Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

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Explore the unique world of Black & White Photography

March 16, 2012

Black, white, shades of grey…. the world unique to photography.  Black and white was the original voice of the photographer, and is currently experiencing a resurgence of interest.  Our digital cameras, software and printers now allow us to create B&W images with tonal range, tonal control and print permanence that far surpass what we could achieve with film and chemicals.

Join me for a full day of exploring this fascinating world through this new workshop.  We’ll spend the morning examining the tools and techniques used to create stunning B&W renditions of our digital captures.  We’ll also look at how the B&W image differs from the world of color, and what we have to do to create powerful images in this unique medium.

In the afternoon you’ll work with your own images to make B&W prints on a variety of printer and papers.  We’ll work one-on-one to improve your images and produce prints you’ll be proud to display.  You’ll come away with a richer understanding of this uniquely photographic medium.

This workshop will take place in the state of the art digital classroom at 44 Wide, and we’ll have access to their printers (both Canon & Epson) to produce prints up to 24 in.

Workshop Details:
April 14   10:00- 4:00 (with a 1hr. lunch break)
Location: 44 Wide, 171 East Liberty Street, Unit 122
Cost: $250. including materials and HST

To reserve a spot, contact me here:

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Printer Delight….. A Digital Printing Workshop

February 28, 2012

Is your printer making you crazy, frustrated, disappointed? Colours don’t match your monitor? Never sure what settings to use? Want to make prints that “sing” but you can’t seem to get there? Maybe you’re avoiding printing altogether, or you’re just contemplating purchasing a photo quality printer. Then this is definitely the workshop for you!

You’ll learn the complete printing workflow, from calibrating your monitor to achieving the perfect gallery worthy print.  Here are some of the topics we’ll cover:

  • Monitor Profiling
  • Using a color Managed workflow to save you time. money and frustration
  • Understanding color spaces
  • Using printer profiles
  • Printing from Adobe Lightroom
  • The Photoshop printing workflow
  • Paper choices
  • Optimizing your photos for printing
  • Evaluating and refining your prints

This is a one OR two-day workshop, and you can choose to attend one or both days.

On Saturday we’ll cover the technical aspects of the printing workflow and go through the various steps and choices required to get predictable results that match your monitor.  We’ll also look at preparing photos to be printed at an outside lab.

Sunday’s session will be a hands-on workshop where you’ll be working on your own images, preparing them for printing, making prints, and evaluating the results.  We’ll have a variety of papers for you to experiment with so you can see the effect paper choice makes on the final print.

This workshop will be held at 44 Wide in their state of the art digital classroom, with iMac work stations, using Adobe Lightroom, Epson and Canon printers.

Workshop Details:

Saturday Session:  March 31, 2012     10:00-4:00 (1 hour break for lunch)
Cost:  $200 & HST ($226)

Sunday Session: April 1, 2012    10:00- 4:00  (1 hour break for lunch)
Cost:  $250 & HST ($282.50) including materials

Class size is limited to 16 students.
A $50 deposit is required to hold your spot.

To register contact me here:

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Beauty Photography Workshop

February 22, 2012

 

I’m very pleased that Nadia has decided to teach this workshop again here in the studio.  The sessions last year got very enthusiastic responses.  If you’re interested in beauty photography, fashion, portraiture or any photography of people, you won’t want to miss this. Here’s the info:

“Love of Beauty is Taste.  Creation of Beauty is Art.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is a full-day, intermediate level workshop where you will work with agency models and professional talents from the fields of both commercial and fashion photography.   There will be a demo during the morning and students will then be provided with an opportunity to shoot in the afternoon in small groups using different lighting setups within the studio.  The idea is to learn how to interact with a model and direct her to achieve the desired image, while exploring the effects of different lighting.

Beauty photography is an approach used in all types of commercial and fashion photography.  It’s also the style used most often for models’ portfolios.  The key is to direct the model well.  I will also be providing students with an opportunity to sit with me and discuss whatever they would like to that pertains to fashion and/or photography in general.  I very much look forward to meeting you!

When:   March 24, 2012  from 10am – 6pm
OR
April 21, 2012  from 10am – 6pm

Where:  19 Atlantic Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M6K 3E7

Fee:       $275 & HST = $310.75

To register, contact Nadia

Here are some shots from last years workshop

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A Tether Cable Bargain

January 17, 2012

We recently did an interesting test here at the studio.  I almost always shoot tethered directly into Lightroom, which means I have my camera connected via USB to my computer, and as I shoot the images are automatically imported into Lightroom and show up on my monitor, nice and big!

This requires a very high quality USB cable to transfer all the data and keep things flowing so Lightroom doesn’t hang up or crash.  I like to use the longest possible cable (15ft) so I can move around and not trip over the cable.  In the past, I have purchased these cables from photo supply sources for upwards of $65!  Students are always inquiring where to get tether cables, and I always resent having to recommend such an expensive item.

So, in the interest of saving everyone money, I went in search of a cheaper alternative.  I came across a 15ft USB cable on the Monoprice website that seemed way too good to be true.  Same specs as the expensive cables, but at a ridiculously low price…. so I purchased one to test.  Much to my surprise, when we tested the cable (using a Canon 5DMKII tethered to my iMac running Lightroom 3), the transfer times were exactly the same as the expensive cables!  We were so surprised that we ran the tests a few times just to be sure…. and no problem.  A single Raw file transfers in around 4 seconds, and we can fire a full burst of 16 shots before the buffer fills, and all the files transfer in around 45 seconds… same as with the expensive cable!

So now you want to know…. where and how much???!?

Here’s a link to the specific cable we used:

For only $1.76 each when QTY 50+ purchased – 15ft USB 2.0 A Male to Mini-B 5pin Male 28/24AWG Cable w/ Ferrite Core (Gold Plated) | USB 2.0 Cables – Mini-B 5pin Type

And the price? $2.09 !!  Shipping to Canada costs around $6, so the total cost is less than $10.  Quite a bargain compared to the $65 I have been paying.

I’ve been using the cable with no problems for over a month now, though I don’t know how well it will hold up long-term, but at that price, order a few of them!

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Life’s good when you have a (hard drive) backup plan!

December 6, 2010

I recently had an interesting experience that illustrates why I’m always bugging my students to create a backup plan for their computers and their photography files, and be diligent about keeping up-to-date. I know this doesn’t sound like the most exciting subject, but believe me, without a backup plan I would have gotten rather excited.

Here’s what happened. While shooting some models for a jewelry client, with the camera tethered into Lightroom, I think I must’ve gotten a bit carried away and shot too fast for the camera’s buffer to manage. Lightroom got sort of locked up and I was facing the spinning beach ball. I tried to quit Lightroom and when that didn’t work I glibly shut down the computer altogether. That’s when things started to get worse. When I relaunched Lightroom and tried to shoot into it things locked up again and I had to crash the computer again. I tried again, and again with similar results. I did manage to get through that shoot and it seemed like things were okay. However, when I reviewed the files many of them were reported as damaged in Lightroom and they had some pretty strange looking patterns all over them. Then the whole hard drive started to behave strangely. When I restarted the computer, the hard drive wouldn’t mount anymore. I tried disk repair (a Mac utility for repairing hard drives) but no luck. The drive directory had a fatal error, probably due to my having crashed the computer a couple of times.

Of course this is the drive that contains all my photographs both personal and client work, so I was more than a little disturbed. After trying a few more repair tricks to no avail I decided to simply turn to my back up system. I completely reformatted the faulty drive (that was a scary moment), then I used my recently updated backup drive to restore all my photos and files! SilveKeeper made it very easy to do, I just had to plug in my backup drive, launch SilverKeeper and click restore. It took a couple of hours to copy over all the data but when it was done by drive was totally back in order with all my photos intact and recognized by Lightroom. Big sigh of relief!

Fortunately, all the shots from the days shoot were safely intact on the camera cards so all I had to do was import them into Lightroom and everything was good. Now that I’ve told you my little horror story, I thought I’d share my actual backup system so you can easily see how it works and how you can implement it for yourself (Here’s a PDF you can download):

The key to this system is having Off Line backups of your drives, that are not plugged in when you’re working.  That way, if something gets corrupted, as happened to me, your Off Line backup gallops in to the rescue!

Okay, so I know this is a bit mundane as a subject, but it just saved me from a whole world of pain and anxiety! And now I hope it will save you from the same.

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My Hard Drive is Full!…. What Now?

September 2, 2010

I just had an interesting experience dealing with one of the inevitable hassles of digital storage. My external hard drive (750gig) which holds all my photography was filling up! So off I went to a local computer store (Canada Computers on College Street) and bought a big spacious 2 TB drive (For a mere $109). I bought just the bare drive, as I was planning on putting it in the enclosure which houses my current drive.

So now my question was how to get all the photos and some various other stuff I stored on the drive onto my new drive. No big deal, except that I didn’t want to break all my connections in Lightroom and have to go through the process of getting Lightroom to find all my photos again. Since I have a few different catalogs (mostly for teaching purposes) on this one drive it would be a pain to have to reconnect all the Lightroom catalogs.

I thought about migrating all the photographs through the Lightroom interface, but this would involve doing each catalog separately and then copying over the remaining bits and pieces of data that I have on the drive. I didn’t like that idea!

So I decided to try a different approach. I placed the new drive in an enclosure that I happened to have lying around (this is where one of those drive docks would come in handy!). When I mounted and formatted the new drive I was careful to name it exactly the same name as my existing photo drive. To my surprise, both drives showed up on my desktop even though they both have the same name!

I then used a really handy little free program from Lacie (SilverKeeper) to create an exact copy of my very full hard drive on the new drive. The advantage of using a program like SilverKeeper to do this exercise is that it makes an exact copy of your drive, including any invisible files and directory information. The copying process took a while, so I ran it over night while I was sleeping.

In the morning I came down and unplugged both drives. Then I switched the new drive into the old enclosure. (This isn’t really totally necessary step, as I could have left it in the enclosure it was in. However I wanted to use the FireWire 800 enclosure that I had been using, since it provides faster read times than USB) after the switch I plugged in the new drive and launched Lightroom, with my fingers crossed. To my delight, Lightroom found its catalog and all the photos, no problem!

I was very pleased to save myself the hassle of having to relocate all those photos in all my different catalogs. I guess the secret to the trick is to have the new drive named exactly the same name as the old drive so that Lightroom gets tricked into believing that the location hasn’t really changed.

By the way, the ultimate solution to this issue is to purchase a Drobo. These are multi-bay hard drive enclosures that hold four, five, or eight drives. The cool thing about the Drobo is that it combines all the drives into one volume, and it does it in a way that you can actually switch out smaller drives for larger ones without losing any data. It also protects you in case of one drive failing. For those of you who shoot large quantities of photos and or video, the Drobo is a really good idea!

I just thought I’d share this solution with you, since it’s inevitable that one day you’re going to fill up your drive and have to migrate your data, and this method works well with Lightroom.

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Online Gallery of my show

May 25, 2010

I’ve posted an online gallery of the Polo Motion photos from my current show at Snowball Gallery.  If you haven’t had a chance to see the show, you can view the images here.  You can also use this site to order prints from the show.  Simply enter the size of print you would like in the comments section, and click the ADD button.  When you’ve finished making your selection, click the SUBMIT MY ORDER button and fill out the form.  I’ll email you to confirm your order.

I’ve had a few queries about the very reasonable print prices for these images.  I debated whether to offer limited editions, at higher prices, but in the end opted for non-editioned prints, and a lower price point. I feel that I would rather have more people able to purchase prints and enjoy them on their walls.

This weekend is the last chance to see the show in person!  Snowball Gallery is open Thursday – Sunday, at 1690 Queen Street West.

BTW, this online gallery is a Lightroom template from Lightroom Galleries, and it’s available as a free download (donationware).

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