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The Creative Digital Darkroom

September 30 – October 6, 2012
Maine Media Workshops • Rockport, Maine
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Join the co-author of Real World Digital Photography, The Creative Digital Darkroom, and Photoshop Artistry for an inspiring week on the beautiful Maine coast that combines digital photography with presentation, artistic discovery, and exploring the creative possibilities for improving your photographs in the digital darkroom. You will learn creative enhancements for both the straight photographic image, as well as using the initial photograph as a point of departure for visual transformations that lead to personal images that are interpretive rather than literal. In our photographic explorations, both with our cameras and with Photoshop, we will search for the extraordinary in the ordinary.

Sunset at Marshall Point Light , Port Clyde

In our "home base" of the digital lab, our discussions will cover the advantages and disadvantages of digital manipulation, including conceptual intent and how to make the most of the technical precision that programs such as Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop have to offer.Through demonstration, exercises and exploration, you will learn how to improve and enhance any image so that it becomes closer to how you envision it should be. Moving beyond global adjustments, we will use various selection tools, image layers and layer masks, to make local image adjustments that affect a specific area of the photo, creating an effect that parallels traditional darkroom dodging and burning, but with infinite flexibility. Sharpening, noise reduction, essential and creative filters, custom black & white conversions, digital "hand tinting", panoramas, HDR, creative layering, using texture and digital “lighting”, the power of Raw processing in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw, and making fine inkjet prints are all topics explored in this workshop.

Lake Megunticook

Outside of the lab, we will explore Maine’s beautiful and diverse scenery to create images in a wide range of lighting conditions, exploring creative photography and essential camera techniques such as composition, understanding how the existing light will affect the image, mastering the camera’s light meter, exposing two or more shots to extend dynamic range or create an HDR image, and other methods for technical and creative control in the camera. We will seek out the "sweet light" but also not shy away from the challenges of more difficult lighting situations. We will make full use of the many advantages of digital capture, but in the spirit of learning and mastering our craft, we will also confront the limitations of digital imaging both in the field and in the lab, discovering the many possibilities for working through these challenges. Daily discussions, demonstrations, and lots of hands-on lab work will provide you with the tools and techniques to advance your skills and take your images through to making a fine print. When the week is over you will leave the Workshops with newfound digital knowledge that will help you take your photography and imaging work to the next level.

Tidal Flow at Acadia National Park

Photographing in nearby Rockland

But wait...there's more!

In addition to learning all of those very useful skills and really cool Lightroom and Photoshop techniques, you'll also get to spend a week away from your normal routine in a beautiful part of the country at a beautiful time of the year, concentrating on your photography in the company of fun and like-minded creative people at one of the premier photo workshops in the world! And, on top of all that, you'll also have a lot of fun!

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© Copyright Seán Duggan, 2012