Hi and welcome to this edition of my instructional blog; Workshop at the Ranch (WATR.) It’s that time of year to feature my favorite WATR article … the Year in Review 2017 … here are some highlights from the past 12 months. Many of you have asked where I’ll be teaching in 2018 … here’s the list (so far). Please check out my 2018 Workshops Calendar often as additional workshops will be added during the year: http://www.daveblackphotography.com/upcoming-workshops/
2018 Workshops Calendar:
February 24-28, 2018 … WPPI in Las Vegas, NV. www.wppiexpo.com
April 26-29, 2018 … Summit LIGHTING Workshop in Denver, CO. www.photographyatthesummit.com
May 30, 2018 … Photoshop World Pre-Conference LIGHTPAINTING Workshop in Orlando, FL. www.photoshopworld.com
May 31-June 2, 2018 … Photoshop World Conference in Orlando, FL. www.photoshopworld.com
July 11-16, 2018 … Summit SPORTS Workshop in Denver, CO. www.photographyatthesummit.com
September 8-13, 2018 … Summit ADVENTURE Workshop in Jackson Hole, WY. www.photographyatthesummit.com
September 16-21, 2018 … Summit NATURE Workshop in Jackson Hole, WY. www.photographyatthesummit.com
November 1-4, 2018 … Summit SPORTS California Workshop in Los Angeles, CA. www.photographyatthesummit.com
Welcome to the Year in Review 2017 … Jobs, Workshops, Pictures.
Image #1 January “Coyote Winter” … Nikon D500, ISO1250, 1/1000 at f8, NIKKOR 200-500mm lens (at 500mm) +NIKKOR TCE III 1.4x teleconverter =700mm lens … and with the D500 cameras 1.5 cropped sensor factor = 1,050mm equivalent.
January was a snowy month, especially in the High Country, and so it was I got a text message from good friend Keith Ladzinski. Next thing I know I’m driving off to put my Nikon D500 through its paces while photographing wildlife for the day in the Colorado in the Rockies.
The D500 is a terrific camera with clean high ISO capabilities, the same AF system as a Nikon D5, and the crop sensor makes it ideal for photographing wildlife, especially from some distance.
It was Keith’s dad, Doug Ladzinski, who spotted the Coyotes on a distant ridge. The falling snow looked more “blizzard-like” thanks to the crop sensor along with NIKKOR 200-500mm lens (at 500mm) +NIKKOR TCE III 1.4x teleconverter =700mm lens … and with the D500 cameras 1.5 cropped sensor factor = 1,050mm equivalent.
THANKS again to Keith @ladzinski and Doug @dougladzinski for having me ride along to Rocky Mountain National Park … GREAT Day hanging out and making pictures with the Ladzinski boys and a nice picture to start off the year 2017.
I had a lite travel schedule in February and so it was that I buried myself in the office and combed through my Film Archives. I was looking for some hidden nuggets of GOLD captured on slide film transparencies to send off to Pro Film Scans to be made into digital files: www.profilmscans.com phone: 516 467-2787 …ask for Russ Millett.
Russ Millett is the owner-operator of Pro Film Scans and a perfectionist when it comes to converting slides and negatives into beautiful RAW digital files … Here is an example of a slide transparency made into a 90 MB RAW file by Pro Film Scans … the back story is a fond memory from my days photographing Alpine Ski Racing.
I recall that Ortlieb was like a freight train, a muscular bruit force who seemed to get “air” where others didn’t as he raced down the mountain. His full-out aggressive style was “spectacular” to witness and photograph.
Ortlieb won the GOLD medal in the Men’s Downhill at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France and also the Downhill at the 1996 World Championships.
What an AMAZING time we all had at the Summit Sandhill Cranes Workshop @summitworkshops on location in Kearney, Nebraska in 2017.
This was my first experience teaching/photographing the Sandhill Cranes migration with wildlife photography veterans: Michael Forseberg (Nat Geo and International League of Conservation Photographers) and Melissa Groo (Audubon and Outdoor Photographer magazine)
Our class of 15 began each day prior to sunrise by splitting-up into 2 “blinds” in separate locations on the Platte River as it runs through the Rowe Sanctuary. Mid-afternoons offered image critique sessions and late afternoons were spent photographing in the fields … and then back into the “blinds” for sunset.
With an official daily count of 35,000 plus Cranes within our view, the workshop attendees dressed out in camouflage set up their “BIG Glass” and photographed this spectacular event of nature.
The 2018 Summit Sandhill Cranes Workshop this March 12-15 is NOW OPEN for registration: https://www.photographyatthesummit.com/shop/sandhill-cranes-photography-workshop/
I can’t say enough about how inspirational and spectacular this event of nature is to experience and photograph under the instruction of: Michael Forseberg and Melissa Groo … Come be a part of something truly special: Summit Sandhill Cranes Workshop this March 12-15, 2018 https://www.photographyatthesummit.com/shop/sandhill-cranes-photography-workshop/
Image #4 April … “Red Caddy” … Nikon D5, ISO500, 30 seconds at f16, Lightpainting using a Blue LED in the driver’s seat for the interior and a ProTac 2AA LED flashlight to Lightpaint the Headlights and lovely red exterior.
This gorgeous 1964 Cadillac was just one of 3 incredible cars that my Photoshop World Pre-Conference Lightpainting Workshop students made pictures of.
GOOD NEWS ! … we will be Lightpainting Custom Cars again during my Photoshop World 2018 Pre-Conference Lightpainting Workshop. So come join me in Orlando May 30th – June 2nd, 2018:
Photoshop World Pre-Conference Lightpainting Workshop: https://photoshopworld.com/workshops
Photoshop World Conference:
May of 2017 was a joyous month when our second Grandson arrived. Proud parents Haley and Andrew were excited with their second child and quickly announced his name: Ezekiel “Zeke”
After the formal introduction was made I stepped in closer to make this image of Zeke at the ripe old age of 4 hours. What a JOY !
Image #6 June … “Dream Gym” … Nikon D810, ISO800, 1/250 at f2.8, NIKKOR 24-70mm f2.8 lens, WB 3330K with image Saturation dialed down in Picture Control, 4 Nikon Speedlights and Rosco Fog machine.
To make pictures, especially pictures that allow my imagination and to create freely is always a great joy for me … and especially to do so with the sport that I competed in during my High School and NCAA collegiate years.
This image was made for the promotional campaign of International Gymnastics Camp https://internationalgymnastics.com/ IGC is the premier Gymnastics training experience in the US.
Each summer I spend one week at IGC with owner Brent Klaus to brain storm new promotional campaign ideas including this “Dream Gym” concept featuring a young gymnast imagining he is about to compete on the Pommel Horse at a national competition.
Athlete, Lighting, Fog, Creative Vision and fond memories of my youth all come into play when I step into the gym at IGC. Photograph something you LOVE and you’ll never work a day in your life.
The month of July was a busy one, but I’m never too busy for the Summit SPORTS Workshop in Denver … July 11-16, 2018 is NOW Open for Registration: https://www.photographyatthesummit.com/sports/
Quite simply the finest SPORTS photography workshop in the US, I have been teaching at this workshop for over 30 years and have loved every minute. Great instructors, meaningful critique sessions, one on one portfolio reviews, HSS Lighting, Lightpainting, and ACTION, ACTION, ACTION for 6 days straight.
There’s always time for some experimentation when it comes to Strobes and Speedlight classes that I teach. For this image I slowed down the shutter speed to 1/4 of a second and then simultaneously zoomed-out with my 16-35mm f4 lens while the Speedlight fired on Rear Curtain Sync … oh yeah, we gelled a couple of the Speedlights with Blue and Orange … viola’ a unique image of Lacrosse and a great lesson in Off-Camera Lighting for the class.
Image #8 August … “Dream Beam” … Nikon D5, ISO1600, 1/320 at f4, NIKKOR 24-70mm f2.8 lens, WB 3030K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control each with Nikon Orange Warming gel and mounted in a FourSquare Soft box, Rosco Fog Machine.
I returned to International Gymnastics Camp in August to join fellow Nikon Ambassador Corey Rich on a new promotional brochure for International Gymnastics Camp in PA.
I would be making the still imagery while Corey and his crew would be making the video. The final video script scenario included placing the Balance Beam in the lake and having an athlete perform over the water.
Corey’s video segment was completed just moments after sunset, of which I also made available light imagery to match his video. My next task was separate from the video … I would make still images using 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with orange warming gels and a cool – blue WB of 3030K and also drifting fog across the background to set the mood for a NEW “Dream Gym” promotional poster.
This was a complex shoot, but everything went according to plan and this image, which is now a personal portfolio favorite, was captured. Many thanks to Caitlin and also our second athlete Fabi for their patience and perfect performance on the beam.
Image #9 September … “Wake Surfer Fun” … NEW Nikon D850, ISO400, 1/2500 at f5.6, NIKKOR 24-70mm f2.8 lens (at 35mm), WB 3030K, 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control (each with a CTO gel), Nikon WR-R10 Radio Transmitter.
September 2017 was a HUGE month of teaching for me with back-to-back Summit Adventure and Summit Nature Workshops in Jackson Hole WY: www.photographyatthesummit.com … but the BIG NEWS was the release of the NEW Nikon D850 which instantly whipped the photography community into a frenzy of excitement.
The NEW Nikon D850 has the same AF system as the D5 and D500, thus (in my opinion) making the D850 a viable SPORTS action camera. Its giant 45MP file size of 27.52 inches x 18.347 inches (8256 pixels x 5504 pixels) RAW file opens to a 130 MB in Photoshop revealing tons of detail which opens the door to SPORTS imagery quality like we’ve never seen before.
See my November Workshop at the Ranch article: NIKON D850 a Game Changer (Camera Review) … http://www.daveblackphotography.com/2017-november-watrnikon-d850-game-changer/
Wake Surfing is a BLAST to photograph … For this D850 image I used the NIKKOR 24-70mm f2.8 lens while laying down on the stern of the tow boat. To light my athlete I used 4 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlights with Radio Control mounted in a FourSquare bracket and positioned in a chase boat Off-Camera left about 18 feet from the rider. Each Speedlight has a Nikon Orange CTO Warming gel over the front.
Image #10 October … “Glory Game” … Nikon D5, ISO5000, 1/1000 at f5, NIKKOR 16-35mm f4 lens (at 16mm), WB 3030K, 1 Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight with radio Control and the Nikon Orange CTO gel, Nikon WR-R10 Radio Transmitter.
In October my 2 NEW KelbyONE classes: “Shooting HS Football Like a Pro” … and … “SPORTS Photography: The Tools and Techniques to Get the Shot” were debuted on: www.kelbyone.com
Both of these new classes are packed with information that is sure to help any SPORTS action photographer to raise their own bar on making publishable images.
Shooting HS Football:
Trailer … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqIlPbBPphI is a NEW updated version of our first Football teaching video. This NEW class takes the photographer right along with Scott Kelby and myself on the sidelines of the game where we discuss all the essentials necessary to cover the game under the Friday night lights: White Balance, Exposure Settings, Lens Choices, Field Position, Off-Camera Speedlights and more. Great learning and even a few NFL Trivia questions
SPORTS Photography: Tools and Techniques to Get the Shot:
Trailer … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XJI8d29SQfA is a NEW class covers SPORT by SPORT the Gear I use plus How to Use it, and a lesson on How to Photography over 20 SPORTS like: Football, Basketball, Ice Hockey, Gymnastics, Swimming, Track&Field, Volleyball, Golf, Tennis, Adventure Sports, Motor Sports and many more.
So come join me at KelbyONE: www.kelbyone.com and learn What gear I use and How to get the shot photographing over 20 different SPORTS.
This Nikon D850 composite image and “post” Image Overlay tutorial raked up 2,500 “likes” nearly 10% of my FOLLOWRS on my Instagram: @daveblackphoto in November.
There are literally hundreds of modes, options and features in our cameras today that allow us to do almost anything we want. One D850 feature that I experimented with last week was the in-camera “post” multiple exposure feature found in the camera’s Retouch Menu called “Image Overlay”
First, I photographed the birds gathering on the lake just before the sun (out of the top of the frame) disappeared behind the Rockies: Time 6:18PM. This silhouetted the birds against the faint golden sunlight on the water with dark mountains as the background … Lake Exposure: ISO2000, 1/160 at f8, NIKKOR 200-500mm f5.6 (at 500mm)
Next, I photographed the Moon, but nearly 90 minutes later: Time 7:43PM … Moon exposure: 1000, 1/1000 at f9, NIKKOR 200-500mm f5.6 (at 340mm). I purposely composed the image with the Moon high in the cloudless sky and placed in the upper right-hand corner of the frame so that once the in-camera Image Overlay was made it would more suggestive that Moonlight was illuminating the lake.
Finally, the Nikon D850 Retouch Menu has a feature called “Image Overlay” that allows you to combine two images and also incrementally adjust the “gain” to each image. The combined two image produce a single RAW file … Keep in mind that this “post” procedure is NOT Photojournalism, Spock would call it, “Fascinating.”
Now it’s December and the year 2017 has come to a close, and it is my hope that all of you have learned something new this past year. Rather than a photo lesson on how this image was made I thought I would leave you with a Christmas poem that I wrote:
“We three Kings” starts a hymn that I know,
About their long journey,
Following a Star all aglow,
It’s told they traveled to Bethlehem,
Bringing gifts to the new born King,
To which the babe’s arrival,
Prompted the angels to sing,
To this very day,
The story is still told,
Of Christ born to save mankind,
From sin so old.
He is the Christ of Christmas,
And I believe in Him,
And so on this winter’s eve,
I sing this Christmas hymn.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Many thanks for coming to visit the Workshop at the Ranch. I have enjoyed this year of photography and especially enjoyed teaching all of you here and at Workshops around the country and online with KelbyONE.
Please check out my 2018 Workshops Calendar page to see if there is a workshop that interests you. http://www.daveblackphotography.com/upcoming-workshops/
See you next year, here on Workshop at the Ranch. Adios. Dave