Tim Grey

Tim Grey is responsible for accelerating my grasp of Photoshop.  He does a good job of identifying common issues that people have with photo processing in Adobe’s applications and writing well thought out answers to address the problems.  His Digital Darkroom Quarterly (now called Pixology) and his Ask Tim Grey newsletter provide easy to understand answers to questions you might not have even thought to ask.

Tim is an expert in Photoshop and Lightroom, with extremely good access to Adobe for questions that involve “why does this Photoshop filter work this way?”  He is also a published author, with several books on color management and digital darkroom workflow, including both Photoshop and Lightroom workflows.

Zack Arias

Zack is famous for his OneLight portraits.  I read about Zack in someone’s blog a long time ago and followed his blog for quite a while.

In this video from Creative Live, Zack discusses the relationship between flash power and aperture.

Zack and Creative Live have produced a series of videos that can be purchased based on his 3 day workshop.  Almost like being there, but you get the added flexibility to repeat any portion of the workshop that you didn’t quite catch, or that you are having difficulty grasping.

Abstract Photography

Image of Composition VIII by Wassily Kandinsky
Composition VIII – Wassily Kandinsky

For the longest time I had no appreciation for abstract art.  I could not understand what it was that people saw in it.  Certainly I was familiar with and even liked Wassily Kandinsky’s Composition VIII pictured above, but it didn’t have any real meaning for me.  I could not understand it.

Over the years my wife, a trained graphic artist and now high school science teacher, would try to convince me that I did not need to like something just because it was a “famous” piece of art.  And that just because I liked something, didn’t mean that I actually had to understand “why” I liked it.  It was OK to just appreciate the work that I liked and ignore the work that I didn’t.

CRW_1272_cropWith that foundation laid, when I met Joe Miller and was able to spend some time discussing photography, and that led to Joe’s preferred subject matter, abstract photography.  Joe was very patient with me, spending lots of time describing how lines, shapes, colors, textures and perspective all affect the way that we perceive a scene.  He spent a great deal of time explaining how Dave Carter, Joe’s longtime friend whom I met briefly before he passed away, would apply the psychological implications of visual design to his critiques of images.  Joe encouraged me to explore design-based, rather than subject-based, photography in a Portfolio Project for NVPS, for which I decided to work with the stained glass windows in Joe’s studio, but took all of the photographs in InfraRed using my converted Canon 10D.  The lack of color forced me to concentrate on the lines, tones and textures of the glass, however with the IR camera I got unexpected (for me) results.  Blues became translucent and bright, while reds became opaque and dark, frequently pure black.

All of this helped me to develop not only an appreciation of abstracts, but a greater appreciation of images in general.  It greatly improved my ability to abstract an image into its component shapes, which has improved my visual design.  I now find that I am framing images based on principles of visual design, even when I am shooting sporting events.

Scott Kelby

kelbytraining_titlelogoScott Kelby is quite the entrepreneur.  He turned a graphic arts business into a multi-million dollar per year enterprise, largely by working closely with Adobe to develop extensive training videos on nearly all aspects of photography and Adobe’s products all available at Kelby Training.

He also created the National Association of Photoshop Professionals, a professional organization of graphic designers and photographers where people share tips and effects that can be accomplished with Photoshop and its associated Creative Suite applications.

I initially purchased a few of the Kelby Training videos on DVD, which I loaned throughout my camera club for a couple of years.  This was shortly after Photoshop CS4 was released, and the CS3 videos all went on sale for 1/2 price.  But they convinced me that the video training would work for me, and that I had a tremendous amount still to learn.  For a couple of years I used their online training videos.  At $200 per year, it was about what I expected to pay for a 2 day seminar with no personal interaction.  This gave me access to the hundreds of videos that Kelby Training offers, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Over those couple of years I learned a great deal about Photoshop, Camera Raw and Lightroom, as well as watching numerous photography oriented videos from people like Joe McNally, Frank Doorhof and Jay Maisel.

I have also read a number of Scott Kelby’s books, however I found them to be somewhat trivial for my taste.  Everything that I have read by Scott is a cookbook photography methodology.  That is, you are given a recipe of such and such a lens, at such aperture and exposure.  If you have a reasonable grasp of exposure, depth of field and focus I believe that you will find them too basic as well.

But give the Kelby Training site a spin, I think that you will find at least something that piques your fancy.

Joseph Miller

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What can I say about Joe that hasn’t already been said?  Joe is my photographic mentor and good friend, founding member of the Northern Virginia Alliance of Camera Clubs, frequent speaker at local camera clubs, preacher of the 4C’s (Composition, Craftsmanship, Creativity and Communication) and Visual Communication, and promoter of the abstract photograph.

Joe has contributed more to the development of photography in the Northern Virginia region than any other individual.  In 1997 NVACC published its first Directory of Speakers and Judges, and currently maintains that directory for use by member clubs and the general public.  Joe also began providing a seminar for those who are interested in becoming a camera club judge, to increase the pool of people who could be chosen for each competition.  In the early 2000s, Joe began publishing photography booklets through NVACC for a small fee.  All of those booklets are available for download on the NVACC website now.

Two years ago Joe started an Annual Abstract Photography Exhibition and has worked tirelessly to make it successful, year after year.  He just began accepting entries for the exhibit this past weekend.

If you ever get an opportunity to attend one of Joe’s classes, seminars or presentations, I strongly suggest that you take advantage of it.

Freeman Patterson

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photoimpressionismI cannot say enough good things about Freeman Patterson.  He is the most inspiring photographer that I have ever had the opportunity to meet.  I was turned on to Freeman Patterson by my camera club, the Northern Virginia Photographic Society, and eventually had the time and money to attend a workshop.  Freeman holds workshops with his partner Andre Gallant, another fine Canadian photographer.

photographingtheworldaroundI first bought “Photographing the World Around You: A Visual Design photographyofnaturalthingsWorkshop” to assist in attending my club’s self-improvement workshops back in 2006.  I also bought “Photography of Natural Things” and “Photography and the Art of Seeing: A Visual Perception Workshop for Film and Digital Photography” to get some more of Freeman’s writing.  Later, at the workshop, I bought “The Garden” and “Photoimpressionism and the Subjective Image: An Imagination Workshop for Photographers.”  All are well read, and I still get something out of reading each one of them again.photographyandtheartofseein

Joe McNally

the_moment_it_clickshotshoes_diaryJoe McNally has been an idol of mine since I started learning how to light photographs.  His books, like “The Moment it Clicks,” “The Hotshoe Diaries: Big Light from Small Flashes,” and his blog were early resources that I used to learn lighting.  Later I had the opportunity to see Joe and David Hobby on the Flash Bus Tour, when I purchased Joe’s The Language of Light DVD set.

While I tend more toward the manual “Strobist” approach, I have been trying to get enough Canon branded flashes to do some of the high-speed sync that Joe has demonstrated.

Strobist

David Hobby is a local(ish) photographer in my area whom I find to be extremely talented.  Having read his Strobist site, subscribed to his blog and watched his “Lighting in Layers” DVD series, I learned a great deal about working with small hotshoe flashes.

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I very much enjoyed the Flash Bus Tour that he did along with Joe McNally.

Judging at Charlottesville Camera Club

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This is a Mirror Montage of an architectural detail of the Native American Museum.

I had the pleasure of getting invited to judge and speak at Charlottesville Camera Club on September 13, 2012.  Charlottesville is a bit of a drive from Northern Virginia, but I have been assured that it is worth the commute.

CCC has a competition and presentation on the same night, so I get to  judge the themed competition A SLICE OF SOMETHINGand I am also going to present a program titled “Montages, Interpreting Reality” in which I demonstrate some of the montage Photoshop Actions that I have developed and show how to change documentary photographs into something with a little more depth and feeling.

NVPS Competition Upload Preset

This Lightroom Export preset will export images at the best resolution for a 1400 x 1050 projector.  It applies “Screen” sharpening to the image as it exports.

Use NVPS Competition Preset

We have saved a Lightroom Export preset that automatically configures settings for NVPS competitions. This should simplify the process of defining all of the correct export settings. You can download this preset at NVPS Competition.lrtemplate.

Installing the LR Export Preset

After downloading the NVPS Competition.lrtemplate file, copy the file to the following directory based on your operating system

  • Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\username\Application Data\Adobe\Lightroom\Export Presets\User Presets
  • Windows Vista: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Export Presets\User Presets
  • Mac OS X: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Lightroom/Export Presets/User Presets

Applying the LR Export Preset

Select the image(s) to be resized, then select File, and Export. When the Export dialog opens, select NVPS Competition under User Presets in the Preset section of the Export dialog. This will automatically apply the appropriate competition settings.Press the Export button and a Windows Explorer window (or Finder window on the Mac) should open with the resized images in it.