Stateside travel & training events

Hi everyone! Lately, I’ve been dedicating the blog posts to our recent international travel images, but I wanted to take a little break from that to tell you what’s been going on here in the States, and what’s coming up. After being abroad for a few months, I arrived back in the U.S. and literally hit the ground running, diving head-first into lots of fun Photoshop training and photography events.

 

The Photoshop Creativity Tour

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I basically had time to unpack and repack to fly out to my Photoshop Creativity seminar in Chicago. This is part of an ongoing tour with KelbyOne that hits cities all over the country. At this event, I teach you how to get a little more creative with Photoshop with techniques like compositing, complex masking, 2D and 3D and creating special effects with blending modes. It’s a fun full-day event and I’ve got a few more cities coming up, so if you happen to be in any of these areas, I’d love to see you there! Click HERE for more information

  • Philadelphia: May 7
  • San Francisco: May 9
  • Sacramento: May 28
* We’ll be adding more cities soon, so stay tuned!

Photoshop for Photographers: Beyond the Basics

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I spent an awesome three days at creativeLIVE in Seattle last week presenting by 3-day course called “Photoshop for Photographers: Beyond the Basics.” Not only do I love working and hanging out with the amazing team at creativeLIVE, but the class turned out fantastic! This course is a follow-up to my earlier “Photoshop for Photographers: The Essentials” class, which was also very popular. Where as the “Essentials” class covered all of the basic, must-know techniques for photographers using Photoshop, the “Beyond the Basics” class teaches photographers how to take their work to the next level, covering more of the advanced techniques and tools. Over the three days of training, we cover things like compositing, textures, retouching, hard-to-find Photoshop features and more. If you missed the course while it was live online, you can buy the course (and get all the bonus materials that come along with it) HERE.

Vintage Bus Visit

As many of you probably know, I have been restoring my next home on wheels, which is a 1963 Flxible Starliner bus. For the past year or so, it has been in Eugene, Oregon getting its interior fabricated. I have been making periodic visits to collaborate with the team at Paradise Coach, and that’s where I went after Seattle. The bus has been making exciting progress, with all of the wood walls and cabinets being installed and stained, lighting and air conditioning ducts put in, etc. After working on this project for over four years, It’s great to see everything finally coming together. I post a lot of bus updates on the Creative Cruiser facebook page, and you can find that HERE.
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The Palm Springs Photo Festival

This is an annual event that I love to attend and teach at. It’s geared toward professional and serious advanced amateur photographers and includes seminars, symposiums, workshops, portfolio reviews with key industry figures and lots of great networking events. This is the kind of event where I enjoy being an attendee just as much as I enjoy being a speaker. I love the mix of inspiring talks, lectures designed to help photographers make it in the business world and high quality feedback from industry professionals. This year, I taught two classes on advanced Photoshop ideas and attended many talks as well. It’s also a great event to reconnect with fellow teachers and photographers that I’ve become friends with over the years. Here are a few shots from this year’s event:
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Philadelphia & San Francisco

As I mentioned above, I am bringing my Photoshop Creativity Tour to Philadelphia this week and I flew in a few days early to spend the time with Karen’s family in New Jersey (Karen has been in NJ for family-related things during the time I’ve been at the events mentioned here). Then, I will be presenting the same seminar in San Francisco before heading back to Florida, where we are currently based.
I hope that gives you a good idea of what I’ve been up to and what new Photoshop and photography training I’ve got going on! More to come!

This week on creativeLIVE: Photoshop for Photographers

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.

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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.) 

Teaching & Tinkering in the Pacific Northwest

Hi all! I just spent most of the past week in Seattle, WA and Eugene, OR. However, unlike last winter where we kept the bus in the Pacific Northwest, I flew in from Atlanta this time around.

I started off the week in Seattle teaching my “Think Like a Photographer” class at creativeLIVE. This class is geared toward folks who have been shooting for a bit and would like to get more serious about their photography. We covered composition, shooting strategies, gear, post-processing, etc. It was a lot of fun and everyone learned a ton. If you missed the class, you can still snag it HERE.

Ben_CL_NovHere I am on the set of my “Think Like a Photographer” class. Thanks to my awesome host, Jim Catechi, for getting this shot!

After wrapping up my class, I went south to Eugene, Oregon. That’s where my vintage bus is being worked on and getting its new interior installed. If you’re not already aware, I live in a 40′ tour bus and I travel around the country taking photos. The vintage bus is my next home on wheels and it will feature a completely custom interior when it’s finished. It’s been a long-term project, but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel! Karen and I spent last winter in Oregon so that I could oversee the project, but eventually the guys at the shop were on autopilot and we were able to explore and travel more. Now that lots of progress has been made, I wanted to pay the bus a visit and work with the shop on design details and such. I spent three days in Eugene and I’m thrilled with how the bus is looking! If you want to learn more about the project, or follow the progress, check out the Creative Cruiser Facebook page (yes, my bus has its own Facebook page).

LarryParadiseLarry, the owner of Paradise Coach, standing in my bus. 

As I mentioned earlier, the bus (the one I currently live on) stayed in Atlanta, so that’s where I returned to after my trip to the Pacific Northwest. My great friend and photographer Eddie Tapp is an Atlanta local, so we got to spend some more time together when I arrived. We paid a visit to the SE Railroad Museum and did a little shooting there. It seems that I’ve had a train theme going on the past few weeks. This is at least the third railroad-themed museum I’ve been to lately!

AtlantaTrainMuseumAn iPhone shot I took at the SE Raillroad Museum

From Atlanta, we will continue south to Florida because, well, that’s what we do in the winter time! Karen is actually in NJ to photograph her best friend’s newborn and she will fly directly to Jacksonville later this week. We will then continue to the Tampa area and maybe even make it further south. At the end of the month, we fly to Lisbon, Portugal, where we will board a cruise ship that will be our home for a month. I’ll be teaching a class for the cruise passengers, and then we’ll arrive stateside again just in time for xmas/new years. More to come!

Teaching classes & taking classes

After teaching at the California Photo Festival (mentioned in my last post), Karen and I flew back to the Philadelphia area. Her family lives nearby in New Jersey and we have been staying with them while the bus gets some maintenance work done in New York. I should really say that Karen has been staying with them, because I have been bouncing all over the place this past week!

It wasn’t two days after we returned from California that I was on another plane, bound for Atlanta. where I presented my 1-day Photoshop Creativity seminar. I was only there for one night, but I was happy to be able to meet up with my great friend and fellow photographer/teacher Eddie Tapp, who lives in Atlanta. That’s one of the great things about traveling so much. I make friends all over the country and always have someone to catch up with when I’m visiting a major city. Because Eddie also travels a lot, I’ve seen him in multiple places all over the country.

After returning to New Jersey, I only spent one night before I was on the move yet again. I headed north to pick up the bus in New York, where I stayed for one night reviewing all of the maintenance projects that were being done on it. I’m also happy to say that, for the first time in years, the bus has a working generator!

My next stop was Lancaster, PA, where I would be taking a private class on lightpainting. That’s right. You read that correctly. I wasn’t teaching the class. I was taking the class. I had come across the work of Harold Ross and was just blown away by his style of lightpainting. When I saw that I would be within a few hours of his PA locale, I was excited to be able to arrange a two-day class/workshop with him. I loved seeing his approach to lightpainting and having the opportunity to learn with him one-on-one. We spent one day where Harold created a lightpainted still life, showing me how he works, and then another day where I created one myself, with his assistance. The image you see here literally took all day to create and is made up of nearly 100 exposures.

So in the course of one week, I went from being the teacher to being the student, and I loved it! In the coming week, Karen and I will begin to head south, as temperatures are dropping and we’d like to be able to photograph some fall color before ending up in warm, sunny Florida. More to come!

Stilllife-LightpaintingThis is the final image that I created during my lightpainting class with Photographer Harold Ross. 

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stilllife-detail2Detail images from the lightpainting

creativeLIVE & the road to Glacier

Hi gang! Here’s the weekly recap. We started the week off in Seattle, where I was teaching my “Photoshop Mastery: Creative Explorations” 2-day online class. We covered everything from filters, to brushes, to panollages, and all kinds of fun creative techniques. If you missed it, you can still get the class HERE. Immediately following my Creative Explorations class, I did a one-day “Image Ambulance” class, which covered all kinds of retouching and restoration techniques. This one was really interesting because all of the images were submitted by viewers and I only started working on them during the live class. No pressure! It actually turned out to be great, and we had a nice array of “problem images” to deal with. If you’d like to grab the Image Ambulance class, you can do so HERE.

BenCL-JulyMe and my in-studio students at creativeLIVE.

Karen and I always love hanging out in Seattle. Not only is the creativeLIVE team amazing to work with, but the city is pretty awesome itself… especially in the summer months when it’s actually sunny! We always find great places to eat, and this time, we checked out the Collections Cafe, which is located inside the Chihuly Garden of Glass Museum. The cafe is pretty interesting in that it’s full of interesting… you guessed it… collections. Each table is a shadowbox full of unique vintage things. Cameras, wind-up toys, you name it. Hanging on the ceiling are dozens of old accordions. All in all, it makes for a pretty funky atmosphere. We also stopped at Pike Place Market before we left, and that’s always an adventure in itself!

Ben-CollectionsCafeKaren got this shot of my at the Collections Cafe in Seattle. There are dozens of old accordions hanging from the ceiling.

After we left Seattle, we spent a night in the Spokane area before heading east towards Glacier National Park. We did stop for a night in Sand Point, Idaho on the way and spent the evening hanging out with Karen’s friends Wendy and Sean, who live in town. What’s funny is that the RV park we stayed at was directly across from Laughing Dog Brewery. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a bit of a beer snob, and love stopping at breweries along my travels. This place had at least five different IPAs (India Pale Ales) and that’s my favorite kind of beer. Karen also loved the place because to say it was dog friendly would be an understatement. There were at least five to six dogs running around the place at any given time.

BenKar-LaughingDogKaren and I striking one of our signature poses out front of Laughing Dog.

The next day, we made it to our Glacier rv park, which is only a few miles from the entrance to the national park. So far, we’ve only gotten to explore one day so we were really just getting the lay of the land, driving from one side to the other to see what it was like. I haven’t been to this park since I was in college and Karen has never been before. In fact, this is her first time in Montana! From what we’ve seen so far, the park is beautiful, and we’re bound to have a great week of exploring and shooting here. More to come!

BenKar-GlacierSignThe mandatory tourist shot.

GlacierNP2013-706-EditHere I am with a fleet of vintage busses used by the national park for public transport. I would LOVE to get to lightpaint one of these!