We’ll be going back to Palm Springs later this week, but I wanted to get these links out there today in case anyone wants to sign up for tomorrow’s CreativeLIVE course (see below).
I’m on a bit of a crusade at the moment to take my photography to the next level. I’m feeling very photographically frustrated as all I can see when I process my photos are the flaws, and other peoples’ work still seems so much better than mine.
I’m not even quite sure why I want to get good – I have no aspirations to be a professional photographer – but it’s going to be useful for mirrormirror photography if nothing else, and it should make the photos on the blog a bit prettier.
The first thing I’ve been doing is listening in to CreativeLIVE’s course on the Fundamentals of Digital Photography, taught by John Greengo. The course is given as as a 10 week series of weekly video lectures and the best thing about it is that it’s FREE, as long as you tune in to watch the video at the appointed time. It’s also interactive, with questions taken via the website and Twitter and there is the opportunity to buy all the videos so you can refer to them when it’s convenient.
The course so far has been a bit waffly – though it was bound to be frustrating when I’m sitting watching them at 11 am on a Wednesday surround by stacks things To Do – but every so often Greengo will come out with a really useful nugget of information that makes the investment in time worthwhile. It would probably be even more useful for someone who’s just starting with their SLR as he really does get down to basics. Week Three is tomorrow (Weds 21st), so I’m also hoping that now we’ve got all the introductory stuff out of the way, there’ll be lots of real meat going forward. Overall I do highly recommend this, especially as it’s FREE. (CreativeLIVE’s other courses also look like they could be worthwhile – might even sign up for the watercolour one).
Last Saturday I also attended a workshop on Natural Food Styling and Photography with Seattle-based photographer Lara Ferroni. The workshops cost around $100 each but with only six people attending and the opportunity to work in Lara’s amazing new downtown Seattle studio space Spare Room they are worth their weight in gold.
Lara showed us lots of good stuff about manipulating lighting, ideas on composition and clever food styling tricks and it was fun to choose our own props from her prop-laden shelves to practise styling our own shoots. The above shot is of a wonderful rhubarb crostino that Lara prepared (waiting to get hold of the recipe for that, it tasted as good as it looked). I can’t wait to start using some of the things I learned going forward (the shots for flapjack recipe were done before I’d done the course).
I’m also going to be doing her workshop in Low Light Food Photography on May 17th if anyone wants to meet up there. Lara also writes a really useful blog about food styling and photography called Still Life With…
Finally the world and his wife has been raving about the new Hipstamatic app for the iPhone. My very first camera was a little Kodak Instamatic which I loved to pieces. I haven’t played with the app much yet, but I’m loving it so far.
UPDATE: Just want to make clear that the CreativeLIVE course is based in Seattle but available to watch wherever you are in the world. Just make sure you tune in at the right time for your time zone (you can calculate that on their website).
The Food Styling workshops are located in Seattle, so mostly for local peeps (though for the last one someone had driven down from Vancouver to attend).