Capture Desert’s Spring Colors Workshop ~ Mark Vollmer

Last night was our class lecture and the highlights were:

* Class overview & introductions
* Opening multi-media slide show

* Slide show lecture: how natural light and compositional elements such as lines, patterns and colors come together to make pleasing spring photographs.
* Depth of field discussion
* Slide show lecture: how to use knowledge of lighting and composistional techniques to bring your emotions onto your image

Improving Your Photos:

1. Seeing Like Your Camera ~ Film nor a memory card can see details in light and dark at the same time with the same clarity of our eyes. Exposing for shadows tend to wash out bright areas just as exposing for sunlight will darken shadows. To compensate for this problem, expose the key part of the frame…since the main subject is normally at least 60% of the frame, expose for that most important highlight.

2. Realizing Your Vision ~ Mark states that the Goal of Photography is translating what moves us about a scene into a photograph. “A successful image resembles the feeling we had at the time. If someone views our photo and reacts with the same emotions that we had when we saw the scene, then the photo works”. Achieving this goal involves two processes:

A. Focusing our senses before focusing the camera. Smell, touch, taste, hearing ~ these four senses combine with sight to heighten our awareness with our surroundings and our creativity as photograhers.

B. With knowledge of lighting, design elements, intuitive use of the Guideline of Thirds, and awareness of how the camera will render the scene, we can successfully transfer our emotions into the image. Practice, Practice, Practice!

The class lecture brought a lot of new ideas along with jarring out what I already knew, but seemed to have filed away as I use digital now. It certainly has me thinking I should go buy an old 35mm camera, I don’t think I would even know where to look for the one I had over 15 years ago!

I have a Canon PowerShot S2 IS digital camera now. It’s a great little camera that I can shoot limited manual if I wanted to. It has all speeds, but the apetures only go from 2.7 – 8.0 ~ I wish it would go to at least 16.0. I can also buy different camera lenses, the lense now is a Canon Zoom Lense 12X 6.0-72.0mm. Maybe one that shoots to 200mm would be nice.

Washoe Valley, south end of lake looking north. 7/2006.

Tomorrow we are going to Washoe Valley for our field shoot. Looks like we’ll be going to the south end of the lake to the birding area where the boardwalk trail is. Then off to Deadman Creek Trail and hike up to the gazebo. I’m hoping that the Bald Eagles will be out for the photo shoot!

I’ll post pictures over the weekend!

Link to more trails out in Washoe Valley.

Ending with two quotes Mark had on his handouts ~

“To become a better nature photographer, one must first become a better naturalist.” – John Hendrickson

“The true voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

4 thoughts on “Capture Desert’s Spring Colors Workshop ~ Mark Vollmer

  1. How do you like your photography class? I’ve never taken one. But I do enjoy taking pics, esp. outside/nature pics. Wish we had some mountains here. But we don’t, just trees, bushes and more trees, LOL!

  2. What fun! I am excited for you! I remember in my class last year, I just wanted to go out and take pictures, rather than listen to the lectures! Haha! But those are important things to learn for sure! 🙂 I look forward to seeing more photos from you!

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