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Archive for the ‘Seminars & Workshops’ Category

Leaving the Islands, Heading North…Lansing and Canada!

Oct 9

In Seminars & Workshops at 8:58am

Always tough to put St. Lucia in the rear view mirror. It’s a beautiful, serene place. Now, home in NY, it’s back to the reality of fall as the pace of the city accelerates, the leaves turn, and I feel like a squirrel on a highway dodging eighteen wheelers with signs on them saying “End of the year ‘s coming!” and, “There’s too much to do!”

But, good memories linger. We had a great class, filled with talent and high spirits, certainly exemplified by the artwork offered by the estimable, hysterical and talented Virginia Pinkston, who created a postcard in honor of the workshop. Yes indeed, TTL flash can be frustrating.

We were hosted as always by the gracious staff of Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts, where chances for lovely pictures grow in abundance, right there on the beaches and in the lush jungles. My heartfelt thanks go out to Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy, from whose imaginations these places sprung, to the hotel staffs, and of course, Edmund Modeste, who makes everything happen for the workshop.

Also thanks to RC Concepcion, our guest instructor for the week. It was fun watching RC gambol about like a kid in a candy factory. His peerless sense of composition and post-production mastery of HDR were perfectly suited to the sweep and audacity of Jade Mountain.

We made a trip to the Soufrieres Firehouse again, and saw Garvey and his mates. I did a quick demo about creating window light with small flash by using a tri-flash with SB910 units and a Lastolite skylite panel to camera left, which worked out well.

And it’s wonderful and soul soothing for me, always, to photograph one of my favorite people, Claudette Adjodha. A wonderful guitarist and vocalist, she always, for me, has a calm and direct connection to the camera. Shot with a Quadra, fitted with an 59″ indirect Rotilux soft box.

The warmth of the islands will surely fade into the cool of the fall with a trek north to Lansing, Michigan for Friday’s One Light, Two Light tour. Looking forward to once again trying to wring good light, simple and fast, out of a couple of speed lights.

And, then, further north. We go back to Toronto, one of my favorite cities, to join with colleagues and friends for the PPOC convention, Oct. 14 and 15. It’s being held at the Westin, and it’ll be great to back in the north country. More tk….

Back in St. Lucia

Oct 3

In Seminars & Workshops at 12:10pm

Once again, we are in one of the most beautiful places on earth, St. Lucia. We are doing our annual lighting workshop at Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain resorts, where the lush forests of this island meet the sea in a truly wonderful way.

We have a terrific bunch of folks, and we are moving lights and lenses all over the myriad possibilities this place presents.

The kick this year is we have as our guest instructor none other than RC Concepcion of the Kelby Media Group. RC is simply one of the best shooters and teachers around, and he’s also a dear friend. He has found himself in the middle of a place uniquely suited to one of his specialties, HDR photography.

I mean, it’s really a match made in heaven, this place and RC’s formidable skill set. He’s posting like crazy on his site on Google Plus.

We are already planning for next year. It’s tough to resist coming here with a camera in your hands, as I have now for 20 years. More tk…

And our Guest Instructor for St. Lucia is….RC Concepcion!

Jul 9

In Seminars & Workshops at 5:32am

Once again we head to paradise this year, to visit one of my favorite places on earth, St. Lucia. I’ve been going there, to the same place, Anse Chastanet and Jade Mountain since 1992. We go back again this year for another five day lighting workshop, which over the years have been extremely popular.

We always bring in a guest instructor for a few hours, late in the week, to show different techniques, and this year we are proud to have none other than RC Concepcion, who is simply one of the most multi-faceted, talented, warm-hearted people in the business. How talented is RC? That itself is a daunting question. He’s an extremely intuitive and versatile shooter, a flat out genius at post-production, an accomplished, best selling author, and, quite simply, one of the best teachers I’ve ever seen. He will teach all that stuff that I can’t, namely, post-production wizardry, and of course, HDR. He is the authority about the technique with his most recent book on HDR having sold like hotcakes since it hit the newsstands. He’s just an amazing shooter and teacher.

So, all week, we do on location lighting in all ways, shapes and forms. Small flash in the jungle, with jungle bikers, exotic hotel rooms and balancing indoor/outdoor exposure situations, sunsets on the beach, location portraiture, and field trips. Late in the week, on Thursday, RC joins us and mixes it up by leading an HDR adventure into the jungle, showing everyone how to shoot this technique, and then, on Friday, he will run the class for the afternoon, taking the images created into Photoshop and working them into final form. I will continue right through the whole week teaching lighting, culminating with our sunset extravaganza on Friday evening with models and fire on the beach. It’s a loaded workshop..location small flash, HDR, post processing, with tons of time in the classroom every day for critiques.

It will be a wonderful week of photography in one of the most beautiful places on earth. For the whole skinny on schedule and availability, hit this link. (After hitting the link scroll down!) Read the summation below, and factor in the “RC effect.”

I’m super excited RC was able to make time to join us this year. As of this writing, though, the lighting workshop is almost full. If you might be thinking about it, hit the links above. The hotel will walk you through the discount room packages (only available to the workshop) and the itinerary. More tk…

Creative Asia, Coming in July….

May 22

In Seminars & Workshops at 8:59pm

My bud and fellow shooter Louis Pang continues the adventure by launching another version of Creative Asia, which in a very short time has become an absolute go to eventĀ  for photographers, art directors, and visual communicators from all over the Far East. Louis has not only positioned himself as one of the world’s leading wedding shooters, he’s also determined to influence an entire generation of shooters via his teaching and energy. Hence, Creative Asia. Below is a bit of a mission statement, if you will.

Wonderful goals, and lofty language. But then Louis throws everybody a curve and invites a coupla dudes from the States. This guy from Atlanta who only uses one light, and a bona fide looney tune from NY who totes around bags of speed lights. How we gonna fit in?

Really honored to be teaching with Zack, who is a supremely talented shooter out of the South, and a guy who has already has earned his stripes as a shooter through the school of hard knocks and ups and downs. And, unstintingly, in the grand and honorable tradition of this pass it on business of photography, he takes his accumulated experience and uses it to teach wonderfully and well.

July 16-20, in Hong Kong, there will be a gathering of photographers and educators from all over, converging to talk and teach photography. Here’s a link for details. Lots of wonderful days, and late night BS sessions. Many beers will be consumed. And it takes place in one of the most amazing cities on the planet. More tk….

Way Down Under

May 18

In On Location, Seminars & Workshops at 8:31pm

Back in Sydney after almost a week in Tasmania, which is as wonderfully out of the way relative to everyplace else as its name might suggest. Lovely land, wonderful people. I was assigned by Tourism Australia to do a somewhat open ended assignment described as the Faces of Tasmania. I fully disclosed to them beforehand that I was a relatively awful rock and tree shooter, and preferred to stick with subject matter that talks back. (There have been location days of course, and people subjects, that have made me dearly wish I was better at the rocks and trees.)

But, I am, resolutely, a people photog, despite (or because of) its unrelenting unpredictability.

By pure chance, and by asking some questions of Sam, our intrepid ATV guide and mentor, we ended up photographing a terrific Tasmanian character nicknamed Muddy. He’s worked the water his whole life, and we asked him to come down to the dock for sunrise, which was a tad earlier than generally required of him. His fee for this was a case of VB beer. Done.

He’s got a wonderful, knowing gaze, the kind that says, in unspoken fashion, something along the lines of, “Get this over with, silly ass photographer and let me get to my work, and my beer.” Which is okay. I’ll gladly ride through any sort of ridicule to photograph a face like Muddy’s. Very brief, but fun, shoot.

Out there on the dock with the Numnuts Ezy box. Really fond of it as a character driven light. The white interior is pretty rich and forgiving, unlike its cousin with the silver interior, which is naturally a touch harder and more splashy. And, even though I only met him for a few minutes, I’ll venture to say that Muddy doesn’t do splashy. Also, for reasons of air travel and price per kilo of baggage, we left behind the c-stands, and used a Manfrotto stacker stand fitted with a extension arm.

Also, it being a portrait, I was able to orchestrate wardrobe, believe it or not. I saw an old pair of yellow slicker pants in the wheelhouse of the boat Muddy was working, and asked him to wear them. The touch of yellow up front resonated well with the blue of the background sky. I didn’t go into color wheel theory with Muddy. I was just happy he was easygoing about putting them on.

We had a another early morning photo session with Rob Pennicott, the Tasmanian of the Year in 2012. An entrepreneur, environmentalist, and sailor extraordinaire, he recently completed the first circumnavigation of Australia in an outboard powered vessel. The feat was accomplished in conjunction with the Bill Gates Foundation in an effort to raise money to eradicate polio.

We got a good portrait here mostly due to Rob’s good graces, and the fact that, pesky photog that I am, I asked him to come down to the dock at 7am, instead of the 2pm slot that the tourist board had originally arranged. Two pm light from a cloudless southern sky is the rock and the hard place, simultaneously, and a portrait shot then could have easily been DOE (dead on exposure). Turned out that Di, our irrepressible guide, knew Rob and made the call. He joked on the phone about whether there would be nudity involved. I answered that, if we headed that direction, it would only be partial nudity, which he was comfortable with. He is, as they say down under, a good bloke.

And, it being a tourism type shoot, I couldn’t leave Tasmania without a portrait session with one of its most amiable and recognizable faces.

Greg Irons and Petra Harris run an animal sanctuary called Bonorong Park, where they take in orphaned or injured animal infants, nurse them back to health and then release them into the wild. With the wombat, such as Petra is holding below, this can be a two or three year process, waiting for the dawn of wombat adolescence, and its naturally rambunctious push for independence.

They are also participating in efforts to discover the cause and cure for a cancer of the mouth that has decimated the Tasmanian Devil population. Called devil facial tumor disease, it can be transmitted from critter to critter, unlike most cancers. The Tasmanian wildlife community is rallying around the devil, trying desperately to contain and eradicate the disease.

Back in Sydney now, preparing for our last Sydney workshop, to be held this Monday. After that, off to Melbourne, where we’ll be for Aussie PMA, and doing another workshop, keynote and seminar. It’ll be a super busy week, and then, home and Annie…..more tk…