Hi everyone! We just wrapped up an excellent week at the California Photo Festival (aka Click!) in San Luis Obispo, CA. This was my second time teaching at this event, and I’d really recommend it to any and all photography lovers out there. Not only are the instructors awesome (and I’m not saying that because I am one… really!), but there is a lot of variety when it comes to classes. There are classes on photography itself, lighting, video, photoshop, etc. and many of the classes are hands-on shooting in the field. There are sunrise and sunset shoots at the vineyards in Paso Robles and on the California Coast. There are loads of after-dark, night photography shoots, and then there are in-studio shoots as well. So at this event, you not only leave with a lot of knowledge, but you also leave with a lot of great images. The festival is run by Victoria and Hal Schmitt of the Light Workshops.
One of Karen’s shots from the horse shoot at the beach.
I taught a bunch of classes over the course of the week, most of which focused on HDR photography and lightpainting. I had in-class lectures as well as live shoots in the field. We did some HDR shooting at the marina in Los Osos and also at a funky place called Sunny Acres, where there are lots of old cars & barns to shoot. For my lightpainting classes, we returned to Sunny Acres after dark and they positioned some of the vintage cars for everyone. We also had an “alternative lightpainting” class where we shot on the beach, creating orbs of light and swinging around molten steel wool to create some nice images. (With the steel wool shoot, I’m the only one handling the steel wool and I’m far enough away from the students that they, and their gear, stay safe.)
Aside from the class/shooting part of the event, I had a blast hanging out with the other instructors, some of which are old friends, and I’m happy to say that others have now become new friends. After the evening shoots, we’ll often meet up for dinner and/or drinks and either catch up or get to know each other. I’ll leave you with a bunch of photos from the event. More to come!
Here we are at Sunny Acres where I’m giving a rundown on shooting for HDR. The goose was literally attacking me as I was trying to talk. (It was attacking the other students as well) Eventually, he got put in his “time out” cage.
This was also shot at Sunny Acres, by Karen, during out lightpainting shoot there.
Here, my class gathered at the beach at Morro Bay and I was giving a demo on how to create a lightpainted orb. After it got dark out, we moved onto the beach and started shooting.
This was one of the shots I created by swinging burning steel wool on the beach. The students loved this!
Karen’s shot from the steel wool shoot on the beach. That’s me in the middle, swinging the steel wool around.
Karen went to one of the sunrise shoots in Paso Robles and this was one of her shots.
Me and David Wells, taking a lunch break between classes.
The past week was spent in sunny Palm Springs, California! That’s where we flew after visiting Karen’s family in NJ. This year marked the 8th Annual Palm Springs Photo Festival, and I was teaching two classes, on masking and retouching in Photoshop. This event is very different from a lot of the other photography/Photoshop events, and for a few reasons. First, there aren’t as many classes on software and post processing as there are on photography and the business of photography. Second, there are a lot more classes and panel discussions that are geared toward fine art photographers, and it encompasses much more of the LA photo scene. It also has a more intimate feel, with elegant outdoor networking dinners and smaller class sizes. This is also probably the only event where I don’t want to share a dinner table with people I know. Instead, I’d rather sit with folks I’ve never met before because I always end up making meaningful connections.
In addition to teaching some classes, I also enjoyed being a participant in this year’s festival. I attended a few classes, on getting a photography book published, the business of fine art photography and digital asset management. I also was able to get a few portfolio reviews, which was very insightful. The reviews are a big part of the event, and the reviewers have all kinds of backgrounds, from museum curators, to advertising agencies, to magazines, to book publishers and more. I am looking to do more with my work, and am exploring several of these outlets for it.
Here I am teaching a class at the Palm Springs Photo Fest.
I had to do some last-minute preparations to get my portfolio ready for review.
And of course, in addition to the classes, portfolio reviews and networking events, there was a fair share of fun. One afternoon, I went with Karen and fellow instructor Colin Smith to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway, which climbs to an elevation of ~8,500 feet! I think the temperature dropped something like 35 degrees on the way up. The views are pretty great up there, and I’d recommend taking the ride if you’re ever in Palm Springs. After the festival ended, Karen and I also snuck off to see Iron Man 3, which turned out to be pretty good. Karen is a movie nut and huge Iron Man fan, so that was pretty high up on the priority list for her!
After the festival ended, we hopped on yet another flight, this time bound for Seattle. I am presenting my Photoshop Mastery: Color & Tone online class at creativeLIVE on Monday and Tuesday. It’s free while it’s live so be sure to tune in, 9am-4pm, PST, May 6 & 7.
Me and Colin Smith on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway.
From left, Colin Smith, Peter Krogh, me and Jeff Dunas. Jeff is the one who puts the entire festival together, and he does an excellent job!
This past week, I’ve been able to hang out in one of my all-time favorite shooting locations: Iceland. Usually, I travel to Iceland to teach photography workshops, but this trip was a bit different. I taught a Photoshop class in the capital city of Reykjavik and then stayed for several more days to go exploring and shooting. I was also location scouting for my upcoming photography workshop in August (even though the landscape will look much different than it does now in February.) If you’re interested in joining us for the summer workshop, check out the info page HERE.
I stayed at the Grand Hotel in Reykjavik, which I’m very familiar with from past events. From there, I went out exploring the countryside. One of the days, I met up with Einar Erlendsson and spent hours shooting and scouting. Einar runs Focus on Nature, the organization I’ll be teaching my upcoming workshop with. This time of year, the sun rises late and sets early, so I wanted to focus on some night photography and also try to shoot the northern lights. When I’m back here in August, the light scenario will be much the opposite: The sun will rise early and set very late.
In addition to shooting in the dark, we also visited some abandoned buildings, where I played around a bit with my circular fisheye lens. Below are some of the shots from the trip so far.
A semi-frozen waterfall under the night sky
One of my favorite things to shoot is “Abandoned America.” I guess I can now extend that to “Abandoned Iceland” as well!
Another circular fisheye shot of a funky abandoned building.
We were able to capture a bit of the northern lights one evening. I plan to head out again to get a more vibrant shot of them.
Another northern lights scene.
Like I said earlier, Iceland is one of my favorite places to photograph, so I’m going to spend the next few days exploring and shooting as well. I fly back to the bus mid-week and then immediately get ready to head to Seattle for Photoshop Week at creativeLIVE! I’ve you’re a Photoshop user and have not yet heard about Photoshop Week, it’s an online, live conference that is free to watch while it’s live. There will be 12 instructors and over 40 classes. Click here to learn more.
That’s it for this week, everyone! There will be more Iceland pics coming up!
Hi everyone! Having spent several weeks in Eugene, Oregon, we just moved a few hours north to Portland. I’ve been mostly focused on some work projects, and the vintage bus project. The big news this week is that we just announced Photoshop Week! Photoshop Week is the first conference-style event to be held at creativeLIVE, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it. This is a live, online event, going on from Feb. 25th through March 2nd. With 12 instructors and over 40 classes, it’s going to be a great experience for all Photoshop users, whether you’re a photographer, graphic designer, or both.
Here are the sessions I’ll be teaching at Photoshop Week:
Photoshop Efficiency Boosters
Learn how to fly through Photoshop features with the utmost efficiency by taking advantage of all of Photoshop’s shortcuts, presets, customization and automation features. In this session you’ll see how to access the majority of Photoshop’s features using your keyboard and how to customize the features you use the most for greater efficiency. You’ll also find out about many hidden features that can increase you efficiency in Photoshop.
Getting Started with Actions
Learn how to automate repetitive or complex tasks by recording them as actions in Photoshop. You’ll learn everything needed to get started using Actions today as well as learning the most common issues that prevent them from being effectively implemented. You’ll learn how to troubleshoot and optimize any action as well as modify existing actions to customize them to your personal needs.
Intermediate and Advanced Actions
Learn how you can push actions to automate overly complex or difficult tasks. Use subroutines to make customization of complex actions easy. Learn how to implement the new conditional actions feature that Adobe introduced in late 2012. Also, get a glimpse of how you can overcome the limitations of actions with scripting.
Mastering Blending Modes
You’ve seen that menu… the one that includes choices like Multiply, Screen, Overlay and Hue. It’s found in many areas of Photoshop including at the top of the Layers panel. Learn how that single feature can open a new world of possibilities in your photo-editing tasks and design projects. Once you understand how each mode works and how they all relate to each other, you will see that blending modes are one of the single most useful features in all of Photoshop!
… my vintage bus project has been seeing consistent progress. The vent fans in the ceiling have been installed, all the engine-to-dash wiring has been cleaned up and mounted to the side wall to keep it out of the way, and the overly large rub rails that run down the length of the bus have been removed. They don’t go with the paint scheme I have planned, but might be replaced by small rub rails that are more similar to those found on Flxible Clippers and Visicoaches. The refrigerator that will be used in the bus also arrived this past week. I’ve been posting constant updates on the Creative Cruiser’s facebook page, and you can follow those HERE.
The new fridge for the vintage bus just arrived. It’s an Italian model from Vitrifrigo that features one drawer for freezer and one for fridge, as well as the upper fridge area. It offered the largest storage volume within the limited height/depth of the vintage bus.
And finally, I wrapped up the week in a very festive way… by attending the birthday party of my friend Kirsten, who happens to live in Portland. Kirsten works at Lensbaby, so I always see her at photography events and tradeshows, but hardly ever get to hang out with her outside the work arena. She had a great little shindig, where we got to catch up and celebrate.
Me and Kirsten at her birthday party in Portland. Kirsten shares my love for IPA-style beer, and she had some on tap at her party!
Many thanks to the creativeLIVE team for snapping this photo of me on set.
Hi gang! I just got back from Seattle, where I had an excellent time teaching two online courses at creativeLIVE. I taught a 3-day course on Lightroom Mastery and a 1-day class on Photoshop Mastery: Advanced Masking. If you’re not familiar with creativeLIVE, I highly recommend checking them out. They broadcast live training almost every day, and while its live, it’s completely free to watch. If you decide you like the class, you can purchase it to either stream or download the videos to watch at your convenience. You also must purchase the class in order to get all the course materials. Folks who purchase my Lightroom and Masking classes actually receive a special bonus, because as I was teaching, Karen was following along, creating comprehensive handbooks to go with each class. The Masking handbook is 18 pages long and the Lightroom handbook is 50 pages long!
For more information on the classes or to purchases a course, check out the links below:
While we were up in Seattle, we got to meet up with my friend Erica Gamet, who also happened to be in town teaching classes at creativeLIVE! Her iBooks Author and InDesign classes were broadcast on the days following my courses. It was nice to be able to catch up with her in such a fun environment.
Me, Karen and Erica hang out after my creativeLIVE classes wrap up.
New Seminar Tour!
And now for some more training news. I’m happy to announce the launch of my new seminar tour, Photographic Artistry with Adobe Photoshop! This will be a full day seminar packed with Photoshop techniques designed to give your photos a creative edge. You’ll learn how to transform a collection of ordinary photographs into seamless, stunning composites. Learn how to remove difficult objects from complex backgrounds, add dimension and depth to your 2D images, master 3D photographic effects, discover the power of Photoshop’s Blending modes, and so much more.
The first two tour dates are March 19 in New York, NY and March 20 in Washington DC. For more information check out the seminar page HERE.
Mastering HDR & Lightpainting
Finally, while we’re on the training topic, there’s still room in my 5-day workshop on HDR & Lightpainting, coming up March 11-15. This will be an intense double feature of a workshop, covering two of my favorite photographic techniques. Once you feel comfortable with those two specialties, then you’ll be able to expand your shooting range beyond the standard golden hour and capture idealized images regardless of what time of day you encounter an interesting subject. This event is being held by the Light Workshops in Los Osos, CA. The gang at Light is great to work with, and students always receive hands-on, one-on-one instruction during these training events. For more information or to register, click HERE.
That’s it for now, everyone. During the next week, we’ll be hanging out in the Eugene, OR area nailing down the layout for the interior of my vintage bus. The shop that’s working on it is making progress every day now. If you’d like to follow the updates, check out the Creative Cruiser Facebook page HERE. More to come…