Branding History of HoustonPhotowalks.com

Branding History of HoustonPhotowalks.com

Since the day I started the group in June of 2009, HoustonPhotowalks.com has been a real blast. There are hundreds of amazing photographers in Houston, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many, many, many of them over the past 4 years.

Not The First Rebranding

To help keep the group’s web-site fresh (and to repair things that break when Meetup.com changes the header size or formatting options), our community’s web site has undergone a few “face lifts”. Through each rebranding, we maintained a few common features to remain recognizable: The Big Lens, the font, and (for the most part) our name.

Starting off Year Four – Going Back To Red

And now, at almost our 4-year mark, Meetup.com has kicked in with another major overhaul of their Look and Feel. Since we are along for the ride, HPW is going to rebrand too. This time, a bit more drastically than in previous years. Note however, to provide consistency in our branding, we continue to use the same font and message.

In fact, we are somewhat returning to our roots, going back to our original fire-engine red.

Old Logo History

I’ll admit it, some of these are sick-embarrassing to display. But they are what they are: our history in logos.

June 2009:

At first, the group was called “Houston Photowalk Events”, you can still see this reflected in some of our email addresses.

December 2009:

Meetup was tweaking their interface just like we were. And at one point, I was able to create large graphics for our header. Around December of 2009, we saw the familiar Orange and Black logo appear. Click to see full size.

February 2010:

It was about this time that our community really started to evolve. We weren’t just about “events”. The group was doing discussions, DIY’s, movie-theater presentations, and had eaten lots-and-lots-and-lots of food together. Rather than focusing on the nature of “Events”, the branding was changed so our community had a name. We rebranded to Houston Photowalks.

June 2010

In June of 2010, I couldn’t really keep calling the group an experiment. We had organized and executed dozens of photowalks and meetups. To celebrate our 1st birthday, I purchased the web site domain name we use today, and rebranded as a proper “dot com”.

September 2010

After organize events to small home-town parades, tours BEHIND the Galveston Strand to photograph the cracked walls and garbage dumps, and visits to the famous National Funeral History Museum, the group and our events were sometimes a little weird. So I added “Interesting and Unusual” to our branding too.

This logo remained with us from September 2010 to April 2013.

April 2013

On the heels of another major Meetup.com redesign, we jumped in and rebranded again. We kept The Big Lens, the font, and the branding. But as we near our 4th anniversary, we switched back to red. How long with this logo last? Time will tell.

September 2013

After Meetup made more GUI changes, part of our slogan was no longer visible on the site.  To help solidify our branding, we added the tagline to the image, below the URL.

December 2013

For the holidays in 2013, I had a little fun.

August 2014

Meetup made a GUI change that added a colored bar along the bottom of the header image.  For our group, that bar was red, and looked exactly like the underline we had been using since September of 2013.  So I recreated the logo without the red bar.  Also, in keeping with more current design standards, I reduced the intensity of the drop shadow behind the red text.

Its fun to see how branding and designs change over the years.  I’m curious to see where the HoustonPhotowalks logo takes us in the future!

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 acronyms and number specifications, 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