the First Thing about Light: a workshop/playshop

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Everyone now has a quite amazing camera of some kind with them at all times. That cellphone camera in your pocket is Smart! (in more ways than one). We use them to remember, and we use them to show what we’ve seen. Making an image that shows how we felt in a profound or fun moment depends on how we use the light.

This coming Saturday, November 30, I will lead a workshop designed to accomplish a couple of things:

A) Tapping into what you do know.

People make intelligent use of light often, already, but when it comes to making a photo, new camera users seem to have stored that ability in  every mental “compartment” but  photography.

B) “Love the Light You’re With”

Compounding that, there’s the notion that to lift a photograph above mediocrity requires “professional”,

photography-only lighting gear. Most of my best photos of  my cats, over the years, have been made with window light.

[pro-player repeat=’true’ autostart=’true’ type=’video’]http://waynewarp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Chai-by-Window-Light.mov[/pro-player]

 

How does this workshop help you use lighting better?

(So glad you asked)

When you know what light does, and can see how it plays in the world around you, it’s MUCH easier to create the look you want with the lighting gear you have at hand, and to know what kind of gear you may want for transforming existing scenes with the light you envision.

 

Using studio lighting, I was able to create a softer kind of light, to help make the food look appetizing. How might different lighting have made it look more rustic? or romantic? or maybe even disgusting?
Using studio lighting, I was able to create a softer kind of light, to help make the food look appetizing. How might different lighting have made it look more rustic? or romantic? or maybe even disgusting?

 

Here, I used light for two different looks.On top, i wanted to highlight the catepillar-eaten seed pod, more than anything else.On bottom, I like the airy, floaty feel of blowing out the background, by overlighting the backdrop.

 

 

Becoming intimately familiar with light, the ideas occur to me more  readily, than they did when I was trying to “reason” my way to good lighting (i.e. without using my eyes and feelings).

My personal conclusion is that learning to see light and it’s character, qualities, possibilities put the “cart” of making the image appropriately behind the “steed” of inspiration and direct seeing.

As Always, Play On.

If  you’d like to take Your relationship with Light to the next level, contact me, or go to my Google+ Event

The day will begin at the Longview Center (also the home of Unity Church of the Triangle), in downtown Raleigh, NC. We will get grounded, together, on why we’re each drawn to use lighting better, and will include an experiential awareness process to remember what we know about light, to date.
Next, with a very specific assignment in mind, we’ll go out on a photowalk, and begin to blow open our seeing.
After a lunch pause, we’ll return to the classroom, for reviewing our images together. This is when much of the real growing begins.
Before adjourning, a one-on-one review will be scheduled for about a week later, to see how we’ve integrated our new relationship with our pictures has played, and take a moment to consider what’s next.

The course fee is $87. Seats are limited, but you can secure yours by pre-paying via Paypal.com, using my email address: whynotbe@cheerful.com

 

 

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Wayne Upchurch

For years, as a “professional ogler” (a newspaper staff photographer), I simultaneously explored photography as craft/process/medium in its own right. The photojournalism work –credentials and mindset– got me into (and out of) places I would certainly never have had access to on my own. I was also practicing the discipline of getting a picture where there didn’t appear to be one and getting it Finished in a timely manner, to professional standards. I also learned to create imminently readable images despite poor reproduction in a small size. Though it took me several years to get this, the value of making photos that illustrated something already laid out in the story was suddenly Not Enough, and I began to make assignment pictures that added dimensions not already in the writing, or better Yet, raised questions so that the reader would go to the story for more answers. Having gained more than dreamt of, when starting out, I left to pursue my own personal photography, mounting exhibits along the way. I also worked with commercial photographer friends doing studio product photography, and making headshots for actors. Later, I also helmed a Public Radio “spacemusic” program, and acted in a Wilmington, NC drama company. I put the cameras away for a few years, to finish shedding the habit of self-limiting my identity as just “Photographer”, and can now pursue personal pleasure and expression through the freedom that digital imaging offers. Sharing photos on Flickr and participating locally in meetups and outings has renewed a passion for making new images and for sharing the process with others. For some time, I’ve found myself writing detailed comments on other people’s photos, as well as thoughts and pet ideas about photography, in general.

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