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  1. #391
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    San Diego, CA
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    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Darin, I had hoped to see the rest of the images you offered. The work looks grand and a nice effort. I hope you are getting what you want from the training. Some of the things (Gen Eds) I am having to go through are offering little in my pursuit of my photographic dream, but they are great time & money consumers, for sure.

    ... I am seeing people with four-year degrees operating high-school level employment and unable to repay their school loans, due to the improperly aligned pay-scales vs education/experience/capability. At this point, I believe the country is actually "sickened" by this disparity of function, as it has warped the very fiber in the relationship between commerce and need. Kind of like fitting an old rust bucket of car with shiny new and expensive hubcaps, hoping to improve the overall appearance of the vehicle. Over-trained, underpaid, dis-spirited employees placed in positions where they will constantly be limited in growth, development and under constant financial pressure to make ends meet, with the enormous load of school debt they had planned on paying off with the promise of decent employment when they graduated.

    This not the America of the fifties and sixties ... as I recall. Education was a benefit, then ... today, it has become a liability.

    In a way, I suppose I want this effort to produce something more meaningful in sharing my "View of the World" as I see it artistically. I am also concerned that the quality of education in our country has backslid and the students are not getting what they intended or paid for, as witnessed in my personal daily account of classroom participation.

    I suspect they have given too much power to the instructors ... and, as the old axiom proves time and again, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I had witnessed it in a class, last quarter, and I am still dealing with problems that created.

    I hope your training is going with a bit less complexity and politics.

    I, as a member of the DCRP forum, thank you for participating in this educational thread and I look forward to seeing more of your fine work. I hope others can see the value of expanding their knowledge and conceptual understanding for the production of their "view of the world."
    Don,
    Thanks for your compliments. I got sidetracked by work. I'll soon post the rest of my work from my last project.

    Some observations related to your comments about education, work and life.

    Education. Yes, one of the educational goals of a batchelor's degree is to produce a "well rounded" student. That entails a certain number of courses in subject areas that seemingly have little use in one's desired career goal. And, while I disliked some of those classes when I took them, they come into play on occasion and I now appreciate having taken them.

    In my experience, there is an extremely small number of prima donna professors who have the type of mentality you seem to have run into. The other minority of professors are those who dole out assignments and provide little instruction. The majority, however, do a great job at engaging the students, and appreciate students who think outside the box and challenge the professors.

    As far as the student body, what I have observed in my studies (BA, JD and now Photography for personal interest) is that a significant number of students, particularly the young ones, are not self-motivated to put in the effort towards their education. I don't necessarily fault them because I was much like them when I was young and getting my BA. Some say its due to a lack of maturity. Perhaps. I tend to think its a comination of that, and the lack of a clear focus on what they want to do with their lives. That is one of the other reasons for requiring a breadth of educational experience in different subject areas as these young students might discover an area they had not thought of, but have a knack for it. As older students, we've been through that as a result of life's experiences - the so called "school of hard knocks." We have a focus and a goal in mind. We want to learn.

    Careers and one's station in life. My personal opinion is that our society places too much value on the prestige of one's career, how much stuff we have, and how much of it is high end. Just think about it, how many people do you know who have leveraged themselves on credit to the brink of disaster, just so that they can have that house in the suburbs with the brand new Mercedes, BMW, etc., all the latest and geatest electronic gadgets, and while buying that $3.75 Latte everyday. If anything, I think our society (at least here in the US) has lost sight of being able to enjoy the simple pleasures in life without the "need" of experiencing it through the latest gadget. It is no wonder that such individuals are not happy when they are either: 1) having to keep a job they are not happy in because they have leveraged themselves into a place where they cannot afford to quit or change careers; or 2) have been laid off and now find themselves scratching for a job they deem to be beneath themselves, all while their leveraged lifestyle comes crashing around them.

    But, so much for my non-photography musings.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  2. #392
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Digital Darkroom Final

    Now back to Photography ed-ja-macation.

    Here's the balance of my Digital Darkroom final portfolio. This time, I'm only posting the positives:
    Attachment 56074

    Attachment 56075

    Attachment 56076

    Attachment 56077

    The top three were taken with the A900. The bottom one was an older photograph taken with my Fuji Finepix S5200, as a passenger traveling at about 40mph.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  3. #393
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Advanced Lighting defined

    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    Okay ... seemed like it just began ... and wham, back to the Photographic Grindstone.

    This time ... the courses are more "general" than Photography specific. I only have Advanced Lighting this quarter, which ends on March 25th. I'm not too clear on the course requirements, but I am sure I will be at 6pm, when class ends.
    "Advanced Lighting" is more of a exercise-based course to appreciate the nuances of lighting, positioning and intensities. It seems rather basic considering what I was doing with lighting in the other shooting classes, so I can tone it down for this quarter.

    Okay ... off to shoot some preliminary setups.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  4. #394
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Quote Originally Posted by DonSchap View Post
    "Advanced Lighting" is more of a exercise-based course to appreciate the nuances of lighting, positioning and intensities. It seems rather basic considering what I was doing with lighting in the other shooting classes, so I can tone it down for this quarter.

    Okay ... off to shoot some preliminary setups.
    Sounds like it's a fine tuning course. You've learned how to light scenes and different lighting techniques from the other classes, now let's enhance that knowledge.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  5. #395
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb Messing around w model lighting

    My son has a couple of models still laying around from his earlier school days, so in an effort to mess around with some lighting layouts, this one used two strobes ...

    Attachment 56094
    EXIF: α850 w TAMRON SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di MACRO
    @ f/16 - 1/250 sec - ISO-200 - Manual Mode - 2 Strobes (one with snoot and 2nd as backfill)


    Attachment 56096

    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-21-2011 at 11:31 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  6. #396
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    It would be interesting to see it with a full black background, hard light on one side towards the top, and just enough reflected light on the back side to allow some of the detail to show.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  7. #397
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602

    Runner up series

    In working on last semester's final in my Digital Darkroom class, I also created a couple of other series. (As a reminder, the project was taking color digital shots, converting them to B&W and editing in PS, then converting them into a digital negative in PS printed out on overhead transparency film, and finally making contact prints in the darkroom.) For various reasons, I used the prarie/farmscape series for the final. So, I thought I would post some of the images from the two other series I worked up. Some of the shots have elements added or distracting elements removed as part of the digital editing process.

    From the snowscape series ...
    Attachment 56159

    Attachment 56160

    Attachment 56161

    Attachment 56162

    From the Williamsburg series ...
    Attachment 56163

    Attachment 56164

    Attachment 56165
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  8. #398
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Des Plaines, IL
    Posts
    9,560

    Lightbulb In the key of ...

    CHROMA/CHROMA!

    For my "Advanced Lighting" class, I decided to pop for a Green "Chroma Key" 10'x12' backdrop and use Photoshop to do the background lighting for me. I realize that size backdrop is not huge, but neither is the room I am using and by being a registered student, Calumet Photographic lopped $30 off the price of the thing. Funnier (as in strange) part is, for some reason, Calumet's national inventory reported that there are no 10'x24' Chroma Key Green backdrops in stock, today.

    Yeah, it may be a technique issue, but what the heck, the subject lighting is hard enough in my estimation. Let's just see what we can make ...

    EDIT @ 9:00 PM

    Okay, after some shooting against the chroma key green background ...


    I can now understand the issues with seeing through beard hairs and fluffy blonde hair (not me, obviously) and dealing with background reflections ...


    and my solution is ... yes, B&W. I'm right there with ya, Darin. No more green. LOL Actually, though, maybe a Blue Chroma Key backdrop might have been a better choice for this particular electronic substitution ... oh my, another $100!

    Attachment 56170

    Self Portrait

    α850 w/ SIGMA 24-70mm f/2.8 DG EX IF HSM
    @ 50mm - f/11 - 1/250 sec - ISO-200 - CWA - Studio Strobes w/ PocketWizard II Plus remote - Distance: 2-feet - Tethered shutter release

    Again, most of this is still researching a solution. I did take a look at renting handpainted backdrops ... $325 for a week! Almost the price of a new lens ... for a school project? Yeah, like that's going to happen. I think not. I suspect it is going to boil down to this "green screen" ... and a brunette.

    Anyway, for those of you who are wondering how "green screen" is done in Photoshop ... here are some quick instructions:
    1. Upload the photo with the green background and the photo that you want to replace the green background with. Have two windows open within Photoshop.
      _
    2. Unlock the "Layer" within your photo with the green screen by clicking the "Layers" tab at the bottom right corner of your screen. To do this, press "Alt" and double-click the picture. Your picture is now unlocked.
      _
    3. Use the "Move" tool to move a new background image over the image that has the green background. Drag it over the photo with the green image. Go back to the "Layers" tab to drag the new image layer underneath the layer with the green background. Before returning to the picture with the green background under "Layers," click on the image with the green background to select it.
      _
    4. Click on "Select" at the top of your screen and then click "Color Range." With "Color Range," use the "Eye Dropper" tool to take a "sample" of the color you want to replace by clicking once on the green background. Use the "Fuzziness" drag tool within "Color Range." This tool helps you to see the colors and images you want to keep in "black," and the colors you want to remove, which will be the green solid background in "white" color. Click "OK" and then click the "Delete" key on your keyboard. You will now see the new background that replaced the green background.


    I have to ask, is anybody learning anything "new" from all this? I mean, I know it is not exclusively a SONY issue, but no one said that people couldn't use this genre information.
    Last edited by DonSchap; 01-25-2011 at 08:05 PM.
    Don Schap - BFA, Digital Photography
    A Photographer Is Forever
    Look, I did not create the optical laws of the Universe ... I simply learned to deal with them.
    Remember: It is usually the GLASS, not the camera (except for moving to Full Frame), that gives you the most improvement in your photography.

    flickr & Sdi

  9. #399
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    602
    Looking good there Don.

    PCC has an Adobe Lightroom Imaging workshop and one of the recent seminars was on blue/green screens. They covered a way to fine tune the color selection to get to the pesky areas around hair. I'll see I can find my notes.
    Darin Wessel
    α 900
    Zooms: Tamron SP AF70-200mm f2.8 Di LD Macro; Sigma 28-90mm D macro, Konica-Minolta 18-70 f3.5-5.6
    Primes: Minolta 28mm f2.8; Sony 50mm f1.4
    Minolta RC-1000 remote commander

    Film:
    Calumet Cambo CC400 4x5 View Camera
    YashikaMat 6x6 TLR (other accessories)
    Minolta Maxxum 7000 w/ Minolta 35-80mm f/4-5.6 & Minolta 2800 flash
    Minolta Maxxum 5000i & Vivitar 728 AFM flash
    What's next???

  10. #400
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Monmouthshire, UK
    Posts
    2,152
    That'd be useful Darin.
    Fine detail selection is a nightmare, not that I do much of it anymore.
    Still be nice to know some shortcuts.
    Never too old to learn.

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