Summer class

20070609_Armstrong_8246Savannah Photographers, join me this summer for another great photography class in the field. “Using Light to Shape Your Photographs” will include ambient and artificial light to create better compositions and more visually exciting images. Learning how light makes your composition pop!

Classes will be Saturday mornings from 9-11 AM on July 22, 29 & August 5. Cost is $150. Call 912.655.5709 for more information. Register at http://paypal.me/pgwilliamson

 

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The Ease of Identity Plates in Lightroom

It has been a long while since my last post. But I have been super busy of late with many different projects. The Book has been published! As a creative director of sorts, I spent many hours sorting, scanning, fixing, tweaking, etc. I even help write and edit. This was a big deal for me. I have had photographs published in books before, but I have never been in charge of coordinating all the art and taking photos. It was truly a labor of love. An Enduring Legacy: Savannah’s Sisters of Mercy & St. Vincent’s Academy, 1845-2015 is available in Savannah at E. Shaver’s, Saints & Shamrocks, or from St. Vincent’s Academy.

While working on the book project, I was also able to learn a few new things. I have been working on Adobe InDesign, Lightroom, Acrobat DC, and of course, Photoshop. If you are going to have an Adobe Creative Suite license you might as well learn all there is about the products to which you have access. I learned a great deal about InDesign from working with our book packager Janice Shay. Thanks, Janice!

As for Lightroom, I used features that I had not used before simply because I didn’t have need of them at the time. But I always go back to my favorites. One of which is the use of identity plates. In Photoshop you can add overlays, copyrights and such in bulk using actions. You create the file you want to add, create the action and voilá. In Lightroom, the same principle applies but they are called identity plates. The use can vary depending on the module you are using. In the Print module, I use them for applying copyrights and frames or other overlays with opacity. Here is a recent example from Prom…

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In Hoc Sogno Vinces means In this Sign Conquer and is the motto of the Convent of Saint Vincent de Paul now known as St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, GA.

Notice the custom overlay with the antique In Hoc Signo Vinces scroll work and the added date span 1845 – 2016. I created this especially for my St. Vincent’s senior. Adding school names, logos, years, events, etc. are all possibilities.

In, Slideshow module you can brand or create an event logo to show on every slide in the slideshow. You can then export as a jpeg to create a book, export as a video for a keepsake, or export as a pdf for easy sharing…

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The logo I created for Msgr. Nelson’s Golden Jubilee celebration is on each slide of the photo slideshow.

Identity plates can also serve as a way to added graphics and text to poster layouts and so much more. Have fun with them, experiment with text and graphics. You can also use them to brand your Lightroom program if you use it to show images to clients.

 

 

Halloween Lighting

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We love Halloween at our house. For me it’s the opportunity to create amazing lighting opportunities for creepy effects. This year, thanks to my son in law we added black lights, colorful stripes and spots. The new offerings with LED can be dimmer with faster light fall off but they are inexpensive and fun.

A girl can never get enough bling

So, I am not a girlie, girl but I do love me some bling. Especially when it is fun to photograph. These are just a few samples from a recent job. Shooting jewlery can be challenging. This particular set-up employed a light table, a V-shaped bounce card, and two light sources- a diamond light from the top and a secondary light bounced into the card. Using a light tent would also work but I have found can be too constricting in allowing ease of movement for placing pieces. This shoot was over 200 pieces of various sizes, shapes, colors and metals.

Exciting projects & Fall classes

Heritage Hall at St. Vincent's Academy in savannah, GA.

Heritage Hall at St. Vincent’s Academy in savannah, GA.

This year has found me very busy working on several large projects. The largest is a book project for my high school alma mater St. Vincent’s Academy. It was within these halls that I first learned about photography and spent hours in the darkroom experiencing the magic and the science.

I am honored that Sr. Jude Walsh, my former principal, and Loretto Lominack included me in this very auspicious endeavor. I serve as a contributing photographer and as the photo editor scanning and restoring historical photos of the Sisters of Mercy, the school and their missions.

Cabrini Fall Festival logo

Cabrini Fall Festival logo

I have also been able to dust-off my graphic design shoes and slip those on for an updated brochure for St. Frances Cabrini Catholic School and the logo for the Cabrini Fall Festival.

As the fall begins and school starts-up I am looking forward to the cooler months to be able to work with my photography students once more. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than when the lightbulb goes off and all the creative ideas and technical information we cover meshes. Small class sizes allow me to work closely with students for a more enriching learning experience.

For more information on upcoming classes, services and such, contact me at info@pgwilliamson.com.

Classes for 2015

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Classes for 2015 have been scheduled.  Check out the calendar link above for dates and times.  Registration is through the GSU Continuing Education Department at http://bit.ly/1sTcaMx

The next class is Techniques for Better Photos which begins on February 18, 2015. Learn how to use the auto settings and scene modes to create stunning photos.  Great photos can be created using any type of camera including your smart phone…

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New Year, New resolutions

Flckr_captureI never fail to do the same thing this time each year- make resolutions. Some I am able to keep, others go by the wayside. One resolution which should actually be part of our normal routine is organizing and backing up our photos, documents and other important data. My favorite site is Flickr for my photos. These can take up a great deal of hard drive space on your computer and computers do not last but a few years depending on how good you are at upkeep. Crashes are a reality and with that data loss. Flcikr makes it easy to back up all your photos and videos with 1,000GB of free space. Yes FREE. Unlimited space is a reasonable cost per year.

Even better news, the Flickr app is available on your iPad/Phone or other smart devices to Auto Sync all your digital photos and videos from your tablet and phones. Use tags to search for specific content and you will soon be more organized than you dreamed. Batch editing allows you to customize who sees what on your photosream and privacy settings can make you invisible to searches if you choose.Flckr_capture2

Flickr allows you to edit your photos on the fly. One of my favorite new features. Powered by Aviary (one of my favorite phone apps) allows you to change brightness/contrast, sharpen, enhance, tweak saturation, add frames, etc. all within Flickr. Once you have edited to your heart out, you can save as a new file or replace the original.

Flckr_capture4Click the row of three dots at the top of your profile to see a fly-out menu of choices. Click “Tags” to see the Alpha-numeric list of tags your photos already use. At the very top is a link with the number of photos that are untagged. Clicking that blue link takes you directly to the Batch Organize view and loads all the untagged images into the window for easy tagging in batches. This Tags area is also a way to quickly view photos with a specific tag. You see how many images are tagged with that keyword, and can edit or delete the tag. (Deleting the tag does not delete the image.)

Using wireless SD cards like Eye-Fi also allows you to automatically upload card content to site like Flickr. This makes back-up quick, easy and painless.

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Great app for celestial events

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The Photographer’s Ephemeris is a must-have for every photographer.  This handy app shows the direction of sunrise/sunset and for those who want to shoot the blood moon on October 8, 2014. The direction of moonrise/moonset. You can set a location,  get compass degrees, times and even set a date for future events. Save locations you use frequently and even import locations. The app can be used on any Android or iPhone as well as your desktop computer or laptop.

Senior Season

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Another school year is underway and planning begins early for yearbook advisors. Of paramount important is getting those senior ads in and that means LOTS of senior portrait seesions for photographers around the country. There are a few tips that might help you soon-to-be grads get the best look with the least amount of effort.

Tip 1: Your clothese should not be louder than you. What? Busy patterns and neon colors will draw the attention away from YOU. Keep to solids and subtle patterns in a complementary palette of colors to you and your portrait setting. That way the everyone will see you first and foremost.

Two Faced Tinted beauty Balm is a great product for evening facial tones and hiding blemishes.

Tip 2: You sparkle and shine, not include your skin. Anything that is shiny will reflect light and create strong spectral highlights. Not super flattering. Try using a matte finishing powder on your face to help absorb any excess oil.

Tip 3: Afraid your uneven skintone or acne will break the bank in retouching fees? Not to worry. Try using Two Faced Tinted Beauty Balm Multi-Benefit Skni Care Makeup.

Tip 4: Stay cool! Here in the south, the temperatures can be oppressive even in early fall. Try scheduling your sessions for the coolest times of day and make sure to bring a small cooler with water to stay hydrated. Consider bringing an umbrella to create instant shade (it can also act as a light diffuser for your portraits if the sun is very bright).

Bare Minerals Warmth All-Over Face Color brings a sun-kissed glow to the skin.

Tip 5: Natural is always a good choice. Make-up fads come and go. If you want a timeless look, keep to a more natural make-up look with nude eye shadows, soft pink/coral lip colors and pale pink blush. Try brushing a darker shade of foundation powder (Warmth by Bare Essentials is also great) from temple around to the apple of your cheeks and along the jaw line to create a warm glow. Try dotting your eye-liner instead of using a heavy solid like. You will get the look of fuller lashes without the heavy liner look.

Getting the Most from Adobe Lightroom

ImageLightroom is a photo editing program used by amateurs and pros alike to organize, edit and export. At first glance, the modules seem straightforward, but this class will delve deeper, showing you how the program can be used as part of an effective workflow process: importing, editing, using/creating presets, identity plates and watermarks, print set-ups using templates, and creating custom templates, as well as exporting/using plug-ins.

The class is set to begin on Monday, June 2, 2014 at 6:30 pm at the Coastal Georgia Center in Savannah. Register online by clicking here or by telephone- call 912.478.5551 (have your Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card ready). Speed up this process by faxing your registration form in advance to: 912-478-0847.

This class will be offered again beginning in November 2014.

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