Directing Motion Workshop

If you’re a working photographer you already know how important video skills have become for the digital generation. And if you’re a working photographer not yet familiar with Vincent’s work, it’s time to catch up.

Late last year I attended the Monte Zucker produced Art of Visual Story Telling Tour with Alex Buono, and it was fantastic. Now they are following up on that with Vincent Laforet’s one-day workshop Directing Motion. These workshops will inspire you, and give you the fundamentals you need to kick start your own personal transition into the world of video. And I can’t think of a more talented individual than Vincent to introduce you to that world.

As an added bonus, Vincent will be discussing the techniques used in dozens of film classics such as 2001, Pulp Fiction and Saving Private Ryan, and workshop giveaways will include 50 Blu-ray DVD’s from the super-classics list.

Click here to see the workshop details.

Click here to see the cities and dates.

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HDR . . . Or Composite?

by George on March 21, 2014

This spring I’m teaching a freshman-level Digital Capture Processing class at my old alma mater, and this week’s assignment was to create an HDR image. Of course one of the assignment requirements is that the dynamic range of the scene you’re photographing must exceed that of your camera’s sensor.

As the students tried various things, it became apparent that this assignment was going to be a much bigger challenge than it first appeared. One of the problems they were encountering was that the dynamic range of many cameras is now so great that fairly high contrast scenes fit comfortably within that range without clipping.

Driving up to the little guest house that I am fortunate enough to stay in when I am in the area, I was struggling to figure out a way to illustrate how easy it is to find such a scene. It was twilight when I arrived and the owners had turned on the outside lights. I immediately saw my opportunity, grabbed my tripod and jumped out to get the shot before the light faded.

Guest House

Photographs © George A. Jardine

True, this was a super-high dynamic range scene, with the lights on the porch easily exceeding the shadow detail by 14 stops or more. But twilight was essentially solving the dynamic range problem, and bringing up the outside with a modest bump on Exposure, and pulling down the Highlights gave me a perfectly acceptable image without the need to use any special software. Sure, where the lights hit the wall it does burn out a bit. But the overall effect was still natural enough to not require jumping through any special hoops.

It was when I woke up early the next morning that I found something completely different. I was leaving before dawn, and an almost full moon was shining right onto the front of the guest house. I had turned off the porch lights, but the inside lights were still on, and this is roughly how the scene appeared to my eye in the moonlight:

Guest House

Increasing the exposure to 30 seconds in-camera, gave me this:

Guest House

Turning on the outside lights, and exposing for them gave me this:

Guest House

Then with a little Highlight correction and minor retouching, layering the two together in Photoshop by simply using the Lighten blending mode gave me this:

Guest House

The results reminded me once again, that thinking through the problem and careful camera work always leads me to a more interesting (more realistic? :-) result than anything I could have achieved using an out-of-the-can HDR solution.

The whole exercise also reminded me of the girations we used to have to go through to create a good “composite” in the film days. I photographed this short-lived restaurant for Interior Design magazine back in 1982, and it required several exposure tests at various times to find the right balance. In the end it was all put together on one piece of 4×5 Ektachrome with three exposures: one for the sky at twilight, one for the exterior lights a bit later, and one for the interior lights even later, once it was completely dark outside.

Cafe Ronchetti

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Catalog Management DVD Comp

Photograph © George A. Jardine

We’ve updated our Location Workflow & Catalog Management DVD’s to include the Library 5 Update video #2. This update video covers the new Smart Previews workflow, bringing the entire series up-to-date with Lightroom 5, and adding yet one more way to take your master catalog on location. And best of all, the updated DVD’s are still only $19.95 on Amazon.

To read the details on the series, click here. To see the chapter marker list, click here.

Click here to purchase the DVD on Amazon.

Amazon Develop DVD

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GPS: 45°26’16″ N 12°20’8″ E

Umbrella

Photograph © George A. Jardine

Just published in the March/April issue of Digital Photo Pro Magazine, a new article on Smart Objects, working with Adobe Camera Raw and more.

To read the new article at digitalphotopro.com, click here.

To see all my free videos and magazine articles, click here.

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Snowmass Horses

Photographs © George A. Jardine

In February and March we’re going to do something a little bit different for the Lone Tree Photography Club and the Front Range Photo Meetup Group. I’ll be doing two Lightroom workshops — Library and Develop — but this time I’m going to shake it up by making these two workshops all about you.

What do I mean by that? First, I’m going to break all my own rules about not teaching a “fast & easy” workflow. I’ve always said that there are no shortcuts, and that there is nothing “fast & easy” about learning Lightroom. (OK, well, that might be true about Lightroom in general… but… ) This time we’re going to look at the short list of steps you want to be sure you complete for each import, and figure out how to get it all done in the easiest possible way. Of course we’ll make sure your catalog stays fit and organized, and that we get the right metadata embedded, but it’s finally time to relax and enjoy it! Right?

Eiffel Tower New Years Eve

For the second workshop I’m going to turn things upside down once more, and this time let’s make this class about correcting your images. Bring your favorite image to class on a thumb drive (or borrow one of mine), and we’ll analyze and correct it together. This will give you a chance to learn how I analyze a variety of images for cropping, white balance, exposure, and all the image corrections essentials. If we don’t have enough class images we’ll use mine.

In this workshop we’ll learn how to quickly analyze any photo, figure out what it needs, and correct it. Just like workflow, the image correction process shouldn’t be painful… it should be fun!

Both workshops will be 4-hours, from 9AM – 1PM, and both will be held at the Lone Tree Civic Center. Click here for the map.

Saturday, February 22: “Master The Lightroom Workflow – From Import To Export”

Saturday, March 1: “Color Correction Made Easy – Bring Your Own Photos!”

Click each link to read more in the Lone Tree Photography Club site, and to sign up. I’m looking forward to seeing you there!

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Adobe Camera Raw 8 Video Workshop DVD’s Are Now Available!

January 20, 2014

Photograph © George A. Jardine My all-new video series for Adobe Camera Raw 8 is now available on DVD from Amazon. 25 video tutorials on the Camera Raw plug-in, for artists, designers and photographers… anyone who wishes to master Camera Raw workflow and image processing techniques. This video series covers every control from top to […]

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Safari Compatibility Settings For Our Flash DVD Video Player …

January 17, 2014

Photograph © George A. Jardine If you’re a Mac user and you have purchased any of our Lightroom 5 DVD’s from Amazon, here’s a tip for you. Our current crop of LR5 DVD’s were mastered and produced before Apple updated Mountain Lion to 10.8.5, and the videos played fine in Safari from the DVD’s at […]

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Paris for New Years …

December 31, 2013

GPS: 48°51’25″ N 2°17’48″ E Photographs © George A. Jardine Very lucky to be in Paris for New Years this year. Mostly rain, but a few nice moments, and countless memorable meals. Now…. the immediate project at hand is to find a vantage point for the light show tonight. Reports are all the usual places […]

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All-New Adobe Camera Raw 8 Video Workshop Now Available …

December 18, 2013

Photograph © George A. Jardine My all-new video series for Adobe Camera Raw 8 is now available. 25 video tutorials on the Camera Raw plug-in, for artists, designers and photographers… anyone who wishes to master Camera Raw workflow and image processing techniques. This video series covers every control from top to bottom, including details on […]

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A New Article For Digital Photo Pro Magazine …

December 16, 2013

GPS: +13° 45′ 8.05″, +100° 29′ 22.10″ Photograph © George A. Jardine Just published in the January Digital Photo Pro Magazine, a new article on Lightroom and Camera Raw Defaults. When I started digging into how Lightroom defaults work for my videos I found a pretty powerful mechanism, that has been neglected with an almost […]

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