Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Photographing the Oregon Coast

One of the most popular places to photograph among nature photographers is the Oregon Coast and it is also one of the best places to conduct a photo workshop. There are lighthouses, rocky shorelines, massive sand dunes, forest, tide pools, and much, much more. Above is an image of the Cape Arago Lighthouse. This lighthouse is no longer illuminated at night, but is still very photogenic. Here I photographed it with about a 30 second exposure and then opened the image in PS and added the beam of light and the windows and a few others retouched to make it a moodier shot. I would like to show you how to do this! The area has so much to offer, what better location to hold my workshop: The Art of Digital Nature Photography: Oregon Coast at the end of July.

Our group will be based in Coos Bay, Oregon and from there we branch out and head for the sea stacks at Bandon, the old boat harbor in Charleston, the rocky headlands of Cape Arago, and much more. The idea behind this workshop is to show the power of digital photography and Photoshop together in nature photography.

Read on for more photos and 'how I did it'.

The course will cover digital photography, how the camera works, composition, lighting, depth of field, B&W conversions like this image, lightening and darkening images, or what we used to call burning and dodging in the traditional darkroom of the 'olden days'. Also covered is masking, blending of multiple exposures, HDR, and much more. It is designed for the beginner and also has plenty for the advanced photographer as well. And it is a fabulous time!
This image here shows the beautiful creatures on the side of a huge rock in Bandon. Here I opened the image in PS and adjusted the curves and Hue Saturation.
This image is a B&W conversion in PS and I wanted some negative space and that is the reason the rock is black. It makes for a powerful statement and strong compositional element. I used Channel Mixer to create the B&W conversion in this image, but currently am using the B&W Adjustment Layer that is new in CS3.
And the boat harbor is one of the favorite places to shoot. In this image I just adjusted the Curves for more contrast in the flat light and then used a mild Hue/Sat adjustment to pump the color a little. Last years workshop was a huge success and some of the best weather you can get at the coast. We had misty mornings, gorges sunsets, a tiny bit of drizzle one day, and great mild coastal weather.
Interested in the workshop? There are only two spots left.

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