I’ve been following Zack Arias for some time both on his old website and now on DEDPXL. Done some of his Kelby training courses, got his book, just plain like the guys attitude. So I was very happy that things worked out for me to take his One Light course. I’m not a complete newb with flash, but I’m not a pro, either, so this was a good course for me.
I’m a believer that getting outside your comfort zone is one of the ways to grow. I approached Brooke Shaden’s “Working with Nothing: Building a creative scene in a boring space and in Photoshop” with both anticipation and nervousness. Fine Art photographers like Brooke are incredibly creative, and while I occasionally come up with something a little original, mostly I assume a “deer in the headlights” look when searching for ideas. It was my hope that I would pick up some inspiration and ideas from the course, and I was not disappointed.
Sara shooting an in pool beauty shot in the rain
As I mentioned in my first post in this series, I first heard of Sara Lando by way of her series on taking portraits on Strobist. In those articles she was witty, insightful, and made lots of really good points. She’s like that in person, as well. “Portraiture Intense and Hands On” was a two day workshop covering planning, preparation, communication, shooting and post production for the portrait photographer, whether working with models or capturing images of friends. First and foremost, Sara believes in making a connection with your subject, finding out who they are and working cooperatively with them to make the image you are trying to capture.
City buildings nicely framed on the Knowledge City campus
Since David Nightingale’s class covered post production on Monday afternoon, we had the morning off to relax and wander around a bit. I had naively brought my Hasselblad in hopes of shooting some film, and here was an opportunity. For the record, next time I’m not going to bring a film camera since there really isn’t enough time to shoot it with all the other activities. Still, I did get the shot above from the campus area.
The Textile Market
Shoot the Street was conducted by David Nightingale and started with a morning class where he discussed both technical and social aspects of street shooting. David emphasized quick thinking and learning what story to tell. We discussed showing the broad view, shooting people in the context of that view and using detail within that context. We also talked getting people to agree to street portraits and how it was necessary to have a reason that they find acceptable. The reason could be as simple as “I’m a tourist – taking pictures is what tourists do” to having a project that the subject can buy in on. This is an area that I personally want to work on. In the markets of Dubai it was not difficult to get willing subjects, here in the states it can be more challenging.
A city not yet completed
Bright and early Saturday morning I found myself with eleven other photographers at Eric Kim’s workshop “Shooting Urban Landscapes.” Eric is a high energy guy whose enthusiasm is contagious. After introductions were complete the next hour or so was spent discussing the work of photographers like Robert Frank, Walker Evans, Lee Friedlander and several others and their approach to Urban Landscapes. We also discussed some examples Eric had taken both in Dubai and in the US. After giving us some tips on how to compose the shot he gave us a simple assignment consisting of shooting and urban landscape with or without a person, an urban landscape indoors, and an urban landscape with social context.