Workshop recap… a couple, both photographers, take a 2-on-1 light painting workshop.

Recently, Jim and Nancylee Mudd decided to take a two-on-one workshop to learn light painting. Teaching two students at once is a little more challenging than just one, but the Mudds were so easy to work with, and it turns out, so capable! The tuition for two students is less than that of a one-on-one, so if you have a friend (or husband / wife) who wants to do the workshop, you can save some money and attend together.

I love to see couples where each person has a different set of interests / strengths. In my own life, that is certainly the case. Vera is very detail oriented, has the memory of a 64 GB flash drive, and loves to clear things off of the “to do” list. I am the procrastinator, the creative type who puts things off, and I have a memory more like… uh… I’ve forgotten what it’s like.;-)

Nancylee was the computer-savvy half, coming to the workshop with a working knowledge of Photoshop, and Jim came to the workshop with no intention of using Photoshop at all! I was in a little bit of a quandary, as I’ve developed a wonderful workflow process that gives the light painting photographer a tremendous amount of control over the final image. That isn’t to infer a lot of Photoshop manipulation, but rather, speaks to how we mask in the light painted information from our captures, giving us a great degree of control over the final result.

I light painted images on film for 15 years, so I knew how to do everything in one capture, but I knew that the results are superior when we can light individual elements, concentrating on the best light for each element, then easily blending them together after the fact. I knew that Jim would be much better off if he were open to the idea of using Photoshop. He was ready and willing to do so, and took to the process quickly and well!

Here is Jim’s final image:

Harold Ross's Student Jim Mudd's light painted image

Photograph by Jim Mudd

Nancylee was very interested in learning to light shiny things, namely, glass. She chose some of my favorite glass props that I have here at the studio, and she did a beautiful job using nothing but a diffusion scrim and a small LED panel for those elements. Like so many aspects of light painting, things are simple when broken down, and learning to light a reflective object is no exception, but that said, Nancylee and Jim excelled!

This is Nancylee’s final image:

Photographer Harold Ross's student Nancylee Mudd's light painted image

Photograph by Nancylee Mudd

Due to a couple of last minute cancellations, there are spots open for our next workshop! If you are spontaneous, and have nothing to do next weekend, join us and learn how powerful, trans-formative and beautiful light painting can be!

~ by Harold Ross on July 7, 2013.

10 Responses to “Workshop recap… a couple, both photographers, take a 2-on-1 light painting workshop.”

  1. Hi Harold: I hope that all is well with you and Vera. I really enjoy getting your workshop recaps! I liked Jim Mudd’s image so much I went to your website and looked at the larger version. I love everything about the image, except that the bottle of liquor appears to be unopened. Best regards to you and Vera, Paul Smith

    • Hi Paul, thanks for the comment! Yes, that bottle was a very special one that Jim brought and we decided not to open. The liquor in the glass was from another bottle, which wasn’t nearly as attractive, although the taste was fantastic;-). Good catch!

  2. Hello Harold and Vera,

    Wow! This is amazing, (as your newsletters always are!). I have to say, Jim has my vote! I want to keep looking at the image, my eyes want to study it! It draws me in and holds my attention. The lingering smoke from the extinguished candle seals the deal for me! LOL!! I love that the candle is red. I love the composition and of course lighting, color, and exposure, but capturing that smoke is just amazing.

    Love the lighting, color and exposure of Nancylee’s image but it feels like two compositions within the image (IMO) that lack unification – my eyes look at it like a puzzle I want to fix. . . I don’t like that one side is off the page, while the other side has an abundance of space. I want to crop it into two images. Something about the tall bottle is bothering me, I like it but. . . I want to reposition it.

    So, if it were a “shoot-out” Jim wins in my opinion! :-)

    Always enjoy seeing your newsletters.


    Jackie Kane Studio: 610-772-1198

    Jackie Kane Photography by Design a division of Willow Tree Colour and Design, LLC

    • Thanks for your comment, Jackie! I’m glad you like the post. It’s always great to get quality feedback to see how people look at images! Still life composition is tricky to be sure, and there are so many variables. In my own work, I occasionally use unbalanced or unexpected composition to create tension, and It’s possible that Nancylee was doing that here. I always love seeing what students do in the workshops!

  3. Thanks so much for the kind words, Harold. We had SOOOOO much fun learning and creating. We really enjoyed our time with you.

  4. Great work you two. A good reflection on your teacher as well. I’m looking forward to learning more. Tony

  5. The truth is, that I couldn’t have ever approached anything like this without Harold’s help and guidance. Thanks again Harold. Hope we can get together again sometime.
    Jim Mudd

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