Going Back to School

Love to learn and learn what you love!

Not sure who coined this phrase, but I like it. When I was finished with my degree in Biology, I can’t say I was a big fan of the learning process. To say the least, I was a little burned out. Not that I didn’t like learning about the structure of the human cell or the Calvin Cycle, but I lacked the passion to want to learn more.

It wasn’t until I became serious about photography, that I discovered what it means to dedicate yourself, wholeheartedly. I have found myself always wanting to learn more, wanting to be a giant sponge (a primitive sedentary aquatic invertebrate with a soft porous body that is typically supported by a framework of fibers or calcareous or glassyspicules). See, I remember a thing or two, yeah right!

It was a week ago today that I attended a Sallee School workshop at the Renaissance Blackstone Hotel. Didn’t really no much about Sallee School, but was willing to hear what they had to say. I couldn’t pass up the great deal, either. The 4 hour workshop was $69, but with a discount code it was only $49! Pretty reasonable for a photography workshop. Whenever you can get anything under $100 in the photography world, it’s a steal.

JB Sallee hosted the workshop, along with Richard Sturdevant. JB was quite charming and rather entertaining. He also had some valuable information to share. Richard’s talents are beyond belief and definitely worth checking out. He is truly a magician. Here is how the day ran:

1. Shooting & Lighting Demo

2. Photoshop Demo

3. Live Lightroom Demo

4. Photography Magic 101

5. Pricing Yourself for Success

Honestly, a four hour workshop could have easily covered each one of these topics on their own. I did feel like we rushed through a lot of information in a short time. Nonetheless, there was some valuable information given. Here are some highlights:

* JB shared his top 3 favorite settings (in Manual) (1) Outdoor in full sun and blue sky, at f/16, shutter speed 1/200, ISO 100 (2) Outdoor in shade, f/2.8-f/4, 1/200, ISO 100, use off camera fill flash (3) Indoor lighting with a video light, f/1.2-f/1.4, 1/100, ISO 200, paint with the video light

* He also showed some cool effects with a video light for indoor shots. He uses a Lowel ID video light.

* Richard Sturdevant showed how to extract a subject from a picture in order to place it in another photo, using Photoshop. This demonstration can be viewed on-line at www.sturdavinci.com. This information came in handy for me, this week. At the end of this post, I’ll show you some Photoshop magic I used.

* The Lightroom Demo and Photography Magic 101 were rather involved and difficult to follow at times. When it comes to learning Lightroom, I am actually looking forward to watching my four day workshop on Lightroom 4 from Creative Live. I will be sure to take some notes when I watch and share them here.

* The workshop ended with information and advice on pricing yourself. I found this to be very helpful and useful. I actually plan on implementing some of the things I learned. This part of the day, made the workshop well worth going to.

I would encourage anyone wanting to learn more about photography and the business of photography to attend Sallee School. They travel the country and always have different speakers, willing to share their knowledge of photography.

So, on April 1st, I met a very nice family at Montrose Harbor. One of the main reasons for taking pictures at Montrose Harbor is the view of the city. However, today that was not going to be happening.

So, I checked out Richard Sturdevant’s tutorial on extraction and followed the steps. After following the first 10 minutes of the video, I was able to remove the family from the unpleasant background. I also found a picture I had taken at another photo session, that I thought just might work.

I actually didn’t follow every step in the video. I was not dealing with an extraction as difficult as the one in the video. I followed along for about the first 15 minutes (entire video is about 30 minutes) and then went ahead and placed my family in the new picture. I followed up with the blur tool. This helped smooth out some of the rough edges around the family. I then went ahead and made the entire picture, black and white.

Overall, I was pretty pleased with the final result. Not too bad for my first try. I definitely have a lot to learn. It’s a good thing….

I love to learn and I’m learning what I love!

One thought on “Going Back to School

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