Prague, Czech Republic (Czechia). Group of 6 people, 3 days. An introduction to my fine art landscape photography and Photoshop retouching workflow. Prague, Czechia workshops do require 6 people to run. – So, please email me if you are interested in attending. Please read the Main Photography Holidays Page for terms & conditions. Below is a brief summary of the structure and main subjects the workshop covers. Theories are taught in short sessions with the emphasis on spending as much time as possible outdoors, illustrating the theories on location taking photographs.
The emphasis of the first day is technical – How to capture all the exposures we need to create the final photograph and how to capture those exposures to the highest possible quality for maximum tone, detail and sharpness; all in a logical order. First, we must understand how the camera alters the tones we see. I do this by explaining the camera response curve; a graph which I will bring with me. This graph will illustrate how the camera destroys all the shadow tones and adds noise yet enhances highlight separation. At the camera stage, the key to understanding exposure, is understanding the camera’s histogram, which I also cover. Armed with these theories, we turn to the camera for their practical application. – How to use this knowledge and create beautiful rich exposures, free of noise that also deals with high contrast situations without the need of HDR software; so, we retain a natural look in our photographs. Finally, an explanation of why brightening shadows in Photoshop does not give the same quality as exposure in the camera.
Having covered how to expose individual frames for maximum quality, we will now turn to the next logical step: How to create a logical plan of action for shooting, so we capture all the exposures required for Photoshop retouching. A system of breaking down the photograph into three exposure components. The assets needed to construct our final photograph – the base image, technical assets and artistic assets. A subject that goes together with explaining the importance of using a tripod and cable release; to capture exposures that will all align in Photoshop. How using this technique opens a whole new world for quality and creativity. – The emphasis today is on learning how and what to shoot from the camera and technical perspective, so you learn the fundamentals to create quality. If you do not get these fundamentals correct at the camera, you start with poor-quality material and will not create a quality print.
Today we move away from the technical issues and look at aesthetic issues like light, mood, drama and composition. How to compose for strong images with five basic principles covered. First: “A photograph with no idea, is like a book without a story”. I explain why taking hundreds of different angles, then editing for the best one later – does not work. We must have a clear idea at the camera of what we want the photograph to say; then invest our time in one good photograph. Second: “The Theater Stage” analogy as explained in my Photography Previsualization Tutorial; nominate the main hero of your photograph. Third: Discuss how everything in the photograph works for or against the image; there is no neutral content. Fourth: How light direction is critical in controlling the three-dimensional quality of form and, Fifth: Discuss how to factor in the Photoshop transformations and visualize the scene as a final photograph.
The last day is kept less structured and freer. Having covered “both sides of the coin”- the technical and aesthetic issues as theory and practical on previous days, the idea today is two-fold. First, we practice the complete workflow as a smooth process from start to finish on a location; this allows us to iron out any remaining problems, questions, weak areas or confusions. We take a group consensus on what subject we photograph the night before, so we can consider the best time for light and weather conditions. Second, the day allows for more personal one-to-one time, helping you individually with any questions or weak areas; revisiting technical or aesthetic subjects we have covered, but feel you need more personal help with. Also, areas of more individual interest such as how to create panoramic photography. We can also review your portfolio images, where I can then offer my opinion and advice. The essential element is everyone leaves the workshop with new knowledge and advice that makes you a better photographer.
The Photoshop content will be held as a group in the hotel I stay. Sessions will last about an hour and cover two main areas. First, an introduction to Photoshop as software, covering basic Photoshop principles of layers, groups, masking and blending modes. So everyone has a common, working knowledge of Photoshop. Second, picture editing followed by technical subjects like sharpening, aligning and blending or masking multiple images together for joining all of the bracketed exposures. Aesthetic topics like enhancing the light, mood, drama, texture, spatial depth to create a three-dimensional quality. Every major Photoshop step that I use to create the technically perfect then artistically creative look of my fine art photography, will be discussed, demonstrated then practiced but within a limited time frame that does not allow for the in-depth details. This gives you enough knowledge of my complete process from camera to print to use as a foundation for your further study when you return home but is NOT a detailed Photoshop workshop.