FREE Photoshop Elements Webinar
On Wednesday, May 18 at 7PM Pacific Time, the first 10 people to register will be able to join my Photoshop Elements in 6 Weeks class for a sample session. The webinar is 1 hour and this session covers Selection Tools. Non-paying attendees will not be able to ask questions or interject comments and will not have access to the recorded video afterwards.
To register, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the log-in information. Registration is open until Tuesday midnight or when all 10 seats are filled.
Learning Lightroom 3.0
With the release of Lightroom 3.0, there’s been a lot of interest LR training. Recently, I received an e-mail from Adobe with a list of LR classes and workshops. From the list, I checked out the website of George Jardine, a Denver photographer/LR instructor and I was blown away!
George offers 3 video tutorials (over 16 hours) covering LR Library, LR Develop and Adobe Camera RAW (ACR.) These are not cheesy, jerky, blurry homemade videos but full up professional productions of LR and ACR tips and techniques for every level of LR, PSCS or PSE user. Best of all, George offers a “bundle” deal. The LR Library and Develop tutorials are $24.95 each and the ACR tutorial is $34.95. However, if you buy both LR videos for $$49.90, George gives you the ACR tutorial for FREE! It don’t get no better’n that!
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to immediately recognize George as a “Conscious-Competent” among Photoshop trainers. George is not just very knowledgeable but he knows how to transfer that knowledge to others in a clear, succinct manner without the over-hyped, self-promotion of many Photoshop trainers.
George gives you the tools so you can make better decisions about your adjustments. Unlike many so called “gurus,” George recognizes there are no quick & easy formulas for excellence, each of us needs to make our own decisions about our photography. George gives us the tools for making those decisions. Lest I sound like George’s #1 Fanboi, I’ve never met George and I get nothing by promoting his video tutorials. I just want my readers to get the maximum “bang for their buck” when seeking training.
Here are some photos that have nothing to do with LR training but how can I possibly post a photography blog without a few photos?
HDR Tools, Tips and Techniques in Three Hours
Rob Sheppard, editor of Outdoor Photographer magazine, National Geographic contributer and author of over 30 photography books will present a 3-hour webinar covering the ins-and-outs of producing realistic nature HDR (high dynamic range) photographs.
Rob is a laid back, easy-going guy who has a knack for getting his point across in clear, simple English. His years of experience as an award winning photographer combined with his skill as an editor make it possible for him to cut through the clutter and reduce complex topics to easy-to-understand explanations. To learn more about this webinar and register, follow this link.
Black Rapid, Topaz Labs, MediaChance and Everimaging have donated door prizes for this webinar. In all, we have 18 gifts donated by four companies. Follow the link as we reveal all the cool door prizes you can win in Rob’s HDR webinar and Gloria Hopkins’ webinar on Composition.
Link to More
If It’s Not Composed, It’s Just a Snapshot
In the 2 weeks since I posted the announcement about Gloria Hopkins’ composition webinar, dozens of readers have clicked the link to Gloria’s site and read her article about turning a so-so photo into impactful art. This tells me many of you recognize the value of composition.
In the composite to the left, can you explain which is better and why? If you’re serious about photography, you need a grasp of what makes a photo compelling, impactful and/or aesthetically pleasing. The keys to excellence in photography are control, technique and composition. Here’s an article by Gloria that demonstrates her ability to organize, simplify and reduce complex concepts down to easy-to-grasp, mental maps that you can readily follow.
How many times have you wished you could ask an author what he or she meant by a certain phrase or passage? Hear Gloria explain compositional maps in her webinar. Webinars are like regular classrooms including questions, comments and answers on-the-fly. Don’t understand something? Just ask and Gloria will answer your specific question. It’s as if you’re in the room with Gloria.
Another Reason to Avoid Auto Mode
Over New Years, my wife and I went to Sonny Bono Salton Sea NWR to photograph burrowing owls and experience Slab City, an odd encampment of brand new, multi-hundred-thousand-dollar RVs parked next to decrepit trailers that will never move again. Slab City is also home to Leonard Knight and Salvation Mountain, a monument to one man’s single-minded pursuit to bring God’s love to humanity. Before you write it off as the efforts of a kook, click the link and check it out. Photos can’t do justice to Salvation Mountain, it really needs to be experienced.
As I said, photos just can’t do justice to the scale and scope of Salvation Mountain. I’ve photographed it in the soft light of early morning and late afternoon. I’ve been there in the middle of blazing southern California midday sun. I’ve crouched low, shooting up with an ultra-wide angle, I’ve stood on top of my RV with a 300mm telephoto to stack the foreground and background.
While I was trying to make “the definitive photo” of Salvation Mountain, my wife made the above photo with her Canon G11, an outstanding compact digital. At first glance, I really liked it and asked for the original to make some minor edits. Once I got it into Photoshop Elements, I was perplexed by the odd color cast. Notice how colors in the foreground have a cool color cast (blue-ish) while colors further up the mountain have a warm cast (orange-ish). Because this photo was made late in the afternoon, the entire mountain should have been bathed in a warm, orange-ish glow. Upon reflection, I realized she had the camera set to Auto Mode which caused the camera to automatically fire the flash due to low light. This also set White Balance to Auto which, in turn, caused the foreground objects within the 10 to 15 foot range of the flash to be daylight balanced while the rest of the mountain is warm.
I’m in a Rut
This site was launched on January 29, 2009. Since then, I’ve posted 142 articles plus 40 videos. Some loyal readers and students have followed me for the past 589 days (848,160 minutes). Much of the material comes from trade shows, classes, workshops and seminars I’ve attended. Still other posts are the result of articles I’ve read in magazines, books and, of course, the web. Some comes from readers’ questions and comments but, lately, less and less feedback comes from my readers. Now, I’m burned out. I can’t muster the enthusiasm to write articles and produce videos that no one may be reading.
I’m off to the 1st Annual California Photo Festival in Los Osos next week where I hope to recharge my batteries and get my creative juices flowing again. Until then, I hope you enjoy some recycled articles starting with this first one on Exif tools.