A Fall Workshop in the Canyons Announced

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The workshop is a blast.

We all pile into a large, comfortable van and head off to Northern Arizona. Our first night is in Flagstaff, then off to the reservation lands of the Navajo, Vermillion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, Kaibab Plateau and more. We spend an afternoon and a morning in Zion National Park. We are up for dawn in Zion, watching the sun creep over the incredible formations of rock is simply amazing.

Then it is off to Bryce for an afternoon view of that incredible landscape. The next morning we watch the sun rise over Bryce… delicate lines of light and shadow are mesmerizing… and it is an event that will simply never be forgotten. Later that day we head to Page, Arizona for a trip to Upper Antelope Canyon with our own guide. The slot canyons are simply breathtaking and you will love being in them. We end that day photographically at Horseshoe Bend… a much photographed part of the Colorado River. Then for some wonderful Mexican food in Page.

Our final day finds us traveling through Navajo land to the East Entrance to the Grand Canyon. If you have never seen that part of the canyon it will be a highlight. We visit the south rim stopping at all the major overlooks, then into the lodge for ice cream and coffee. That night we travel back to Flagstaff for a good nights rest before heading back to Phoenix on Friday morning.

We arrive in Phoenix at approximately 2PM. We start on Sunday afternoon and back on Friday… this ain’t no ‘learn how to use your speedlights’ workshop.

More INFO here.

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“Black Angels” – An Assignment for a CD Cover

This week the Project 52 PROS for 2014 are working on an CD album cover for a faux assignment. The music is George Crumb’s “Black Angels” for Electric String Quartet.

It is very challenging music.

The students for this morning’s Friday class really knocked it out of the park. Check out these amazing images.

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Karen Kaiser photographed a 200 year old violin that must contain a fantastic story.

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Meggan Trobaugh’s Light Painting technique.

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Jean Pierre De Rycke Photographed a child’s wings with this unique Photoshop technique in mind.

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Clare Bambers visited a local cemetery in the UK to shoot the various angels. The light she created with natural and reflected gold was amazing. The then composited them into this haunting image.

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Jay Chatzkel used a page of the original score for his background while adding a touch of whimsy in the colored paper.

You can see more of what these talented photographers are doing at Project 52 Pros.

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A Life, A Lifetime, and a Tie

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John Thomas Banta had over 200 ties.

Most were bold, loud, occasionally whimsical and always hard-to-miss.

In short, they were very much like him. He dressed for occasions, often wearing his wildly interesting ties. And he lit up the room with his presence. He was a big man and could be intimidating at first… but only for a few moments. His generous warmth won over even his detractors. Everyone liked him.

I never met the man, but from what I know about him from a wonderful letter from his daughter, I would have liked him. A lot.

He was proud and giving, fair and honest, and deeply loved being someone who was thought of as a helper.

He went in to the hospital for a simple knee surgery, and didn’t leave. His body formed a clot, and it took this great man down.

One week later, a blood clot nearly took me down… but I did come back.

Yesterday I received a beautiful note from his daughter and a beautiful tie from his collection. It is bold, colorful and unapologetically wild. Susan Barta has sent his collection of ties to people who she thinks her dad would have wanted to have them.

I am on that list. And I received this tie.

And I will wear it with pride, sir.

I will indeed wear it with pride.

 

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“What Should Photographers Charge in 2014?” – A Discussion with Rosh Sillars

My bud Rosh Sillars’ recent article on “What Should Photographers Charge in 2014?” really hit home with me and a lot of my Project 52 PRO’s. Pricing and figuring out what to charge is always a very difficult part of starting a photo business, and Rosh takes a very pragmatic, and value producing look at this timeless conundrum.

A significant truth:

“Here is the bottom line:  You can’t win if you play the lowest-price game. You can’t beat free and stay in business. Friends with cameras, cell phones and free stock photography are going to win every time if you don’t have something better to offer.”

Rosh makes the point that setting ourselves apart from the mediocre, and the mundane is absolutely necessary. Whether in the work we do or the way we do business, bringing value to the table for our clients is a game changer.

Another real world challenge is that the day of the ‘button pusher’ is over. Amateurs with talent can make images that are far beyond what the best shooters were able to make 20 years ago. The technical skill involved is learnable for free, and there are many, many talented people with great ‘eyes’ for imagery.

You simply cannot be “average” anymore.

“Just because your friends and family tell you that you have a good eye doesn’t mean people will pay you for your photography.  We are in the heyday of photography. Photos are everywhere. Unfortunately, being able to create an in-focus, well-exposed and nicely composed photograph is not enough for a photography career.  You need more.”

I hope you enjoy this interview and the great questions that were asked by our Project 52 PRO’s.

Thanks for watching.

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Shooting a Beer with Rui Bandeira

Cerveja Letra for Don

We have so many talented people in the Project 52 PRO group. Meet Rui Bandeira.

He shared this shot with my last night and I knew I had to share it with you all. Here is Rui:

“Hi,

I had 3 goals for this shot:
1) it had to be fresh and make the viewer desire to drink it
2) keep the bootle, the lable and the glass important
3) keep a traditional and rustic look

I made the image with a Canon 5DmKII and 100mm L MacroII

After deciding on the framing I wanted I started the shooting.

I knew I would do some compositing so I started by making the base shot. I would then build the rest of the shots i needed based on my drawn comp.

After the base shot I started doing the images needed for the comp.

I had to do a few images with a gold card for the interior of the bottle and glass, for doing this I hand moved the flash so I could get it pointing to the cards.

For doing the bottle images I removed the glass, and for the glass images I removed the bottle.

After having all the images, it was time to composit it all in Photoshop.

You can see a hi Res image here.”

Thanks Rui. Below are some shots Rui furnished for the shoot. See more of Rui’s work at his website.

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Here is a GIF that shows the process.

Cervejaletra

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ISLA: A New Book by Ernesto Bazan, Photographer

“No, I don’t [do assignments]. I stopped doing that, more or less, when I decided to become a teacher in 2002. Because of my workshops, I had to leave Cuba in 2006, which is ironic. I fund all my work thanks to the generosity of my students. This will be the third self-published book now. In exchange for their support, I usually give them two options. The first is to pre-acquire a limited edition of the book. I’ve done the same with ISLA. Of course some who could afford the limited edition of one book cannot any longer, but there’s a hardcore group of students that have bought all three limited editions of each book.

 

The economic situation is what it is, but these students can help me by buying these books at over $1000 each. That is the foundation of how I build a book. Even if they can’t buy the limited edition, their names will be a part of the thank you note at the end of the book. I think that by helping these students to take better pictures over all these years, I’ve developed all of these incredible friendships and I’ve also had the unique and amazing, priceless privilege of just concentrating on taking my own photographs over the last thirteen years.”

– Ernesto Bazan

The entire article is here. It is long, but full of insight.

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