Friday, December 24, 2010

Guest Blogging on Rick Sammon's Site

Doing a little guest blogger duty over at Rick Sammon's blog.  Check out the link below.

Rick Sammon's Blog

Fiat Lux!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Foggy Moon Eclipse

Last night my 3-yr old daughter and I were able to get a few snaps and a few videos of the eclipse. Though it was a light foggy night I was able to get a couple interesting shots of the moon getting covered up.
Reagan tried to get a few with her little Xsi and 85mm but she was not pleased with her results.

I set up the Canon 7D with a 100-400mm on an Induro CT-313 tripod and the BH-55 from Really Right Stuff with a Canon Cable Release (easy for a 3-yr old to handle as well). So actually, I guess Reagan took the majority of the photos!

Most everything was taken as stills during the video recording. Once I get the video put together I'll try to get something up so you can see the fog blowing by the moon. It was pretty spectacular to watch.
For this collage I opened several images from Lightroom as layers. I doubled the length of the canvas size and created a black background.  I masked the moons so that I could minimize the black area around them  (making it easier to grab them with the "auto select" tool option on my move tool as well as making the document size a bit smaller). That way when I click on each moon it automatically selects the moon I want. I then put each moon into a "lightening" blend mode...I chose Linear Dodge just to see how it looked and stuck with it. I'm sure there are others that would work just as well.
I then used guides to line up each of the moons so that they are centered on the document as well as in line with each other. I cropped any excess canvas off and Voila! A beautiful moon pano ready for Christmas!

Keep shooting! Even when you think it's too cloudy!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Festive Meet Up with Light Workshops

© 2010 Becky Sloat

This weekend we had a fun and festive Meet Up with our members here at Light Workshops. Our original plan had been a sunset shoot out at Montaña De Oro, but the weather kept us indoors. We made the best of it with a few different macro setups, yummy snacks and egg nog!

We brought out the Canon 100, 180 and 65mm macro lenses and captured some fun images of a lovely poinsettia, household spices, and our school Christmas Tree. While normally you might not think to take pictures of cinnamon and sugar or the ornaments of a Christmas Tree, but with a macro lens these subjects become much more interesting and beautiful.
 We also introduced a new assistant to our members Saturday. Miss Reagan Schmitt was at the school giving advice to those who needed help with proper exposure and focal length for their subjects.

This was our last Meet Up of 2010 but we'll have many more in the new year. If you would like to join our Meet Up group visit the Light Workshop's Page. If you're already a Light Workshops member and have any ideas for future Meet Ups, don't hesitate to share them. Also visit for our most current list of photography workshops.

Happy Holidays Everyone!


Fiat Lux!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

David Wells is returning in 2011!

We're very excited have David Wells returning to Light Workshops in 2011!
©2010 David Wells

David is a free-lance photographer, based in Providence, Rhode Island. He specializes in intercultural communications and the use of light and shadow to enhance visual narratives.

His photo-essays have been funded by fellowships from Nikon/National Press Photographers Association, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the MacArthur Foundation's Program of Research and Writing on International Peace and Cooperation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation and the Fulbright Foundation.

David will be bringing his expertise in Photo Journalism to Light Workshops with his "Introduction to the Photo Essay" course February 28-March 4, 2011.  During the week you will be following an assignment from start to finish and get incredible input and review as you go! You'll learn what makes a good story and how to create a visual narrative with your photographs.

You can register now for this incredible experience!

To learn more about David and his work visit

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meet Up with Light Workshops this Saturday for a Coralina Cove Sunset!

Weather permitting we'll be hosting another Meet Up this Saturday, December 18th. We will first be meeting here at the school at 3:45p to get a good carpool together. We'll try to get on the road by 4pm and head into Montaña De Oro to Coralina Cove via the Bluff Trail (just past the MDO Visitor's Center).

If the weather doesn't cooperate and we get rained out, we have a back-up plan! We'll switch gears and put on a great flick from National Geographic called "The Presidents Photographer." This movie is about the photographers who have commemorated the everyday events and momentous occasions experienced by American presidents during a 50-year span. For more information or to join this meet up click here!

If you are new to the Light Workshops Meet Up Group, it's really easy to join. Just visit and click "Join Us" at the top right of the page. Once you're a member you can RSVP for our latest Meet Up. You can also get notifications about our Meet Ups by following us on Twitter.

We try to host these meet ups twice a month. It's a great opportunity to meet and shoot with other local photogs in the area. You'll also have a chance to meet the crew at Light Workshops and get help with your camera/workflow questions.

We look forward to seeing you!
Fiat Lux!

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Beauty of the Virtual Copy (No Pixels were Created or Harmed in the Making of this Post)


One of my favorite things about Lightroom is the Virtual Copy feature.  Referencing the same source file (negative file) Lightroom allows the user multiple versions of an image.  Even better, since the whole process is procedural (very simply, no pixels pushed) this can be accomplished quickly and without much additional storage space or processing power required.

Fake Infrared Preset

To create a Virtual Copy, select any image (if multiple images are selected ensure the image you want to "copy" is active) and then right click with your pointer over the image thumbnail.  From the flyout menu choose "Create Virtual Copy."  You could also use the keyboard shortcut of CTRL (Win) / CMD (Mac) + '.

The Virtual Copy (VC) will appear immediately after the original preview and is automatically stacked.  The VC is easily identified by the upturned page effect on the lower left corner of the Grid View or Filmstrip thumbnail.

Fake IR with Color Preset

To experiment with another version send the VC to the Develop Module and optimize again with different settings.  This is a great way to play around and find other solutions to creating images with drama, impact, and wow factor.  To push even further, make multiple Virtual Copies and optimize as many ways as you can dream up.

The series of images on this page were created very quickly by copying the original (at the very top) three times and then applying  the following presets: Fake Infrared, Fake Infrared with Color, and Fake HDR.  I will talk more about these presets and show the settings in future posts.

Fake HDR Preset

2011 schedule is filling up and will be completely posted soon.  Hope to see you here or at the California Photo Fest in October.

Fiat Lux!