by Ben Willmore | Oct 31, 2012
Hi everyone! There’s one month left to sign up for my “Mastering HDR” workshop in Los Osos, CA. We’re looking at five full days of shooting, post-processing and stylizing HDR images. Before giving the workshop description, I want to mention something about this type of photography. The term “HDR” is often thought of as an illustrative and unrealistic look, but it’s important to understand that this look is just one of the potential end results. HDR is also used to create very realistic images by simply expanding the tonal range from what your camera can capture. In this class, we’ll go over all kinds of HDR processing, from the photo-realistic to the illustrative style.
Here is the full workshop description. I hope you’ll be able to join me for five days of intense training and shooting!
Mastering High Dynamic Range Photography
Nov. 29-Dec. 2, 2012
Learn to capture the full brightness range of a scene and present it to your viewer as either a photorealistic image or as an image that more closely resembles a hyper-detailed drawing.
With over two dozen choices of HDR processing software, you’ll learn which software is worth using and which should be ignored. You’ll also see why you should avoid Photoshop’s standard HDR processing and how to use alternative methods in Photoshop and Lightroom to produce far superior results.
This course will teach you how to deal with common problems such as subject motion, scenes with extreme dynamic range, images that feature people and a lot more.
• Best practices for shooting HDR that will help you capture much sharper images and avoid common problems
• How to best merge multiple exposures into a single High Dynamic Range image
• Which file formats are more ideal for unprocessed HDR images
• The best software choices for tone mapping your images
• Post processing techniques needed to tackle common problems
• Retouching techniques to remove telephone wires (even through trees) and other distractions
• Image optimization techniques to help direct the viewer’s eye through your image
• HDR panorama shooting and stitching techniques
You’ll learn all this from one of the original pioneers of HDR photography: The guy who the author of “The HDR Handbook” dubbed “The Godfather of HDR.”
In the images below, drag the sliders to see the before & afters.
by Ben Willmore | Oct 15, 2012
Hey gang. We just wrapped up the 3rd annual California Photo Festival (aka Click!) in San Luis Obispo. It was my first time teaching at this event, and I had a blast. This festival it a week-long photography infusion, with tons of classes going on nearly 18 hours per day. Some of the classes are lecture style and some of them are live location shoots. I taught a good mix of both.
The event kicked off with an instructor meet and greet on Monday night where I got to reunite with a lot of my great photographer friends. This is always a bonus when it comes to events like this. The following night was an opening reception with all the volunteers and students.
My work was shown at the Light Workshops headquarters during the festival’s opening reception.
During the course of the week, I taught several classes, the first of which was on HDR. We had a lecture session which was followed by a live shoot at a funky place called Sunny Acres, which is full of old cars, barns, tools and more. It was a great place for students to practice HDR photography, and everyone had a great time. We returned to Sunny Acres the following night for my Lightpainting class. You can see the result of that shoot below.
My lecture on HDR photography
The HDR live shoot at Sunny Acres
One of my images from the evening lightpainting shoot at Sunny Acres. What’s funny about this image is that in the process of shooting, I was thinking aloud that a fog machine would be great. Well, the person standing next to me said, “oh, I have one in my car. I’ll go get it.” What are the chances!? We used the fog machine to make it look as if the engine was smoking.
There were also a couple of sunset shoots on the beach where we had horses on the beach, dancers, surfer models, etc. It was truly a photography playground for the festival students. Not only was there excellent subject matter but there were instructors available to make sure everyone was getting great images. After long days of shooting and teaching, we would go out to dinner, catch up with friends and make new ones.
One of my beach shots, with the horses in the sunset.
One of Karen’s shots from the sunset/horses shoot
Post-class dinner and drinks with my friends (and fellow photographers/teachers) Bobbi Lane and Lee Varis.
During the week, I also got to sneak out and pay a visit to the Really Right Stuff gang. They make extremely high quality tripods and accessories and I highly recommend them. I’ve been using their stuff for years and not only is it great, but their customer service is outstanding. They just moved into a new and bigger building in the area and they were nice enough to give us a tour.
Here I am in the new Really Right Stuff showroom.
Overall, the festival was excellent! The classes were diverse, the instructors were all very good and the whole vibe of the event was just plain fun. I’d really recommend it for everyone from photo enthusiasts to seasoned pros. There’s something for everyone. The California Photo Festival is put on by the folks at the Light Photographic Workshops, located in Los Osos, CA. I’ve taught with them several times and always have a great experience. I’ve got a 5-day workshop coming up with them in late November/early December that will focus completely on HDR photography. Check out the WORKSHOP PAGE for more details on that one.
Finally, I’ll leave you with a little video/slideshow that Karen made from her festival photos. Next stop, San Diego and then Portland. More to come…