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OLLI Photo Club – Speakers

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October 2020 – Martha Brettschneider

Martha Brettschneider, founder of Damselwings, LLC, provides coaching and artful inspirations for mindful living. Author, speaker, blogger, and award-winning fine art photographer, Martha cultivates mindfulness through creative channels and offers innovative programs that help busy people establish their own meditation habits. Martha’s journey has taken her from being a stressed out international economist, screaming mom, and breast cancer survivor to a meditation-touting creative entrepreneur finally at peace with the world. Martha’s signature wall art, which grew from her personal mindfulness practice, inspires viewers to slow down and ground themselves in the present moment by connecting with the miraculous details of nature featured in her photography.

Visit Martha’s website, Damselwings, and view her wonderful fine art nature prints.



Speakers for 2020


January 2020 – O. Lou Mazzatenta

O. Louis Mazzatenta wore many hats during his 42-year career with National Geographic magazine. He served as picture editor, director of layout and design, writer and photographer, among other roles. After retiring from the National Geographic Society in 1994, Mazzatenta continued his photographic and editorial work.

His first “retirement” job was to take charge of National Geographic‘s first foreign language venture. He directed the launch of National Geographic Japan, the first of over 30 foreign language editions of the magazine.

After the successful Japanese launch,  Mazzatenta “retired” again. Within two months, he traveled to Xi’an, China, to photograph excavations of the life-size terra-cotta army of China’s first emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi. His photographic report, “China’s Warriors Rise From the Earth,” was published in the October 1996 issue of National Geographic. It and two subsequent articles brought the magnificent army to the world’s attention.

Mazzatenta photographed 31  stories for National Geographic and handled studio and other photographic assignments. His work has appeared in U.S., Time, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, Ranger Rick, and international publications. Exhibitions of Mazzatenta’s photographs have appeared in China, Japan, Spain, Italy, and the United States.

Though he photographed all over the world, his favorite locations were in China and Italy where he focused his camera on subjects involving archaeology and paleontology.  In China, in addition to the terra-cotta armies, he photographed stories about the Shang and Han dynasties, early life on earth, and dinosaurs evolving into birds.  In Italy, he photographed articles on the ancient Romans buried at Herculaneum by the 72 AD eruption of  Vesuvius, the Etruscans, the Appian Way, the Brindisi Bronzes, and endangered Italian art. He produced and picture-edited articles on the restoration of Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel and took the photo of the restoration of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper” that appeared on the cover of National Geographic.

Before joining National Geographic, Mazzatenta attended and served on the staff of the U.S. Army Information School. Earlier, he was a photographer and picture editor at the Minneapolis Tribune and other newspapers in the Midwest. He received a Masters Degree in journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, where he was a McCormick Scholar. At Kent State University, he earned his B.A. in journalism, was editor of an award winning yearbook and was named Sigma Delta Chi’s outstanding male journalism graduate of the year.

In retirement, Lou still handles photo assignments, and is chair of the Cosmotographers, the Cosmos Club’s photo group. He enjoys taking many classes on a multitude of subjects at OLLI, (the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute) . He serves as an usher at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Clifton, VA.

Mazzatenta survives his wife Rita after 45 years of marriage. He remarried in 2015 and lives in Clifton, Virginia, with his wife Sheryl. He enjoys spending time with his smart and good looking four children and 13 grandchildren.

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February 2020 – Dale Scherfling

Dale is a local photographer and teacher of same in DC. He is a street photographer and a rough and tumble dynamic speaker. Former wire service and news photographer, retired U.S. Navy Photojournalist and longtime photo instructor; graduate of San Diego State University, American International University and Cleveland’s Cooper School of Art in Photography.

Currently teaching Photography as Art at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop and self-publishing fine arts photo books. He also holds court at the Burke Library once a month with a photo club he started last year.

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March 2020 – Rosalyn Schanzer          POSTPONED

Roz is a multiple award-winning author and illustrator of hundreds of books for children and young adults. And since her favorite topics tell all about history’s most amazing explorers and adventurers, she has made sure to have a few adventures of her own.

A nationally ranked Master’s Swimmer for 19 years and an avid photographer, Roz has traveled around the planet to take pictures of things you don’t see every day. She has photographed wild lions and elephants in Africa from a few feet away, helped sail a world-famous racing boat from Bermuda to Boston, swum with sharks in Belize and Andros Islands, and kayaked with whales in Alaska, Canada and Mexico, taking pictures all along the way. She has hiked up various mountains and volcanoes in South America, Tibet, and Nepal and explored ancient Incan ruins in Peru and Bolivia. And she has also rafted through whitewater and photographed an array of hummingbirds in the lush rainforests of Costa Rica, tasted tamarinds in the remote dry forests of Ecuador, and photographed marine iguanas in the Galapagos and exotic temples in Thailand and India.

Visiting such amazing places, either on your own or with exactly the right folks, could give you a chance to take your most memorable photographs ever, so let’s to find out how that might work.

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April 2020 – Mike Whalen

As a teen, Mike learned a few camera basics from his father, a photographer and artist. He dabbled with film cameras in the 80’s and 90’s, and after that with a few digital point-and-shoots.  However, it wasn’t until 2006, when he purchased a basic DSLR that he began to see the potential of digital technology.

Mike joined the Northern Virginia Photographic Society (NVPS) in 2009 and has served on many board positions including president in 2013. From participating in many NVPS competitions, he received numerous annual awards including, “Photographer-of-the-Year”, “Color-Print-of-the-Year” and “Image-of-the-Year” at various times. He received distinguished service awards in 2018 and 2019 and redesigned the club’s website in 2019.

In recent years, he also scored three cover shots on the Spring editions of Washington Gardener Magazine and in 2016, he won Nature Visions “People’s Choice” award in the Photo Art category. Mike also donates his time regularly, as a pet photographer for the Fairfax County.

Animal Shelter and, volunteers as a photographer for charitable organization’s annual DC events such as: The National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and The Epilepsy Foundation of America.

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May 2020 – Bill Mugg

Bill will speak about his rough and tumble excursion to the Pantal in Brazil.

Bill is a member of the Vienna Photographic Society and was the Photographer of the Year for that Club in 2017.  His focus is on Travel and Nature Photography – you can see some of his work at




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June 2020 – Dave Kepley

David went to college at Gettysburg College and graduate school at the University of Maryland where he studied history. He retired from a 37-year career with the National Archives and was an adjunct history professor at NVCC. While working at the US Forest Service over 40 years ago, he was inspired by one of his colleagues to take up photography. A classic road trip in which he visited some of the great parks in the American west cemented his lifelong love of trying to capture the beauty and majesty of the natural world.

After his retirement, David has taken a number of different classes and workshops to perfect his craft. He is currently President of the Vienna Photographic Society. His works have been juried into Nature Visions Photo Expo for the past five years, as well as in the Joseph Miller Abstract Photography Exhibit. His work has also won many awards at his photo club. A passionate devotee of our national parks, during the 2016 centennial year David and his wife visited 10 different parks, capturing thousands of images of them!



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July 2020 – Roz Schanzer

Rosalyn Schanzer will be presenting “JAW DROPPING EYE POPPING SHOTS YOU NEVER NOTICED.”  Ten astonishing ways to uncover photo ops in the most unlikely places (and a few tips to make them shine to boot). She is the author and illustrator of 16 award-winning books published by National Geographic, HarperCollins, and more.  An avid photographer and world traveler, who speaks nationally and internationally, Roz Schanzer has also presented numerous illustrated shows at OLLI.



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September 2020 – Irene Hinke-Sacilotto


A Passion for Wildlife Photography, the Stories Behind the Images

Photograph by Bill Klosicki

This talk is based on my more than 35 plus years’ experience photographing wildlife and covers the requirements, strategies, techniques, and equipment required to capture engaging animal images. Included is information on lighting and composition, plus locating, attracting, and approaching wildlife. The program is interwoven with some entertaining stories behind some of the images. (The program contains a lot of new material plus images from COVID 19 confinement.)

For more than 35 years, I have shared my photographic experiences and love of nature with thousands of individuals through more than 300 photo classes, workshops, lectures, and tours in both the U.S. and abroad including Kenya, Iceland, Newfoundland, the Falkland Islands, the Brazilian Pantanal, South Dakota Badlands, Bosque del Apache, Chincoteague NWR, Tangier Island, etc. Program sponsors have included zoos, nature centers, camera clubs, and conservation organizations such as National Wildlife Federation and the Assateague Island Alliance. For many years, I have taught photography classes at Johns Hopkins University and other educational institutions and have written “How To” articles on nature photography for national publications such as Outdoor Photographer and Birding. My images have appeared in magazines, calendars, and books published by National Wildlife Federation, Natural History Society, Audubon, and Sierra Club. Credits include the book, “Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, an Ecological Treasure.”

Visit Irene’s website, Osprey Photo Workshops & Tours.



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October 2020 – Martha Brettschneider

Martha Brettschneider, founder of Damselwings, LLC, provides coaching and artful inspirations for mindful living. Author, speaker, blogger, and award-winning fine art photographer, Martha cultivates mindfulness through creative channels and offers innovative programs that help busy people establish their own meditation habits. Martha’s journey has taken her from being a stressed out international economist, screaming mom, and breast cancer survivor to a meditation-touting creative entrepreneur finally at peace with the world. Martha’s signature wall art, which grew from her personal mindfulness practice, inspires viewers to slow down and ground themselves in the present moment by connecting with the miraculous details of nature featured in her photography.

Visit Martha’s website, Damselwings, and view her wonderful fine art nature prints.



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Past Speakers




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January 2019 – Mark Van Bergh

January – Mark Van Bergh is a Washington D.C. photographer who shoots weddings and other events throughout the D.C. area and beyond.  An avid traveler, Mark also photographs nature and wildlife throughout the U.S. and internationally, including U.S. National Parks, Kenya, Rwanda, China, Japan and more.


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February 2019 – Rob Paine

Bio to come


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March 2019 – Evan Cantwell

Evan Cantwell is a Senior Photographer at George Mason University.  He collaborates with a team of writers, designers, and managers to determine photography and multimedia assignments.  Photographs on assignment for brand, social media, digital media and publications developing a dynamic university image collection.


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April 2019 – TBD


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May 2019 – TBD


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June 2019 – Steve Canale

Steve is a “Soldier, marksman, bon vivant, raconteur, photographer, tour guide, lecturer, and author”.   Most people don’t have the equipment, time, or resources of a professional travel photographer.  Steve’s classes and tours are about what works in the real world, for the rest of us.


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July 2019 – Gail Rebhan

Gail Rebhan is a Washington, DC based photographer and holds an MFA from California Institute of the Arts and an undergraduate degree from Antioch College.  Integral to her various bodies of work is an interest in time and change.  Central to her concerns is an examination of gender and generational roles.  With humor, she points out inconsistencies, faults and problematic behavior from a social, cultural, and emotional point of view.


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August 2019 – No Meeting


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September 2019 – Amber Hanna

Amber is a Senior Manager of Corporate Partnerships at the National Park Foundation, the official charitable partner of the National Park Service. She is responsible for managing partnerships with current corporate partners, from major promotional cause-marketing campaigns to licensing deals, and supporting overall fundraising efforts. Before joining the Foundation in 2012, she worked for Environmental Working Group, assisting with research reports for Congressional testimony and public hearings, and for Taxpayers for Common Sense helping create a database for government transparency for over 35,000 earmark requests. She is originally from Pittsburgh and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh


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October 2019 – LaNitra Berger

LaNitra Berger is the fellowships director and affiliate Art History faculty at George Mason University.  She studies and teaches modern art from South Africa and is currently finishing a manuscript about South Aftican artist Irma Stern.  She received a BA in art history and international relations from Stanford and a PhD in art history from Duke University.


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November 2019 – Joe Benning

Joe Benning is an avid photographer and the founder of Evocative Photos, a photo licensing website ( In addition he runs a Travel and Photo blog (www. Before retiring and moving to Virginia, he worked as an economist and bond trader in the financial services industry. Joe holds a PhD in Public Administration from NYU where he studied public economics and policy.


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December 2019 – Brian Zwit

Over 40 years ago, Brian discovered that photography provided a powerful means for expressing his vision of the world. Over the years, his love of the outdoors and photography as well as an aptitude for computer technology have morphed into a passion (some would say obsession) for capturing the elegance and majesty of the unique landscapes, wildlife, and flora of the United States. While the pursuit of nature takes him all over the country, he favors the west, northwest, northeast, and mid-Atlantic and, wherever he is, his love of hiking and backpacking takes him far beyond populated areas into settings which few people visit.

Brian’s images are in private residences and corporate offices and have appeared in regional magazines such as Wonderful West Virginia. Corporate clients have also used his images for promotional and internal publications.

Brian has been teaching workshops, field trips, and classes and speaking to camera clubs, schools, and other non-profits as well as for profit entities for over ten years.


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January 2018 – Mike Whalen

The Mountains, Fjords and Magic of Norway

Back in June 2016 my wife, two friends and I spent 17 days touring the south-western fjord region of Norway. We stayed at 10 different locations traveling over 1000 miles, mostly by car. We experienced snow-covered mountains, crystal-clear fjords, icy lakes, thunderous waterfalls and the two largest cities, Oslo and Bergen. We hiked numerous trails, saw beautiful vistas and several glaciers; we rode ferries and other boats and even met a few trolls along the way!  In this slideshow you will see examples of all these places and things. I hope this slideshow conveys some of the excitement and beauty we experienced while in this wonderful country.

-Mike Whalen


Mike’s Bio

Mike, a former engineer, became interested in photography after retiring in 2002. As a teen, he learned a few basics from his father, a photographer and artist. However, it wasn’t until 2006 (when he purchased his first serious camera – a Canon “digital” SLR), that he realized the potential of this amazing technology.

In 2009, Mike became an active member of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society (NVPS), the DC area’s largest photo club. Here, he was exposed to many talented people, who were happy to share their knowledge. His skills began to grow. At NVPS, he served on many board positions including President in 2013. In addition to competing in over 50 monthly competitions, he received numerous NVPS annual awards including, “Photographer-of-the-Year”, “Color-Print-of-the-Year” and “Image-of-the-Year” at various times. Mike also scored three cover shots on the Spring edition of Washington Gardener Magazine in recent years and has also won “People’s Choice award in 2016 for his photo, “Charleston Plantation” at the annual “Nature Visions” photo expo. Mike donates his time regularly, as a pet photographer for the Fairfax County Animal Shelter and, volunteers as an event photographer for the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition’s annual race-walk.

Since retiring, he and his wife travel as often as possible. This provides lots of opportunities to find new material to shoot. He loves to photograph all kinds of subjects and enjoys the entire photographic process from composing and taking the shot, to post-processing and printing the final images. His inspiration comes from seeing the great works of his peers as well as seeing images on popular photo websites.  He thanks you for inviting him to speak at OLLI and hopes you enjoy his presentation.

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February 2018 – Stan Schretter

Long-time OLLI member, photographer and trip tale torchbearer par excellence shares his experiences with post-processing in a mobile environment.

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February 2018 – Frank Ruggles (Cancelled)

Frank has been a professional Photographer since 1992, and has had some fantastic assignments over the years. He has worked for the Government at a contractor and as a Federal employee. His favorite assignment was 2007 through 2010, when he worked as an official photographer for the National Park Service. He got so see parts of America that very few people get to see. Every day after he finished his official photographer’s duties, he took advantage of his location and (with the permission of the Secretary of the Interior) started his own project of documenting the beauty of the National Parks.   He hiked a few thousand miles through the most beautiful places in the country. He was fortunate to have traveled to over 150 National Parks in all 50 US States, and can tell you….they really are “America’s Best Idea”.

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March 2018 – Jim Alper

Jim is a local amateur photographer who shares with us the joys of wildlife photography in nearby parks including Huntley Meadow and Pohick Bay.  His presentation is designed to make us all aware of the amazing hidden opportunities in Fairfax County, to help us understand techniques for capturing birds, mammals and insects in their natural environment and to point us toward web sites with additional information on the art and science of nature photography.

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April 2018 – Robin S. Kent

Robin Kent is a fine arts photographer known for his dramatic images of Washington, D.C. and, more recently, remote locations such as night photography of the Milky Way in back country areas of Yosemite National Park, the monarch butterfly overwintering sites in Michoacán, Mexico, the frozen landscapes of the Antarctic Peninsula, as well as the northern latitudes of Iceland, Greenland, and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.

Robin’s photographs are in the collections of major corporations, local business organizations, and individual collectors.  His training has included landscape photography from the late Galen Rowell, founder of Mountain Light Photography and advanced printing techniques from Mac Holbert, a co-founder of Nash Editions.  He is former President and a current member of Great Falls Studios, a consortium of 100 plus artists in Great Falls, Virginia.  He is represented by Art Matters in Glen Echo, Maryland.  More examples of his work can be seen at his website,  Also, see the following highlighted photos in Robin’s blog:

Milky Way –

Greenland –

Monarchs –

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May 2018 – Fred Siskind

Fred Siskind is a nature photographer specializing in wildlife. In addition to regularly photographing in Washington area parks, he has traveled to many U.S. national parks as well as game parks in Kenya. He is a longtime member and former President of the Northern Virginia Photographic Society, and a member of the North American Nature Photography Association. He recently completed the Fairfax Master Naturalist Program.

Fred will discuss macro photography in the field with an emphasis on photographing insects – dragonflies, damselflies, butterflies, caterpillars. He will describe equipment he uses and cover the essential requirements for producing a good photograph – composition, background and foreground control, depth of field, gardening, and lighting. In addition, he will provide some hints on how to find dew-covered insects and present Dew Trek, a short slide show set to music.

His photos have been published in many magazines (Audubon, Birder’s World, Bird Watcher’s Digest, National Geographic Kids, Natural History, Nature’s Best, Outdoor Photographer, Smokies Life), books (American Birding Association, Capstone, Kidsbooks, National Geographic, Western National Parks Association), calendars (Audubon, Shearson, Tildon), and used in exhibits (Huntley Meadows Park, National Park Service, National Arboretum) and brochures and posters (Huntley Meadows Park, Time-Life Books, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service). He collaborated with former U.S. Children’s Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis on a poetry/photography book for children titled Face Bug, which can be ordered on Amazon. His photos can be seen at

Painted lady, Claude Moore Park, Stack of 5

Dandelion, Kent Gardens Park, Stack of 8

Dewy Blue Dasher, Mason Neck West, Stack of 10

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June 2018 – Wayne Wolfersberger

Wayne Wolfersberger: Nature Is Wild Photography

Nature Is Wild Photography focuses on the beauty and uniqueness of our natural world producing images for the printed media, exhibits and galleries, and private purchases. Photography classes, workshops, presentations, and critiquing are offered on a year round basis. The Gallery contains a selection of photographs available for purchase as prints, matted prints or as framed photographs. Private instruction available.

Photographic images are exhibited in the Washington, D.C. Region and are also for sale individually. Classes and workshops are offered in the Northern Virginia area during the fall, winter, and spring. Photographic and biological presentations are delivered frequently in the local area and occasionally in other parts of the country. Contact Wayne for specific questions about speaker/programs that are available.



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July 2018 – Roz Schanzer

Children’s Author and Illustrator Rosalyn Schanzer, who writes books about history’s greatest adventures, can’t seem to sit still. That’s why she has had a few adventures of her own.

This nationally ranked Master’s swimmer and avid photographer has taken pictures of wild lions and elephants in Africa from two feet away, swum with sharks in Belize, and kayaked with whales in Alaska, Canada and Mexico. She has hiked the Andes, fished for piranhas, and explored ancient Incan ruins in Peru and Bolivia. And she has rafted through whitewater in the lush rainforests of Costa Rica, tasted tamarinds in the remote dry forests of Ecuador, photographed golden temples in Thailand and marine iguanas in the Galapagos, and helped sail a world-famous racing boat from Bermuda to Boston.

For years, Schanzer painted pictures for literally hundreds of things, from greeting cards and pop-up books for Hallmark Cards to magazine and newspaper articles, posters, games for children, and numerous books for many major publishers. But all of these were written by other people. Finally, she decide to try a new kind of adventure; if she wanted to paint the kinds of things she liked the best, she would have to start writing a few books herself. So back in 1993 she began to write and illustrate the first of many highly acclaimed books about famous adventurers from history. The writing has turned out to be more fun – and more challenging – than she had ever imagined. To find out more about her books, CLICK HERE


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August 2018 –Rob Paine

Rob Paine is the marketing director for the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO), the region’s largest senior sporting event.  At this Aug. 10 session, he will share some of his photography, talk about what makes a great sports photo and discuss the 2018 NVSO’s photo needs and how you can be part of this wonderful event. His photo blog is at

Rob’s career spans three decades, encompassing documentary, wedding, sports and nature photography. He has an extensive background in community journalism in Northern Virginia. As a news photographer he has covered nearly every major sport on the prep, college and professional level .He also worked for nearly 10 years on the national level as a photo editor for The Associated Press, working on location at major sporting events including The Preakness, MLB’s National League Championship Series, NASCAR’s Coca-Cola 600 and The Sugar Bowl.

Rob is also the outreach and marketing specialist for RSVP Northern Virginia, a program of Volunteer Fairfax that leverages the talents and experience of retirees to support more than 30 outstanding local nonprofits.

Additional Info about this Special August Presentation

Since OLLI is closed on the 2nd Friday of August, we’ll have a meeting that day at the Green Acres Center at 2:30 in the afternoon. The address is 4401 Sideburn Road, Fairfax, VA 22030.

Please come to hear about our support to the Northern Virginia Senior Olympics (NVSO). Those events are from Sept. 15th thru the 26th, at nearly 30 venues across Northern Virginia. There will be about 86 events which we will help to document. Our photos will be used on social media, slideshows, websites and in some cases print ads promoting next year’s NVSO.


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September 2018 – Michael Glagola

Michael Glagola is a superb flower and bird photographer.  He will speak on the techniques and tricks of backyard photography.

Michael has graciously offered us access to his presentation.  Click the following link to download the PDF file.

Glagola, Michael – Wildlife Photography in your Backyard, Handouts, 20180914


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October 2018 – Martha Brettschneider

Clarity, Focus, and Purpose: How Mindfulness Built a Photographer

Martha Brettschneider, founder of Damselwings, LLC, provides coaching and artful inspirations for mindful living. Author, blogger, master gardener, award-winning photographer, and Search Inside Yourself teacher-in-training, Martha cultivates mindfulness through creative channels and offers innovative programs that help busy people establish their own meditation habits, including her 30-Day Mindfulness Meditation Challenge. Martha’s journey has taken her from being a stressed out international economist, screaming mom, and breast cancer survivor, to a meditation-touting creative entrepreneur finally at peace with the world. You can read her full story in her book Blooming into Mindfulness: How the Universe Used a Garden, Cancer, and Carpools to Teach Me That Calm Is the New Happy. Her mindfulness-inspired photography was recently chosen to decorate Sibley Hospital’s new Integrative Medicine Department.


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November 2018 – Sam Abell

The Life of a Photograph

The Life of a Photograph at OPTIC 2017:

Bio from

I learned photography from my father, a teacher, at our home in Sylvania, Ohio.

After graduating from the University of Kentucky I worked for National Geographic as a contract and staff photographer for thirty-three years.

In 1990, my work was the subject of a one-person exhibition and monograph titled Stay This Moment at the International Center of Photography in New York City.

Since then I have published four additional collections of work: Seeing Gardens; Sam Abell: The Photographic Life; The Life of a Photograph and Sam Abell Library.

In addition, I maintain a career as a writer, teacher, and lecturer on photography.


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December 2018 – Deborah Kennedy

What to Take, What to Keep

What to Take, What to Keep (pdf of presentation):

Bio from

Things are complicated.  Assumptions, beliefs, stray thoughts, strident defenses, the distance between should and can and will – all play havoc with what we need to know to move through the world. One true thing.  That’s the goal, find one true thing. It will lead you to the next and then maybe the next or the person with the one after that.

After 27 years in the finance industry, I shut down my LinkedIn page and put up IncorporationsPoetry, making my under-life public.

A year ago a friend asked if I really wanted to die without anyone seeing my work.  Another came and took pictures off my walls and out the door. Interesting friends.  I now show photos and their poems across northern VA (see shows) and promote the arts at events throughout the region (see events).

In 2017 I co-founded ARTspeaks, a community art space on the campus of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax (UUCF) in Oakton.  As Artistic Director, I’ve created exhibits that showcase the art of well-known artists, new artists and the art programs in our schools.  We also sponsor the “Found Art Series,” an opportunity for non-artists to recognize the art in their lives and share it with others.

We are creative beings – biologically… otherwise we’d still be hunter-gatherers.  Art is not dependent on divine intervention, a muse or a degree.  It’s just one more thing in the world that’s much easier with some support.  Need some help cracking open creativity in your kids, or more likely adults – I’ll be there.


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October 2017 – Kathy Trauss

Designer, photographer, creative coach, artist, and teacher, community leader— her motto is: “Live life, love life, paint life, and create life! I love showing people that as humans, we are innately creative & everyone’s an artist. I love sharing my passion of creativity, taking pictures, telling stories, and giving back. I’m an artist, photographer… I am a visual storyteller”.

The camera is an extension of how Kathy sees the world. She looks to connect her imagery to her viewer—showing a right brain person’s view of the world. From that simple blade of grass, to the stark graphic look of a building, to the sparkling eyes of the bride and groom, she captures beauty with her lens. She knows she’s done her job when a person looks at her photographs and they know they’ve “seen a story.”

After receiving her certification as a Creatively FitTM Coach, she shares her artist’s view of life through her creative classes, these classes help others to understand the importance of creative vision and perspective. Her students learn to bring creative thinking into their lives and workplace, tapping into their stores of innovation and enthusiasm for life.

She is also a member of the Arches Gallery Artists at the Workhouse Arts Center, where she serves as President and exhibits her work.

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November 2017 – Susan Bloom

Susan Ruddick Bloom is known for her fine art photography. She uses alternative photographic processes and digital manipulation. Sue has been involved in making art on the computer for over twenty-seven years. She holds an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. She is Professor and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History at McDaniel College, in Westminster, Maryland.

Her work spans the range of digital techniques. Recently that includes iPad and iPhone art. She is always experimenting with techniques and materials in an effort to make meaningful marks. She is considered one of the world leaders in digital fine art.

In addition to her college teaching, Sue conducts many workshops, including the Maine Photographic Workshop, Palm Beach Photographic Centre, Santa Fe Photo Workshop, Common Ground, and Common Ground – Scotland. She also leads photo tours throughout the world.

Sue’s book, Digital Collage and Painting, by Focal Press, was released June 1, 2006. It can be found at your local bookstore or A second edition of the book was released in October 2010. The second edition contains many new techniques, reflects changes in software and features the work of twenty new digital artists.

Sue’s  book, Digital Painting in Photoshop, by Focal Press, was released in February 2009, and shows techniques, within Photoshop, that mimic the traditional fine art mediums like pastels, watercolors, oil painting, charcoal sketches and ink wash techniques.

Sue also writes for numerous magazines and is a staff writer at the Australian quarterly, Better Photoshop Techniques. Media.

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December 2017 – Tuan Pham

Climbing a flight of stairs suddenly takes more time and effort. I know I need a new approach to continue enjoying photography for years to come–one that underscores visual intelligence and does not require traveling long distances, climbing mountains or waking up before sunrise. After studying several books and diving deep within. I learned there are two kinds of photos–photos of and photos about, like prose and poetry in literature–and how-to create space for them to come forward. They are hiding in plain sight waiting for an awakened eye.

A nature photographer, Tuan Pham keeps two cameras within reach most of the time. He joined the Northern Virginia Photographic Society (NVPS) in 2005 and later the GRC group (Getting it Right in the Camera) sponsored Joe Miller who has this to say about Tuan: “Your photography represents you well.”  Tuan’s other photography related interest is awareness of the breath—threshold between life and death, conscious and unconscious processes, and the inner and outer landscapes where nature looks and feels fresh and intriguing.


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