Archive for 'Shop Talk':

My creativeLIVE Studio Lighting Schedule & Material :: ‘ish

I really did start my studio on the streets. As seen in the photo above.

Update – Thank you one and all for those who worked so hard behind the scenes and those thousands and thousands of you who tuned into the live event! More to come!

As we get closer to this weekend’s creativeLIVE studio class I wanted to go ahead and share the rough time frame and course material for the weekend.

There are a lot of things I want to cover in this class and I know I’m going to run out of time at some point. That’s why we have spread this out over a weekend. As far as subjects we will be photographing go we are going to be working with emerging models, musicians, and regular folks off the street.

Keep a few things in mind… This is live Internet we are dealing with so all sorts of things can go astray but rest assured there is a full pro crew behind the scenes ready for anything the internet can throw at them. The times listed below are approximate aside from start times. Keep an eye on my Twitter account as the weekend goes on. We will be updating events there. IE : “Going to start shooting the band in 30 minutes.” “Almost done with lunch. Going live in 10.” “Talking about grip right now.” You get the idea. I have a basic outline in my head of what I want to do but I’ll be working in a new space and may change things here and there as I go but always teaching why I’m changing things and what’s going through my head as I try something different.

All start times are PDT (or -8 GMT)

Friday June 11th – 1:30pm – 4:30pm’ish / 5:30pm’ish • My personal philosophy of having a studio space • Considerations for getting a space of your own or turning a space you have into a studio space. • The basics of exposure when using flash in studio. We will be using hotshoe flashes and strobes. • Working with multiple lights and working with different lighting ratios • Using a light meter and how to figure it out on the fly without a meter • Overview of the modifiers we will be using over the weekend. Those include… ••• Straight flash ••• Umbrellas ••• Softboxes ••• Octabanks ••• Beauty dish ••• Ring flash ••• Grids ••• Flags/Silks/Reflectors ••• DIY modifiers • Q&A

Saturday June 12th :: 10am – 1pm’ish • The many uses of white seamless. I’ll be walking you through the entire process of shooting on a white seamless and getting the most out of one simple background • Post production on the white seamless • Q&A • (lunch break somewhere between 1pm and 2pm.) • Building a set. It will already be in place. I’ll just talk about the basic modular set pieces that went into making it. • Grip equipment. How to put stuff together and do stuff with that stuff. • Slowly moving away from the seamless and onto other background choices. IE: Fabric/Walls/Sets • Working with subjects. Interaction and Posing. (I’ve had a lot of questions about this so I’m spending a lot of time on it.) • Musicians. Duo and Trio. Group shots plus individuals. White seamless and other backgrounds + a simple set. • Q&A • In order to conclude in time to rebroadcast over night we can only teach for 10 hours a day. So the latest this day will run is 8pm. Don’t know if it will go that long or not.

Sunday June 13th :: 10am • Quick recap of previous day and previous information about exposure. Not going to spend a lot of time on this but just a quick recap for those just joining. • If I don’t cover the grip equipment on Saturday I’ll most likely do that Sunday morning. • Art Direction! I will be pulling people from the live audience and giving them assignments to see what problems they run into and guide them through the process. • More shooting. Different modifiers. Improv. • Q&A • (lunch break somewhere between 1pm and 2pm.) • Working with a four piece band.  Individuals and group shot. • More shooting. Whatever we decide to do making sure I’ve used all the modifiers from the list above. • Q&A

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I will be online live with Chase Jarvis tomorrow, June 9th, from 1:30pm till 3pm for a live Q&A leading up to the weekend. If I haven’t covered something in the notes above then hit me here in the comment section or tune in here tomorrow and ask while we are online.

You can sign up for the class here and see all the swag we have to give away during the weekend! We have stuff from B&H, x•rite, Pocket Wizard, Westcott, and Sekonic in addition to several copies of the OneLight DVD. Big thanks to B&H, The MAC Group, and Westcott for really bringing the goods. No t-shirts or ball caps in this prize closet. Also a big thank you goes to Affix Music for providing us with some licensed and cleared tunes to listen to while we work this weekend.

Questions about the class or something you might want to see covered? Drop them in the comments.

Cheers, Zack

C'mon Down To Workshop World!

June 4, 2010 | • Resources Events News

We are a week away from the creativeLIVE studio class!

I typically do not like promoting my stuff over and over and over but I am honestly and truly excited about this class and I love the fact that this is being set up so you can see it live… for free.

We are still working on the final schedule for next Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Look for that to be posted on the blog sometime this weekend. I’m in the middle of a Photo 101 right now and Meg is having ear surgery as I type, so we have just a few things on our plate but save the date for next weekend. It’s going to be awesome.

Sign up for the class here.

If you can’t attend the class live you can pre-purchase the class for download for an amazing $79. It will be $129 after the class. A blog reader here felt that was a bit like a used car salesman pitch and I get that. In fact I get it so much I made the video above! But I will tell you this… I am putting everything I have into this and I promise it will be worth it. Even at $129 it’s going to be over delivered and under priced. This isn’t going to be a fluff and no stuff kind of workshop. We will be working with small flashes, studio strobes, several kinds of modifiers, and we will be working with individuals and groups. We are also going to have a lot of time set aside for Q&A during the live session. Not just five minutes here and there.

Cheers, Zack

CreativeLIVE :: We are looking for six people to join us live!

May 20, 2010 | • Resources News

As we lead up to the CreativeLIVE studio class next month in Seattle, we are looking for six of you to join us live in the audience… for free! Now, don’t get your hopes up thinking that means airfare and accommodations but that does mean you can to be in attendance during the class. We are wanting the studio audience to be the proxy for the online audience. You may be asked to watch a twitter feed during Q&A. You may be asked to be a subject for an impromptu portrait. We promise not to put you into any compromising situations. :)

We have six spots to fill and this is how you could snag one of those spots…

• Shoot a 60 second video of yourself. Introduce us to who you are, where you’re from, what kind of photography interests you and then ask a question that you would like to see answered during this class.

• Upload it to the web and send that link, via twitter, to @zarias with a hashtag of #creativeLIVE.

• We will watch all of the videos and select six of you to be part of the audience. We will make that selection by May 31st.

• Understand that you will be taped and broadcast all around the Internets.

• You will need to be available from Friday evening June 11th until Sunday evening June 13th.

You can shoot these clips with whatever kind of camera you want! Be creative and keep it short and sweet!

I have not been this excited about something in quite some time. Whether you are in the live audience or you are watching online I promise you that I’m going to pour everything I have into it! It’s going to be a lot of fun.

We are still taking questions that you would like to see answered in the class. Keep them coming in the comment section!

Cheers, Zack

PS – Big thanks to Syl Arena for making a cameo! If you are in Atlanta, come by this Friday (5/20/10) for a mixer with Syl at my studio. 7:30pm till. 533 W. Howard Ave Decatur. Syl is in town for his Speedliting tour this weekend. Check it out.

Is It Photography?

May 17, 2010 | • Critique • Philosophy

I’m going to share a story about shooting crappy pictures then share a recent comment from one of y’all regarding our last critique that’s worthy of taking some time and thinking about what we do.

At the turn of the century I was photographer for Apartments.com. The image above is one I shot for them in 2001. It was shot with the then amazing Olympus C-3030. You should have seen the camera we upgraded from. My iPhone takes better pictures.

Ramblings after the jump…

(more…)

"I need a rooftop. In Manhattan. Tonight. With a garden hose."

I just finished editing my first music video this week. I shot this in New York last fall thanks to the help of friends, twitter, and Kmart. Read a little story about it after the jump.

I had a few extra days in New York last fall and I spent those days shooting as much personal work as I could. I was in the area to shoot a wedding with Marc. Assistant and intern extraordinaire Brian Hall was along for the ride as well. I reached out to as many people I knew with connections in NYC to find musicians to shoot. It turned out that Snowden frontman, Jordan, was in the city at the same time. Snowden is one of my favorite bands in the world and I’m blessed that they are from Atlanta and I’ve been able to work with them a few times.

Jordan and I decided we would meet up Sunday night and shoot some new promos for him. He sent me a few of his new songs for me to listen to before our shoot. I heard this song Lemon Peel and loved it right away. Saturday night I’m riding the train and I decided we should shoot a music video instead of portraits. I sent Jordan a text and he was down for whatever. Sunday morning I put out a message on Twitter that read something like,

“I need a rooftop. In Manhattan. Tonight. With a garden hose.”

Ten minutes later I get a message from Neil at Nomadic by Design. He had access to a rooftop on the upper west side and it most definitely had a water hose we could use. The only caveat was we couldn’t make a lot of noise because we would be standing over his friend’s apartment and their two year old would be asleep. So no screaming, jumping, playing loud music. Ok. No worries. I thank Neil for helping me out and we plan to meet at his place later that evening.

Now then, I had flashes for portrait work but I sure didn’t have any video lights with me. The 5d MkII does pretty well in low light but not in no light. I knew that I wanted to build off of the water references in the song and I knew that water looks best if it can be back-lit. I also had to do this on a budget of “not much”. Like, less than $50. I went to the Kmart at Penn Station and bought six flashlights. I would have bought some more but that was all they had and I still had another band to shoot AND take 10 portraits of 10 strangers so I didn’t have a lot of time hitting up the entire city looking for more flashlights. On a tech note, these are those focused LED beam lights and they were making odd patterns of light on the roof behind Jordan. I needed to diffuse them to get rid of the pattern so I used the white plastic Kmart bag they came in to do that. I ripped the bag up and put pieces of the plastic over the front of the flashlights and that got rid of the patterns. Ghetto Video Dot Com!

Marc and Brian came along for the evening. Marc was on the flashlight lighting Jordan. Brian was on the water hose. Everything and everybody was soaked by the end of the sixth take. The wind was really unpredictable and we just had to deal with it. Jordan’s MacBook playing the song was wet, the 5d was dripping wet, and Brian turned out to be just as soaked holding the hose as Jordan did getting hit by it. All in all… it was a great night.

So why did it take me so long to edit? Because the idea I had for the edit sucked and I couldn’t re-envision the project. I had it set in my head that it was going to be one way but that way turned out like crap and I couldn’t “see” anything different. That happens to me a lot. I get an idea for a shot. I see it in my head. I pick up the camera. I take a photo. The photo sucks. It is nowhere close to what I see in my head. In photography I have learned to let those things go until another day. I couldn’t let this one go until one evening this week. I’ve been editing images for a new portfolio and this Snowden video was bugging the hell out of me. Jordan froze his ass off for this video and I still haven’t pulled anything out of it. I divorced myself from my first plan and just started fresh and new without a plan and I knocked it out in one night. Seriously. One night. Done. WTH? It’s like doing taxes. No, no it’s not.

So yes… my first music video. I’m happy with it. I’ll hate it soon enough but for now I’m really glad I dropped my first idea for the edit and went in a different direction with it. Am I going to sell my self as a music video director? Nope. Do I want to do more of these? Absolutely. Yes. Just spoke with a past client last night about another one of these. Hip to the hippity hop!

Cheers, Zack

PS – I won the last GOYA shoot out! I really thought it was going to be Robin (photographer E). I’ll do another post later.

Free Studio Class :: Call For Questions

May 11, 2010 | • Resources Events News

We are one month away from our weekend studio class that I will be teaching for CreativeLive. The class will be broadcast out of Seattle June 11th – 13th. If you are unfamiliar with CreativeLive let me give you the bullet points…

• They bring live teaching to you for free. Yes. Free. If you can tune in while the class is going live then you can kick back and watch it for free.

• This is a highly interactive process. People are monitoring the CreativeLive chat room and twitter feed during the class and fielding your questions to the instructor during the class. If you have a question you can ask it. I’ll be scheduling blocks of times during the weekend I’m teaching just to sit down and get through as many questions as I can in addition to the ones that will be fielded during the instruction time. I love the Internets. Don’t you?

• If you are unable to sit through an entire class, series, or the like then you can purchase that class anytime afterwards. The downloads pay for the bandwidth and production to bring it live. It’s a fantastic model for education that really doesn’t have an equal in our industry right now and I’m honored to have been asked to come on board as this thing launches.

• You can “enroll” for a class or just show up on their site the day of the class and watch it. The enroll feature is the best since you’ll get that reminder email before your class goes live.

• For those of you beyond the continental United States who don’t want to wake up at 3am to watch a free class the good folks at CreativeLive have come up with a solution for you. They will replay that day’s class overnight! Are you kidding me? That’s very awesome of them.

Check out some of the videos from Vincent Laforet’s HDDSLR class. Hours upon hours of discussion and teaching over the course of three days and you can download the whole dang thing for $129. I paid $400 to go to one of his workshops here in Atlanta and that was for one day and I can’t play it back. I downloaded this one right away. If you are wondering what the “edited videos coming in X days” means; if you download the video now you are getting the straight RAW feed that was the same as the live course. The edited versions do not cut the content. CreativeLive just goes in and cleans up the video and might make a change in cuts from one camera to another. The edited video has a bit more polish but all of the content as the live feed.

So…

I’m doing a studio class over a weekend in June. It will start with an intro on Friday night and then run through Sunday. The final schedule is still being drafted but what I need right now from all of you is this…

What would you like to see in a studio class?

I’ve got 2.5 days to pack in as much as I can so hit me in the comments of specific or broad topics you want to see happen live. I have a basic outline of things I know I’m going to cover but I want to make sure I’m hitting points you all would like to see.

Lastly, we have six seats to fill with people during the class. We have a little idea for a contest for folks to win a seat to be there. I’ll announce that in a few days. Do remember that this is going down in Seattle. You don’t have to live there but travel will be on your dime. :)

Questions?

Cheers, Zack

Photography Critique :: Episode 13 (parts 1 & 2)

May 10, 2010 | • Critique

Photography critique returns and this time with a special guest!

Our good friend and fellow photographer, David Jackson, was in town this week for a job. We had he and his studio manager, Trevor, over for dinner along with our studio manager, Dan, and we wrangled them all into a critique.  Good food. Good beer. Photography! That should be our new motto for this.

This episode runs about an hour and twenty-two minutes so I’ve split it into two parts but I’m releasing them together. Scroll down for part two. Yes, I say the same things too many times. Yes we have fun. Yes it was late. It was all the stuff you come to expect from these things. :)

If you are new to our critique series here are some things to know.

• You can subscribe to this show via iTunes using this link.

• These are the rules of critique we go by.

• You can find previous episodes listed here.

• My non photographer wife, Meghan, and I do these because we love it and if we can’t have some fun and laughs with it then that would be boring.

• I ramble on and on and on about things at times while Meg tries to keep me on track. Also note that we hit record, do our thing, and upload. I don’t edit these for content once they are recorded because I simply don’t have the time.

• If you want to get in on some critique just email your web address to critique @ zackarias [dot] com.

And here is part two…

At some point in this critique I make a comment along the lines of, “Yes, it is a photograph but it isn’t ‘photography’.” AS soon as that came out of my mouth I knew it may spark some discussion.

Where is that line drawn? I’m not the expert but my philosophy is this; if you are shooting pictures that are absolutely no different then what is expected by a big box store photo studio is it “photography”? Do you enter this industry simply to live inside of a very narrowly defined box or are you trying to put a personal spin on the craft? There are plenty of times I have to work inside of those narrowly defined rules because that is what is expected or needed for the job. Sometimes my job means I’m a skilled technician of the camera instead of a photographer. Most of what we do is derivative of the work others have done for decades before us but the goal is to push ourselves, our craft, and our vision beyond that. We don’t always succeed but if it was easy who would want to do this? The goal of my comment is to make us all question what we do and what we show as our work.

Feel free to discuss in the comments.

Oh… And apologies to all of you who ride Harley Davidsons while wearing khakis and polo shirts. :)

Cheers, Zack

Photo 101 :: This is what it looks like ::

I’m not the type to talk much about my workshops but a number of folks have expressed interest in the three day Photo 101 as to what that actually look likes if you were to attend one. Someone from this weekend’s workshop asked why I didn’t blog about my workshops. I said I didn’t want to seem like I’m trying to sell them all the time so I just keep quiet about it. They said they would appreciate seeing something about the workshops and a blog post would have been nice to read before coming to one. So…

First, what is the Photo 101? It is an intense three day workshop I’ve been developing for a year that is aimed at the hobbyist / amateur photographer that wants to take photography from a hobby or interest and move it into a job. It’s limited to 10 students per workshop.

Friday :: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm :: The first day of the workshop is lecture, lecture, lecture. Everything about aperture, shutter speed, metering modes, working with available light, and optimum camera settings for different photographic applications like portraits vs. events. Just before lunch I break the students up into pairs and have them photograph each other. We then critique those images at the end of the day. These images are shot at the beginning so I can judge the level of everyone involved before the class gets into the meat of applying the lecture material. We also spend a good deal of time talking about lens selection. Choosing the right lens for the picture you want to make is one of the most important things you do as a photographer.  If you don’t know your lenses and know what they do you are shooting blind.

The goal of all of this information is two fold. One is to understand the foundation of photography as it applies to shooting photos for clients and two; the importance of knowing the fundamentals and rules to get started with as you walk on to a shoot. Yes we want to be super creative photographers that push boundaries but if you start out never knowing those boundaries then you never have a rock solid starting point to build from. Starting out you have to be able to nail the fundamentals. They have to be second nature to you. You want things like reciprocal exposures, camera features and settings, and foundational lighting principles to be hardwired into your brain stem along with heart beats and breathing patterns. If you don’t have the foundation you are going to have a hell of a time trying to build something of value on… nothing. Well, that’s my philosophy about it.

Saturday :: 9:30 am – 7:00 pm :: This is the day of shooting, shooting, shooting. We started applying information from the previous day’s lecture to working with actual “off the street” clients. We started with simple headshots. Nothing revolutionary here but the goal is you should be able to fall out of bed and nail a headshot. We starteded with window light only, moved to window light plus reflectors, and then moved outdoors to use scrims and reflectors. We spent the first half of the day working with 5 clients to nail a headshot in and around our studio with the emphasis being you don’t have to have a “studio”.  Any old window light will do.

Since your first foray into professional photography most likely will include portraits that is what we concentrate on. Note that very little has been done to the photos in this post. Maybe a hair of color correction, a slight tweak of contrast, a bit of crop, and an occasional B&W conversion. Light is our photoshop.

After lunch it was time to start with the headshot and then find out where and how to break the rules and why you would want to do that and when you most definitely do NOT want to break the rules. For the rest of the afternoon and into the evening we worked with three models and two “clients” who were fellow photographers but easily opened up in front of the camera. Our amazing sexy location for this? My yard. We all descended on my yard for the afternoon to create portraits. The exercise was learning to shoot in any location. Please note that I do not have a manicured English garden for a backyard. I still have a dead old Christmas tree thrown in the bushes because the city never picked it up. One of those back yards.

For the first part of the day we had very clearly defined constraints we were trying to work under and then it was time to throw some of those constraints out the window and remind ourselves that our job is supposed to be fun. We can nail the safe or the expected or the needed shot but how can we go beyond that? Can we shoot an out of focus portrait? The answer is yes we can. I love this shot by Jessica Cook.

Here are some more from the yard… Find a simple background and get all up in it…

Light the eyes. Light the eyes. Light the eyes!

This is Meg’s recording studio in the backyard. We call her Loretta.

I love this image that Lisa created in the front yard of Esther laying in the grass.

Hawke Danger gets in on the action…

I don’t get to shoot a whole lot at workshops because that isn’t the goal. The goal is to have students shoot as much as possible. I don’t care for those gang bang shoots where fourteen million shutters are clicking 8 inches apart from each other. I would rather folks get a more hands on approach to building images with me roaming around giving feedback and answering questions.  I will piggy back off of you though from time to time. :) Here is one I squeaked out as Terry was setting up her own shot.

I really love these next two…

I love ’em all really. It was really, really, really hard to edit for this blog post. I just did it by gut reaction to photos and there are about 15 others that I’m not posting because the Internets would blow up with this many pictures in one blog post.

After a full day of shooting we headed down to the beer garden at the Marlay House for dinner, beer, conversation, and more beer. It was a gorgeous evening of beer and photography and beer. :)

Sunday :: 10:00 am – 1:00 am Monday morning :: Yes. We go until we go on the last day. We started the third day off with editing the work that was shot on Saturday and going through post production and archiving and file management and all of that fun stuff. We went next door for lunch and then had two models come in for a few hours in the afternoon. I split the group of photographers into two groups and gave them assignments. THEN… get this. I taped their screens for part of the shooting time so they couldn’t chimp. They couldn’t see if they got the exposure right. They couldn’t see what the photo was turning out like. They had to, get this… think it through and you know what? When you don’t see what you are shooting it is possible to still create great work! Like this…

After the shooting session we got into business and marketing and working ideas as you get started in this industry. We ate dinner, we kicked back a few beers, and we critiqued the images from the afternoon. It was a long, long, long day. You can expect 35 or more hours of workshop time in a three day period.

I’m really proud of this group. I mean, I’m proud of all the photo 101’s so far but as I get this class tweaked and focused I’m really glad to see the kind of work folks can produce after a relatively short amount of instruction time. You should see their images from the first assignment on day one!  😉

We have some spots left for November and we *may* be announcing one in June but the folks on the waiting list have first dibs on that. It has not been listed yet. Details will be on the OneLight Workshop site if we open that date.  Note that for now these Photo 101 workshops will only be in Atlanta and will always run Friday – Sunday.

So here you go Jessica! A blog post about the Photo 101! :)

Cheers, Zack

Zack Arias :: Sucksessful Commercial Photographer

April 9, 2010 | • Philosophy GOYA

Want a sneak peak into the life of a successfull commercial photographer?

I made this for a few reasons. I’ll go into that later.

Want some more?

HQ QT version of the video here.

Cheers, Zack Arias. Sucksessfull Commercial Photographer

PS – In addition to thanking the academy I would also like to recognize Jeremy Cowart, Chase Jarvis, and Joe Effing McNally.

Creative Classes For $FREE.99 @ CreativeLive.com ::

April 9, 2010 | • Resources Events News

I’m pretty stoked about a new project that Chase Jarvis has been working on for the past year. Chase has teamed up with the good folks at CreativeTechs to create a portal called CreativeLIVE. CreativeLIVE is bringing free education to us!

Here’s the breakdown of how it works…

You check out the schedule on the CreativeLIVE web site. You see a class you want to take and simply log on to http://www.creativeLIVE.com/live when that class is taking place and you get it for free. There aren’t just photography classes though. You’ll be seeing more classes about other creative and technical disciplines as well. Painting, video, programing, etc. The classes will be available for download after the class has completed. There will be a charge for the download. That’s how they are going to be able to offset the cost of doing it live for free.

I’m going to be teaching a studio lighting class. White seamless and beyond. Models, bands, etc. In order to maximize this for as many people as possible to see it live and for free I will be teaching the class over a weekend. Probably about six hours of live training with live Q&A and critique. I’ll be announcing the date here, twitter, and FB once we finalize the date.

I don’t do very well speaking straight to a camera so I’ll be doing some sort of twitter something or another looking for five people to come to the class, in person, for free. I do better if I have some real people to interact with but I’ll make damn sure that the viewer’s perspective isn’t just one of a camera on sticks in the back of a standard workshop. More details on that once we nail down the date.

Since this is a new venture they would love to hear from y’all about what kind of classes you would like to see offered. If you have some ideas drop them in the comment box here. Who else would you like to see teach? Let me know and I’ll pass it all along to the folks running this venture.

Cheers, Zack

Gulf Photo Plus :: The Shootout with David Hobby and Joey L.

March 29, 2010 | • Resources Events News

Here is the official video of the shootout I did with fellow dorks photographers David Hobby and Joey L.

What we all want to know is… Who won? :)

Cheers, Zack

Gulf Photo Plus :: My Shootout With David Hobby & Joey L

March 6, 2010 | • Workshop Misc. Photos News

Meg, Hawke, Dan, Sherri, and I have had an amazing week here in Dubai being part of the teaching crew at Gulf Photo Plus. This is my second year teaching at GPP. Last year, being the new guy, I had to take the group photo of all the amazing photographers that teach at this event. This year Mohamed Somji, the organizer of GPP, decided it would be fun to have a shootout between David Hobby, Joey Lawrence, and myself.

The rules were simple. We would be given a subject to photograph in the main auditorium in front of a live crowd. We would have twenty minutes each to shoot tethered & edit a photo while our images were projected on a large screen. We all would have the same subject to photograph and we were not allowed to see what the other was doing. Hobby went first. I was second and Joey brought it up from behind. We were also told there might be a surprise or two.

The surprise was A) we would have two subjects instead of one and B) Joe McNally would have a microphone and be giving live commentary as we were setting up a shot and shooting. Two people? David and I asked the same question… “Do they both have to be in the photo at the same time?” :)

No pressure.

So the photo above is what I came up with. It was a great teaching exercise if anything and we all had a fun time with it. Yes… there were video cameras and it will be online as soon as we have links to it. David and Joey will post their photos at some point I’m sure. Joey… well he threw us all a curve ball. :) Lastly… an official winner was never named so… IMHO the best shot was

Six days of non-stop teaching and the stress of having to perform to a packed auditorium has me worn out. I have two days of personal shooting to do now. Can’t wait to share more images from this trip. I have had such an amazing time here in Dubai. I love this city. Usedfilm Dubai? I don’t hate the sound of that. :)

Cheers, Zack

OneLight Family Tour :: Photography & Music :: City Reps Needed

February 22, 2010 | • Workshop Events News

I take pictures. Meg makes music. I go out and take my pictures. Meg goes out and plays her music. What if we combined them? And what if we brought the whole family? And made it a road trip with workshops and concerts?

That is what we are doing this summer! The OneLight tour starts this June and we are hitting the road for three weeks. From Asheville to Nashville with photography and music all along the way.

You know those mixers we like to throw before a OneLight? Well Meg is playing our mixers this summer! We are really looking forward to it. We hope to meet many of you along the way. Mixers, BTW, are open to the public!

To make things come together and have a successful tour, our City Coordinator, Kara Pecknold, needs to find city representatives for each city we plan to visit:

June 29/30 Asheville, NC July 1/2 Washington, DC July 5 Pittsburgh, PA July 6/7 Cincinnati, OH July 8/9 Indianapolis, IN July 11/12 Chicago, IL (city rep already found) July 13/14 St Louis, MO July 15/16 Nashville, TN

If you want to work with us on this unique OneLight experience, contact Kara directly and she can provide you with more information about all it entails. kara [at] olivelifegroup [dot] com.

For more information about the dates of the workshops visit OneLightWorkshop.com.

Cheers, Zack

Workflow :: Photo Mechanic to Lightroom to Photoshop to Delivery

(for a higher quality version of this screencast view the source file here.)

I. Love. Photo Mechanic. End of story. This one program has saved hours and hours of my post production time in the last six months that I’ve been using it. How do I use it? Well, as I state in the screencast above, I only scratch the surface of what it can do but just watch how fast this program is. I can not say enough great things about it. It is available for Mac and PC.

Read below for a $10 discount code on Photo Mechanic!

In this screencast I walk you through my process from start to finish. I have recorded, encoded, uploaded, and ditched this project three times this weekend with the third attempt being my final. Workflow and post production is far from being the funnest and coolest part of our jobs. There is only so much you can say or do to make it the least bit interesting yet it is crucial to our day to day jobs. The more efficient we can be in post production the more time is added to our lives.

Please note that I am not the end all be all workflow guru. Far from it. I do what I do and it works for me. I’m sure many of you are going to leave some comments here teaching me a thing or three about workflow and how I might skim a few more minutes here or there off of my time working with my images. I welcome that. Let this be a conversation about workflow instead of a teaching lesson coming from me.

I want to mention that the Lexar UDMA FW800 card reader I refer to in the video is currently on sale at B&H for $53.99.  That sale ends March 6th. That is more than $20 off the retail price! Do yourself a favor and pick up a few of these. You can daisy chain up to four of them per firewire port. I avoided these for a long time due to the price point but now that I’m using them I don’t know how I lived without them. I wish I would have bought them a long, long, time ago.

I also mention my tutorial on shooting on white seamless on this blog post. You can find the begining of that tutorial here if you have not already seen that.

Many of you asked on Twitter about my thoughts on LR 3, Aperture, and archiving. I can answer that quickly here. I have not really looked at LR 3 yet. I’ve read Kelby’s ongoing posts about new features and I’m excited to see it once it goes public … and … a few months after that since there are always bugs to figure out once a large update is released. I’m too busy to test new software, deal with glitches, and throw up my hands to only go back to what I know and wait for the glitches to disappear. I am interested in the new Aperture 3.0 since it can sync libraries between multiple computers. Aperture has always been a resource hog though. Not that LR is anything but 100% efficient but I only have one editing machine I feel could make the most of Aperture and I’m not convinced that I need to convert from LR to Aperture just yet. I know plenty of you use it and love it with a capital LOVE. I get that. Their brushes look far more intuitive than LR’s brushes. I typically can not afford to jump from application to application when I’m not convinced it is what I need. I was happy in bridge until I sat in a two hour workshop covering LR. Once I saw what it was capable of I switched from Bridge to LR. Maybe the same would happen if I attended an Aperture workshop.

As for archiving, I have decided that should be a post of its own.

For more information about the deeper features of Photo Mechanic, check out the great tutorials on PhotoMetaData.org.

I hope you enjoy this screencast more than I did making it. :) Actually, it was a fun process until I watched the final, uploaded, ready to go versions before this and decided they were far, far, far too boring. I decided it needed 100% more hip hop and down tempo.  Side note – I’m now using Affix Music for my soundtrack needs. They are a new music licensing company who specialize in urban and electronic music. Their catalouge is growing and growing. Check them out. Would you all be interested in a discount code with them? Let me know and I’ll see if I can swing one. They are an amazing service!

BTW – Caleb sat next to me on this one and he wants you to tell me in the comment section if it was boring or not. :)

Photo Mechanic Discount Code ::

All you have to do is ask…. I called the good folks at Camera Bits, makers of Photo Mechanic, and told them I was doing a screencast based on PM and asked if there was some sort of discount they could offer all of you. They were more than willing to give me a code that is good for $10 off the price. You get to pay less than I did! In the name of full disclosure… I’m not getting anything from Camera Bits. This is not an advertisement. I pay for my software.

Call 1 503 547 2800 or email (sales @ camerabits [dot] com) to order and use the code PMzarias. This code is only good for emailed and phoned in orders. They currently do not have a promo code box when simply ordering online. This code is good until March 15th, 2010. (EXPIRED)

Cheers, Zack

PS – I know curves are a great way of dealing with exposure issues but at times, brightness and fill does the job for me. As with all things post production, there are 10 different ways to do the same thing. :)

Fear :: And The Winner Is… + Discussion On The Subject

February 6, 2010 | • Philosophy GOYA

The Setup ::

Last week we assembled a crew to help us on a three day shoot in an old abandoned mansion. I set one day aside for everyone on set to have time to grab some gear, grab a model, and shoot for themselves as payment for helping me on the other two days of shooting.  Knowing that competition can bring the best out in a person I decided we should have a shootout. I posted the images here on the blog and had you all vote.

Before shooting we decided to pick one word that we all had to shoot an image for. The first word that came up was “pain” but then someone said “fear” and we decided that would be a good one and off we went.  Each photographer could interpret that any way they wanted and what happened in the comments of the original blog post has been an interesting conversation of whether any of us actually shot an image that communicated fear.  I feel that some of you wanted far too literal of an interpretation. Fear can go a lot of ways. I think we all gravitated toward the “horror’ish” route based on the location we had to use but it doesn’t have to be the ONLY way to interpret it. More in the discussion.

The Results ::

The winner is… (after the jump)

(more…)


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