Low Light Photography Class – Products Discussed

Low Light Photography Class – Products Discussed

In Part 1 of our photography class, “A Focus On Gear”, we discussed many different products and how to evaluate what will work best for your needs. As promised, here are a list of products and brands that I’ve used over the years, and some comments on each.

Part 1: A Focus On Gear

A Good Tripod (doesn’t have to be expensive)

Your class discussed the trade-offs of features-vs-price for a new tripod. You can buy a very light tripod that is very sturdy, or one that is useless. The only
way to know if a tripod will work for you is to read the specs and try the tripod out yourself. Here are several brands I have used.

  • Manfrotto – One of the tripods I currently use. Typically higher quality brand, sells complete kits or legs and head separately.
  • Slik – Many years ago, I had one similar to Slik Pro 500HD. Was very happy with it, but the kit did not come with a “ball head”. A good budget tripod if you get one of their good models, they also sell “cheap” pods too.
  • MeFoto – Fairly light, decent tripod. Folds up for travel.

A Trigger / Remote

Triggers allow you to fire the shutter w/out touching the camera and causing unwanted camera shake. Triggers can be complicated or extremely simple.

These triggers are examples for CANON. Triggers are camera-specific, make sure and get one for your specific camera manufacturer and model!

A Good Lens

In class, we talked about “fast lenses”, lenses that have extra-wide apertures to allow in more light. There are several very expensive models on the market, but
a good place to start is the 50mm Prime (in one of our other classes, the 50mm is listed as “a lens everyone should own”). Here are several options.
Note, these are Canon lenses, but all other makers have similar 50mm options.

  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.2 L
    ($1,500) Canon’s best 50mm option, an “L” series professional lens.
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
    ($350) This is what I use. It is preferred by many hobby and professional photographers. A workhorse lens for lowlight and wide apertures photography.
  • Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II
    ($100) A reasonable option for low light photography, however it does not feature the better glass and build quality of the other two lenses. The
    lens body is plastic, making it lighter — but also makes it prone to breaking.
Joe Lippeatt is a User Experience Engineer, Front End Specialist and Application Developer for 24Moves Consulting. He is also the organizer of HoustonPhotowalks.com Photography Club. When not working, he’s enjoying planning photography trips and helping his wife and son work in their gardens.
Class: 12 MORE Ways to Improve your Photography

Class: 12 MORE Ways to Improve your Photography

In this class, we will walk through and examine 12 MORE examples of photography techniques that can bring out the “WOW” in your photographs! These workshops build on each other, so you must have taken the first class to attend this one.

Introduction

One of the coolest things about the social group photography experience is seeing how other people record their experience at the same location. We often say “wow, wish I had thought to take that perspective!” or “I didn’t see that!”.

So as humans that enjoy the creature comfort of habit, we have to break our cycle of photography techniques and try new techniques to get that next amazing shot.

About The Class

This is NOT a “what gear you should buy next” class.

All of the techniques we will discuss will be something you can use at your very next shoot or photowalk. You can make beautiful photographs with the gear you already own!!

As photographers, we have all trained ourselves to “see” and photograph a certain way, often after years of practicing specific techniques. Habits are hard to break, so we’ll focus on 12 things you can do to force yourself to make photographs that are completely different.

Some of these techniques will focus on how you handle and use your gear differently. We will also discuss composition techniques, including technical issues you may encounter. And we will discuss how to avoid common issues that plague us as photographers, like “focus” and “noise”.

All of the sections in this class are specifically design to help you get the most interesting and creative images possible.

Summary: In this class, we will walk through and examine 12 different examples of photography techniques that can bring out the “WOW” in your photographs!
One-on-One: $129.00
Group (20 ppl): $25
Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
Bring to Class: Tripod, camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
Length: 1-2 Hours
Group Classes Available at: HoustonPhotowalks
Skill Level Needed: Beginner – New to DSLR Photography, shoot only in Auto Mode
Class: 12 Ways to Improve your Photography (Camera 101)

Class: 12 Ways to Improve your Photography (Camera 101)

Interested in learning how to break away from “Auto” mode, and express your creativity by mastering more advanced modes?  In this class, we will walk through and examine 12 different examples of photography techniques that can bring out the “WOW” in your photographs!

Introduction

One of the coolest things about the social group photography experience is seeing how other people record their experience at the same location. We often say “wow, wish I had thought to take that perspective!” or “I didn’t see that!”.

So as humans that enjoy the creature comfort of habit, we have to break our cycle of photography techniques and try new techniques to get that next amazing shot.

About The Class

This is NOT a “what gear you should buy next” class.

All of the techniques we will discuss will be something you can use at your very next shoot or photowalk. You can make beautiful photographs with the gear you already own!!

As photographers, we have all trained ourselves to “see” and photograph a certain way, often after years of practicing specific techniques. Habits are hard to break, so we’ll focus on 12 things you can do to force yourself to make photographs that are completely different.

Some of these techniques will focus on how you handle and use your gear differently. We will also discuss composition techniques, including technical issues you may encounter. And we will discuss how to avoid common issues that plague us as photographers, like “focus” and “noise”.

All of the sections in this class are specifically design to help you get the most interesting and creative images possible.

  • Summary:  In this class, we will walk through and examine 12 different examples of photography techniques that can bring out the “WOW” in your photographs!
  • One-on-One: $129.00
  • Group (20 ppl):  $25
  • Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
  • Bring to Class: Tripod, camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
  • Length: 1-2 Hours
  • Group Classes Available at:  HoustonPhotowalks
  • Skill Level Needed: Beginner – New to DSLR Photography, shoot only in Auto Mode
Class: Photographing Textures and Patterns

Class: Photographing Textures and Patterns

This class is about photographing textures that surround us!

As we begin to focus on the “Artistic”, we will have classes on several photographic techniques that are not frequently discussed. Photographing the textures that make up our lives is a very interesting and challenging way to practice using our cameras.

About Photographing Textures

Texture images, by themselves, are sometimes not terribly interesting without some post processing. However having an arsenal of texture images, and knowing how to photograph them when you find something interesting, are very important.

Capturing texture images reinforces photography concepts you already know, such as composition and lighting. It also challenges you to learn new skills that will help you in other areas as you grow.

For example, practicing and mastering hand-holding your camera, or level-shooting on a tripod for a well-balanced texture image are skills that relate directly to landscape and portrait photography.

Using Texture Photographs

Texture images can stand alone as primary art compositions. They can also be used as backgrounds and art placement for photoshop compositions. As we build our personal library of patterns, shapes and textures, our options for creating beautiful photoshop compositing grow.

Even without photoshop compositing, photographing the beautiful textures around us is a great way to grow in your photographic career and hobby.

About The Class

We will discuss common techniques for photographing textures, finding textures in unusual places, training your mind to “look” for photographic textures, and some discussion about how to post process. We’ll discuss techniques for large texture photography (shooting a brick wall) and macro texture (the crackled leaf). Did you know you can turn a regular, every-day 50mm lens into a macro lens?

Summary: Texture images, by themselves, are sometimes not terribly interesting without some post processing. However having an arsenal of texture images, and knowing how to photograph them when you find something interesting, are very important. Capturing texture images reinforces photography concepts you already know, such as composition and lighting. It also challenges you to learn new skills that will help you in other areas as you grow.
One-on-One: $129.00
Group (20 ppl): $25
Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
Bring to Class: tripod, camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
Length: 2 Hours
Group Classes Available at: HoustonPhotowalks

Class: Understanding White Balance

Class: Understanding White Balance

Class Description

White Balance is a fundamental photography concept, but it’s often not discussed — or discussed incorrectly — in many fast-paced “Introduction to Photography” classes. Photos are sometimes too “orange” or too “blue”.  This is often caused by selecting the wrong white balance setting, or using Auto mode.  We use the camera’s “White Balance” settings to compensate for the off-color, ambient lighting.  And in some cases, we use “customized” white balance settings.

Your camera, monitor and printer all lie to you!

White Balance (or incorrect White Balance) is one of the biggest things that can make an image look “first-class” or “amateur”. There are too many factors working against you when trying to correct an image’s color. So we often rely on “Auto-White Balance” (AWB). This basically wild-cards your photographs, promising inconsistently incorrect color on a consistent basis. (Like how I did that?) 🙂

White Balance settings, good bad and ugly

Believe it or not, there are white balance settings you should absolutely avoid. We’ll discuss each white-balance type, what they were intended for, what makes them useful, and which ones to completely avoid using.

Using bad White Balance Creatively!

You can get some very interesting and beautiful images by incorrectly using White Balance. We’ll even discuss how your flash impacts creative color photography.

Using Custom White Balance tools

There are several tools for creating color-perfect images in-camera (before you take the photograph). We’ll look at each of these tools and discus what they are used for. Then we will focus on the “White Balance Lens Cap”, and how to use it.

To help you best understand these concepts, you will be provided a FREE WHITE BALANCE LENS CAP, and we will work several exercises to learn how to use it correctly.

Summary: White Balance is a fundamental photography concept, but it’s often not discussed — or discussed incorrectly — in many fast-paced “Introduction to Photography” classes. Photos are sometimes too “orange” or too “blue”. This is often caused by selecting the wrong white balance setting, or using Auto mode. We use the camera’s “White Balance” settings to compensate for the off-color, ambient lighting. And in some cases, we use “customized” white balance settings.

One-on-One: $169.00
Group (20 ppl): $35.00
Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
Bring to Class: Camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
Provided: Class Notes. “White Balance Lens Cap” so you can start using CUSTOM white balance during class!
Length: 2-3 Hours
Group Classes Available at: HoustonPhotowalks
Skill Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Class: Demystifying How to Buy a DSLR Lens

Class: Demystifying How to Buy a DSLR Lens

Class Description

Sometimes people ask me “what lens should I buy”. I joke that picking a new lens is harder than picking a baby name — you don’t ask others to pick your baby name (“Joseph” is quite nice though).  🙂

It can be really confusing for new DSLR owners to buy that next lens.  There are an insane number of choices, an insane array of acrynums and number specefications, and many seemingly identical lenses have a price difference of $1,000 or more.

And some folks (more than once) have bought lenses based on the focal length (MM) and price, and 6 months later realized they made a very bad, and expensive, lens choice.

What this class is *NOT* about:

It’s really easy to “geek-out” on lens specifications.  If you’re a high-end, pro-minded kinda person who likes to read MTF charts and study lens grouping schematics to help you wake up in the morning,this class is NOT for you.

  • NOT a “Joe, what lens should I buy?” Q&A – I’ll show you how to evaluate lenses so YOU can make this decision!
  • NOT a Specifications / Mathematics / Physics / Geek-fest
  • NOT an argument over “Bokeh” quality
  • NOT a debate over “third-party lens options”
  • NOT a tutorial on reading MTF and Adoration charts

What this class *IS* all about:

  • The basics of understanding lens specifications
  • The different classifications of lens types
  • Know which specifications to pay attention to
  • Understand why 3 lenses with the same “mm” are drastically different prices
  • Evaluating lenses based on what you intend to do rather than what you think you need or can afford
  • Why lenses with a smaller focal range is better than those with a larger range.
  • How to evaluate conflicting “Reviews” on Amazon
  • The one lens that everyone should own

Bonus 1: Discussing using UV Filters for lens protection – are they worth it?
Bonus 2: Discussing the basics of lens care

Summary: Sometimes people ask me “what lens should I buy”. I joke that picking a new lens is harder than picking a baby name — you don’t ask others to pick your baby name (“Joseph” is quite nice though). 🙂 It can be really confusing for new DSLR owners to buy that next lens. There are an insane number of choices, an insane array of acrynums and number specefications, and many seemingly identical lenses have a price difference of $1,000 or more. And some folks (more than once) have bought lenses based on the focal length (MM) and price, and 6 months later realized they made a very bad, and expensive, lens choice.
One-on-One: $129.00
Group (20 ppl): $25.00
Instructor: Joe Lippeatt
Bring to Class: Camera, lens(es), paper & pen, enthusiasm!
Length: 2 Hours
Group Classes Available at: HoustonPhotowalks