Hamilton Camera Club Macro Notes

Hi to all from the Hamilton Camera Club. I’m anticipating we had a great time this evening doing the Macro Workshop. As promised here are the slides from the show for your personal use.

Macro Workshop

And for those of you who want to take radically better flash images, don’t forget www.cameratraining.ca and our Advanced Flash for Pros on December 10 and 17 and don’t forget to sign-up for Travel on December 16 before you head out on your Christmas vacation.

Thanks to everyone for such a great time in Hamilton.

Which lens?

I got an email from one of my very enthusiastic students asking a whole bunch of questions about what equipment to buy to help her in her pursuit of a professional career as aportrait photographer. Well there’s tons of equipment I could suggest and started down that road with her until I got a second email asking whether she should buy “A” over “B”. My recommendation was to wait.

Why wait? Because I don’t know what she really needs beyond more practice and some successes. And all of us can realize these goals regardless of the camera, lens or other assorted equipment. It’s my experience that most of us, and I’ll include myself here, rarely exceed the capabilities of our equipment regardless of how humble.

I used to start my basic classes by holding up three black and white images. Most agreed that they were pretty good photos. Then I sprung the trap: They were all taken by an artist in London, England who uses a basic pin-hole camera.

Sally Mann, the iconic Tennessee photographer who was called the best photographer working in the USA uses big view cameras and technology that dates back to the American Civil War.

So my point is until you know the difference between “A” and “B” get out and shoot with what you’ve got until you do know the difference. And if you really have to buy something for yourself may I suggest a fixed 35mm or 50mm f/1.8 lens and (figuratively) weld it onto your camera. The simpler the better like a Nikon D40 (the Nikon 50mm won’t autofocus with a D40 but the 35mm will as will many third party 50mm lenses). Consider a Canon basic Rebel and shoot with this combo for the next three or four months. Buy a decent tripod as well. You will become a much better photographer as a result.

And oh yes come take a course from us at http://www.cameratraining.ca during December. You’ll enjoy every minute and you’ll leave with the ability to take radically better images regardless of your equipment or experience.

What’s in David’s bag?

David Ziser is one of the best wedding photographers working today. He also is a wonderful presenter and his Digital Wake-Up Call is must-attend event (Buffalo, NY is usually on his regular tour schedule). Today on his blog site, David has links to a great video on what exactly goes into professional shooting camera bag. This is an 18-minute video but if you want to know what camera equipment a pro carries to a wedding this is a great video.

BTW David is very much one of the good guys in the photography game. He is most generous with his time and his Digital Wakeup Call Workshop will blow your mind.

Upcoming Workshops

During the next few weeks I’m offering a series of excellent photographic workshops at Camera Training’s Oakville teaching studio and I will also be giving some evening talks at area camera clubs.

For example on Monday, November 30 I’m doing a macro photography workshop at the Hamilton Camera Club.  We’re going to talk about the differences between close-up photography and macro photography. I’ll be bringing an actual photographic light tent and we’ll do some hands-on demonstrations. Whether or not you’re currently enjoying macro photography you’ll learn how to master this art of making the very small very beautify.

On Monday, December 7 I’m giving a very special pre-Christmas workshop called “Digital Dreams” and it’s “All About Software” at the Oakville Camera Club. This workshop isn’t about how to use some of the amazing photo editing software that’s available but why to use it and what to buy. Photo editing software costs range from $0 to $1,000 and knowing what does what is a great advantage when picking the editing software for your digital darkroom. As an added bonus, I’ll talk about when and why to shoot in JPG mode and when RAW should be your choice.

All of my camera club workshops are suitable for photographers at all levels. I’ve found that after 40 year of shooting I still learn at least one new thing from any workshop I attend. And as a senior instructor for Henry’s School of Imaging I’ve learned how to make the most complex subjects simple to understand and apply.

At CameraTraining.ca where myself and partner Michael Willems are welcoming our new partner Danielle Valiquette, we’re offering a pre-Christmas special on December workshops at our Oakville photographic teaching studio. For additional information or to reserve a seat (seating is always limited to 8 or fewer students) please visit our PayPal sign-up page.

Special Workshop Events – December Only

————————————————————-

Thu 10 Dec:

————————————————————-

“Advanced Flash for Pros” with Michael Willems LPPO

7pm – 9:30pm

$190 + tax

SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax

————————————————————-

Mon 14 Dec:

————————————————————-

Advanced Digital SLR Use with Peter West

7pm – 9:30pm

$90 + tax

Special December Intro price of $60

————————————————————-

Tue 15 Dec:

————————————————————-

“Studio Lighting for Emerging Pros” with Michael Willems LPPO

1pm – 3:30pm

$190 + tax

SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax

————————————————————-

Wed 16 Dec:

————————————————————-

Travel Photography (for amateurs) with Michael Willems LPPO

1pm – 3:30pm

$90 + tax

Special December Intro price of $60

“Light” (for amateurs) with Michael Willems LPPO

7pm – 9:30pm

$90 + tax

Special December Intro price of $60

————————————————————-

Thu 17 Dec:

————————————————————-

“Advanced Flash for Pros” with Michael Willems LPPO

7pm – 9:30pm

$190 + tax

SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax

Unsharp = Excitement!

My partner Michael Willems has an excellent blog posting today that you should go read.

The photo he shot (see right) is unsharp, blurry, maybe even a tad out of focus but you know instantly what it is and what’s happening. The shot denotes excitement, maybe danger and certainly motion.

So how did Michael get this shot? Well let me warn you right now, he did it while holding a cup of coffee in one hand and his Canon DSLR in the other. He describes how he pulled this off here.

So point one is this: ALWAYS have your camera ready to shoot. You never know when something dramatic is going to happen right in front of you and if you’re camera is in the camera bag (or worse at home) you’ll never get shots like this.

Here’s a tip: When transporting the camera in the car lay it on the floor of the back seat or passenger seat. Better yet, belt it down on the passenger seat. Yes it takes a moment to unsnap the seatbelt but if you get in an accident you don’t want to survive the crash only to be beaten to death by your own camera as it flies around the interior of the car.

Now get out of your chair, turn off the computer and get out there shooting 🙂

BTW during December at www.cameratraining.ca Michael, Danielle Valiquette (our new partner) and myself are offering a series of special Camera Training Workshops suitable for professional photographers and shooters who are contemplating shooting full or part-time as a pro. For more details go on over to the site.

Here’s just a sample of what’s happening in December at CameraTraining.ca. All classes take place in Oakville, Ontario and are limited to eight or less students.

 

Special Workshop Events – December Only
————————————————————-
Thu 10 Dec:

 

————————————————————-
“Advanced Flash for Pros”

 

with Michael Willems LPPO
7pm – 9:30pm
$190 + tax
SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax
————————————————————-
Mon 14 Dec:
————————————————————-
Advanced Digital SLR Use
with Peter West
7pm – 9:30pm
$90 + tax
Special December Intro price of $60
————————————————————-
Tue 15 Dec:

 

————————————————————-
“Studio Lighting for Emerging Pros”

 

with Michael Willems LPPO
1pm – 3:30pm

 

$190 + tax
SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax
————————————————————-
Wed 16 Dec:
————————————————————-
Travel Photography (for amateurs)

 

with Michael Willems LPPO
1pm – 3:30pm
$90 + tax
Special December Intro price of $60
“Light” (for amateurs)
with Michael Willems LPPO
7pm – 9:30pm
$90 + tax
Special December Intro price of $60
————————————————————-
Thu 17 Dec:

 

————————————————————-
“Advanced Flash for Pros”

 

with Michael Willems LPPO
7pm – 9:30pm

 

$190 + tax
SPECIAL PPOC Price: $95 + tax
————————————————————-

 

 

But it’s not real!

That was the horrified statement made by one of my students (we had 25 in the D-80/D-90 class last night) after I made a reference to the joy of editing photos. She was quite indigent that anyone would dare manipulate a photographic image. Well hold on now. Let’s go back to Ansel Adams the iconic photographer of the American south-west. He never got famous until he learned how to use red filters to change the contrast ratio of his black and white images. I’m mean what’s natural about exposing silver particles to chemicals on pieces of paper? Even Polaroids could be manipulated.

I have no issue if you insist on shooting in straight photojournalism style but even photojournalists don’t shoot and produce images that way. Everybody dodged and burned their images and now they use the digital darkroom to get their images to look more like how they remembered the scene when they shot it.

Of course my student got on her high horse about advertisers manipulating images of models and my answer is it sold more bikinis or laundry detergent or whatever.

I don’t care what kind of photographer you become. Couldn’t care less what kind of shooting you do but don’t tell me what others are doing is wrong.

My goodness what will she think when she sees HDR stuff like this one by Trey Ratcliff (Stuck in Customs website) is Mr. HDR and one wonderful photographer who is pushing the limits of what we thought was possible when it comes to capturing an expanded range of exposures in one image. Here’s his link to his HDR tutorial.