POST WORKSHOP FOLLOW-UP
Thank you again for allowing me the opportunity to work with you on this photographic journey! I'm stoked to be able to play some small part along your way. I hope that I have assisted in sparking some fresh insights and demonstrated some of what goes into making dynamic and compelling photographs. Most of all, I hope that I have been able to show you how this path can be an enriching one and spill over into the other areas of your life.
Following are some discussion points summed up for your review, links that you may find of interest, books that you should own, and artists to explore further.
• You should not expect to be able to do all-things with the camera and do it all well. Choose an avenue that you love, and bring the camera in to that. Love and passion should be the driving force behind your image-making.
L o v e t h e P r o c e s s !
• Photography is always interpretive.
• A successful photograph should draw the viewer in, hold their attention, and evoke a feeling or emotion. Simplified to two words, you want to create:
• Bring more attention to LIGHT. It is all about the light! Shoot at times of optimal light.
• Build a strong foundation in-camera. You can't expect to build a beautiful house on a weak foundation.
Exposure and Composition make up the foundation.
• EXPOSURE: Make "OPTIMAL" and "CREATIVE" Exposures. 3 Clicks is a Stop; A Stop is a Doubling or Halving of Light. Expose to the Right Without Blowing Out Your Highlights.
• COMPOSITION: Bring more awareness to these simple guiding principles and you will make better compositions.
• Delve deeper into the work. One way to do this is to ask questions. How do I make images that are more compelling, more evocative, more expressive? Why make photographs? What do I want to express and communicate with my photographs? What is my photographic GIFT to the world?
Ask these questions for your feeling body - not for your thinking mind. These are not things to intellectualize. Thinking is necessary for many things in life, but an active thinking mind only gets in the way of
C R E A T I V E F L O W
• Remember, this path is personal to you. The more attention you bring to this, the deeper you realize and understand it. Your photographs begin to deepen, become more expressive, and more dynamic. In turn, the path becomes a more enriching one to your life. Elliott Porter says it best here:
"The essential quality of a photograph is the emotional impact that it carries, which is a measure of the author's success in translating into photographic terms his
or her own emotional response to the subject."
• HERE is a link to an article I wrote for you regarding filters, and other important tools that we use.
• HERE is a link to an article I wrote for the basic steps to make in Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). ACR is essentially the same as Lightroom, but with a different facade. In my workflow, this is a starting point. For others, they may make all adjustments and reach a final place here. Either way, it may be of interest to see the basic steps to make here.
• Additionally, I may have mentioned that I use plug-ins by Nik Software - specifically COLOR EFEX PRO and SILVER EFEX PRO. These are powerful tools to get to places in an intuitive and efficient manner. They work with both Photoshop and Lightroom.
The “filters” I primarily use within Color Efex Pro are:
-Contrast Color Range: often a starting point to get color moving in the right direction.
-Tonal Contrast: I often add TC to land and form, and subtract TC from sky and water, by working with layers and masking in Photoshop.
-Pro Contrast: this can help to get color casts in check, and add subtle contrast.
-Brilliance/Warmth: can be added subtly globally or locally.
-Darken/Lighten Center: to add subtle transitions with vignettes.
• Here are some of the photographers that I mention from time to time:
-Michael Kenna. He's a legend!
-David Fokos. I know David from when we were both represented by the gallery in La Jolla. He is a true master!
-Sebastio Salgado. If the “success” of great art is based on the life and spirit it contains, then there is no one more masterful at making photographs than Salgado. Study his work!
• Just a few photo books that I think should be in every landscape photographers collection are:
-Michael Kenna's - Huangshan. If the house is burning down and I'm grabbing one book, this is it! Pure mastery.
-Art Wolfe's - Edge of the Earth, Corner of the Sky. Still one of my favorite collections of landscape. Notice the technical notes in the back of the book and marvel!
-Sebastio Salgado's - Genesis. My note above regarding Salgado sums it up. This book is a small glimpse. But, do yourself a favor - see his work in person!
Look at photographs with more awareness and learn from your viewing experience. Develop your "Editors Eye”.
• A few other things that come up from time to time and that I like to point to:
-Seth Godin. A great mind and worth following. Sign up for his blog and get it daily in your inbox, and be sure to listen to his weekly podcast called Akimbo wherever you listen to your podcasts.
-The Rich Roll Podcast. Rich gets inspiring guests on his podcast and does an excellent job bringing their stories and message to the listener. If I’m only going to listen to one podcast, this is it. Inspiring & informative.
-the WAR of ART. If you really want to follow the artists path and express and communicate in a dynamic way with your photography, then I strongly encourage you to read Steven Pressfield’s books and understand Resistance. Start with this one.
• On my 10+ hour workshops, I provide a healthy whole-food plant-based meal (vegan). Inevitably, a certain percentage of you will ask, Why do you eat like this? It’s not a short answer, but I will say:
There is nothing you can do that would make a more powerful and positive impact, for the health
of your body and the health of the planet, than to adopt a whole-food plant-based diet.
I strongly encourage you to watch and learn from these documentaries on Netflix:
• Finally, in addition to the photographic journey and the artist’s creative path, caring for the health of our body and the well-being of the planet - there is one more thing that I must mention. Meditation. This is an extremely powerful and positive force that I strongly believe we can ALL benefit greatly from. It’s not hard and does not require a lot of time. As an artist now delving deeper into the aspects of self-awareness and mindfulness, you will see HUGE rewards in creating some spaciousness around the chatter of the mind.
Headspace App. I use this App frequently and it’s great for beginners. They offer a free-trial.
10% Happier. Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics. Dan Harris is an ABC news anchor that had a panic attack live on the air, and turned to meditation to change his life. He has a book, a podcast (which I enjoy), and a meditation App. Check out his story HERE.
Let Me Know Your Thoughts
Before I point you to more great content, can you kindly take 10 minutes of your time and offer me some feedback to your workshop experience? You can do that right here.
The top portion is for a Testimonial that I will share to visitors of my website. The second portion is a quick Review so you can let me know how I am doing, and will not be shared.
Filling out any or all of this is a big help and greatly appreciated. Thank you!
Don’t forget to explore these articles. I have a number of new ones in the works, so be sure to add THIS PAGE to your bookmarks. There’s some other ideas in the works too, so be sure to check back!
DEVELOPING AND MENTORING SERVICES
If you appreciate my outlook on the photographic journey, resonate with the way I develop and present my photographs, and feel that you would like further direction and guidance on these topics, consider working with me further from the comfort of your own home.
Image Reviews with detailed feedback, Developing and the Digital Darkroom instruction with videos, or Master Image Developing where I do all the work! These options are available to you. In fact, you can experience the same One-Year Mentoring Workshop that includes all of this and much more, and was initially inspired by a star NFL player!