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.

migrant_mother_lange

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.

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Getting the most from YOUR raw files!

Imagine for a moment that you know everything there is to know about processing a raw file. No?

Which exposure in a bracketed series is the best?
Which slider should you move first?
When should you set the white balance?
What are black points and white points?
How do you best control contrast?
Can lens distortion be controlled automatically?
Why am I shooting raw in the first place?

Most seminars are valuable because you are exposed to processing steps you are not very familiar with. But you soon forget what you saw, mostly because you watched someone process an image nothing like what you normally capture. What if you could watch someone process your images, and learn something of real value?

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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.

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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.
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Exposure for Digital Raw

Remember to click on the title to get the full post.

“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.
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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.

Exposure Relativity

Reminder – Click on the title for the full post!

Exposure Relativity

Most photographers do not deal with exposure in a precise way. The camera’s built-in meter and auto exposure serve the purpose in many cases and the photographer is free to react to the scene. This is a positive thing in many circumstances as you need to react to the scene rather than fuss with the camera. Unfortunately, it can lead to less than optimal exposures a little fussing up front can lead to better captures and less post processing angst.
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