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.
I’ve spent nearly 20 years traveling internationally visiting with pros in their studios, reviewing their process and getting them started on the right foot with modern workflow procedures. Choosing software, training, calibrating equipment, lighting implementation, paper choice, print presentation, image critique and setting up one’s work environment are all a part of this process.
Smart workflows allow people to spend more time making images and less time at the computer. I encourage image-makers to reduce their dependency on Photoshop and rely more heavily on (more…)
I think it’s important to show your work to your peers and get feedback, especially when it’s new work you’re experimenting with. In this spirit, I thought I’d share a few night portraits I’ve been experimenting with.
At this year’s Night Photography Festival in Mono Lake, CA, I had a blast teaching an advanced class and making images side-by-side with so many people. But it was all the guest speakers, instructors and fantastic night photographers all in one place that was so unique about this gathering. Lance and I reserved Bodie State Park for two nights instead of one this year so that our group of 40+ could have ample time exploring and making images in the king of all ghost towns. Despite having this exceptional nighttime access to such an extraordinary place, I felt compelled to make portraits of the photographers themselves instead of the ghost town.
Now I’m no portrait photographer, and I don’t have any experience doing this, but I wanted to explore this idea of making portraits of night photographers in their habitat. These are 1-2 minute exposures by moonlight where I’m adding light on the subject with a flashlight (not a flash!). Since I prefer side-lighting from two sides with a handheld flashlight, it was challenging for the subject to keep still during the light painting and throughout the rest of the exposure.
As it turned out, other photographers started adding their own light while my shutter was open and some became a collaborative effort. So a tip of the hat to Lance Keimig, Troy Paiva and Tom Paiva for their added light and all the subjects for their collaboration and enthusiasm with this – it was a blast working with all of you. Perhaps those of you that know their work can pick out their handiwork?
I’ve included the names of these photographers below their portrait. They are all much more experienced photographers whose work I admire – please Google their names and check out their work if you aren’t familiar with them. And feel free to leave comments below.
Night Photographers use a process called “image stacking” that allows us to (among other things) make extremely long, 1-8 hour exposures that would otherwise be impossible due to overexposure. We take several images that are “stacked” or combined into a single, composite image. Over the years I’ve used a variety of applications to stack these images together including Keith’s Image Stacker, Startrails,exe, LR/Enfuse, “Open in Photoshop as Layers” and older versions of Dr. Brown’s Stack-A-Matic script. Limitations of these processes were frustrating and super slow which made it difficult to teach at workshops.
If you’re in San Antonio this weekend you won’t to miss Luminaria – the citywide arts festival. Downtown goes nuts for this and Hemisfair park will be full of performances, music and exhibitions. It’s a celebration of the city’s artists and artwork be it visual, performance or literary. I have a few 3×5 foot prints up at the Instituto de Mexico in an exhibit curated by Kathy Armstrong at the Southwest School of Art.
WalleyFilms just released a video that highlights our Night Photography workshop in West Texas.
It was really fun having Angela and Mark Walley out filming during our annual workshop in Big Bend, TX. They are super talented and do amazing work. Between the photographers and videographers the creative process was quite alive that week with image making all day and all night long. You can check out more about WalleyFilms at walleyfilms.com
As a long time still photographer, I’m pretty blown away with the power of video as a communication tool. As our DSLR cameras gain HD video capability I’m enjoying getting my feet wet. I think all photographers need to keep an eye on this medium and think about how we can embrace it and make it a part of our work. This is my first experience incorporating it into my own business and I’m looking forward to more exploration with it.
We get the paper version of the New York Times and enjoy their apps for the iPhone and iPad while traveling. Among other things, my wife and I have long obsessed over the “Modern Love” column in the styles section on Sundays.
Today, the NYTimes is featuring an essay of Jenny’s in that very column. It’s a deeply personal piece that reminds us to appreciate what we have, and do what we can while we can. Whither on paper or on your device, please check it out.
Last month’s night photogrpahy workshop in the Big Bend / Terlingua area was exceptionally fun. There was a total of 17 of us there and we did some unusual things at this workshop. We rented out all the rooms in the Terlingua ghost town so we had the whole town to ourselves for a week. We met on the front porch of the old Perry Mansion each morning to import and develop images. We met in the 120 year old church every afternoon for critique and our afternoon lectures. We drove down dirt roads at night, went into an old mine shaft and got access to some neat areas on private property. Here is some of the participant’s work from the workshop, as well as a few candid shots: