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January 2013 Newsletter

Welcome to a New Year!  I hope everyone had an enjoyable holiday season, and want to extend warm wishes for the upcoming year.  I have been incredibly busy over the past four months, but have had a chance (finally) to take a break and plan for the upcoming months.  I'm looking forward to a few changes, and have made it my goal to spend more time on my personal photography, with plans for another book in the works.  I'll keep you updated.....

One change I have made, after a lot of consideration: I will no longer be offering classes at F-Stop Cameras in Orangeville - but will continue teaching my workshops at the Elora Centre for the Arts in Elora, as well as The Arboretum in Guelph.  Many of you know that I have also been working with Conestoga College, teaching within their Commercial Photography program, and as this role has expanded, I had to make a few changes in other areas.  For those of you who enjoyed the classes at F-Stop, I invite you to join me at some of my other locations, and check my workshop schedule regularly, as I may offer selected classes from time to time in another Orangeville location.

Winter Photography Workshops ......

Here's a class for those of you with new cameras, or one you've never quite figured out.....

Starting next week at the Elora Centre for the Arts - Thursdays, Jan. 10 to Jan. 31- Basic Levels of Photography, from 7 to 9:30 p.m.  This four-night course will cover a range of topics designed for the beginning photographer, including equipment & camera settings as well as the more creative aspects of photography. Each week you will receive a practice assignment which will be (gently) critiqued the following week.

This is followed by Intermediate Photography, Tuesdays, Feb 12 to Mar. 5, also from 7 to 9:30 p.m.  A continuation of the basic level course, this is where we begin to challenge your imagination and help you develop your individual style by working with advanced camera settings including shooting in the RAW format, fine-tuning exposures and more.  Bring an SLR style camera, either digital or film, to class each week.  Note:  You must have taken my Basic Photo course or have equivalent skills.

The fee for either of these classes is $125 for members or $135 for non-members, + HSTVisit the Elora Centre for the Arts website for more info or to register by phone or on-line.  

Looking for a field trip? 

I will be teaching at the Arboretum in Guelph again this season, starting with Photographing Winter Landscapes on Saturday, Jan. 26 from 1 to 4 p.m. This is one of my personal favourites - I love winter, and have a lot of fun teaching this class.  We'll be inside for the first hour where we'll discuss equipment, lighting, composition, and tips on photographing in the cold. Then it's outside to practice in the woods and meadows of the Arboretum - frozen ponds, icicles, frosted plants, and small animals will be some of the subjects we'll find there. In case of inclement weather, the class will be on Sat. Feb. 2. Fee:  $55.00. Registration deadline:  Thursday,January 17.  Maximum 18 adults.

Also at the Arboretum, I am offering a Full-Day Basic SLR Photography class.  Often I hear from people who can't commit to a 4-week series, so I created an intensive one-day class that helps you get the most out of the settings and controls on an SLR camera. You'll learn about shutter speeds, apertures, exposures, using different lenses and zoom settings, composition, lighting, and more. Part of this class will be outside, where we'll practice in the woods and meadows of The Arboretum, so dress for the weather.  Bring your camera, extra batteries, warm gloves, and snacks, and be ready for a fun day of photography.  There will be a one-hour lunch break.  Fee: $100.00.  Registration deadline: Thursday, February 7.  Maximum 16 adults

To register or for more information, visit the Arboretum website

I am also planning an Introduction to Photoshop session again in the next month or so.  Let me know if you're interested, and I'll see about dates shortly.

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

I've been thinking about colour.......

My son gave me a lovely book this Christmas - one that explores the relationships we have with colour, and how that influences the ways we create and consider photographs. This ties in with a workshop I offer from time to time, called "Composition and Artistic Style", so I though I'd share some of my ideas on the topic.

Colour affects us in many ways, often on a subconscious level.  We all have colours we love, and others that make us cringe.  I personally am fond of orange - fall trees, pumpkins, orange sweaters (just not on me!), even orange popsicles, o.k., perhaps for a different reason.  If I'm jurying a photographic show, I'm immediately drawn to images with....you guessed it....orange tones, and have to make sure my personal taste doesn't affect the outcome.  I have to make a deliberate effort to look beyond the colour, and consider the other aspects of the image.  I also dislike lime green. I don't know why, and it's not fair to limes or chartreuse flowers, but there you have it.  I rarely take photographs with lime green as part of the colour combination.

This tendancy towards a favourite hue will alter our choice of subject, and can make the difference between what we perceive to be a successful photograph or one we find unsettling or unpleasant. Dull or drab colours can introduce a sense of melancholy, while a bright cheerful colour can be uplifting.

Red is the colour of power, danger, passion and strength.  It excites us, and attracts us - we notice the colour red before many others. 

Orange and yellow are happy colours - bright and cheerful.  Yellow flowers and orange kittens make people smile.  Orange sunsets feel warm, even on a cold winter day.  Using these colours in a photograph will often invoke similar emotions in the viewer.

Greens and blues are calming and reflective.  We think of nature, water and soothing sounds, and feel calm or serene when looking at photographs that are mainly blue or green.  Imagine a scene with soft blue water, waves gently lapping, and a misty blue horizon where the water meets the sky.....are you feeling rested yet?

The next time you are taking photographs, think about these colour considerations.  Ask yourself what it is about the scene or subject that attracted you in the first place - if your image features large areas of a particular colour, I can almost guarantee that it is one you personally like. An image with a lot of strong colour may have nothing else going for it - not necessarily a bad thing, as long as the tones and hues create the effect you are after.  Remember that colour can overpower subtle details or distract the viewer from the main intention of the photograph. And if it's a colour that person hates, well, don't even think of entering it in a show she is jurying :)

Recent Photographs......

As a professional photographer I photograph people most of the time, but in many cases, these are portraits in which I have complete control of the subject and situation.  The sitter is posed or captured in a certain activity, and while I enjoy these assignments, my personal images of people will most often show them as  unaware of being photographed.  I feel that any interaction with the photographer alters their behaviour, and no matter how subtle this change may be, it will have an impact on the candid nature of the image.

This photograph shows a group of school girls at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Their impressions of this painting by Jackson Pollock seem apparent to me, even though the girls have their backs to the camera, and were unaware that I was photographing them.  Their body language tells a story in itself - one of movement and energy - their response to the power of the work. The girl on the end could not sit still, and kept waving her hands in the air, describing how the painting made her want to fly.  I like this photograph - it reminds me of the first impressions, fresh ideas, and complete willingness to express ourselves that is so much a part of youth.

This is another photograph from New York - in this case a simple street scene a woman who's paused in front of the window display of an upscale store on 5th Avenue.  Another moment in time, captured by a photographer who happened to be lurking.......

Winter Equine Photography - Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013


Only 4 spaces left....

Looking for some fun this winter?  Then join us for a Winter Equine Photography workshop.  In this class we look at all aspects of equine photography, including equipment and lighting, conformation, head studies, posed and candid shots, and will spend time outside photographing horses playing in the snow.  You will need a camera that you are familiar with. Bring extra batteries, and dress for the weather.

I hold this class at Travis Hall Equestrian Centre, just outside of Fergus. The cost is $135 + HST, and includes lunch, and is from 10 until 4, Saturday Feb. 9. (In case of bad weather, the class will run on Sunday, Feb 10).  Contact me to register or for more details.

January 2013 Newsletter All content copyright: Sylvia Galbraith 

Sylvia Galbraith
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