Tuesday, January 15, 2008

George is Back

George Lepp is back in town and leading his Coastal Discoveries class.

We spent day one in the lab as George taught numerous techniques and software programs with a focus on panorama creation and high dynamic range (HDR) work.

This morning began early as we met to travel to the bluffs overlooking the Pacific. Fortunately, we were rewarded with a high tide and crashing waves. We broke out the neutral density (ND) filters and the class shot long exposures to soften the wave/water effect. I don't think there is a better place than Montana de Oro to sharpen your skills with the ND filter. The class transitioned to panoramas and texture shots of the Monterrey shale formations.

We broke for a quick lunch and began to review and sort the morning's images before heading out to the local oak preserve for HDR work. Back in the field, George led an in-depth discussion of the ideal high dynamic range capture (or captures.)

Evening lab was dedicated to Hal teaching Photomatix and Photoshop processing of the the HDR shots. After the half hour discussion, the class began to work and optimize their images.

Each student this week is creating a 12 x 12 leather-bound book of the images they shoot here on the coast. So tomorrow will see a large amount of Photoshop work and printing. The Canon 5100s are dialed in and ready to speed the book process with excellent prints.

We will do all this after a morning photo shoot in the monarch butterfly groves just south of the Institute. The butterflies are here in the millions right now. What great subject matter!

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