Lisa & Tom Cuchara: Focusing on the Details: Create Fine Art Photographs from Urban Exploration & Creating Sweeping Panoramas


Session 1 9:45-10:30 Focusing on the Details: Create Fine Art Photographs from Urban Exploration

Lisa and Tom will discuss love for RUST and their approach to and experience with photographing historic and abandoned buildings, urban decay, etc. They will show techniques for wide angle and close-up photography including the use of HDR (high dynamic range), EDR (extended dynamic range), HDR-panoramas, and light painting in this program. Equipment and techniques used to bring out the beauty and drama of these subjects will also be discussed as we show our fascination with RUST. They aim to inspire you: inspire you to visit new “old” places and to get to know them well enough to tell their story, inspire you to capture high dynamic range images and to light paint, and inspire you to create art from decay.

Tom and Lisa see the Beauty in Decay and Abandonment. Old, Historic, Grand, Dramatic, Unique — these characteristics draw us to explore and capture the essence of these rusty, dusty subjects and locations. Urban exploration (UrbEx) is the art of finding and exploring abandoned locations. Not all locations are technically “urban” or even “abandoned”. The term abandoned is used VERY loosely. It is not “being abandoned” that attracts us to a place, it is the history, beauty, decay, charm, and architectural details (which contrast so drastically with today’s vanilla architecture). Another definition of UrbEx is the investigation of seldom seen man-made structures, a definition more consistent with our quest, since our subjects may be FAR from abandoned (like the architectural grandeur of bustling Grand Central Terminal or the surprising drama of the [empty] Neo-Gothic Eastern State Penitentiary), but these sites count as “unseen” because few people actually stop to appreciate beautiful prison architecture or the jaw-dropping details of Grand Central, a place that they might even rush through twice a day.

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Session 3: 1:45 – 2:30 Creating Sweeping Panoramas (and Other Cool Stitched Photographs) *This program will cover in- camera techniques as well as post-processing tips for creating stitched images. Stitched images can be great for panoramas, composite backgrounds and for tight areas. The logistics and benefits or taking two vertical imagess at 30-40mm rather than one horizontal at 17mm will be discussed. Multi image and multi exposure-image combinations will also be presented, for example, many of my panoramic images are 77 images combined, 11 vertical across with 7 exposures each. Vertoramas can also be created to help with building keystoning and/or to add impact. **


Lisa Cuchara, PhD, Cr.Photog.*, HonNEC, and Tom Cuchara, MNEC, are passionate about photography, both behind the lens and in the digital darkroom. They have diverse creative interests ranging from Nature, Macro and Night photography to Urban exploration, people, and creative editing. From birds and flowers to babies and HDR, they appreciate the world around them and embrace the challenge of interpreting what their eyes see and their hearts feel via their photography.

Tom and Lisa are both very active in many local and national photography organizations. They have had many successful gallery exhibitions, their work has been accepted into many juried exhibitions. Their photographs have appeared in /Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World/, in calendars and on calendar covers, and on the cover of a paperback novel. Amherst Media recently asked Lisa and Tom to write a photography book about their HDR and light painted images. This paperback book, called “Create Fine Art Photographs from Historic Places and Rusty Things” can be ordered from Amazon will be available at Barnes and Noble and other bookstores later in 2017. You can learn more about Lisa and Tom at <>and be sure to check out their workshops at Their images have won awards at the local, state, national, and international levels.They have been photographing weddings, babies, parties, portraits, etc. 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”.

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