Saturday, June 4, 2011

Photo Center Northwest Creative Photography Seminar

I've spent the last 10 Wednesday evenings (40 hours) assisting Rosanne Olson in her Creative Seminar class at the Photo Center Northwest. This was a class for advanced students focusing on lighting, portraiture, and still life images.

Rosanne is a great teacher, passionate and dedicated to her students. And the students were all wonderful, too. A win-win situation for all, as my day job employer (Adobe) has a "dollars for doers" program where donates cash to the Photo Center, a 501(c)(3 organization, for every 10 hours I volunteer there.

We started the sessions off with teaching about still life with mixed lighting (strobe, hot lights, daylight). Then moved on to natural light portraits. Then mixed light portraits. We worked both indoors and outdoors (when we could, it seems like there was a major rain storm almost every Wednesday this past spring in Seattle).

In addition to assisting and taking part in the class conversations, I also took a few photos during one class when we had models come in to work with us. Here are some samples. For the studio photos I opted to use the modeling lamps from the strobes instead of the flash so as not to interfere too much with the students.

Small softbox, modeling lamp only (no strobe)
Small softbox, modeling lamp only
Medium softbox, modeling lamp only
Medium softbox, modeling lamp only
Window light

One of the models returned a couple of weeks later for a session on mixing on-camera flash with evening light. For this photo I had my flash mounted on the camera, but pointed it to my left where Meryl (student in the class) was holding a 2x3' piece of white foam-core to bounce the light onto the subject, Robert. The aim of this class was to use aperture to control the exposure on the subject and shutter speed to control the ambient/background exposure. See an old blog post on mixing strobe and daylight for more info.

Canon 550ex flash on camera, pointed towards the
left and bounced off a piece of white foam-core
Detail from the above photo where you can see
Meryl holding the foam-core in the catchlight
in Robert's eye. The white dot in the middle
of the eye is the on-camera flash
I'm planning to be back at PCNW this summer for Patricia Ridenour's Form and Figure Class.

All images in this post were taken with a Canon 5DmkII and a Canon 85mm f/1.8 lens.

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