Thursday’s Random Photography Post

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich, Off Road Adventures, Photography, RLC Design 2 Comments

Today’s post is going to be a super random one covering several topics. So, apologies up front! 🙂

White Pocket this weekend

Ah, the next White Pocket trip is here.  I’m not planning any other White Pocket trips until this fall.  So I’m hoping to come away with some more amazing scenes that I’ve been thinking about for the past year.  Yes, that’s right, in order to get what I want I sometimes have to keep coming back.

Do you know how much luck is involved in a good landscape shot?  Weather, time of day, location, time of year…….it all plays in.  And I’ve been watching the weather closely to have an idea of what we might be in for this weekend.  I think this is going to be a great weekend!

If you haven’t noticed, there has not been much in the way of landscape photography here.  Why?  Because I’m working on other things.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t like landscape any longer.  It means I’ve been learning a ton of new stuff.  But this weekend will find me doing my favorite type of work.  Best part?  All the learning I’ve been doing will help with what I do this weekend.  Watch next week to see what gets captured.

Learning new things

At the start of the new year I made myself a promise regarding my photography.  That promise was simple.

Learn more.

And that’s what I’ve been doing.  New photo techniques, working with speedlites, photographing people, shooting food, doing more commercial work, and the list goes on.  The landscapes have been rare here this year when you consider the other stuff that’s been getting posted.  The growth has been a lot of work, and I’m still working on it, but I think that the education is working.  So, let’s see what’s gone on this year.

  • Sweet Nasty Photoshoot.  For my first group shooting effort with portable speedlites I’d say things came off well.  Was it as good as it could be?  No, I can do better now I’m sure.  What were the issues?  No assistant, so I was moving lights, setting up, fine tuning, all on my own.  Next time, need some help.  We were short on time, although I’d allocated 6 hours, we only had 2.5 hours.  Finally, I was still fine tuning my work with Speelites.
  • Launched several new workshops:  The HDR workflow series has been a rousing success.  100% happy participants.  They’ve all e-mailed, called, etc.  And across the board, very satisfied participants.  While I’ve taught tech before, it was to engineers about engineering.  It was economics to economics students.  But photography and post processing?  Yup, we can do it!  The workshops will grow, and the teaching style will continue to improve.
  • Airstream Shoots:  These have been fun.  Playing with speedlites, Airstreams, and people modeling.  There will be more of these, and in new locations.  You know, go somewhere cool and do a shoot.  Maybe we can even mix in some landscape work.
  • The recent stealth photo shoot:  Ah yes, the most recent location shoot was too much fun!  You’ll have to wait to see the results.

On the last note I have a few comments.  The past “stealth shoot” was a blast.  We all had a great time for this impromptu shoot, and the best part was the client reaction.

“This looks like studio work…..” and “If I didn’t know that we had come here I’d think this was done in a studio.”  I heard that over and over again.  But the truth is we weren’t in a studio.  We were on a location fighting with harsh light, heavy shadows, dappled light (when we moved) and a variety of other lighting that made me think, “Oh, this is going to be a suck fest for sure,” when we first arrived.  When I say HARSH light I mean it.

But, I thought back to all I’ve been learning about this year and got the negative out of my head and looked for the positive.  Joe McNally’s classes, his book too, Scott Kelby’s classes, and a few other books that I’ve been reading.  I brought 3 speedlites with me, but decided on 2 only.  I played with gels, different places for light stands, the works.  It left me wishing I’d had someone to assist, but I worked it out on my own.  And in the end the positive feedback from looking with the clients on the 5D Mark II’s screen made my day.  Not only did we get some good stuff, we got good stuff that would need almost nothing in post production.

What a great feeling.  The experimentation is really paying off, and I can’t wait to share this round of photos with you in a few weeks.

Speaking of the learning process……Zack Arias has a great post again

Not that it’s surprising, but Zack Arias has another great post over on his site.  He always has great posts.  Now I will experience some envy and jealousy for a moment……..

Okay, all done with that now.

Zack does these critiques regularly that other photographers request.  He critiques their websites, the images, etc.  The whole idea is to help other photographers get recognized out there, improve their presentation, and think about what they present to potential clients.  It’s great stuff.  To be honest, I haven’t watched the last few critiques, something always interrupts me.  Those I’ve seen have always been great.

Well, a reader responded to a quick comment Zack made, and the response drove Zack to think about his beginnings, and where he is now.  I can’t explain the whole thing.  Go give it a read.

Also, if you’re not a regular follower of Zack, check out one of his new videos, “Sucksessful Commercial Photographer.”  It’s a good one, and it cracked me up.  Someday I’d like to be sucksessful too.

A few more random items

Finally we get to wrap up.  Well, we’re almost there.

For clients, friends, family…..I’ll be out of touch this weekend gang.  You know the whole Vermillion Cliffs thing.  No phone, no internet.  Just sand dunes and rocks.  Of course, the Spot Messenger will be on location, and the HAM radio too.  If you’re listening to repeaters near Page, AZ, keep a listen for N1ZZF.  🙂

While in White Pocket I’ll be testing out 2 bags from F-Stop.  Chris Marzonie was kind enough to loan me these packs that he’s been trying out (those Overland Journal guys get all the cool toys), and I’ll be giving them a whirl this weekend.

I’ll also work on getting material for a new podcast together while in White Pocket.  One more secret project has been working with the 5D and it’s video capabilities.  I’ve come a good distance in the learning process, so maybe we can finally get some Podcasts going again.

Last but not least, I’ll be putting together additional video for a DVD / Download video project.  The HDR / Lightroom Workflow workshop has been a hit.  And I’ve had many requests to put the class into video.  Now I know there are a lot of workflow workshops out there, but I also know, none are like what I do in our 2 day classes.  So, the start of a new big project is at hand!

That’s everything there is to write today.  Watch for new blog posts next week!

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