One Weekend Intensive. That’s all it takes to tip the scales and put you in control of your photography!
Having run the industry’s best weekend photography program for over 20 years, we are shaking things up in 2016 in order to deliver even more of what you have told us you want: No-nonsense photography education! Inspired by the success of the photographers graduating our Summer and Advanced Intensive courses, we have applied the same intensive approach to the education offered at our Weekend events. More than just renaming the program, we have retooled the curriculum to allow for more hands-on time in which you actively engage with your instructors and your camera.
Want to spin the dial on your DSLR from Program to Manual Mode? We can make that happen. Curious to know how to blur the backgrounds in your portraits, exactly how professionals use composition to their advantage, or how color temperature affects your final images? Any one of our 2016 Weekend Intensives will teach you these – and many more – techniques to ensure that when the weekend is over, you will be able to return home a better, more skilled photographer.
Each event now also includes pre-weekend videos to get you started, live demos on camera exposure and how light affects your subject, support materials you can walk away with, and post-weekend assignments to make sure you thoroughly understand the concepts taught. Alternating between smaller and larger group lectures, our new schedule invites you to progress throughout the weekend based on your own skill level, and along the track which appeals to you most. To get the most out of the Weekend Intensive, please bring your camera with you so that you can follow along as the instructor teaches concepts and techniques. (Please note that all instruction takes place in the classroom and there will be no off-site shooting during the event.)
By joining us in any one of the 12 U.S. cities we are visiting in 2016, we know that you will be wildly inspired and improve as a photographer. The only question is what will you do with your newfound skills?
|8:00 – 8:30 a.m.||Check-in|
|8:30 – 8:45 a.m.||Orientation|
|9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.||Session 1: Camera Techniques & Exposure|
(Choose which track is right for you)
|1:00 – 2:30 p.m.||Lunch Break (on your own)|
|2:30 – 4:30 p.m.||Session 2: Composition|
(large group lecture)
|4:45 – 5:45 p.m.||Session 3: Creating a Lightroom Workflow|
(large group lecture)
|8:00 – 8:15 a.m.||Check-in for Sunday-only participants|
|8:15 – 8:45 a.m.||RMSP Workshops and Career Training Info Session|
|8:45 – 10:45 a.m.||Session 4: Understanding Light|
(Large group lecture)
|11:00 a.m. – 1:15 p.m.||Session 5: Genres (Landscape Track or People Track)|
|1:15 – 2:30 p.m.||Lunch Break (on your own)|
|2:30 – 4:30 p.m.||Session 6: Critique|
|4:30 – 5:00 p.m.||Closing Session|
(Wrap up and giveaways)
Session 1: Camera Techniques & Exposure
Ansel Adams said it best when he said, “Technical mastery is the foundation of artistry.” Indeed, once you learn your camera and how to make it work for you, you will be in control of your own creativity.
Based on your existing skill level, this session will set the tone for the remainder of the weekend. If you choose the Basic track, you will learn the building blocks of photography such as ISO, shutter speeds, and f-stops and how they work in concert with one another to determine exposure. Dissecting each one, you learn the range of shutter speeds, which to use in order to stop motion, 1/2 and 1/3 stops, and what it means to “open up” or “stop down.” Talking about f-stops (aka: aperture), you learn the f-stop scale, what happens inside your lens when you change to a bigger or smaller number, and how depth of field is determined.
You will learn about metering light, the importance of 18% reflectance and how a grey card, or natural grey card, can help with exposure. By the end of the session you will understand the limitations of how the camera sees light and reflectance so that you can create consistently good exposures using your camera’s spot meter. You’ll also have complete control over how you record motion and depth of field in your images.
If you come to the Weekend already having a working knowledge of your camera and understand how to shoot in manual mode, you will most likely want to choose the Intermediate track, which will cover more advanced topics. Your instructor will spend time talking about situations that confuse your camera’s meter, how your camera calculates exposure, and the immensely helpful Zone System of exposure, where it came from, and the difference between the Zone System for color and black and white. You will also learn how to read tones and place them on the zone scale. Referring to your own camera, you learn the difference between metering patterns such as center-weighted, matrix, partial and spot. Your instructor will go through a camera menu to explain some of the options available, discuss auto-exposure bracketing and discuss low-light and night photography.
Session 2: Composition
What is composition? What makes composition good or bad? As a photographer, how can you use certain elements to your compositional advantage? These are just a few of the questions that will be answered during this session.
There are many points that go into designing a great photo. Your instructor will talk about the importance of pre-visualization, understanding what draws a viewer’s eye through a photo – including tones, shapes, colors, repetition, leading lines and framing elements. You will learn about the rule of thirds and significant power points within an image. Symmetry vs. asymmetry, negative space, perspective, lens focal length and brightness all contribute to creating an effective composition. In addition to each, you will be introduced to color theory and how analogous, complimentary and monochromatic colors create or disrupt color harmony in an image.
Session 3: Creating a Lightroom Workflow
Adobe Lightroom allows photographers unprecedented, non-destructive control over both RAW and JPEG images. This session leads you through the important initial steps of image correction and enhancement. Topics include creating a step-by-step workflow beginning with the initial import, correcting color balance and exposure, converting your images to black and white, and editing your images through the use of curves and the hue/saturation, and luminance sliders. Learning to make both global and local enhancements to your images without leaving Lightroom allows you to further streamline your image processing. Learning basic retouching techniques allows you to fix blemishes in portraits or remove spots in your landscapes while applying the look of hand-coloring and adding vignettes allows your creativity to flourish.
Session 4: Understanding Light
As a photographer, understanding qualities of light is essential to creating photographs with impact. In this session, you learn invaluable lessons about one factor of photography that is universal to photographers in every genre and at every skill level.
Together with the entire Weekend group, your instructors provide you with a guided tour of light, and its many components. Starting from the top, you learn how light is described in photography. You will dig into some seemingly obvious terms such as brightness, contrast, and color to learn what they really refer to. You will learn how to control brightness and the pros and cons of each exposure control tool. Contrast can make or break a photo. Here, you will learn what contrast is, how your eye sees contrast vs. how your camera sees it, and when high or low contrast can be beneficial. Many things impact the quality of light including size, direction, distance from the source, weather and time of day. You will learn about each, and how to adapt to make them work for you. Finally, you get a primer on the basics of fill flash. Terms like TTl, ETTL and exposure compensation will make sense after this class.
Session 5: Genres
If your interests lie in capturing images of the great outdoors – be it wildlife or beautiful nature scenes around you – this track is right for you. There is a lot to cover in this session, which your instructors will do! You begin by learning what makes a landscape photo good vs. great. Then, you learn how to make them yourself by learning tools of the trade including cameras, tripods, lenses, backpacks and polarizing filters. You examine effective landscape compositions to see how horizon lines, the rule of thirds, camera position and lens choice all contribute to making images work. Your instructor discusses atmospheric conditions and how each plays a role in your photography: Cloudy days vs. sunny days, overall vs. detail shots, high angle of light vs. low angle. You’ve most likely heard of the “golden hours” in photography. But do you know what makes these hours so golden? Your will learn this as well as general guidelines for photographing twilight, sunrise and sunset. On top of that, you cover the basics of blending exposures into one image, how to shoot for these situations, and other pre- and post-capture considerations.
If you are more interested in working with human subjects to capture special moments, personality, and mood, this track is where you will want to be. One of the most important parts of photographing another person is establishing a rapport with them. Your instructor will speak about methods to use to approach your subject, how to connect with them and make them feel comfortable. You will learn the difference between a traditional portrait and an environmental portrait and when each might be called for. Lens and lighting choices are a big part of portrait photography. Through examples and demonstrations, you witness the effects of each first hand. Recalling the topics covered in the Light session, you get to see them in action here as the effects of light direction, temperature and source are displayed in this course. You learn composition for portraiture and how camera orientation, cropping, background choice, and the positioning of a subject’s eyes can make the difference between a portrait that works vs. one that doesn’t. Storytelling is a huge part of people photography. Capturing mood, expression, moment, and emotion in one image – as well as over a few images – are all important to tell a story to a viewer. After you have captured a great image, after-capture retouching can give your photos the last little bit of love they need in order to make them jump! Briefly going into Lightroom, your instructor will demonstrate global vs. local adjustments, and show a few retouching tips that can be effectively applied to most portraits.
Session 6: Critique
The sixth and final session of the weekend is also the most popular! This group critique is your chance to submit an image to be critiqued on the big screen by your two instructors. A way to see how you could have improved your image, this session also provides an opportunity for your instructor to reaffirm many of the topics covered in each session. You are encouraged to NOT show your most perfect image here. This is a chance to show an image with a few flaws so you can benefit from hearing – and seeing – what your instructors have to say about improving for next time.
We encourage you to participate in this critique! If you would like to receive feedback on an image, please bring one photo (preferably in JPEG format) loaded on a flash drive. (If you have more than one photo on your flash drive we will select only one to critique).