Monday, March 18, 2013

Rocky Mountain School of Photography Weekend Workshop
Portland, Maine
The weekend workshop In Portland, Maine was well worth the expense and effort to get there. The instructors, Eileen Rafferty and Tom Rizzuto, were well versed in their subjects, and I picked up many new tips and tricks, and reinforced things I had learned in the past. The 2 hour block on using LightRoom 4 taught me many ways to further utilize the Develop module, especially when making adjustments to a block of photos taken under the same lighting conditions. That will really help my work flow when processing wedding photos. I really like Eileen's answer to the question "when should I shoot Raw and when should I shoot .jpg?" The answer: "Never shoot in .jpg" As most of us that use LightRoom and Adobe Photoshop know, there are many more adjustments that can be made to 'fine tune' your photo if you have shot in Raw. Shooting in .jpg eliminates your ability to adjust the White Balance when lighting conditions may have changed while you were shooting, as well as many other controls over color and tonality.

Another valuable lesson I took from this workshop was a better understanding of the "Zone System", especially when it is applied to shooting in color. I have read several books on the "Zone System", developed by Ansel Adams, and came away more confused than ever. Eileen Rafferty explained it in such a way that I feel I can confidently begin using it to make my shots even better, especially my Landscapes. There were also interesting discussions on shooting HDR and Panoramic, and the software used to process them. 

Tom Rizzuto is an excellent Portrait Photographer and shared his methods for shooting children and making your subjects more comfortable in front of the camera.

The last session of the workshop entailed a viewing, and critique, of photos, submitted by those attending the weekend workshop. I chose this image for the critique:

Ira Mountain, Maine
Eileen suggested I might crop it to eliminate the darkest green foliage in the lower right corner. What do you think? Here is a result of the crop. Which conveys the better feeling of fall, foliage, and fog? Or does it make a real difference when you view them?
Ira Mountain, Maine (cropped)
Until next time, keep shooting. Hope to see some of you out and about during Maine Maple Sunday.

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