May 2014 Visual Adventures Newsletter

 

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To create this triptych, I used the new Analog Efex Pro 2 software from Nik.

In this Newsletter:
– Greetings
– Stuff I Like This Month
– May GOAL Assignment: Shoot at High ISO
– Photo Techniques: Three Steps to a Beautiful White Background
– Digital Tidbits: Analog Efex Pro 2
– Photo Techniques: Telling a Simple Story Through Photos
– Workshop and Business Updates

Greetings

I love being a photographer and I know that the people who read this newsletter love photography as well. There are very few disciplines in life that combine technical knowledge with artistic endeavor like photography does. I love the challenge of creating impressive images, I love the camaraderie among like-minded shooters, and I love mastering the gear.

A lot of professional photographers hate talking about the gear involved with photography because they know that gear does not necessarily make a great photographer. All great photographers know that it is their total knowledge of the craft that allows them to create masterful works of art. However the truth is, gear does matter at some level. Especially, as you improve your skill. As with most things, as your skill improves the gear you use can help enhance your photographs.

Most of us buy gear that is beyond our skill level in the hopes that we will work into it. New cameras and lenses are great, but you need to master these technologies before you are able to consistently produce beautiful results. With that said, are you planning on taking a big trip this summer? If so, now is the time to start assessing your photography goals for the adventure and then get to work practicing your craft. Photography is much like other skills in that if you want to excel, you have to practice, practice and practice some more.

To make my point, later this summer I’m traveling to Iceland, Galapagos, Cuba and Africa. Three out of four of these trips will have substantial wildlife photography opportunities and I want to be ready to go so that I can hit the ground and not miss a beat with my photographs. I want to make sure that I know my gear in and out. I want my autofocus technique and my long lens technique to help me produce sharp, contrastry images.

So, I make sure to spend time every day and every week practicing my photography. I live in a rural area of Washington State, USA and we have quite a few wild animals living on our property. I use this resource as a way to continuously exercise my photography eye and technique. I always have at least one camera out and ready to go so I can jump up at a moment’s notice and grab a shot.

These images I take of birds, rabbits and deer keep my mind engaged and my skills sharp. I also know that the repetition of shooting is preparing me for the bigger trips I have planned.

I really encourage you to follow my example and always keep the camera by your side. Practice shooting what interests you even if you won’t be doing anything with the photographs in the long-term. Think of your practice like Mr. Myiagi training the karate kid by having him wax on and wax off for weeks at a time. Practicing your photography will lead to excellence in the long run. Refuse to be lazy. Get out there and take some pics.

Cuba Cultural and Photo Tour

CubaPicture

Our international photo trips are truly special. I love taking small groups of photographers to far-off lands while showing them the world through their lenses. Travelers on my trips learn a ton, take great photos, eat wonderful food and enjoy the art of exploration. We’ve already sold out two of our 2014 international trips (Iceland and Galapagos), but still have room on our Cuba and Tanzania photo trips.

Our photo adventure to Cuba is scheduled for October 4-12, 2014. This adventure is designed to be a cultural immersion trip and we will be taking photos of just about anything and everything along the way. The United States Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control has created a relatively new visa for US citizens to travel to Cuba called the people-to-people visa. It is designed to encourage the sharing of culture and ideas between people of the two countries.

We will be traveling as a small group and experiencing many of the charms of old-world Havana and Viñales. I am excited to be leading this trip along with another of my colleagues who is an expert in Cuban history and culture. Our USA departure point is Miami Florida, where we board a special charter flight and fly directly to Havana Cuba. We spend about four days in Havana, and the remainder of the trip in a more rural area called Viñales. Each day of the adventure will be a mixture of cultural interaction, photography, and experiencing the Cuban way of life.

Due to changing economic policy, Cuba is on the cusp of dramatic change and this is bound to be one of the last opportunities to experience Cuba as it has historically been for the last 60 years. The winds of change are blowing strong in Cuba. We should all take this opportunity to see Cuba now.

Currently we are about halfway sold out on this tour, so don’t wait too much longer to sign up if you are interested. I know this trip is going to be an excellent adventure and I would love to have you attend. Email me if you have questions, or check out our information page here: Cuba Cultural and Photo Tour

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