Monday, June 14, 2010

Quick Monday Updates

Hey guys!
Back in town and have a lot of work to catch up on, but wanted to give you a quick update on a couple of things:

1) My Rocky Mount, NC Photowalk is getting nice early response. Three of the people signed up are new walkers, and I've spoken to several more that have yet to sign up but are planning on doing so. Please remember to sign up soon.

2) Early registrations are pouring in for the NC Falls and Foliage Photography Workshop. Looks like it's going to be a great workshop! Space is limited so if you're interested - sign up NOW!

3) I'm thrilled to announce that I'm going to be teaching Adobe Photoshop to a ton of photographers in Greenville, NC in association with ASAP Photo and Camera Store. The training will be two half day sessions in late July. Stay tuned for direct sign up - or contact the fine folks at ASAP Camera.

4) And finally this morning, I feel like I've hit the "big time!" ;-) A good friend of mine, David Ziser, runs the incredibly popular and super blog Digital Pro Talk. David just has TONS of readers and followers (and deservedly so). He's one of the blogs I read EVERY morning to start my day. So imagine my surprise while reading this morning to see this:

Hey, There's A New Lighting Book In Town

It's not by me but it's about lighting. While surfing' the web this past weekend, I came across a post by Chris Barnes at his digital imaging blog. In addition to giving my CBTL book a nice nod, he went on telling his readers about another book he had discovered on lighting entitled, Lights, Camera, Capture. Here is the link to his post.

I got to know Chris when he attended my Master Class a few years ago. In addition to being a really nice guy, he also really knows his stuff. He is an Adobe Certified Instructor and Certified Internet Webmaster/Instructor. Chris’s blog is easy to follow as he has a nice way to find little nuggets of good info out there for photogs. I just ordered my copy of Lights, Camera, Capture Chris is raving about and I can't wait to receive my copy.

I have this "Mama said I'd see my name in Lights" feeling. :-) Thanks David for the mention.

And with that, I'm going to head over here and edit this maternity session since the baby was born Saturday! Yikes!

Wishing you Good Light,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review: Bob Davis' "Lights, Camera, Capture"

Hello students and fellow followers. A few weeks ago I got my copy of Bob Davis' new book Lights, Camera, Capture - Creative Lighting Techniques for Digital Photographers. I had hoped to dive right in and consume the book over the weekend, but as often does, life happened and I didn't finish the book. However this week I resumed my devouring of this book and here's a little review for your consumption.

This book comes out hot on the heels of another book that I thought just knocked it out of the park - David Ziser's Captured by the Light. Both deal with the issues of off camera lighting, but David's is centered around wedding photography (although the topics can be applied to any situation) and Bob's is centered around practical situations (although the topics can be applied to wedding photography).

Both authors are Canon shooters, as am I, so both were really helpful to me, but both go to great lengths to explain Nikon's solutions as well. Both are real light on theory (thank goodness) and real heavy on practical applications. Both use personal shots as demonstrations that both teach and inspire, and both have a section dedicated to gear and what's in their bags (really helpful). Usually, one reads a book and then meets the author, but in both of these cases, I was privileged enough to take workshops under both of these guys and then read their books! So in fairness, I may be biased on both counts!

So let's dive into Bob's book. I pre-ordered this book MONTHS before it hit the presses, and due to my teaching status got it before it hit the shelves of my local bookstores. I was dying to get my hands on this book, and it doesn't disappoint!

First Impressions:
The book is beautiful. Well laid out and easy to read, and the photography is, of course, stunning! Bob is a laid back, hip, stylish, extremely nice, eager to help, Christian man - and it shows in his writing as much as it does in person. And it's all those reasons that he's been an idol of mine from the first 5 minutes I got to know him. Bob photographs the superstars (Oprah, Eva Longoria, etc.) and he's never once not replied to an email, tweet, or Facebook message in the four years I've known him. Now if I can just get him to come down and let me host him and his lovely wife while they hold one of their Love Story Workshops on the Outer Banks of North Carolina..... But I digress....

The book has sample photos as I've mentioned, but each photo has a recipe settings and complete EXIF data so you can see exactly how the shot was captured. This is an unbelievable tool to help you in training.

The book is primarily to teach beginners the advantages and options of flash lighting techniques, but I believe almost anybody could get something out of the content. I think I learn something new from Bob every time I purchase one of his materials or hear him speak - so there! There's an introduction, a chapter on Understanding Light, Getting the Basics Right, Lighting Equipment, Getting the Most From Your Lighting Kit, Controlling the Light, Creative Lighting, Traveling Light, A Glossary, A Collection of Websites Worth Visiting, and a DVD full of additional info and training. The DVD is a semi commercial, but I swear it's almost worth the price of the book itself.

The only one I can come up with (but it did annoy me to death) is that most of the time the recipe and EXIF data for the photo and/or any additional info Bob wanted to point out about the photo was usually found on the next page (or several pages later) and I had to constantly flip back and forth. I wish it had been at the bottom of the picture or on the facing page.

The book was so worth the wait. The positives really outweigh the one negative I had. The way he writes is easy to understand and each and every page is filled with remarkable images one can't wait to go out and try for themselves, putting his/her own artistic twist on it. I have adopted the book as a standard for my photography classes, so my students will get "carry home notes" packaged in a nice book!

There have been a lot of really good photography books come out in the last few years, and this one is right there among my favorites!

Good Job Bob! So when are you and Dawn going to let me host you at the Outer Banks?

Happy reading everyone,

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

North Carolina Falls and Foliage Photography Workshop

As promised, here is the official announcement of our North Carolina Falls and Foliage Photography Workshop!

Come join us for jam-packed days of photographing all that the North Carolina mountains have to o­ffer - i­ncluding W­aterfalls, Fall foliage, White Squirrels, the Blue Ridge Parkway and much more! Workshop will include in-field instruction and classroom presentation from Jamie Konarski Davidson, professional freelance nature photographer, and Chris Barnes, professional photographer and Adobe Certified Instructor. Prepare to be filled to overflowing with amazing photo opportunities, learning and sharing with fellow photographers.

We will be taking you to some of the most beautiful, yet e­asily accessible locations in western North Carolina. The locations we will be visiting have been carefully selected for their unique ­characteristics, easy accessi­bility, and captivating formations. All hiking will be “easy to moderate level”, come ­p­­repared.

Few things in the natural world are as awe-inspiring as the sight of water pouring off the side of a high stone ledge and clamoring into a rocky pool beneath. Though our first inclination may be to simply stand and marvel, we’re going to be there to photograph these incredible wonders!

On this workshop we will explore a land that offers over 250 waterfalls and countless streams that have taken centuries to carve the very faces of the mountains. A temperate rain forest supports some of the rarest plant and animal species on the planet. We will likely have opportunity to photograph white squirrels - whose population started from a pair of white squirrels on the lam from a traveling carn­ival in the 1950s and now spans generations.
In short, this is a place like no other on earth. Fall foliage will only serve to enhance the experience. Won’t you join us for an extended weekend capturing some of the most beautiful scenes imaginable?

Learning Opportunities in the Field and in the Classroom
Our first night will include an orientation program that covers where we will be going, waterfall safety, and how to capture images that you’ll be proud and thrilled to take home and share. Most of our days will be spent shooting in the field, including plenty of hands-on instruction such as practical techniques for capturing waterfalls and moving water, filter tips and tricks, High Dynamic Range (HDR) techniques, and more.

Back at the hotel, our evenings will include Adobe Lightroom basics, HDR processing techniques, and plenty of image presentations and critiques. A list of recommended equipment and supplies will be provided so you’ll be ready for the adventure.

See the brochure for the registration form and all the information you should need. There is no web sign-up, you need to complete the form and send to Jamie. Dropping us an email to tell us you've sent your money would be appreciated too.

Thanks for your continued interest, and I look forward to seeing many of you in the Fall!