Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) Liaison for the state of Washington

I’ve been named a liaison for the Certified Professional Photographer (CPP) program for the state of Washington.  As a liaison, I’ll be available to help photographers interested in receiving the designation through the application process.  If anyone is interested in the program or would like to sit for the exam, please email me at mike@michaelkloth.com.  For information about the certification program, please visit certifiedphotographer.com.

While it is not strictly necessary to be certified to work as a professional photographer, I believe that the designation can be an important step towards building a successful career in photography.

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Tri-City Digital Photography Club Talk by Pet Photographer Michael Kloth

Still talking. I wasn't keeping very good track of the time. I hope I didn't go over.

Last night I had the good fortune to speak to a fairly crowed auditorium at the Tri-City Digital Photography Club.

Pet photographer Michael Kloth introducing himself to the Tri-City Digital Photography Club

 

I was invited to talk last December about my book Shelter Cats and to give an overview of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom at the March 3rd meeting with each presentation lasting around 20 minutes.  I’ve known about the photography club for most of my time here in the Tri-Cities but hadn’t yet found the time to connect with the group so it was a real pleasure meeting so many of the members last night.

The Tri-City Digital Photography Club offers a host of opportunities for only $25/year and after seeing a glimpse of what they have to offer, I’d definitely encourage anyone interested in photography to join.  Someday when I have a bit more time (does that every happen?!?), I’ll probably join too.   I don’t want to give away any of their secrets but they offer everything from photo critiques, to print competitions, to some really fantastic destination photography trips.  Not to mention all of the speakers and workshops they offer.  I was told that their membership numbers at somewhere around 400 photography enthusiasts – from beginning hobbyists to seasoned professionals.

I had to use a microphone there were so many people at the meeting.

During my Adobe Photoshop Lightroom demo. It would have been nice if I could have faced the audience for this part instead of looking at my computer.

I also had the pleasure of catching up with a number of friends and with a current Academy of Art University student who up until last night, had only been a “virtual friend” on Facebook.  I brought along my camera knowing that I’d be able to convince at least one photographer to document the night for me.  It was tough conditions (and I didn’t give her an off camera flash tutorial before hand) so she had to bump up the ISO to get decent shutter exposures but despite that, Andi did a great job.  Thanks Andi!  The more that I see photos of myself at these kinds of events, the more I realize that I talk with my hands.  I never would have guessed.

So then, all that’s left is to say thank you to the members of the Tri-City Digital Photography Club!  I appreciate your taking the time to meet me and hear a bit about my work.  Happy shooting!

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Shelter Cats – Larger than Life Exhibition – Pet Photography by Michael Kloth

You’ve seen the book.  You love the book (well at least I hope you do).  You think, these cats are beautiful but I wish I could see what they look like printed on gallery wrapped canvases.   And then you think, wow, I wish I could hang one of these beautiful fine art prints on my wall…

Well, relax my friends, I’m happy to announce that all of you wishes are coming true with the Shelter Cats – Larger than Life fine art pet portraiture exhibition at the Washington State University – Tri-Cities Campus Art Exhibition Center.

Okay, so forgive my over reaching a bit but I am very excited the exhibition opening on Monday, March 7.  I set up fifteen prints of some of my favorite cats from the book (and three prints representing a super secret sneak peak of the book I am currently working on) this afternoon and I think they look great on the wall.

The exhibition runs through April 1, 2011 and there is reception on Wednesday, March 9 from 5:00 – 6:00 pm that is open to the public.  The gallery wrapped canvas prints will be on sale and a portion of each sale will be donated to the rescue group that cared for the animal featured in the photograph.  Also, as a special thank you for attending the exhibition in support of animal adoption, I am leaving coupons for half off session fees booked by April 1 (and completed by May 31, 2011).  This offer is limited to the first ten takers so don’t delay.

I sincerely hope to see you all there next Wednesday.

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Spot-O-Faith Farm – Equine Rescue Photography

I wasn’t really looking for a new project but when I read about the Linda Christiano’s vision for her Spot-O-Faith Farm as a horse rescue in this past Saturday’s Tri-City Herald, there was no question that I’d volunteer my services.

I arrived at Linda’s home after I’d finished teaching yesterday and was very warmly greeted by Gracie, the sweetest Whippet I’ve ever met.  Linda is very nice too.  Before she brought me to meet the horses, she told me the story of her newest arrivals.  It seems their 93 year old breeder was no longer able to take care of her horses and they were becoming badly neglected.  In fact, when Linda received the call, she was told that if she couldn’t take the horses on Sunday, then they would have to be sold for slaughter.  Fortunately, for the two year old filly and approximately 8 year old pregnant mare, the article in the Tri-City Herald resulted in a whole host of volunteers to prepare an area for them and so Linda was able to take in these two horses in need.  They arrived very thin and in desperate need of some hoof trimming but otherwise are doing quite well.

The weather was fairly lousy but the rain let up just in time for me to take some “before” photos of Spot-O-Faith’s first rescues.  Below is a short gallery of my first session photos (including one super handsome rooster and a pair of his hens).  You’ll notice the damage to the two year old’s legs – she was caught in a barbed wire fence and didn’t receive any medical treatment for the wound.  One of the photos features both rescue horses and Linda, their new owner and caretaker.


Spot O Faith Farm 3-1-11 – Images by Michael Kloth

I expect good things for these horses and for the Spot-O-Faith horse rescue!

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What the Dog Saw – Troublemakers: What Pitbulls Can Teach Us About Crime

There’s never any shortage of things for a procrastinator to do when there is an upcoming deadline.  With my book deadline of March 15, I probably should be spending all of my free time writing and editing but I still managed to find a bit of time to read from Malcolm Gladwell’s What the Dog Saw this week.  I didn’t read the whole book (deadlines and all that) but read a few of the stories that caught my attention.  Strangely enough, I skipped the story on Cesar Millan (which is where the book’s title comes from) but with two weeks left to procrastinate, I’ll reserve the right to revisit the chapter.

Three legged Tiger enjoying a summer morning in Kentucky

Anyway, the story that I found most compelling was Troublemakers:  What Pitbulls Can Teach Us About Crime. Now, before I go any further, I should probably state that I think Breed Specific Legislation (BSL)  is a bunch of garbage.   I’d have to guess that just about anyone that’s worked with Pitbulls knows that they can be very sweet and loving dogs.  Also, anyone that’s seen a dog (Pitbull or otherwise) neglected and abused can tell you that the dog’s problems are a direct result of owner negligence and not the dog’s fault at all.  Even well meaning and loving dog owners are often responsible for, however unintentionally, reinforcing bad behaviors in their dogs.

So then, what’s Mr. Gladwell’s take on BSL?  He’s decidedly against it.

Troublemakers starts out with a horrifying story of a child being attacked by three Pitbulls.  Anyone with a bit of human decency would be outraged at the story and it’s not really a difficult thing to see how five days after the attack, the city council enacted a sweeping ban of Pitbulls.  Unfortunately, it was an easy solution to a complicated problem.

I don’t want to rehash Gladwell’s work so I’ll just get to the bottom line – it’s the owners of bad dogs that should be targeted rather than sweeping bans of any specific breeds.  Even without going into all of the evidence, looking just at the dog attack statistics over the last several decades is enough to cast a strong doubt over the wisdom of banning specific breeds.  The bottom line is that while Pitbulls currently rank near the top of lists, looking back that wasn’t always true.  So why the sudden change?  Because the people that WANT to own a tough/attack dog are now favoring the breeds that make up the Pitbull category.  Before they were in favor these generally bad people chose to own and train (for their evil purposes) Dobermans, German Shepherds or Rottweilers and consequently, those breeds topped the list.  Isn’t that enough to generate a thoughtful discussion?  And if not, what will be left?  Attack Golden Retrievers?  It may sound far fetched but ANY DOG can be trained for evil purposes and if we ban all of the “aggressive” dogs through BSL, you can bet that all of the gentle, loving dogs that we’d never now consider dangerous will be topping the dog attack lists.  After all, one only needs to look back to the time when Petey was a part of the Little Rascals – back to a time when Pitbulls were thought to be great family dogs.

Petey or Pete the Pup

Again, I don’t want to give away anymore of Gladwell’s book and would encourage you to read it for yourselves but, like probably all “unprovoked” dog attacks, there is more to the story in the attack outlined in the beginning of the chapter.

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