Upcoming Photoshop & Photography Events

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.

Photoshop Week

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

Click here for more info on my Photoshop Week classes

Click here for more info about the event and to register for free

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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. 

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International travels

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.

2015Route

Catching up with a year-end update

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!

AirstreamLightpaintI did some light painting at the Tin Can Tourists Winter Rally

KarKangaroo2We visited the wildlife park in Kuranda Village, outside of Cairns, Australia.

Bali-417Visiting a temple in Bali.

2014_02_24_202533_Komodo Island_0085We got to see Komodo Dragons in the wild on Komodo Island, Indonesia.

2014_03_02_222442_Borobudur Java Indonesia_0058Borobudur, the largest Buddhist shrine in the world, located on the island of Java in Indonesia.

2014_03_23_215253_Kuala Lumpur Malaysia_0050The iconic Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur.

IMG_7258Sunset in Singapore

2014_03_15_214107_Phuket Thialand_0203James Bond Island, in Phang Nga, Thailand

2014_03_18_213010_Bago Myanmar_0056We got to visit a buddhist monastery in Bago, Myanmar (Burma).

HoiAn-182The cute little town of Hoi An, Vietnam.

1972422_764062400293333_7632273469344427116_nLots of progress is made on the interior of my vintage bus.

BenKarBoatKaren took me on a sunset cruise for my birthday in Clearwater Beach, FL.

Laura and Rich's Wedding (263)Donning a suit for my sister-in-law’s wedding in New Jersey.

Ben-PSWPhotoshop World, Las Vegas

Pixelstick-garageMy new light painting tool, the Pixel Stick, arrives!

dabusI sold the bus I’d been living on since 2006.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.48.49 PMKaren made me a book that documents the progress of my Vintage Bus.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 3.51.49 PMA year-end visit to my vintage bus in Oregon.

Lightpainting on creativeLIVE

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!

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Photoshop World, Vegas style

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.

Ben-PSWPhotoshop World always has a theme, and this year, it was pirates. 

Ben-PSWclassHere, I’m teaching my Lightroom Advanced Tips & Tricks class.

Ben-EpsonEpson featured some of my images at their booth in the tradeshow.

BenMobMuseumA goofy photo of me at the mob museum.

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…

Pixelstick-garageThe results of last night’s shoot with my new Pixelstick. 

Ben’s Texture Packs Now Available

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

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• Three Texture Packs to choose from
• 25+ high resolution textures per pack
• 20 page step-by-step How-To Guide
• Learn to pick the best texture for each image
• See how to apply texture to your photos
• Create irregular edges with bonus frames

GuidePromoHow-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):

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PalouseBarn-A

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A frame effect was also applied on the image below. Eight frame effects are included with the Paper & Fabric pack: 
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EllaBefore

EllaAfter

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Textures are not only great for photos, but graphics and illustrations as well:
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 YlstoneGraphic-BYlstoneGraphic-A

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Click Here to Learn more About the Texture Packs.

Time to change the gear setup

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!

SonyCanonCompare

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!).

JULY2014-cLclass

Photoshop & Lightroom for Outdoor and Travel Photographers

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.

Learn more or enroll for free here

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!
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2013_06_25_200844_The Palouse_WA_0132-2

 

 

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2013_07_17_175812_Glacier National Park_0038-22013_07_17_175812_Glacier National Park_0038

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A Mini Update from Florida

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.

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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.

piratecruise

Teaching, celebrating & shooting

Hi everyone! we’re currently in the greater Tampa area and I just wrapped up a fun week, which started all the way across the country in Seattle! Last week was Creative Cloud Fundamentals Week at creativeLIVE, and I was teaching the Photoshop segment of it. This was just a one-day class, and if you missed it, you can get it HERE, or get it as part of the whole CC Fundamentals bundle.

While we’re still on the topic of creativeLIVE, I’m excited to announce a new class I’ll be teaching next month, July 21-23. It’s called Post-Processing for Outdoor & Travel Photographers. This topic is extra special to me because these are two of the main types of photography I do. We’ll be using both Lightroom and Photoshop in this class, and you can learn more about it or enroll for free HERE.

PS-Outdoor_slider

I arrived back to the Tampa area after a redeye flight and landed the morning of my birthday! Aside from a much-needed nap, Karen had some fun things in store for the day including breakfast at one of our favorite places in the area, a cake she made completely of fruit (because that’s my favorite!) and a visit to a local brewery. (I’m a huge fan of craft beer and love to visit different breweries as we travel about.) Near the end of the day, we embarked on a sunset cruise that left from Clearwater Beach. While the actual sunset wasn’t overly spectacular, the sky put on quite a show for us afterwards. It was a great mix of storm clouds lit by what was left of the golden light. We even got to see a waterspout (a water tornado) nearby. Pretty cool! At the end of the night, we had dinner at a tapas place we like in Clearwater Beach.

BenSkyPanoAn iPhone pano I shot of the post-sunset clouds in Clearwater

BenKarBoatKaren and I on the sunset cruise

As implied from the title of this post, I also got to do some shooting this week. If you read this blog often, you know about my service station project. I have researched and located over 250 vintage service stations around the country and my plan is to photograph each one. I had been conversing with the owner of this Polly Station in the greater Tampa area and we finally set up a time this week for me to head over and shoot it. The shot below is just an iPhone shot that I also processed on the iPhone. The actually shots will take much longer to process.

BenPollyStation

Well, that’s it for now folks. The upcoming week will be more on the mellow side, where I’ll be catching up with work and some image processing. More to come!

Travels & Training Events

Hi gang! I just wanted to give you the weekly update on where I’ve been and what I’ve been teaching, as well as a heads up on an upcoming event (that anyone can attend online, for free!). I started out the week with a flight to Sacramento to teach my one-day Photoshop Creativity Seminar. This seminar covers things like compositing, adding dimension to your images, masking, blending modes and more. We’ll be adding more dates and cities to this seminar tour soon, and you can learn more about it HERE. Flying into Sacramento, I also got an extra treat because I was picked up at the airport by my good friend and fellow photographer Lewis Kemper. It had been a long time since I had run into Lewis at an event we were both teaching at, so it was nice to be able to catch up!

bensacramentoMy Sacramento Photoshop Creativity Seminar.

BenLewisMe and my good pal and fellow photographer Lewis Kemper

My stay in Sacramento was very brief, and from there I flew to Eugene, Oregon, where my vintage bus is getting its custom interior installed. If you follow this blog regularly, you know that I’ve been making lots of periodic visits to work on this ongoing project. The interior is really coming along though, so it’s nice to have an end in sight! I was recently able to acquire the rubber fittings that will go around the windows. This might not seem too exciting, but considering the bus is older than I am, things like that aren’t always the easiest thing to find! The Epson printer that we’ll use on the bus also arrived, and I was happy to see that it fit perfectly into the drawer that was designed for it. This drawer is underneath my workstation seat, so whenever I need to print something I’ll just be able to open the drawer, load it with paper and be good to go.

Vbus-EpsonThe new Epson printer fitting perfectly into the drawer that was specially designed for it. 

Vbus-rubberThe rubber fittings that will go around the windows on my vintage bus.

After leaving Eugene, I flew back to Tampa, FL, where Karen and I will be hanging out for most of the summer. I did want to give you a heads up on another one-day event I’ve got coming up, and this one is easy for anyone in the world to attend, because it’s online. And when it’s live, it’s free! The class is called Photoshop CC Fundamentals and I’ll be teaching it at creativeLIVE. In this course, I’ll demonstrate essential tools and concepts that will get you successfully using the program. You’ll learn about everything from selections and masking to layers, filters and adjustments. I’ll will also point you to the best options for the crucial technical settings such as resolution, color spaces and file formats. Click here to learn more about this class or to register for free. 

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More to come!