Unless I learn something, attending a convention is an expensive indulgence.
For me, there were two kinds of learning from the recent photographic convention in Tauranga. Obviously, workshops that set out to explore new techniques are designed to teach specific content. The material laid out this way at Tauranga was so vast in its scope it will take me months to come to grips with the parts that were relevant to me. The other kind of learning was at least as valuable. This was the series of light-bulb moments as I saw how other photographers achieved such great results. The danger in the latter style of learning is becoming a pale copy of the original. Repeating the pictures made by the experts is not what I want to do. What would be fair, is to ask whether their techniques could be used in my environment so that I can make better pictures of what I see. One of the speakers at Tauranga was Guy Edwardes, a British landscape and nature photographer. I loved his use of the long lens for landscape work. Of course I need to also adopt his habit of getting up early (or staying up late) for better light.
Processing was another area of interest. I have consistently argued that post-processing manipulation is a legitimate part of image making. I met Christian Fletcher, a founding member of the amazing and very successful ND5 group from Australia. Christian is undaunted by boring skies and will happily add in a cloudscape from a different setting entirely to create an exciting composite. Amusingly, he was taken to task by our favourite local meteorologist who pointed out that the clouds pasted above a mountain are incapable of forming at that altitude. For my part, my post-processing skills are improving, but thus far I tend to adjust sharpness, colour, contrast, and perhaps remove an intrusive object. I have yet to add in any extraneous objects. For now,, at least, that’s a step too far for me.
Back in Evans Bay, I stopped near the Coast Guard base an found my eye drawn to the “Urban Forest” sculpture by Leon van den Eijkel and Allan Brown. This is one of several wind-powered kinetic sculptures in Kilbirnie and the coloured boxes spin in the wind.
Hoping to improve daily.