Infrared Photography & Dates for the new session of photography classes at Truman College.

Hello again friends, the dates for the next session of classes at Truman College are bellow, if you are interested in photography but have trouble capturing good images; you may want to consider learning about photography and not just about which setting is correct for whatever photo you want to capture, leave that to the amateurs.  A good photographer does not look for different settings in the camera to capture an image, you pay attention to the correct exposure and the composition and for that, you don’t need to look in the menu of the camera, it has to be the knowledge that you acquire about photography.

Dates for new classes:

Photoshop for Photographers $210.00 March 20th, to May 8th, 2020 Fridays from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Beginning Photography $155.00 January 18th, to February 29th, 2020 Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am

Darkroom Photography $155.00 January 15th, to February  26th, 2020 Wednesdays from 7:00 to 10:00 pm.

Studio Lighting Photography January 18th to February 29th, 2020 Saturdays from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

I would like to share with you some of my own photographs that I captured in a little town called Fowler, Indiana. One of my cameras was sent to have all the filters in front of the sensor removed. The reason is that, when you remove the filters, the sensor can capture Infrared radiation and not just visible light. That will give you images that are fairly unique. Some are from Fowler, others from the Pullman neighborhood in Chicago, and others from Michigan Ave.  Any comments or questions please direct them to;

Thank you

Ignacio Alvarez

Canada 2019

This October I was in Canada for 5 days with the only purpose of capturing the great color of fall. This is the second year that I do this and it has been great. I am including some of my photos hoping to inspire young photographers.


Peña de Bernal located in Sierra Gorda de Queretaro in Mexico

Peña de Bernal

Hello everyone.   Today I would like to share some of my photos from one place in Mexico. This place is called Peña de Bernal and it is located in Sierra Gorda de Queretaro in Mexico. This rock is the third biggest in the world and many people come here to climb it. The town is beautiful and is very close to the big city of Queretaro, many of the residents from this city go there on the weekends to unwind. Highly recommended for people that want to go to Mexico and know the country and not just the beaches in Cancun or Acapulco.

Believe it or not, the only Americans that run into trouble are the ones that go there wanting to score some drugs. My wife and I drive to my home town of San Luis Potosi in the middle of Mexico and we have been doing this every year for over 25 years and no, we have never seen anything unusual. I wish the TV stations and newspapers would stop saying that it’s unsafe.  We are probably more in danger of being killed here in Chicago than in Mexico. 

Micro Photography with the EF 50mm f/2.5 Canon MicroLens

Hello everyone. Today I want to talk about Micro Photography which when done properly can open a whole new world of photographic possibilities for you.  First, let me tell you which lens I use.  I have an EF 50mm f.2.5 Canon lens. This is by no means a top of the line lens, but this one that I own, have great glass which in term translates to beautiful sharp images.

Last week during the studio light class give my students a little demonstration of how to use it with and without extension tubes. I am including a couple photos and more information about the lens and the extension tubes in case you want to purchase your own.

These photos of the inside of a red bell pepper were created, first using the minimum focusing distance of the lens. I normally don’t bother to focus; I just extend the focusing to the minimum focusing distance and then move in close until I see the object sharp. When I see it sharp, I take the picture. The second image is the same pepper but this time I placed a set of three extension tubes between the lens and the camera body.  By doing that I can decrease the minimum focusing distance by several inches, in that picture you can see that I was so close that I capture just a few seeds and the vein in the background out of focus. Again, this was accomplished by using extension tubes which increases the distance between the camera and the lens allowing you to get about 3/4 of an inch close to the subject. Since extension tubes do not have any glass in it, they do not affect the quality of the final image; I use Vivitar extension tubes for my camera since they are about $300.00 less than the Canon extension tubes. The following is a link to the Canon lens that I use.…/mac…/ef-50mm-f-2-5-compact-macro

This is a link to the Vivitar extension tubes.…

Just for comparison look at this Canon extension tube, the price is for ONE, not a set of three like the Vivitar. Again, these tubes have no glass! So if you can afford it and want just Canon stuff or Nikon or whatever you use, buy them. I use items that work with my equipment and do not hinder the resolution of the final image.…/Canon_9199A001_Extension_Tub…




A trip to St. Louis to see the eclipse.

Hello, everyone.  Well, now that the eclipse is over, we can all go back to our lives and relax a little. My wife and I took a trip to Festus Missouri to witness the event.  Using Google Maps, I found a private boat club on the edge of the Mississippi River where we “kind of trespassed onto the property”.  One of the people in charge came over and he actually welcomed us, but not before letting us know that we were on private property.   But they let us stay for this historic event as long as we stayed out a few places and cleaned up any debris we might have had.   This was a nice place to see the eclipse from.  The best thing for me as a photographer was that I could just concentrate on what I was doing and nothing else. Everyone, there was doing the same thing.  In the end, the event was so awesome that none of my pictures can convey what we all witnessed there.

To capture the sun in the middle of the eclipse I used a filter to reduce the brightness of the sun by 18 stops!  That is the darkest filter that I have ever used. Of course, when the amount of light is reduced by that much, you cannot capture anything else but the sun and maybe some clouds, which is what I captured.  At the moment of totality, I took the filter off to capture the incredible site. It was just as they said on the National Geographic Chanel, the temperature dropped about 15° the crickets started to “chirp” very loudly and the stars came out. IT WAS AWESOME!!!

And please don’t forget about my upcoming classes at Truman College.

Hello everyone.  Hope your summer has been GREAT!  The new classes for Fall are going to start soon, I hope that many of you sign up for the classes. The new schedule is as follows:

Beginning Photography: This is a class for new students of photography.

September 9th to October 21st, Saturdays 9:00 am to 11:00 am.

Studio Lighting Photography: This is a class for students interested in learning about lighting.

September 9th to October 21st, Saturdays 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.

Darkroom Photography: Learn how to expose your film correctly in the camera and how to develop it in the darkroom.

September 6th to October 18th, Wednesdays 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm.

Photoshop for Photographers: This class is for people that want to learn how to use Photoshop to edit their photos.  This class is strictly for beginners.

September 5th to October 17th. Wednesdays 7:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Truman College is also offering some photography workshops for students who want an introduction to lighting or for parents who just want to learn a fast way to photograph their children.

Studio Lighting Workshop: This is an introduction to studio lighting for students who want to start learning about lighting.

On class, August, 26th, 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Photography for Parents: This is a workshop for parents who have a new camera and want to learn how to photograph their children.

One class, August 26th 9:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Please sign early it is very easy, just call 773-907-4440 and ask for Laura Smith, she will take care of you.



Awesome Photography

Artesania Mexicana. In Mexico people still create many things with their own hands, this is how Don Camilo makes a living.

Digital photography classes in Chicago are a dime a dozen. Many people like to share what they learn, I am one of them. The difference is that I been teaching photography since the mid 80’s, when I started teaching people how to use their camera using slide film for proper exposure. The world goes in circles, and many young people today are also feeling the joy of analog film and darkroom photography. I say ‘welcome to muy classes!’.

Check out my Chicago Darkroom and Digital Photography Classes at Truman!