The advanced workshop is a chance for us to reconnect with our old students, review what we learned the year before, and then push them ahead in their techniques and abilities. By the end of this three day intensive our students should be able to conceptualize a story, plan and execute the photography, edit their photos by tweaking them in Photoshop (according to the post-processing standards journalists adhere to), and output a slideshow essay of their images. They will also have the knowledge to prepare their work for any output requirements and can use the tools in Photoshop and Lightroom to color correct, dodge and burn, crop, and spot adjust images….that’s at least where we need to be by the end of today. Ready….GO!
We started this morning with a review of some more difficult lighting situations and how to compensate for them followed by a discussion about the elements of storytelling. Esha gave us a run down of the elements of a story, the purpose of an essay, and the essential shots in a photo essay. Then as a class, we pulled the best shots from yesterday into a single collection and began to build a mock slideshow. With Mike driving the computer and interjecting workflow instruction, the rest of the staff led by Wendy walked us through the process of editing and sequencing images into a story. We tried to add an image from each required category to support all of the element of a story: an establishing shot, details, environmental portraits, interaction, action, portraits, and a closing image. Then as a class we discussed the story we were trying to tell and identified any parts of the message that were missing. Each group then went to their computer and, with the help of their instructor, they began to do the same with their individual group stories.
After lunch, using the story mock-up we had made earlier, Mike ran the class through a lesson in post-processing images using the develop module in Lightroom. We learned how to adjust the tones of images, the exposure and contrast, correct for color (using white balance and color channel corrections), and how to crop and adjust for lens distortion. Then we moved into exporting slideshows from Lightroom as a movie. Following the lesson, the students headed back to their groups to begin correcting their images relating to their designated story for both color and tone.
At the end of the day, as a partial distraction, and an exercise in workflow, we gave the students an assignment. In one hour they had to go out and shoot an interesting image, download and edit, then export and post to the facebook page. It took them a bit longer than an hour to finish, but more importantly they got it done…which shows us that they now have a pretty solid understanding of the whole workflow process. The final test will be tomorrow night when they put together their slideshows and present them to the rest of the group!
Just before dinner, we were treated to two more slideshows as a last little kick of inspiration for the day. First, we watched our own Nick Souza’s show which was followed by a quick look at a project by Arno Minkkinen, a self-portrait photographer. Nick’s show was filled with amazing images of industrial architecture and aerial shots of amazing installations. The perspective completely inspired our students! Where as Minkkinen’s work was simply mind-bending. The combination of the two left our students completely gobsmacked!