Tuesday, 13 June 2017

MCP, a New Three-day Photo Course at CCE

If you want to develop more from your photography, try this new class I'm running at the Centre for Continuing Education: Mastering Creative Photography.

It's really designed as a follow up to my two-day Essentials class - but you don't have to complete this to take on the MCP class. We deal with the business of creative photography - ways to make your images look different from everyday, run of the mill stuff we see around the 'net. There is some emphasis on using neat software apps such as Jixi Pix or products from Nik, but there's equal emphasis placed on the ability to see an avenue, a theme in any set landscape - whether it's just at the park or on a trip overseas.

We spend half a day looking at how photography has developed over time, from Henry Fox Talbot to Henri Cartier-Bresson, to modern day sports and newspaper photojournalists, advertising photography, wedding and portrait photographers and much more. Everything has been 'done' in photography, but there's still plenty of room to make a statement.

Next Mastering Creative Photography class is on September 1, 8 and 15


Two and a half days are spent shooting on location, plus students get three assignments to upload and get assessed on.


As a bonus, I also offer an ongoing feedback session, four times a year, as a way of encouraging those that like shooting to have a bit of a goal to work towards.


Here's a glimpse of some of the great images created by students on the first session of this class:


The 3rd quarantine cemetery by Clayton Maxwell - no special effects - just a nice juxtaposition between a great city skyline and a headstone. It begs the question: why? Is this an omen? Is this symbolic of city life - a good picture should generate a response in the viewer - even if it is a simple "I like what I see..." response. To generate multiple questions, I think, is better because it insists that the viewer be immersed in the shot.
This is a very effective miniature effect - also called tilt-shift - created by radically blurring the top and bottom of the frame. It works very well in this example - because the composition is accurately divided in to three clear sections: foreground, mid-ground and background.
The post-production de-focussing by Eshan Abab effectively splits the scene into three parts and makes everyone on Bondi beach appear to be tiny.
A very effective creative effect.
Fantastic olde-worlde 'look' applied to this recent shot of Quarantine Beach, near Manly
Photo by Sophie Almin

Bamboo signatures from Phil Young
This is an HDR processed image - the software really helps ramp up textures and detail that might otherwise be lost.
With an eye on both composition and content, Phil Blackford produced a series of effects like this. Shot in-camera with some post-processing to add the distressed look to the final image.
This is a good example of where having a vision before you start out really helps the execution and finalisation of the creative process.

A very dramatic representation from times past.
This headstone, shot by Jane Jewel in North Head's third quarantine cemetery, marks a darker part of Australia's history. Most of the people buried here are quite young, teenagers, kids under ten, some coming from overseas or from the inland areas - on those days there was little anyone could do to prevent fatalities other then quarantining them from the general population.  I think the low angle, the dramatic sky and the black and white treatment really lends itself to the subject matter.
Shot from one of the most dramatic lookouts in Sydney, Vinnie Nguyen's panorama captures something of the massive vista afforded form the North Head National Park.
Very often 'one shot' is just not enough for a 'big' scene, so a five-frame panorama manages nicely to capture some of the grandure of the view.
Vinnie also added an FX filter with a heavy vignette that goes a long way to emphasise the nature of the subject.

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