Using the tools you have handy…

Using the tools you have handy…

Answer: A Smart Phone or Tablet !

The “before image” above…

Not long ago I was with a client on a workshop out at one of my favorite locations, Point Reyes National Seashore. One of the first places I take folks is to this old boat, aptly named the “Point Reyes”.

I have been photographing this old boat for almost 20 years now and in the last year it has been disintegrating rapidly. I fear it won’t be long before it is no longer photogenic nor a good teaching tool. I will sincerely miss this “The Old Girl” when the time comes.

The reason I take folks to this location is to discuss various techniques such as composition and looking for textures, shapes, and tonalities. All integral parts of making an image.

As I was talking about this my client was having a somewhat difficult time “seeing” what I was talking about. Which is to say exactly why we were here!

Recently I discovered the usefulness of my iPhone as a learning tool in the field. In fact now I WIFI my client’s images to either my phone of iPad to instantly critique images in the field real time….

In an attempt to “show” what I was talking about, I made an image using my iPhone 6. I did a quick edit in the phones app and showed it to him and “Boom!” he saw what I was talking about. Literally within seconds the concept was delivered.

The rest of the day was fantastic! I watched him make incredible images and gained a faithful client whom I happily consider more a “Friend”

You can use your Smartphone or Tablet as a great in the field tool to not only help you envision a scene but capture a damn fine image too!

Here’s what he was shown…. Note all the objects of the lesson: Shapes, textures and tonality…

PT Reyes Wreck_bowBW

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you do when the weather goes bad…Well you take pictures of course!

What do you do when the weather goes bad…Well you take pictures of course!

I just wrapped up a custom photography workshop with a great group of gentlemen down in Carmel on California’s central coast.  Of course we’ve been back in drought conditions all of January (no rain at all), except during the workshop – the “Pineapple Express” decided to express itself! Go figure…well fortunately the guys were great and weren’t going to let “a little” rain stop them… In fact some of my best photographic experiences have been during inclement weather. Being there, just as clouds break for that special moment of light. For me that’s what its all about!

During these trips I don’t actively take my own photos while conducting the workshop. I do however have my iPhone which I use constantly as an instructional tool as well as my trusty old Canon. Between them I can give visual instruction to my clientele and it really works out well.

On the way home back to San Francisco, I decided to hit a couple of old haunts. First stop was Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Now this looks like a lighthouse! What better time to take a picture of a lighthouse than when its doing its job?

Pigeon Point Lighthouse Pescadero Taken with Canon 1Ds Mk II

Pigeon Point Lighthouse
Pescadero
Taken with Canon 1Ds Mk II

   Another one of my favorites is Bean  Hollow Beach.  It was relatively low tide and this rock jetty was exposed. I have been loving my 10 stop ND filter  and decided this was a good  candidate.

Bean Hollow Beach Taken with Canon 1Ds Mk II and 10 stop ND filter

Bean Hollow Beach
Taken with Canon 1Ds Mk II and 10 stop ND filter

So don’t let a little rain bother you…hang out, be patient and be ready for that momentary break of fantastic light!

Oh, and have fun…!

The Zoo – a great place to practice!

The Zoo – a great place to practice!

Tiger eyes

The Tiger’s Eyes

The other day I took a client to the San Francisco Zoo to practice  photographing animals. My client has an upcoming trip to Africa and will be taking a photo safari. Since it is a once in a life time event for him he was looking for tips on how to be the most effective he could be.

African Crane

African Crane Crown Plumage

I covered the various concepts and techniques with him and we had a great time. To name just a few….

  • Fill the frame
  • Focus on the eyes
  • Concentrate on particular attributes of the animal
  • Use a fast shutter speed (high ISO if needed to increase shutter speed)
African Crane

African Crane Plumage

In addition to his practicing, I was able to squeak out a few of my own images that you see here. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do every time I’m at the zoo.

If you’d like to join me for a few hours and pick up some tips visit my website under the “Workshops” tab. The tabs are on the right of this screen.

Join me! I go to the San Francisco Zoo most Wednesdays where I hold a Free Camera Walk!!!!!

Cheers!

 

At the end of the day….

At the end of the day….

Sunset At McClures-1

Recently on my workshop at Point Reyes, just north of  San Francisco, I had the opportunity to take a few images. Normally I don’t take my “own” photos while conducting a workshop as I’m there for my client(s), not my own portfolio. This day however I had the pleasure of having Desiree Burk as my client who didn’t mind. Desiree is a very talented “Family” photographer. We spent the day doing workshop imagery lessons and finished at McClures Beach where we had a beautiful sunset. Employing longer exposures using a 10 stop neutral density filter I captured the image seen here. I was pleased with the detail in the beach sand and the granite rock in the foreground yet with the softness and motion blur of the waves. A perfect ending to a day out at Point Reyes National Seashore.

For Family portraits taken in natural light visit Desiree’s website at  – desireeburk.com

Photography Workshop – California's North Coast & Giant Redwoods Forest

Photography Workshop – California's North Coast & Giant Redwoods Forest

June 3rd – 6th 2014

2 Spaces Left!
Ladybird Johnson Memorial Grove

Ladybird Johnson Memorial Grove

This is always a fun and popular photography workshop. From the little hamlet of Trinidad to the south Oregon coast, we’ll photograph the fog drifting through the lush redwood forests and beautiful sunsets along the coast. Typically the Rhododendrons are blooming at this time of year! Wildlife abounds in the form of Elk and birds. The local harbors and beaches are full of photographic opportunities as well.

Catering to small groups of up to six participants, I will challenge you to see things in a different way and help you capture stunning images.

Enhance your skills in your artful photographic evolution!

Details:

Lodging:  Lodging is not included in this workshop. I will be happy to recommend locations upon request. There are many options in the are available including camping.

Transportation: Workshop participants are responsible for their transportation during this workshop. During the workshop we will carpool as much as possible.

Fern Canyon Waterfall

Fern Canyon Waterfall

Meals: Each participant will be responsible for their own meals. We will stop so that everyone can stock up on sandwiches, drinks, snacks, etc.

Price:  $495 per person

More info…gear and other stuff: Click here
Note: Participants should be healthy and mobile enough to walk at a leisurely pace off pavement for some distance (1 to 2 miles). You should also consider the weight of your gear and how you carry it.

Trinidad Beach Sunset

Trinidad Beach Sunset

When nature gives you lemons…make lemonade!

When nature gives you lemons…make lemonade!

McCluresBeachBW2

I made this image while conducting one of my photography workshops yesterday at Point Reyes National Seashore. Although I had planned a sunset shot sometimes fog on the horizon nixes what can be a great moment. However all is not lost. Instead you can change your concept during the image taking process and envision it as a dramatic black & white. This was a 30 second exposure using a 10 stop ND filter. I used a limited application of contrast adjustment using dodge & burn techniques. A final step was to add a little vignetting. Keeping detail in the rocks with a smooth silky water was my plan.

I’ll file this in the “When nature gives you lemons, then make lemonade!” category….

Be sure to check my workshop listings for updates on this and other opportunities to learn how to make great images.  Workshop listings…

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