I spent the last four days in Orlando, FL learning from the best photographers in the world. I entered a contest back in January with Kelby Training and won a full conference pass to Photoshop World 2013. This is a collaboration between Kelby Training and the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP). It features classes in photography, lighting, graphic design, and of course, Photoshop. The three days of classes are taught by photographers who have worked for the largest magazines such as National Geographic and Sports Illustrated, worked in commercial photography for many years and are experts in the field.
By the way, except for "Amelia", these are all iPhone snapshots.
The day before the conference, I was able to attend a day long session with Joe McNally. He has created spectacular photography for 35 years and is known as being the master of lighting with small and large strobes, having secured many covers of National Geographic. The class was called Characters on Location: Telling Stories in Light. After a classroom discussion on how light works and what makes good and bad lighting, we were transported to a studio in downtown Orlando where Joe’s staff had set up five sets with professional models. The sets included studio strobes, small off camera flash, constant lights, and natural lighting outdoors. We were able to make our way to each set, direct the models, adjust the lighting and have fun creating great images. All the while, Joe and his staff were there to give tips, share their knowledge and help us get the most out of the class. The class was definitely worth the cost and as you might have seen in my recent Facebook post, I made some fine images.
The next three days at the conference were hectic! Two 12 hour days on Wednesday and Thursday brought some tired feet and lots of photographic knowledge. I was able to attend classes on the business side of photography such as forms and copyrights and using social media to keep in touch with clients. Classes I attended also included using Photoshop to finish images, lighting for portraits and weddings, sports photography, compositing images, and using remote cameras. The last is something I plan to do more of this year in gymkhana so look out for those images this year.
There was also an expo for shopping (yeah!) with even more free classes. I didn’t spend much here but I am sure that I’ll be looking at some of the products soon. One of the ones I plan to buy is from Image Wizards. They print on metal. That’s right...aluminum sheets. Their products are so detailed with such rich colors that it’s hard to believe they are printed with ink. The prints are just spectacular and I plan to get one soon for a spot that has been reserved in my office.
Finally, the session titled ‘The Art of Digital Photography’ was an evening of slides from eight of the best photographers including McNally, Dave Black, Moose Petersen, Jay Maisel, Julianne Kost, Joe Glyda, and Jim Divitale. This was a night of inspiration and creativity with everything from a slide presentation on making a project out of a closet light pull chain (seriously) to climbing the tallest building in the world in Dubai just to take a photo.
I left the conference with lots of new ideas for shoots and a better knowledge of how to make your (and my) pictures better. Thanks for reading.