Sam Beitzel

Sam Beitzel will be showing his photography on First Friday, April 1.  (No, this is NOT an April Fool’s joke.)  The show, “Shore Impressions” will be at Gallery Annex 24, 1 April through May 27 in downtown Lancaster, PA.   Be there or be square.

The Alienated Photographer

“Kalisher’s images are razor-sharp and always shrewdly graphic…sequenced here with sophistication, they flesh out issues of the time: race, class, politics, religion, anxiety, alienation” said Peter C. Bunnell (Professor of the history of Photography Emeritus Princeton University) in his evaluation of the book. 

“The Alienated Photographer” by internationally renowned fine art photographer Simpson Kalisher is being released in a limited quantity first edition printing this summer, timed to coincide with his new solo exhibit at the Museum of Fine Art, Houston.

 Kalisher, who turns 85 this July,  spent much of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s shooting in New York, calls this new collection his finest hour. “I spent years reviewing my contact sheets,” Kalisher said, “understanding what I was doing with the camera, and making  a selection that is a statement about the time we live in, about photography and, clearly, about what photography has meant to me.”

 You can learn more about Kalisher, his work and “The Alienated Photographer” by clicking on: 

For a limited time, reduced prices for pre-publication orders are offered. Check it out.

I’ve ordered the book.  Based on the preview images on the Internet site, I’d suggest you consider this book.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D., Photographer


Digital Camera Review

Web Site –

“Here you will find all the latest digital photography and imaging news, reviews of the latest digital cameras and accessories, the most active discussion forums, a large selection of sample galleries, a digital camera database and buyers guide and the most comprehensive database of digital camera features and specifications. We believe in quality, original, unbiased content.”

This web site is an interesting collection of information about things connected with photography.  It is worth a periodic visit.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D., Photographer

Photoshop Elements 9 – the missing manual, Barbara Brundage, O’Reilly Publishers

Overall, an excellent book. I have been teaching Photoshop Elements since version 7 and have used Ms. Brundage’s series of books for version 7, 8, and 9. Essentially, they are an A to Z manual on Photoshop Elements. One feature I really like is that the author lists a number of websites for additional material such as plug-ins. She will reference a book not published by O’Reilly, an action for which both the author and publisher deserve credit.

If I have one mild criticism, it is that not enough emphasis is given to the use of the camera raw converter. What many Photoshop users don’t realize is that the raw converter can be used for jpg images, and in my opinion, generally does a better job than when they are simply adjusted in the edit section. If layers is the heart of photoshop, then the raw converter is the brains.

The bottom line; if you use Photoshop Elements 9, buy this book.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.


Serial Photography – Using Themed Images to Improve Your Photography, Harald Mante with Eva Witter-Mante, Rocky Nook, O’Reilly

The author discusses the benefits of serial photography and provides a host of illustrations to support his thesis. The book is divided into four sections; general themes, serial photography and design theory, serial photography and color therapy, and special themes. The first section includes subjects such as cars, street lamps, laundry, balloons, and boats. Under design theory one finds triples, lines and stripes, checkered patterns and more. The color theory section provides thoughts on the color blue, colors and non-colors, and monochromatic pastels. Included under special themes are glass facades, still lifes, and mirror images.

I could readily relate to this book as I have produced my own series including “Trucks I have Followed”, “The Left Rear End of Automobiles”, and “Fire Hydrants”. Thus, I particularly found the sections on design theory and color theory very interesting. There is significant depth to this book. I enjoyed it. I think you will, too.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.


The Wild Side of Photography, Cyril Harnischmacher, Rocky Nook, O’Reilly

More than a dozen contributors have been brought together to discourse on many aspects of creating images from light and using photographic equipment in ingenious ways. Subjects include kite photography, construction projects, “blur” images, laptop ministudios and stereoscopic photography. This is an “idea” book that will introduce one to various creative techniques and stimulate the reader to know paths in photography. For some projects, one needs additional skills beyond photography. And on any one subject, additional research and reading is warranted. This book is a quick read – and a worthwhile purchase, particularly for those wishing to broaden the scope of their skills and interests.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.


Night Photography – Finding Your Way in the Dark

by Lance Keimig with Scott Martin, Focal Press

This book is encyclopedic in its coverage of night photography and benefits from tapping into the knowledge of its various contributors. I like that it includes a history of night photography. In my opinion, too often young photographers tend to think everything we do other than shoot in the daylight wasn’t possible before digital photography. This book includes material on both film and digital photography and the equipment required for various types of night photography. The text is well written and is reinforced by a multitude of excellent photographs and illustrations. If you do or are thinking of doing some night photography, buy this book. It will really help improve your night vision.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.



When writing a software review, it is important to determine who is the audience. For Adobe Photoshop Elements 9, the audience is best represented by five groups.

1. Newbies to the digital processing of photographic images

2. Users of earlier Window’s versions of Photoshop Elements

3. Users of earlier MAC versions of Photoshop Elements.

4. Users of other Image Processing Software including users of Adobe Photoshop CS version up to and including version CS 3.

5. The photo hobbyist / scrapbook compiler

Group 1.

– Newbies

This group of users is confronted with a bewildering array of image processing software, available including some sophisticated programs that are free and are posted on the Internet, allowing for a free download.

For this group of potential users there are two advantages to selecting Adobe Photoshop Elements-9.

1. There is a large amount of instructional material available, both for free and for purchase. This is not true of the “free” programs nor, for that matter, most of the “for purchase” programs.

2. Photoshop Elements is a comprehensive, sometimes complex program, that will not be learned well in a week. However, there are three levels of image processing available within the program.

There are the Quick Fix and automatic correction features that do a good job.

There are the guided edit features that both guide and teach the user on performing various corrective and improvement actions. These allow a better job.

Then, sophisticated editing is available with the incorporation of Adobe Cameras Raw Processing and the use of the Layer functions. These two and additional capabilities allow a very good to excellent job.

This three-tiered programming allows one to use the program immediately and generally produce improved images. As time progresses, the dedicated user can readily progress in easy steps to a very sophisticated user.

Group 2. Current Users of earlier Window’s versions of Photoshop Elements

This group of users basically needs to ask and answer several questions.

1. Is there something my current software DOES NOT do, that I WANT to do, and is now available in Elements-9? Can I afford it? If the answer is “Yes” than buy it.

2. The more subjective question to answer is, “Do I want to explore the new processing capabilities?” I don’t NEED them, but maybe they will be fun to have.

Group 3. Users of earlier MAC versions of Photoshop Elements.

This group of users has special significant because Elements-9 now removes the differences that existed in prior Windows and MAC OS versions of Photoshop Elements. The increased features now available in the MAC versions are more likely to be features a MAC user might want.

Group 4. Users of other Image Processing Software

The basic questions are:

Is there something my current software DOES NOT do, that I WANT to do, and is now available in Elements-9?

Can I afford it?

If the answer is “Yes” than buy it.

Group 5. The photo hobbyist / scrapbook compiler

This group of persons are those who enjoy taking and sharing family photos, pictures of their vacations, etc. Elements 9 offers the ability to post from the program to Facebook, the ability to send photos for printing (or one can print on their own printer), post to Flickr or SmugMug, create albums and cards. All “good stuff” that many people want to do. For persons who use or want these features it is an excellent program.

Adobe Photoshop Elements


what’s new and what’s blue?

For the MAC User lots is new.

The ability to use the Organizer with generally superior photo-management and photo-tagging abilities. ** Note prior MAC version users can still use the Bridge methodology.


Integration with Facebook

Layer Masks**

Content Aware Fill**

Photo Merge Style Match*

You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

* Important – ** More Important You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

For the Windows User fewer new capabilities are present.

Content Aware Fill **

Layer Masks ** – What many users are unaware of is that one can import a Layer Mask into Elements-8 and use it. One just can’t create it version 8. Also, many actions created in CS4 & CS5 can be imported to Elements 8 & 9.

Improved Photo-Stitching

Recompose Tool that first appeared in Version 8

Better compliancy with Windows 7 operating system*

You have both a Windows and a MAC system **

Photo Merge Style Match*

What’s blue?

Not much. Overall a very good program.

Facebook uploading could be better.

A Word on Cost

The program lists as about $100.00. However, it is about $70 street with a $10 discount and a $20 mail-in rebate.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D., Photographer



This book is excellent in its discussion of the craft of black and white film photography as applied to nature and the printing of these images. The illustrations of Mr. Birnbaum’s prints attest to his erpertise as a printer as well as a photographer of nature and architecture. The book includes detailed explanations of the zone system and his technique of black and white printing.

There are extended discussions of the elements of composition, visualization, light and color. For any photographer interested in these aspects of photography, I highly recommend the book.

What I found lacking, indeed in error, are his statements on composition, particularly on what most call the “Rules of Composition,” what I prefer to call “guidelines of composition.” His discussions on digital photography and Photoshop are incomplete and, at times, misleading. Nor do I feel it is necessary to include political statements disparaging former presidents or those who realize that their memory books are filled with mere snapshots of places they have been. This is a very erudite book and the author has done both himself and his readers a disservice.

In closing, I must emphasize that if you are interested in the black and white film photography of nature and in making beautiful black and white enlargements, The Art of Photography by Bruce Birnbaum, should be a part of your reference library.

Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D. Photographer

Book Review, The Art of Posing, Lou Jacobs, Jr., Amherst

The Art of Posing, Lou Jacobs, Jr.

This is a good book. The author has assembled eleven photographers who, in 10 chapters, discuss their approach to portrait photography. The various authors discuss the how and why of their approach to portraiture. The book is filled with photographs of young and old, female and male, single and group portraits. Images include both color and black and white photographs. Reviewing the images provides a gallery of posing suggestions. While there is discussion on the importance of lighting, if I were the author, I’d add a chapter specifically on lighting techniques generously illustrated with lighting diagrams. As an old Chinese philosopher said, “Seeing it once is better than being told one hundred times.” This book is both interesting and educational. I will be recommending it to members of my class on composition.
Charles Heisterkamp, III, M.D.,