Today we communicate with technology but we connect less in person. I want to flip that around and use technology to create in person connections. When talking with people I have had them say wait a second let me show you a photo of this and go searching through their cell phone for a photo of what they want to show me.
Photos help a person tell their story visually as well as verbally. I want to create Show & Tell for adults. People can share their photos on their cell phone, tablet, laptop or prints made on their inkjet printer or at a photo lab.
If you are sharing photos on a device it can be a good idea to put your favorite photos that you want to share in a favorites folder on your device. At Easy Photo Class we want to help people connect through photography. Here are three ways photos could be used to connect people in person.
Most events have a meet and greet time where people ask the same questions. What is your name, what do you do, how long have you lived here. Using this time for Photo Conversations changes that to a more personal conversation about the person’s life and what is going on in it.
Showing a photo of their pet, some activity they have done lately, a neat photo they took or any photo can expand the conversation and make it more fun. A photo could be of their grandmothers rolling pin and the story behind it.
I attended a meetup in a restaurant/bar that had an outdoor area. At the entrance people who were there for the meetup got a name sticker. I could walk up to anyone with a name badge and start a conversation because I knew they were with the group.
I didn’t walk up to people without the badges because I didn’t know them and they weren’t with the group. For a happy hour at a bar people who wanted to participate in Photo Conversations could wear a name tag or even just put a heart sticker on their clothing or cell phone indicating they were open to talk with people and share their photos.
Meeting people and making friends is hard to do. To walk up and talk to someone is not easy. You can ask someone to dance but then you must have dance skills. Photo conversations make it much easier to meet people and get to know them.
PHOTO SHARING PARTY™
A Photo Sharing party has more emphasis on photography but helping people connect is still just as important. It creates connection with a common interest. It can be open or have structure. It is like speed friending with a twist. You can start with a structured sharing time that goes into an open photo sharing time. Here is a suggestion of how to structure a photo sharing party.
First half hour open sharing
Second half hour break into groups of 6 and introduce yourself and what you like to photograph in 60 seconds or less
Then share photos one on one with another person in the group.
Four minutes gives each person 2 minutes to share their photos.
Playing chimes or announcing Change every 4 minutes should allow people to meet the other 5 people in their group in a half an hour.
For the next half hour repeat this procedure.
In one hours time a person will have met 10 new people. This time is an ice breaker that allows them to talk with these people in the following hour which is open photo sharing. Four minutes is a short time which leaves people wanting more.
The last hour is open Photo Sharing where people can share one on one or in groups.
PHOTO STORY TELLING™
Visual art has always been used to tell stories. They help make it come alive. Photographs help people show and share their life. Of our 5 senses, Hearing, Taste, Touch, Smell and Sight over 90% of our sensory input of the world around us is sight. Even bad photos can have great stories. Digital cameras and cell phones make it easy to capture photographs to help us tell our story.
EVENTS AND LOCATIONS
Photo Conversations and Photo Sharing Parties can be done at bars for happy hour, churches gatherings, or added to any meeting. It is a great team building exercise and way to make new friends.
TEN PHOTO SHARING GUIDELINES
I have come up with 10 Photo Sharing guidelines for photo sharing that can be posted at an event to help make it great. See what you think.
1. Be Nice: Treat other people like you would like to be treated.
2. Listen: Developing the ability to listen is a great social skill and truly appreciated by most people you will meet.
3. No Agendas: People with agendas usually dominate every conversation with their topic. Try just talking about your life.
4. Avoid Politics Religion and Sex: Some topics are emotional and divisive. We want to connect not divide. Please save your politics, religion and sex discussions for after or outside our events.
5. Patience: If someone is a bit offensive, dominates discussion, pushes their ideas try to be patient with them. They will hopefully get more relaxed as time goes by.
6. It’s OK to Say No: If someone invites you to coffee as a friend or a date you can say yes or no. “I’m really busy” and “Thanks, I’m not interested but thanks for asking” are 2 good ways to say no.
7. Promoting Friendships: We want to promote friendships. They may lead to dating but let’s start with friendships.
8. You Don’t Have to Be a Photographer: Every photo is a good photo here. We are about connection as much as photography. If you don’t have a camera you can do a drawing or a sketch.
9. Limit Tech Talk: Some people love to talk tech, some don’t.
We have a Tech Heads corner if that is your thing.
10. Smile: It doesn’t have to be a big smile. It can be a lip smile. Smiling makes you feel better. Smiling also makes you more approachable.
PHOTO SHARING DOWNLOAD LINK
We have created a zip file with audio files that you can play to time photo sharing interactions for different amounts from 2 minutes, 2.5 minutes, 4 minutes and 5 minutes. You can play these from your cell phone to help people during speed sharing to break the ice. We also include the 10 guidelines and this information.
We have created weekly photo challenges that people can take if they like. Going out to take photos can be a great way to meet people as well. Wearing one of our wristbands or hat can let people know that you are part of our group and they can talk with you. At Easy Photo Class we want to help people connect taking and sharing their photos.
I held a photography workshop for a group of Austin Bloggers and we had a great time together. In addition to wanting to help them get better photos for their blog I also wanted to make it a fun social time.
I decided to make homemade chocolate chip cookies from scratch. I had made them from the cookie rolls you can buy from the store for before but decided to go all out for this event.
I am not sure if I have ever made chocolate chip cookies from scratch before but if I have it has been many years so it was a challenge. I used the recipe that my mom had used while I was growing up.
It said you could use margarine or butter and I decided to get Irish butter to make them richer tasting. It called for a package of chocolate chips and I got one that was just a bit bigger plus a second bag with dark chocolate chips.
After assembling all the ingredients I began to mix them together. I put the wet ingredients in first and then added the flour on top of it. At that point I added the Adams vanilla extract to the flour. It should have gone in with the wet ingredients and I thought someone is going to get a cookie that is really vanilla tasting. I mixed everything up really good to try to get the vanilla mixed throughout the cookie dough.
I will remember to put the vanilla in with the wet ingredients next time. Making mistakes and learning from them is just part of life. I made half a batch without nuts and cut up some walnuts for the other batch.
When I talked with my mom she suggested getting the cookies made ahead of time so I made them on Sunday and put the dough in the refrigerator until late Monday afternoon. Making cookie dough up ahead of time can let the flavors work their way through it and make it even better. Chilling the dough can help it bake better as well.
I used an ice cream scoop with a flipper in the bottom of it that popped the cookie dough out by pressing the lever on it. Rolling cookie dough balls is how I did it as a kid, helping my mom make cookies. Forming the cookies in the scoop made it easier and gave me uniform size cookies. It also made it a dome shape that flattened out nicely when they baked.
It took some time and effort but everyone seemed to like the cookies and I had chilled milk to go with them. I also had fresh fruit, crackers and brie along with coffee, sparkling soda and chocolates. We started the workshop a few minutes late to give people a chance to socialize which everyone seemed to enjoy.
I taught my workshop on how to set the camera to stop action for photos of active children or kids playing sports that aren’t blurred, how to blur the background and take photos in low light, as well as other camera settings. It was a fun night and I want to thank the ladies who came for making it great.
Studies show that only 1 out of 10 people were born with a creative eye which means 9 out of 10 people take boring photographs. Ask any photo lab manager and they will say most of the photographs they see are boring.
ANYONE CAN LEARN CREATIVITY
Some people say you can’t teach someone how to see creatively. You were either born with a creative eye or you weren’t. Welcome to Learn To See Creatively photography workshop which can teach anyone how to see creatively.
I have had people who said they didn’t have a creative bone in their body learn to take amazing photographs. We make it easy by teaching the fundamental creative choices and how to create different creative combinations with them.
CREATIVE BEATS TECHNICAL
If you want the fastest, easiest way to learn how to take great photographs with any camera this is the workshop for you. No matter how great your camera, or technical camera settings without knowing how to make great creative choices your photographs will be boring.
Learn how to see creatively today the easy way. Check out the Learn How To See Creatively photo workshop at www.EasyPhotoClass.com
Would you like to learn to see creatively in less than 30 days?
Our Learn To See Creatively photography workshop breaks creative photography down to 4 creative fundamentals. Composition, Angle, Lighting and Lens. Each fundamental is made up of 3 creative choices.
4 FUNDAMENTALS – ONE EACH WEEK
You read the each creative fundamental section, do the learning assignment and practice different combinations of creative choices. If you do one creative fundamental a week in less than 30 days you will have learned how to see creatively.
LIFETIME OF GREAT PHOTOS
Once you have learned how to see creatively you will never see the world the same again. Your creative eye will help you take amazing photographs with any camera of any subject. Imagine taking beautiful photographs for the rest of your life.
EXPLORE THE CREATIVE SIDE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
If you would like to explore the creative side of photography and take amazing photographs check out our Learn To See Creatively photo workshop at www.EasyPhotoClass.com
Spending fun time with your children in an activity they will enjoy can be a challenge. Digital photography is fun, it’s free and can be shared. Every week we have a different photography challenge on our website www.EasyPhotoClass.com
WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHY CHALLENGE
It might be a shape, color, object, or an abstract idea. You can look for the challenge subject and take your most creative photographs of it during the week. It can also be a great afternoon spent with your child looking for the challenge subject and getting creative with it.
TAKE A WALK WITH YOUR CHILD
Try taking a road trip, going to a park, walking around your neighborhood taking photos together and talking. It is going for a walk with your digital camera or cell phone camera. If you buy your child a basic digital camera they will love taking photos with it.
LEARN TO SEE CREATIVELY
If you want to take amazing photographs and teach your child to see and think creatively you may want to get our Learn To See Creatively photography workshop for both of you. This workshop has been used to teach children as young as 4 years old.
Learning how to see creatively will add a whole new dimension to your photography and practicing the creative choices with your child will make them a natural response in time.
You can buy the best camera and lenses in the world and set the camera settings perfectly but your photos will still suck without good creative choices.
FANCY CAMERA – BAD PHOTO
Here is a photograph with bad creative choices. It was taken with an expensive camera and shot in manual. It sucks.
The quality of the cameras’ image sensor and how sharp the lens is can’t help this photo. Perfect technical camera settings so the photo isn’t too light or dark, in focus and good color won’t make this a good photo.
CELL PHONE CAMERA – GREAT PHOTO
Here is a photograph with great creative choices. It was taken with a cell phone with automatic settings. It looks great.
THE SECRET IS IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA
Some people search for the secret taking photos by trying to buy the perfect camera and lenses. Some believe the cameras technical settings will somehow make a good photo. The secret to great photography is making great creative choices.
The camera and what happens behind the lens is not as important as what happens in front of the lens. Walking around your subject will have a greater impact on your photograph than any setting on your camera. It is the view of the subject and lighting that make the difference.
LOOK IN THE RIGHT PLACE
If you are looking for your car keys and you left them in the living room how long will it take you to find them in the bedroom or the kitchen? The answer is you will never find them no matter how hard you look if you are looking in the wrong place.
The secret to taking great photographs is not the camera or the camera settings it is the creative choices you make when taking the photograph. So how do you learn how to make great creative choices?
LEARN TO SEE CREATIVELY
Studies show that only 1 out of 10 people are born with a creative eye. That means 9 out of 10 people take boring photos. Ask any photo lab manager and they will tell you that most of the photos they see are boring. So how do you get a creative eye if you weren’t born with one?
The Learn To See Creatively photography workshop can teach anyone how to see creatively and take great photos. It is the product of years of research and hard work to make the creative fundamentals easy to understand and use.
Would you like an accessory that will help your cell phone to take great photos?
1 OUT OF 10
The ability to see creatively is what makes cell phone photos great. Studies show only 1 in 10 people are born with a creative eye. So the bad news is that 9 out of 10 people weren’t.
LEARN TO SEE CREATVELY
The good news is that there is a workshop that can teach anyone how to see creatively. LEARN TO SEE CREATIVELY photography workshop teaches the four creative fundamentals Composition, Angle, Lighting and Lens zoom.
Each fundamental has 3 creative choices. How you combine the creative choices and fundamentals is what gives you a great photograph. Understanding lighting and how to find great natural light will have a huge impact on your photographs.
If you enjoy taking photos with your cell phone and want to take photos that will make your family and friends say “Wow!” get this workshop today.
How a recipes ingredients are like a photographs creative choices.
CHEF’S BAD INSTRUCTIONS
Imagine going to a cooking school and on the first day the chef says that the secret to a great soufflé is 284 degrees for 27 minutes. You ask about the ingredients and they say, “Put in whatever you want, ingredients don’t matter.”
You ask “A teaspoon or salt or a cup of salt? He says, “Yes either one, you just want to be sure not to over cook or under cook the soufflé.”
This would not make any sense but it is how some people teach photography. They emphasize the technical settings over the creative ingredients.
TECHNICALLY CORRECT BUT BORING
A photograph can be technically correct, not too light or dark, and still be boring if it has bad creative choices. Creative choices are what makes a photograph tasty.
RECIPES 3 INGREDIENTS
Every recipe has three basics, 1. Time and temperature, 2. Ingredients and 3. How to mix the ingredients.
Imagine buying a cook book that only had time and temperature cooking instructions with bake or broil, sear or sauté but no ingredients or instructions on how to combine the ingredients. It wouldn’t make any sense.
TECHNICAL vs. CREATIVE
Many photography magazines list the technical settings with a photograph but don’t list the creative choices. The creative choices you make with your subject in front of the camera are more important than the technical settings in the camera.
If your photos have bad lighting, angle, placement, cropping, perspective and other bad creative choices they will never be good. Learn how to create exciting photographs that people will want to see.
CREATIVE SIDE OF PHOTOGRAPHY
If you would like to learn the creative side of photography, check out our LEARN TO SEE CREATIVELY photography workshop. Once you learn how to see creatively you will never look at the world the same again.
What matters more, the technical settings in the camera or creative choices made with the subject in front of the camera?
TECHNICALLY CORRECT BUT BORING
While technical settings help get a technically correct photograph, creative choices give it heart and soul. Here you can see a technically correct photograph taken in Manual with bad creative choices on the left and a photograph taken in Auto with good creative choices on the right.
CAMERA SETTINGS SEPARATE FROM CREATIVE CHOICES
There is no setting on the camera that will change your camera angle from a low to a high angle. Camera settings are totally separate from creative choices.
2 CAMERA SETTINGS vs. 12 CREATIVE CHOICES
You have 2 creative camera settings. They control stopping action and blurring the background. You have 12 creative choices which have much more impact on the photograph. Setting the camera on Auto and concentrating on the creative side of photography can yield some amazing photographs.
CREATIVITY IN AUTO
I was talking with a man who owned a digital SLR (the big cameras) who told me that he knew how to set the camera settings but his photographs were average. When his teenage daughter picks up the camera and set it on Auto she creates amazing photographs.
CREATIVITY WITH CELL PHONES
There are some amazing photographs taken with cell phone cameras with the camera settings automatically set. The myth that it is all about the camera settings is still around but people are now questioning it.
CREATIVE CHOICES MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
If you want to take great photographs you must make great creative choices. You may be a person who likes to set every camera setting yourself or a person who sets the camera on Auto. Either way the beauty of a photograph depends on the creative choices you make in front of the camera with the subject.
Studies show you forget 80% of what you learn in person at a workshop. That means you only retain 20% of the material!
YOU WANT GREAT INFORMATION
The most important thing about any workshop is the material and how it is presented. Great information presented in a way that is easy to understand and use is what you want. Educational studies show that students need to be presented with the same information at least 8 times before they get it.
REVIEW YEARS LATER
We all need the ability to go back to the information and study it. If you go on a great vacation to an exotic place, photograph a friends wedding or other important photo shoot you want to get it right. If you don’t use it you lose it and sometimes when the shoot is a few years after the workshop it would be really great to review what you learned.
LEARN & PRACTICE
Learning is a two step process. Step 1: Learning the right way to do it, proper technique. Step 2: Practicing what you learned until it becomes a natural response. Just reading a workshop Ebook or watching a workshop video is not enough. You must go out and practice what you learned.
COSTS LESS THAN IN PERSON
With my photography workshops I always recommend the Ebook or Video of the workshop. They have the same information you would get in person and you get to go over it more than once. It is also a lot less expensive than taking my workshop in person.
Taking my workshop as an Ebook or Video is also more convenient as you can take it in your pajamas at home, watch it out in a park, where ever and when ever you want. If you have a deadline before photographing something important you don’t have to wait until my next workshop you can get it immediately and start learning.
WATCH ON THE PLANE
I have people who are going on a great vacation watch the video on their laptop, tablet or cell phone on the plane. If you want to take a workshop, judge it by the material in it and how good the instructor is at explaining the concepts.
Practice is good but learning proper technique before practicing is even better.
WANT TO LOOK GOOD
I once was going to a convention and wanted to meet some of the CEO’s who were attending the convention. The golf tournament was a great way to do this. I decided to take a golf lesson so I would look like I knew what I was doing.
My golf lesson was early on a Saturday morning with the sun just peaking over the mountains, dew on the grass and birds singing. We went out to the driving range with a bucket of balls and I proceeded to hit them.
MORE TO IT THAN YOU THINK
You would think that hitting a golf ball would be fairly simple. Just grab the club and hit the ball. There is a whole lot of details you have to know and do when hitting a golf ball. You have to learn how to position your hips, how far back to swing the club, your shoulders, etc.
I would hit the ball and he would reposition me and give me tips on how to do it better. There was only one other person out on the driving range and it was another man about 5 spots over from where we were. He was placing golf balls on the tee and hitting them.
PRACTICE WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE
My instructor turned to me and quietly said, “Do you see that guy over there?” I said, “Yes.” He said, “He is perfecting a bad swing.”
I never forgot that statement. If you don’t get proper instruction practice can actually make you worse or make it harder to unlearn bad habits.
Learn how to do it right and then practice good technique is best.
Learning how to see creatively and then practicing the skills will make your photography great. Learning what you should do and not doing it isn’t good. Not knowing what to do isn’t good. Combining instruction with practice is best.
Get great photographs and a healthier brain at the same time.
Just like dark chocolate tastes great and is good for you. Exploring the creative side of photography helps you get great photographs and exercise your brain at the same time. A win, win.
HELP YOUR BRAIN 3 WAYS
Creative photography helps you get a healthier brain 3 ways by increasing brain activity, physical activity and social activity.
1. INCREASE BRAIN ACTIVITY
For the brain to exercise it needs unique challenges. Looking at different creative choices and combinations of creative choices when photographing gives your brain a great workout.
2. INCREASE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
Increased physical activity is good for your health but also sends more blood to the brain which is good for it. Getting up and moving around to photograph different subjects from different angles increases your physical activity. You can do it indoors, outdoors and even take a road trip.
3. INCREASE SOCIAL ACTIVITY
Social activity is very important for your brain. Going out and taking photos gets you out of the house and you have more of a chance to meet people. You can also do it as an activity with family members or friends.
Sharing Photos Online: You can share your photographs on your Facebook page with family and friends around the world. You can also share your photos on photo sharing websites. Telling the story of how you took the photograph is great for social interaction as well.
NO CHOICES vs. CREATIVE CHOICES
Just walking around taking photos is not challenging for the brain. Learning how to create photographs by combining different creative choices gives your brain a unique challenge and great workout.
If you would like to learn how to see creatively and give your brain a great workout at the same time, check out our LEARNING TO SEE CREATIVELY photography workshop.
There is a trick in Photoshop that lets you recover the reds and yellows in underwater photography.
As any scuba diver knows water takes out the red and yellow colors as you go deeper under water. Without flash you get mainly blue images. A friend of mine loved scuba but was frustrated by how blue all his photographs underwater looked.
ONE CLICK COLOR RECOVERY
I tried different techniques to recover the color in the photos and then remembered a technique for recovering color in faded photographs. I tried it and in an instant the color reappeared. The reds and yellows were vibrant on the fish and coral.
Click here for the video of how to recover using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. We use a basic tool that is available with any version of Photoshop.
Have you ever taken a photo that you loved but the image was too dark?
PHOTO SOFTWARE IS AMAZING
If you take a photo with your digital camera and it is too dark you can recover it using photo software.
You might use the photo software at a photo lab to make a print or photo software on your computer or cell phone to recover the image.
There is free photo software online or you can buy photo software.
FILM vs. DIGITAL IMAGE
With film if you had an underexposed photograph all the silver washed off the film in processing and you had nothing left to work with.
With digital your image is electronic and you can still recover it using photo software of even the software at a photo lab.
SHOOTING IN AUTO
Photographing in the Manual shooting mode to get a perfect exposure was more important with film, especially slide film where your exposure had to be nearly perfect. With digital your exposure can be off and you can still get a great image.
Photographing in Auto shooting mode gives you an exposure that is generally good and if it is off it is still close enough to recover with photo software. Digital is a lot more forgiving with exposure than film was.
MORE NOISE – ADD FILTERS OR MAKE B&W
As you make an image lighter it may become noisier as you lighten it because you are going to a higher ISO but you can adjust the noise and sharpness with photo software as well. I like noise sometimes, it gives a more real look to a photograph.
If the color is off you can convert it to a black and white image or sepia.
If you get an image that you like but the exposure is off try recovering it with photo software. You might be surprised with how good it looks.
If you like to use filters to make images look cool, exposure may not matter that much after the filter is applied. There are many apps that work on tablets and cell phones that can add cool filters to your images as well.
Learn your digital camera settings. Learn how to set shutter speeds, lens openings and ISO to stop action, blur backgrounds and take photos in low light. Learn how to see creatively.
Photography worksheets to learn your digital camera settings and test ISO image noise on your digital camera. Exposure card explains ISO, Shutter Speed and Lens Opening settings.
DOWNLOAD WORKSHEETS & CARDS
Great articles on many different aspects of photography. Learn helpful tips for cell phone cameras to digital SLR cameras. Learn both technical and creative photography ideas for taking great photographs.