November Update #1

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Let's all take a moment today to remember those who have served our great country as well the families and friends who stayed behind.  While we are often challenged, we are still free, thanks to to the men and women who made a difference.

There are still seats available for the Camera and Photography 101 workshop coming up next Sunday November 18th.  The workshop is designed to bring together the elements that go into an image and how you manage them on your personal camera.  It's very hands-on so you should bring your camera with you.   Email me at ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca to register.

Our final meeting of the year is on Tuesday November 27th.  In addition to our shared images, we will have a presentation by Amina Mohamed on her trip to Uganda and a tutorial on using greens screen techniques in photography.  As it is our last meeting, members are encouraged to bring either treats to share, or food bank ready goods.  Any treats left over will go along with the food bank items to Inn From the Cold, the charity that we support every year.  This year I am adding food bank items, because while we always have extra treats, it might be nice to also offer foodstuffs that will not go bad in a couple of days.

Our themes this month are Seasonal Shifts and Closer Than You Think.  We already have some great submissions, but the show improves with your own submission.

We have had a great level of acceptance to our new member's conversation system.  Folks are on the site everyday and new content is readily being posted.  We did have a surprise challenge a week ago, when the mobile app was updated which prevented access from mobile devices for about six hours.  Thanks to Gordon who let me know and the issue was resolved very quickly once I was made aware of the problem.  If you have not yet accepted your invitation, please consider doing so.

All the invites have now gone out, so if you cannot find yours, please let me know at ross@newmarketcameraclub.ca and I will resend it.

Thanks kindly , more to come

Ross

Workshops Email

Hi members,

A couple of people asked that I post the contents of the last email

Hello everyone,

I wanted to get this message out right away.  At our last "custom" meeting, there was clear demand for the return of workshops and long form tutorials for club members.

I have completed the necessary work with the town and have locked in Sunday afternoons from November 2018 through November 2019, the second Sunday of each month for this purpose.

The next step is to get them on the club website calendar and to define what will be covered in each workshop.  The plan is that everything is hands-on.  That means your camera and gear, or your computer.  Real world stuff and no foo foo dust.

Now I just need some help defining the content.  I have received some suggestions so far, and as you know, the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

The following topics are already confirmed, but I have not yet assigned dates as I want to be able to build on skills over the term.

Photography and Camera 101
Learn the key principles of photography and how to apply these principles to your camera.  We will cover the elements of exposure, focal length choices, exposure compensation, white balance and how to use these tools to make more successful images.  We will spend most of our time in Program mode for this class simply because it is so powerful as a tool to help folks get comfortable and confident

Photography and Camera 201
In this class we will build on the skills in 101 to move into the semi-automatic modes as well as full manual.  We will also explore some concepts that will help you be more successful such as the in camera histogram, live view as well as using accessory tools such as tripods, standard filters, remote controls and fill in flash.

Photographing for and Processing for Black and White
Black and white is not what we do when a colour shot does not work out.  Black and white is tougher to do well than colour, so this workshop is going to focus on shooting for black and white.  We will look at metering practices, deciding where tones should fall, learning to see without the distraction of colour.  Then using software for demonstration purposes, we will dive into black and white post production including when and how to use coloured filtration for your black and white, where curves and levels are best used and how to make compelling black and white images that stand the test of time

Managing Your Photos in Lightroom
This class is all about the Library module.  Develop a best practice for importing, for folder use and using collections.  We will talk about keywording, rating and ranking.  We will look at how we can use Collections to manage our core workflow and explore how metadata can help us in using Smart Collections.  We will also look at how the Library module helps us organize our images for online viewing and sharing as well as for populating an Adobe Portfolio site.

Integrating Lightroom and Photoshop
This class is all about looping in Photoshop when Lightroom is not enough.  What do we do where?  What happens when we round-trip?  How do we keep track of images when we back and forth?  There is no single right way, but there are some best practices that we can work on.  The class requires that the attendee have a computer and a subscription to at minimum the Adobe Photographer's bundle.

TTL Flash Is Easy
This class is all about using your flash more effectively.  All of today's cameras support TTL flash, but there is a lot of misunderstanding and a lot of BS about TTL.  You'll use your camera and your hot shoe mount speedlight flash to learn how TTL works, when it can be fooled, and how to get to a great shot quickly.  We will also cover mixing flash and ambient light, working to match colour temperatures with gels along with the use of creative exposure control to make great images with flash that don't necessarily look like flash.  This class applies to all TTL flashes but we will work with small flash only.  Light shaping tools for small flash will also be covered.

Photoshop for Lightroom Users
This class is built for folks comfortable in Lightroom but for whom Photoshop is still a mystery.  We will look at the most common Photoshop tools for Lightroom users and learn when they make sense.  Rather than an overly deep dive into Photoshop, we will spend our time on specific tasks that have wide ranging usability.

These are, I think a good start, but there are slots for 12 workshops and that means five of them have no subject yet.  Let me know what you want to learn, and if not covered already, I will look to build content in that regard.  The existing classes are built based specifically on member requests.  Please share your needs/wants via email.

I am going to hold the workshop fees to what they were two years ago, $50 per person per workshop.  Workshops will be limited to 20 attendees and will be first come, first registered.  Registration will be in advance,

If you are a new member and do not yet have access to the private page for the club on Google Plus, please click the link below to apply for access.

Thanks kindly , more to come

Ross

Tips for Making Books with Blurb

A number of members have made or are considering having made photo books using Blurb, because it is built in to Lightroom.  Recently, member Lou received a book and he was unhappy with the results.  When he contacted Blurb, they were, in my opinion, rather snarky in their response, and I felt that they were making the poor quality of the result his fault.

I looked closely into the Blurb functionality in Lightroom and while it is nice that it is built in, none of the guidance provided was highlighted or even indicated in the Blurb plugin.  Perhaps Adobe should remove the Blurb plugin completely and simply direct people to use Blurb's own book building software.  Not that doing so would have helped because the only way to know about these tips is to wade through their FAQ.  I consider this lazy on their part, and I find blaming the client for not reading every scrap of dreck on their site to be very crappy customer focus.

However, should you wish to make books using Blurb, you really MUST read these articles.

Blurb Colour Management

Blurb Soft Proofing in Lightroom

Please note that soft proofing for Blurb only works in Lightroom 6 / CC according to Blurb so if you don't have either and want to soft proof so as not to get a product that makes you unhappy you will need to soft proof in Photoshop.  This certainly puts the boots to the concept of simplicity and ease of use.

 

Lightroom 4.2 is now available

One of the things I love about Adobe Creative Suite is how the Application Manager downloads updates automatically.  Lightroom doesn't do that, and you have to launch it to maybe get a notice.  

If you area Lightroom user, head over to Adobe.com and download the 4.2 update.  It's worth your time.

Lightroom Workshop - November 2012

Following our macro workshop, attendees offered suggestions on what else that they would like to see.  Far and away, the biggest demand is for Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4.

Lightroom is a very powerful tool comprising multiple modules.  I am pleased to announce that I will be working with the City to book the facility for a full day workshop (with breaks) to get people up to speed on Lightroom.  This means that we will not cover every module, but will cover the three key things that people need to do.

So, I will cover the Library module including importing, using catalogs, using collections along with workflow strategies to ensure that you have proper backups in the face of something going horribly wrong.

Next up we will spend the majority of the time working on your images.  Guidelines will be provided in advance of what kinds of images to bring for the exercise.  The plan is to go through the Develop module options on at least six different images.  

We'll close the workshop with a short session on the Print module, with guidance on printing your own images and for preparing exported images to be sent to a lab for printing.

This will be a hands-on workshop opportunity.  Attendees will bring their own laptop computers (if desired) and work on their own images.  Attendees will certainly be welcome to attend to only take notes if that is your choice, but hands-on will provide more retention and skill development.  If you already own Lightroom, awesome, if you do not, Adobe does provide a free trial at their website where you can download Lightroom to try out.  Please bear in mind that the trial is timebombed - so if you will go this route, only download less than five days in advance of the workshop.  Lightroom is sold online and in major retailers.  It is available with media at Henry's from Bryan Weiss of course.

I will confirm a date shortly once I receive the options available from the city.  In the interim, if you read this post and want to attend email me so I get an idea of who would be interested.  You aren't committing with this email.

VIDEO : Introduction to Macro Photography

As was mentioned by more than a few attendees, I blasted pretty quickly through the Introduction to Macro Photography session at the recent meeting.  Since several folks complained about the time allotted (not enough, no real time for questions) I have recorded a video of the presentation.  You can view it at The Photo Video Guy

I also had requests for more detail on how I lit the flower shot that I used for Passages, so I will work on that shortly.

REVIEW : Joe McNally One Light Two Light Tour

Yesterday I attended the Joe McNally One Light Two Light tour that I posted about a few weeks back.

I've seen Joe teach before and knew what to expect, fast paced content, lots of movement, interesting stories from his lengthy career and Joe's somewhat dark sense of humour.  I also expected to learn something new, and if I was paying attention, multiple new things.

I was not disappointed, and neither were the list of club members that I saw and spoke with.  Gabe, Jay, Geoff and Richard all said how impressed they were.  New members Barb and John were also pleased and I saw Paul there as well.  Unfortunately Bryan could not attend because he got jerked around by a co-worker (my words entirely - not his).  I also saw Martin Ingles who runs Amazing Adventures along with his wife and trip attendees Kate, Liz, Holly and Chris.  Clearly lots of people were looking to learn from the master of small flash.

The most compelling message coming out of the seminar is that you can do most anything you want with TTL small flash.  Joe experienced some regular issues with his Nikon Creative Lighting System getting multiple flashes to go off, all due to line of sight issues, but he did demonstrate that indoors, when line of sight is maintained, this system works very well.  I can confirm that Canon's system also works very well as I've used it myself.  Joe is not a fan of TTL radio, he was clear on that.  I will say that the PocketWizards for Canon work brilliantly but I have no experience with the Nikon implementation.

Joe made clear that the best use of the built in pop-up flash on DSLRs is to be a Commander for remote flashes.  He made no attempt to justify its use as a flash and it was pleasant to hear a real professional say the same thing I've been saying for years.

I surely cannot go through the entire day as it was eight hours of very fast content, but there are a few things I will note for readers.

Every flash Joe uses has a dome diffuser on it.  On close inspection they look like Sto-Fen units.  They only come off when being used as a trigger for other flashes, he leaves the domes on even when he will be shooting through other diffusion options.  I confess I learned this in a previous Joe training and have one on all my small flashes as well.  Joe did not bring up the use of the Gary Fong tools that I like so much, but he has spoken about them in past courses and I concluded that he is not fond of Mr. Fong, although that is my opinion.  Member Jay has shared a story of Mr. Fong's arrogance at an appearance so that may be related.  The Sto-Fen diffusers are inexpensive and while they do not diffuse like the Fong Lightsphere, they serve to spread the light decently.

Joe advocates getting your ambient reading before firing up a flash so you can decide whether to support the ambient, fill the ambient or displace it completely.  He also gave numerous points to using the zoom head position on his flashes.  For this tour he was using his stable of SB-900s, but any TTL with manual zoom override on the head would work.  I've written in the past about how much I like the Metz 58 SAF-2 model.

The most compelling message that Joe sent was also the most subtle.  There were no professional models.  He invited audience members to be the model for segments every time.  They were all enthusiastic participants with the exception of the last young lady, possibly because Joe kept calling her by the wrong name.  What matters is that with effective use of light, these regular folks could be portrayed in a number of different ways just by changing how he used the light.  This message went unsaid, so I will repeat it here.  You don't need to hire professional models to work up your portfolio.  Friends and family can make excellent subjects, when you apply the light.

I hope to be able to attend Photoshop World in Las Vegas this fall, and be assured there are plenty of classes for not photoshop and look forward to more classes with Joe McNally.  I heard some criticisms that Joe spends his time on the how and not on the why.  This is a true statement, but for me at least, this is what I go see him to learn.  And learn I did.  I rate Joe McNally as 5 out of 5 when it comes to helping me learn how to solve a lighting problem.

Thanks to the Meter Masters!

A big shout out to the group of members who joined me for this morning's photowalk on Learning to See Like A Light Meter.  Feedback was very good, so thanks to Kelly,Trevor, Dave, Jay, Angie, Jodi, Richard, Valerie, Jennifer, Will and Eden.  Gosh I hope I did not miss anyone.  

Based on comments from these folks, the next walk I lead will be Learning to Use Fill Flash Outdoors, date and time to be determined.

 

Ross

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