Monthly Archives: May 2012

Weekend Workshops

Two awesome days, two awesome workshops with some truly great photographers.  Yesterday’s Lighting Demystified workshop was great – even the heat and humidity was not a hindrance.  The Macro and Closeup workshop had many Ah Ha moments in particular with stacking.

Here are a few images form the macro and closeup workshop participants:

Chive

 

Hellibore

Chives

Posted in Accessories, Educational, Flowers, Lighting, Macro, News, Photography, Stacked Image, Workshops

Participants’ Images “Light of Cape Cod”

carole0.jpgcarole2.jpgcarole4.jpgc12-Cape cod.jpgc14-peter_tidalpool.jpgc15-peter_rockharbor.jpgc17-Cape cod-3.jpgc20-Cape cod-2.jpgc21-Cape cod-5.jpgc24-Peter_brewster.jpgc34-Cape cod-7.jpgc51-Cape cod-9.jpgc59-abby sunrise with dust spot.jpgc60-Cape cod-8.jpgc62-peter_windmill.jpgc68-abby beach story.jpgc68-Cape cod-11.jpgc74-Cape cod-10.jpgc8-Cape cod-6.jpgc87-Cape cod-4.jpgc9-peter_snail.jpgc98-abby hdr combined.jpg
I was so very pleased to see the progression with the way the participants were making images.  The cycle of conceptualization, visualization and capture all coming together was so clear by the time we were closing out the workshop.

This can all be summed up with a statement Carole made on facebook:

I had the most amazing weekend. I did the Shiv Verma‘s workshop “Light of Cape Cod”. Going in as a total beginner….I walked away with a wealth of knowledge. I now shoot in manual and learned to be so comfortable with my camera. Shiv was there to teach and guide…and then encouraged us to do it on our own. And that is a true teacher. It was like a lightbulb going off in my head….I got it, I understood it, I felt it, I was breathing it. Thank you, Shiv!

 

Posted in Educational, Photography, Workshops Tagged , , , , , , |

Visualization

Visualization is a key theme of my Landscape Photography Workshops and last weekend was no exception. Having been to Fort Hill many times I have not been fortunate to get the sky I was looking for  (visualization). On Sunday it all came together. It is worth getting to a location well before sunrise, it is worth pre-visualizing the image, it is worth setting the camera on the tripod, making the image and getting a sense of satisfaction that is so total.

As an added bonus, when the participants feel like they got some value from my workshops, it  makes it so worthwhile.  Thank you to all of you who come to these and other one day sessions – I truly appreciate your support and participation.

A few more comments:

This is not a ‘let’s go someplace pretty, take some pictures and have a nice lunch’ weekend. It’s a fun but intensive workshop for anyone serious about improving their photography. We worked hard from sunup to sundown, literally, but everyone came away with new skills, better aesthetic appreciation, and images they should be proud of.

 As always, I go for Shiv’s teaching. His lessons are appropriate to my skill level, neither beginner nor pro. You’ll learn more per hour from Shiv than from anyone else, and it’s all good stuff.

Fort Hill - Eastham (treated with NiK)

Posted in Educational, Photographs, Photography, Software, Workshops Tagged , , , , |

“Light of Cape Cod” May 18 – 20 Workshop

Sunset at Brewster

Perfect weather and a super group of participants.  The workshop was great from start to finish though by the afternoon on Sunday some of the folks were a bit wiped out.

I have posted a few images earlier on facebook but they are repeated here.  Once I have more processed images from the participants – I will put up a mini slide show on the blog.A few comments for the workshop participants.

Stage Neck Light

 

 

Locked

This workshop exceeded my expectations. It was chock full of practical information, and hands on shoots. It has elevated my photography to another level and given me the confidence and understanding to use a variety of settings on my camera but most importantly-the manual camera mode. My shooting will no longer be random, but previsualized, and deliberate. Shiv is an extraordinary instructor and makes sure you understand the concepts and feel comfortable applying them. He makes himself readily available to assist you in the process. This is the second workshop I have taken with him and hope to find the time to take many more. (Thanks so much for everything this weekend, it was fantastic, Ellen)

5/21/2012 7:46 PM

I consider myself an Advanced Hobbiest Photographer, but with still much to learn. Well Shiv Verma’s “The Light of Cape Cod” workshop was a well worth taken for experience I learned. The locations Shiv scouted out to photograph were wonderful. Not only classic Cape Cod scenes, but other sites on the Cape that were off the beating trail. Shiv not only teaches you about composition, but gives you his technical expertise on the use of exposure, HDR, and use of filters. He even got me over the learning curve of 100% manual exposure and shutter lockup for my landscape photos. I would recommend anyone to take this particular workshop, and I am personally looking to take another workshop of his at a different location.

5/21/2012 8:42 AM

Posted in Photography

EXPOIMAGING – The Rogue Product Line

For years I have been struggling with accessories that can be used with my hot shoe flash on- or off- camera.  A good diffusion accessory was a plastic cap that fits over the flash head, then a cumbersome triangular unit with Velcro strips, adhesive and tape – reflectors and so many pieces that would drive anyone crazy.  Not to mention the fact that this was dubbed “the fall apart”.

My challenge was to get a system that was light, easy to carry, easy to setup and most important, effective.

THE FLASHBENDERS:

About a year ago I acquired a product from ExpoImaging called the Rogue FlashBender “large positionable reflector”  – this accessory has not left my arsenal of gizmos and gadgets that I don’t leave home without.  I use this to bend and shape the light, use it  as a reflector, a snoot, and as a flag or gobo any time I have to eliminate flare.

Rogue FlashBenders are shapeable light modifiers for shoe mount flash heads.  The design allows you bend the reflector into any position and you can be sure it will stay in that position until you decide to alter it .

After an introduction by Hunt’s Photo and Video a few weeks ago, ExpoImaging sent me a their product line to try out.  Thank you Hunt’s and ExpoImaging. On opening the package, I immediately fell in love with the diffusion panel that works in conjunction with the large FlashBender.  Now I have twice the effective use from the same product.  This basically converts the FlashBender into a micro softbox.

A smaller version of the same system is equally versatile and I was able to complete a jewelry product shoot with just two off-camera hot shoe flash units mounted with FlashBenders and diffusion panels.  It was great not to have to use my large strobes and  soft-boxes and achieve awesome results with the Rogues.

In addition to the FlashBenders (large and small) they make a third product in this lineup called the bendable bounce card/flag.  This is equally effective.  If you are the type of photographer who uses elastic bands and white cards (business cards) you will love this.  Each of these FlashBenders stay put.  Installation is a breeze, collars and Velcro wrap around straps are superb.  The system is designed to hold fast and stay that way no matter what size of a flash head you have.  Event photographers you will feel you are in heaven.  Moreover, attach the diffusion panel and you have beautiful soft light on the go.

For one of my product shots I needed an additional reflector so I used the bounce card without mounting it to my speedlight.  Needing additional light, I folded some aluminum kitchen foil over it and now I had a high reflection surface bendable in any direction.  I have also created a sleeve made with gold reflective material that fits over the large flash bender when I need warmer light.

GRIDS
3-in-1 Honey Comb Grid and Rogue Gells

If you have ever had the need to control your flash light output with a grid – look no further.  The Rogue product line includes one of the mot ingenious honey-comb stacking system.  A stacking system that includes a bezel, attachment straps, a 25 degree and a 45 degree honeycomb grid (combined they give you a 16 degree grid) all in a nylon carrying pouch.  There is more, you can get a set of Rogue Gels that are specifically designed for the grid system.  The set comprises 20 circular filters and a padded pouch.  Each filter is identified by its color and f/stop loss (wow!!!!).  There is no way you won’t fall in love with this system.  That is if you want control and color.

 

FILTERS

Rogue Gels – Universal Lighting Filter Kit

There is no end to the number of options you have to gel your flash head.  From pre-cut, to sample gels to cut it and fit it, Velcro, elastic bands, stick-on double sided tape and many other crazy options. I had actually given up looking for a good solution.

The Rogue system is so well designed; you get a large gel band (not a rubber band) that you put around your flash head (this stays put). Now you insert one end of your gel that is tabbed under the band on one side and then the other side.  You are free to stack gels as you please.  Each gel is printed with its color and f/stop loss.  All so well organized in a padded pouch.  The gels fit  – they cover the flash head and provide even gelled light.

It is important to note that Rogue gels are manufactured by Lee Filters, renowned for their gels, glass and polycarbonate filters.

Conclusion:  I have found the Rogue product line to be simple yet versatile, giving you total control for your lighting requirements when used with your portable flash heads.  They are durable and light, easily packed into the smallest of camera bags and ready for use. Best of all they are self contained and do not require you to stick or glue things onto your flash heads.  I highly recommend the system to all photographers who need to control or modify the light from their flash heads.

In addition to regular use of the FlashBender, I have now included the entire product line in my “Lighting Demystified” workshop.

Posted in Accessories, Lighting, Photography, Product Reviews, Strobes, Workshops Tagged , , |

4 Workshops for May and June – NiK Plug-ins, Macro and Lighting

Announcing two workshops on image optimization and enhancements using NiK plugins for Lightroom and Photoshop.  The scheduled dates for these workshops are June 2, 2012 and June 10, 2012.  Please click here  for details or go to the workshop page.

By popular demand the Macro Workshop and Lighting Workshop will have an additional session each.  The Macro workshop will be held on May 27th, 2012 and the Lighting workshop on May 26, 2012.  Details for the Macro workshop are on the workshop page or click here.  The lighting workshop details are also on the workshop page or click here

Posted in Photography

Another image from last week’s workshop

The Grist Mill in Brewster lends itself to exposure stacks even when the dynamic range does not exceed 5 stops.

Brewster Grist Mill

Posted in 7D, Photographs, Photography, Workshops Tagged , , , , |

Cloudy Days

Another cloudy and damp day.  At least it is not raining.  This took me back to last week on the Cape and an image that appealed to me.  Truly hoping for great light in two weeks for the next workshop.

A Gentle Swell

Posted in Photography, Workshops Tagged , , |

Adobe Products and Upgrades

If you are planning on upgrading or purchasing any Adobe Software please use my products and discounts page to click through for your purchase.  As always, your support is most appreciated.

Posted in Photography

Cape Cod on Sunday

On the last day we were fortunate to get some sun.  There was no opportunity for sunrise images as the fog had not lifted.  After a brief classroom session we went to the Audubon Sanctuary in Wellfleet.  This tree caught my eye.  A few layer modifications and NiK Color Efex 4 to give it a border.

Spring - a visual impression

Posted in 7D, Photography, Software, Workshops Tagged , , |