Photo Walks & Workshop Dates

Photo Walk
When: Sunday October 18th 9:30 am
Meet up: Heinz Stadium Gate A
Cost: Free
What to bring: Camera, passion to learn and your walking shoes.

How To Everything Photography: Workshop 101 class
Meet up: Sunday November 1st 1 to 4pm
Where: Historic North Side of Pittsburgh at Annie O’Neill Studios
Cost: $55.00
Event details (HERE) Class limited to only 15 people
PS. It’s the Steelers off week, no traffic or parking issues…

Photograph Pittsburgh at Night– Photo Walk
Monday November 9th 7pm
Meet up: West End Overlook
Cost: Free
What to bring: Camera, tripod and warm clothes ~ it will be cold on the overlook.

Pittsburgh Light Up Night – Photo Walk
Friday November 20th 7pm
Meet up: West End Overlook
Cost: Free
What to bring: Camera, tripod and warm clothes ~ it will be very cold and crowed on the overlook.

Q&A Session & Meet-n-Greet
Thursday December 10th 7 to 9pm
Meet up: My house
Cost: Free
What to bring: Your questions, camera, good attitude and a friend. Let’s build the community.

E-Book released
January 2010
The Photographer’s Blog
Cost: $10.00 download


90 days ~ Natural Method Conditioning

Part 6 of a 12 part series every Tuesday

Today is day 37 of my 90 days conditioning project. This is what I have learned:

The old saying “ Your body is a temple” is true. A temple is tall and strong on the outside and on the inside it is a place of quiet and contemplation.

The project has turned into a complete natural method conditioning in more of an expansive way then I would have predicted. Yes, it is about diet, exercise and meditation. Today the project is more about life. It’s odd to me to type the word “more” because actually it is all about less.

Live slow
Deliberately less

The purpose of meditation is not to sit on the cushion, it is to get up off the mat and live to carry with you the calm, balance and centered-ness that the mat gives you in your daily walk.

A daily walk has taken on a whole new meaning to me these past months. It is my creative time, my dual purpose time; it is my natural method to condition how I want to live.


G-20, No Zombies & Me

Walking across the Stanwick Street Bridge on the morning of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh had an eerie feeling to it.

Getting off the “T” I walked through a military security post when two soldiers gave me a stern look, never saying a word and just watched me walk by. Eerie.

Military boats in the river, army helicopters above, all patrolling the city in preparation for a possible terrorist act and I am walking into town thinking “What in the hell am I doing here?”

Alone. I am alone. Walk into town and there is nothing; no life, all empty streets, no sound. It felt like a horror movie. I waited for a zombie to walk around the corner. I waited to see life.

By the time I hit Sixth Street I see life; people on bikes, people on foot and best of all no zombies, at least not yet.

The city had the police forces out in full… well for lack of a better word…force. There they were--thirty cops on one corner and the next street had another thirty police in full riot gear. No zombies, not many citizens and I am hearing the theme to Dark Vader in my head. This city is locked down and I am out for a photo-walk.

Two hours of walking through downtown and not much was happening yet. The city was peaceful. No protesters? Two weeks of media buildup and no hype. It’s just me and about a thousand cops, no zombies and the happiest bikers Pittsburgh has ever seen. People on two wheels owned the city for the day; barely any traffic and just pedestrians walking the streets.

At this time I was getting ready to call it quits for the day. The only thrill I had seen all day is a couple of people offering me salvation in Jesus Christ. One person explaining to me why Allah is the one true God, I was bored. Stop at a bar for a beer.

Insanely useful photography tip:

Here is a lesson learned that I feel the need to pass on. When having a discussion with police officers on the street choose your words carefully.

Me: “ Excuse me Mr. Police officer what are the chances of a riot breaking out today? “

Police officer: “We’re prepared and if anything happens I expect you to not get in the way.”

Me: “ Don’t worry officer if anything happens I will just sit back and shoot the crowed.”

Police office: “Son, you better choose your words carefully when speaking to me.”

At this time he stands back and places his hand on his gun and a second officers shifts his position to stand behind me.

“Open the bag son.”

Me: I open my camera bag slowly and let him look inside. “Lesson learned officer, have a nice day.”

I walk away thinking that this could have turned out a lot worse for me.


Chanting, I can hear chanting in the far off distance. This is it… the protest of the G-20 is happening now. A crowd gathers, police congregate….see my photo (HERE).


Photo of the Week

Photo taken at G-20 in Pittsburgh, more photos to come on Monday.

Camera: Nikon D700
Exposure: 0.001 sec (1/1600)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 120 mm
Exposure: 0.00
ISO Speed: 3200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


G-20 & Street Photography

Why Does the Pursuit for Peace Start with War?

I will be photographing the protesters of the G-20 Summit today that is being held in Pittsburgh. Not sure if I will be able to get close enough to get any good photos but I figure it's worth a try.

I will be taking the ”T” to Station Square and walking across the bride to the city. I had a conversation with a reporter friend of mine and he told me to expect three thousand media people on the street. Not sure how many protesters-for-peace will be on the street along with them.

I am not one for promoting protesters, even those with the best of intentions. I have a personal belief that if you want to create change you should put down the picket sign, walk off the street and walk into a soup kitchen and serve your community (or shelter, or VET hospital, or animal shelter or whatever cause you stand for). Or walk into any place that helps to educate the young and volunteer. Those are my thoughts; speak citizen to citizen.

Nonetheless this should be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see global action up close.


Good Kharma Creates Great Exposure

CONGRATULATIONS ANNIE O'NEILL! I am so incredibly thrilled to announce that local photographer, Annie O'Neill, has been chosen as this year's recipient of the ShootQ photography grant.

"The ShootQ Grant is a $10,000 grant given to a photographer to fund a project that raises public awareness about an important social, environmental or economic issue.
ShootQ's goal is to free photographers from the tedious tasks of running a business. With ShootQ Grant, our mission is to empower photographers to use their free time to give back. More than a monetary award, the ShootQ Grant will provide photographers the opportunity to work on a meaningful project, unencumbered by daily work, with the creative freedom and financial support necessary to produce photographs that raise public awareness about important social, environmental or economic issues."

Annie is working on a photography project to document the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder on Americans. From the stories Annie has told me so far this is going to be a very touching, difficult and VERY needed project to shed light on a subject that is often ignored. I'm so unbelievabley excited for her and can't wait to see the results of her efforts. Knowing Annie, this should be interesting.

So congratulations Annie. GREAT WORK! ;-)


Current Reading: The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
Current Music: Under The Rose by Ottmar Liebert
Mood: Happy
Sounds: TV
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 72 degrees with rain
Thoughts: Why is citizen to citizen health care an issue?


90 days ~ Natural Method Conditioning

Part 5 of a 12 part series every Tuesday

Be strong to be useful ~ George Hebert
Eat food, mostly plants ~ Michael Pollan

If you have been following my journey I am glad to announce that I have been healthy and alive for the past seven days.

Today is day 30 of my 90-conditioning project.

Yoga and meditation has been strong. I have nailed the crane pose into a handstand (only once so far). Poor handstand but nonetheless I held the pose strong.

On day 1 my starting weight was 161 lbs today my weight is 157lbs.

I am content with that. For the first time in my life I no longer want to lose any weight. My waistline could use toning, no six pack there. Where to go from here…nature.

I have been walking in the woods with my daughter after I pick her up from preschool. The woods are a gymnasium and my daughter is showing me why. Every fallen tree is a balancing beam and every low tree is a pull up bar, every hill is for running and every rock is for climbing. I watched her run, jump and sing out loud as she sprang her way through the woods; the jungle to her.

Walked in the woods with my wife yesterday for the first time in a couple of weeks and that was great. We have been preparing meals of simple foods.

Pittsburgh autumns are beautiful. The first hints of fall colors are starting to break out. Splendid.

Till next week…


Pittsburgh Photo Walks

When: Sunday, September 27, 2009

Time: 9:30 AM

Meet Up: Gate “A” at Heinz Stadium

What to Bring: Camera & passion to learn

Who: Open to all. If you attended my previous workshop this will be photography at the next level. Bring a friend.


Cost: FREE

Spread the word,
Friend me at Facebook


Last Night's Workshop

Thank you to all who attended last night. The questions that were asked were remarkable.

If you would like to download last night's notes you can (HERE)

Coming soon: Sunday morning photo walks on Pittsburgh's North Shore


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 3 sec (3)
Aperture: f/36
Focal Length: 135 mm
ISO Speed: 400
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Tomorrow Night Workshop

Hi Everyone! This is just one final reminder that our Photography 101 workshop is tomorrow night and we still have room! We got a fantastic response so far and just want to remind all you budding photogs that this is your last chance to get a seat.

Hope you join us! Click HERE for more info or contact me at craigphotography@mac.com

Drop-ins are welcome! Cost is $55 and don’t forget to bring your camera. If you don’t have a DSLR we will have a few extra for you to play around with.

Hope to see you there!

Book, Movie and My Ego

I watched the movie the “The Soloist” today. It is the first time that I have enjoyed a movie as much as reading the book. I read the book this past May and it has been five months of being disconnected with the story. The pairing of the movie with the book is a complimentary experience.

The obvious connection between the book and the movie would be hearing the music and the imagery to enhance the text. There was more; life…real life not played by actors in the movie. The homeless extras were all homeless…life; not art, but real.

I like giving money to the homeless on the street, probably for all the wrong reasons. I have that split notion that goes through my head every time I give a homeless person a dollar. Is it for drugs or food? I give it not matter what and then think to myself that I would rather give and be wrong than not to give at all. Then I think about how gigantic my ego is and that Jesus is smiling down upon me or condemning me to hell for this non-altruistic act that feels so altruistic to me.

Either way go with Jesus’ decision.


90 days ~ Natural Method Conditioning

Part 4 of a 12 part series every Tuesday

Not much of an update. Last week sick, this week still sick. Feel good today for the fist time in two weeks. I had a good meeting about the future of my art photography, that felt natural. Till next week


Deliberately Less

~Less driving, more walking
~Less consuming, more creating
~Less carbon, more air, water and soil

At 7:45am I was dropped off at the train for the first time. In Pittsburgh we call the train the “T” for short, not sure why. It’s a hybrid train-subway; sometimes it runs above ground and sometimes below.

I realized what a life of privilege I have when I am excited to ride the “T”. The ride was faster than driving. It takes me about one hour to drive from my home to Pittsburgh during rush hour traffic. The “T” got me in town and standing in front of the building I needed to be at in twenty-five minutes.

Mass transit, I am committed to you. I wonder if Al Gore will take my phone call now? I drive a Prius and take the “T” whenever possible; I have to be the poster boy for something.

One of my favorite observations on the “T” was the mass amount of people texting. Alone in a crowd connected to the outside world via an Internet connection.


About Last Night

This is what I heard:

I was terrified the first time because I did not know what to expect. Second time I was terrified because I knew what to expect.

I need to create a new solution, a human solution. Desirability; why is this so hard to find?

The desire is to be healthy. Why is it technically and organizationally not feasible? Why can it not be financially viable?

Citizen to citizen healthcare; I pay my taxes for the people, I want my taxes to be spent on the people.

Develop your mindset, please…


Insanely Useful Photography Tips

Question - what's the best way to create a quick buzz in your city about your photography biz??

Answer - Volunteer to photograph charity events ~ and it’s a good way to improve you skills

Photo of the Week ~ Ambient Art

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.3
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash


90 Days ~ Natural Movement Conditioning ~ Week 3

Part 3 of a 12 part series every Tuesday 

Be strong to be useful ~ George Hebert
Eat food, mostly plants ~ Michael Pollan

Day 16, not too much of an update today. I have been sick with the flu for the better part of last week.

Yoga, meditation and proper diet have remained strong throughout the week. No strength workout or time spent in the woods. Today will be my first day of natural movement workout.

Reading through my journal notes I keep referring to the simplicity of diet and a life that I am enjoying. At times I think I would fit in perfectly well in a Northern European community. Walking to the post office, bank or to the corner store seems the best way to keep natural movement part of daily life as opposed to putting time aside to inject natural conditioning living.

Till next week….


How To Night Photography

Do you want to learn “How To Night Photography”? I’ll teach you for free.

This upcoming Thursday night I will be photographing Pittsburgh at night as part of my ongoing series ~ See here

Where: West End Overlook in PGH (See map HERE)

When: Thursday night, September 10th

What: Bring camera & tripod. If you have neither, that’s ok you can borrow mine (I will bring an extra tripod and camera to share with the group if needed.)

Why: Looking to build PGH photo community. Plus night photography is cool.

Time: We will meet up at dusk (approx. 7:30) and will shoot for one hour.

PS. YES, it is the first Steelers game of the year and yes the city will be a glow. We should all be home by kick off…


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 25
Aperture: f/22.0
Focal Length: 18 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: No Flash




Current Reading: Shadows in the Sun by Wade Davis
Current Music: Jazz in the Garden by Stanley Clarke
Mood: Good but foggy on coming flu/cold
Sounds: Too much racket
Smells: Have a cold no smells
Temperature: 78 degrees
Thoughts: Ancient wisdom matters



After completing the research for the “HOW TO EVERYTHING: PHOTO 101” workshop I had the epiphany that understanding your camera is confusing. This is why:

Anything small is large, and anything large is small
Everything has two names, which mean the same thing
Everything has a dual purpose
Photograph the light first, subject second

What the...Photography jargon is confusing, repetitious and mostly not needed. I have no idea why the photography language has evolved into what it is.

Beyond the confusion lies simplicity ~ this is what you will learn in the workshop.

Using your camera in manual mode is easy, creative, fun and will open a new view of how you see the world.

What you will learn:-Understanding exposure-How to use your camera in manual mode-How to take a photo “correctly” in camera-Natural light techniques-Understanding your lens

Location: Historic North Side of Pittsburgh at Annie O’Neill Studios
Date: September 17, 2009Address: 502 W. North Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15212Time: 6pm – 9pmCost: $55.00

Contact Elizabeth Craig at 724.355.9079 or by email at craigphotography@mac.com for more information and to register.


90 Days ~ Natural Movement Conditioning ~ Week II

Part 2 of a 12 part series every Tuesday

Be strong to be useful ~ George Hebert
Eat food, mostly plants ~ Michael Pollan

Today is day 9 of my 90days. Last year my 90 days were an internal struggle. I had to fight body, mind and sprit. This 1st week has been a fluid journey of how I want to live.

Morning workouts consisted of yoga, resistance bands and meditation. Followed up with a breakfast of egg whites, veggies and way too much coffee to get my morning started.

Throughout the morning and afternoon I will eat small meals: example, 10am: small handful of raw nuts. Noon: mixed fruits and sometimes I will have a baked oatmeal and applesauce bar that “E” makes…good stuff.

Around 2pm is my main workout for the day. It is outside and includes pull-ups, push-ups and a vigorous hour hike in the woods. While in the woods I am looking to Mother Nature to be my gym. I will look for fallen trees to climb or walk on as a balance beam. Climb rocks; jump over small streams and in general do whatever my inner cave man wants to do. This workout is fun.

Next I have my main meal of the day, around 3:30, that will consist of veggies, whole grains and lots of water. At night I drink a shake that is made up of 2 egg whites, 1 banana, 1 apple and half cup of almond milk. Then hopefully eight hours of sleep, wake-up and repeat.

More to come next week…