Building Blocks

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My next mission is to grow as a photographer using Picture Perfect Practice by Roberto Valenzuela.  (You can get your copy through Amazon here Picture Perfect Practice)

While at Skip’s Summer School a few months back (wow time flies) I spent a whole day with Roberto introducing to his technique for photographic growth.  To make it simple to understand put this picture in your mind…take a classical guitarist and put a camera in his hands.  Now you have Roberto.

Perfection in music requires a combination of precision movement of your muscles, a metronome of a mind, technical competence with music theory, and enough comfort in your capabilities to let your soul’s unique sound emerge through the music.  This process to make a top level classical guitarist takes years, and the same can be said of photographers.  Luckily for most of us, the age of digital photography made the growth process faster since we can advance and study our frames not only faster, but in far greater detail than during the age of film.

By the time I entered Roberto’s class I was running on fumes.  A 12 hour car ride, 13-14 hour workshops two days prior…and then Roberto hits me with a tidal wave of his own making.  Luckily he has a book out and I will revisit his lesson through it.  If I am lucky in two years I’ll have a mastery of this photography thing…

Until then I offer a few photos I took with his lessons in mind.  Unfortunately I have only two in here I attempted to pose, the rest were all opportunity shots during the wedding (basically street photography!).  I am now looking at them know how far I have to go to be great, and it seems a long long distance from here!

Fortunately I can begin my journey with but a single frame and single lesson at a time from Roberto (and some other notables along the way)!

(I already did rectangles…now I’m working circles…)

So much to learn!


Today I attended my cousin’s wedding in ST. Petersburg, Florida. The last few weddings I attended had photographers who I must say did not “inspire” me. Today was just the opposite. I saw a husband and wife team led by Corey Conroy, and they inspired me! They even let me come along as they made some very artistic photos and help as a human flash stand.

I learned a great deal. I saw Corey and his wife create shots of the wedding dress, the groom review an invoice, and then work the wedding and dance floor. I then saw how today’s photographer is licensed to make some art with the couple rather than be tied to the official itinerary. That is if the couple allows it, and my cousin and her husband embraced the opportunity.

All along I did see in practice the concepts Roberto Valenzuela and Tony Corbell discussed about lighting. I learned some things about their business model and pricing…and how hard they have to work and create forty weeks a year. All in all it is amazing! I also saw how much more I need to learn to be a pro.

I’m glad Picture Perfect Practice arrived so now I can strait doing my exercises! So there is my project!

Check out Corey Conroy Photography!

If you need a photo in St. Pete or Tampa you cannot go wrong with them!


Stay the Course!

I am writing this post for a good friend.  Tomorrow he is halfway through his project of taking 50 straight days of macro photographs.  His rules are that he must take the photo and edit it that day.  I am very impressed with what he did…and wait in great anticipation to see where he will go from here.

So in tribute to his halfway point I am going to remind him to stay true to his journey’s goal my keeping his focus on true north, and then to tell himself that he is only half full of lessons he has yet to learn from the project.

Take a look at his work and even if he calls himself a newbie…don’t believe it.  This guy loves Kelby Training Videos.  He borrowed my Metz ringflash, and wore out a new set of batteries in one night…actually four hours between shifts!  He loves bugs and takes requests.  He is a macro lover and growing into quite the artist.

Rich I’m proud of you buddy!  Just remember your journey is only now starting to show its rewards.  The first bud is coming, and so many more are now ready to bloom. Just keep plowing on.

I have a project coming up after baseball season, inspired by you!  Just have to figure out what it will be though…

Here is his project Mendler’s Macros  let him know what you think!