Tag Archives: learning

Attending photography meetups are a great way to learn . . .

more about photography.

TriangleStrobist01

You have that new camera you just picked up and you’ve tried to read the manual and it kinda makes sense, but you want to go learn and shoot some stuff. Yet you spend another night with the manual taking pictures of your furniture… There could be a good way to solve that problem.

Photo meetups!

In many communities, photographers get together and go shoot stuff. It could be anything from shooting sunsets to shooting urban decay to events like a small town rodeo. At meetups you get to meet other photographers who’s experience runs from someone who just got their first camera to seasons professionals — all sharing a common love of photography.

There are three main ways you can find meetups. Flickr, Meetup.com and your local computer club.

Flickr

Many photographer’s have found each other through Flickr. Flickr is a photo sharing service that has put a lot of effort into the social aspect of photography. Flickr has good tools for meeting other photographers. You can easily search for photographers, mark them as contacts and friends, email them, comment on their photos, mark your favorites and so on. Flickr also has “Groups” which let people come together on various interests. If you are into photographing urban grunge, there is a group for that. For meetups though, you need to find groups based on your location.

Searching for your city or region will give you a list of groups in your area. You can look at the information for the number of photographers and last activity. Find the one with the most photographers and recent activity and join them. If those groups are not currently having meetup’s free free to make a post inviting people to come to a meetup.

If you’re lucky you will find a raging active community with multiple meetup chances. Here in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina we have three groups that manage active meetups:

The Raleigh Flickr Group and Raleigh Social group are tightly coupled. RFG holds a standing 1st Tuesday meeting every month. The topics vary, but frequently they are shooting based and generally involve meeting for drinks and dinner then shooting afterwards. RSG fills in with ad-hoc meetups that are scheduled when people feel like it and can vary from just getting together to random shoots. In addition to shooting and social meetups, these groups also get together to talk about post processing with programs like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom .

Triangle Strobists is a bit more focused on using camera strobes for more creative lighting. Almost all of their meetups are shooting meetups where the photographers get together and share knowledge and equipment. They meet on the 3rd Tuesday every month. The photographers of Triangle Strobist are a sub-set of the overall Raleigh/Raleigh Social Group groups, so in effect we have two standing meetups and a lot of ad-hoc ones.

In all cases, the groups are open. There are no dues like clubs, you come when you can and no one judges you based on your skills. If you show up with a point and shoot or a pro grade camera you will be equally accepted. You will find this kind of openness among the Flickr meetup communities across the world.

Meetup.com

Meetup.com is a website for meetups, not just photography, but for any thing. But photography people make good use of it. You put in your topic you are interested in and your zip code and the website will present you with a list of meetup groups along with the number of photographers and you can find out how often they meet and what previous topics are.

Searching for a Raleigh zip code and photographers, 11 groups were presented. Some of the more popular ones include:

Local Camera Clubs

You can use Google or check with your local camera stores to find information about any local camera clubs. Many cities have them and some will be more active than others.

These various groups are great ways to meet new people with common interests and learn more about photography.

Are there any resources that you have found that helps you? Leave a comment below.

Sharing your photography knowledge with others.

This weekend will be a weekend I won’t forget for a long time.aton-mebel.ru

But we have to back up a few months to put this in context. There was twitter and all things were good. Then twitter started having problems and a bunch of other services started up. One such service is Plurk. Plurk is like twitter but its more conversational and you can develop friendships on Plurk much like you can on Flickr.

About 6 months ago, I met Susan, who is @ttpus here on Flickr. Much like any other internet relation, it takes time to build up trust. @ttpus is a photographer who shoots a lot of baby and senior portraits and some weddings, mostly natural light.trailer movie J. Cole: 4 Your Eyez Only 2017

In June, she planned to shoot her own daughter’s wedding but a week before hand she decided that she would rather have someone else shoot the wedding. She took a chance on someone she knew in 140 character chunks and flew me to Iowa to photograph the wedding.

While there, we talked a lot of shop and she was interested in getting into working with models, perhaps setup a home studio, but she would need to learn lighting.

We continued to talk about this after the wedding and she decided now was the time to move forward with this part of her photography. Using frequent flier miles she and her husband picked a weekend to come to Raleigh for me to teach her.

She’s a Canon owner (5D + 40D and 2 580EX II speedlites) and she knew she needed some real studio gear. A couple of weeks prior to her visit, we talked about what she needed. She ordered the studio gear and had it shipped to me, so I could make sure I knew it before she arrived.

A couple of days later, two hot pink Alien Bee 800’s along with light stands, umbrellas and a big 5′ x 3′ softbox showed up. Having had Monolights before, the AB800’s were a piece of cake to use. For what its worth, the light from them are just awesome. She also picked up a pair of pocket wizards and enough parts that she could also use her 580EX II’s off camera much like we do in our strobist setups (small shoot through white umbrella, light weight stand, etc)

To make her trip worthwhile, I booked a couple of models. I thought “Film Noir” would be a great introduction to lighting and booked the wonderful CoriLee as our model along with Jessica Dunn to do the makeup. This shoot would tie us up from 12-5 on Sunday.

For Saturday, we added in an urban street shoot to get her experience with the 580’s off camera and booked Laurie Lu to shot in the warehouse district in Raleigh.

Somewhere along the way I got the bright idea, since she shoots a lot of babies to find a six month old to give a free sitting too while she worked with her studio lights. My next door neighbor has a 5 month old, the timing was good, so we had our baby model which we shot prior to the Sunday session, now making that an 11am to 5pm shoot.

It got even better. My day job was needing a product shot with a hand model so I picked the item up Thursday since I took Friday off to work with Susan. Since these shots are going to run in ads, I was able to score “Tear Sheets” for everyone involved.

I needed a big softbox for the product shoot so the timing was perfect.

Friday arrived and my guests arrived around 1pm. After a brief lunch, we came back to the house and she and her husband got the Studio Lighting 101 class. They learned how to setup and break down the Alien Bee’s. How to use the pocket wizards. We discovered a bad hot shoe on her 40D which explained why she was having trouble getting her 580’s to work on that camera. Using hubby as a model she learned how to use her hand held meter to get the right exposure.

Saturday, we hung out in the morning and talked for a while before my wife and I introduced them to the wonderful cuisine known as “Clyde Coopers BBQ”. We drove around where we would be shooting to give her an idea of the scenery.

Both nights after shooting we downloaded her cards and analyzed her work. It was a great weekend, but afterward we were all quite beat. They arrived back in Iowa this morning and her Alien Bee’s are en-route to meet her in a few days.

I will miss my time with them.

For me it was a great time to give back and share what I’ve learned over the years. I hope she has great success with her plans.