Thursday, June 26, 2008

Quick One

While prepping the course this weekend, I found a great shot of the ultimate sensor. If only the sensor in the camera could perform like the good old human eye.


Getting Ready for the Weekend

An interesting fisheye shot!

No class this week but busy prepping my DSLR course this weekend. In addition, I have been continuing the process of of working images from my trip to Wales a few weeks ago.

Fortunately, the normal cool weather patterns have returned to Los Osos so no more of the 100 degree temps we saw near the end of last week. We have also had a large amount of smoke in the air from some of the relatively close fires. Very interesting filtered sunlight and the sunsets have been amazing.

Of interest, we just received a sample ColorMunki from X-rite and MAC Group. I have tried the system a couple of times but am very excited to put it to the test in the digital darkroom. I'll let everyone know if it is as good as all the reviews say.


Friday, June 20, 2008

When Photoshop Attacks!

A little Photoshop fun from class. Thanks Scott! Remember we are laughing with you.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Lighting at the Castle

Eagle Castle Winery in Infrared

We took the class up to Paso Robles today for some lighting on location work. We ended up at Eagle Castle Winery. For those unfamiliar, the Moorish castle above is the winery tasting room and event facility. The winery itself is located just to the east of the building pictured above.

The castle proved a stunning setting for our models, the Profoto lighting systems, and, of course, our students. We shot for just over three hours practicing everything learned earlier in the week. All in all it was an excellent final shoot.

Upon return to the Institute, we had a wine, martini, and appetizer night. The Thursday night "party" has become somewhat of a fixture here at the school. It is really nice to unwind and spend some time with the class before the frantic Friday workflow begins.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Studio Work

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Today was a big day in the studio and around the school. We set up four different stations each with multiple models and Profoto lighting at each. Amy, along with help from Marty (the MAC Group representative,) demonstrated the use of each lighting system and how to get the images you want. It was a great experience as the class learned the lighting as well as model interaction and direction.

We are off to Paso Robles tomorrow to shoot with "lighting on location" at Midnight Cellars winery. It will be interesting to see what type of dramatic shots we can create in the barrel and tank rooms. Should be a good time and something tells me we might do some wine tasting as well, from both the barrel and the bottle.


Art Of Lighting

Image from last night's sunset beach shoot.

Back from the UK and right into the Art of Lighting class with Judy Host and Amy Cantrell. I'll have more pics up from the trip as soon as I can process them a little. The trip finished up in spectacular fashion and travel home was simple. I will also have a great review on the Think Tank Airport International bag. If you have not heard of the Think Tank brand they are worth checking out at ( As a teaser, I cannot say enough good things about this bag.

This week's class is going well and we are shooting like crazy again. The only problem with the class so far is that we are shooting so much it is hard to find the time in the day to review and process. Fortunately, we have a few hours this morning to process, review, and critique before this afternoon's shoot. Today we are in the studio and have four stations set up, each to demonstrate something a little different. Amy is fired up and ready to get the strobes firing.
Take care and I will update soonest.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Real Quick from Skomer Island

Today's update will be real quick.  Been on Skomer just over a day and words cannot describe some of the experiences I've had.  I attached a couple quick shots, right out of the 1Ds Mk III.  Will be interesting to get them back to the digital darkroom and see how they look on the big, calibrated displays.  Weather is great and we expect another 7 hours of puffins this afternoon.  Later, we'll probably venture out again and experience the insanity of the manx shearwaters' nightly arrival.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

Bad Boat Wx, Great Shooting Wx

We were unable to make it to Skomer Island today since the seas were too rough to permit any small boat operations.  Things are looking great for tomorrow's trip though.  The winds and seas settled this afternoon so we should be a go.

Regardless of the boat, or lack thereof, we spent the day traveling around the Welsh countryside and coast taking picture of just about everything.  From verdant pastures to land yachts to castles and beyond we shot it all.  Had an excellent time and met some wonderful locals.  Everyone here is extremely friendly and is very helpful when we need a little help with directions.

Today's two pictures are shot with a infrared converted D-SLR.  

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Broad Haven, Wales

Resting in a lovely B&B on the, at the moment, very windy and rainy coast of Wales. As some of you may know I joined Infinity Photo Tours ( founder Doug Walsh on a trip to Skomer Island, Wales. We are on day three of the journey and arrived on the coast late this afternoon. We will meet the boat tomorrow morning at 10 and hope to catch better weather. Forecast says it will improve but not sure exactly when. Fortunately, we have three nights and four days on the island so I'm sure it will work out.

We spent last night in Portsmouth and enjoyed some great shooting around the harbor and the naval base. The highlight was taking pictures on and around the HMS Victory. The British have completely restored the ship and she seems ready to sail at any moment. I'll post some of the shots when I return.

Once we arrive on Skomer the effort should be nonstop shooting as the days are long and the island is crammed with puffins feeding their newly hatched chicks as hundreds of thousands of other sea birds and raptors look on. I expect some good things as Doug has promised to teach me his secrets.

Hopefully, I'll be able to update when we return from the island.


Friday, June 6, 2008

More Lights

Today finds us putting the finishing touches on tomorrow's Introduction to Lightroom course. We have a great turnout for the course, Hal's first Lightroom class. Lightroom is such a great tool for those of us shooting large numbers of images. The workflow efficiencies are tremendous and we look forward to discussing all of Lightroom's features and functionality over the next couple of days.

We also received a big new shipment of Profoto gear. The studio lighting is now complete and we are also equipped for multiple on-location shoots. Thanks again to the MAC Group and Profoto for believing in the Institute and helping us teach proper lighting. We will put the lights to great use during the upcoming "Art of Lighting" class in a few weeks taught by Amy Cantrell and Judy Host. Check it out here

That's all from here. Time to get back to work.



Monday, June 2, 2008

Jazz Fest Recap

The inaugural Back Bay Jazz Festival took place last Saturday here in Los Osos. We were proud to be the primary sponsor of the event and hope that all had a great time. For the first year, we had a nice turnout of about 100 people. Not bad considering the first couple hours of the fest were a little on the chilly side. The weather guessers had promised beautiful weather but we had to settle for just nice instead (at least until about three when the sun came out.)

The panorama above shows some of the beautiful scenery here on the Central Coast. Rough living, I know.

The entertainers put on a great show but the crowd was also wowed by the killer wines available. So okay, I'm a little biased since I made all the wines served. Midnight Cellars and Volatus Wines had a nice showing and hopefully we will be back for next year's event.

At the school, Victoria and I have been polishing the Introduction to Lightroom class this coming weekend. Lightroom is such a powerful program and moreover the interface is easy and intuitive, even for simple fighter pilots like me.

Victoria also did some great restoration work for a local client. With her permission we are going to try and put some before and after shots up here this week.