Today I got to have a little adventure. I had signed up for a half day seminar put on by wedding photographer Doug Gordon. It was a seminar on Fashionable Wedding Photography. Now you may be wondering why I was attending a seminar on wedding photography, when I am not a photographer of weddings. Well, my thought process was that it was a seminar on photographing people. And that is something that I might find useful. Of course I never rule out anything, so wedding photography is always a possibility.
Doug is a very entertaining presenter, and very knowledgeable about the subject of posing people, tho his specialty is weddings. Looking at the information from the perspective of fashion or even portrait photography, the information translates quite well. After all wedding photography, outside of the ceremony itself, is just a different type of portraiture or fashion photography. It all comes down to lighting and putting the subject in the best possible position. Read the rest of this entry »
Photoshop World, the bi-annual conference and expo for photographers and other creatives, has begun for me. Today was pre-conference day, and I attended Quality of Light in Depth. This was a very informative and informal class. It was geared primarily towards portrait work, but I do believe that there was some information that I can take from it and apply towards my work in product photography. Especially some of the new lighting equipment that is available. According to the instructor, there have been huge advances in just the past year that have been a game changer. The key thing mentioned was the daylight balanced (5500K) fluorescent bulb.
I also found out that I have been assigned a portfolio review time slot. I do not know with who, but it is supposed to be someone that is a professional in the genre that I registered for, which was landscape and wildlife. Sure, I an hoping for Moose Peterson, but I am hopeful that anyone assigned to me will be able to give me some good feedback.
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Recently, actually while I was at Photoshop World, Adobe said that we were now allowed to say that we were beta testing Photoshop CS5, and we could start showing some of the images that we had processed. So, I have been going back through some of my work, and picking out some of the items that I thought were good, and showed how CS5 was able to improve your artistry. This image was shot a few hours after it had stopped raining, and the sun had come out. It was mid day, so the sun was high in the sky. The picture was taken with my e520 ƒ6.3, 1/125 sec, and ISO 200, with the lens at 14mm. The image on the left is the original image, the one on the right is after working with it in CS5.
I have been back from Photoshop World for a couple of days now, and some of the items are starting to sink in for me. Of course I will probably need to go back and review my notes, the notes in the textbook, and of course download all the goodies that the instructors were able to share. Then I might have a real chance to understand some of what I learned, and possibly learn from the notes of the sessions that I was not able to attend.
I think that is one of the biggest benefits of PSW, the book of all the instructors notes that you get. And this year, by attending the first ever attendee orientation session on Tuesday, I think that I learned one of the most helpful tips – Leave the big book in your hotel room, and go to the sessions with just a notebook for your own notes. Not only did this save me from lugging around a telephone book with me, it allowed me to focus on what the instructor was saying and not trying to follow along with the notes provided.
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One of the things that I want to accomplish in the coming months/years, is to work on the skills required for “commercial” photography. Whether that be artistic in nature, or in more of a “usable” vain. These photos fall into the more usable category. I recently made a pot of chili, so I thought I would use it as a subject in some photos. Since it was kind of a last minute thought, I did not go out and buy special dishes, or nice (yet generic) place mats. I also do not have a lot of equipment yet, so these were taken with my FL-50R on the camera with the diffuser and omni bounce in place.
The settings here were ƒ 8.0 at 1/50th. The angle was just a little off from straight down, and the flash was tilted one notch up so that it was not going straight into the bowl, but pointing more over the bowl edge. Still I did get a little bit of flash glare on the back edge of the bowl, but I do think that I did still get some good shadowing and texture of the chili and cheese.
Here, I was still at ƒ 8.0, but the speed was bumped up to 1/60th. I was going for more of a side view of the bowl, so you just get the top of the chili and cheese as it clears the top edge of the bowl. Again the flash was still angled just slightly up to avoid getting a big glare on the side of the bowl. It also helped to create the shadow line from the bowl’s lip onto the side.