March 22, 2010

Photo Workshop - Results

If you ever get a chance to take a basic photo workshop with Kyle Cassidy, assisted by Kate McKinnon - grab the opportunity. The information was priceless, the creative energy was high and the setting in San Diego was beautiful. The only thing I would have liked was some sort of handout that summarized some of the more technical points. I was torn between writing things down and listening/absorbing information. Now I wish I had written more things down on paper.

I was working with my Nikon P5000 point-n-shoot camera. It has an optical view finder and you can add a macro lens to it. After learning how to use some of the manual features I don't think I need a macro lens for the work I want to do.

I also had this nifty new clamp-on monopod which does a lot better than a standard tripod. I can take photos straight down of samples without having the tripod legs in the way. It's made by Sharpics in San Diego.

45 years ago I used an old Argus camera and had to work with f-stops, aperture and light settings. Wonder where I lost that information over the years. This is a set of photos I took on the "M" (manual setting) on my camera in natural light. Just a few setting changes showed me the differences it made in my photos. I can see setting up to shoot samples, getting it just right and then doing all the photos the same.

Kate showed off an inexpensive soft box that could work when the sun wasn't out. However, diffused natural window light made these photos come out almost perfect without any help from Photoshop. The only difference in these two was holding up a white piece of paper to the left of the necklace to
bounce some light back and soften the shadows.

With what I learned, here are a couple of photos that I am quite happy with. I need to try a graduated gray background rather than the stark white one that I was using in the workshop.

What do you think? Are these photos good enough for a juried show or for publication?

San Diego Trip

The reason for this trip to San Diego was to attend a Photo Workshop. However, that's another blog post.

Thought that crossed my mind when we went through Dateland California ..... Is it double dating if you date a date grower in Dateland?

When I started traveling across the country nine years ago I didn't see many wind mills. Now it seems as if they crop up all over the place. I love seeing them and like the idea of silent power generation.

Ahhhh, Southern California .... It has a look, feel and smell of no other part of the U.S.A. I lived in California for over 10 years and there are a lot of found memories of the state.
Palm trees, eucalyptus trees, tile roofs and gorgeous flowers and plants are everywhere.

Mission Beach .... Somehow roller coasters mean beach to me.

We drove through the Imperial Valley Sand Dune Recreational area. They filmed Star Wars here. It's miles of huge sand dunes. miles of parked campers and thousands of thousands of dollars worth of 4-wheel, buzzy toys .....
If you stepped back, it reminded me of a large disturbed ant hill with these buzzy things scooting here, there and every where.

The high of the trip was in the mountains at 4,600 feet and the low of the trip was at the Salton Sea at -262 ft. The sign for this photo identified it as "The Yacht Club" ... I guess high flying real estate development didn't take off as they wanted it to.

There was much more that I wanted to see, but as I am still recovering from an illness I didn't feel up to a lot of sight seeing. I am sorry that I had to pass up window shopping around the Studio where the workshop was held .... art stores, bead store, 20's to 60's resale shops, boutiques and several used book stores. Oh well, maybe another time as I'd go back to San Diego again.

March 16, 2010

Photo Workshop

I try, but I'm generally unhappy with my beadwork photographs. So this weekend I'm headed to San Diego to take a photo workshop with Kate McKinnon & Kyle Cassidy. Hopefully I can pick up the necessary to use at least one of my cameras a whole lot better.
It'll have to be my Nikon point-n-shoot as the big studio camera got left buried in my piled high, mess of a NH Studio. I moved, put everything in the house there and promptly left for AZ. It's a wonder I managed to get even 75% of what normally travels with me into the car!
Maybe I can show you some better photos in a week.
Due to a couple of cancellations, there is room in both of the Workshops if anyone wants to do something this Friday or Sat./Sun. ........ Should be a good one.

March 1, 2010

It's finally done

"Bead Crochet Ropes" is now an eBook.
For the moment you can find it at Bead Patterns if you want to purchase the pdf download. There are still some physical copies out there in bead stores and I have a few copies left. However, I will not be re-printing the book and it will have to exist as an eBook into the future.

Now that the learning curve has gotten less steep, I can move on and try my hand with some new work in this format.