Fall Classes Scheduled

Greetings to all. It has been a while. I have scheduled two classes for this fall and plans are being made for the spring of 2018. All classes are held at the Hershey Library in Hershey, PA.

This fall I will explore image processing in Lightroom in detail. This will be Saturday October 21, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I will look at each processing panel and tool in the Develop module to show how to control tone and color of your images. Many photographers can enhance their images without the need for manipulating pixels in Photoshop or Elements and this class will show you how that is done.

Speaking of Elements, if you need (or want) to manage the pixels in your images the second class is for you. On Saturday November 11, 2017, from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. I will show you how to use selections, masks, and blend modes to enhance your images. I will also show you how to replace boring skies and composite images for greater impact. If you are an Elements user, this class will take you to a new level of control of your images.

Spring of 2018 will bring the first class in advanced Photoshop techniques. No date is yet set for this class. Advanced selection techniques, use of channels and apply image techniques for better masking, and learning how the numbers work to insure better image output are at the head of the list.

Information on classes and other good stuff is always available at my Learning Page.

The Fine Photograph

I am back from Indiana where I gave a seminar on Photography, Lightroom and Photoshop. Many thanks to a great group of people at the Goshen Photography Guild for their support for the program which sold out the available seats. The venue was great and the experience was wonderful and fun.

The day after the seminar a group of us went after images at Michigan City along the lake with the Chicago skyline visible (slightly) in the distance. Some were hoping for a sunset with the skyline, but cool air and wind were there instead.

IMAGE SHARPENING

As is typical when giving a seminar, you never know how the questions and overall flow will go until it happens. I wanted to include a section on image sharpening which time did not allow. So, I want to direct people to my Learning Page for more information and in particular the two articles, Smart Sharpen , and the High Pass Filter for sharpening images. There are, of course, many other ways to sharpen images, but these two are both powerful, versatile, and the most used.

The two gulls in the photograph above were surprisingly cooperative considering the exposure time for the image was 20 seconds. This was done with the aid of a neutral density filter that allows the moving water and clouds to appear as smooth tones rather than fine detail, while stationary content is registered in a normal manner. Great fun.

Photoshop Seminar April 29, 2017

A reminder that next Saturday, April 29th, 2017 is the Photoshop Seminar at the Hershey Public Library, in Hershey, PA. Doors open at 9:30. The seminar is three hours and will cover a number of Photoshop techniques for enhancing images including blend modes, selection techniques, and creating and modifying masks.

The library asks that you sign up and pay in advance. The fee is $45. Hope to see you there.

The abstract image above has been selected for inclusion in the online gallery of images by the Cultural Center of Cape Cod. It was selected from 711 entries from the US and Canada. I am delighted to be included.

Information on Photoshop techniques are always available on my Learning page at my website.

Much Ado

There are many things happening in April. Here are some reminders.

Saturday, April 1st, 2017 – Harrisburg Camera Club, Light and Creativity Workshop at Central Penn College in Enola. Information Here

Saturday, April 1st through 3rd – PPA of PA Convention at the Comfort Suites Hotel in Carlisle.Information Here

Doshi Exhibit at Susquehanna Art Museum – running currently and extended through  Sunday, May 21, 2017 with free “Third in the Burg” admission for the reception on Friday, April 21st from 6-9pm..

Sunday April 23, 2017 – Outdoor Lighting Workshop – Master Photographers Terry Blain and Bryson Leidich will offer tips on posing and off camera flash techniques at Terry’s studio in Carlisle, PA. Information is on my web page for the workshop.

Saturday, April 29th, 2017 – Photoshop Seminar – I will be teaching Photoshop image editing techniques at a workshop in the Hershey Library. Doors open at 9:30 a.m.

Learning Lightroom

Lightroom is an image mangement tool and a file processor.

Lightroom is an image management tool (database) and a file processor. This means it can manage your images for you allowing more efficient filing and retrieval of images as well as defining the parameters to use to process raw and other files for export either into an editor like Photoshop or a final file for printing or sharing. By defining parameters I mean that Lightroom writes data to a file that tells the processor what to do to that file on export. It does not directly modify the file – it creates instructions on how to modify the file. That is the database part, along with remembering where files are located.

Think of Lightroom as a library card catalog. The card catalog does not contain the books, but references to where the books can be found. Lightroom references where your files can be found on a hard drive. The Lightroom catalog is metadata; information about other data, which is your image file. Initially, the information is location of the file, resolution, color space, copyright, keywords, etc. As you process an image, more data is written to the catalog as instructions on how to process your image. I suggest you also set preferences to export settings to an XMP sidecar file. This copies the processing, ratings and other information to a file that accompanies the raw file in your hard drive and gives you an additional measure of backup, and the ability to open the file with modifications intact in Bridge or ACR.

If you modify a file outside of Lightroom the XMP file for that file will contain the changes, but Lightroom will not automatically update the database to reflect those changes. An icon will appear in LR (up arrow with lines at top right) indicating that the XMP file has changed. Click on the icon and you will be asked whether to import the modifications from the XMP file or not.

I will be presenting a 3 hour seminar on Lightroom next Saturday, March 11, 2017 at the Hershey Library starting at 9:30 a.m. You will need to sign up through the library. Sign up for the seminar at the Hershey Library. The cost is $45.

I will be presenting a Photoshop seminar at the Hershey Library on April 29th (same time, same channel). Hope to see you.

Create your own seminar

It is often difficult to know what topics interest people at any point in time. At the same time I am often asked when my next seminar will be. Seminars take effort to create, often considerably more time than the seminar itself. Specialty seminars can be especially time consuming making sure that appropriate sample material is produced.

I have created an alternative concept. I will let you create the seminar. I have an entry on my website learning page that will allow you and your friends to decide what seminar I teach. Some suggestions are listed, but topics related to photography and Photoshop/Elements are all options.

In Lightroom, Photoshop and Elements I can work with your images rather than my own, bringing the learning closer to your needs. Most students are amazed at how some basic and pretty simple techniques can substantially improve their output.

Some people can learn on-line from tutorials about certain techniques, but I have found that most people do not know what processes, tools and techniques they can use to begin with. This is where I can be particularly helpful.

Individual and group seminars can be created and made to suit your schedule. As an example I am offering any local camera club a seminar in Lightroom basic raw image processing and integrating Lightroom with Photoshop or Elements using club member images at no charge. Clubs outside of the Harrisburg/Hershey area are welcome to take advantage of the offer as well. Please contact me to make arrangements.

Cameras only produce source material; the image maker is responsible for creating the final result. There are many photographers out there who see interesting images but don’t know how to take their captures to the next step. Plugins and actions are not how you get where you want to be.

The Subject Doesn’t Win the Award!

You are walking into a photography exhibit and a friend who is leaving tells you to check out the great photograph of the red flower. You find it and agree, but is it a great photograph of a red flower, or a great photograph because it is a red flower? Is it simply an accurate representation of the flower or an image that is compelling in spite of the subject matter?

Good images are good because of many things such as mood, color, composition, balance, leading lines, visual impact, and a host of other variables. Subject matter is often the least of the determining factors. Documentation and photojournalism may make the time, place and content of an image rise to a higher level of importance, but most photography has little to do with the subject matter beyond our initial reaction.

We begin to see images using the left side of our brain, the side that recognizes content. The right side of our brain is analyzing the light, the tone, the color, and most importantly, the structure. Essentially, the right side of your brain is making the image an abstraction and checking it for balance and composition. It is deciding whether or not the image “feels” right with respect to what we understand from our experience and study of other art and photography.

That means we can train ourselves to be better. The more experience we have with good images, the more our brain can help us decide whether we really like what we are looking at. It can help us be better photographers. The more you challenge the right side of your brain with good images the greater the database it creates to use to determine the quality of your own work. This is how you can teach yourself to be a better image maker.

Another way to look at it might be this. If all you see, all you investigate are average photographs your own image making will not likely exceed that benchmark. You can actually create a roadblock to your own creativity if you do not look at better images. Stretching the limits of what you see as possible can help you recognize what is simply ordinary.

I will be speaking this coming Monday, April 4th, 2016 at the meeting of the West Shore Photography Club. The meeting is at the Bethany Towers Community Room on Wesley Drive in Mechanicsburg, PA at 7 p.m. My topic for discussion is post processing, including tips on setting up Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw for efficiency. I will illustrate my post processing workflow with an emphasis on what can be done in Photoshop or Elements to move beyond initial raw processing for greater impact.