Monday, June 23, 2008

Polishing my Photographic Technique

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to participate in the first of its kind in Manitoba, Canada . . . MPAX 2008 . . . Manitoba Photographic Arts Expo 2008! It was held at The Forks in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

This expo was thought up by fellow Manitoba Camera Club member, Joe Kerr, and I was able to participate on the Program Committee for this event. In all, there were seven well respected Keynote presenters from Manitoba as well as fourteen hands-on Workshops led by other local photographers.

I was fortunate to take in two of the Keynote presentations. I saw Robert Taylor and his African Safari presentation as well as Light, Camera, Action by Dennis Fast. Robert Taylor is both a naturalist and photographer with over 40 years of experience. He has led over 20 African safaris. Dennis is a former teacher and his photographs have appeared in many calendars and books as well as in the award-winning best seller, Pelicans to Polar Bears.

The workshops covered a plethora of topics – bird photography, animal photography, child portraiture, color management, sunset and night photography, fireworks, floral photography, sports photography, panoramas and more! I was able to attend the sunset and night photography, panoramas, and also sports photography. For the sports photography workshop, led by Rob Bye, we were able to go out and shoot skateboarders in the fabulous skate park at The Forks. I had never even seen this structure nor had done any photography in this realm so I was pleased to be able to experience this thrill!

I took some time just to watch the various skateboarders to learn how they worked through their routines and then started taking some pictures. It was very hard to predict exactly where a skateboarder would be at any given time. Just when I thought I knew what place they would jump, they would change up their performance! However, I did manage to get quite a few shots but one in particular stood out for me.


I was pleased with the exposure on this as well as the general composition. However, two things would have improved this shot:

  1. having more room in front of the skateboarder into which he could move
  2. having the skateboarder be facing the camera instead of away from it

What did I learn about shooting skateboarders?

  1. Not to expect a great shot without taking LOTS of photos!
  2. Practice, practice, practice!

I also tried the same photo with two different Lightroom presets applied.

Memories - Sandy Beach preset

Memories – Sandy Beach preset

Inside Lightroom - COL Deviant 2 preset

Inside Lightroom – COL Deviant 2 preset

Which version do you like the best? My choice would either be the original or the one using the Deviant 2 preset . . . I think it gives a little bit of edginess to the photo.

Have you tried a different type of photography lately? What would you like to try? Leave me a comment below!