Thursday, October 9, 2014

Minnesota and wildlife! (Part 1)

Notes from Day 1 & 2…

Capture, Compose and Create Workshop

Minnesota 2014

Day 1

What a great experience not only for myself but for the students as well, I saw smiles all weekend.  There were 12 workshop participants ranging in all skill levels and mediums. 

The first morning started off bright and early with our first photo shoot and even though it was overcast and lightly raining, everyone was excited to get several hundred images of a beautiful Grey Wolf. They overcast wet conditions really made for some highly saturated colors with great contrast. One of our other subjects for the morning was a young black bear that really pushed our limits with understanding the use of our cameras. There was a lot of adjusting of the ISO, shutter speed and aperture settings to accommodate for the darkness of the bear’s fur in the low lighting. Nevertheless there was many, many oh’s and ahh’s as each artist looked at what they were seeing on their LCD screens of their cameras.

After lunch and back in the classroom artist/instructor Jan Martin McGuire gave a presentation on her evolution of an artist and her process of creating a piece of art from working with reference material to planning the composition of the painting. Jan being a master at her technique as well as a very knowledgeable naturalist created a frenzy of pencils moving as fast as possible taking notes,  in fact cell phones started coming out so they could capture screen shots of the presentation.

I am positive that all artists went back to their individual hotel rooms over flowing with new insight from Jan's presentation and eager to finish uploading their memory cards to their lap tops.

Day 2

Rain was forecast for most of the day but that couldn't stop us.  With as bit of a delayed start so that the sun had some time to burn  off some of the cloud cover we went out with bags over our cameras and sporting large black trash bags as rain coats for those who didn't have them.  The rain did set in after only about 30 minutes of shooting but we all did have great time capturing a mature raccoon by the water with some great fall colors. 

Artists working in the rain

After a good old “country” lunch at a nearby cafĂ© we went back to the classroom for the continued presentation by Jan on creating a painting and her process of how she does it. Again all artists in the workshop were feverishly taking notes and at the same time I saw that many of them were uploading their images from the mornings photo shoot. The day ended late with my presentation on “Composing in Photoshop” after dinner that went on to about 9pm. I thought having my presentation coming after Jan’s was perfect since she talked about the actual process of painting and then I talked about using the reference that the artist where capturing at the workshop and how using Photoshop could aid them in pushing their compositions further then what they caught in one individual image.

Many artists stayed up late that night playing on their laptops!

Workshop artists composing with Photoshop