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January 2012 Newsletter

Welcome to a new year!  I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and holiday season, and that 2012 will be a prosperous and happy year.  I have enjoyed the break after an extremely hectic fall schedule - I was teaching four nights a week, as well as many weekends, while working with commercial clients needing photographs either for gifts or for the upcoming trade show & spring advertising season.  I have a lot of plans for this year, with a busy teaching schedule as well as more art shows in the works. I will continue my photography business as well, but am planning a more selective approach, working with clients whose ideas are compatible with my own.  I have a number of workshops planned for the winter months....many of you received a new camera for Christmas, and now's your chance to learn more about it's capabilities.  And what better way to enjoy the winter than to head out on a fresh, snowy day to take photographs. Read on for more on what I'm planning......

January & February workshops.....

January and February are jammed full of workshops -  here's an overview of the upcoming classes:

This past fall I joined the teaching staff of the Conestoga College commercial photography program. While most of my classes will only be available to students enrolled in the certificate program, I will be offering some of my single workshops at the Doon Campus in Kitchener this winter.  Scheduled so far are:  Winter Landscapes on Sat. Jan. 21, Travel Photography on Sun. Jan. 29, Camera to Computer on Sat. Feb. 4, and The RAW File on Sat. Feb. 25, with others planned for March & April. Registration is now open through the college website.  Check the Continuing Education link for course listings.  You can register on-line, or call the college at (519) 748-5220 ext. 3656 for more information.

Here's a class many of you might be interested in:  I am planning another full-day Introduction to Photoshop workshop in Orangeville on Sat. Jan 14, from 10:00 until 4:00. It will be held in the Conference Room at Monora Park. This is a great way to get started with the creative aspects of image editing, and will give you confidence with using Photoshop Elements to enhance your photographs.  If possible, you should bring your own laptop, but I do have a few extras which are available for loan that day.  Contact me at 519-787-7040 for more details or to register for this one.....the fee is $110 + HST for the day, and includes detailed step-by-step notes which you can use for later projects.  

In Elora, I will be running a one night class called The RAW File on Mon. Jan. 30 from 7 to 9:30. Many digital cameras offer this format, but few photographers are aware of the full potential of this powerful option. This class will introduce you to suitable camera settings as well as using RAW conversion programs. The fee is $45.00 + HST. Contact me to register at 519-787-7040.

The ever-popular Equine Photography workshop is scheduled for Sat. February 11 from 10:00 to 4:00 at Travis Hall Equestrian Centre near Fergus. In this class we look at all types of equine photography, including conformation and head studies, and will spend time outside photographing horses playing in the snow. Afterwards we'll look at creative editing techniques...bring a laptop if you have one.  There are only two spaces left for this workshop - call me at 519-787-7040 to register. The cost is $125 + HST, and includes a hot lunch. 

At the Elora Centre for the Arts, I will be running  Basic Photography once again.  Our last session proved to be incredibly successful, and we decided to add another 4 week class on Wednesday nights, starting on January 11. If you were lucky enough to receive a new camera for Christmas, this is the class for you.  Also look for From Camera to Computer on Monday Feb. 6, 7 to 9:30 p.m. - this class will teach you how to upload and organize your photos, as well as how to edit and size your images, for printing or e-mail, or for gallery submissions. Shortly after that, I will be teaching Intermediate Levels of Photography, Monday nights from Feb. 13 to Mar. 5.  Call the Elora Centre for the Arts at 519-846-9698 to register for any of these classes, and check their website at the Elora Centre for the Arts for more details.  

At the Arboretum, University of Guelph, I am teaching Winter Landscape Photography on Sat. Jan. 28 from 1:00 to 4:00.  We'll spend part of the class outside in the woods and meadows at the Arboretum, a perfect way to get some hands-on experience. Register by Jan. 20. Also at the Arboretum, look for a full day Basic SLR Photography class on Sat. Feb. 18 from 9:00 to 4:00.  If it's difficult to schedule weekday evening classes, this might be just what you need.  We'll cover all the common camera functions, and look at creative controls as well. This class is a mixture of theory and practical experience - dress for the weather as we'll be outside for part of the class.  The registration deadline is Feb 10. More details and registration info for these classes can be found on The Arboretum website.  

In Orangeville, look for Winter Landscapes on Fri. Jan. 20 from 7 to 9 p.m. and Basic Photography on Tuesday nights from Jan. 10 to Feb. 7.  I also have From Camera to Computer planned for Tues. Feb. 21, 7 to 9 p.m.  These will all be held at F-Stop Cameras in Orangeville, call the store at 519-941-4381 to register, or check their website for details.

Several of you have mentioned having private lessons to help you get started with your own camera.  This is always an option,  and I can schedule either a single lesson, or a series as needed.  Contact me for more details.

My complete workshop schedule is posted on my website, regardless of location.  Be sure to check this regularly, as I add more classes to the list. 


"A Winter Afternoon With Willows"

I always tell my students to bring a camera everywhere - you never know when you will see a great photograph. If you think you can go back another time, guess again. The lighting will be different, the weather may have changed, or in my case, someone will have come along to ruin the scene for me.  I'm not making this up...it has happened to me on a number of occasions.  An entire field of wildflowers was mowed down between the time I drove by on the way to a wedding and my return a few hours later, when I had time to stop. I once spotted a lovely old bank barn on the way to pick my son up from a friend's house.  I'd figured since I'd be gone only a few minutes, I'd leave the camera behind. Bad idea. I went back the next day, same weather conditions, same lighting, same time of day.  The barn was gone.  It had been torn down that morning.  I climbed to the top of a ski hill, finding a stunning, once-in-a-lifetime view of the valley below, the sun gleaming through fall trees, and...you guessed it, no camera. At least when I dragged myself back up the hill the next day, the trees were still there, and I got my photograph, although I'm convinced the conditions weren't as good. Which brings me to the image above.  I drove by this location a number of times over several weeks,  camera ready, waiting until the snow had filled in the gaps to define the geometric pattern of the trees. Finally everything was perfect, with a low winter sun making the willows glow. The only problem was that the temperature was -25C, I was already frozen from teaching a Winter Landscape workshop, and I really didn't want to stop this time.  But having learned my lesson, I spent an hour photographing them from various angles and viewpoints until the sun had set and my hands were blocks of ice. I drove home  feeling very pleased with myself.  This is one of my favourite images from that day.  The next day I went by again on my way to another class.  The willows were hidden behind a giant mound of dirt, with excavators happily dumping  more soil in front.  The snow was churned up, and the scene was completely destroyed.  I'm starting to take this personally.

Art News - You're invited to a show opening......

I am pleased to let you know that I will be taking part in a group show this January at the Elora Centre for the Arts. "Seven by Seven" runs from Jan. 5 until Feb. 12. I'll have new photographs on display, and will be joined by six other artists, each working in a different medium.  Our opening reception is on Sunday, Jan. 8 from 2 until 4 p.m.  Join us for refreshments - we'd love to see you.  This show is the first in a new format for the Harris Collective, a group of over 30 artists who work in all media, and include photographers, painters, glass artists, jewellers and more. Look for a new group show of the members every six weeks throughout the year. The Gallery is located in an historic schoolhouse at 75 Melville St. in Elora, and is open from 12 to 4 p.m. on weekends, as well as Monday to Friday from 9 to 5 p.m. 


Enjoy the winter weather, and make sure you go out and take photographs!  I look forward to seeing some of you at my workshops and at my upcoming show.  You can check my website for news and don't forget to visit my new website at www.sylviagalbraith.ca to see some of my latest images.

Until next time, 

Sylvia Galbraith
519-787-7040 or toll-free 1-866-787-7040
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