Sunday, May 3, 2009
Yesterday I had my first *Camp experience attending PhotoCamp Milwaukee at Bucketworks in downtown Milwaukee. This was an Unconference with no pre-set sessions. In the opening ceremonies at 10 a.m. (I wasn't one of the crazy people who turned up for the 5 a.m. photowalk ;o), everyone introduced themselves and said what they wanted to learn and what information they could share.
Based on these comments, participants proposed sessions they might lead, and these were written down on sticky notes. Then impromptu scheduling began on a huge piece of paper stuck on the wall. People put an X by the session they thought they might attend, and meeting spaces were assigned accordingly, but everything could change on the fly.
At one point, another participant Kelly and I were scheduled to lead a session on "Digital and Non-Digital Photo Collage" (she was the digital expert obviously :o) but since no-one put an X by us, we said, "Just cancel it and we'll go to the sessions we want!" (I attended RachelK's presentation on "All Things Flickr" just so I could learn more tips.)
In the first time block, I browsed three sessions before settling in on the last one that I had expected to attend, "Photographing Models" presented by two professional studio photographers (whose names I need to find) with input from others in the audience. I don't do much portrait photography (unless you count the cats) but learned a lot of useful tips on posing and lighting people to look their best, including how to get a better driver's license photo! (Advice courtesy of kisluvkis: Don't look straight on directly into the camera even when they tell you to. Turn ever so slightly away :o)
I had said in the introductions that I wanted to learn more about Photoshop, Strobist (off-camera flash) and High Dynamic Resolution (HDR). I knew with the last two that I will probably never do anything with it, but I was curious to see the technology behind the results. And when those sessions got too technical for me, I wandered off somewhere else. (I never did make it to any of the Photoshop or post-processing sessions!)
My favorite session was Simon McConico showing how to do portrait photography with natural lighting (another one I had not originally planned to attend). He posed his models against nearby walls and in the alley across the street with fabulous results. Here we are waiting for the sun to appear from behind the clouds and backlight the model Ely.
You can see more pix from PhotoCamp in my Flickr set or the Flickr group pool.