October 26 Class Cancelled

The Bad News – The class on basic photography (II) has been cancelled. We just did not get a sufficient number of signups to make the class worth the use of the space at the library. Perhaps we will try again.

The Good News – The updated website and new portfolios have been published. The site is now tablet friendly and will even work on your phone if you are into that kind of pain.

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Plans for a class in the spring include an intermediate to advanced Lightroom class and an intermediate to advanced Photoshop class. On the Learning Page at the bottom right is a red box for emailing me.  Please let me know if you think you might be interested in one of those classes. The library promotions go out well in advance.

A challenge to all is to learn to see like the camera sees. The camera does not respond to light the way the human eye does. Learning the limitations of the camera as well as the possibilities will help you move your photography to greater success.

While capture is one aspect of photography, post processing is another, and control over the final image is what you should strive for. Letting the camera decide how your pictures will look is not the road to good images.  You can’t buy great images, you need to learn how to see them, and then how to process them to get what you want from the capture.

“The eye should learn to listen before it looks.”
― Robert Frank
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Digital Photography II – October 26th

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Upcoming seminar – basic to intermediate digital photography. Some from the first seminar have requested the conversation continue.

Understanding digital photography is a bit more complex than you might think. Among other things you may be in charge of your images in ways you never considered. Knowing how to use the camera settings and tools is a step in the right direction.

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Primary among good digital capture is understanding the difference between raw and jpg capture. Do you know how the jpg style settings in your camera can influence how you expose a raw file? What does the histogram actually represent and how can you use it to get the best capture in terms of exposure? Continue reading “Digital Photography II – October 26th”

Dorothea Lange at LVC

An exhibit featuring the work of Dorothea Lange and 13 other artists will be on display at the Suzanne H. Arnold Art Gallery at Lebanon Valley College from January 25 to March 24. 2019. Lange and other photographers documented the great depression for the Farm Security Administration and established documentary and journalistic photography as an art form.

Lange’s photograph of a migrant mother has come to represent the project. It was part of a series she shot of the mother and her family in 1936.

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Gallery and exhibit Information and hours can be found here.

LVC will also host a photography workshop: “Black and White Portraits: Capturing the Human Presence” by Andrew Bale. The workshop will be held in Lynch Memorial Hall, Room 185, February 16, 2019, from 9 a.m. To 3 p.m. Andy’s work is exceptional and he is also an expert printer. He has worked with the National Geographic Legacy Fund in documenting the Ese’Eja Cultural Mapping project in south-eastern Peru, and is represented in several permanent collections.

Beyond Global – Refining YOUR Images

I will be offering a class at the Hershey Library on Saturday morning October 13th. Rather than the usual demonstrations of how I made a particular image or used a special technique, this will be a class where your images are the source material. Requirements for participation are that you bring at least three images on a jump drive, including brackets if available, and be willing to have your images used for demonstration. You will be given the final result as a psd on your drive so you can study what was done after the class.

Continue reading “Beyond Global – Refining YOUR Images”

Processing YOUR Images

Photography starts with seeing something interesting. Then we capture it with our cameras and either preserve it as a personal memory or share it with others. Anything is fair game when it is a personal memory. Sharing images can be casual, but more often than not it is to make an impression on others, either as an artistic statement, or possibly in a competition.

Digital capture is pretty straight forward and today’s cameras do a pretty good job of making a good image. Moving a good image to something better is where craft enters and the end game is your personal art.
Continue reading “Processing YOUR Images”

Exposure for Digital Raw

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“If you expose digital the way you expose film, you run twin dangers of failing to exploit the camera’s dynamic range, and creating exposures whose shadows are noisier than they need to be.” – Adobe Whitepaper – Raw Capture, Linear Gamma and Exposure – Bruce Fraser.

Film was engineered to respond pretty much in the same way as we see, which made perfect sense at the time. While twice the light made the image brighter, it did not make the image twice as bright.
Continue reading “Exposure for Digital Raw”

Post Processing in Photoshop

Intermediate to Advanced Post processing in Photoshop

“Great artists don’t just happen, any more than writers, or singers, or other creators,” … “They have to be trained, and in the hard school of experience.” – Georgia O’Keeffe

Digital photography has made making a decent image pretty easy. Using ACR or especially Lightroom allows you to render the basic color and contrast of an image very well. But, the primary purpose for which they were created was preliminary global adjustments. Global adjustments are those which address the overall image in terms of color and contrast, but do nothing to address specific issues in smaller local areas. Yes, many of the tools added to ACR and Lightroom were put there to make some of these modifications possible, but the real tool for image polishing is still Photoshop.

Many photographers are satisfied with what they can accomplish with basic raw processing. In some cases it is all that is needed. But the refinements to an image that can push it over the top still require more work. What we are finding when we shoot is the “raw” material (pun intentional) needed to produce a good photograph.

The good news is that Photoshop post processing is really not complicated. The bad news is that Photoshop post processing is really complicated. It is not complicated in terms of the mechanics, but it is complicated in that many of the processes are simply not intuitive. They need to be learned, and that learning is a curve that can be rather steep. That is experience. Like any craft, it requires time to get to know what can be done.

Like anything worth the effort you first need to learn to think in Photoshop. If you take piano lessons you learn scales first, you do not sit down and learn to play a complicated piece of music. In Photoshop you need to learn the scales too. Layers and masks are really not that difficult – the second time. Blend modes and other more exotic tools require more time, just like playing the piano with both hands. Some of the ways to use Photoshop tools, like making selections, are a never ending learning process.

The advantage of knowing how to use the tools and options in Photoshop is the ability to mold an image into something better than what the camera handed you. Some of the techniques are actually pretty simple to use, but first you need to know they are there. Blend modes are like that, and I guarantee you that I can show you in a very short time – like 15 minutes – ways to use them that you will love and use immediately in your processing workflow. Others require deeper thought to apply to your work, but you have to start somewhere. If you don’t know it is out there, you can’t use it.

I will give a presentation to the Hershey Camera Club on May 3rd. The primary topic will be selections, but any presentation in Photoshop always covers larger ground. No technique stands alone. The program is open to the public.

I will present a workshop/seminar on Intermediate to Advanced Photoshop Post Processing on Saturday, May 19th from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Hershey Library. Cost for the program is just $45. The program will include Layers and Masks, Curves, Selections, Blend Modes and much more. I will address controlling the image while avoiding bad practices. There are tools in Photoshop (eraser, burn, dodge) which are simply not worth using as they are not modifiable. Imagine being able to get better results without the pain of backing up in history.

Please email me if you wish to attend so I can inform the library and make appropriate plans for the seminar. Locals can sign up and pay in advance at the library. Learning Photoshop is an adventure, and I hope you will join the experience.