home instructors directions
questions trustees downloads email


Lisa Cuchara PhD, Master Craftsman

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on!"


Lisa Cuchara, PhD, Master Craftsman (PPA), HonNEC, is very passionate about photography and she enjoys both being behind the lens and in the digital darkroom. She loves to photograph nature, but finds many subjects equally intriguing. From birds and flowers to babies and UrBex/HDR, she appreciates the world around her and embraces the challenge of interpreting what her eyes see and her heart feel via her photographs. Lisa says that photography allows her to pay attention to the details, to be mindful, to slow down and appreciate all of the beauty, details and nuances of everyday life. Lisa met her husband Tom thru photography, and they are both very active in many local, national, and international photography organizations. Lisa and Tom have been photographing people professionally for over 15 years and have their own Photography Studio in Hamden CT. Their portrait philosophy is based on “We do not remember days, we remember Moments”. They have had many successful gallery exhibitions, their work has been accepted into many juried exhibitions and their images have won awards at the local, state, national, and international levels. Their photographs have appeared in Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World, in calendars and on calendar covers, and on the cover of a fictional paperback novel. Lisa has also had images accepted into the PPA (Professional Photographers Association) loan collection. They have published two books with Amherst Media. The first called “Create Fine Art Photographs from Historic Places and Rusty Things” is about their HDR and light painted images; it can be ordered from Amazon http://tinyurl.com/lisatom-urbex and is also available at brick and mortar bookstores like Barnes and Noble. Their second, one year later, is called “The Frog Whisperer” http://tinyurl.com/lisatom-frogs. They love to teach, inspire and share. They have presented a wide variety of motivational and instructional programs and workshops (Photoshop, Digital Workflow, HDR, RAW processing, Macro photography, Travel photography) at many photography groups and organizations. Check out their photo and editing classes, their photo tours and workshops, and view their photographs at www.photographybylisaandtom.com

"Creativity is contagious, pass it on!"

Creativity is contagious, pass it on! Learn how to enhance your creative spirit in your camera and in your post-processing! This program could also be called “Photographers do not need colored pills to have fun”, a title take off on the song “Cheap thrills” by Sia. We will explore a plethora of in camera creativity techniques such as: long exposures, light painting, multiple exposures, Orton Effect, double polarization, RainX water drops, creative focusing (Bokeh, soft focus, focus stacking), ICM [intentional camera movement such as panning, rotating, zooming), neutral density, Bulb setting, white balance, LiveTime, LiveComposite, Multiplicity, Pareidolia, etc. Bring your camera and tripod as you take photographs during our creative smorgasbord! We will also explore overall creativity in post-processing (HDR, panoramas, vertoramas, HDR-panos, textures, blend modes, plugins, Multiplicity, Mirror Images, etc. It is a great time to be a photographer, there are endless possibilities for being creative in your camera and in your post-processing. View a sampling of Creativity Images here: www.photographybylisaandtom.com/Lisa-Cuchara/Creativity.  Want to learn this and more? Come and immerse yourself in photography and enhance your creativity. Join me at NYSPPS: https://www.ppsnys.com

Here are some of the topics that we will be covering in the digital darkroom...

"Creating Sweeping Panoramas (and Other Cool Stitched Photographs)" 
"The Creative Use of Blend Modes in Photoshop" 
"How to Make Your Photographs POP with Adobe Camera RAW (ACR)"
"Layers and Masks: Masking Your Way to a Better Photograph”
"Applying Textures to photographs
"Orton Effect

Things to bring:

  • Camera

    • A general lens, like a 24-105 type lens

    • if you have these please bring them, but you do not need to purchase them just for this class: macro lens, extension tubes, a collared lens like a 70-200

    • memory cards and extra batteries and charger

  • Your creative spirit

  • Some props, such as a rope (to play tug of war with yourself), a different shirt or jacket, hats, etc. for the Multiplicity exercise

  • Polarizer (necessary for the double polarization)

  • Cable release

  • Plamp, a if you have one 

  • A Tripod (Vanguard 263 is my recommendation)

  • Computer (some people learn better by just watching and taking notes, or sharing a computer with a friend -- that is fine)

    • Mouse (too hard to do Photoshop with a keypad)

    • Wacom tablet -- if you have one 

    • Photoshop CC installed and activated (older versions OK, but these may be features that you cannot do)

    • Nik (Dxo) installed (free or demo version OK, but know the trial expiration) -- you can just follow along if you do not have these on your computer

    • Topaz installed (demo ok, but watch the expiration date) -- you can just follow along if you do not have these on your computer

      • Enter the discount use code breaphotos for 15% off Topaz products http://tinyurl.com/topaz-cuchara. For Topaz Studio plugins use this link:   https://web.topazlabs.com/ref/130

        • Clarity -- Use cutting-edge intelligent contrast technology to create beautiful photos Adjust -- Watch your images come to life with dramatic contrast, incredible detail and vivid color

        • Glow -- Illuminate your photos with electrifying light

        • Impression -- Turn photos into paintings like a true artist would: by applying brushstrokes to canvas

        • Star Effects -- Create beautifully-rendered and natural lighting effects in seconds

        • Lens Effects -- Use pixel-perfect effects taken directly from real-world camera lenses and filters.