Archive for the ‘Seminars & Workshops’ Category
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…
Heading to St. Lucia again, and the Anse Chastenet/Jade Mountain Resort to teach advanced lighting techniques. We start on Sunday, Sept. 30th, with an introductory dinner and then, beginning Monday morning, run for five straight days of working with light in one of the most beautiful places on earth. We build in time to relax and explore as well. Here’s a link for the special events section on the hotel website. Just hit it, and scroll down. It has the day to day schedule, and all the hotel info.
We work with all manner of small flash techniques, from high speed flash to multiple speed light interiors. Balancing indoor/outdoor scenarios with flash, working with gels, line of sight TTL and manual radio syncing all gets covered, as does–available light! The week is dedicated to recognizing good light when you see it, using it well, and then augmenting it with small speed lights as appropriate. Hard light, soft light, and all manner of light shapers are discussed.
It’s one of my favorite places on earth, so much so, the ever gracious owners of the resort, which consistently ranks among the top resorts in the world, commissioned my studio last year to shoot a book about the place. Nick and Karolin Troubetzkoy carved out a piece of heaven in the splendor of the Caribbean, and the pictorial inspiration there is infinite. No matter how many times I go, I find something new to shoot.
Stay tuned to the blog for updates. This year, all participants get a free Language of Light DVD and a free copy of Sketching Light for attending the workshop. Already looking forward….more tk….
I’ve been away from Gulf Photo Plus for a couple years now, but heading back for 2012. Dubai remains fascinating, to be sure, but what really has rocked me, once again, is the gathering of talent in the city of the sands.
I kinda wish I could go and clone myself for a week, and just shuttle around to hear some wisdom. I’m especially psyched for the return of Greg Heisler. I missed him there last year, and he knows light and color like no one else. Also, David Burnett is coming. David and I know each other now for thirty years. He’s simply one of the most intelligent storytellers to ever pick up a camera. No surprise, his classes are already almost booked out. Martin Prihoda literally blasts sunlight into a different form, and Zack Arias teaches how to shoot sublime in the simplest of ways. It goes and goes, from beginner field skills with Chris Hurtt to landscape and PhotoShop mastery with David Nightingale. And, my bud, Louis Pang, the man from Malaysia, is coming to infuse all with the his zeal and joy about shooting weddings. With Bobbi Lane, David Tejada, Claire Rosen, and Steve Simon in attendance, this very rich seminar week covers, literally, all the photographic bases. Hell, Hobby and I are even hitching up a Flash Bus style day in the desert in addition to teaching other classes. I head for the Middle East on March 1st, and the fireworks start on March 5. In between my arrival and the start of things, I’ll probably wander the dunes looking for that flash tree DH and I built the last time we were out there.
Hit this link, and it brings right to the page with all the instructor bios and websites. They’re an amazing bunch, and I’m thrilled, once again, to be in their company.
When my friend D calls me up and says things like, “Hey, I just shaved my head, you wanna shoot me?” I just generally say yes. She had a part as a POW in an indie film, so during a recent stint in Santa Fe, I shot her at, well, I guess you’d have to say, my favorite penitentiary, in New Mexico. (It’s such a weird life, being a photog.)
But, I’ve never had a chance to visit Alcatraz. So, at the behest of Nikon West Coast, I’m heading there next week to do a lighting workshop. Nikon’s Jeff Mitchell, out in California, proposed it a while back, and I jumped at the idea. We’ll be out there at night, which is very cool.
That’s on Tuesday, Sept. 27th. On Wednesday, I linger in San Francisco, and give a couple informal lectures and demos in a small, 40 person studio setting. Call (650) 327-8996 for details….more tk….
It’s been a hectic week, with preparations for the show, late night shoots at firehouses in the Bronx, and trip prep. Jade Mountain popped up on CNN as the hotel with the number one view in the world. And it’s where we head next week to shoot a book project, and to teach a workshop. Info about the advanced lighting techniques workshop here.
All of a sudden, dealing with the week seems easier….:-) More tk….