joy in photography comes through, too, in both the text and the photos.  These are positive photos that make you feel good about the world we live in.”

At the end of each The Candid Frame podcast, Perello asks his guest to recommend a one photographer who has been a personal influence and that the audience should know about.  I have listened to many Candid Frame podcasts.  Every time I hear the question I ask myself, who would I chose if I were interviewed by Perello.  After reading Chasing the Light: Improving Your Photography with Available Light I have my answer.

I recommend Ibarionex Perello.

January 23, 2012

Candid Cameraman

Henri Cartier-Bresson with his Leica

Henri Cartier-Bresson (August 22, 1908 – August 3, 2004) gained fame wandering the world photographing people.  A Frenchman by birth, his first love was painting, but after several years of study and little success, he turned to photography.  In the 1930’s he was one of the first to use the new 35 mm film and a rangefinder camera.   With his Leica and 50 mm lens, the camera and lens he worked with for most of his life, Cartier-Bresson took quick photos of people along the streets of Paris and other cities of Europe.  He called his photography “real life reportage” and over the years, his style of street photography influenced thousands of photographers.

“I suddenly understood that a photograph could fix eternity in an instant.” Cartier-Bresson said.  The small rangefinder camera he used, as opposed to the large format cameras more common at the time, allowed him to take photos often before people were aware they were being photographed.  New possibilities opened to him as he photographed people not in the formal studio setting, but where they worked and lived.

A quiet man with the knack of blending into the crowd, Cartier-Bresson’s goal was to take a complete photos at the time he snapped the shutter.  “When you hit the target there is no need to crop the picture.” He stated in the 2003 film Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Impassioned Eye.

Cartier-Bresson’s most famous photos captured what he called “the decisive moment.”  His ability to show both ordinary and famous people at unique moments gave his photos a significance that touched most everyone who viewed his work.  Keep in mind, he didn’t shoot eight digital shots a second at the “almost decisive moment.”  He shot 35mm film, one frame at a time.  He manually focused the lens, set shutter speed and sized the aperture while pre-visualizing the shot through the camera viewfinder.  Many of the images he photographed really did exist for only a moment.

“When a photographer raises his camera at something,” he said, “there is one moment at which the elements in motion are in balance.  Photography must seize upon this moment.”  Henri Cartier-Bresson’s body of work exemplifies not only his ability to seize the moment, but also a keen understanding of human nature that enabled him to anticipate what might happen next.

And what photographer doesn’t strive to see that decisive moment, with camera ready, just before it comes along.

To learn more about the life and works Henri Cartier-Bresson I recommend Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Biography by Pierre Assouline .  There is also the 2003 documentary film, Henri Cartier-Bresson:  The Impassioned Eye.  It is available on Netflix.

If you would like to know more about street photography, I suggest  Street Photography: From Atget to Cartier-Bresson by Clive Scott and Vivian Maier: Street Photographer by Vivian Maier, John Maloof and Geoff Dyer.

To follow a current day street photographer take a look at Eric Kim’s work.  You can find him at:

November 29, 2011

Tales From the Dark Side

Halloween 2007, East Lansing, Michigan

So how was your Halloween trick-or-treating?  Did you bag lots of candy for yourself?  Or did you follow the kids around the neighborhood.  Maybe you went to a festive Halloween costume party.  No matter how you celebrated, what has become the second most popular holiday after Christmas, did you remember to take some pictures?

Grand Rapids, Michigan professional photographer Tyler Card ( remembered his camera and took plenty of photos too.  It was easy.  His dressed up as a working, fully functional Nikon D3.  He even hooked up a laptop computer screen as the cameras LCD screen to display his photos.  From what I could see online, Card was the hit of the party.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.  Go to: check it out for yourself.

Cordwood Point Association

On Beautiful Lake Huron

Why Michigan

A Southern Family in Northern Michigan

A Certain Slant of Light Photography

... the landscape listens, shadows hold their breath

Great Lakescapes

Michigan Nature & Landscape Photoblog by Neil Weaver

Joe McNally's Blog

The Blog of Joe McNally

Michigan in Pictures

Photos of the Great Lakes State