Director of Mentor

‚úČ Michael R. Anderson·


PSA members who wish to explore a specific photography topic, whether this is a new interest or a topic that the member has previously explored, have available PSA members who have experience regarding the topic and are willing to share their expertise as a Mentor. The exploration of this limited photography topic takes place via email and may include the sharing of images.

PSA members should look at the topics listed below and click on the words that describe a topic the member wishes to explore. Each Mentor topic has the Mentor's portrait and name, a description of the topic, a list of references and/or resources, and photographs by the Mentor that illustrate the topic. The topic description, the references, and the Mentor's illustrative photos should be carefully reviewed before contacting the Mentor. 

Before you begin, review "Mentor Process Steps" below. 

To start a session with a mentor, fill out a Mentor Request Form

Select a topic, below, to reveal or hide its contents. To see all mentor information at once, choose "Show All."
    Show All / Hide All
    Stage One
    Contact with the member
    Make sure the member has the outline of the process
    Request three images for evaluation
    Evaluate the images, make suggestions, show examples to demonstrate the particular discipline
    Assign specific work for submission in Stage Two

    Stage Two
    Evaluate submitted work
    Make specific corrections, if necessary, on the images presented. If not, present specific example images.
    Encourage the member to create more images that represent what is said and submit them for evaluation

    Stage 3
    Continue Stage 2 by assigning new work for submission as long as the member wishes to continue.
    Members who have experience in a topic that is not listed here, and are willing to share this experience with other PSA members, should contact the Mentor Committee Chair.

  • Cell Phone


    Cell phone photography accounts for 40% of every photo and video taken in the world every day. As a teacher and photographer I am excited about helping folks learn how to get great images from this small 2 button camera that is always with you in your pocket. Phone-ography is the ability to photograph everything we see, edit those photos in our cell phone with some 2,000 apps that are available and then instantly share these images around the world. Questions like:

    What are the best apps to have on the camera?, how do I get sharper images that I can blow up to 16X20 inches?, what cell phones have truly the best cameras?, how do I move photos between cell phones, digital tablets, and my main computer(s)?

    Mentor: Jerry Hug, APSA·

    References & Resources

    Book: iPhone Artistry by Dan Burkholder
    Instructional Videos by Tony Sweet:
    Book: iPhone Art in My Life by Dewitt Jones -

    Examples of Cell Phone Photography by Jerry Hug (click to enlarge)


    CPI 3

    3 and A Bees

    Art 2


    Lg Birds

  • HDR


    HDR refers to High Dynamic Range. Our cameras are limited in what they can see in a single exposure. Unlike our eyes which can see a range of light in a scene of approximately 20 F stops, most cameras can only see a range of about 6 F stops. To fill the gap we can take multiple shots with our cameras and merge them together into one image. 

    If we shoot in RAW we can actually expand the dynamic range of a scene by 3 to 4 F stops using specialized HDR software. Unfortunately, many people associate the letters, HDR, with heavily saturated images and prints that some refer to as cartoon like. However, HDR software and techniques can be used to create surrealistic images or to enhance traditional photographic images and prints.

    About the Mentor, Michael R. Anderson·

    In 2018 Michael became the PSA Director of Mentor Services and he is currently focused on promoting those educational benefits in the recruitment of more PSA members through his contacts and using his expertise in Internet marketing via social media outlets. His goal is to enhance the PSA educational experience and to recruit younger PSA members that will help shape the future of PSA.

    References & Resources

    Books to Check Out

    Creating HDR Photos: The Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Photography, by Harold Davis
    HDR Photography (The Expanded Guide: Techniques), by David Taylor
    Fine Art Photography High Dynamic Range: Realism, Superrealism, and Image Optimization for Serious Novices to Advanced Photographers by Tony Sweet
    Complete Guide to High Dynamic Range Digital Photography), by Ferrell McCollough
    Rick Sammon's HDR Photography Secrets for Digital Photographers, by Rick Sammon
    Practical HDR: A complete guide to creating High Dynamic Range images with your Digital SLR, by David Nightingale

    Examples of HDR Photography by Michael R. Anderson·

    (Click image to enlarge)

  • Panoramic


    Panoramic photography is a style of photography that aims to create images with exceptionally wide fields of view, but has also come to refer to any photograph that is cropped to a relatively wide aspect ratio. While there is no formal definition for the point at which "wide-angle" leaves off and "panoramic" begins, truly panoramic images are thought to capture a field of view comparable to, or greater than, that of the human eye - about 160° by 75° - and should do so while maintaining detail across the entire picture. The resulting images are panoramic, in that they offer an unobstructed or complete view of an area - often, but not necessarily, taking the form of a wide strip. A panoramic photograph is really defined by whether the image gives the viewer the appearance of a "panorama," regardless of any arbitrary technical definition.   

    Photo-finishers and manufacturers of Advanced Photo System (APS) cameras also use the word "panoramic" to refer to any print format with a wide aspect ratio, not necessarily photos that encompass a large field of view. In fact, a typical APS camera in its panoramic mode, where its zoom lens is at its shortest focal length of around 24 mm, has a field of view of only 65°, which many photographers would only classify as wide angle, not panoramic. Cameras with an aspect ratio of 2:1 or greater (where the width is 2 times its height) can generally be classified as being "panoramic."

    Mentor: Lynn Thompson, FPSA, MPSA·


    References & Resources

    Defining Character and Personality with Expressive Portraiture by Brad Ashbrook, March 2011, PSA Journal
    Creating Panoramic Photographs by Lynn Thompson (pdf)

    Examples of Panoramic Photography by Lynn Thompson, FPSA, MPSA·

    (Click image to enlarge)
    Peggy's Cove
    White Pelicans
    Buttermilk Country

  • Portrait


    Portrait photography is challenging and you need to have a personality that is upbeat, lively, and sensitive. Top models get paid so much because they know how to provide the expressions that sell products and services. The best technique and print quality; however, cannot guarantee a great expression. Since many people are shy in front of a camera, a photographer's skill at establishing a rapport with the subject is crucial. People photography is as much about human relation skills as it is about camera knowledge. To get good expressions, you must create rapport with the subject.    

    Today's software provides the portrait photographer with the tools to enhance any face or body. Using Photoshop and various plug-ins; one can removed blemishes, add makeup, adjust hair color, sculpt features, and apply glamor actions.   

    Mentor: Susan Cowles, FPSA, GMPSA, EFIAP· 


    References & Resources

    Gaze Angle in Portrait Photography by Jim Hawkins, PSA Journal, June 2010 
    Intimate Portraits by Linda Hollinger, PSA Journal, February 2009
    Distinctive Image by Larry Cowles, APSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, March 2008
    Portraits in Broad Daylight by Moshe Geizler, PPSA, PSA Journal, August 2007
    Portrait Lighting - Names for different portrait lighting set-ups in photography
    Portrait Lighting by Chuck McKern
    Portrait Professional (retouching software - PC only) 
    Photoshop Action Exchange (has glamour blur for free download) 
    Imagenomic Products (Photoshop plugin that eliminates the tedious manual labor) 
    PictoColor Software (PhotoShop plug-ins and photo editing)


    Try enhancing this portrait and then send it to the Computer Portrait Enhancement Mentor for comment.

    Examples of Computer Portrait Enhancement by Susan Cowles, FPSA, GMPSA, EFIAP·

    (Click image to enlarge)

    Facial SculptureNose Sculpture

    Blemish Removal, Eye Makeup
    Change, Glamour Blur Action 
    Hair Color Adjustment

  • Storytelling


    Photojournalism is telling stories with photographs, and a strong picture can tell the story quickly and completely, A great photojournalism subject is Human Interest--images that depict a person or persons in an interactive, emotional, or unusual situation, excluding recreational and sports action, set up situations and manipulation. 

    Mentor: Lynn Troy Maniscalco, HonFPSA, EPSA·


    References & Resources

    Definition of Photojournalism Division's Human Interest Image by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, HonPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, August 2013.
    Feature Photography and Photojournalism by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, FPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, September 2008 
    Reflecting Reality by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, FPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, January 2009
    The "Living Room Wall Test" by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, FPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, February 1997
    Give Photojournalism a Try by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, FPSA, EPSA, PSA Journal, July 1994

    Examples of Storytelling Photography by Lynn Troy Maniscalco, HonFPSA, EPSA·

    (Click image to enlarge)

    Eisenstaedt 92

    Farm Boy

    Who Needs Legs?
    Lost Tutu
    His Buddies

    Gas Stop

  • 3D Photography


    The definition of 3D Photography is described by Michael Gabriel in An Introduction To 3D Photography as follows:

    The simplest way to define 3D photography is “it is a form of photography that captures and displays two offset images that are a little different from each other, so much so that they produce 3D images”. It’s pretty much like putting two images together in a distance similar to that of your eyes. You can create 3D images in different ways using a variety of methods. For majority of photographers, the most ideal way is to take photos using any digital camera and then use a 3D image software for achieving the three-dimensional effect.

    The PSA 3D Photography Mentor, Steve Wessing, says that, “Modern 3D photography can be can be confusing. There are many choices, from what camera format to use to how to display your work. I can help you choose a stereo camera, create 3D from a single camera, or build a multi camera rig based on the kind of photos you want to make. So yes, it can be confusing, but 3D can also be easy!  Let's get you started!”

    About the Mentor: Steve Wessing·

     Steve Wessing comes from a long line of amateur and professional photographers, starting with his  grandfather who participated in salons of the Amsterdamsche Amateur Fotografen Vereeniging in the 1940s and was one of the first to teach photography in Indonesia. Like many of us, his interest in photography began at a young age. He got his first camera at age 5 and has been hooked ever since.

    Mr. Wessing has varied interests in photography, e.g., abstract and travel photography, but his greatest interest is stereoscopic photography. His photos have been used as album cover art, and published in various magazines and books. Mr. Wessing is currently on the Board of Directors of the Cascade Stereoscopic Club, and a member of the National Stereoscopic Association.

    Examples of 3D Photography by Steve Wessing·
    (Click image to enlarge)

    Psychedelic Bus, Seattle

    Glass Ceiling, Chicago Cultural Center

    Square Houses, Rotterdam

    Birds Eye View, West Linn, Oregon

    Hyper Windmill, Haarlem

    Manders Fountain, Amsterdam

  • 360 Panoramas


    360º images allow viewers to immerse themselves in a location. They can interactively turn around, looking up and down, letting them "be there." It’s a wonderful way to show a location for marketing or just for fun, offering a more realistic view than a series of static images or a linear video clip. Spherical panoramas are also used by 3D artists to create a 360º environments, and 360º HDRIs capture lighting information to virtually ’light’ CGI objects. Photographing a 360º scene, like other kinds of photography, has it’s own unique challenges. But we’re photographers so all it really takes is a bit of practice — and a panoramic tripod head.

    About the Mentor: Ron Pepper·

     Ron Pepper (just call him “Pepper”) is a commercial panoramic photographer and photography trainer based in San Francisco with over 15 years experience creating 360º images, making him one of the early practitioners and leaders in the genre.  His clients include resorts, local small business, hospitals, interactive media creators and more.  Training and demonstration clients range from individuals who want to start their own photography business to software companies who create panoramic stitching software.


    Lynda Title “Creating 360-Degree Panoramas and Interactive Tours” by Ron Pepper and Rich Harrington
    Very detailed information about 360º Panoramas in The HDRI Handbook 2.0 by Christian Bloch
    Finding the No Parallax Point (aka Nodal Point):

    Examples of 360 Panorama Photography by Ron Pepper·

    (After video is open, click three vertical dots and then  [ ] to expand to wide screen)  


  • Underwater


    Underwater photography is the process of taking photographs while underwater. It is usually done while scuba diving, but can be done while snorkeling or swimming.  

    Mentor: Steven Fisher, FPSA, MPSA·


    References & Resources

    Underwater Photography: Basics by Steve Fisher, APSA
    Underwater Photography: Part II by Steve Fisher, APSA
    Underwater Photography: Part III by Steve Fisher, APSA
    About com - on Scuba Diving, Sea Turtle Identification, Whale Sharks . . .


    Underwater Photography Facebook Group Free for PSA members

    A by-invitation Underwater Photography Facebook Group has been created for PSA members. Those PSA members interested in underwater photography are able to share news about specific locations, guides, and equipment; and they have the opportunity to post photos from their latest underwater photography trips.

    If you are a PSA member who is into or would like to begin underwater photography, please send your name and email address to Kelly at: Kelly will send you an invitation to join the group via Facebook.

    Examples of Underwater Photography by Steven Fisher, FPSA, MPSA·

    (Click image to enlarge)
    Alien and Octopus
    Skunk Anemone Fish
    Diver and Anchor, Guam
    Beaded Anemone
    Melibe Swimming
    Nautilus, Papua New Guinea

  • Waterfalls


    Experience Makes The Difference:

    As some of us have learned, waterfalls can be tough to photograph for a variety of reasons. Depending on the lighting and the amount of water flow, areas in the scene can appear blown out and without detail. That silky look that we all strive for in a waterfall photograph can be elusive. We all encounter beautiful waterfall scenes, from time to time, in our photography related travels but few of us really understand what it takes to artistically capture the scene. 

    Those that have mastered the techniques and settings have learned through trial and error and likely have missed opportunities while learning the necessary techniques and settings. Fortunately, some experts are willing to share their expertise and we are fortunate that we have one of those experts in our Mentor Program. His name is Gary Thurman and he lives in the Pacific Northwest where beautiful waterfalls are prevalent. 

    About the Mentor: Gary Thurman·

    As this photo of Gary shows, he is a fun guy who uses a lot of tricks to capture his beautiful images. Photography has always been a big part of Gary’s life since the age of twelve when he started developing and printing printing his own black and white pictures.  He had a rewarding 29 year career as a firefighter and paramedic and now that he is retired Gary has more time to pursue his passion for photography. He is also an excellent portrait photographer but waterfall photography is his passion and he is willing to share his knowledge through workshops, lectures and here in PSA Mentor Program and Study Groups.

    Mr. Thurman is well known for his social media posts of waterfall images on Wednesdays. That event has become known as, “Waterfall Wednesdays” and his waterfall image posts are looked forward to by photographers around the world. If you want to learn how to capture beautiful waterfall images in color or b&w, Gary can help you as the PSA Waterfall Mentor. In addition to being the PSA Waterfall Mentor, Mr. Thurman is a member of the PSA Digital Fine Art Study Group where he shares his expertise as a successful fine art photographer.  Gary has also received numerous awards for his beautiful images and some of his images have been published.  If you have an interest in capturing stunning waterfall images, Gary can help you achieve success and avoid learning through the “trial and error” process.

    Examples of Waterfall Photography by Gary Thurman·

    (Click image to enlarge)

  • Websites


    The definition of mentor is “an experienced and trusted adviser” and when it comes to setting up a new web site for your PSA camera club Marty and his assistance can be a big help. This mentorship position may not be your best option if you are dealing with a website that has already been created and you have found yourself in a position to manage it moving forward.

    A website can be very complex to create with many elements to them, both seen and unseen. While complex, they can be created relatively easily with some great online tools we have available to us today. There is no shortage of website building applications that are internet-based and many require little to no knowledge of coding. They are drop and drag applications where you follow the directions and guidelines and you can create a great looking, functional website in a relatively short period of time. Most of the applications offer helpful online help pages to assist you along your journey.
    The PSA Website Mentor is available to help you create your website and in some cases  improve upon an existing website. He can provide you with suggestions for the type of content you might need on the website, how to place content and elements, keywords and search engine optimization (SEO) data. Websites are always a work in progress and must be updated and maintained on a regular basis so that your information and content is always up to date for your viewers. If you are brand new to creating a website, the mentor can walk you through the proper steps you need to take to get started.

    About the Mentor: Marty Welter·

     Marty Welter has been involved with photography for over 40 years and has been a professional rodeo photographer for 26 of those years. It was during this time that he started to learn about building websites. He started off with having a website built for his business by a small website developer, that was in the late 1990’s. Around 2004 he designed a new website for his business using Apple iWeb, a WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) program. The great thing about this was that a person did not need to know how to code using HTML, CSS and/or PHP and the program took care of the coding behind the scenes. A few years later and needing more functionality, he moved to a software product called Sandvox, a Mac based program that was also a WYSIWYG program. His proficiency in using the software grew and soon he was being asked to develop websites for others, so as part of his photography business, he added website building to his business and to date, has built over 30 websites. Today he currently maintains about 20 + websites for a variety of clubs, civic organizations, churches and small businesses. He uses 2 software programs, Sandvox and to build these websites. 

    Marty has been a PSA member since 2015 and has been a Judge for the annual PSA Website Contest the past 3 years. His own club website has won 2 Honorable Mentions and 2 Second Place awards in the contest under the Small Club Category.

    Examples of Marty's Work can be found via these links:

  • Wildlife Photography


    Wikipedia essentially defines Wildlife Photography as follows:

    It is a genre of photography concerned with documenting various forms of wildlife in their natural habitat. As well as requiring photography skills, wildlife photographers may need field craft skills, e.g., some animals are difficult to approach and thus a knowledge of the animal's behavior is needed in order to be able to predict its actions. Photographing some species may require stalking skills or the use of a hide/blind for concealment.

    While wildlife photographs can be taken using basic equipment, successful photography of some types of wildlife requires special equipment, such as macro lenses for insects and long  lenses for birds, wolves and other animals that are difficult to approach. However, a great wildlife photograph can also be the result of being in the right place at the right time and often involves a good understanding of animal behavior in order to anticipate interesting situations to capture in photography. We are fortunate to have a PSA Wildlife Photography Mentor with extensive experience and the desire to share what he has learned with other PSA members. His name is Jim Shane and he can help PSA members who shoot images for Open PID and/or simply for their own portfolios. 

    About the Mentor: Jim Shane·

    Jim Shane did not start out as a wildlife photographer. His early work was primarily shooting motorsports events for Car and Driver Magazine but he was also published in Road & Track, Motor Trend, Sports Car and others. He left photography for over 20 years to pursue a full-time career in motorsport management and in 2008 he retired to Idaho, an area without much auto racing but a lot of wildlife. He loves wildlife and nature photography and claims that he has become a “citizen scientist” who donates much of his work to various scientific or research organizations, e.g. the Cornell ebird program and The Peregrine Fund American Kestrel Partnership. In 2018 he became the Photographic Artist in Residence for the 25th anniversary of the Morley Nelson Snake River Birds of Prey National Conservation Area where he contributes to several other research programs.

    About 5 years ago he was asked to assist The World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise, Idaho in developing their annual photo contest. It was the process of organizing and operating the PSA Recognized “Raptors at Risk” International Exhibition that introduced him to the PSA ROPA program and entering exhibitions.  Through this process he has become intimately aware of the Nature and Wildlife rules and can help PSA members who wish to pursue participation in those categories.

    Examples of Wildlife Photography by Jim Shane·

    Examples of Wildlife Photography by Jim Shane·

    Baby Raptor Eyes

    Madison Crossing

    Dogbane Beetle

    The Sentinel

    Woodland Ruler

    Rising Snows