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photographic workshops

Perfect Printing Photography Workshop part 2

November 1st, 2010

Phew, what a weekend!

The Perfect Printing photography workshop concluded last night, after 2 days of intensive hands on digital printing and workflow down in lovely Margaret River.

Greg making a point

I would like to thank all the participants for making the course such a success, and an extra special thankyou to Trevor from Team Digital, who came down for the Saturday with a whole car load of toys, including Eizo Screens, screen calibrators, a awesome Epson 3880 printer, a whole selection of new Cancon paper and canvas to try, a Gigapan and the Phase One.  He certainly worked hard for his lunch that day with a whole room full of  enthusiastic participants firing hard questions his way.

Screen Profiling with Trevor

There was a wide range of experience levels within the course, and Greg and I tried to ensure we aimed our talks so everybody got something out of them. We then modified the planned presentations according to the discussions from the day before and the most common questions being asked, there was even a couple of impromptu info sessions to ensure everyone understood the concepts behind the topics, and a couple of bonus discussions on Photoshop tweaks and tricks.

Me talking with my hands

I do hope everyone enjoyed themselves and found this 3 day printing workshop fulfilling and useful,  any feedback from course participants would be most welcome right here on the blog, so dont be shy!

Perfect Printing Photography Workshop Part 1

October 27th, 2010

The first day of the Perfect Printing photography workshop for 2010 was last Sunday at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club,  it was the most concentrated day of the three, packed with explanations and printing terminology definitions.  There were a few confused looks during the talks, especially during my presentations on colour management theory (what the %#$@ is a Rendering Intent?), but most of those had changed to comprehension by the end.

The test of all of this will come  next weekend at Margaret River when the second component will be run;  it will be more relaxed and more fun with everyone working on their own images and making prints on the Epson 3880 printer, supplied by Team Digital.  We will soon find out who has done their colour management homework…

Photographic Workshops and Tours – the pains of Public Speaking

September 20th, 2010

I spent the day today, between talking to clients, working on my presentations for the next photographic workshop, Perfect Printing.  Today i was writing up the notes for the colour management part of the course, and i found myself just writing and writing and writing… i kept thinking, this is way too much,  this talk is only supposed to last an hour or so and i’m going to go on all day!

Its amazing how teaching something to others can really clarify it in your own mind, i mean, colour management, the words that can strike fear into the hearts of the  bravest photographer, is something that i learned by osmosis over many years of trial and error.  Reading a bit here a bit there, getting crazy results and trying to figure out why, talking to somebody in passing and picking up a tip or two, reading a bit more.  Now i’m trying to collate all these years of experiences and condense them down into a palatable not too boring talk of an hour or so… because this is, after all, just one component of the 3 day photographic workshop about printing.

It seems the art is not so much about what to put in, but what to leave out, thats what i mean by clarifying, its forcing me to organise my thoughts on something that i’ve never tried to explain to anyone before and really glean out the important bits.  Its actually a fantastic process, and one i am enjoying very much.

This is only my second full photographic workshop (teaching, that is), so it’s still a very new experience for me and  has surprised me just how much fun it can be.  Its taken me many years to feel that i have reached a standard high enough to be able to teach anything to others, and the great thing is that it really is a two way process,  i am learning about as much again in return, both in the preparation, and in the presentation.

It is said that its good to face your fears.  One of my fears has always been public speaking, i don’t shoot wilderness landscapes for nothing you know, no crowds to direct out there!  At the last workshop just before my first presentation i felt like i was going to die and running away seemed like an excellent alternative option.  Just me in front of 30 odd people… it felt like 30,000.  Suddenly it all felt very real, and i was $hitting myself!

Well, i got the first word out, then the second and the the third, and i didn’t die.  by the time i got to the third or fourth sentence i felt my heart slow down a little and i could almost breath again… Then i began enjoying myself.  People actually laughed at my jokes (They were jokes about me, always the best topic for jokes i reckon, can’t hurt anybodies feelings that way), and they seemed to be interested in what i had to say!  It was a great experience and my one hour talk went on for two and a half hours.

I cant really say I’m totally over my fear of public speaking, i reckon i’ll still get the urge to run away. Plus  now i’ve got the extra challenge of  trying to make Colour Management sound interesting and exotic!  Got to think up some new jokes… lots of them…

Perfect Printing Photography Workshop

September 8th, 2010

I spent the day playing with my Epson 9900 large format printer… no, honestly, I was working… What an awesome piece of technology it is.  I was thinking of all those years ago when I used to work in the dark room printing black and white images for hours and hours on end.  Enlargers, negative holders, paper processors, drying cabinets and chemicals, chemicals, chemicals.  I’m pretty sure I used to stink of fixer all the time, no wonder nobody wanted to sit next to me!

I used to love printing black and white images like that.  I would make my own concocted negative developers that would mature like a fine wine over many months, producing beautiful smooth tonal results, playing around with water baths and dilutions at different temperatures to slow down or speed up development to modify the resulting negative still further.

Often I would be running two enlargers at once, concurrently printing two different images, exposing one, dodging and burning with my  hands or small pieces of cardboard to get the exposure just right, then dropping it in the dilute developer tray to soak while moving onto the second negative and repeating the process…  Everything was an experiment, sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, i’ve still got boxes and boxes of those meticulously printed images at home, great experience and great memories.  Do I miss it?  No.

I still do exactly the same thing now, just with a Mac Pro computer (with lots and lots of RAM!) and the Epson 9900 large format printer.  Oh, and without the chemical stink, which is a bonus for the environment and my friends.

So, if any of this sounds good to you, you should come along to the latest photography workshop I’m doing with Greg Hocking, Perfect Printing, this October.  There will be no chemicals and no stink, but there will be loads of invaluable information and tips learned from a combined knowledge gained in over 35 years of photographic printing on how to make your prints perfect, every time.  To read more click this link… about the upcoming Perfect Printing Photography Workshop, there are still a few places left.

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