9 hours ago
A few months ago I bought a Groupon for a photography workshop from The St. Louis Photo Authority. I redeemed it this weekend for a 3 hour walking workshop called Cityscapes in downtown St. Louis. It was me and one other guy who was having back troubles so for the last half I had the full attention of two professional photographers. It was pretty amazing. After we walked and shot for over 2 hours we went to a coffee shot and they critiqued my work and answered all my questions.
The top shot is one I liked a lot. I set an artistic filter in Elements and then there is the original. You can see the old courthouse and the arch in the background but the focal point is the flower.
Edward Crim does mostly commercial and architectural work now, and his partner Don Love specializes in portrait photography. He told me the story of how he did his first wedding when he was 14 years old. I couldn't have asked for two better resources. Edward is starting a meetup to do walking tours once a month around the city. This will allow me to learn more from him for $10 a year, and I plan on taking Don's portrait workshop in his studio which will be a great learning experience.
I took the class because I thought it would help me be better prepared for my trip to New York City which it definitely did. I think the most important thing I took out of the class is the need to slow down and think more about my shots. I tend to shoot hundreds of shots and hope that a few good ones pop. It works for the most part but that means I have to wade through thousands of images and my work flow is getting out of control. Edward explained how he handles his work flow in Aperture on Apple and also showed me how to use Lightroom from Adobe, which I will definitely be investing in.
The biggest critique they had for me dealt with camera shake. Because I am constantly moving towards the next shot this is a real problem. As an amateur it's not a problem but if I want to sell my work it is an issue. Of course I need to get into the habit of bringing my tripod with me but that's not always realistic for me so I need to slow down and focus more.
They also got me thinking about exposure a lot more. If I want to go entirely manual I will need to learn to trust myself to set the exposure and not just take the camera's opinion. I'm going to experiment with a grey card and see if I'm able to figure it out. They also encouraged me to take the black and white photography class I was talking about as it will teach me about exposure and lightening as much if not more than a digital class.
This one was my favorite shot during the 15 minutes we had of good light.
This was their favorite shot of mine. It's of one statue through another statue at the City Gardens. There were about 3 of my shots that they actually said, "I missed that" which made me feel good. Here is their gear which they were dragging through the city. I definitely had lens envy. Especially the lens on the black tripod. It was 400 mm and you could literally see every detail through the viewfinder with crystal clarity.
I will probably be keeping my 55-250mm on my camera most of the time in the city. I would have relied more on my 18-87 mm if I hadn't gone to the class but after looking at my pictures with both I think the telephoto will be best for architecture. I will also have my lensbaby handy to try to get the unique perspective it gives. I'm not putting any pressure on myself for getting the perfect shot. I just want some nice picures that I can blow up to put on my walls.