I was on the Algonquin Park Moose Photography Master Class workshop with Michael Reichmann this past weekend.
The trip was absolutely incredible. I learned a phenomenal amount that will improve my photography prints by an order of magnitude and also hopefully have some decent moose and other photos in the 650+ frames I shot over the three days.
Michael saved me $1000 by telling us not to buy ND Grad filters (I had a set of Lee filters on my "wish list"), saying that he never uses his anymore, instead fixing too high an exposure range with Photoshop and multiple exposures instead. That goes a long way right there to recovering the workshop fee, but regardless of that, it was worth every penny and more just due to the tips/techniques I've gleaned.
Only did a very quick look see at the pics so far, prior to doing batch sharpening, contrast/colour boost and the like to see what the "potential" is of what I shot this weekend. I got some good stuff...but I should learn to do the batch stuff before even taking a first peek, since the raw files straight off the camera can be disappointing, but then look super after initial processing, since all my pics benefit from the application of some basic processes to bring demonstrate their "potential", prior to doing detailed bit slinging on the best of the best. I do no sharpening in the camera very deliberately, since I have better tools to do that on the desktop. So many images that are quite sharp, don't initially look that way.
Anyone else ever experienced this syndrome, or is it just me?
We did portfolio reviews and I got a lot of great constructive suggestions on how to make my pics even better, primarily cropping and printing suggestions to improve the presentation, rather than how to shoot the pic in the first place. Not just from Michael, but all the attendees (there were only 5 of us, plus Michael and Chris). All the photographers were very talented and experienced, so we all had something to offer everyone else. Definitely not a group of "snapshooter beginners" which made the session all the more valuable. Michael had his laptop and a projector so we saw some hands on stuff with CS2, like the new HDR (high dynamic range merge) capabilities, and looked at a full start to finish RAW workflow with both ACR and C1 raw converters.
I just got my issue #12 of the LLVJ yesterday, so I grabbed a neo-citran, and watched it in bed after all the pics were safely backed up to multiple locations.
Beat...but exhilarated...and highly motivated to re-crop/re-print my whole portfolio and put into practice some of the techniques/suggestions we picked up, not to mention do a detailed review, selection and custom-tweak the best of the best I shot this weekend.
What a trip....I still don't believe it. Even the lingering cold, runny nose and less than stellar weather/light couldn't put a damper on this weekend.
If you ever get a chance to do a "Master Class" workshop with Michael....GRAB IT! It'll be the best money you ever spend on photography and will ratchet your image quality/presentation up a great deal, if my experience is any indication.
Some photos are now posted from the Bullwinkle Workshop. They are the ones I like the best so far, on first review....not all "portfolio" shots, but ones I especially like for one reason or another. After some pondering, the selection might change a bit. If you are interested, you can find the pics posted here: http://www.gryffyn.com/andrzej/photos/index.html
And many thanks to Michael and Chris for an "eye-opening" experience that I don't think I'll ever forget.