New Orleans Lightroom Workflow Workshop
Lecturing at Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans

Lecturing at Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans

For those of you attending the Pictage Partner Conference in  New Orleans on November 3-5, come one day early and sign up for the Lightroom Workflow Workshop (monday, November 2nd from 9 am to 5 pm).  We are holing the workshop in the same hotel as the Pictage Conference, so it couldn’t be more convenient.

I am also speaking at the Pictage Conference at 10 am on Wednesday the 4th on the photographer’s eye.  Come listen.  I promise to entertain!

Photographers – Pictage Partner Conference is going to Sell Out!

If you are a photographer, take note of the Pictage User Conference in New Orleans.  I’m going to be speaking there on Wednesday, November 4th.  This is going to be a great conference, but it is going to sell out.  If you want to come, you best get online and sign up now!

Also, I will be doing a Lightroom Workflow Workshop on Monday the 2nd of November, so come a day early and learn how to turn your workflow around!  Sign up now for both Partner Conference and for my Lightroom Workflow Workshop now.  Seats are going to sell out fast!

I can’t wait to see you all there.

The San Francisco Lightroom Workshop is Sold Out

I am pleased that so many people are taking advantage of the opportunity to come to my Lightroom Workflow Workshop in San Francisco.  The workshop is SOLD OUT.  Should be a great crowd and everyone will walk away with a new way of looking at their images and their post production workflow.  If you are thinking about taking the workshop in a city near you, you need to sign up now, don’t be left out.

The San Francisco workshop is being hosted by liveBooks, my web portfolio creator.  They are hands down, the best in the business.  If you haven’t been to their web site, you need to go.  Not only do they make great web sites, they also have great learning resources for professional photographers including informative blog posts, webinars, video interviews and articles.  Don’t miss out.  Go to liveBooks and check it out.

Lecturing at Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans

Great news!  I will be lecturing at the Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans this November.  The topic of my lecture is one of my favorite to give: The Photographer’s Eye.  I have given this lecture two times this year, one in Hong Kong and the other in Phoenix.  It is also the basis for an entire semester course I teach to college students.  It is an entertaining and inspiring lecture on the unique attributes of the photographer’s art form.  If you are coming to partner conference in New Orleans, come join me and get inspired.

There will be a lot of great speakers at the conference, including my friends: Dane SandersMelissa JillJay GoldmanJared Bauman, & Jeff & Erin Youngren.

Lecturing at Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans

Join me at Pictage Partner Conference in New Orleans, November, 2009.

I am teaching a WPPI Master Class in Vegas, March 2010

It is now official, I will be teaching a WPPI Master Class in Vegas this spring.  The name of the class is: The Ultimate Lightroom Workflow Experience.  It will be held on March 10th, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm.  If you can’t make it to one of my workshops this fall, and are coming to WPPI, this is a good opportunity to learn more about streamlining your workflow.  I am looking forward to this experience.  No doubt you can also catch me on the trade floor at my sponsors’ booths: Pictage, Blurb, GraphiStudio, Triple Scoop Music and liveBooks.

Photos from My Lecture in Hong Kong

I received an email from Thomas Lee in Hong Kong who posted a review of my lecture in Hong Kong with a number of photographs of me lecturing there. He has given me permission to post them here, but just for fun, click through and see the review of my photography lecture on this Chinese website. It will be much more interesting to those who can read Chinese.

Jared Platt Lecturing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Jared Platt Lecturing at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

It was such a pleasure to do the lecture and they even gave me an award.  I was kind of hoping for an honorary degree in Astrophysics from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  That would have been an impressive thing to hang on the wall.  Plus that’s the only way I will ever get a degree in Astrophysics.  So my hopes for honors and achievement in that field of study, for the time being, have been dashed, but I will preserver.

Jared Platt receiving an award from the Alumni Association of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Jared Platt receiving an award from the Alumni Association of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

We shot a wedding there in Hong Kong the day after the lecture.  Thomas Lee was there with his camera on me and the wedding.  It was an interesting experiecne bacause there were at least five people professional camera equipment, shooting along side me at the wedding.  All of them were friends of the Bride.  I’ll be posting the wedding images soon.  Come back tomorrow for an interesting discussion on that.

Jared Platt Photographing a Wedding in China

Jared Platt Photographing a Wedding in China

Thomas Lee does not have a web site to which I can direct you, but I would like to thank him and all the other fun photo enthusiasts I met while in Hong Kong. I look forward to seeing you all again in the near future.

My Lightroom Workshops are Almost Here
Learn how to use Adobe Lightroom and to speed up your post photography workflow.

Learn how to use Adobe Lightroom and to speed up your post photography workflow.

The Lightrooom Workshop Tour

August 10th is just around the corner and that is the date I kick off my Lightroom Workflow Workshop Tour.  I will start in Las Vegas on the 10th, then I’m off to Salt Lake City, Denver, Tucson, Phoenix, San Diego, Newport Beach, LA, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.  Wow, all that in a month.  It will be a whirlwind, but I am looking forward to it.  Then I get home just in time to head to the north east and hit places like New York, Boston, Washington and more.  Then it’s on to Texas, Louisiana (where I will be speaking at the Pictage Partner Conference) and then to Florida.  Sign up today for a workshop near you.  I look forward to seeing everyone on tour.

liveBooks Webinar on Tuesday, July 14 at 11:00 am.

If you are interested in Lightroom and workflow and want to get a sneak peak at some of the things you will be learning at the workshops, go to liveBooks today.  I am holding a webinar online there on Tuesday, the 14th of July, but you have to sign up before the webinar starts.  So go there today and sign up.

Lecture in Hong Kong

While we were in Hong Kong, I was asked to lecture on photography to a group at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.  I titled my presentation, “The Photographer’s Eye,” in reference to John Szarkowski’s classic book by the same name.  The book is primarily a book of photographs, but with small discussion on the elements of design which are uniquely critical in the act of making a photograph.  Because photography, unlike other image making processes is not based on synthesis, but rather on selection, the process requires a completely different visual language.  Unlike a painter, who constructs his image by adding and rearranging elements, the photographer (at a basic level) observes what is, and by way of mental and emotional process selects a subject, chooses a frame, chooses a composition by means of her vantage point, waits for the proper moment and then “takes” the picture.

Jared Platt lecturing on Photography at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jared Platt lecturing on Photography at the Chinese University of Hong Kong

In Szarkowski’s book, he discusses five visual concepts that make up the act of photography’s “visual language” and displays illustrative examples.  In my lecture I showed samples of my work and discussed the same concepts as they relate to my methods and mental process as I am making images in the camera and as I am editing them in the computer.

The process of photography is based in set of choices that are, as Szarkowski says, “imposed on the photographer.”  These choices are based in a set of five concepts.  Each one of these five is critical on its own and in connection with the other five to the taking of a superior image.  The five areas are as follows: The Thing Itself, The Detail, The Frame, Time and Vantage Point.  Inherent in each of the five areas is a set of constraints placed on the photographer based on the nature of the final image.  For instance, the way that time is expressed in a photograph is unique to photography alone.  A photographer’s choice of shutter speed will determine weather the photograph expresses the passage of time in blurs and movement, or by freezing the subject in motion, describe a particular moment in time.  Likewise, each decision the photographer makes at the camera in answer to the constraints placed on her will dictate the final outcome of the message of the photograph.

It is in understanding the visual language that we use as photographers that we master our ability to comunicate the feelings, emotions and facts we wish to present to our audience.  Glossing over any one of the five concepts that Szarkowski presented in 1964 as obvious or too simple would be a mistake.  It is often a lack of mastery of the simple things that means the difference between average and superior skill.

I suggest that any photographer, seasoned or amateur, look for a copy of John Szarkowski’s book, The Photographers Eye (it is generally out of print, so you have to find it used), and study it as your photography Bible.  It has been mine from day one.  Practice thinking of these concepts on a daily basis as you practice.  These simple ideas are the backbone of your chosen medium.

Below, I have presented a few recent photographs which demonstrate each of the five concepts.

The Thing Itself: More so than any other image making process, the photograph produces a tangible presence of reality.  As a result, we believe more readily the facts that are presented to us.  We believe that the place and the people really exist.  We believe that somehow the lens is impartial and tells the truth about the thing itself, and because we believe it is true, the thing itself becomes all that much more important in a photograph, more so than in any other picture making process, like a painting, for example.

The Thing Itself: More so than any other image making process, the photograph produces a "tangible presence of reality." As a result, we believe more readily the facts that are presented to us. We believe that the place and the people really exist. We believe that somehow the lens is impartial and tells the truth about the thing itself, and because we believe it is true, the thing itself becomes all that much more important in a photograph, more so than in any other picture making process, like a painting, for example.

The Detail: The photograph's ability to show the detail in exactness, to describe perfectly the small minutia in less than a second gives the photographer the ability to show things that were otherwise "too ordinary to paint." Because of this ability to turn the camera on the details, we are free to explore, to symbolize with the mundane with relatively no cost of time or effort.

The Frame: Inherent to every photograph is the frame.  The photographer cannot escape it, he is constrained by it and must choose what to include and what he will exclude from the frame.  This window to the world, makes photography a subtractive art.  The photographer creates his art in an instant by choosing a given frame and removing it forever from its context.   Furthermore the frame continually intersects and dissects the lines and elements within the frame and as a result, the frame itself becomes an active part of the photographers image.  All of this occurs in every image in a fraction of a second, making the discussions the photographer makes relative to the frame all that much more crucial.

The Frame: Inherent to every photograph is the frame. The photographer cannot escape it, he is constrained by it and must choose what to include and what he will exclude from the frame. This window to the world, makes photography a subtractive art. The photographer creates his art in an instant by choosing a given frame and removing it forever from its context. Furthermore the frame continually intersects and dissects the lines and elements within the frame and as a result, the frame itself becomes an active part of the photographer's image. All of this occurs in every image in a fraction of a second, making the discussions the photographer makes relative to the frame all that much more crucial.

Time:  The camera boasts the unique ability to see and describe with complete accuracy, what they eye can never see.  The camera can freeze a bullets flight through an apple as easily as it can present the the movement of a car from point a to point b and all stages in-between in one continuous blur.  Only after the camera did painters begin to see the possibilities of blur and motion in their works of art.  Photography opened up, quite by accident, the human mind to the possibilities of visually describing the flux of time.  In addition to this scientific ability to record time, the photographer is tasked with the discovery of that segment of time that Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment.  This is the moment that the photographer must anticipate.  He must prepare himself for it, arrange his position and watch for that moment when all of the elements in his viewfinder come together in a harmonious design that for only one small moment has become a picture.  And then, it is gone.

Time: The camera boasts the unique ability to see and describe with complete accuracy, what the eye can never see. The camera can freeze a bullet's flight through an apple as easily as it can present the the movement of a car from point a to point b and all stages in-between in one continuous blur. Only after the camera did painters begin to see the possibilities of blur and motion in their works of art. Photography opened up, quite by accident, the human mind to the possibilities of visually describing the flux of time. In addition to this scientific ability to record time, the photographer is tasked with the "discovery of that segment of time that Cartier-Bresson called the decisive moment." This is the moment that the photographer must anticipate. He must prepare himself for it, arrange his position and watch for that moment when all of the elements in his viewfinder come together in a harmonious design that for only one small moment has become a picture. And then, it is gone.

Vantage Point:  For the most part, the photographer can not move her subject, but must move the camera.  Unlike a painter who can conceive of an image where the tree is really on the left, rather than on the right, the photographer, must physically move herself to change the position of the tree and thereby change the relative positions and angles of all other elements within her frame.  It is this constraint on the photographer that forces her into a constantly changing world or perspectives, angles and spacial relationships which are the basis for her images.  And all of these elements and relationships, must be assessed in an instant as the scene unfolds before her.  Somehow, in all of the myriad of subtle changes the photographer makes, she is able to reveal not only the clarity, but the obscurity of things.

Vantage Point: For the most part, the photographer can not move her subject, but must move the camera. Unlike a painter who can conceive of an image where the tree is really on the left, rather than on the right, the photographer, must physically move herself to change the position of the tree and thereby change the relative positions and angles of all other elements within her frame. It is this constraint on the photographer that forces her into a constantly changing world or perspectives, angles and spacial relationships which are the basis for her images. And all of these elements and relationships, must be assessed in an instant as the scene unfolds before her. Somehow, in all of the myriad of subtle changes the photographer makes, she is able to "reveal not only the clarity, but the obscurity of things."

An Assignment:

I will issue an assignment to all who are willing to take the challenge.  You can accomplish this assignment with any camera, even a disposable camera.  And this is equally valid an assignment to the amateur and professional alike.  As a pro, you are not above such assignments.

Start with PERSPECTIVE.  Take your camera out with a fixed lens.  If you only have a zoom lens, choose a mm setting, like 50mm and tape the lens to that length.  The idea is to force yourself to move rather than get lazy and just zoom in.  Go out, turn your camera on a program setting that will keep you from having to think about anything but perspective.  We want to focus on one simple concept and nothing more.  Now, take photographs.  But don’t walk down the street like you would a cafeteria and take one shot of this and one shot of that.  Rather, find something interesting and stay with that subject for a long period of time, if you are on a film camera, stay with the subject for an entire roll of film, on a digital, stay with it until you have at least 30 images or more of the same subject.  Move around the subject, get in closer, or step back from it.  If it is a landscape, you may have to hike a few miles to get in closer (assuming your subject is the mountain, or the lake).  As you move around your subject, above it, below it, you may find that you are distracted by something new that is far more interesting than your initial subject, go ahead and turn your attention to the new subject and do not return to the old subject, unless called to do so by an overwhelming urge.  This is the beauty of the exercise, you may have never have found the new subject if you had stayed on the edge of the road with your zoom lens, snapped a couple photos of the barn in the field and then driven on to the next subject.  It is only when you are forced to change your perspective that new and more interesting visual avenues open themselves up to you.  Keep working each new avenue until you have either exhausted it, or found another avenue to pursue and stay on this challenge until you have exhausted your film, cards or time.  Do not just quit due to boredom, keep working until you find something.

Now, go home and review your images and while you do ask yourself hard questions.  Why did this angle work while this one did not.  Don’t just simply look for the good images and disregard the rest, you are learning here.  Look at your images in a grid view or on a light table, so you can review them all at once and watch the natural progression of your visual thought process.  You will notice trends in the way you think and react to various visual stimulation.  I can tell a great deal about a person from looking at their unedited contact sheets and were I a doctor, could diagnose and prescribe Ritalin for many photographers.

No need to turn in your assignments to me.  You are your own best teacher.  But tune in later for more assignments.

Conclusion:

I highly suggest that you look for an get a copy of the book, “The Photographer’s Eye.”  It has been a great learning and reference resource for me as I have studied and practiced the art of photography.  If you can not find it, keep coming back to the blog and we will not doubt, discuss the topics again in the future.  Also, look for my workshops and lectures in your area in the near future by going to Jared Platt Workshops.