Have you ever had a class that you thought was going to be a waste of your time, but ended up being quite the opposite? A couple of days ago I attended one of Scott Kelby’s live seminars. The seminar was dedicated to teaching the ins and outs of Lightroom, and its integration with Photoshop. I started off the class by thinking this “possibly” was going to be a waste of my time. However, I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been working with Lightroom since it was released in beta many years ago, and I would guess I know roughly 90% of its features. The workshop was extremely helpful in addressing the other 10% of features I was clueless on. That’s the thing with workshops…you just never know. I try to have a positive attitude regarding workshops by setting a goal to walk away having learned one new thing, or one new idea. My recommendation is this: if you’re working in a product like Adobe Lightroom, Apple’s Aperture, Photoshop, etc, get some training from a pro. You might be surprised by what you learn. Scott Kelby’s Live seminars are a wonderful way to meet fellow photographers and learn from some of the best in the field. Not to mention most of these seminars are littered with booths peddling the latest and greatest photography gadgets at great discount prices. Yep, I’m a sucker for photography toys, and if you’re going to give me a discount on top of it…I’m all in! At the end of the day, you need ask yourself the age old question, “how much is your time worth?” If you’re like me, and you want to spend more time taking photos than processing them, then I recommend seeking out some additional training. The eight hours worth of seminar training can save you many more hours in the long run when processing your photos. The reality is this, you might think you know everything, but there’s always someone that knows more. In my case?…usually a lot more. 😉
What a crazy weekend. I shot nearly 1500 photos this weekend between two portraits and one family wedding. I had a blast and was able to experiment a bit at the wedding with my flash. I’m not a wedding photographer by any stretch of the imagination, and I must admit I admire anyone that can do that job weekend after weekend. My hired task this weekend was trying to wrestle four kids into one frame. I think this one task probably accounts for nearly 3/4 of all my weekend shooting, but at the end of the day I think we got it. Now the real work is at hand as I dig through my Lightroom library to separate the winners from the losers. Here are a few suggestions of the prep work you might want to do before taking any portraits outside. 1. I scout an area where the light will be good at the time of the shoot 2. Have a back up location just in case location one doesn’t work (for whatever reason) 3. Have a dry location for the shoot in case the weather turns nasty 4. Try to have everyone on site 30 minutes prior to the shoot so that they have time to get adjusted to the area. 5. Run some test shots to check exposure, ect. 6. If you’re shooting children, have food and water available (let’s keep the blood sugar up) 7. Try to be engaging and explain the process to avoid mass confusion 8. Be in control (you’re the professional) 9. Be willing to have things slightly out of control (you’re the flexible professional..;) 10. Have fun and make it fun.
Today’s photos are from Michele Thomas. Michele is the last student from my June class to be featured this month on the blog. She did a wonderful job capturing some very nice portraits, including an optional self-portrait that was assigned to the class. You can check out more of Michele's work by clicking HERE. Next month I’ll will be highlighting photos from the July class. If you’re interested in my online classes feel free to check them out HERE. My next class will be this September, and class enrollment is limited so if you’re interested drop me a line at email@example.com
I heard Rick Sammon once say “filling the frame is the name of the game.” I don't think he coined the phrase, but it's one I've come to enjoy over the years. Often times the biggest mistake we make as beginning photographers is not filling the frame. I like to add another rule to this and that's if filling the frame is the name of the game then “when in doubt leave it out”. Meaning when you're composing a photo try to fill the frame with useful information that adds to the photo and anything else is simply, in many cases, a distraction. I'm not saying you need to live by these two rules, but much like the rule of thirds it's a nice guideline.
Today's photo comes from Jacqueline Ellinger. If I had to give out a most improved award to my July class it would go to Jacqueline. She did a wonderful job over the four weeks, and I truly enjoyed having her as a student.
As always…my workshops can be found HERE
In my photography course, one of the rules we cover is the coveted “rules of thirds”. From Liz Masoner: “The rule of thirds is an imaginary tic-tac-toe board drawn across an image to break it into nine equal squares. The four points where these lines intersect are the strongest focal points. The lines themselves are the second strongest focal points”. Like all rules, it’s meant to be broken – on occasion. Here’s another site that does a nice job graphically of displaying the rule…click HERE. Today’s photos come from Nichole Anderson. She doesn’t have a public website for her work, but please feel free to leave her a few comments here. She did an excellent job in July’s class and deserves the recognition. I’m sure we’ll see more of her in the future.
My workshop information can be found HERE.
You know you’re getting old when you’re wearing earplugs to a Jonas Brother’s concert. Yep, I made the plunge this weekend and did the unthinkable. A buddy and I treated our daughters to their very first concert. My friends often tease me that I have horrible taste in music, and it’s apparent my daughter is following in my footsteps. I knew very little about the trio when I bought the tickets and I’m sad to say I know “way” too much now. But, my daughter and her friend had a blast and I’m sure these are memories that will last a lifetime. Me, I still have my hearing thanks to the wisdom of my buddy who remembered to bring earplugs. Now, I didn’t bring a camera because every concert I’ve always been to there’s “NO PHOTOGRAPHY ALLOWED” signs plastered everywhere, but I guess things have changed since Pink Floyd toured last..;) Regardless, I whipped out my iPhone (fun fact it has a fixed 2.8 aperture) and took a few shots that actually turned out. And….for all of you who want to know why I was wearing earplugs and are curious what thousands of screaming “TWEENS” sounds like, well click Screaming kids for a six second sample (turning down the speakers is highly recommended).
Ok, enough about my silly weekend. For the next few days I want to give credit to the students that finished my July class. They worked very hard and turned in some incredible images. Please take the time to look over their work and give them some well deserved kudos. They worked incredibly hard, were patient with my critiques, and most importantly really grew along the process. I’m a big believer in “constructive” critiques and have gone through the process on several occasions myself. I think the word “critique” has a negative connotation and sends shivers down some peoples spines. I’m sure my students, much like myself, don’t always agree with the critiques (of our work) but I’m a big believer in the process no matter how difficult it maybe, at times. I’ve learned not to take the process personally, since a critique is nothing more than another person’s point of view of ways we can improve our work. It’s neither right nor wrong but simply an opinion. Personal and professional growth happens when we are forced out of our comfort zone and to experiment. I think a good critique can facilitate the idea of growth and experimentation.
Today’s photos are brought to us by Stacy Edwards. Her MySpace link can be found HERE. Stacy worked very hard in completing the four week course. Let’s wish her a job well done!
My workshops can be found HERE