Photoshop World Kicks Off With A Touchdown Of A Keynote…

Photoshop World officially kicked off this morning with a kick butt opening keynote setting the stage for three great days of learning.

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Matt, Scott & Dave gave us a rundown of the upcoming week.

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Russell Brown & Johnny L from Adobe brought us up to date on the latest updates to Photoshop CS4.

The day was filled with great classes, the Expo floor opened with vendors showing off their newest, coolest products; portfolio reviews were jamming with over a hundred eager people, portfolios under their arms anxiously waiting to get input from instructors and last but certainly not least was the Photoshop World Party where Scott’s band, Big Electric Cat brought down the house with classic rock.

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It’s hard to believe that day one is already over.

Images captured with Nikon D700, AFS 24-70mm on Lexar Digital Media

Photoshop World Pre-Con Day

Well, Photoshop World is about to begin but, as if the three fun filled, education packed, creative juice energizer is not enough, there are pre-cons the day before. I had the day free so I attended Matt Kloskowski’s class on HDR imaging. I have played with HDR a bit and like both the real and the surreal effects that are possible to achieve using Photomatix Pro 3.0. We began with an intro into HDR (high dynamic range) photography and how to capture the images needed to extend the tonal range of a scene beyond what our cameras can do then off we went on a photowalk to capture some images that we could finish back in class. I am always drawn to the interior of churches with their wonderful architechture and stained glass windows and we had two churches within a block of each other.

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The Trinity Church

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First Church of Boston

Back in the classroom I put some of the techniques that Matt was teaching to work and the above images are the results of today’s shoot. Matt did his usual great job of teaching HDR, explaining and showing how to create both styles of HDR. Already the creative juices are flowing and kick off doesn’t officially start until tomorrow morning. Let the Game begin!!! If you are attending Photoshop World be sure to say hi! It already feels like old home week seeing my NAPP friends and family again.

Images captured with Nikon D700, AF 16mm fisheye on Lexar Digital Media

Learning Can Be Wicked Fun…

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Especially when you are learning from none other than the one, the only, the wickedly talented and funny Joe McNally himself! Of course, there is no better way to learn from Joe than in person where you can watch him perform his magic light act live. With a flick of his light here, a modifier there and voila! light lands right where he wants it to go creating amazing, beautifully lit images. I soak up as much of Joes knowledge as I can at each and every DLWS event. Now you have not one but two chances to take Joe and his wicked wit home with you to learn and become inspired from his lessons both in the field and in life. That’s right, Joe’s second book “Hot Shoe Diaries” is shipping and I have one in my hot little hands as I blog. What a great read! There is excellent information about using your speedlight to make magic light, little pearls of wisdom from Joe’s vast experiences and a glimpse into the inner workings of Joes mind. So, if you don’t already have the Hot Shoe Diaries head straight over to Amazon and get your copy today. And while you’re at it, order his first book “The Moment It Clicks” I know you’ll love them both. In fact, they make reat gifts for the special photographer in your life too.

As if that’s not enough fun, here are some more wicked fun learning experiences that are not to be missed…
Photoshop World March 25-27, 2009
DLWS Six events a year with Outer Banks, Maine, Great Lakes, New York & San Francisico currently on the calendar
Come of Safari with Laurie as we head to Fort DeSoto, Storm Chasing, So Texas Birds, Alaska Brown Bears, Yellowstone, Bosque and more…

You owe it to yourself to put some fun in your learning today.

Revisting A Favorite Location

I had a day in the field and digital darkroom with a student today. The day begins with an AM shoot at a favorite location of mine, The Columbia River Gorge where the photo opportunities abound. In typical Oregon fashion the weather called for heavy rain. It is a rule of mine that when a shoot is planned, I go, no matter the weather…there have been many times when the weather breaks or never develops in the first place and besides some of my favorite images happen during adverse weather. We arrived at the Womens Forum Lookout shortly before sunrise and were pleasantly surprised by the low lying fog and clouds moving lazily across the landscape. We began shooting and working through metering, depth of field, lens selection, composition, pre-visualizing the end result and how we would finish the image later in the digital darkroom. The landscape had a very monochromatic, moody feel to it and it was my intention to emphasize the feeling using NIK filters when finishing my images later.

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The next couple of hours were spent along the historic highway where we stopped at several of the waterfalls. It’s always a challenge to see a familiar location in a new light and come up with something different from the classic view. I’ve always loved the amphitheater of basalt, moss and ferns that are the backdrop for Multnomah falls but have never included it in my photographs. In fact, I have never photographed Multnomah Falls in a horizontal format until today.

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I love the charachter of the bridge that takes you up close to the falls and so I used it as the focal point with the falls as a backdrop placing the bridge high in the frame to add to the sense of height. Talk about happy accidents…by now the rain was falling pretty hard and it was a challenge to keep the front of our lenses clear. We would wipe shoot, wipe shoot, wipe shoot. It turns out I wasn’t quick enough on a couple of images and rather than ruining the image, I rather liked the soft focus feel that resulted. This image is straight out of the camera with just a tad of sharpening using NIK Sharpener Pro 3.0

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Still in a horizontal kind of mood, I photographed Horsetail falls where the waterfall crashes into the pool sending out shock waves of water from the force creating interesting patterns.

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After a delicious Indian lunch we headed back to the office we reviewed our images and selected a couple to finish using the tools in the digital darkroom bringing our memories of the morning to life. My enthusiastic student went home with a couple hundred new images on his hard drive, new knowledge to put to into use both in the field and in the digital darkroom and a 20X30 print under his arm. It was a good day!

Images captured with Nikon D3X, AF-S 24-70mm (falls), 70-300mm (Columbia Gorge) on Lexar Digital Media