Ben Willmore is back with a brand new tour for 2015 that shows how best to integrate Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. He’ll show you how to take best advantage of the new features in Lightroom 6 as well as how to move beyond its limitations by taking advantage of Photoshop’s advanced image processing features. You’ll learn how to get the most out of Lightroom by utilizing many hidden features that require the intimate knowledge that only an expert can provide. He’ll share the best methods for organizing your images, show you how to push your image optimization abilities beyond what you thought was possible and then show how to best integrate Photoshop into your workflow. Ben has been using both programs since they were introduced and is known for pushing them beyond what they were originally designed for to get more out of them than what anyone else can teach you. Don’t miss your chance to learn from a digital imaging legend… you’ll be amazed at what you can learn in just one day!
So far, here are the cities we currently have on the schedule:
- May 29 – South San Francisco, CA
- June 19 – Seattle, WA
- August 4 – Kansas City, MO
- August 6 – St Louis, MO
- October 19 – Houston, TX
- October 21 – Colorado Springs, CO
- October 26 – Los Angeles, CA
- December 9 – Fort Lauderdale, FL
- December 14 – San Diego, CA
I’m really excited to get back on the road again with KelbyOne, and am even more excited to bring you this fun and exciting new content! I hope to see many of you at one of the upcoming shows.
More to come!
Hi gang! We recently returned from Shooting the West, a photography symposium that takes place in Winnemucca, Nevada. While this was my first time speaking at this event, Shooting the West has been taking place annually for 27 years! Many of the attendees have been coming year after year, and some of them have attended all 27 years in a row. We could tell that this was one big family, and we were honored to be welcomed into it this time around.
I was this year’s keynote speaker, and I taught several classes and workshops as well. The workshops were fun because they gave us an opportunity to take students out into the field and do some shooting. For being a small town about 2.5 hours east of Reno, Winnemucca has a lot to offer photographically. The historic buildings and unique signs in town gave us some good subject matter for the HDR class, and the surrounding mountains (which were snow-capped during our time there) provided beautiful landscapes for my workshop on panoramas. We were also given access to a local farm that was just overflowing with antique cars, tractors and other vehicles that were great for practicing HDR. On the last day, the nearby airport held an open house where lots of small, vintage planes were on display in front of a sweeping, mountainous landscape. I love that this event incorporates a lot of shooting opportunities like this. Not only does it give me time to provide hands-on instruction to make sure everyone is getting the shot, but it’s fun to get outside, explore and join the students in the field.
While the classes and shooting opportunities were great, the thing we enjoyed the most about Shooting the West was the people. The event organizers, the attendees and my fellow speakers were all just fantastic. Everyone was warm, welcoming and willing to go above and beyond to make sure the event was a success. We enjoyed working with everyone so much that, and the end of the day, we usually ended up going to dinner with many of them as well. This really gave us a better opportunity to get to know everyone and goof off a bit during the down time. (And if you’ve ever spent time with us at all, know know we’re professional goofs!)
If you’d ever consider attending Shooting the West (and I highly recommend it), here’s a little breakdown of the kinds of events/sessions available to you there. There are three full days of workshop sessions. These are longer, more in-depth classes that are generally hands-on and include in-the-field work. I mentioned before that I did a full-day workshop on HDR and another on panoramas, as well as a full classroom day on post-processing. The incredible Tom Bol taught some workshops on light painting, speedlights and portrait photography. There was a 3-day workshop on time-lapse photography, taught by Grant Kaye and a full-day workshop on composition with M.D. Welch. The list goes on an on.
The conference part of the event officially starts after the workshop days. This begins with the keynote presentation, which is followed by many shorter sessions that range from 15 minutes to an hour and a half. In addition to all this, there are portfolio reviews, a photography competition and after-hours events that include food, wine and lots of good company. The 2015 schedule is still up on the site if you’d like to check it out: http://shootingthewest.org/schedule/.
So where do we go from here? Well, Karen and I are getting ready to embark on our 2015 international journey, which will include Hong Kong, China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and Alaska. We’ll be guest instructors on board the beautiful Crystal Symphony cruise ship (the same ship we were on last year). Stay tuned for lots of images from Asia and beyond!
More to come…
A panolage that Karen shot during the panorama workshop at Shooting the West.
Hi gang! I just wanted to give everyone a heads up on some great training events that will be happening over the next month. We’ve got a mix of Photoshop and photography as well as a mix of online and in the field.
Pretty soon, I’ll be heading back to the CreativeLive studio in Seattle to teach several classes during Photoshop Week. Over the course of six days, 13 instructors will present a total of 48 classes, all related to Photoshop, and as with all CreativeLive classes, they’re free to watch while their live. Here is CreativeLive’s description of the event:
One of the biggest events in photography is coming back to CreativeLive – get ready to learn from the industry’s best during Photoshop Week 2015!
Photoshop helps you transform the average image you have into the jaw-dropping image you want! Photoshop Week is your opportunity to learn the tools, techniques, and shortcuts you need to bring your unique creative vision to life.
For six days, the world’s most inspiring photographers and retouchers will show you how they work their magic in Photoshop and Lightroom. You’ll learn exciting new ways to transform your work and create images that stand out from the masses.
This action-packed line-up has classes for photographers working at every level. You’ll learn exciting new approaches to enhancing your images from professionals working in every genre of photography.
My classes at Photoshop Week:
- Quick Selection Tips
- Complex Selections
- Getting the Most out of Smart Objects
- Understanding Layer Masks
- Texturizing Images
- Filters & Creative Effects in Photoshop
Shooting the West
Ever want to join me both in the classroom AND in the field? On March 3-8, I will be teaching at the annual Shooting the West event, in Winnemucca, Nevada.
Shooting the West is a photography symposium with distinguished presenters in many different photographic fields. Throw in workshops, participant shows, juried contests, vendors like Manfrotto and Canon, portfolio reviews, great Basque food and lots of Winnemucca style fun… and you have a pretty good idea what it’s all about.
Im excited to be the keynote speaker at this week-long event, and to work with the Shooting the West team for the first time! It’s going to be a really immersive week, as I’ll be teaching full-day classes that include shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique. Here’s what I’ve got in store for participants:
- HDR Photography: All day class that includes shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique
- Panoramas: All day class that includes shooting in the field, processing in the classroom and final critique
- Post-processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers: All day class, in the classroom
- Think Like a Photographer: 90-minute session
- Image Ambulance: 90-minute session
Those are just the workshops and seminars that I’m teaching. Click here to learn more about the event and see the full schedule.
Shortly after we wrap up Shooting the West, I’ll be flying to Hong Kong, where I will begin a 2-month, multi-country journey aboard the beautiful Crystal Symphony. Karen and I present the Digital Filmmaking course to our fellow guests and it’s always an incredible experience. We get to meet loads of interesting people, and visit interesting places. Below is our itinerary.
Hi gang! I know things have been pretty quiet over here on the blog lately. That’s because things have been pretty quiet in general. I’ve been spending the past several weeks working, planning and setting goals for the upcoming year. As you may know, I usually live on the road, traveling around in a motor coach and photographing the U.S. of A. I’m usually not in one place for more than a few days. Well, for nearly a year now, my lifestyle has been a little different (for me) in that I’ve been hunkered down in the Tampa area of Florida, meaning I’ve been in one place for a LONG time! The reason for this is that I’m between motor coaches. Over the past few years, I’ve been working on restoring a vintage bus that Karen and I will eventually call home. As this project is nearing completion, I sold my original bus a few months ago. That leaves us in an interesting state of limbo, but considering the rest of the country is pretty darn cold right now, we’re pretty content with staying in Florida for a while.
Staying in one place for a while has been interesting for us. I guess you could say that it’s given us an idea of what it’s like to be “a local.” We have found our favorite hang outs (and become regulars at some), we get to go to the same gym (yoga studio for Karen) and grocery store, and have had more time to focus on learning new things. In 2015, we will be traveling abroad for two months and should move into the vintage bus when we return. Then, life will go back to “normal” and we can continue exploring this beautiful country.
Since 2014 is coming to a close, here’s a little visual reflection of our year. Here’s to 2015 being just as great!
Happy New Year everyone!
Hi everyone! I am currently in Seattle to teach at Photo Week at creativeLIVE. Photo Week is 6-days of non-stop training that includes everything from gear demos to master classes, and it STARTS TODAY! They will be featuring over 35 world-class instructors on three different broadcast channels and of course, as always with creativeLIVE, when you watch it live, it’s free.
I will be teaching a class on Lightpainting today, Monday, at 1:30 PST. Lightpainting is where you use a flashlight (or other light source) to paint the light onto your subject in a dark room over a long exposure. The results are always incredibly unique which makes it a great way to portray an ordinary subject and make it look extraordinary. Here’s the official class description:
Discover the unique art of light painting, and add a new dimension of light painting into your photography. Experienced light painter Ben Willmore will introduce you to the basics of light painting in this fun and informative class. You’ll learn which tools and settings to use to get your desired effect and how different light sources can be used to produce dramatically different looks.
Learn how to combine an interesting subject, inexpensive gear, and a little light painting knowledge to produce dramatic and interesting results.
Check it out or learn more HERE, and I hope to see you there!
Hey gang! We just returned from another exciting Photoshop World Conference & Expo, held in Las Vegas. The conference is three days long, plus an additional day for pre-conference workshops. With seven learning tracks and over 40 instructors, it there truly is something for everyone. Even though it’s called Photoshop World, there are classes on Lightroom, photography, lighting, creativity and more. I taught three classes on Adobe Lightroom this time around.
The Photoshop World Tradeshow is open during the three days of the conference and I always like to make my rounds there to see what new and exciting products the software and hardware vendors have in store. The tradeshow is a great place for both learning and networking.
And of course, Photoshop World is always a great time for catching up with old friends and making new ones. Many of the other instructors are good friends of mine, and I try to schedule time to have a meal or a drink with many of them. That’s actually one of the things I look forward to the most!
Karen and I also took some time out to go and visit the Mob Museum, which is located near Freemont Street in “Old Las Vegas.” The place had good reviews and we were extremely impressed with how well-done the place is. It’s three full floors of history, artifacts, movies, stories, etc. It’s really fascinating, and much of it was interactive. We ended up spending more time than we thought we would there and would definitely recommend it if you’re ever looking for something to do during the day in Las Vegas.
After a great couple days in Las Vegas, we flew back to the Tampa area, where we’re temporarily based. I had been pretty busy in the weeks leading up to Photoshop World and I hadn’t had a lot of time for photography. One of the things I’d been looking forward to was trying out my new Pixelstick, a light painting product that is the result of a Kickstarter campaign. It’s basically a very long rod with LED lights that change over time to create an image or pattern that you specify. When you move it around, it creates a really unique and creative effect. I started playing with it for the first time last night and got some fun results (see below). Since I’m new to both the Pixelstick and my new camera, it will take more time to get exactly what I want, and I look forward to working with it some more!
More to come…
Hi Gang! I’m excited to announce the launch of my new Texture Packs, a series of products I’ve been working on for some time now. Adding texture overlays to your photos, graphics and illustrations is a great way to add depth and really unify the image. It can be difficult to find (or make) appropriate textures that have the right amount of contrast and variation to make the effect look natural, so I’ve basically done all the work for you. I’m also including a 20-page, detailed guide that will teach you how to use the textures in Adobe Photoshop.
Most of these textures have been shot over the course of two years and 15 countries, as many of my recent travel destinations have been dripping in texture, color and character. We’re talking temple walls in Indonesia, Vietnamese building facades on the Mekong Delta and the little town of Hoi An, city structures in Malaysia, etc. While I love capturing city scenes and landscapes, I’m always on alert for great textures.
One of the texture packs, Paper & Fabric, was a bit more pre-meditated in that I sought out materials that, when overlaid, would create an artistic, organic style (canvas and burlap, for example.)
I’ve got three texture packs available:
Weathered, Grunge and Paper & Fabric
How-to guide included
Click Here to Learn More about the Texture Packs
One Pack is $25, or Get All Three Packs for Only $50
To get an idea of how these textures can be used, here are some in action. (drag the slider handle back and forth to see before and after views):
A frame effect was also applied on the image below. Eight frame effects are included with the Paper & Fabric pack:
Textures are not only great for photos, but graphics and illustrations as well:
Hi gang! It’s time for another update, and this time it’s a gear update! As you may know, I have been a Canon shooter for years and I’ve really enjoyed using Canon gear. However, I’ve been giving my setup a lot of thought, and have been doing a ton of research, and I finally came to the conclusion that it was time to make a switch. *Insert gasp sound effect here*
The other day, I placed the order for my next camera… the Sony A7R!
Why would I want this one over my current Canon 5D Mark III?… Here are the main things that compelled me to change to the A7R:
• Worlds Smallest and lightest full-frame interchangeable lens camera
• 36.4 megapixels with no low-pass filter (same as Nikon D800E and D810)
• Built-in Wifi so I can shoot “untethered” to my computer and also transfer images to my iPhone in the field so I can post them here right away
• Can use my Canon glass via an adaptor (17mm tilt shift mainly)
• Captures much more highlight detail than 5D Mark III
• Articulated screen for shooting from high or low angles
• Can see exposure changes in viewfinder
• Focus peaking for easier manual focusing
A few comparisons Sony vs Canon:
Weight in grams 408 vs 910
Dynamic range 14.1EV vs 11.7 (read more highlight detail)
7392×4920 pixels vs 5920×3950
DxOMark score 95 vs 81
The bad part compared to my current camera:
• Bracketing options limited to 3 frames with 2 stops between… can’t do 5, 7, etc at 2 stops
• 4 frames per second versus 6 on my Canon
• Shutter is somewhat loud
• Batteries don’t last as long due to constant use of electronic screens
• Nowhere near as many lenses available
• No GPS accessory available to automatically location tag my images
The camera should be arriving this week, and I look forward to putting it through the paces myself. The next blog post will probably include my first impressions, so stay tuned for that!
Post Processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers
In other news, my recent class on creativeLIVE, “Post-Processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers,” was a great success, and as usual, I had a great time working with the creativeLIVE team up in Seattle. If you missed the class, you can learn more or GET IT HERE. If you buy the class, you get the bonus material, which includes the practice files as well as the course handbook pdf (this one is a whopping 80 pages!).
Hi everyone! I wanted to give you all a heads up that tomorrow morning kicks off my 3-day online class, “Post-Processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers” at creativeLIVE. I’ve spent the past week hunkered down in preparation and am on my way to Seattle today. As with all creativeLIVE classes, they’re absolutely free to watch while they’re live. If you want to watch at your own pace and get all the bonus material (including the course handbook), you can purchase the class for a discounted price while it’s live.
The classes run 9 am-4pm PST on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (July 21-23), and they will be rebroadcast in the evenings as well. In these sessions, I’ll be teaching both Photoshop and Lightroom. Here’s the course description:
Spend more time actually taking photos
It’s time to make the images you capture as you travel or explore the great outdoors even more jaw-dropping. Join photographer and image editing expert Ben Willmore to explore the Lightroom and Photoshop tools that will optimize your images to really make them shine while keeping them easy to find and organized.
In this course, you’ll master the post-production process every travel and outdoor photographer needs to know. From panorama stitching to HDR to fixing distortion in architectural images, you’ll dive deep into the editing tasks best performed in Photoshop. You’ll adjust and optimize your images – even if they’re overexposed, underexposed, or have color or contrast issues.You’ll also learn how to organize your images with Lightroom make them easy to find by location taken, subject, or date. Ben will cover specific tips on uploading and organizing while you are still on the road that will save you time and make things easy when it is time to edit. You’ll also develop an editing workflow that helps you retouch quickly and efficiently.
If you’re ready to spend more time outdoors taking stunning photos and less time stuck indoors processing (or finding!) them, this is the course for you.
And finally, I’ll leave you with some fun before & afters to give you an idea of some of kinds of processing we’ll be doing. Hope you’re able to tune in!
Hi all! I hope everyone had a great 4th of July weekend! Things have been pretty low key here over the past few weeks, but I wanted to give a mini update anyway. First of all, if you read this blog often, you know that I’ve been based in the greater Tampa area for a while. That might seem a little unusual considering the fact that my mobile lifestyle usually takes me to between 12 and 30 states a year, so I just wanted to recap my RV/motor coach situation. My wife and I generally live on the road full-time in a 40-foot motor coach, traveling around to photograph and explore. We are also getting ready to switch motorhomes. We’ll be moving from the current bus I’ve been living in for 8 years to the vintage bus I have spent the past 4 years restoring and customizing to suit our needs. In anticipation of the vintage bus being completed, I’ve put the current bus up for sale and it has been cleared out to look like a “show home.” With the current bus for sale, and the future bus incomplete, we have been left without wheels. It’s been a interesting change for us, but we’re ok with it for now. We’re using the time to get projects done and do some things that require being in the same place for a while.
Just because I’m not living on the road at the moment, it does’t mean that I’m not traveling! I am still flying around to give training events, and I’m really looking forward to my next one. I’ll be heading back to creativeLIVE in Seattle later this month to teach my “Post Processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers” class. It’s a 3-day online class that will be broadcast live on July 21-23, 9am-4pm PST. In this class, I’ll be using both Lightroom and Photoshop. You can read more about it or enroll for free RIGHT HERE.
As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been spending a lot of time hunkered down working these past few weeks. I’m getting ready for upcoming events and working on some future products as well. More to come next week, but for now, I’ll leave you with a photo from the pirate cruise Karen and I took with her parents on the 4th of July.