Nature Photography…

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Broadly speaking, Photographers tend to approach their subject matter in one of two ways : Either with the intention of making realistic, documentary images or with a view to creating impressions. Many Nature Photographers make use of both approaches, sometimes simultaneously.  When your main objective is to record a natural object, situation or relationship as accurately as you possibly can, you will want to observe both the overall subject matter and its details very carefully… only then, you’ll be able to ask yourself relevant questions and make decisions about composition and all parameters to build your image.

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Break Free From Your Comfort Zone…

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Most of my attendees say familiarity can hamper Creativity. Hiking their surroundings, times and times wash out their forthright sight to the elements composing their environment. Their images become bland lately… It may be time to push themselves into some uncharted territory… All of us, inexorably, tend to establish what’s known as a « Comfort Zone »,  which is a limited set of safe, predictable and comfortable behavioral patterns that gives a sense of security and allows one to deliver known results with a steady level of performance. We all have our « garden », warranted source of acceptable images… And, inside our secret  yard, because our long practice of Photography, we’re indoctrinated with all sorts of rules and conventional wisdom : what I call « The Rules… » : Always use a tripod, Shoot during the Magic Hours, Compose using the Rules of Thirds, Expose for Highlights…Then, we always swim in the same waters, because the same causes imply the same effects. Too often, the end result is that we stifle our Creativity… Rules have to be known and most of the time, they have to be respected, but from time to time, you should play the « What if… » game…

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Get It Down To Just The Basics…

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All is about balance ! The image manipulation often happens by subtraction, just getting rid of as much information as possible : focus on the core meaning of the Subject Matter. Manipulation is not so much to trick you into thinking this is something that it’s not, but manipulation to get at the very basic structure of the scene. It goes to the very simple heart of it !

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Subject Matter… Make It Simple !

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Thinking about what the Subject Matter expresses, rather than thinking about what you can express, puts several things in perspective…

1/ It puts the emphasis on seeing things outside of yourself. It helps you to let go of self and be much more observant of what surrounds you. Careful reading of one’s viewfinder is a prerequisite of good Photography

2/ Paying attention to the details of your surroundings will enrich your sensory experience and stimulate your imagination. By enumerating the elements composing your images, you’ll be able to select or reject the ones that contribute or not to the Subject Matter. The less you keep, the more your message will be clear : Do it Simple to do it Strong !

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The Colours Of Chloé…

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As many photographers, the way I perceive what’s around me is strongly influenced by the Music I listen to. This morning, I was hiking in the freshly plowed fields with Eberhard Weber as a companion for my walk. This Jazz Musician is a very long date mate when walking alone in Nature. I saw this Tree bunch against this deep blue sky of very early Spring… Immediately,  I had to try to put in « words » the instinctive feelings I had about this landscape. It was a blurry remembrance of paintings of John Crome, an english landscape painter who lived during the end of the 18th century. To stick to the cliché, we could imagine a hunting dog pack with horses riding elegant women and a victorian white affluent abode in the background… but, up to me, this landscape deserves nothing else. It looked exactly as this. It has fallen straight into my lap as it is !

I felt there was something about calmness and serenity which needed to emerge in a photograph of it. In making the photograph, I used all the necessary technical skills – slightly underexposing, darkening the upper part of the sky with a very light graduated neutral density filter.

A band of sunlight moved across, far away in the scene. I had, before me, the choice of where to place it in the landscape. I liked the idea to have this dark stripe in the foreground with this plowed ground which adds to the birthing Spring colour density and place the moment in a early Spring Sunday.

Eberhard Weber is bassist at ECM Records

Be Honest with your Exigencies…

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Investigating the world through a viewfinder frame encourages a greater appreciation of the things that surrounds us. It learns our creativity to play around, to shape and build a self-interpretated scenery . As you learn Photography, the moods and emotions that photographs can evoke through tonality and contrast will be a fantastic lever to impulse your own personality in your work. By creating a more meaningful work, you will find a greater focus and develop a stronger voice, an ability to build a signature. Think of each and every image you create as a milestone in your global work.Your photographs are bricks of a what could be « Your Style… ».

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Utilisation de Lightroom 4 et de Photoshop… & Sneak Preview Lightroom 5…

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Je vous propose un Workshop dédié à l’optimisation de votre workflow depuis la phase d’acquisition de vos images jusqu’à la finalisation. L’ensemble des modules qui constituent Lightroom 4 seront étudiés en détail. Un sneak preview de Lightroom 5 est également proposé.

L’accent sera porté sur l’utilisation jointe de Lightroom et de Photoshop avec, notamment la mise en phase des espaces colorimétriques de chacune des applications. Le passage du format RAW de Lightroom vers Photoshop, l’ouverture des Smart Objects RAW. Naturellement, nous envisagerons le cas des images au format non-RAW et expliquerons les limites de ces autres formats.

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