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No matter where you are on your photography journey, if you have never attended a photography conference you have to come and have that experience! Even if it isn’t the Create Photography Retreat that is being held in Las Vegas March 28th to 30th in 2019 for a ridiculously low ticket price of $417, you should find a conference or workshop you can go to.

For a Limited Time
You can save an additional $30 off the Create Photography Ticket price using the coupon code MPPodcast at checkout!

Why Attend a Photography Conference?

Attending a workshop or conference is really one of the best ways you can accelerate your path toward mastering your photography. I was really surprised at just how much it helped me to get better as a photographer. So surprised, I recorded a podcast shortly after attending the Improve Photography Retreat (renamed to be the Create Photography Retreat in 2018) back in 2017 with the top ten things I learned:

  1. Not a “relaxing” vacation, exhausting, yet amazing
  2. So much fun to be around a lot of photographers-share interest of photography-nerd out together
  3. Fail upwards-embrace the experience of “failing”/learning
  4. Room to learn more about the exposure triangle for everyone from beginners to level 3-4 or higher
  5. Trying other genres of photography will stretch your skills
  6. Helping other photographers is so fulfilling and fun
  7. My gear is heavy I found out as I dragged it around for 4 days and nights through downtown Phoenix, deserts full of cactus, hiking up mountains, dragging it through hotel lobbies/rooms/crowded elevators, convention rooms, restaurants, and transporting it in the car
  8. Sharing and asking for feedback on your work with others can be uncomfortable, but will help you improve your photography
  9. Add depth to your photo
    1. Pay attention to your contrast in your photos-look for ways to add depth to your photo on the screen
    2. Notice the saturation on the photo. Too much-no good, too little makes it look flat
  10. Master Photography is a group of people who have formed a community to assist each other in improving as photographers. You can’t find that everywhere.

If you have never been around hundreds of photographers who are all just as passionate (or more) than you about photography then you have to treat yourself to a workshop and/or conference.

What Workshops Are Offered?

I am doing Pre-Retreat and a Post-Retreat workshops. You can buy the pre-retreat alone, the post-retreat alone, or you can choose to have the full on Photo Taco experience by buying your tickets to both!

Pre-Reatreat – Become a Ninja With Your Camera

Before getting into all of the class sessions you can attend at the Retreat where you will have so much opportunity to learn and master your photography, I will teach attendees of this pre-retreat workshop how to truly be ninjas with their cameras so that you won’t miss a shot again.

So often the photo we want to create is only in front of us for a few fleeting moments. Sometimes literally fractions of a second. While there is so much that can be done in post-processing these days in Lightroom, Photoshop, and other software, there is no substitute for getting things right in camera. Especially getting correct exposure. Not perfect exposure or balanced exposure, but correct exposure for what you are trying to create.

In this course we will spend a full day going over the fundamentals of exposure. I have done this course many times and it never fails where I have multiple participants who tell me that they really thought they had a solid understanding of exposure prior to the course only to find out they really didn’t know it like they thought they did.

We will cover the three primary exposure settings of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, but we will cover it in a way you have never heard. You will learn:

  • Why aperture is THE most important setting and have to decide what it should be first
  • How shutter speed is also critical, a very close second to aperture, and very often misunderstood
  • Why ISO is NOT responsible for the noise in your photos and how you can get the very most image quality (dynamic range) out of photos where there isn’t a lot of light
  • How to be 100% confident in manual mode and nail the exposure using metering modes and the histogram
  • How to use focus modes and where the focus point should be
  • How and why to use back button focus (BBF)
  • How and why to expose to the right (ETTR)
  • How and why to bracket (HDR)
  • How and why to shoot panorama
  • How and why to focus stack
  • How you can use the Photo Pills app to help you get the perfect exposure to realize your creative vision

By the end of the class you will feel like you are a ninja with your camera ready to respond to whatever the scene throws at you to get the right exposure to create the photo you have envisioned in your head!

What you need:

  • A camera where you can have full control over the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings (preferably a DSLR or mirrorless camera). While I shoot Canon, I am familiar with all makes and models so it doesn’t really matter which one you bring.
  • A willingness to learn how to use your camera inside and out
Post-Retreat – Lightroom Classic 201

After all of the sessions that have helped you to get down the path a ways on mastering your photography, it is time to really dig into Lightroom Classic and learn how to utilize it as a tool to put the finishing touches on your photo to achieve the fullest possible realization of your creative vision.

Yes, it all starts with that creative vision. You have to know what it is you want to create, then you have to capture the scene with the right settings for that vision, and then you are ready to make that vision a reality in Lightroom.

In this course you will learn:

  • How to organize your photos so that you can find them when you need them
  • How to use the embedded preview workflow and the Library module to make culling fast
  • How to best cull your images so that you can easily find those that are worth editing along with your BEST images for your portfolio
  • When and why to use all of the adjustment tools and sliders in the Develop module including:
    • The difference between shadows/blacks and highlights/whites
    • The difference between the saturation and vibrance
    • The difference between contrast, clarity, dehaze
    • How to do sharpening and noise reduction
    • Why you should apply lens corrections
    • How the HSL panel adds that wow factor
    • How and when to use gradient/radial filters
    • The new range masking features
  • How to export your photos for social media, for printing, for digital delivery to customers, and your website
  • How to do panorama and HDR merges
  • See Jeff edit a photo of yours

What you need:

  • A laptop computer with Lightroom installed. Best experience if you are running the latest version of Lightroom Classic CC 2019 (8.1), but nearly all of the course will work with Lightroom 6 as well.
  • The course is best if you have had a little exposure to Lightroom Classic CC, but just let Jeff knew if you haven’t ever run the software before
  • A desire to learn Lightroom through and through!
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