Tag Archives: workshops

Before & After With Lightroom 5

During yesterday’s “Mastering the Lightroom 5 Develop Module” online class, we took a look at the power of RAW editing by working on an image that might not have been too inspiring straight out of the camera:

Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.
Sunset in the Badlands; as-shot image before processing.

What I liked about the shot, though, was the light hitting the peaks and the clouds. This image represents a typical set of challenges in outdoor photography. Wide dynamic range between the sky and the foreground, mixed lighting between the sky (daylight) and the hills (shade), and low contrast overall.

We used the full set of tools in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 to adjust the RAW image, and then we applied Skylight Filter and Pro Contrast in Color Efex Pro 4 to make the final image pop. The end result is far more spectacular, and captures the feeling we had when we were actually there shooting this on the Badlands Photo Safari.

Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.
Sunset in the Badlands, South Dakota. Final image after processing in Lightroom 5 and Color Efex Pro 4.

South Texas Birding Workshop Report 2013

Bewick's Wren
Bewick’s Wren, south Texas. Small species are incredibly hard to photograph unless you are in a blind or hide.

I brought a group of four photographers to south Texas, where we had the opportunity to photograph birds and wildlife from private blinds. In wildlife photography, the challenges are numerous. For birds, especially, it is extremely difficult to get close enough to fill the frame, even with a super-telephoto lens. Here are the main challenges with wildlife/bird photography: Continue reading South Texas Birding Workshop Report 2013

2013 Instructional Photo Tours: Dates Added

Get personal field instruction and learn how to process your image files for maximum impact on my 2013 Instructional Photo Tours.

Immerse yourself in your passion on one of my small-group photo tours. On each of these excursions, I take you to some of the best shooting locations for wildlife and landscapes. I offer each student one on-one instruction tailored to their individual needs, both in the field (camera settings, composition, exposure), and in the classroom (post-processing techniques, image review and critique). Photography is about capturing the right place at the right time, and on my safaris, we do just that. These workshops are optimal for photographers of all levels, and I welcome beginners! This year, I’ll be going to several popular locations.

2013 Instructional Photo Tour Dates

Ten Simple Tips for Digital Photographers

If you’re going to fly, you’ll need wings and a full tank of fuel.

In today’s digital world, we have unprecedented access to high-quality photographic equipment. Just ten years ago, most photographers had a basic camera, sent their film off for processing, and got back a set of slides or 4×6″ prints to enjoy. Early digital cameras were either too expensive or too limited in quality to really be adopted by the average consumer. Now, you can get a 24 megapixel camera like the Nikon D3200 with a zoom lens for under $700!

Think about that for a second. Today’s digital cameras have enough resolution to rival medium format film cameras of the past. Back then, the only people I ever met who used medium format were studio portrait photographers. A medium format system was completely unrealistic for most photographers; they were harder to use and cost a fortune.

With so many people having access to amazing digital photo technology, there’s a feeling that anyone can be a great photographer because they have a great camera. I see it when I talk to wedding photographers about how their clients don’t want to pay for prints or albums because “uncle Joe” has a DSLR and will shoot their wedding for free. I see it when I browse Google+ or Facebook and see mediocre images posted as “works of art.” Friends, a mediocre 24 megapixel snapshot is still mediocre. You just have more resolution to display your mediocrity. With that, here are five fundamental tips for anyone who has recently picked up a new DSLR (or even an older one) and wants to improve their photography. Continue reading Ten Simple Tips for Digital Photographers

Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up

Skulls on a truck, Park County, CO (HDR Image)

I just wrapped up a four-day workshop here in Colorado, where we explored creative outdoor photography. We started out by doing traditional landscape photography in Garden of the Gods, then we moved on to several unique locations for interesting compositions and shots. We had a great photo walk in Manitou Springs, and we were able to shoot inside the Miramont Castle, a unique Victorian building. After each morning’s shooting session, we held classroom sessions where we explored the creative aspect of post-processing, including HDR, Monochrome, and Color Efex Pro. We also learned how to use Photoshop layers to maximize our creativity and enhance our workflow with Nik Software plug-ins and Flypaper Textures. Continue reading Creative Outdoor Photography Workshop Wrap-Up