Photography, classes, old friends and new friends. That’s what this past week was all about. We just wrapped things up at the California Photo Festival, which is a week-long conference for photographers and photography enthusiasts. With over 20 instructors and hundreds of classes covering a wide range of photography topics, the event was definitely right up my alley.
Instead of giving a textual recap of the week, I’d rather make it a visual one… so here we go:
On Tuesday evening, there was an opening reception for all students and volunteers. Some of Ben’s work was on display in the gallery at the Light Workshops and he got lots of questions about his photography.
One of Ben’s classes was a live shoot focusing on HDR photography. The shoot was held at a funky place called Sunny Acres, which had a lot of fun stuff to shoot like old cars, barns, tools and being that it’s October, a pumpkin patch. Everyone had a blast shooting the old stuff, but I kind of gravitated toward the pumpkins. I guess I was just in an Autumn kind of mood.
One of the sunset shoots was held on the beach at Morro Rock. There were lots of classes going on at once out there, and there were horses on the beach for us to shoot, creating beautiful silhouettes. This shot is a pano taken with my iPhone.
This was one of the shots I got of the horses on the beach. In this shot, I used a slower shutter speed and panned with the motion of the horse. I’m pretty new to the panning thing, so a lot of my shots came out too blurry, but there were a few nice ones in there.
We had beautiful light during the sunset shoot. As much as I enjoyed shooting, however, I would have been just as happy being the one on the horse. (I used to ride for years, and believe it or not, I’ve got a degree in equine science.)
Photographer and instructor Lee Varis photographs one of the riders while she takes a break from galloping along the water. As you can see, it didn’t take long for some of the students to join in as well.
Here we have a completely different sunset shoot. This one was at Pismo Beach. Again, there were several classes going on at once. There were a few shooting models, one shooting under the pier and Ben’s class focused on panoramas.
For this sunset shoot, there were several classes going on at once and I attended the one taught by the “Mistress of Light,” Bobbi Lane. I had met Bobbi in the past, but only for minutes at a time. It was excellent to actually spend some time with her during this event. In this shoot, we had a cute little surfer model who was a great sport. She was probably shivering!
Photographer and instructor Rick Sammon “chimps” with one of his students during the sunset shoot. I’ve attended a lot of events where Rick has taught in the past, but I never really attended any of his classes. This was the first time I really got to experience him teaching, and man is he good! He’s not only extremely knowledgeable, but he’s so enthusiastic and is always looking at the backs of students’ cameras to make sure they’re getting good shots. (as you can see from the shot above)
One of the very interesting classes going on at the festival was a live critter shoot. And by critters I mean everything from snakes, to lizards, to frogs, etc. They brought in dozens of these scaly guys and created nice little setups to shoot them. I thought I would spend about an hour in there, but ended up staying for the whole class!
Finally, no conference is complete without the evening social activities… usually in the form of dinner and drinks. After one of the sunset shoots I headed to a yummy Taco Temple dinner with Ben, Bobbi and Lee.
Needless to say, the event was excellent. I hope we can return next year! To end the post, I created a cute little slideshow/video with a lot of the pics from the festival (the photos shown in this post are included in the video.) After leaving the San Luis Obispo area, Ben and I drove south to San Diego and will then head back to the Portland area, where the bus is. More to come…