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Monday, August 08, 2011

Working with Flash

Model, Brooke Sebek, is not faking being cold,
but using Tungsten White balance and Honl CTO gel confirms it in this image...
Model: Olga Ellie Zaramboukis
Creative Photo Workshops held two Creative Flash Photography workshops (Part One) over the weekend. While this can be a difficult workshop in some ways, it can also be very rewarding - both for us as teachers and for our customers. The images our customers create and take home are dynamic, interesting and often ethereal.  Moreover, they are created from very ordinary circumstances, which is actually the case with all of our workshops to be honest. But there is something about alerting photographers to the power of flash that is very rewarding in terms of their creative and photographic empowerment.
Usually the day begins with most of our customers telling us that either they have no understanding of a flash they have bought and don't know how to use, that they simply hate flash, or that they only use it when they absolutely have to but don't know how to be creative with it at all. Our workshop changes all of those attitudes and difficulties. It begins with some simple but eye-opening on-camera flash techniques and then progresses to the off-camer flash stuff we all love.
I am very proud of what we teach at our flash workshop because it deals with the principles and returns our photographers to a day when there was no Nikon CLS, infrared TTL exposure or easy way out. We do the math, and we teach it as the best way to take control. If you haven't attended one of our Creative Flash Photography workshops yet, I would highly recommend them...even if I say so myself...:-)

Friday, August 05, 2011

Mackay Workshops, Aaaaye....

Model, Jana Bailey, at our Creative Flash Workshop in Mackay
Model, Rae Johnston dons a wedding dress for our
Creative Wedding Photography Workshop
Creative Photo Workshops loves to travel. We love to take our love for photography and bring it with us everywhere we go. The great thing about being in our business is that we get to do it for a living! Recently, Glynn, Tash and I found in ourselves in Mackay. Tash and I travelled to Mackay with our new friend and locquacious laughmaker, Tearah, a photographer from Blackwater where she was going to join us for even more workshops there. Glynn was flying in from Melbourne and off we would go.

I have to tell you that I was surprised with how quickly our workshops were filled. The wonderful bunch of photographers in Mackay were so pleased to have us there, and I also have to admit to a feeling of vindication after what we had heard went on in Blackwater. I really appreciated the photographers there in that small mining town who came to our workshops. Again, thank you so very much. You more than compensated for the other silly so and so's....

We ran five separate events in Mackay. Our Natural Light Portrait Workshop, Creative Flash Part One and Part Two and our Creative Wedding Photography workshop. On the Friday evening we ran our Film Noir event at the Mackay Heritage Railway, for which we are very grateful. Gangsters, Fedoras and Fog Machines. It was a great night.

I have to admit to absolutely loving what we do. In a nutshell, we came into a group of photographers, taught them some things, made some friends and got asked to come back to do more. Now, that is a great gig. I feel sorry for photographers who don't understand the joy it brings to us to be able to share, to enable, to empower people in their passion and their craft, to make new friends and to be remembered with affection for having done so. For that, I get paid. And there are photographers who are afraid of doing that? Wow. Incomprehensible. Sure, I aint drivin' no Maserati, but I am loving what I am doing. And I would prefer a more practical vehicle anyway...

Thank you Mackay photographers for making us so welcome. We look forward to coming back soon.
Model: Raylene Smith
Local legend, Paddy, poses in a pub door as part of our Natural Light Portrait Workshop...
Rae poses in the Queensland 'cold' for an off camera flash photograph...

Thursday, August 04, 2011

If the world needed an Enema

From our Natural Light Portrait Workshop, Blackwater QLD. Not bad for an Alpaca Shed as a location...

The lovely Megan Walker
A couple of weeks ago I recorded another episode of Shutters Inc with my good friend, fellow photographer and podcast host, Bruce Williams. In it I mentioned that I would be heading off to a place in Queensland called "Blackwater". When he asked "Where!!?" I told him to imagine a place where, if the world needed an enima, that is where they would put the tube. Blackwater, QLD. Hey, it was only a joke, ok?
Why was I going to Blackwater? Well, my wife and I had been invited to come to this mining town to represent Creative Photo Workshops and run workshops up there for the photographers who live in this 8000 strong town. While it is normally Glynn who accompanies me, my wife had been invited especially from the host of this invitation - our good friend Di Collins. Di and I met years ago when I first went to Rockhampton to run workshops there. But since then she has become good friends with Tash, and so the workshops were really only a front for her chance to catch up and giggle with my Mrs. But hey! What do I care? Any chance to roam the world and teach photography and I am there - especially when I can take my wife along and enjoy the crazy quietude of her lovely company.

What distressed me was that I had heard from people in the town that there had been some resistance to our workshops being held there. Apparently some fear arose among some photographers in town and I heard that some even went to the point of tearing down the posters that had been put up to advertise our events. If this is true - and I have no reason to believe that it isn't - then I am deeply saddened by that mentality. If there is one thing that we all need as photographers it is education. I have been shooting for over thirty years and I long to attend more seminars and workshops. My problem is that I am usually running them instead. But to so grossly object to an internationally welcomed team of photographers coming to your part of the world to run workshops because you are afraid that other photographers may learn something that you don't know is so small-minded it beggars belief.

The photographers who attended the workshops there were all lovely, and their spirit of sharing and gathering as fellow photographers was not one I would worry about at all! They were very interested in getting together, shooting and sharing ideas, catching up and having fun with their cameras. I can only say to those photographers whose reason for not attending was your small-minded objections to outsiders or your fear of others learning something you don't know, then you should have come to them yourselves. You would not only have learned a thing or two about photography, you would have been given a polite lecture about the greatness of sharing and the elevated level of thought that the more professional photographers have in this world - one of giving, sharing, teaching and encouraging.

I hope to return to Blackwater to run more workshops. The profit in it would be irrelevant. The message to those nay-sayers and persecutors would be everything. Thank you Di for being positive in the light of your opposition. Thank you for being strong. Thank you for making it possible for us to come and have some fun with you and your fellow photographers in Blackwater. I stayed there for days and didn't see any tube coming down from the sky. Hmmm, I must have been wrong.

From the second of our two Film Noir events in Blackwater. A local locomotive in a nearby park becomes an ideal location for this fabulous event

The Life, Times and Images of photographer, Shelton Muller

Images on this blog are copyright Shelton Muller