Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Final Blog Update

Thank you all for following us here at the Lepp Institute Blog. As many of you know we rebranded and relaunched a week ago as LIGHT Photographic Workshops.

Our new blog may be found at the following link.

This blog will be active for a little while longer as folks switch over.



Monday, May 4, 2009

Cattle Egret from Florida

Had a couple minutes to process a shot from Florida's Alligator Farm. Beautiful golden light on this Cattle Egret in breeding plumage.

Back from Florida

Returned from a quick trip to Florida where I was fortunate to speak with a group of over 120 people from the Vero Beach area. We spent about three hours discussing high dynamic range (HDR) tips, techniques, and procedures.

Before the presentation some of the club members took me to shoot at the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine. What a great place with unrivaled access to nesting birds. Of course, I found the alligators interesting as well.

Since the theme of the visit was HDR I tried a few with the animals at the Farm. The attached shots are all combinations of three shots from a Canon 5D Mk II. I imported the source files to Lightroom and then used the Photomatix Export plug in. All images were Tone Mapped with Photomatix 3.1.3 and then returned to Lightroom for a couple tweaks. Look forward to finishing the images soon.



Monday, April 27, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

HDR with Ben

In class with Ben Willmore today discussing High Dynamic Range (HDR.) We'll spend a little time discussing theory, camera setup, and shooting before we head out on location and try it out.

We'll update again with a few HDR results from this afternoon.

We also played around a little with the animation panel in Photoshop. A quick example is shown below.

Test Animation

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Video Tutorial

Quick video tutorial on creating a popular border effect in Photoshop™.

There will be more to come.



Friday, April 17, 2009

A Great Week of Online Training

The video above is a show from John Canfield, one of our instructors here at the Institute. He will be teaching a three day workshop in late May demonstrating how to make one.

Thanks to everyone who made the web based training a huge success over the last week. The training schedule for the next quarter will be out very soon and will include some incredible courses.

We will also be starting a weekly training hour. Thanks to some of our clients who suggested a recurring session you can tune in to every week just like your favorite TV show. The online training will be a one hour block covering any and all things photographic.

As a heads up we are hosting a huge Open House the 8th of May from 11-8. The facility will be open to the public and there should be some good fun and training. We are running free demos of Photoshop™ and Lightroom™ all day. We'll also be shooting in the studio and drawing for some fun giveaways.

If that wasn't enough from 5:30-9 on the 9th of May, we are hosting a party here at the school. More free demos, food, wine, and live music to set the atmosphere. Come on down and join us.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hello Again

Back in class this week with Kevin Ames and the Art of Photographing Women. This is an advanced studio lighting and interaction class.

Very little time to write as we are shooting constantly. I'll try and get some more shots up soon.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thanks to All Tonight!

Thanks again to everyone for your patience and assistance in setting up our first ever Web Seminar. The learning curve for us was huge!

Thanks again and have a great night.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sunrise Pano

Sunrise over Kachemak Bay a few days ago.
4 shots Canon 50D, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L
Inbound flight diverted so we'll see if there is any chance of getting out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Stuck in Anchorage

Stuck in the Anchorage area for another day. We're sitting in the airport again tonight waiting to see if we can fly out. Mt. Redoubt erupted again this evening at around 8 PM. Most of the airlines have cancelled but trust US Airways is going to try, at least as of now.

Going to stitch a few panos together. If I can finish them before we board I'll post them here.

Drop Shadow Technique

A few people have written asking about the drop shadow technique George used on some of his prints. I will publish the full details on how to do this as soon as I can get back to the lab. I'm currently stuck in Anchorage, AK because of a volcanic eruption.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Final Day in Homer

We finished up the tour yesterday with an epic boat trip across Kachemak Bay. The week saw some great shooting with hundreds of eagles, varied weather, landscapes, volcanoes, small earthquakes, LR and PS training, and even a mead tasting.

Victoria and I are spending the next two days shooting around here before heading back to the school. Good stuff coming up includes Lightroom, flowers, Ben Willmore, Advanced Studio and more.



Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunday AK

Nice grab! Focus problems, what focus problems
Canon 1D Mk III, EF 70-200 f/4L

"Oh $@#!"

Thought I'd put up a few quick ones before bed. GREAT shooting up here. Shot from the beach this morning and out on the boat this afternoon.

Redoubt volcano had a great little steam and ash episode this afternoon, very cool!



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Helene Glassman has been here this weekend and we are having a ball! While Hal is hanging out in the cold with Eagles we are in the studio and digital lab making some wonderful images and ultimately some beautiful cards that we will print today.

On Saturday, Helene brought in several vases full of beautiful tulips, sunflowers, Lily's and I brought in some birds of paradise and camellia’s from my garden. We set up several areas where the students could play and create with the flowers, some different colored fabrics as well as some beautiful Christian Louboutin shoes and an old wooden chair that Helene found out back!
Window lighting was all we needed. Our studio has large west facing windows with a sheer curtain we used to diffuse the afternoon light.

I whipped out our collection of Canon Macro lenses, thank you Canon, and got some beautiful shots! With a little post processing in Adobe Lightroom I got a few great images ready for cards...and perhaps canvas later.

Below are a few images I took while the students were taking a break. All window lighting with a simple piece of black fabric hung behind. The 65mm 1-5x lens on a 1D Mark III on an Induro tripod. The 65mm can be a challenge to use to those just starting with it. Very small changes in rotation and position of the subject make very different images. I had the tulip on black tulle and I would just push the fabric a little when I wanted the focal point changed. It is like breathing with your camera was the best way to focus and create the different images.

This image to the left was also with the 65mm. Once I found a good focus point, I took our little fluorescent flashlights that Canon hands out as little perks, and just highlighted the inside base of the tulip. I liked the "cool" color of the fluorescent light against the pink and white of the flower.
Below was shot with the 100mm Macro
I think I'll dedicate this image above to Hal.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Back in AK

Mt. Redoubt from a quick pano.

Flew up to Anchorage yesterday and spent most of today driving south to Homer. Started off a bit cold and snowy but by the time I reached Homer the sun was out (still a bit chilly though.)

Tonight's Sunset in old school HDR

The drive down is beautiful for both the landscape and the wildlife. I had to fight the urge to pull over every couple of miles to shoot. I did stop a couple of times though, for volcanoes and a moose.

Moose in faux/pseudo HDR

Forecast for tomorrow's shooting is wind. Unfortunately, a NW wind makes it challenging to capture the right angle since the eagles land into the wind and there aren't many good spots to shoot from the NW. We'll see how it goes.

The remainder of our group arrives tomorrow and the main shooting starts Monday morning. Should be a great week.



Sunday, March 8, 2009

Shooting with Jack

Cayucos Pier 20 minutes after sunset (10" f/16 ISO 100)

Out shooting with Jack Davis and the class yesterday evening in Cayucos (a small town just north of the Institute.)

Jack's weekend workshop is about permission. Give yourself permission to experiment and tap into your creativity. For me, it was about leaving the tripod in the car. I started there and worked my way up to moving the camera in small circles during a 10" exposure.

Today we shot primarily infrared. I'll put up a few of those either tonight or tomorrow.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Out Shooting with Jack Davis

15mm Fish Eye with a rotation

Jack Davis is here for the next seven days teaching photography and Photoshop. We just returned from our first shoot of the week. Most of the class shot with our Infrared cameras and captured some pretty cool images.

We're taking a quick lunch break and then we will shoot models this afternoon followed by a sunset shoot out in Cayucos.

Jack is an inspiring instructor and we look forward the week's creativity and some great shooting.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Back from Vegas

Stellar's Sea Eagle over Lake Fuhren, Japan

It has been a whirlwind few weeks as I finally returned from Japan just in time to teach a weekend canvas workshop. The following day we left for the PMA convention in Vegas and finally returned to Los Osos to prepare for Jack Davis this weekend.
Not sure how many eagles are in this frame.
The Japan trip was incredible. Internet acccess was limited as we travelled further north and east on Hokkaido. Fortunately, as the internet decreased the eagle density skyrocketed. There were Stellar's Sea Eagles and White Tailed Sea Eagles everywhere. We spent time at Lake Fuhren as well as in a small town called Rausu. Good stuff. I cannot wait to get back there next February. If you have any interest in joining us give me a call or email.
Stellar's Sea Eagle Again

After returning to the Institute, we ran a very successful Canvas Printing and Finishing course over the weekend. The two day canvas intensive is the best way to learn how to create a professional, archival gallery wrap. Course participants left with a 16 x 24 image of their own wrapped and ready to hang.
Vegas from the 49th floor of the Palazzo

Most recently, we attended the PMA conference in Las Vegas to catch up with a few of our sponsors and instructors. It was a quick trip but good to see everyone and discover any new gear or software. Spent a little time with the new Canon 17mm tilt shift lens. I think I need one.

A motley crue of photographers!
Jack Davis is here starting tomorrow and is giving a full week of his impressive knowledge, tips, and tricks. Should be some outstanding shooting and digital darkroom work.



Sunday, February 22, 2009

Upon Request to Keep It Going

Hal asked if I could update the blog since he was not going to be able to have internet for a couple of days.
The boys have headed out! They were heading to the county of Nemuro, East coast of Hokkaido to see if they could get a view of more Eagles, and well, let’s face it, who knows what they are going to run into? Now they are going even further into the “sticks” as he called it. I can’t wait to see more of his images!
As for Los Osos, it has started raining again and the wildflowers are surely going to be popping out with a vengeance here soon! Our daffodils are looking amazing in the garden, but I cannot wait to see the poppies and baby blue eyes this year.
For those of you down on the rain…remember…it’s good for the grapes!
Thanks for reading and stay tuned for Hal’s next entry later this week!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Words of the Day - "Wind Chill Factor"

Another day almost finished here in northern Japan. Snow stopped late last night but the wind from the low pressure was still around today. We had gusts up to 42 knots with a wind chill of around -20 or so, beautiful shooting weather (as long as you dress appropriately.)

We left Kushiro this morning with the plan of heading up to Lake Kasharo. We made it most of the way before we were turned around by a little road closure. The blowing, drifting snow had yet to be fully cleared from the mountains and the avalanche danger was also relatively high. With lemons, we made lemonade and shot some landscape while working our way back towards the cranes.

Chilly shooting but good. The only little gotcha was when I decided I needed a better shot and launched off the side of the road into a "small" snow drift. I was rapidly up to my belly in snow as I fell into the drift. Not to be deterred I pressed on and found what I was after. Doug has a few great shots of me relatively buried in four feet of snow. Once again, good living.

The cranes arrived at Akan soon after we did and the show did not stop for the next 5 hours. Around 1400 they throw about 25 pounds of fish onto the snow to supplement the cranes' regular 250 pounds of corn. Cranes don't seem to be too big into the fish but the White Tailed Sea Eagles certainly are. We even had two Stellar's show up today. They were a bit shy and didn't venture too close.

Overall, I shot about 1400 images today and am still working through the sort phase of my workflow. I easily eliminated about 400 and will continue to whittle them down. Unreal shooting

I attached a few quick ones. Have not had time to process anything but a quick tonal range adjustment.

Tomorrow we'll try the lake again and then begin to head up the coast.

Internet access will be much spottier but I'll try and post when possible.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Hokkaido Blizzard

Blizzard hit this morning around 0930. We were in place out at the Akan ranch when the snow began. I will admit shooting was a challenge. Exposure, focus, and composition were all tough given the conditions. The Canon gear was great today. The weather resistant design of both the bodies and lenses was put to the test and passed with flying colors. Fortunately, by the time we left there was ten inches of snow covering the ice. Why fortunately? Because the snow softened my fall as I went ass over tea kettle carrying two cameras, a 500 mm, a tripod, and a couple other lenses. I can report that no camera gear nor photographers were harmed during the production of this post. Good living.

Attached some shots from today. Did a real quick workflow since I am exhausted and must sleep soon. Looking forward to processing these and the other images I shot today.

Weather should be better tomorrow.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quick from Japan

Finally arrived in Kushiro, Japan this afternoon. Spent last night in Tokyo and took a quick Japan Airlines flight a couple hours north. Left the airport and headed directly to Akan farm. Akan is one of the places here where you can easily photograph red crowned cranes. The red crowned are one of the rarest birds in the world with roughly 1,200 left in the wild. I was fortunate to see about 25% of the population this afternoon.

Expecting snow tomorrow so I should have some interesting shooting. I'll try and update as the week progresses.


Monday, February 9, 2009

Fay Sirkis Here

Fay Sirkis is here teaching a beginning Painter class. Fortunately, she brought some much needed rain and a bit cooler weather from the East Coast. We are a full house this week with all of the available seats taken. There are folks from all around the country here for the Fay experience. Should be a great week!

Still shooting birds and processing the new stuff along with shot from Artie's week and our recent trip to Homer, AK.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Back in Cali

"Can anyone Photoshop in the fish I missed?"
Back down in Los Osos and in class with Tim Grey. Overall, the Alaska trip was amazing. Although, Tim is good I cannot wait to get back up there in March.

I'll continue to post some of the images from the trip as I have time to process.