Join your local camera club and learn stuff

That’s what happened last night at the Oakville Camera Club. Despite no air conditioning and 30+ degrees C heat about 50 folks showed up to see Kevin Chan’s (that’s Kevin on the right) presentation resulting from his trip to the American midwest and Stephen Waterfall’s Photoshop Basics mini workshop.

Kevin had lots of hints about how to take an extensive trip while tenting (which cuts costs by about 90%) and how to travel with your dad (which in Kevin’s case sounded like it worked out okay). He also brought his camera bag with him (which had way more equipment than I could carry) and talked about how to keep sand and dust out of your camera while in a desert dust storm (don’t change lenses).

Stephen’s Photoshop Basics workshop was as good as anything I’ve seen done by the big name guys or done online. He explained layers and why that makes Photoshop so powerful. He demonstrated how to do a batch edit (turning RAW files into JPGs that each have the same effects that Stephen applied to the first image of the series. Stephen shoots slow-motion videos by shooting hundreds of time-delayed RAW images that he applies the same changes and then saves into a Quicktime movie. Very cool effect.)

Stephen explained smart objects and lots more. All in all a avery worthwhile evening which ended with a 40 minute video on how to use light modifiers in a studio setting. After sitting through over 25 hours of Zack Arias’s live demo a few weekends back I gave the Joel Grimes Workshop video a pass and went home to the air conditioning.  On the other hand here’s a link to Joel Grimes’ website. His opening shot is of a black man against a black background using (I’m guessing) at least three lights. Incredible. Pretty sure I could pull this off but it would take all day to figure out the lighting. Run Joel’s slideshow and prepare to be amazed. BTW he’s obviously using a lot of Photoshop to create these effects so don’t be too discouraged if you can’t duplicate these shots at home.

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