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Last night I stopped by Grayton State park one of my favorite parks in the Panhandle of Florida to capture a sunset image and enjoy the park for a day before setting up for a small show in Gulf Breeze for the weekend.
The unprocessed image looked nice but I decided to enhance the images using the Film Effects and Pro Contrast filters in Nik software’s Color Effects Pro
I set my f stop for F 22 with the lens set at 24mm which is a wide angle setting. By focusing 1/3 into the image I am capturing I will have everything in the image in perfect focus. The term for this is “Hyper Focal”. My ISO was set at 100 which gave me the longest shutter speed of 1.3seconds that available light would allow without using a neutral density filter. I wanted to have a little motion in the water without smoothing out the water with a longer exposure.
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The southwest’s slot canyons with their sculptured sandstone walls shaped by water and wind over thousands of years provide photographers with the southwest’s most sought after photographic images. In the fall when the sun is lower in the sky the muted red and purple tones are breathtaking. We will start this workshop in the Valley of Fire just an hour from Las Vegas which has wonderful slot canyons, one of which has wonderful pink walls and another canyon has some of the best examples of native American petroglyphs in the southwest. We will be staying in Overton for the first two nights before heading to Utah for an overnight stay at ZionNational Park before heading to Page Arizona for two days of shooting in wonderful sandstone canyons that feel as spiritual as any of Europe’s wonderful old cathedrals and they will take your breath away.
In the Fall slender shafts of light penetrate the narrow canyons and bounce soft light off the rock walls casting wonderful muted colors against the sandstone walls. In this workshop you will learn how to capture these images and improve your compositional and technical skills.
My friend and fellow photographer Craig Osterloh will be working with me on this a photographic adventure.
What’s included in my tuition:
Tuition includes fieldwork, guiding, software training and critiques of your digital files during our classroom sessions, transportation during the workshop, Navajo guides and entrance fees onto the Navajo reservation and park entrance fees.
What’s not included in my tuition:
Airfare, lodging and meals are not included.
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When I am out capturing images I am always looking for textures and patterns in nature and in the structures man has built into the natural world. In January I was out photographing some of the National parks and canyons Nevada Utah and Arizona with my friend Craig Osterloh. While we were in route back to Valley of Fire in Nevada Craig wanted to show me Snow Canyon near his home in Lake George, Utah. I wasn’t sure what I would find but this wonderful canyon was full flowing textures in the sandstone. While we were photographing the last rays of the day Craig and I were both fascinated by the textured lines in the sandstone which we thought looked like Angels Wings flowing through the Sandstone. Using a just a little imagination I see the outline of the two wings in the center bordered by many wings flying together.
I used Photoshop CS6 and the in Color Efex Pro I used Film Effects and Darken Lighten Center to process this image.
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If your exposure is over or under exposed you can make adjustments with the exposure slider in Camera Raw. I had already worked with this image and saved it as a tif. In Photoshop if you go to File – Open As the image can be opened in Camera Raw like the original raw image.
To select a tif or jpg file by left clicking on it.
In the Open As dialog box to the right of Open As at the bottom of the dialog box click on the arrow and select Camera Raw for the file to open in Camera Raw.
I had already processed this image. In order to demonstrate how to make an exposure composition I have moved the exposure slider the left to -0.50 which under exposes the image and makes the image darker. If I had moved the exposure slider to the right to +0.50 it would make the image lighter and over exposed the image.
I moved the exposure to the left +0.50 stop to 0 to lighten the image to the exposure I liked best. This is also the exposure that I captured in the Camera. I try to expose and crop the image in the Camera to create the best possible file. My goal as a photographer is to use Photoshop to make a good image better not make a poor image usable. In Photoshop Elements 11 and CS6 you can make adjustments up to 5 stops plus or minus but I find that if you have over of under exposed the image by more than 2 stops your recovery efforts will brings poor results.
Congratulations to Robert Perry from Cleveland who captured these two night images during the October 2012 Italian Photo workshop. The Lakewood Photographic Society competition was for nighttime photography. Robert had a busy work schedule after returning and entered thes two images as they came out of the camera without any post processing and won a first and third place in his local Camera Clubs competition.
1st place image in nighttime photography.
In the digital age where everyone uses software to process images there are a lot of people who think that software can fix any image and make it an award winner, this is seldom the case. Why not capture each image using good composition and proper exposure that can win awards without processing and then if there is time use the software in Photoshop and Nik Software to make them into even better images.
3rd place image in nighttime photography
Burano Lights – Venetian Lagoon
During the workshops I give in Venice, I usually visit Burano one of the islands in the Northern Venetian Lagoon. Burano is 45 minute Vaporetto Ride from Venice. the Vaporetto Ride itself is an experience, it’s great to see Venice from the sea.
Burano is known for its lace and its gorgeous colored buildings and home. Around 3000 residents live on the island, in houses that are painted in all the colors of a rainbow. I would highly recommend visiting Burano, you can wander the streets and take photos of this beautifully colorful fishing town, where women stayed home making lace, while the fishermen went out to the sea to fish. Each fisherman was able to recognize their house from afar Because every house was painted in a different color of the rainbow.
1-I opened several raw images and after checking for motion blur and I selected Raw image 4032 CR2 to work with.
2-In the basic pallet I made adjustments with the exposure +0.60 Highlights -28 and Shadows +27 and set Daylight on the White Balance drop down menu.
3-Using the Clone and Healing tools I removed a few people, antennas and other distracting
4-With Nik software Color Efex Pro I used Tonal Contrast to bring down the highlights and pull out the shadows.
5-Next in Color Efex Pro 3.0 I used the Film Effects. In the film drop down menu I selected Kodak Portra 160NC
6- In the Film Effects pallet I selected the Film Details dropdown menu which shows the presets for Sensitivity and Saturation.
7-Using the adjustment sliders I tweaked the Color Sensitivity and Saturation.
8- In the Film Effects pallet I selected the Film Details dropdown menu which shows the presets for Grain.
9-I set the sliders to 0 on all grain setting to removed the grain preset for the film type selected. I usually do not want grain effects on my images.
Lucca, Greve and San Gimignano in
Tuscany with our final day in Rome
Oct. 23-29 2013
$775 / Limited to 8 Students
Lucca an ancient Etruscan walled city 20 miles north of Pisa is a great place to spend our first day capturing images. Pisa has an International airport and is a major train hub which makes it an easy entry and exit location. The Etruscan city’s were taken over by the Romans when there influence spread first through Italy and then the known world. In the Heart of the Tuscan region we’ll be capturing images while staying in the Chianti countryside with time for wine tasting a cooking class and some Photoshop work. San Gimignano built by the Etruscans and known for its skyscraper towers that were built by wealthy merchants during the Renaissance. Ancient Rome beckons to be photographed from the Vatican to the Colosseum and so much more. Our field time will be spent on composition and proper use of light. We will spend some time processing images using Photoshop and Nik Software to help you with your processing skills. There are training video at my website and tutorials at my blog that you will be able to reference when you are processing images at home. Our goal is to teach you how to capture beautiful images and explore how to create the images that continue to inspire.
• Learn tips and tricks used by the professionals to create impressive photographs.
• Discover new viewpoints, interesting details which might be overlooked, see the
• Learn to sense the direction of light and how to capture the magic moment.
• Improve your photographic technique.
• Learn your camera and how to get the most out of it.
• Have fun!
Day One: 4pm get together in Lucca, Italy to go over equipment and if time allows Photograph at sunset.
Day Two: Photograph at sunrise in Lucca then relax over breakfast before heading to Chianti.
Day Two– Five: Photograph at sunrise and sunset in the Tuscany, Italy and when the light is right.
Day Five: Photograph at sunrise in the Tuscany, Italy then relax over breakfast before heading to Rome for afternoon and sunset images.
Day six: Photograph Sunrise in Rome and go over final thoughts over breakfast before saying goodbye.
Rome is an Ancient city full of history and after breakfast I would recommend taking a small group tour with Steve and or Grazia after breakfast on October 29 to learn some of Rome’s history. There knowledge of the history and architecture in Rome is always a treat. http://enchantingrome.com/
Venice is 12 km by land and 10 km by water from Marco Polo airport, Venice is well connected to the by both water and land public transportation lines. You can get to Venice from Marco Polo airport either by sea or by land. The easiest way to get from the airport to theRialto bridge is to take the Alilaguna water bus which will run 25 euro round trip. When you come out of the front door of the Airport take a left and follow the covered walkway to the end. The walk will take several minuets. Take the Linea Arancio “Orange Line” to the Rialto Bridge. You can buy the ticket inside the airport or at the dock before bording.
Once you have arrived on the main islandof Venicethe ACTV Vaporetto-water bus is the easiest way to get aroundVenice you will have to buy a separate ticket once you get to theIsland.
Orange Line from Venice Airport to Rialto Bridge
Orange Line Timetable
The Cheapest way to get to Venice from the Marco Polo Airport is by bus. You can take the ACTV line #5 bus in front of Marco Polo airport to Venice’s Piazza Roma bus terminal. At Piazza Roma you switch to the ACTV lines vaporetto-water bus to the rialto bridge. A two day ACTV lines land and water bus pass will cost 30euro and a three day pass will cost 35euro. You can buy your ACTV pass at the airport and it will be good for the land and the water bus transportation for your stay in Venice. http://www.actv.it/en/movinginvenice/movinginvenice It is actually fairly easy to use the land bus and water bus system.
The most expensive and Luxurious way to get from theMarco Polo Airport toVenice is by private water taxies. It will run you between 80 and 125 euro.
Everyone should take the time to wander the back streets for a little shopping and enjoy cursing down the grand canal on a Gondola or a Vaporetto, the water buses of Venice.
While in Venice everyone should take a gondola ride! The average cost of a 40 min ride is 80 to 150 euro depending on the time of day and how busy the gondoliers are. The price of the ride can be split up between up to six which breaks down to between13.3 and 25 euro per person. If this is still more than you want to spend there are crossing gondolas called Traghetto and at 40 cents, they’re the cheapest and shortest gondola ride in Venice, and they can save a lot of walking.
There are only three bridges along the 3.5 km of the Grand Canal, therefore the 7 two man gondolas called Traghetti dotted along the Grand Canal are very useful and used by locals as a fast route across canal.
The routes are clearly marked on mostVenice street maps with straight lines going across the Grand Canal and you will see signs pointing to the traghetto landings in the neighborhoods along the Grand Canal.
The locals generally stand for the ride, but you can of course sit on the seats at each end or on the sides.
On Monday, April 23 on the first full day of the Smokey Mountain workshop there was rime ice that made the narrow winding switchbacks mountain roads to Clingmans dome too treacherous for driving and the road was closed for most of the day. Fortunately after 4pm the road to Clingmans dome was reopened and we were able to capture some fabulous images. I have traveled through the Smokey mountains for the last 20 years on my way home from the southern art fair circuited and this is the first I was able to capture Rime Ice sometimes known as hoar frost.
The summit of Mount Le Conte to the east of 441 was covered in rime ice. Sunlight played on the landscape like a painters brush as it dappled the trees on the mountain with light as we photographed. It is always a wonderful experience watching when nature presents us with her handiwork.