by Ben Willmore | Jan 26, 2014
Hi everyone! This is just a reminder that my Photoshop for Photographers: The Essentials online class kicks off tomorrow at 9 am PST and runs for three days. As with all creativeLIVE classes, it’s totally free to watch while it’s live. If you want the class to watch later (and get the bonus material), you can purchase it while it’s live for a discounted price.
So what will you learn? Here’s the class description:
Overwhelmed by Photoshop? Ready to start editing your photos more efficiently? Join creativeLIVE for a three-day course that will give you an in-depth understanding of the Photoshop skills every photographer should know.
Award-winning photographer Ben Willmore has taught hundreds of thousands of photographers worldwide how to harness the power of Photoshop, and he’s ready to share his unique insights and style with you. You’ll learn about optimizing images, sharpening, retouching, black and white conversion, directing the viewer’s eye, and much more. Ben will take the guesswork out of Photoshop by covering which menus and tools are essential — and which you’re better off ignoring.
By the end of this course, you’ll have the core, everyday Photoshop skills that every photographer needs to produce professional-grade work.
If you do choose to purchase the class, you’ll get the course handbook, which is a pdf that Karen is creating that will review all the techniques I cover.
Find out more info and enroll for free HERE. (You get my “5 Tips for Making your Images POP” pdf just for enrolling.)
by Ben Willmore | May 6, 2013
This is for all my fellow photographers and photo enthusiasts. I’ve got some spots open in my Iceland photography workshop and I’d love for you to join me! The dates are August 11-17, 2013 and this is a great time to be visiting the “Land of the Midnight Sun.”
Not sure if this would be the right trip for you? Here are my top reasons for coming to Iceland with me this summer:
To take amazing photographs: The country of Iceland is just plain stunning. There is a photo to be made everywhere you turn. From waterfalls, to sweeping landscapes, to storybook horses, to glaciers and icebergs, you are guaranteed to go home with some incredible images.
To hone your photography and post-processing skills: This workshop will combine photography instruction in the field with post-processing instruction in the classroom to ensure you have the most control over your photographs.
To get one-on-one, personalized training: We keep the group size small so that the whole experience is more personalized. This allows us to have students of all levels, getting the one-on-one attention they need. During our last Iceland trip, we had absolute beginners as well as advanced shooters and everyone went home happy.
Iceland is so accesible!: Iceland is much more accessible than most people think. It’s only a 5 to 6-hour flight from New York and just about everyone in Iceland speaks English and is very welcoming to visitors. With most other exotic locations, you’d be looking at some REALLY long and expensive flights.
For the adventure!: For one week, you will be an explorer, venturing into some of the most unique, breathtaking, and sometimes even bizarre territories you have ever seen. We travel in heavy-duty, all-wheel drive vehicles that can drive over pretty much everything. This way, we can get to the “off-the-beaten-path” locations.
For fun: Because these trips are so intimate, it allows everyone involved to really get to know each other and create new friendships. In between all the shooting, exploring and learning is a lot of laughing, chatting and storytelling.
For more information on this upcoming trip (as well as some more photos), visit the “Discover Iceland” page. It’s going to be a blast, and I’d love for you to be there!
by Ben Willmore | Apr 22, 2013
Hey gang! I just wrapped up another Photoshop World Conference and Expo. This one was in Orlando, and Karen and I flew down from Oregon on Monday. After seeing so much gray sky up in the Pacific Northwest, the Florida sun was a welcome sight!
Photoshop World has become so much more than just a “Photoshop event.” In fact, you can go to PSW, attend a class during every time slot and never hear anything about Photoshop. There classes have been split up into “tracks” or subject categories. There are tracks on Lightroom, Lighting, Graphic Design, Business, General Photoshop, Photoshop for Photographers and Photography Techniques. There are even more classes on the trade show floor. In addition to classes, there are much more relaxed events for attendees. I would call them “networking” events, but let’s just be honest: They’re parties. The main ones would be the After Hours Party and Midnight Madness.
For me, this event is always a good mix of work and fun. I taught three classes, on Camera Raw Essentials, Advanced Camera Raw and Hidden & Hard to Find Tweaks. I also spent a good amount of time at the trade show, networking with many of the vendors and checking out new products.
Here I am presenting one of my Photoshop World Sessions. Many thanks to NAPP Photographer Anthony Newman for getting this shot!
One of the lighting setups on the trade show floor. Attendees can brings their cameras and shoot to their hearts’ delight!
The fun part really comes down to hanging out with long-time friends AND new friends. I have been seeing many of the other instructors at each of these events (and at other events as well) for years. Since I live a mobile lifestyle, I’ve also had the opportunity to meet up with many of them in their home towns as well. So Photoshop World is something of a reunion for us, and I spend many of the nights having dinner and catching up with friends.
At the After Hours Party, Adobe set up a “photo booth.” It usually only takes a photo booth to bring out the goofiness in most people.
We also got a special treat at the end of the Photoshop World Event, and it has nothing to do with photography or Photoshop! Our great friends Chris and Cherie have been “parked” in Florida for some time now and they drove to Orlando to spend the day with us. I say “parked” because Chris and Cherie also live a mobile lifestyle like we do. (They’re actually pretty well-known in the Technomad community, as they’re a great resource for anyone looking to become nomadic. Check them out at Technomadia.com). We’ve crossed paths with them all over the country, but it’s been nearly a year and a half since we’ve seen them last. They came over in the afternoon and we spent a lot of time catching up. We also did some goofy stuff… like playing a round of mini golf and going bowling!
Here I am with Chris and Cherie after finishing up a round of mini golf. I won! (The highest score wins, right?)
All in all, it was a great week, but as always, it went by too fast! At the end of the week, Karen and I got on another plane and flew to Denver, Colorado, where I’ll present my Photographic Artistry Kelby Training 1-day seminar. More to come!
One final image… I managed to hitch a ride at Photoshop World with Jeff Leimbach on his motorized chair/cart/thingy. This shot is courtesy of the NAPP staff as well.
by Ben Willmore | Nov 12, 2012
Hi from Portland… again! Karen and I usually relocate every couple days, but we’ve been hanging in Portland for a while now. We’ve got no complaints though. Portland is a good town for us. It’s got a funky vibe, and the local flavor suits us. This has been a pretty mellow week, but I do have a few fun things to report.
First of all, I ordered some new gear! I had been waiting to order Canon’s new 24-70 f2.8 II lens, but being such a new product, stores were having a hard time keeping it in stock. I finally was able to order it from B&H. I haven’t had an opportunity to shoot much with it yet, but as soon as I do I’ll be posting images here. I also ordered some new Canon speedlites (the 600EX-RT) and radio transmitters (ST-E3-RT) with plans to use them for some more elaborate lightpaintings and some daylight lightpaintings.
My new Canon 24-70 f2.8 II lens arrived this week, and I cant wait to start shooting with it!
I also ordered three Canon 600EX-RT Speedlights with ST-E3-RT Radio Transmitters.
In my last post, I mentioned that my vintage bus is now located in Eugene, Oregon at Paradise Coach, where it will be getting its all new interior. It’s going to be a long project, but progress started this week. Larry, the head of Paradise Coach, started pulling out the old floorboards and inspecting what’s underneath. The floorboards will be replaced and then the interior built up upon that.
This is the interior of my [gutted] vintage bus. You can see that the floorboards are in the process of being pulled out and the stainless steel holding and water tanks below the floor.
While I spent a lot of time working this week, I was able to process a few of the images I shot while driving the vintage bus from Tennessee to Oregon. You can see two of the panoramas below. We also replaced a lot of the lighting in the current bus. The lights that go around the windows and ceiling have been dubbed the “disco lights” and are now LEDs. We’ve been wanting to do this for a while. Not only were the old lights energy suckers, but many of them had burnt out.
Since I’m on the topic of buses, I wanted to post a video that was just posted from the Travel Channel’s Extreme RVs show. This segment features Flxible buses, the same brand as my vintage bus. This past July marked the 100th anniversary of the brand, and the video was shot at the bus rally commemorating that milestone. I have met the bus owner featured in the video, Bernard, who also happens to be Jay Leno’s mechanic (and if you’ve ever seen Leno’s garage, you know that’s a big job!)
This week, Karen and I will be flying to NJ to spend Thanksgiving with her family. More to come…
by Ben Willmore | Nov 7, 2012
Iceland has always been one of my favorite places to explore and go shooting. In fact, I’ve been there at least six times! One of the things that sticks out to most people who visit Iceland is the sheer number of waterfalls. It’s hard to go a day in that country without photographing at least one waterfall. And many of them are just spectacular.
Lately, I’ve been revisiting and processing more of my photos from previous Iceland trips, many of them waterfall images. I posted three of them below, and they should give you an idea of how big these natural wonders are. In the last photo, you can even see a tiny person standing near the foot of the falls.
I have a lot of tips for shooting waterfalls. In fact, I’m even writing an e-book on the subject. But here’s a quick tip I’ll leave you with now. There are three things I always carry with me when shooting waterfalls and can often be crucial to getting a decent image. 1. A tripod: Waterfalls usually require longer exposures, especially if you want to get that silky water effect. 2. A lens cloth: If you’re shooting close to the water, chances are you’re going to get a lot of spray, and little droplets on your lens could mean the death of your image. 3. A neutral density filter: I don’t always need this, but it’s come in handy more times than I can count. This filter will let you shoot with longer shutter speeds, even during bright days. You need longer shutter speeds to get the silky, water-in-motion look. (I used ND filters in two of the three shots below).
Click on the images for a larger view
Join me in Iceland
I’ve got two photography workshops in Iceland coming up in 2013 and I’d love for you to join me there.
Winter in Iceland • Feb. 17-23, 2013
Iceland’s winter landscape offers amazing opportunities for photographers. Ice caves, frozen waterfalls, light painting and the northern lights are just a sample of what’s in store for you in this amazing country. When we’re not in the field shooting, we’ll be in a classroom environment, editing and refining our images. Click here to learn more.
Discover Iceland • Aug. 11-17, 2013
Get ready to discover one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Iceland features black sand beaches, waterfalls, geysers, volcanos, geothermal features, glaciers, icebergs, lighthouses, turf houses, storybook horses and interesting architecture, all packed into a country that is 1/95th the size of the United States. Click here to learn more