Saturday, July 31, 2010

Workshop Results

Here are my notes from the workshop! I had a blast!

Day 1:
-Must be totally flexible. I created 3 presentations. I only gave 1. I don't think people really wanted to hear me talk all day! :)
-Dedicated most of today towards shooting.
-I saw several different approaches to using my "one-light" that impressed me. Keeping well within 6 feet of the model (more like 3ft.) the beauty dish gridded produces a much softer light, one that isn't tremendously susceptible to blowing out highlights as long as you feather it.
-What is feathering? When you point the light directly at your model all the light reflects directly back into your lens thus producing hot spots. Angling the light sideways and off the subject allows the light to "skim" off the model and while darker, does not present the same glare for highlights.

Day 2:
-Sometimes seeing/shooting completely with ambient light is better than using a strobe.
-Pasadena City Hall has nice scenery for shooting
-You can't reflect much light when the sun is even marginally compromised by the slightest hight of wispy clouds
-Bring water when you shoot on location... even when you're in the city LOL :)
-I found a new corner in my studio that can be used for a set
-Catering for the different levels of photography while challenging is the only way to maximize the return on investment for workshop participants.

Some general notes not particular to either day but kind of important thematically:
-There's no wrong answer in photography. The most important thing is that you have a direction, purpose, intent and look to achieve that intent which leads too...
-Shooting purposefully. Don't rely on luck to get a good shot. Set your shot from the beginning with the lighting, relative positioning of the model, her range of poses, along with your perspective of shooting. Sure a lot of it is still dependent upon luck but you're going to increase your probability of getting lucky if you shoot with intent.

I really had a good time. We had a great group that each contributed to the workshop's success! Here's the image that I retouched live for the workshop today!

Kaley by LD Photography D3S/18-200mm AF-S DX VR 1/160th f/20 ISO 200 @52mm. B1600 in 40ยบ gridded beauty dish from camera upper left. Retouched by L U C I M A.


  1. Hey Charles, glad to hear your workshop went well!

    I love that image of Kaley you posted here and wish I could've seen you retouch it in person!

  2. Depressed now. Thanks.

    Wish that I could have been there, Charles. Next time, I promise.


  3. Hey Brian! Thanks! Yup, I retouched this image of Kaley in about 40-50 minutes. It was a little awkward because I had the MacBook Pro kind of high up at eye-level and performing my hotkey functions with my left hand at that height is uncomfortable. I didn't have the luxury of using my external display because it was being used to show what I was doing in Photoshop. So basically it was mirrored to the MBP display.

    LD shot this picture and did a great job on it. I flipped through his CF card and picked this one personally (I think I spent 4-5 minutes just picking this picture!). Kaley was amazing throughout the weekend!

    Are there things I didn't do? Yup, I didn't want to spend too much time harping on the little details that I usually fix because they drive me crazy. Fortunately, I can somewhat turn that OCD switch off long enough to get through the retouch for the sake of the workshop. The purpose was to really run through my thought processes, my habits, why I do what I do... kind of like a RetouchPro LIVE broadcast that I watch once in a while when they interview retouchers like Amy Dresser :)

    Greg! No problem, real life comes first! I'm stoked about the next workshop already! This one was awesome!!! :P

  4. Great workshop Charles. I learned a lot from you and everyone involved. Continued success.

  5. Hey Charles!

    Looks like your workshop was a smash hit :) Congrats!

  6. I was a blast,I really love every moment we did in workshop, and got t see how you guys were working... I' found a lot of things to try and practice on, the most important is to see the process of your thinking while you were shooting and retouching...thanks a lot , i have learn from everybody in the workshop.

  7. It was a pleasure to meet and work with you Natalie ;) We're always around... if you have any questions just respond here or via email or anything! :)