Master in the Arcanum

I am honored to announce that I am now a Master in the Arcanum. If you have never heard of the Arcanum, please visit their site here.

I will be accepting apprentices June 1 and wanted to get the word out just in case any of you are interested in stepping up your photographic skills. Below is a short video about me to help you decide if I would be a good fit for you. Truthfully, it was one of the hardest videos to make because first, I do not like to be in front of the camera and second I do not like to talk about myself. I understand why I had to make it, so I hope it helps you understand my photographic history and the present intentions that I want to focus on in the Arcanum.

My Cohort is called “Adventurers of the F-Stop (AFS)”. Below is our banner. We will make this an adventure a creative venture to bring out your photography skills. AFS is a safe place to share your work and have constructive critiques, assignments and one-on-one’s with your master. You will build new friendships for life.

The Arcanum

Adventurers of the F-stop

We will explore your own creative path and with the help of the others in the group and myself we will go beyond taking snapshots and bring out creativity you did not know you had. I know this style of learning works because I have been through it. I am so excited and hope that if you are interested you will complete an application here. You may want to mention me and send me an email using the contact tab above if you want to join AFS.

Hope to see you there!


Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Source: Master in the Arcanum

Black Plexiglass Inspiration

I have been having a lot of fun playing with black plexiglass so I figured I would share with you some of my latest images. Playing with plexi can be challenging at times, but for me that is what I love, the challenge. Of course if you have any questions, feel free to ask.

Focus stack…see video soon. :)

You may have seen the image below since I shared it on my Helicon Focus post. I just made new tutorials on this program so look for them soon or sign up for my blog posts in the right side bar.

Focus Stacked Image on Black Plexi


Focus Stack – 2.0 @ f9.5 ISO 200 with 2 continuous lights.

A couple of tips.

Keep a soft dust rag near buy, trust me, you can see all the dust.

Lighting your subject is fun, but you will most likely need a couple of lights unless you shoot HDR (multiple exposures merged into one image).

Water drops are fun, but can be messy. Keep a soft rag around to remove unwanted drops in areas you do not want them on the glass, unless you want to play in photoshop for hours.

Step out of your comfort zone and really play. Challenge yourself. That is what I did with the images below.

A bit of Stamen- 3.2 @ f9.0 ISO 125

Click here to see the plexiglass that I use. 


Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Source: Black Plexiglass Inspiration

Photographing Arizona Deserts II – Hidden Secrets

Today I want to inspire you to get out and photograph hidden secrets of the desert. You can usually find mining towns, oases and Native American ruins in the Southwest. Arizona has many Native American ruins that are hidden or that blend in with the environment, and when you find one…it is really a “wow” moment.

Here are a couple of places to start off. Check out Montezuma’a Castle. You cannot enter the ruin, but there is an amazing visiting area so you can learn about the exhibit.

Montezuma’a Castle

Next to the castle, is the Montezuma’s well.  Do not just stay at the top to observe, walk down the stairs and you will see hidden ruins to the right, which are amazing. You can see how they built their homes inside a small cave.

If you have time, check out Tuzigoot National Monument it’s next to Jerome.  I wrote a brief posts with images about Jerome. Check that out here.

Now if you really want to see some hidden secrets, do some hiking and talk to locals in the area. The first time my husband and I visited Sedona, Arizona a local told us of an old Native American ruin on the side of a large hill. We hiked up the hill and was a tad harry at times, but it was so worth it. The second time we visited Sedona, we were prepared for the hike with food and equipment. It was such an amazing experience that I had to share it with you.

Here is a fun pano stitch. I have not processed this photo, but for me it is still a fun shot.

Unprocessed pano of our favorite Indian Ruin.

This is the one I will print for me and Kevin. This is a special find and I am happy to share it with you.

Indian Ruin Pano Fun

Our special place.

One more thing…pay attention to the rock art. There are tons of petroglyphs hidden everywhere!


I alway like to hear from you, so if you have any fun hidden secret photography locations to share with us, please feel free to add them to the comment section.


Janice Sullivan
Find me at Google+


Just a quick shout out! I use a lot of A.D. Wheeler’s tools and figured I’d share his link with you to help bring out your creative spin to your images. :)

A.D. Wheeler’s Cool Stuff



Source: Photographing Arizona Deserts II – Hidden Secrets

Watson Lake Photographs – Don’t Give Up

Have you heard of Watson Lake in Arizona? Well, I hadn’t until one of my photographer friends from the Arcanum showed us one of his shots of Watson Lake. I was mesmerized by the beautiful rock formations and the trees growing from the rocks.

Kevin and I had to go and photograph the lake while we were vacationing in Sedona, Arizona.  It is not far and worth the drive.

I fell in love with this tree, but there were other photographers in the location that I wanted to be. It was a small area surounded by water so not many could fit. They eventually left after sunset.  Wow, I was in luck!  I hurried to the location because I knew I wouldn’t have much time to set up and then the sun blew up and I shot away taking different exposures and merging them together later in post. Wow, what a feeling of pure excitement and content! I must tell you that the first time we visited Watson Lake the sunset was not as beautiful as this day. We did some research and found out there would be clouds in the forecast so we knew we had to go back.

Burning Bush – HDR

In the image below, we again stayed after sunset hoping to have an amazing sky. We scouted around before sunset and noticed the beautiful location in the image below. I knew that was one area for me to focus on.

Watson Lake's Beauty

HDR – Watson Lake Arizona


Tip for the day: Don’t give up!  If you can’t get the shots you want the first time, be persistent and you’ll eventually succeed…and don’t leave after the sun goes down ;)



Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Source: Watson Lake Photographs – Don’t Give Up

Helicon Focus Image Examples

Today I’d like to share with you a software program called Helicon Focus. Helicon can make macro photographs more in focus and make your foreground and background in landscapes in focus. Basically, you can make your main subject in focus and leave anything else out of focus by stacking several images together and fine tuning them in the software. I plan to make a tutorial later to help you use the software, but for today let me show you a couple of images to help you understand what it can do for you.


Stem Texture

Stack the focused Stem images together.

Stacked the center of the flower to be in focus.

Stacked bottom reflection and top leaf to be in focus.

Check out Helicon’s website for more information and start to tell your story by having your image sharp only where you want it to be sharp.



Janice Sullivan

Source: Helicon Focus Image Examples

How to Make Your Images Unique

The subjects in the images below have been photographed by many people, so I asked myself how I could make them different from the rest. I wanted my own spin on my subjects. Well, I did a bit of research and I took a bit of time to see what others had done to the subjects I was thinking about photographing, to determine the best composition possibilities.

If I like compositions that have already been used, I will often shoot photographs the same way, but change them in post.

For example, both of these photographs have different skies.

Cathedral Rock

Sedona, Arizona – Cathedal Rock – HDR @ 70mm

In the shot above, the sky was photographed in Sedona, Arizona, but in a different location.  I used On1 masking to merge the clouds to my landscape.  Truthfully, On1 Perfect Photo Suite is the easiest way to add skies to your image.

The bell shot below also has a different sky, but it was shot in the same location. I really liked the way the sun was hitting the rock formation, but the clouds looked horrible. Since the clouds were moving fast, my husband Kevin and I hung out until I saw what I liked and shot it. This was easy since I left my tripod in the same location. I next merged the two images to make one

Bell Rock – Sedona, Arizona – 102mm with a 70-200 Canon Zoom

I hope this helps you think about other ways to change up your photography. It’s your art, go for it!

Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Source: How to Make Your Images Unique

Jerome Arizona

One of the stops we made on our recent Sedona vacation was to visit Jerome, Arizona. If you like photographing historic places, then check out Jerome. I suggest you visit the museum first if you haven’t been to Jerome. This way you can learn about the history and really appreciate the town while you photograph it. The people are super nice and really fun to talk to. In a nutshell, Jerome is an old mining town on top a mountain. If you like to see old cars and fun mining shacks, go to the Gold King Mine Ghost Town.

Below is one of the ruins in Jerome.

Open for Business

Open for Business – f11 @ 1/350 ISO 100

I used A.D. Wheeler’s textures to process the image above. You can receive a 20% off his texture pack by using using promo code: jsphoto.  You can also receive free textures from me if you sign up for our newsletter.

We had so much fun checking out Gold King Mine Ghost Town. These are just two of the many old cars, trucks, buses etc…in the area.

USMC f3.5 @ 1/180 ISO 100


Ford – f9.5 @ 1/500 ISO 100


I just love photographing historical subjects. I think you would love this place too and if you have any special places that you like to photograph I’d love to hear from you. I can add them to my bucket list.  :)

Janice Sullivan

Find me at Google+

Source: Jerome Arizona


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