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"Exploring the Beauty of Imperfect and Unconventional Subjects" featuring Lisa Cuchara, M. Photog, Cr.

  • January 28, 2022
  • 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Zoom


  • Registration for all individuals who do not belong to a professional association.
  • PPA members will receive one merit for attendance of the full day class. Registration code is required.

Registration is closed

"Exploring the Beauty of Imperfect and Unconventional Subjects" featuring Lisa Cuchara, M. Photog, Cr., PhD, HonNEC

This program will explore the beauty of imperfect and/or unconventional subjects. As nature photographers we often seek out the flowers, leaves and such that are perfect, with no blemishes or defects. This program highlights subjects that are not perfect, such as flowers that have character, double headed flowers, decaying fall leaves, the deformed coneflower that stands out as flawed and hence different and beautiful, rust as it creates abstract patterns amidst the decay, etc. We will also explore the concept of slowing down and appreciating the beauty of everyday life, things that might be overlooked. As purveyors of rust and decay we appreciate the perseverance and beauty of “life after humans” as cars and equipment falls apart and succumbs to oxidation and decay. Wabi-Sabi teaches us to find beauty in everyday life. It is a kind of anti-aesthetic, an alternative to the dominating discriminatory ideas we hold about beauty. “Wabi means a beauty of elegant imperfection. Sabi means aloneness. Together, they suggest the beauty of ‘the withered, weathered, tarnished, scarred, intimate, coarse, earthly, evanescent, tentative, ephemeral.’ ~ Crispin Sartwell, Six Names of Beauty. It is a way of honoring that everything is impermanent, and we are always in a state of both becoming and falling away. It is used to describe a particular philosophy that beauty can be found in the old, the everyday, the imperfect. Wabi Sabi applies to more than nature and the seasons of change and decay, but it also to the “Life after Humans” arena or UrbEx (urban exploration). As a side note, the term Wabi Sabi can also be part of the social movement of embracing imperfection of your physical traits as a human being, especially with respect to self-perception and celebrating imperfection in a society that encourages people to be perfect and pressures people to be flawless. https://www.photographybylisaandtom.comA hands-on follow up workshop up will be held in the Spring to concentrate on the capture of these unconventional subjects.

A live demonstration of Adobe Camera RAW will be given to show how to expand your post-processing capabilities and learn how to make your images POP by processing your images in ACR. The Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) editor can be a very simple but useful tool for new and experienced photographers. There is more to ACR than just adjusting exposure, shadows and highlights, for example, tonemapping for HDR, stitching for panoramas, dehaze. etc. Lightroom users will find that the ACR processor in Photoshop is identical to the tools in Lightroom’s Develop module. Both LR and ACR utilize "parametric image editing", which means edits are saved as instructions/parameters in an xmp "sidecar" file -- pixels are not altered making the editing " non-destructive" (you can edit or undo it at any time). Saving the edits as instructions/parameters means that you are not actually changing the image but rather you are changing the way the software interprets the RAW data. ACR can also be used as a "plugin" (since Photoshop CC 2014) which means that you can use the ACR filter on more than just RAW/DNG filetypes like TIFF and JPEG files - or on ANY layer in a Photoshop file and you can use ACR as a filter on images that are already open in Photoshop.

About Lisa

Lisa Cuchara, PhD, Master Craftsman (PPA), Master of Photography (M. Photog.) HonNEC is very passionate about photography and enjoys both being behind the lens and in the digital darkroom. She loves to photograph nature but finds many subjects equally intriguing. Lisa and her husband Tom are known for their expertise in Photography and in Photoshop, and for their inspirational and informative photography workshops. Lisa has created numerous award-winning photographic images and enjoys sharing her vision, passion and her knowledge! Her photographs have appeared in Adirondack Life, Wild Bird, Birder’s World, in calendars, on the cover of a fictional paperback novel, in galleries and exhibitions, and been accepted into the PPA loan collection. Lisa & Tom have published two books with Amherst Media “Create Fine Art Photographs from Historic Places and Rusty Things” and “The Frog Whisperer”. Check out Lisa and Tom and their photography classes, photo tours and workshops at

This course is a PPA CEC class.  Each attendee, if a PPA Member, will receive one merit for attending. 

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