I spent the weekend in Morro Bay along the central coast of California. There are worse places to spend a weekend.
The reason I was there was to participate in the Morro Bay Photo Expo. I went last year and enjoyed it, but this year passed my expectations by far.
There was a raffle to benefit the Morro Bay High School Photography Club. I put in my $20 for my five tickets and figured it was donation to a good cause. I ended up winning the top two prizes; a Tamarac Aero Speed 75 photo backpack AND I won a signed print from George Lepp. To top it off, I was wait-listed to get into the George Lepp master class. I got in.
If that wasn’t enough, the workshops were much better done than last year. Dean Sullivan talked about shooting as a pro. Mike Baird had a great tour on the water in and out of Morro Bay. Saturday afternoon/evening Howard Ignatius and crew treated us to a sunset shoot on the Morro Strand State Beach. Ok, the sunset wasn’t that good, but they brought in four horses and riders to photograph on the beach. It was a great opportunity.
One of the lessons I learned was to check your camera between shooting different types of shots. I started Saturday evening shooting five shot bracket for HDR. Then I went to shoot the horses and forgot to take the camera off of bracket mode. The result? I got one good shot, two decent shots, and two unusable shots for every five I took. I couldn’t figure out why my flash wasn’t giving me consistent results and of course blamed the equipment. It wasn’t until later that I realized that, as usual, the equipment was great, but the operator was faulty. Scott Bourne put it best; 99% of the equipment is better than 98% of the photographers.
George Lepp gave a brand new five hour presentation on Saturday and followed it up on Sunday with a phenomenal master class for us lucky 15. We had six hours to pick one of the best photographic minds and discuss a wide variety of subjects including HDR, pano, pano-HDR (or HDR panos), use of a histogram, composition, and lots of other subjects. It was AWESOME!!!
Morro Bay Photo Expo on the Water Shooting
As usual, please feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Posted 2 years, 7 months ago at 8:21 am. 2 comments
I spent the last couple of days at a photography conference called EscalateLive hosted by Dane Sanders, author of The Fasttrack Photographer. It was held in a vintage movie theater on Lido Island in Newport Beach. Geared toward wedding/portrait photographers, it featured speakers like Dane, Becker, Jerry Ghionis, and Jasmine Star. All of them are amazing photographers who are willing to share their ideas and thoughts on marketing themselves, and therefore yourself, in a highly competitive market.
Probably the most amazing speaker was Jeremy Cowart. He spoke about the power of photography. How it can be used to make the world a better place for both the photographer and the subject. He founded Help-Portrait; an organization that gives people who can’t afford to have a portrait taken the chance to be made up and get a framed print of themselves. It was an emotional presentation and I’ll be writing more about Help-Portrait later.
The common thread that they all brought into their presentations was that each of us MUST connect with ourselves, our clients, and other photographers. We must make them feel important by sharing and making their experience with you one of the best of their lives. But we need to be ourselves.
They talked about bringing energy, inspiration, and creativity to every shoot. They talked about seeing the possiblities in situation. See the light, the poses, and the solutions in every setting. Know your equipment, how to use it, and what it can do.
Use the equipment and location to shoot what inspires both you and your client. Capture images that may be outside your comfort zone and you can learn from or hone a skill you might use in the future.
Outside my comfort zone and give back to the community. That’s my take away. I need to get uncomfortable and make my future happen. And I need to find a way to give back. In other words, I need to get off my ass and get it done.
Posted 3 years, 1 month ago at 8:40 am. Add a comment
In October, I went to the first annual Morro Bay Photo Fest. It was full of workshops, photo opportunities, and other photography oriented experiences.
Part of the festival was a photo contest on Flickr. I entered two photos into the contest and moved on with life. After the deadline, I checked the site and, alas, I was not the winner. Oh, well. So goes life.
Then, about two days ago, I get an email from a volunteer stating that I had placed second in the contest and giving me a site to take a look at for more information.
After looking at the SLO Coast Journal site, I had, in fact, placed second in the contest!!!
Considering it was a workshop for photographers and some of the photographers were very good, I think second place is pretty good.
Here is the image I entered into the contest.
Please tell me what you think.
Posted 3 years, 6 months ago at 9:33 am. 1 comment
On my trip to Bodie last month, I stopped at Mono Lake on Friday evening to shoot the tufas. While there, I turned around and saw these beautifully back-lit grasses. Working with different focus points and depths of field, I tried to capture the beauty that I saw. These are the results.
Also, while I was there, I ran into a Nikonians workshop group under the direction of Michael Mariant. I spent some time talking to him and he offered some much appreciated tips on shooting in the snow at Bodie. It was nice to see some fellow Nikonians out & about. They were nice people.
Posted 3 years, 7 months ago at 10:44 am. Add a comment
This is going to be a great month. I have three events planned that I am really looking forward to attending.
The first is a photographer’s day at Bodie State Park. I discovered Bodie in late June and fell in love with it. I find the fact that a town of its age and location is still standing. As an environmental science teacher, I like looking at the town and wondering what it must have been like to live there with all of the waste, trash, and other cast-offs created by placing several thousand people in close proximity.
I like wandering around the town and wondering what it must have been like to live there during the height of the boom. The sounds, the smells, the people. It must have been overwhelming in some ways and really difficult in others. I’ve never lived through a winter in the area, but I have heard that they are REALLY hard and demanding. Summers are hot. Life was hard. And there are reminders and remnants of past lives. Everywhere you look there is something that was a part of some one’s life and I always wonder how they used it and how it affected their.
On photographer’s day, for $50, they open the park up at or just before sunrise and close it down at or just after sunset. This allows photographers access to the town and park without a lot of people and at a time that is most advantageous to the golden hour in lighting. I’m really looking forward to seeing what I can get from the situation.
A week after going to Bodie, I am going to the Morro Bay Photo Expo hosted by George Lepp. I heard about this on Twitter and signed up early this year. While there are several social events, I signed up for as many workshop/classes as I could fit into my schedule. I figure that for a relatively cheap price of $75, I was going to get as much photo education as possible, so I skipped the social events and signed up for lots of photography information based workshops.
The weekend culminates with a one day seminar lead by George Lepp. I am REALLY looking forward to this. I have been reading his column in Outdoor Photographer every chance I get and now I have the opportunity to listen to him in person. That should be educational. I’ll be writing more about what I am taking and why later.
Finally, on the 27th, I will be attending Dane Sanders’ REAL TIME COMMUNITY with Dane Sanders, Scott Bourne, and Chris Becker.
I have heard Becker speak before at a SMUG (Smugmug Users Group) and he is very well know for not only his photography, but his business prowess and community building skills.
I first heard of Scott Bourne on a podcast and over the last few years have come to respect Scott Bourne for his knowledge and insight into and about the photography industry. He is one of my favorite Tweeters and ALWAYS has something important and educational to say.
I don’t know Dane Sanders’ work well, but I know he is VERY well respected in the photographic community and I want to hear what he has to say about the photography business.
Of course I will keep you posted as the month progresses.
Posted 3 years, 8 months ago at 1:29 pm. Add a comment