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Congratulate Catherine Johnson, April 2018's winner!

I'm very excited to announce Catherine Johnson as our winner for the Landscape Photography contest, and the seat at the 2018 Out of Chicago conference in June, 2018. The winning photo is of the Bodie Island Lighthouse, with the Milky Way core. The way we were working the judging, each of the Photographers Cooperative writers selected an image to send to Nick Page, and then he was going to pick from those submissions. As the writers were all pretty busy near the end, I actually asked Nick to pick one from all submissions, and at the same time, the individual writers were all picking an image. And the cool part... EVERY person selected this image as the winner! So a special congratulations to Catherine not only for winning, but for the clean sweep!

A huge thank-you to Nick Page, our guest judge, and also to Chris Smith, from Out of Chicago for donating the grand prize! If you are interested in attending the conference, check it out here. Use the discount code PAGE50 to get $50 off your registration fee!! If you haven't already subscribed, check out the Landscape Photography Podcast, by Nick Page. His website is here, and I can't recommend his YouTube channel highly enough. Nick is a master photographer who shares out an incredible amount of information to his followers! He's also a member and frequent participant in the Photographers Cooperative Facebook Group.

I reached out to Catherine and asked her to provide us with a little information on the settings, the camera, etc. She provided us with a great breakdown not only of how she captured the image, but also the tools she used to edit. Catherine's description is below:

Bodie Lighthouse and Milky Way Core by Catherine Johnson

The image was taken during a mini workshop. The amazing thing is that it was my first attempt to shoot the Milky Way core.

We drove 2 hours, leaving Va. Beach, VA around midnight to be at the Bodie Island Lighthouse (in the Outer Banks of North Carolina) for the rising of the core around 2:30 am.

It was about 30-32 degrees out with a pretty decent windchill in the 20's. I ended up taking a couple packs of hand warmers and put them in my shoes when I couldn’t feel my toes anymore.

This image is the result of 8 separate shutter actuations that were stacked in Photoshop. I then took it into Camera Raw and adjusted the color to a cooler tone. I also applied a touch of contrast and clarity…on the core only. I also had to remove a couple of photographers that set up in front of our group. I then took it into NIK Color Efex Pro 4 and lightly applied the following…Classical soft focus, Pro Contrast and White Neutralizer.

The EXIF is: Shot with Sony a7r iii, Sony 16-35mm lens, ISO 6400, f/4, 30 sec., 24mm

Catherine's social media platform of choice is 500px, and she can be found at


Mark Morris is a founding member of and an active photographer in Philadelphia, New York City, and Surf City, North Carolina. He specializes in portraiture and wedding photography, as well as the performing arts. He has photographed musicians ranging from rock bands to the worlds finest classical pianists. He has also worked commercially with Steinway & Sons, the Disney Corporation, and Conn-Selmer Musical Instruments.

Mark will be co-hosting a portrait and action photography workshop this July with Connor Hibbs, of the portrait photography podcast. This unique 3-day workshop will start with a day of studio lighting, lead by Connor. Days two and three will focus on outdoor portraiture and action photography during the re-enactements of the Battle of Gettysburg. This is a really unique blend of both history geekery and photography geekery, and in all likelihood it will not be repeated. We have a few remaining spots, so if anyone is interested, please check it out at

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