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Day One a the Speedlight Workshop at Anderson Ranch

Monday was a great day at the "Lighting the World" speedlighting class at Anderson Ranch.  After looking over the portfolios of the attendees, we jumped right in to a demonstration on light.  I showed the effect of the size of the light source in relation to the subject, as well as the effect of the distance of the light from the subject, then turned the students loose to explore the possibilities.

Canon 580 EXII without modifiers


Chimera Medium SuperPro Plus Softbox

Then we headed outside for the first exercises of using speedlights in conjunction with available light, working only in manual mode for both camera and flash.  

Lots of smiles and laughter, and some real ah-ha moments for the attendees as they started putting things together.


Lightroom Image Correction Master Class

My good friend George Jardine has been making exceptional instructional videos for quite a while.  Now George has launched a new one called The Image Correction Master Class-For Lightroom 4&5.  OK, so he used one of my stock photography production images (above) for the series, and yes he is a friend.  But if you are looking for extremely detailed yet highly understandable information, George's videos are simply the best.  Heck, I even learned a few subtleties in watching.

Highly recommended, as are the rest of his DVD's!


Athentech Perfectly Clear review

With Athentech Perfectly ClearWithout Athentech Perfectly Clear

I recently discovered a wonderful plugin at PhotoPlus Expo for Lightroom and Photoshop called Athentech Perfectly Clear.  It is also available as an app for mobile phones.

The software corrects each individual pixel of an image, and the results are impressive.  It can adjust for color balance, exposure, contrast vibrancy and noise.  The best way I can describe it is that it removes the grey quality of digital files, and does it quickly.  What I like is that the default settings give a great result so it really can speed up your workflow.  And if you want to get under the hood, you can tweak it even more.  It's great for the photo-enthusiast and working professional as well.

With Athentech Perfectly ClearWithout Athentech Perfectly Clear

 My only complaint about the plugin is that it works directly on the file.  I wish it would create a duplicate layer like some of the Nik plugins so you could blend the original with the plugin version. 

 The overall takeaway, though, is that this can be a great timesaver and enhance most every image you shoot.  Highly recommended.


Digital photography tips

Canon has posted a great article on camera settings and how to quickly access them.  Though they relate specifically to their EOS cameras, the concepts are similar for Nikon, Sony, Olympus and Panasonic.  It's well worth looking over this information and understanding how to use it.  It will serve you well when you are in a situation where you have to make quick decisions in order to capture that decisive moment.

Here's the link to the photo tip on camera settings.


Portable Flash Photo Workshop in Aspen June 10th-14th, 2013


I'm delighted that The Anderson Ranch has invited me back for the fourth year to teach a class on lighting.  The focus of this digital photography workshop will be the use of dedicated portable flash units in conjunction with Nikon and Canon DSLR's.  

Our goal for the week is to master lighting with small dedicated flash units in every kind of situation.  We'll start by observing the way light works in the natural world, then learn how to use our portable flashes to emulate that look and feel in studio, or create our vision from scratch.  From there, we'll head outside to create dramatic images by augmenting existing light with our portable flash.  

By the end of the week, you will know how to use flash on and off-camera, how to modify the light with a wide variety of tools, and how to use the camera's onboard ability to control the lights remotely. We'll even spend one afternoon working with portable power packs for situations where speedlights can't provide enough light.  You'll leave with confidence that you can master any lighting situation you encounter or create.

To register for the class, go to Lighting the World: flash photography with speedlights.