Wicked Good Workshop Week in Maine

Photo © Lottie Hedley

Just finished up my annual Maine Media Workshop class, called “Digital Travel Photography: A Sense of Place,” and it was a great week. I had 13 diverse and talented students from as far away as New Zealand, and by day two, we all felt like family.

Everyone was pushed beyond their relative comfort zones in photography and broke new ground in their development as visual storytellers. I learned as much as the students did, and went away envying their talent and great eyes.

I’ve been teaching up here for about 20 years now, and it never ceases to amaze me  how students can surprise me in a place I know like the back of my hand.

So hit the jump for a gallery of the student’s work, including the above shot of Marshall Point lighthouse from our Kiwi classmate, Lottie Hedley. (more…)

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Bokeh in a Box

Photo © Bob Krist
Photo © Bob Krist

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Ordinarily, my clients don’t let me mess with reality, but I had a shoot last weekend for the Arthritis Foundation‘s annual report cover that was clearly considered to be a “photo illustration,” and as such, I had more than the normal leeway.

The AD wanted a shot of a remarkable guy named David who cycled across country to raise money for the foundation, despite the fact that he’s pretty heavily laden with arthritis. And the concept was to get him moving along on his bike—trying to keep him sharp but getting a sense of movement to the rest of the shot.

So we popped open the trunk of my car and I got in, rigged up an SB800 on the lid, put my trusty 20-year-old KenLab KS 6 gyro stabilizer under the D300s and 24-70mmf/2.8, and had David trail the car (which was piloted by my good buddy, photographer Jerry Millevoi) at upwards of 20 miles an hour down a country road near New Hope. I tried a variety of shutter speeds, some resulting in very dramatic blurs, but for the cover purposes, just the hint of movement seemed to do the trick.

The 1/30th of second shutter speed picked up a nice bit of blur, the flash froze David (an excellent and fearless cyclist who tracked the car without breaking a sweat!), and the shot worked nicely. But the trees and the road behind him didn’t fall off a lot because we were down at f/11 or thereabouts. So if you wanted to run a cover headline and cutlines, the foliage would be pretty defined and distracting. But how to soften that background after the fact?

Cue the software cavalry…

Aaand bingo! A program called Bokeh, from Alien Skin, comes riding to the rescue.  Hit the jump to find out how. (more…)

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