I�m down in sunny Florida at the annual Photo Marketing Association trade show. It is exciting to see the digital photography market blossoming and maturing so quickly. The variety of products shown at this show is simply amazing. I have reported below on some of the products that I think you�ll enjoy. Check out the �PMA Update� section below.
After the PMA show I�ll be leading workshops in Los Angeles (at Samy�s Camera Store, www.samys.com) and San Francisco with the Nikonians (www.nikonians.org). We�ll be teaching four days in each city on Photoshop, Nikon Capture, Nikon iTTL Flash and Nikon D70. It�s going to be great fun.
Also, be on the lookout soon for our new book on Nikon iTTL Flash System. It is titled �Using the Nikon Creative Lighting System – A Step by Step Guide to Using the SB-600 and SB-800 Speedlights� Our first publishing run will be as an e-Book and then later we�ll be offering it as a print edition. You can follow updates here: www.outthereimages.com/publishing.html
Every year the Photo Marketing Association puts on one of the biggest shows in the country to show off all the new photographic products and trends. I have included here some of the things I think are great from the show.
Nikon has announced a new image editing software package to replace Nikon Capture. The new software is called Nikon Capture NX. I lead a Nikon Capture workshop through the Nikonians (www.nikonians.org) so it will be neat to incorporate this new version into my workflow. Some of the highlights with the new software are marquee tools, U Point technology (ability to make local changes), and a better image browser function with IPTC editing capability.
Nikon also had their new 105mm f2.8 VR macro lens at the show. It was simply stunning! If you are in the market for a new closeup lens, this is one you shouldn�t pass up. I used the lens on my D2X and D200 and was impressed with the speed and responsiveness. Great lens.
The Nikon booth was a lot of fun to watch over the show. They had great presentations from lots of photographers like Joe McNally, Annie Griffiths-Belt and Bob Krist. All of them talking about how they are using digital in their professional workflow.
Canon�s new EOS 30D is an upgrade to their existing 20D system and is also lower in price. Many of our customers are Canon shooters and I recommend this new camera for them. One of the upgrades that makes this camera worth while for me is the addition of a spot meter.
Photoshop Speed Book. I met up with the Matt Kloskowski, the author of the brand new Photoshop book called ��The Photoshop CS2 Speed Clinic�. His book addresses so many of your concerns as photographers about spending hours behind the monitor processing images in Photoshop. He shows literally hundreds of ways to work fast in Photoshop like using actions, automating RAW, batch processing and editing scripts. Matt is a great guy and has produced a great book. You can buy it from Amazon (www.amazon.com).
Software: There were a variety of software packages that I was able to try out. One of my favorites was iView MediaPro (www.iview-multimedia.com). Their product is aimed at managing your digital files in a very efficient way. While there, I was able to meet and talk with the author of �the DAM Book�, Peter Krogh (www.thedambook.com). His book on Digital Asset Management for Photographers is state of the art and should be required reading for all digital photographers.
Another great piece of software is by Alien Skin (www.alienskin.com) and is called �Exposure�. Exposure is a Photoshop plugin that makes digital images look like they were shot on film. You can use it to get the �Velvia� look or apply special effects like sepia toning. However, the best utility of this software is the ability to do some stunning black and white conversions. I�ll be testing this out on my own very soon.
Hoodman (www.hoodmanusa.com) was at the show with a range of products for digital photographers. They have started selling new flash card with 150x speed ratings. Additionally, they have improved upon their LCD hoods with a new LCD Loupe for viewing your photos on the back of your camera in sunny conditions. It was just released at the show and will provide a 1.2x magnification for those of us who need a bit of optical help!
Think Tank Photo (www.thinktankphoto.com) was showing off their line of excellent camera bags. They have a great modular system specifically aimed towards the traveling photographer and airport warrior. Check out their �Speed Racer� bag for ease of use and quick access.
LowePro (www.lowepro.com) had a great booth there and displayed all of their camera cases. One of my favorites is the Specialist 85 AW. It has a waist belt and a shoulder belt for easy carrying ability. Also, it has an all weather cover (AW) to keep your stuff dry. I like it because it will easily fit a large digital camera with 80-200 f2.8, a 12-24mm and a midrange lens. I can also put one or two flashes in it and easily travel around.
Adobe (www.adobe.com) had an impressive booth with quite a few presentations from folks like Rick Sammon. They were really pushing their Lightroom product as well as their Photoshop Elements and CSII software.
EIZO (www.eizo.com) had a great booth and was showing off their excellent LCD monitors. These are the best of the best and are really the first LCD monitors that can show the entire Adobe RGB gamut. They are very pricey at around $3,500, but worth it for those of you who do high end color work. If you want something a little more palatable, they have just released two new ColorEdge monitors called the CD240W and the CE210W. They are priced in the $1,500 range, but perform very very well.
Portable Storage. There were quite a few new portable data storage products that I saw. One product was from Jobo (GigaVu Pro – www.jobo.com/usa/products/gvpe/index.html) and the other one from Vosonic (MVP 9000 – www.vosonic.com).
Finally, I met up with Bert Sirkin of www.PhotoCheatSheets.com who showed off some of his new laminated cheat sheets for Nikon and Canon digital cameras. He has cheat sheets for the D70, D200, D2X, Flash products, Photoshop, composition, and lots of other items too. He sent some samples home with me to review that I�ll also be bringing to our workshops.
Photo Techniques: Negative Space
One of the rules I follow in photography is to fill the frame with my subject. I sound like a broken record in my travel photography workshops, but I�m always telling people to �get closer�. Many a great photographer has said �If your photo isn�t good enough, then you aren�t close enough.� There is a lot of wisdom in those words.
In this discussion, I want to talk about doing the opposite of �getting close� and discuss how to create far away photos that have nice balance and great negative space. Negative space is defined as the space around the subject. Compositionally speaking, the negative space in your photograph is the area outside your subject, but inside the frame (edges) of the photograph.
For example, negative space is the area surrounding Aunt Matilda in the photograph or the sky around an airplane. Often times, negative space is more important to the composition of the photograph than the positive space, or subject.
If you are thoughtful in your composition of the photograph, then you can include a lot of negative space and still end up with a pleasing result. If you are not thoughtful, then the negative space in your photograph is just clutter and detracts from any meaningful composition. As an artist, you need to plan for your negative space as much as planning for your subject. We want to somehow balance the negative space with the positive space.
Let�s put this concept into practice.
The photo examples I show here (see images at www.outthereimages.com/newsletter.html) are of a new bridge under construction in the area where I live. It has been a lot of fun to watch and photograph this engineering marvel during construction. As I began photographing the bridge, my first inclination was to shoot tight photos that convey a sense of drama and power. I took quite a few tightly cropped shots, but I got to thinking about what it would look like if I included a lot of negative space in the photograph.
To make good use of lots of negative space, you want to have clear delineations between the subject and the negative space. This means that you shouldn�t have branches from a tree intersecting the edges of a building. Rather, you want some sky between the building and the tree. The sky is the negative space and should be homogeneous in nature. You want a nice, unobstructed sky. You want nice clean lines around the building. You want the tree to stand alone and be well separated from the building.
To further perfect your use of negative space, you need to think of it as having shape and form -just like your subject has shape and form. Plan your picture so that the negative space shape/form balances the subject�s space. Areas of the picture that contain absolutely nothing provide the best balance in a well composed image.
Some tips on negative space:
1. Make it homogeneous tonality
2. Make it homogeneous color
3. Make it homogeneous texture
4. Reduce clutter in the negative space (simplify)
5. Design the negative space so that it draws your eye to the subject
Some examples of �good� negative space
1. Blank blue sky
2. Grassy field
3. Patterned clouds in the sky
4. Brickwork behind a portrait subject
5. Blank walls
6. Bright colored background that compliments your subject�s color
The Art of Travel Workshops
Our premier Art of Travel workshop will be located in Mazama, Washington in the North Cascades from September 21st – 24th, 2006. Our focus will be on creating stunning travel photos in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We’ll be staying at the beautiful Mazama Country Inn (http://www.mazamacountryinn.com/index.htm) and will divide our time between classroom study and outdoor photography field sessions. We�ll cover digital workflow, field photography techniques, printing methods, and much, much more. Go here for more details: www.outthereimages.com/travel_workshop.html
We have had numerous requests to increase our Photoshop workshops in the Seattle, WA area and in the Portland, OR area. So, we�ve added two additional weekends between now and June 2006. The new workshop dates are April 5, 6, 7 in Seattle and May 19, 20 in Portland. These workshops are a great way to learn Photoshop while using practical, real world examples that photographers face each day. We have three levels of Photoshop instruction � Photoshop I, II, and III. Take them one at a time or take them as a group of two or more and get a 10% discount. Go here for more information:www.outthereimages.com/photoshop_workshop.html
Nikon D200 Workshops
We�ll be offering workshops on this camera beginning in June �06 and extending into 2007. This new digital camera from Nikon is a fantastic professional system. Its image quality is superb and it has an unparalleled feature set for the price. Nikon has truly hit a home run with the D200. Come to our workshop to learn all the important features so you can optimize its performance to your shooting style. Follow this link for more information: www.outthereimages.com/D200_workshop.html
Nikon D70 Workshops
The Nikon D70 and D70s cameras continue to be big sellers and so we continue to run these very popular workshops through 2006. We offer two days of training on the D70: a D70 Level I workshop and an Advanced D70 workshop. Updated schedules and course outlines are posted here: www.outthereimages.com/D70_workshop.html
These workshops cover topics that every digital photographer struggles with. Questions such as how to manage those thousands of digital photos, how to profile and calibrate your system and how to automate your workflow so you don’t spend so much time at your computer. This workshop provides great “nuts and bolts” tutorials in a hands-on environment to make sure you learn the topics. I guarantee you’ll enjoy this day of learning. Go here for more details: www.outthereimages.com/digital_workflow.html
We have teamed up with The Nikonians again for 2006. We’ll be offering four different workshops in major cities throughout the USA. To sign up, follow this link: www.greaterphoto.com. Our workshop offerings will be:
– Photoshop for Photographers
– Nikon Capture
– Nikon D70
– iTTL Flash system.
The dates and cities will be:
Mar 2-5 Los Angeles (at Samy�s Camera Store)
Mar 9-12 San Francisco
Apr 20-23 Houston
Apr 27-30 Dallas/Fort Worth
May 25-28 Ft. Lauderdale
Jun 8-11 Phoenix
Jul 20-23 Vancouver BC
Jul 27-30 Seattle
Oct 5-8 New York
Oct 12-15 Philadelphia
Oct 19-22 Washington DC (at Penn Camera)
Nov 2-5 Chicago area
Nikon iTTL Flash Workshops
If you’ve ever been frustrated trying to get your flash photography to look natural, then you need to attend this workshop. We spend all day learning the ins and outs of the Nikon’s SB600 and SB800 flashes. You’ll never again have to struggle with these flashes. More info at: www.outthereimages.com/ittl_workshop.html
Nikon’s flagship cameras are marvels of engineering and capable of amazing results. We have created these two-day workshops to cater to those of you looking for professional level instruction on these incredible cameras. Learn how to use the outstanding white balance capabilities, multiple exposures, in-camera photo overlays and its lightning fast autofocus system during this feature packed two-day event. More info is posted here: www.outthereimages.com/D2_workshop.html.
Each month, more and more of you are signing up for private workshops. These are becoming very popular and are an affordable way for you to learn specifically what you want to learn in a one-on-one environment. During these sessions, we are able to work specifically on your own photographic needs and at your own pace. Available topics are Studio Lighting, Nature Photography, Wedding photography, Photoshop, color management, digital workflow, flash photography, portraiture, etc. Many of our customers have requested specific topics and we have tailored our private tutoring to their needs. Call (360) 750-1103 or email ([email protected]) if you have questions about this option.
As always, if you have questions or need more information, please send an email or give us a call. We’ll get back to you right away and are always happy to help. Also, I just wanted to say thank you for all of your referrals. Many people have signed up based on word-of-mouth contact from you and I want you to know how much I truly appreciate your kind words.
Out There Images – “Get Out And Learn!”
PO Box 1966
Gig Harbor, WA 98335