04/25/2015 - 04/26/2015
Does your weekend to-do list include “get a blast of inspiration,” or “become a better photographer…and enjoy every second of it!”?
If these items appear on your list, our Photo Weekend in Billings can help! Instructors Tony Rizzuto and Doug Johnson provide dynamic seminar-style photo courses that are equal parts education, inspiration and good old-fashioned fun!
This Photo Weekend is designed so that you can tailor your own learning experience to your own needs. Here’s how it works: Over the course of the weekend, several sessions are offered. Each session contains two courses. You choose the course that sounds most appealing and applicable to you. The courses within each session are diverse, and offer fitting options for beginners through intermediate amateur photographers. For example, if you have been intimidated by your SLR and want to learn the essentials of photography, in Session One you might elect to attend Photography Basics rather than Workflow: Processing Your Images with Adobe® Lightroom®. Not interested in Shooting and Processing HDR and Panoramic Images? No problem. Simply attend Composition: Designing a Great Photo instead. It’s up to you! The final session of the weekend is an engaging, lively and anonymous group critique led by your instructors, which further reinforce many of the topics you learned throughout the weekend.
But that’s not all. A Photo Weekend also includes door prizes, possible visits from industry representatives and your local camera club(s), networking opportunities as well as a designated time for you to learn about the other amazing programs offered by RMSP. These two-day seminars are a convenient, affordable way for you to further your skills without wreaking havoc on your schedule.
Having “Attend RMSP Photo Weekend” on your to-do list will give you something fantastic to look forward to all week!
Bonus Lecture Added:
We have added a bonus lecture to the Billings Weekend! RMSP co-founder, co-owner and instructor, Neil Chaput de Saintonge will be offering an additional lecture during the lunch break on Sunday from 1:30 – 2:30 pm. This one-hour lecture portion of the weekend is free and open to the public!
DSLR’s and Mirrorless Cameras:
Neil will talk about what to look for when buying a camera, and will primarily focus (pun intended) on DSLRs and the new smaller, lighter mirrorless camera systems that have made a big splash recently. He will discuss the pros and cons of each, and will illustrate how it is not necessary to spend a fortune on a camera capable of producing amazingly high quality images.
He will touch on camera sensors, megapixel misconceptions, and will generally work to arm you with information so you know what to look for when considering various models. Handouts that compare the features of various camera models will be provided so you have them to refer to down the road. You are welcome to bring your lunch to this lecture.
Revel in two full days of photography instruction at RMSP’s Photo Weekend at the Billings Hotel and Convention Center.
If you need overnight accommodations, a limited number of rooms are being held at a special group rate at Billings Hotel and Convention Center. Reservations can be made by calling the number listed above and identifying yourself as a Rocky Mountain School of Photography student to get the discounted room rate.
Rate: $92 per night + tax.
Cutoff date: Make your reservations by April 10, 2015. After this date any remaining rooms will be released from the room block and reservations will be based on availability.
Complimentary parking is available at the hotel.
Participants are on their own for lunch. We will break for lunch from 1:15-2:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.
The restaurant located in the hotel is the Stony Brook Cafe and serves lunch daily.
Brown Bag It
You are welcome to bring a lunch with you.
|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 – 6:00 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).