Most photographers I know are just fudging on their exposures. We all talk about Expose to the Right (ETTR) and try and read the histogram, and look at the highlight warnings to make a decision, but mostly we’re relying on the wide exposure latitude of our cameras to make it work. And it mostly works…until it doesn’t.
When it doesn’t, we have blow out highlights, lost shadow detail, and increased noise in our images. On my most recent Exposure workshop, we had cameras that were metering up to two stops off.
There has to be a better way!
Fortunately there is! And it’s easy enough for a beginner, but accurate enough for a pro.
This workshop is going to give you more certainty in your exposures. With a simple process, we’re going to calibrate your light meter so that it becomes more accurate than judging histograms or highlight warnings (blinkies.) Once your camera is properly calibrated, you’ll have the tools to get the best exposure any time, any where.
Saturday March 21, 10am—4pm Technology Engagement Center 306 Minerva Drive Murfreesboro, TN
Fee – $75 per student
This lab session is a companion to my Color and Black & White Processing classes. It offers you an extended time to apply the techniques I’ve shown you, and to have more printing time.
Expect a very hands on class. You’ll be processing and printing the entire time, and I’ll be bouncing from student to student, working one-on-one with each of you to evaluate prints and make processing recommendations.
Lab sessions are about working on your photographs, while tapping into my guidance and insight. Through the feedback loop of process, print, and evaluate, we can troubleshoot the issues you are having and improve your processing and printing. This is not a structured and systematic walk through of techniques like my other classes. Rather, it is like a practice session, where you have extended time to apply what you know and refine your understanding of processing in the best way I know how, through applying them to your photographs and making prints.
A major objective of these sessions is learning to see how your photograph can be turned into a great print. By improving a photograph through a series of prints, you see the potential of the process, which improves your processing techniques as well as your prints.
Working alongside other photographers is another enriching part of the experience. Seeing what others are working on and how they are working is a learning experience unto itself, and provides a prospective that goes beyond what we get working alone when we are at home.
This class is open to any photographer at any level. There are no pre-requisite classes, but you should feel comfortable working in the editing/processing software of your choice. You don’t need to be an expert, just eager to improve and learn.
Print materials will be provided to make 5-7 prints, as time allows. The library has computers with Lightroom and Photoshop available, or bring your own computer.
Saturday February 29, 10am—4pm Technology Engagement Center 306 Minerva Drive Murfreesboro, TN
Fee – $150 per student
This workshop is designed to teach you the processing tools and techniques that have allowed me to make beautiful prints for myself and for my professional clients in over twenty years of fine art printmaking. To maximize the learning potential, this class is limited to four participants.
This is part one of a series of workshops. We’ll start the day with an overview of the tools and techniques we’ll be working with, and then spend the rest of the day applying those techniques as you process and print your own images. Working hands-on allows us to solve your problems with your images, working towards achieving professional quality results.
We’ll be working in Photoshop, taking advantage of some of its unique properties that are difficult to replicate in other software. You do not need to be a fluent Photoshop user, but you should be comfortable using editing software and have some experience in file processing. This class is meant to teach foundations, so you don’t need to be an expert! The tools are actually very easy. Learning to “see” how to use them is the hard part, and the aspect we will focus most on.
The beauty and elegance of classic black and white photography has captivated viewers for over a century. This series of workshops teaches the tools and techniques used to create this beauty using digital tools.
In Part 1, we’ll introduce the “look” we are going for by looking at prints and discussing the characteristics and intent that create the classic look.
We’ll then cover the three primary elements in creating this look. First, We’ll learn to apply the “classic” intent to RAW files to create a base for further processing. Second, converting our color digital files to B&W with a creative vision will be explored through various tools and techniques. Third, we’ll learn the foundational approaches to creating contrast in our photographs that creates form, volume, beauty, and visual tension. These three pieces are inextricably linked. How you use any one of them directly affects your ability to use the others to achieve your desired result.
Throughout the workshop, we’ll be making small 8×10 proof prints to test our work and get around the limitations for monitors to display the full beauty of the B&W image.
This workshop is limited to four students to maximize learning potential of the one day format. We’ll be working in Photoshop, taking advantage of some of its unique properties that are difficult to replicate in other software. You do not need to be a fluent Photoshop user, but you should be comfortable using editing software with intermediate experience in file processing.
Saturday January 25, 10am—4pm Technology Engagement Center 306 Minerva DriveMurfreesboro, TN
As I prepare my workshop curriculum for this year, I keep asking myself “Why should people take a workshop? What can I teach a student that they can’t get from a YouTube video?”
The answer is “A lot!” Deep statement there so let me break it down a little more.
Photography has always been about more than knowing where the dials and sliders and doohickeys are and what they do.
What makes a successful photograph is applying those tools to your photographs in a way that communicates what you want to say.
Improving as a photographer is about learning to see…improving your ability to observe what’s happening the world around you and using the tools to translate that into a two dimensional photograph that communicates what you want to say.
Learning, and improving at this requires individualized instruction. You can watch countless hours of videos on how to improve your golf swing, but I bet you’d learn more with just a short time with a professional instructor that can analyze your swing, and show you the techniques to refine it. A video can’t diagnose what you’re doing wrong and what is holding you back.
Photography is not meant to be learned alone. The same approach to coaching and training that works in other endeavors from sports to music, even spaceflight, work just as well in photography.
My experiences as an instructor is that I can take almost any student and help them climb more steps on the ladder of photographic knowledge, and gain more enjoyment and satisfaction from photography.
No workshop will turn you into a master overnight. But what I can do is give you understanding and a foundation of skills that let you keep growing and progressing. Often times I can accelerate that growth.
In thirty five years of photography, I’ve made about every mistake you can, so I know where the challenging points are, and how to help you overcome them. My twenty plus years of working as a professional printmaker has given me solutions that will work just as well as you as for my master level clients.
The advancement I see students make on workshops is always rewarding and encouraging. If you come on one of my workshops, I can show you how to apply the tools of photography individuals to your photographs to solve the problems you are having. I can help you learn to “see” better and more clearly. And hopefully I can inspire and encourage you in your growth as a photographer.
The personalized instruction that comes on a workshop will grow you in ways YouTube never will. Workshops continue to be a valuable, if not the most valuable way to learn and grow as a photographer. If you’re not happy with where you are at, then it’s time to take a workshop and grow!
Saturday January 18, 10am—4pm Technology Engagement Center 306 Minerva Drive Murfreesboro, TN
Are you 100% confident you’re making the best exposures you can? How about 75%? Or maybe, like many photographers, you just don’t really know.
Feeling confident in your exposures is a core skill. Once mastered, it frees your creativity because you aren’t always worrying “did I expose it right?”
This one day workshop will help you feel more confident in your exposure choices by giving you a greater understanding of just what “correct exposure” really means.
We’ll dive into things like ETTR, reading histograms, blinkies, RAW processing, bracketing, exposure latitude, highlight and shadow detail, and more. We’ll go beyond what you see in youtube videos to learn how to apply these tools with greater precision.
We’ll also talk about strategies for better metering, as well as determining what “good enough” exposure is in different photographic situations.
This is a hands on class so you’ll need to bring your camera with you, and know how to change shutter speed, aperture, and ISO settings. We’ll be making test exposures during the workshop and evaluating them on the computer.
September 12, 2019 6:30PM The Brentwood Library 8109 Concord Rd, Brentwood, TN 37027
I’m really looking forward to my September 12th mini clinic with Brentwood Photo Group because I get to talk about one of my favorite subjects, black and white photography.
The focus of this clinic is on what I call “Classic” black and white.
What is “Classic” black and white? I’d consider the work of photographers like Ansel Adams, Edward Weston, John Sexton, Alan Ross all good examples. Its roots are based in the best of what analog printmaking can do. The work of these photographers and others in this school focus on rich, vibrant, full tonal range prints. It’s a distinctly different look that you see in HDR photos, or that created by heavy use of slider based tools.
Creating the classic black and white starts with a vision of what the final print should look like, and then using the tools in a manner that achieves that vision. The are no magic presets or filters. It’s an exercise in manual control of the variables to bring them together into a harmonious whole.
This mini-clinic will focus on learning to see with the classic black and white look. I’ll cover topics from exposure, RGB conversion, the importance of local contrast, using brushing for creative control, and more.
This event is at the Brentwood Library . Looking forward to seeing you there!
A few spots left for my printmaking workshop this weekend if you waited till the last minute. Sign up and learn how to make your prints with more depth, more tonality, and more richness. Watching youtube just shows you where the controls are, I’ll show you want to do with them to make your prints sing!
Hands on learning is of incredible value to improving your printmaking skills, so I’m excited that Watkins College of Art is having me teach a one day workshop on July 13th.
The format of this workshop is very simple. I’ll look at your photographs, suggest changes, and then you can work through those changes with my help and immediately make new prints for further evaluation in the excellent computer/print lab at Watkins.
This rapid feedback loop allows leaps of knowledge and understanding to happen quickly. I’ve seen students make incredible strides in short periods of time with this process, and I know it can be of huge benefit.
This is not a step by step teaching class for an imaging editing program. It assumes you have some level of comfort and familiarity with an image editing program and with making prints. You don’t need to me a expert, that’s the whole point, but you need to know where the gas, brakes, and turn signals are, so to speak.
You can bring your own computer with your imaging editing program, or use one of their macs with Photoshop or Lightroom. I don’t care what software you use, as the goal of achieving good contrast, density, and color are universal to all photographs.
One requirement for this class is a ten print portfolio and corresponding edited and un-edited files. Don’t be intimidated by this…I’m not looking for anything fancy. Just ten 8×10 or 8.5×11 prints of photos that you think represent your work. The goal is that you’ve already printed them once, and that we can look at them immediately and jump in to learning. For students who register early enough, I’m going to try and evaluate these before the workshop so that we can get the most out of that one day.
Most photographers I talk with are not satisfied with the results from their home inkjet printers. That leads to frustration, and holds many back from a fuller enjoyment of the process of making prints.
If that sounds like where you are at, my April 6 Printer Tuning Clinic is for you. I’ll teach you straightforward solutions that will help you get more quality and consistency out of your printer, how to evaluate canned and custom profiles, and help you set good expectations for accuracy.
The process I’ll show you is the same one I’ve used in my professional printing business. The potential in unlocks in students once they grasp it is incredible.