Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Massive quantities of Inspiration

This past week at Hobart and William Smith colleges at Geneva, NY, some of the best photographers in New York gathered to learn from some of the best photographers in the world.

I like to think I'm in the former category with aspirations to the latter.

Over the course of the 5 day intensive training workshop, we learned subtle nuances of lighting from the flashlight to the easybake oven (double striplights and reflectors. It's a technical term...), and photographed subjects from 5 to 104 years old.

HDR, X-Light, textures, and more terms than memory can recount were explained, demonstrated, critiqued and internalized.

When work was over for the day, we visited the "Barn" for socialization with our new friends and mentors. Truly, the teaching never stopped. For instance, I took the HDR image here on my way to the barn for that aforementioned socializing.

So why am I telling you all this?

Well, for IthacaStock contributors and other photographers, always be aware that our learning never stops. We need to keep our minds fresh and our possibilities open, never resting on our laurels. We should continually look at our past work and say "I can do better than that...."

For the rest of you, existing and potential clients, and friends, we hope you see, over time, our dedication to improving our craft and our skills, so that we can continue to provide exceptional images for all of your needs now and for years to come.

To PPSNYS, I owe a huge expression of thanks for bringing our instructors together with us in an exceptional learning environment. (Here's the plug)

The Professional Photographers Society of New York State, or PPSNYS, exists to improve the craft of photography. I have never been involved in as "giving" an organization. We are all compatriots together - not in competition with each other, but as collaborators working to improve our skills as professional photographers, and improve the state of photography in general.

For further information, please visit http://www.ppsnys.com

And incase you wondered exactly WHO I studied with, I humbly suggest you visit Michael Barton's web site, http://www.indigophotographic.com/ to see his extraordinary vision.

Until next time!


Thursday, July 8, 2010

Adobe Lightroom 3, or Photographers Set Free!

August 9 is a day that every photographer in central New York should mark on their calendars.

It is the day that Doug Hansgate, an innovative and talented photographer from the Buffalo area will be in Ithaca to give a day long workshop on Adobe's Lightroom 3.o software.

Ok, another class. Big deal. I'm so backed up in my work, enhancing all of my images in Photoshop and trying to find the files somewhere on my hard drive that I can't even consider taking a FULL DAY off to attend.

Well, folks, you are exactly who can benefit from Lightroom. Lightroom is not just another piece of software that Adobe boxed up in order to part you from your money.

This box is special.

Imagine if those guys from Adobe started out to make a product that would address all of the issues photographers had with Photoshop, and at the same time make file management and image retrieval a snap; a program that wouldn't allow you to damage the original file, and one that could make batch processing of almost any kind completely effortless... That's exactly what Lightroom 3 is. Photoshop designed not for graphic artists, but for PHOTOGRAPHERS!

And if you want to enhance an image within photoshop, the programs interface easily and effectively.

But my favorite feature involves culling. At a wedding, I'll take a LOT of images, sometimes over 1500. With Photoshop, I could count on spending a couple days culling before I even got to the enhancing part. With Lightroom, that few DAYS has been cut down to a few HOURS, and in the process of importing, I can get Lightroom to do some basic developing in the process, saving me mega hours on the back side.

Am I excited about Lightroom? You betcha. And I have only scratched the surface.

I thought I was doing well with the program until I saw my friend Doug Hansgate speak at the Finger Lakes section of the Professional Photographers Society of NYS... FLPPSNY for short. Doug spent about an hour giving us a short overview of what Lightroom was capable of, and the first night when I got home, I did a job I expected to take several hours in about 20 minutes.

This left me wanting more, so we invited Doug to come talk to local photographers and give a fairly in-depth talk on Lightroom.

So, who could benefit from this workshop?

Pretty much anyone who takes photographs seriously.
Our contributors to IthacaStock.com have need of an easy and trouble free method of batch resizing, as well as a straightforward method of tweaking their already awesome images.
File management can be a pain if you, like me, have a library on your disk with many thousands of images. Lightroom can help organize and make the process less of a pain.
Retrieving a photo by keyword through Lightroom is a matter of 12 seconds.

The session will be held at the South Hill Business Campus, 950 Danby Rd, Suite 112. The building is right across 96B from Ithaca College. The session will cost $99 and includes lunch. Those who register before August 1 and prepay using PayPal get $10 off of the class. Contributors to IthacaStock.com get a discount as well, available on our registration page!

And let me speak a moment about Doug Hansgate. Doug first came to my attention on Facebook with a forwarded image of his Buffalo Cityscapes. Shortly after, Kelvin Ringold called me and told me I should get Doug to speak to our section (FLPPSNY) because he was "unbelieveably good". We did, and were not disappointed.

So we want to share him and this awesome product called Lightroom 3 with you.

Look for updates about registering for the course in the next issue of our newsletter, on this blog, or on Facebook!

Can't wait to see you all!!