news, announcements and articles

Night Photography Workshop in Mono Lake and Bodie Ghost Town

July 31st-August 3rd, in Eastern California
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig

Schedule:
July 31st – Optional Lightroom 5 Class in Lee Vining
August 1st – Tioga Pass or Mono Lake
August 2nd and 3rd – Bodie Ghost Town

Steve's Rock by Scott Martin

Tioga Pass, Mono Lake and Bodie ghost town are not only some of our favorite locations that we’ve been making images in for decades, we’ve also been leading night photography workshops here for the past ten years. We think you’ll find Mono Lake’s signature monolithic rock structures that extend upward from the lake are ideal for night photography. The dramatic granite moonscapes of Tioga Pass (more…)


Commentary: Monitors are bad and noise (can be) good

We’d like to think that todays $1000+ LED LCD displays are great but I’m going to say they’re not. They suck actually. We just don’t know better because we haven’t seen anything better – yet. Today’s displays are like cars from the 1970s – much better transportation than a decade prior but still horribly polluting, underpowered and unsafe in comparison to what’s coming in the next few decades. Today’s desktop computer monitors are fairly low resolution ranging from 72-150ppi. While this works fine for 95% of the people out there communicating via email and browsing the web, its having some negative consequences when it comes to photographic image development. People are over sharpening their images and including too much localized contrast. Most importantly, we’re taking out noise that can be beautiful and make prints look incredible.

The original digital capture [left and above right] is so typicially clean that it can lead to bland, boring prints. With grain added in LR/ACR the image prints beutifully with a luscious, precision fine texture. We’ve come to the incorrect assumption that becuase noise and grain looks terrible onscreen it will be equally terrible in print. That’s a false assumption. (more…)


Night Photography Workshop: Death Valley

March 19-21, 2014 in Death Valley, CA
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig

Death Valley by Scott Martin

Lance Keimig and I invite you to join us in Death Valley in March. Unlike our usual Full Moon Night Photography workshops, this one will take place in the waning stage of the lunar cycle which will offer us some dark skies full of stars. I’ve come to love this time of night after the sun has gone down and before the moon comes up. It will be a great chance to rely upon light painting and make some ‘galactic sky’ images. We are also going to some unusual and remote locations in the park that most workshops don’t get to.

There will also be lots of opportunities for light drawing as well as light painting. Adding add to these scenes will be an important process towards getting a satifiying image. This intensive workshop is intended for photographers with a (more…)


Lightroom for Pros

February 18th, 2013, 9am – 4pm in Houston Texas
with Scott Martin in conjunction with ASMP

This 1 day workshop takes an intense look at optimizing photography workflows from capture-to-print using Adobe Lightroom. Skipping the basics, we’ll focus on the nitty gritty details necessary for professionals in the field. This workshop will be held at a photography studio downtown with lunch at the infamous Last Concert Cafe.

Topics of discussion:
Lessoning dependency on Photoshop
The DNG format and how to incorporate it into your workflow
File Management
Organizing your images and preparing for 100,000+ image libraries
High Volume storage management
Image Development with the new 2012 pipeline
Making your images sing
Printing from Lightroom
UV Curable Printing
Timelapse workflow with Lightroom (more…)


Icelandic Photo Tour

March 29 – April 6, 2013 in Iceland
with Lance Keimig, Tim Vollmer and Scott Martin

Iceland Night Photos

Iceland is a popular destination for so many reasons. This trip will be special in that it comes at the end of winter at what is essentially the best time to photograph the Northern Lights, or the Aurora Borealis in the next decade. We’ll have 8 days and 7 nights to explore and photograph this amazingly beautiful country, and all expenses except airfare, gratuities, and alcohol are included. The trip will be co-led with Lance Keimig and Tim Vollmer (whose photographs illustrate this page). Having three instructors (more…)


Mastering the Night: Death Valley

March 2-4, 2013 in Death Valley, CA
optional Lightroom class on March 1st
with Scott Martin and Lance Keimig

Death Valley by Scott Martin

Lance Keimig and I invite you to join us in Death Valley in March. We’re shaking things up for this workshop and doing several things diffrrently than we normally do. Unlike our usual Full Moon Night Photography workshops, this one will take place in the waning stage of the lunar cycle which will offer us some dark skies full of stars. I’ve come to love this time of night after the sun has gone down and before the moon comes up. It will be a great chance to rely upon light painting and make some ‘galactic sky’ images. We are also going to some unusual and remote locations in the park that most workshops don’t get to.

There will also be lots of opportunities for light drawing as well as light painting. Adding add to these scenes will be an important process towards getting a satifiying image. This intensive workshop is intended for photographers with a (more…)


Workshops for University Faculty

I just finished a private workshop in Marfa, TX with 15 faculty from the AT&T Learning Studio’s Faculty Enrichment program at ACU. Not only did the university photography instructors come, but also several designers, cinematographers and those working in modern “media” forms (eBooks, video, web, etc). I really loved the diversity of this group, and the workshop provided them a chance to get out of their comfort zone and apply their creativity in ways that was different from what they were used to. They were enthusiastic, open minded and energetic. We had a ball.

With photography changing so quickly, I especially enjoy opportunities to discuss the challenges this presents for higher education professionals. None of us can afford to stick to our old ways. There are just too many exciting changes and implications to stand still. Tools like Photoshop are last-decade technology while a new frontier of applications are emerging that better fit our workflows that are intertwined with high volumes of imagery and processes like time lapse and video.

Please let me know if you’d like to discuss the evolving medium of photography at your university.


HiDPI display support will significantly enhance our relationship with photography

After spending 6 hours with Lightroom’s new HiDPI Retina Display Support, let’s me just say it’s incredible. A giant step forward. It’s like seeing all of your images in a whole new light. Looking at images on a ~300ppi screen with the same clarity and resolution of a fine print is a long time dream of mine that I know would someday come true.

Lightroom 4.3 RC

We’ve been living in the dark ages with our ~72ppi displays. We’ve been seeing not the true nature but a facsimile of our images. Things like sharpness, noise and grain just don’t look right on a low res screens like they do in print. With HiDPI displays we can actually visualize these things and make better informed decisions while we’re developing our images. I think this will improve our relationship with images in our modern, digital workflows tremendously (more…)