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« August 2014 | Main | October 2014 »

September 30, 2014

Profoto takes cordless to new heights

hagen_profoto_sq_THU_110.jpgProfoto's release of the Air Remote TTL-N, made the Profoto B1 become the world?s first off-camera flash to accomodate TTL with Nikon cameras.

Nikon shooters attach the Air Remote TTL-N to their camera?s hotshoe. If you are using a Canon you can use the Air Remote TTL-C.

This gives you full TTL control without any cords.

Pr-foto_B1_300.jpgTo celebrate the release, Profoto gave B1 off-camera flashes, an Air Remote TTL-N and some Light Shaping Tools to wedding photographer Brian Marcus and asked him to take them for a spin on the streets of New York City. Check out the video for a look at his results.

Want to know more?
Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen also took the new gear out for a spin and his review (plus video) can be found here.

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:41 PM | TrackBack

October-November-December Academy spotlights

October-2014_THU-SQ_125.jpgMasters Series workshops highlight the Nikonians Academy curriculum in October.

Join Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen in Los Angeles and Seattle for workshops covering Adobe Lightroom 5, Nikon iTTL Wireless Flash and camera workshops on the Nikon D810, D4s, Df, D800 and D4.

SteveSimon_125.jpg

Steve Simon will be teaching a 6-day workshop series in New York at his new studio.

These workshops will cover the newest Nikon DSLR cameras (D7100, D610, D810, Df, D4s) as well as his signature Passionate Photographer 2-day Mastery Workshop.

Here's the schedule (by date):

? Los Angeles - October 9-12 (Mike Hagen)
? Seattle - October 16-18 (Mike Hagen)
? New York City - October 21-26 (Steve Simon)

 

Acadia ? last chance

Acadia_145.jpg

We are nearing the last week to sign up for our Acadia National Park photography adventure.

This 4-day workshop begins on October 16.

Your leader, Lester Picker, is an incredible photographer and a great instructor to boot.

To top it off, he is one of the foremost experts on Acadia National Park, having served for many years as a graduate researcher.

Few people anywhere know the park as well as he does. Les lived in Maine for ten years and received his doctorate in ecology from the University of Maine, using Acadia National Park for his research.

Check out Mike Hagen's previous interview with Les.

 

Photo Safari in Africa this November

hagen_lion-250.jpg

Interested in going to Tanzania for a wildlife photography trip you'll never forget? Mike Hagen is leading our seventh Tanzania photo safari and will be in Tanzania from November 4th - 15th.

Mike tells us he still has a few openings.

This is a trip for photographers, designed by photographers. Mike works exceedingly hard to help put you in the right spot at the right time.

One of the best aspects of this trip is that we are only allowing three photographers per vehicle. This means that each person will have an entire row to themselves with one seat for their camera gear and the other seat for themselves. There will be plenty of room to move around and everyone will have perfect access to all photo opportunities.

 

Urban and Street workshop in Los Angeles

Hulbert_Chicago_250.jpg

Rick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography workshops are known as one of the best ways to understand how to photograph the built environment.

This workshop series is designed to improve your photography regardless of whether you consider picture taking a hobby, or you are a serious enthusiast, or a professional photographer, or earn your living as a member of the global real estate, design, and construction industries.

You will discover how to better frame and crop architectural and urban images using the long established basic principles of portrait, wedding, and event photography. By the way, if you are a wedding or event photographer, this workshop will take your photography up a notch as well.

Join Rick in Los Angeles this December.

Posted by flashdeadline at 8:12 PM | TrackBack

September 25, 2014

Digitizing Your Slide Library with a Nikon FX DSLR

If you ever were in possession of a pre-2002 camera, you have an archive of film negatives or slides collecting dust in a box or binder. You?ve thought about digitizing them but don?t own a scanner and are reluctant to ship them off to an online scanning service. In this article Joseph Gamble explains you how to easily migrate your film archive into a digital state.

Posted by Ronny89 at 9:44 AM | TrackBack

September 24, 2014

Acadia Workshop sign-up deadline nears

Academy-SQ-Acadia-Flowers_125.jpgNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen has returned from the Galapagos Photo Adventure and reviewed his current curriculum updates.

At the head of the list is a last minute reminder that sign-ups for Lester Picker's Acadia National Park photography adventure are in the last week of eligibility. The 4-day exploration of this national park in Maine, USA begins October 16th.

Acadia_300.jpg
Your leader, Lester Picker, is an incredible photographer and a great instructor to boot. To top it off, he's one of the foremost experts on Acadia National Park, having served for many years as a graduate researcher.

Few people anywhere know the park as well as he does.

Check out Mike Hagen's previous interview with Les.

Master Series
d600_shooting-menu_250.jpgOur Masters series workshops for October are all set to go for Los Angeles, Seattle and New York.

Join Mike Hagen and Steve Simon for these excellent classes that will help you learn the ins and outs of your cameras, software and flash systems.

Here's the schedule (by date):
? Los Angeles - October 9-12 (Mike Hagen)
? Seattle - October 16-18 (Mike Hagen)
? New York City - October 21-26 (Steve Simon)

Africa in November
hagen_tanzania_250.jpgInterested in going to Tanzania for a wildlife photography trip you'll never forget? Mike Hagen is leading our seventh Tanzania photo safari and will be in Tanzania from November 4th - 15th. Mike tells us he still has a few openings.

You'll be waking up in the early morning hours to take sunrise photos and then staying in the bush late for sunset photos. The goal is perfect light and great images so all decisions we make are around optimizing your photography experience.

During the middle part of the day and at night you will take a rest at our lodges and bush tents.

Urban Photography in Los Angeles
Urban_275.jpgRick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography workshops are known as one of the best ways to understand how to photograph the built environment.

This workshop series is designed to improve your photography regardless of whether you consider picture taking a hobby, or you are a serious enthusiast, or a professional photographer, or earn your living as a member of the global real estate, design, and construction industries.

Join him in Los Angeles this December.

Death Valley Mid-November
Death-Valley_284.jpgMichael Mariant's Death Valley National Park: Sand Dunes and Landscape Oddities workshop is a 4-day visual extravaganza designed to help you be a better photographer.
Join him from November 14-17.

One surprising aspect of these travel/landscape photography workshops for nearly all attendees is the level of education provided.

There is a comprehensive photographic curriculum integrated into the workshop, with each location providing an exercise in technique and application.

Posted by flashdeadline at 12:03 AM | TrackBack

Fall savings with Rocky Nook?s exclusive e-book offer

Nikonians and Rocky Nook prepared a fall savings campaign for you, featuring 35% off of Nikon eBooks.

Rocky Nook publishing is inviting all Nikonian fans to be a part of their one-time sale including Nikon e-books. For the next two weeks, until October 8th, you can purchase any e-book version of a Nikon title for 35% off. Just order from this list and use code NPFALL14 at the checkout.



Titles Include:

? Mastering the Nikon D90
? Mastering the Nikon D300
? Mastering the Nikon D300s
? Mastering the Nikon D600
? Mastering the Nikon D610
? Mastering the Nikon D800
? Mastering the Nikon D3000
? Mastering the Nikon D5000
? Mastering the Nikon D7000
? Mastering the Nikon D7100
? Mastering the Nikon Coolpix A
? Nikon Creative Lighting System, 2nd edition

Posted by Ronny89 at 12:00 AM | TrackBack

September 23, 2014

July competition final results and congrats

Contest-July-2014-SQ-THU_125.jpgNikonians Contest Coordinator David Summers (dm1dave) has posted the results of the July Contests. This one was packed with outstanding images.
   

Congratulations to our members who submitted the images in our composite key (below). Follow the links provided in each category to see the original entries, along with explanations behind the photographs and an overall look at the competition.

The Wildlife Category had two winners in July due to high participation.


Contest-July-2014-Key_450.jpg

1 ? Wildlife - "Alone at Last" winner Hector Tan (htan), from New Jersey, USA with his image titled Finally... Some Peace and Quiet.

2 - Wildlife - "Alone at Last" winner Richard Dubiel (Dubes), from Ontario, Canada with his image titled Some Quiet Time Away From the Brood.  

3 - Landscape ? ?Urban Landscape? winner Dayn Cederstrom (DaynLarz), from Missouri, USA with his image titled Kansas City.

4 - Macro ? ?Wide Angle Close-Up? winner Christopher Brown (shipsupt), from England, UK with his image titled Let me out!

5 - Sports ? ?Patriotism and Pageantry? winner Glenn Thompson (gmth), from Texas, USA with his image titled Pre-Game Color Presentation.

6 - Travel ? ?Back Roads? winner Barbara Colbert (Britbear), from Illinois, USA with her image titled Bunratty Cottage Lane.

7 - Online Assignment ? ?Colorful Bokeh? winner James Buch (jimray), from Oregon, USA with his image titled Fading white flowers.


Interested in submitting your photos?

Be sure to enter one of the monthly competitions listed in David Summers' contest guide.

 

Posted by flashdeadline at 11:34 PM | TrackBack

September 17, 2014

Transporting a lot of gear? Think Tank Photo's Production Manager 40 is here for you

Think Tank Photo just released the Production Manager 40, a professional-strength, high-capacity rolling gear case designed to safely transport a large amount of lighting equipment, including room for multiple flash heads, power packs, monoblocks, softboxes, and light-stands.


It features a spacious gusseted front pocket that fits reflectors, umbrellas, cables and more. You can roll into your next production fully equipped and secure with added features like the integrated cable and lock, lockable zippers, and wide set wheels that minimize tipping. It also has reinforced honeycomb panels wrapped in ballistic nylon with full-length exterior slide rails for protection in transport.


And don?t forget that by using this link you receive free gear with your orders from Think Tank:
https://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/productionmanager40.aspx?code=Nikonians



Posted by Ronny89 at 10:47 AM | TrackBack

September 16, 2014

Busy October for Nikonians Academy

Academy-Logo-sq-Df_200.jpgNikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen is finishing up the Galapagos Photo Adventure and when he gets back, he won't have much time to unpack.

Mike is bringing back (by popular demand) the Lightroom and iTTL wireless flash workshops for the Los Angeles and Seattle Masters Series scheduled for October

Mike will be in Los Angeles October 9-12 and in Seattle October 16-18.

Mike-Hagen-150.jpgDuring the series, you?ll learn how to integrate Lightroom 5 into your digital life. Mike helps you understand how to use Lightroom to import, sort, rate, edit, color correct, and make quick enhancements to your images. Then you?ll learn how to export your digital images for print, email or uploading. Learn how to set up Lightroom as your digital hub.

After taking this workshop, you?ll be well prepared for Master Adobe Lightroom 5 In Depth 2 (the following day).

The flash workshops are for anyone who owns a SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 Speedlight and wants to understand how the i-TTL (intelligent Through The Lens) system works and what Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS) can do for you.
You will learn flash techniques that will help you solve difficult lighting scenarios. We'll cover methods on how to creatively light situations that arise in studio photography, outdoor portraits, product photography, closeup and flower photography, web and product photography, travel photography, fill-flash photography and night photography.

The Los Angeles workshops also include Master the Nikon D800, D810, Df, D4 and D4s - In Depth 1.

Acadia seats limited
Picker-175.jpgOnly three seats are now available for the Acadia National Park Photography Adventure with Les Picker (starting October 16).

Les knows this park inside out and does a wonderful job of both teaching and helping participants create beautiful images.

Join us for a 4-day exploration of the exciting photographic possibilities in Acadia. You will explore its intimate coves and vaunted mountains, its pristine seashore and lush forests.

Les timed this workshop to take advantage of fall foliage with its resplendent colors.

New York in October
SteveSimon_175.jpgThe Masters Series workshops with Steve Simon will be arriving in New York City (starting October 21). Steve's schedule for New York includes his popular Passionate Photographer 2-Day workshop.

In his best selling and critically acclaimed book The Passionate Photographer, Steve maintains that to do your best work requires a technical mastery after which your creativity will soar.

If you own any of the following Nikon bodies: D7000, D7100, D600, D610, D700, D800, D300/D300s, D3, D3s, D3x, D4, D4s, Df then you are eligible to take this intensive two-day workshop designed to make your camera fade to the background, no longer getting in the way of the images you know you can make.
The New York workshops cover October 21-26.

Photo Safari special invitation
We want you to come to Tanzania with us. There are a few seats remaining for our November trip (Nov 4-15) and your workshop leader Mike Hagen will make sure it as one of the best wildlife photography opportunities you'll experience in your lifetime.

Your will see lions, cheetah, leopard, elephants, giraffe and over 100 species of birds on this adventure. Be sure to bring lots of memory cards because you'll need them.

Posted by flashdeadline at 11:28 PM | TrackBack

September 12, 2014

Freezing motion in low light - an optical viewfinder advantage

In his article Tim Marchant reviews a technique to capture moving objects in low-light by under-exposure and then post-processing to recover the image - but without motion blur. Read more on how to show some crisp keeper shots under difficult conditions from your new gear.

Posted by Ronny89 at 3:11 PM | TrackBack

Nikon releases new FX-format D750

D750-blg-SQ_125.jpgNikon has announced their first FX-format D-SLR with a tilting Vari-Angle LCD, along with a new Speedlight and fast wide angle prime lens.

The new Nikon D750 will be available in late September with a suggested retail price of $2299.95 USD (body only). The AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED will carry a suggested retail price of $799.95 and the SB-500 Speedlight comes in at $249.95 (both due on the street by late September).

Our members have been discussing the Nikon D750 vs D700 since last month, and if you are looking for good comparison points while shopping, that discussion is an interesting read.

Highlights from Nikon's Press Release
The new Nikon D750 adds tilting LCD functionality and built in Wi-Fi to a full frame model, and Nikon's press release describes it as a camera that will find itself at home in any camera bag:

D750_24_120_300.jpg"The new Nikon D750 provides professional-level features and performance in a durable, lightweight body. Whether the user is an advanced enthusiast or seasoned pro in need of a second body, the D750 easily complements any photographic discipline with a pro-caliber capability."

It features Nikon?s advanced 51-point AF system (the same used on Nikon?s high-end D-SLRs) and Advanced Multi-Cam 3500-FX II AF focus system.
It has a new 24.3 Megapixel FX-format CMOS sensor, and similar to the Nikon D4S, it features the 91,000-pixel 3D Color Matrix Meter III and its blazing fast AF system uses 15 cross-type AF sensors for enhanced accuracy, with 11 cross-type sensors that are fully functional up to f/8.

In addition to normal, wide area, face priority and subject tracking AF modes, the D750 also features the new Group Area AF mode for enhanced accuracy. Challenging light such as a poorly lit wedding reception is also no problem for the D750, as the AF system has been improved with the ability to lock on to subjects in as little as -3 EV illumination, a first for any Nikon D-SLR.

D750_24_120_top_175.jpgThat tilting Vari-Angle LCD is a 3.2-inch, 1,229K dot screen which tilts to accommodate shooting overhead, at waist level and on a tripod. For those serious about using a D-SLR for video, the D750 delivers the same level of functionality found in the Nikon D810, with the maximum amount of manual control that?s essential for production applications.
The Nikon D750 is compatible with more than 80 FX and DX-format NIKKOR lenses, the same optics that have built a lasting legacy of amazing image quality with brilliant sharpness and faithful color reproduction. For those upgrading from a DX-format lens system the D750 can also shoot in DX mode at 10.3-megapixels. The camera is compatible with Nikon?s Creative Lighting System (CLS) using the camera?s built in flash to control remote Speedlights for creative lighting possibilities. The new MB-D16 battery pack will also be released with the camera, to provide users with extended battery life as well as a functional vertical grip.

AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED: Fast Ultra Wide-Angle Lens
AF-S-NIKKOR-20mm-f-1-8G-ED_300.jpgThe AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED is Nikon?s first ultra wide angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture, allowing users to shoot in challenging light and create images with a pleasing separation between subject and background.

With a 94-degree angle of view (FX), the lens is ideal for architecture, interiors, wide-angle landscape and creative group portraits. When paired with the compact D750, this lens is also a great solution for video applications that call for shooting in cramped quarters. This AF-S lens provides whisper quiet and fast autofocus capability, an internal focus design, and features Nikon?s exclusive Nano Crystal Coat to reduce instances of ghost and flare.


SB-500: Versatile and Compact Video Speedlight
SB500_frt-bck_300.jpgThe SB-500 Speedlight is an exciting addition to Nikon?s Speedlight lineup, offering users the unbeatable yet versatile combination of a compact yet powerful Speedlight and LED video light, covering a wide 16mm/24mm (FX/DX). The controls on the SB-500 are simplified, making it easy to explore the possibilities of creative lighting with Speedlights. For full control over illumination, the head of the Speedlight has a 90-degree vertical swivel to bounce light off ceilings, and rotates 180-degrees for soft lighting effects. For remote lighting possibilities, the SB-500 Speedlight can be integrated into a CLS system with two-group/two-channel control. The powerful LED light (100 lux) is a great option for lighting video, and can be operated independently. Additionally, the SB-500 Speedlight is also powered by only two AA batteries, reducing both its weight and size.

Posted by flashdeadline at 7:46 AM | TrackBack

September 11, 2014

Photo Techniques: Exposing for Pinpoint Stars Over a Landscape

Trying to capture detail in both the landscape and the stars can be difficult, but from about one hour before sunrise to approximately 30 minutes before sunrise there is a sweet spot that allows you to capture enough information in both areas to produce a stunning final image. Follow Mike Hagen as he goes through the checklist of 10 steps to perfect star photography.

Posted by Ronny89 at 3:10 PM | TrackBack

September 7, 2014

Nikonians Academy Spotlight on Urban Feeback

Academy-SQ-Hulbert_125.jpgRick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography Workshops are receiving excellent reviews, and with a full slate of those workshops scheduled in the months ahead, we thought you might want to check them out.

Here are just a few examples:
?That was the best photographic presentation I have ever attended, without question. I loved your story telling and your analogies ? bodies and buildings, feet and foundations.?
? Lloyd Houghton

Urban_175.jpg?Just a short note to thank you for your recent Urban Travel Workshop. I learned a great deal from your wide-ranging lectures, in fact, more than I have from other workshops I have attended. Your teaching style and methodology really resonated with me. The ?three E?s? of composition are now firmly entrenched and help me to pre-visualize and plan images. We appreciated the significant time and effort you put into both the lectures and field trip portions of this workshop.?
? Gordon Griffiths

?. . . Rick?s background as an Architect makes him a glove fit for a workshop on urban & street photography. As an instructor, Rick uses humor very effectively to convey his principles about framing, cropping and composing a photo. In the field making photos or in a hotel meeting room reviewing student?s images, Rick is non-judgmental, while at the same time he manages to give useful feedback to the students in his classes . . . I look forward to the opportunity to attend other workshops that Rick will teach in the future.?
? Bruce Bourbon

Rick's itinerary for these workshops in the coming months include:
San Antonio, Texas (Sept 11, 2014)
Los Angeles, California (Dec 11, 2014)
London, United Kingdom (May 14, 2015)
Munich, Germany (May 21, 2015

Masters Series update
Logo_Lightroom-kl.jpgMike Hagen is bringing back (by popular demand) the Lightroom and iTTL wireless flash workshops for the Los Angeles and Seattle Masters Series scheduled for October.
He will be in Los Angeles October 9-12 and in Seattle October 16-18.

During the series, you?ll learn how to integrate Lightroom 5 into your digital life. Mike helps you understand how to use Lightroom to import, sort, rate, edit, color correct, and make quick enhancements to your images. Then you?ll learn how to export your digital images for print, email or uploading. Learn how to set up Lightroom as your digital hub.
After taking this workshop, you?ll be well prepared for Master Adobe Lightroom 5 In Depth 2 (the following day).

D700-SB900.jpgThe flash workshops are for anyone who owns a SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910 Speedlight and wants to understand how the i-TTL (intelligent Through The Lens) system works and what Nikon's Creative Lighting System (CLS) can do for you.

You will learn flash techniques that will help you solve difficult lighting scenarios. We'll cover methods on how to creatively light situations that arise in studio photography, outdoor portraits, product photography, closeup and flower photography, web and product photography, travel photography, fill-flash photography and night photography.

The Los Angeles workshops also include Master the Nikon D800, D810, Df, D4 and D4s - In Depth 1.

Back to the Big Apple
Passionate-Photog.jpgThe Masters Series workshops with Steve Simon will be arriving in New York City (starting October 21). Steve's schedule for New York includes his popular Passionate Photographer 2-Day workshop.
In his best selling and critically acclaimed book The Passionate Photographer, maintains that to do your best work requires a technical mastery after which your creativity will soar.

If you own any of the following Nikon bodies: D7000, D7100, D600, D610, D700, D800, D300/D300s, D3, D3s, D3x, D4, D4s, Df then you are eligible to take this intensive two-day workshop designed to make your camera fade to the background, no longer getting in the way of the images you know you can make.

The New York workshops cover October 21-26.

Countdown for Acadia
Acadia_300.jpgOnly three seats are now available for the Acadia National Park Photography Adventure with Les Picker (starting October 16).

Les knows this park inside out and does a wonderful job of both teaching and helping participants create beautiful images.

Join us for a 4-day exploration of the exciting photographic possibilities in Acadia. You will explore its intimate coves and vaunted mountains, its pristine seashore and lush forests.

Les timed this workshop to take advantage of fall foliage with its resplendent colors.

Outdoors and to the stars
Michael Mariant's Eastern Sierra and Owens Valley workshop (September 18-21) is a top-notch adventure and he's extending his invitation to those member still thinking of taking the few remaining seats. Photograph beautiful fall colors, scenic mountains and stunning astrophotography.

EasternSierra_01_284px.jpgCalifornia's Eastern Sierra, a jagged and prominent escarpment rising over 10,000 feet above the Owens Valley, is one of the hidden photographer's gems in California
Many prominent landscape photographers, including the late Galen Rowell, have called Bishop and the Eastern Sierra home and their base for their photographic expeditions into the stunning surroundings

No other region in the country offers the dramatic granite peaks, glacier-carved valleys, dense foliage and roaring mountain streams.

A rare and special treat, exclusive only to the Eastern Sierra & Owens Valley workshop, is an evening at a Deep Space Satellite Dish Array Complex to photograph star trails and the Milky Way, while surrounded by giant satellite dishes.

Each workshop participant gets to pick out their own satellite dish on the pad to use in the foreground of their astrophotography. Past workshop participants remark that this is the highlight of the entire workshop!

Photo Safari special invitation
hagen_lion-250.jpgWe want you to come to Tanzania with us. There are a few seats remaining for our November trip (Nov 4-15) and your workshop leader Mike Hagen will make sure it as one of the best wildlife photography opportunities you'll experience in your lifetime.

Your will see lions, cheetah, leopard, elephants, giraffe and over 100 species of birds on this adventure. Be sure to bring lots of memory cards because you'll need them.

Posted by flashdeadline at 10:07 PM | TrackBack

September 3, 2014

ANPAT-14 has slots available

Blog-ANPAT-14-SQ_125.jpgOnly two seats are left for the 14th Annual Nikonians Photo Adventure Trip (ANPAT). Our founders, J. Ram?n Palacios (jrp) and Bo Stahlbrandt (bgs), urge any members trying to make a last-minute decision to sign up now. 

The ANPAT, at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, USA will be held from September 28 to October 4.

The park is a photographer's dream location with classic landscapes, sweeping panoramas, and giant mountain vistas. The adventure is based out of Estes Park, Colorado.

Check the official Nikonians Academy ANPAT page for more information. 
To see what the attendees are discussing in advance of the adventure, click here

Next week begins our San Francisco workshop series taught by Steve Simon (Sept 9-15).

He's running workshops on the top Nikon cameras as well as his signature Passionate Nikon Photographer Two-Day Mastery Workshop.

Looking Ahead

EasternSierra_01_284px.jpg

September is a busy month for workshops. We have trips leaving for Sri Lanka, Galapagos, Bishop and Yellowstone. We still have a couple seats open for our Eastern Sierra/Owens Valley and Yellowstone Wildlife trips if you are interested.

The Eastern Sierra workshop runs Sept 18-21, and the Yellowstone Wildlife adventure dates as Sept 22-25.

For those of you interested in urban landscape photography, we encourage you to take a look at Rick Hulbert's Urban and Street Photography workshops that are scheduled all around the world. Next up in his highly rated workshop series are Los Angeles (USA) starting December 11, London (UK) starting May 14, 2015 and Munich (Germany), starting May 25, 2015.

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Special Edition Interview

Nikonians Academy Director Mike Hagen recently interviewed Rick Hulbert for the Nikonian eZine and thought we'd republish it again here for the blog:

Hulbert_175.jpg

Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your background in architecture and what is your background in photography?

I have been a licensed, practicing Architect and Urban Designer for 4 decades ? and I have been enjoying Photography both as a hobby and commercially for half a century. In my Architectural Firm, I have been consistently relying on photography as a wonderful communication tool.

You are currently teaching workshops for the Nikonians Academy but you also teach workshops for other groups. Tell us about those.

I started my educational career in Photography teaching at Vancouver Photo Workshops, a Vancouver, Canada based academy of photography.

I have now expanded my teaching to include lecture courses at Colleges and University such as Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, Canada. Additionally, I am proud to say that I have been a featured speaker on photography to a number of groups including the New England Chapter of the American Society of Media Photographers.

The photographic subjects of my workshops and lectures include Urban Photography, Street Photography, Travel Photography, Garden Photography, Panorama Photography, Heritage Photography, Infrared Imaging, along with High and Extended Dynamic Range Imagining.

Hulbert_Chicago_250.jpg

For the Nikonians Academy, I have chosen to focus on Urban Photography, which includes everything from buildings and bridges to people and their activities, to urban travel and vacation photography.

The content of my workshops includes not only techniques that will enhance your photography, but also ?composition.? I use the knowledge I have gained in my education in Architecture, Art and Music to show how you can create great images.

Finally, I teach how people see and visually perceive the world around them, and how that knowledge can enhance your photography. Wouldn?t you like to know how people will view your images? ? especially if you are trying to win awards or want accolades from others!

While I don?t teach software specifically, I use software when reviewing student images showing each workshop attendee (with their permission of course) how they can enhance their initial RAW files. This process allows students to get a taste of my personal workflow and hopefully get some valuable tips.

My students include those for which photography is a casual hobby, passionate enthusiasts, along with professional and fine art photographers.

How important is knowledge of architectural design principles to getting a great urban photo?

Hulbert-architectural-300.jpg

As an Architect, I have had a rigorous training in the art of composition. As an Urban Designer, I have learned how Cities are structured and organized and more importantly how people actually perceive the urban experience.

Knowing and teaching how our brains interpret edges of objects and people can give photographers a big advantage in portraying the myriad of photographic subjects available to us in Cities and Towns.

How do urban photography locations change around the world? . . . and what makes one urban photo location better or worse than another?

Every city, town, and village offers exciting opportunities for photography. If I am planning ahead, I look for specific locations that fall on ?edges.?  These include waterfront or riverfront edges, street edges, edges of parks, plazas, squares . . . you name it. Urban edges are a great place to start.

If I have not had a chance to plan ahead in advance, I look to intercept great light. We talk a lot about ?Intercepting Great Light,?  and what that means in my workshops.

 What do you find people most often neglect when they start taking photos in an urban area?

Urban_250.jpg

We need to recognize that cities and towns are designed for people. Urban areas comprise a series of indoor and outdoor spaces for people and their activities. We talk about the importance of learning how to photograph "3-D space".

Lots of people know the great landscape photographers by name, but what photographer do you think has done the best job of capturing the urban aesthetic?

WOW, let me think here?great photographers of buildings include master Architectural Photographers like Julius Schulman. For ?street photography? of people in candid situations, I most admire Henri-Cartier Bresson. Intriguingly, no single photographer comes to mind that actually combines both the constructed environment along with people and their activities in a consistently great way. That is, humbly, what I am trying to accomplish.

If people cannot afford a tilt and shift lens, what is the next best option for them to consider for architectural photography?

Urban_275.jpg

Architecture, and actually the vast majority of the designed and built environment is made up of straight lines or what I refer to as straight ?edges.? Traditionally, to photograph and to portray these edges as our brain interprets them, photographers had to employ the very best lens optics.

Today, with the sophisticated software available at very reasonable prices, almost any lens can be used to create sophisticated architectural images. This is true for single buildings indoors and out, and it is true of glorious cityscapes. I carry a couple of tilt/shift lenses with me so that workshop participants can see how they work if so desired, but they are definitely not necessary. A standard or super wide-angle lens is a great place to start.

 Over the years you have used a number of different camera systems. Do you find that one format works better than another for urban photography?

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All camera systems have their benefits depending upon the subject. For instance, smaller cameras are less threatening for candid images of people in the urban environment.

I personally enjoy and appreciate an SLR with live view. While I love my Nikon cameras, I welcome all types and brands of cameras from point and shoots (including camera phones) though mirrorless camera systems, range finders along with single lens reflex cameras and large format cameras.

My past students have brought along cameras and lenses from numerous manufacturers and it has proven my belief that all cameras are capable of serving as a tool for allowing the photographer to make great images.

Why are you passionate about urban photography?

I am passionate first about photographic education. I believe that the camera is the best tool for learning how to better see and perceive the world around us. I find the constructed environment a target rich palate of unending opportunities, and these great opportunities are often not far from home.

What do you wish more people understood about urban photographers?

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I want us all to learn to appreciate both the natural and man made environment and how they interact with each other?how they come together. Understanding how cities and towns are designed and used will make your photography all that much better and more appreciated by others.

You've been running workshops for quite a few years. What do you find to be the most common mistake new urban photographers make?

As I mentioned earlier, I teach the importance of recognizing edges in photography?edges of structures, edges of the urban landscape and especially the 4 edges of the photo itself.

The thing to appreciate is that our brain sees these edges first and that it is light that highlights these edges and the surfaces that connect them together. I want photographers to realize the importance of what a difference the quality of light can make in an image. Since there are no ?rules? for photography, I guess one could argue that there are no ?mistakes.? However, knowledge of how we see and interpret images can be incredibly powerful and fulfilling in your quest for great images.

What is the best city in the world for urban photography?

The best city is the one in which you find yourself.

Most people think of urban photography as downtown Manhattan or San Francisco. What aspects of photographing in these areas can be translated to smaller urban areas or suburbs?

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I am glad you brought that up. My workshop teaches what ?urban? means and you will find that the principles of photography that apply to big city cores, also apply to any area consisting of designed and constructed objects and places. These objects and places don?t just include buildings, but all constructed elements large and small, from roads and pathways to damns and power plants and from fences to telephone poles.

Even gardens and parks are planned and designed and are part of the urban context. When you add people and their activities into the mix, you can see how the principles of ?urban photography? can apply to almost anywhere that humans have made a visible impact on our environment.

Anything else you want to tell us?

I am most proud of the testimonials from my students.

If anyone is interested in my Nikonians Academy Workshop, they should have a look at my website

. . . and especially check out the comments from former attendees.

My upcoming schedule of workshop locations are listed on the Nikonians Academy Website:


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