Sunday, 31 March 2013

First Flash Class of 2013

We held the first DSLR Flash Class for 2013 in March - these are some of the excellent results produced by my students. The general premise of learning about flash is to both gain confidence and to create images that, while they don't look like flash was used, definitely benefit from using flash, either on camera or off-camera.

Andrew photographed by Kirsten

Andrew, photographed by Dan
Rochelle photographed by Jack, Zeiss 135mm portrait lens.
Jasper the drummer, photographed by Kirsten
Patrick shot by Rochelle
Muso photographed by Rochelle
Dan, a self-portrait "of the musician"
Well done to all of you - I thought the images submitted were excellent: sharp, well exposed highlights and shadows, a good balance of ambient and flash light. The reality is, you can hardly tell flash has been used in most of the results. And that's how it should be. Nice job...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Cuba Photo Trip Reunion

It was the most prolific book-making photo group I have ever had the fun to lead. Cuba 2012 took a group of budding photographers from Sydney to Havana, Santiago, Las Terrazas, Cienfuegos, La Trinidad and Cameguey among other places in this exciting and photogenic Caribbean island. Along the way my group shot tens of thousands of images and created more than 10 books on their trip - with a few still to come. All were published through Blurb. Last week we got together for a reunion and general catch up to see the books 'in the flesh'. You can of course check the digital versions of the book online but actually holding one in your hands is a far better experience. Well done every one, I was most impressed.
Havana icon, by Charles Jaggers
If this is your first experience with bookmaking you'll no doubt have a few pages that did not come out quite the way you thought they might. Best lesson to learn is to open the original Booksmart document on your computer and take a good look at the printed version to get a clearer idea of how close your screen versions is to the printed version. This will stand you in good stead for your next book.

Best practice is to calibrate your monitor using a device like a Huey or a Colorvision Spyder and then download the special profile supplied by Blurb. This is then imported into Photoshop [CS] and used to preview how your image looks if printed using Blurb's presses. You have to switch it on and off in CS but it gives you a remarkably accurate preview of how the finished article will appear. Unfortunately it's not available for Photoshop Elements...

WOW! Colour from Marietta McGregor in Hemingway's El Floridita bar, Havana
Wow! Colour from Natalie Hitchens. An original Cuban car in resplendent pink!
Afternoon tea Chez Charles - thanks to Marion for the amazing spread, fit for a president!
Did someone mention scones?
Colin and Janice discussing the merits of bookmaking software apps over lunch at Fairy Bower
Anyone for Photoshop? Textures overlaid using Blend Modes and more by Robin Nichols