Our First Workshop-A Sold Out Success

We are happy to report that our first workshop titled "Making The Merit Print" with Rob Hull, Tony Corbell and Mandy Lynn Lundy, was a great success and a sell-out. We met at a fabulous B&B on the river in Glen Rose, Texas and kicked off the event with a truly amazing reception hosted by Bill and Angela Porter from Arlington Camera. They laid out a wonderful spread of unique foods and drinks and helped set the stage for a very special weekend. 

Saturday morning began early as we met to work with our model Erin, to create what we hope to be an award-winning image, filled with storytelling and a touch of whimsy.  As we were starting at a 6am, our model who drove for an hour and had to arrive by 5 for hair and make-up, was a trooper and was really dedicated to make this a good shoot. Working in the high contrast early morning hours meant that our first lesson was all about the balancing of flash and ambience to achieve a realistic image that wasn’t too “flashy” looking but yet well balanced with flash in order to produce impact. For this task we used the new Elinchrom ELB400 portable flash units and are happy to report they performed admirably. The lightweight size and strong output helped to insure we had success with the images, no problems overpowering the ambient light and consistent wireless flash triggers from their unique radio system.

As the light was ever-changing we would change the tone of the image, finally settling on a suggestion from Mandy Lynn Lundy. She gave the model a paper to hold as if it was “A Letter From The Front”, indicating bad news from an early war. Her period clothing and hair helped to tell this story and this became our final selected image. 

After the shoot wrapped we all learned as Rob Hull went into great depth about file maintenance, image transfer, and organization. He presented many helpful tips that would help to raise the level of confidence in keeping our files safe, accessible, and literally professionally organized. Lightroom, being the software of choice for many, has so many small steps that help to maintain these critical elements in file management and Rob showed many of these small, almost hidden features.

Finally, after lunch we spent the afternoon with Mandy as she began the process of editing and enhancement to our chosen “hero” image.  She was very thorough in her approach and worked to make sure everyone followed along and never felt lost as many were learning new techniques in editing.  The combinations of edits she used in this image helped to improve the look, direct the attention of the judges, minimize distractions, and generally create an image that would indeed “Make A Merit Image.”

Just for fun after dinner, we all met to finish off the day with an image I had been thinking about designed to look like a movie poster.  For props we had a top hat, a fog machine and our friend named Rolf and we went to work to make him look a little, well, creepy.  The combination of the blue gels on the backlighting and the fog moving around him coupled with the blackness of the night for a background resulted in a fun shoot with just the right tone we were hoping for.  Everyone seemed to have a great time with this late-night setup and got great pictures. We even braved the mosquitoes to keep shooting. 

We are thrilled that this first workshop went so well and have a lot of people to thank for helping with its’ success.  Our terrific model came from a suggestion from our friend Brad Barton. Again Bill and Angela from Arlington Camera could not have been more gracious as sponsors for the event.  I’d also like to thank those who came from such a great distance to be with us.  From Houston and all over Texas, to our friend Iris, who came down all of the way from Calgary, Canada to spend this weekend with us. People literally came from far and wide to attend. We’d also like to thank Brooke and Rolf Kasper for helping with so many aspects of the workshop. From hair and make-up to Rolf’s modeling career getting a jump-start, they worked really hard and assisted in so many ways. Thanks guys. And finally, Mandy Lynn was there to help Rob and I look good, as she was the driving force behind our “Making of the Merit Print.”  She helped determine the image, the design, and finally the finished look.  We could not have done it without her. 

Stay tuned folks.  We are just getting started and will be putting together more of these types of events in the Dallas area as well as nationally and internationally.  Wait until we tell you all about our recent Greece trip.  Images and story to come…

Best wishes to all and again, many thanks for your generous support.