Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cairns photo course in August

Well the dates are set for my second Photographer's Intensive and things are all ready to go for an August of intensive photography immersion here in Cairns.

Over the period of a month we’ll have a series of four hour lectures, running two days a week at Hambledon House in Edmonton. The days are:
8/9 August
15/16 August
22/23 August
29/30 August
and the lectures will run from 10-2.

The cost of the full month’s tutorials will be $550 (incl GST).
In between lectures there will be an online discussion group and area to post pictures so that you can get critique from the other members of the group as well as full access to myself. I will be available all month to answer questions and personally guide you to improving your photography.
With a small number of students (maximum 10) we will be able to tailor the course so that you get the most benefit out of your four weeks. To really learn what you need to to improve your images. We’ll concentrate on the technical side of things to the extent that it helps you improve the creative side of your art. To create photographs that share your own vision and way of interpreting the world.
Starting with topics such as lenses, light, flash, photographing strangers and developing it from there we will definitely cover a lot of ground. And this is where the inspiration for the intensive came from.

I received a lot of feedback over the years from people that they enjoyed my weekend workshops but wanted something that lasted longer and helped them keep up the momentum and enthusiasm. This is it.
For those who don’t know me I have been a professional travel photographer for more than a decade. I am represented by Lonely Planet Images and my pictures have been featured in more than 50 of their guidebooks ranging from Thailand to Tokyo, from Nepal to Southern Africa and lots of places in between. My images have been published in magazines such as National Geographic Traveler and TIME (US) and I have been teaching photography workshops for most of that 10 years.

What past students have said:

Hi Paul
I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the photography course we have just completed.  I must say at first I was a bit worried about the length going for 2 days a week over four weeks but in the end I found myself wishing it went for longer.  Not only was it most informative but you made it very interesting.      Your passion for photography is quite infectious and your willingness to share your extensive knowledge made it a pleasure to be a part of.   

I now have reinvigorated my love for photography and I look forward to being a part of another one of your courses sometime.  Thanks again.

Kind regards

Warwick Bourguignon

'Paul's course is well worth doing, no matter what your interests are. 
It was really enjoyable and a great learning experience.  He is an
excellent teacher and had plenty of time for individual queries and
critiques.  We covered so much, including flash photography which I'm
now hooked on!  The spread of the sessions over a month worked really
well, allowing time to practice in between.  This course has opened up
so many new photographic opportunities for me - I am so glad I did it!'
Jackie Hammer, Cairns


So if you think you’d like to improve your photography and really delve into your creative possibilities and would like to find out more please contact me at info at dymond dot com dot au  or check out my website .

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

It's not about how many mediocre frames per second you take.

Now I'm still in my 30's (by the hair of my chinny chin chin mind you!) but I grew up in the pre-digital era. And while there's a lot of things about the film workflow that have simply gone by the wayside, there's one habit that I've never wanted to shake. And that's placing a value on each individual image I shoot.

I took this photograph on a month-long trek through the Nepalese Himalayas with my wife. We started walking after a short bus ride out of Kathmandu, hiked all the way up to the Gokyo Valley near Mt Everest and back to a little town called Lukla where we caught a plane home.

We went without porters or helpers of any kind - just the two of us with small daypacks on our backs filled with clothes, water purification tablets and film for our cameras. Seeing as neither of us are exactly body builders the amount of film we could physically carry was limited. In my case it was 25 rolls of Fuji Velvia. Think about that for a second. That's a mere 900 pictures for a whole month in the most picturesque place on earth.

But that's the situation I was in and I had to live with it. What it did mean was that I had to be very particular about what I photographed and what I didn't. I didn't shoot willy-nilly in the hope that I would get something good. I stopped, I waited, I anticipated. I valued each and every single time I pushed the shutter.

And I think that thinking has partly been lost in the digital era. Because the individual images themselves are pretty much low cost, and we often have the attitude that we can delete what doesn't work, we tend not to value each individual image as much.

I see it in both the amateur photographic world as much as the professional world. Go to Flickr and you'll see 50 different variations of the same photo. Vertical, horizontal, different focal lengths. There's probably two maybe three wonderful images and the rest is mediocre in comparison.

In the commercial world I see it when photographers offer to supply the client hundreds of pictures from a shoot. But how many of those pictures will ever see the light of day? The reality is not many. If the client has a good eye then they will pick out the best and use those, or they might let their graphic designer do it. Either which way the photographer would be doing their client a much better service by perfecting and presenting only the really fantastic shots and letting the other stuff fall into the virtual trash bin.

At the end of our photographic lives we won't be remembered for how many times we pushed the shutter. We won't be remembered for all the nearly-there pictures we took (at least I hope so!). We want to be remembered for the amazing images we took. Don't be so quick to take as many pictures as you can in as short a space of time as you can. Give situations time to develop and learn to click the shutter when the best of the best appears in front of you.

Just because pushing the shutter thousands of times a day may not be costing you much money it could be costing you a lot more.

Go on through to my Nepal photo gallery to see more images shot slowly and decisively on film.