Good Morning Everybody,
We've been spending a relaxing few days in the great state of Texas before kicking off the week bright and early at 8:30 a.m. We landed safe and sound on Friday, got settled in and caught up with a few friends but mostly relaxed over the weekend. By Saturday evening almost 1/2 of the instructors had arrived and Texas School kicked off the week long festivities with a casual get together and dinner at the hotel. I'll tell ya', it's like the "Who's Who" of educators around here. I said a quick Hi to my PSW co-star, Julianne Kost who was sitting with Mr. Wow, Jack Davis.
Also present was Larry Peters and son-in-law Brian Killian. Larry is one of the most successful high school senior photographers in the country. This is his 21th year teaching at Texas School! Lighting master, Tony Corbell was also present and it was good to see him again. Greg and Lesa Daniel, great portrait artists from Florida arrived safely as did our friends Don McGregor from Canada, Hanson Fong, Michael and Tina Timmons, just to name a few. Our good friends, Ralph and Cindy Romaguera, and Ralph’s son Ryan, were also at the dinner. Cindy is one of the honchos at Texas School and was running around like crazy to be sure everything was running smoothly. I linked to everyone mentioned here. If you want to view some very inspiring photography, be sure to check out all the links.
Yesterday was registration day where the 1,050 photogs and vendors came together to meet and greet instructors, enjoy a barbeque party hosted by Full Color Labs, and then off to class at 8:00 p.m. The rest of this week will be jammed packed with learning and fun. We are in class all day and then there's a dinner and/or party every night! So how much does all this fun and education cost the students? - about $500 for the week, and that includes all the evening meals and parties. Factor the $105 room rate into that and you have one of the best photographic educational bargains of the century!
LaDawn and I are looking forward to the week. I have to confess and say, I'm not looking forward to the lack of sleep that comes with teaching a week at Texas School ;~) Although it will certainly be fun catching up with old friends and making new ones during the week. I'll keep you posted as how the week progresses, assuming I can find time to get the blog up each day - like I said, a week with little sleep. Hey gang, time to get on with today's Quick Hit Monday - let's get going.
Royal Wedding Photos - A Quick Critique
OK, the biggest and long awaited news event that happened over the weekend was the Royal Wedding of Prince William and his lovely bride Kate. Over the weekend, the official wedding day photographs were released. How did they look? Here is the link to a nice collection of images right here.
I liked how the story paralleled the images of Price Charles and Dianna 30 years earlier. I think I really would have enjoyed photographing William and Kate's wedding. They both are not only a gorgeous couple but just look like they really enjoyed the festivities and celebrations. I love the spontaneous expressions official photographer, Hugo Burnand captured. The wedding party photograph says it all.
In addition, look at the lighting used on William and Kate's wedding. Hugo had a nice soft directional light coming in from camera left which created a nice roundness and sense of dimension to the images. I wonder if he was using one of my Zumbrellas in his lighting set up ;~) Anyway, the lighting was nicely created.
Now look at the image below. Look at the lighting in the royal wedding party image taken 30 years earlier.
The official photographer at Charles and Dianna's wedding, Patrick Lichfield, used a completely different lighting set up. He used two large light sources, one coming in from camera left and the other from camera right in effect, cross lighting the wedding party. I have seen other photographers use this same kind of lighting pattern much to the detriment of the final photograph.
OK, you may be asking yourself, "How does Ziser get away with criticizing the royal wedding pics of years ago?” Hey, I’m not criticizing the wedding photos, just the lighting used to take them. I mean, just take a look at William and Kate's wedding party image compared with Charles and Dianna's. One has depth and dimension and the other is clearly flat and two dimensional.
So what am I saying? Mr. Litchfield was just trying to kill all the shadows in his photograph - it seemed the "safe" approach to guarantee he obtained the shot. But using "cross lighting" is really akin to just using on-camera flash. The lighting in both instances is flat and non-dimensional. Mr. Burnand's lighting, on the other hand, renders rich, warm, nicely dimensional wedding party image. What a difference the lighting makes. Hey, I'm teaching Royal Wedding lighting all week here at Texas School.
Oh, one question I'm still wondering and that seems to be pondering the internet - I wonder if Mr. Burnand is designing an album for the newlyweds or just giving the wedding couple all the images on a DVD ;~)
Quick Update On Shooting Wirelessly into the iPad
Since me reporting on my shooting experience into the iPad at Photoshop World, a few folks have gone out and purchased the very hard to find radio transmitters for the Canon cameras and have emailed me with how to set it up. I have to tell you, set up is not for the faint of heart. It's a 50 step process and you really have to keep your wits about you when working through all the steps.
My buddy and right hand tech assistant, Damien Tepe, not only researched the process for several hours and got my camera up and running at Photoshop World last month, he also has formalized the entire process in an 8 page PDF with screen grabs. My buddy and top school photographer, Ralph Romaguera, gave the procedure it's first run through on Saturday. Ralph and his team of tech gurus spent hours figuring out the process their first time around.
Ralph and I sat down - he worked the camera and I read off the 8 pages of directions and we had him up and running in about 20 minutes. Damien's set up procedure worked like a charm! High fives to Mr. Tepe! During the run through, we found just a few points that need a small bit of clarification. I've made the notes and will forward them to Damien so we can get the finished document finalized. I hope to have it posted at DigitalProTalk after we return from Texas School next week.
Like I said so many times, way cool shooting into the iPad. Here's a link back to my post with several ideas on how to make it work for you. Be sure to read the comments too for a few more ideas. BTW, if we hit 20 good suggestions in the "Comment" area, I give the author of the best idea a copy of my very popular “Captured By The Light” 14 hour DVD [link] set worth $59. Please don't post your comments on Facebook - our DPT readers can't see them there. If you want to be eligible for the big prize, they have to appear in the "Comments" section of my previous post right here. Get those creative mind juices working as I hope we collect several additional good ideas.
And From The World Of Freebie Photoshop
I'll tell ya', this is becoming a regular part of Quick Hit Monday. I love finding Photoshop tips and tricks I can pass on to our DPT readers. And, there seems to be no shortage of website and blog posts offering up those little gems. I've got a 7 more for you this week. Here's the listing.
- 30 Best Adobe Photoshop CS5 Video Tutorials [link]
- 15 Photoshop Lighting Effects Tutorials [link]
- Useful Photoshop Tutorials for Designing Abstract Backgrounds [link]
- Top 15 Websites to Download Free PSD Files [link]
- 30 Free High Quality Marble Textures [link]
- How to Use Smart Objects in Photoshop [link]
- 50+ Tools & Techniques to Remove Image Backgrounds in Photoshop [link]
All these links should keep you plenty busy on the next big rainy day - Enjoy!
Hey gang, that's it for me today. Class starts in just a few and I've got to run. I hope to see you tomorrow for another fantastic Technique Tuesday episode, that is assuming the parties don't run too late this evening ;~)
See ya' then, David