Friday, June 25, 2010

Tropical Island Boot Camp for Creative Photography

Watching and learning from a master at work in their passion is a rare experience. When Randy Jay Braun announced his first Tropical Island Boot Camp for Creative Photography on Maui, people jumped at the opportunity to sign up. When Randy invited me to help with the camp and teach some of skills I know best, I was honored.
Over the course of 6 days, we took 10 boot campers from all over the country to some of the best locations on Maui for photography and encouraged them to let their creativity lead the way to some amazing photographs.
Randy also brought in Adobe Photoshop Evangelist, Russell Brown, to help with post production of the images we captured during the week. The nightly classes in Photoshop CS5 and Photomatix helped bring images into panoramics and HDR (high dynamic range) like never before!
The combination of magnificent landscapes and people along with the talents of Randy Jay Braun and Russell Brown made for some truly incredible imagery.
Having Randy and Russell tag team throughout each day with their humor and energy, brought the campers to life each morning and helped them sing into the night. With a wide age range (24-58ish) and skill set (beginner to expert), the trick was keeping everyone interested and engaged throughout the week.
Usually, the landscape provided the perfect canvas for inspiration but several days Randy had invited friends, hula dancers, and models to help bring a human element into the week. To capture authentic cultural elements in imagery is getting more and more difficult to do. Randy's lasting friendships and genuine intentions in capturing the spirit of Hawaiian culture is one of his true strengths.
From the red, white and black sand beaches in Hana to the beautiful (and handsome) hula dancers who graciously and patiently agreed to be our models, the diversity of subject matter made it easy to shoot a variety of images.
Some campers even got creative with their cameras themselves, swinging them around taking slow exposures and "driving" them like crazy drivers to get cool blur effects and "essence" shots.
All in all, the week was an incredible experience for everyone involved and a huge success for Randy, who has graciously invited me back again to help teach the next boot camp!
So to all the people taking pictures of people taking pictures of people... See you at the next Randy Jay Braun boot camp!
Keep taking pictures of great subjects in magnificent landscapes.
To sign up for the next boot camp:

A hui hou,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Teaching Photography at Boys and Girls Harbor 1987

I came across a shot of my first job teaching photography when I was looking through some old photos a few weeks ago. Here you go. I still can't believe it. I first taught photography 23 (gasp!) years ago at a summer camp for Boys and Girls Harbor, in East Hampton in 1987. The Boys and Girls Harbor summer camp in East Hampton was started by Anthony Drexel Duke who owns a large parcel of property on the island which lent itself perfectly as a summer camp for inner city kids from Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Many of them had never left the city and never experienced "the woods" and it was a joy to get to know them, watch them grow and teach them photography. I wonder where they are now and if any of them pursued photography...

The Harbor still operates in the city and offers several education programs for children from New York City. Cool!!!

A hui hou,