In the field and “on Location”

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a great Fourth of July Weekend! I spent the past week parked a little north of Spokane, Washington, doing a mixture of shooting and event prep. You may be confused by the title of this post, because “in the field” and “on location” sound like the same thing. To clear things up, I have named my current bus “Location” so that when people ask me where I am, I can say that I’m “on Location.”

If you read my last post, you saw lots of images from our shoots in the Palouse area. Well, I was so happy with that area that I went back to spend more time there this past week. Karen spent the week at her parents’ house in NJ, so I was exploring on my own. I managed to get some really nice light, as you can see in the shots below.

PalouseLandscapePanoI shot this pano near the top of Steptoe Butte in the Palouse.

1013163_10153420865980355_292144191_nLone tree in a wheat field with Steptoe Butte in the background.

As I mentioned above, I also spent a lot of time this week “on location” getting ready for this week’s training event. I am teaching a 2-day class at creativeLIVE called “Photoshop Mastery: Creative Explorations.” I’ve been teaching the Photoshop Mastery series for several months now and this is the newest segment. As with all creativeLIVE online classes, when the class is live, it’s totally free to watch. After it’s finished, you can buy the class to watch any time you’d like. When you buy the class, you also get all the supplemental material that goes with the course, such as the course handbook and practice images. The class is today and tomorrow (July 8-9) from 9-4 PST.

Here is a rundown of what the “Creative Explorations” class is covering:

Explore the creative side of Photoshop. Take a walk down the filter menu and learn what’s lurking in the not-so-obvious filters like Displacement Maps and Lighting Effects. See how the simple text and shape tools can be taken to the next level by incorporating layer styles, clipping masks and more.

• Learn which filters have a special relationship with Photoshop’s Blending Modes, which allows for unexpectedly creative results
• Start to use Photoshop’s 3D features to add dimension to otherwise flat imagery
• Create animated slide shows that better keep your viewer’s attention
• Add texture to your images to give them more personality


On Wednesday, I’ll be teaching an additional class at creativeLIVE called “Image Ambulance,” where you’ll learn how to deal with the most difficult problem images. Techniques will include:

• Removing dust and scratches
• Extreme color correction techniques
• Tonal Rescue Techniques
• General Repair and Restoration Techniques
• Unifying skin tone and color
• Eye and Teeth Tweaking
• Red Eye Removal
• Removing Lens Flare and glasses glare
• Whatever else you can think of and have an example image to submit

Click HERE to learn more and to enroll for free!

976540_10153428575930355_824597638_oI shot this image last year on the road to Taos, in New Mexico. I used Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter on it, as I was finalizing the creative techniques I’ll be covering in this week’s class. 

Karen and I will be in Seattle until Thursday, mostly immersed in creativeLIVE workshops. After that, we’ll head back to the bus near Spokane. More to come!

Exploring The Palouse

Hi gang! Get ready for a very photographic post! We’ve spent the past week photographing the beautiful Palouse area in south-east Washington. We had originally only planned to spend two or three days in the area, but life got in the way a bit, in the form of bus transmission issues. Because we had to have the bus at a diesel shop in Spokane for several days in a row, we took the extra time to drive the mini down to The Palouse. This actually worked out really well, from a photographic standpoint, because we got to photograph in all kinds of weather/lighting scenarios.

BenPalouseSunsetThis image was shot from near the top of Steptoe Butte in the Palouse.

The Palouse is basically wheat country. The area is covered in beautiful, rolling hills covered with wheat and canola. When the canola flowers are in bloom, and they were for us, it is pretty spectacular seeing the sweeping expanses of yellow flowers. In exploring the area, we knew there was one place we had to visit, and that was Steptoe Butte. From the top, you have a great view of the rolling hills, and if you get good light, sunset is a great shooting time. From this point, you want to be using a pretty long lens to pick out barns and really emphasize the shadows & highlights. The photo above was shot from Steptoe Butte around sunset.

Aside from that one spot, the rest of our shooting locations were really found by exploring. We’d just get in the car, head into the Palouse area and see what we found. There were many small dirt roads we followed, seeking out good photo opportunities. Most of the time, we found them! While driving around, we were looking for one of two main things: Nice light hitting the rolling hills, and lone barn structures to use as subjects. The area has loads of spots like this, so it often took us two hours to go two miles because we would keep stopping to get out and shoot!

BenPalouseBarnWe found this barn near sunset while we were just driving around. This is an iPhone shot I took, processed with Snapseed.

I obviously did a lot of shooting this past week, but in addition to my usual DSLR shots, I did a lot of iPhoneography as well. If you follow me on Facebook, you’ve been seeing tons of my iPhone shots from the Palouse. The effects you can get with minimal editing on the iPhone is just amazing. I used Snapseed to edit most of those shots.  I also took a lot of panoramas. I love printing big, and always shoot panos, but this place was just begging for it.

BenCanolaPano-longHere is a pano from one of the canola fields. That’s Karen in the middle doing a yoga pose.

BenPalouseFishyA fun circular fisheye shot

BenPalousePano2Here is another pano of a barn we found just by driving around the area. 

While we were out exploring the Palouse, the shop managed to fix the issue with the bus’ transmission. I am going to be hanging out in the general area, making sure that the problem has been fixed (If it occurs again, I want to be able to easily get back to the shop). Karen is flying over to NJ to spend a week with her family and attend her brother’s graduation party. When she returns, we will meet over in Seattle for my next creativeLIVE event.

Speaking of creativeLIVE, I’ll be teaching my Photoshop Mastery: Creative Explorations class on July 8-9, 9-4 PST. As always with creativeLIVE, while it’s live it’s totally free to watch, so tune in and learn how to add some awesome sauce to your images!

More to come…

untitled-748Me and Karen goofing off