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Great Lightroom tutorials

A few weeks ago, a mutual friend introduced me to George Jardine.  George was part of the team at Adobe when Lightroom was first being developed, so his knowledge is incredibly deep.  More than that, though, he has an uncanny ability to explain things in easy to understand bite-sized bits.  Starting with the basics, he builds on that it give you a rich understanding of how to get the most of the program.  This overview of the Lightroom tutorials is succinct in explaining his approach.

If you are lucky enough to be able to make it, George is teaching a series of Lightroom classes at Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver.  If not, you can purchase his individual series on the Library Module, Develop Module and Location Workflow and Catalog Management on DVD  from Amazon.

I don't get anything for making this recommendation other than knowing I am passing along a great resource!


Portable flash workshop June 2013


We've just completed the third Mastering Light workshop at The Anderson Ranch in Aspen.  It was a great week.  We started with studio sessions focused on understanding the basics of lighting, then take that knowledge on location for three days.  Students learned how to work with studio strobes, portable power packs and dedicated flash units for Canon and Nikon.  By the end, participants were able to go into any environment confident of their abilities to make an image that was well executed from the technical, aesthetic and communications standpoints.

I'm delighted that based on these three years at the Anderson Ranch, I've already been invited back to teach again next summer.  The focus will specifically be on working with dedicated flash for 35mm DSLR's, and based on the locations we shot at this year, I know it is going to be a great experience.  June 17th-21th, The Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, Colorado. 


Inspiring work at The Black and White Spider Awards

For six years now, The Black and White Spider Awards has celebrated the photography of professional and amateur photographers in such diverse categories as abstract, advertising, nature, nude, photojournalism and still life.  It's a wonderful source of inspiration, and certainly worth a look.


Go Dutch to make a better photograph

In making photographs, our normal inclination is to make the horizon level.  And in fact, many cameras now a menu item that allows the display of a built-in level to assist with that.

But sometimes, skewing the horizon line in the photograph can add impact to an image. In cinematography, Dutch angle means tilting the camera to create a sense of exoticness or unease.  It's a technique that has been used often in film, and photographers use the technique as well.  Beyond the pyschological effects it can engender, I like to use it to add more of a graphic quality to the composition, or make an image seem more candid.  Just look at the image at the top compared to this image.

And here are a couple of other examples of using the Dutch angle.

So the next time you do a shoot, play a little bit with the horizon line.  You may find doing so adds a new and interesting angle to your work.


How to take a great portrait photograph

Making a great portrait can be challenging and fun.  Challenging because you want to capture the personality of the person you are photographing. And fun because it gives you an opportunity to think creatively.

 Diane Arbus, the well-known photographer would confront a person with her camera and intentionally not take a picture for a few minutes.  Her belief was that people would drop their guard and revel more of themselves as time wore on.  The picture above is a good example of that.

Almost the polar opposite of that would be to photograph someone in a captured moment that shows personality.  In this case, the way the blanket is wrapped around her and looseness of the hair adds to the sense that this is an adventurous playful soul.

There are infinite options in between.  Just get out there and play.