Posted by: David Vernon | February 24, 2009

Blue Skies Advice – and a little more

The Tree 50Let’s start the morning out with a good piece of advice that we heard from Kevin May during our Q&A on Saturday. When Ann Conver and I teach the “Intro to Digital” class at the Peoria Art Guild, we always stress getting the best shot in camera that you can get. There are a lot of reasons for this – but Kevin hit on one of the most crucial. It makes your post-processing life that much more simple.

We gaze jaw-droppingly at Kevin’s images where the blue just comes alive and jumps off the screen at you. Kevin’s point was this: do you think those blues come from Photoshop? No – they come from what he gets in the camera – but the key is this: If you want super-saturated blue skies – then you have to go out and take pictures on days when the sky is blue. How simple is that? REAL SIMPLE. If you want super blue skies, you have to wait for days with super blue skies. Want gorgeous morning light – then go out when there’s gorgeous morning light. You can make it all happen in Photoshop – you just can’t. It really brings to mind the scapist notion of returning to a scene over-and-over. I’ve driven past my tree hundreds and hundreds of times. But when the sky is overcast and white-ish, I keep driving. That’s not the shot I want – so I know that I’m going to go back and take a snap when it IS the shot I want. 

Want blue skies? Then make sure that’s what you get in camera. Then augment a little. But don’t expect to just replace.

Since we were shooting products on Saturday at Kevin’s, this article – entitled Reflections on Product Photography – from the Digital Photography School is perfectly-timed to give us a little more advice. Check it out and augment a little more what you gleaned last weekend.

In fact, week six in the Small Strobes (Small Flashes) class at the Peoria Art Guild is all about product photography. But in week five, we get into front- and rear-curtain sync – and it’s friendly cousin slow-curtain sync. Darren Rowse, writing over at DPS, has this good introductary article on slow-curtain sync – and then points us to a good collection of slow-curtain sync flash images. Give some of these a try.

On topics local – the Peoria Camera Club spends the fourth Tuesday of every month doing a digital-only session. Tonight’s topic is a 5×5. Five images or five minutes – come show off what you’ve shot. Meeting time is 7:30pm at “The Christian Center”, 4100 N. Brandywine.

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