This course is designed for photographers looking for an easier, faster and more efficient way to deal with most of their digital images. Aperture is the first program built from the ground up for digital photographers and provides an efficient interface to enable you to accomplish your routine tasks such as organizing, editing, and keywording your digital files as well as getting them ready for output including emails, slideshows, websites, creating books, and printing.
Aperture provides a powerful RAW converter through which you can make most of the global adjustments an image might need. And you can use the identical tools and sliders on your TIFF, JPEG, or PSD files! Even better is the fact that you can create different versions of an image and Aperture will keep all the variations together. And because the versions don't replicate the master file pixel information, and instead only contain instructions, valuable hard drive space is saved on your computer. In this course we'll teach you how to use all the features of Aperture as well as when and how to turn to Photoshop for targeted adjustments that can't be made in Aperture.
Of course every time a major new piece of software is released it means a learning curve for those photographers wanting to use it. We'll be modifying our tried and true classroom workshop techniques, that we've been using with great success for years with our Photoshop workshops, to make it easy for you to learn Aperture. This course will help you bypass those frustrating moments of feeling lost as you try to learn a new program. We'll take you step by step through Aperture so that you become confident in your ability to use it successfully. We'll help you use Aperture to its full advantage and expedite your workflow, so that you'll quickly be back in the field making more photos!
If your goal is to have an easier way to manage your digital workflow and a faster way to optimize your images, as well as to be able to find them, this course is for you!
A brief bit of history first: For the past nineteen years Mary and I have been teaching our Complete Nature Photo Course and Advanced Nature Photo Course, creating what we believe to be the most intensive and complete instructional course on nature photography anywhere in the country. That evolved into our tremendously successful Digital Nature Photography course as the digital evolution progressed. In addition, for the past four years we have been offering what we consider to be the best Photoshop courses, anywhere, for nature photographers. As digital photography continues to evolve, we realize the importance of staying current with new technology designed to better meet photographer's needs. With that in mind we are offering several new courses DESIGNED WITH THE PHOTOGRAPHER in mind.
In addition to our hugely popular Digital Nature Photography Course and Photoshop Courses, we are adding this new Aperture course. The digital evolution is ongoing and to stay on top of it photographers must modify their workflow as new tools become available. For many, Aperture will be a welcome addition to their workflow making it easier and more fun to do all the daily tasks associated with digital imagery.
All our Digital Photography/Photoshop courses here at Hoot Hollow were designed with the photographer in mind, and are fine-tuned to clearly present the information you need to know to master the software and enhance your photography.
Time Frame: Time Frame: Learning new software can be demanding mentally, and for photographers accustomed to being out in the field shooting images, time spent behind a computer might be drudgery. Our time frame will hopefully alleviate some of this, by providing plenty of time at the computer while still giving you, the photographer, some time to shoot or relax, or if you wish, to use the computer lab to your full advantage. Our formal classroom instruction will begin at 9AM and continue until noon, where we'll break for lunch (served at Hoot Hollow), and followed by an afternoon session that will continue to 5PM or so. There will be a break for dinner (served, along with breakfast, at your farm bed and breakfast, the Mountain Dale Farm), followed by 'open computer lab time' every evening back at Hoot Hollow. Our instructors are always at the Lab, so even during our open computer time in the evening we'll be helping and assisting you, as well as reviewing.
Our Format: The Aperture Course is divided into several segments that will make learning fun and palatable and extremely productive. Our morning sessions will be devoted to lecture and demonstration, which will also include hands on practice by our students. Afternoon sessions will include instruction and practice time, although the exact format will be flexible to accommodate the needs of our students. Some topics are simple to cover and to demonstrate, and for students to practice. Others, we realize, are more complex and may require several small doses before the concept is fully realized. If you are familiar with how we run our Digital Complete Nature Photo Course you know our dedication and commitment to your understanding of our subjects, and we will follow the same philosophy and teaching methods of the D-CNPC in the Aperture course.
Breakfast is served at 8AM at the farm, which will give participants time in the morning to photograph, if they wish, or to review handouts and reading material before class. We will take at least one 'break out session' to shoot a few subjects (defined below) that you'll be able to work with, digitally, during the course of the week. Evenings on most days will be 'free' in the sense that students can come and go, to work in the computer lab (which is likely) or to simply crash (which is possible) on any given day. Since everyone attending will be photographers, we will devote one evening, and perhaps a part of another, to slide, print, or digital image sharing - a slide show of some of our work and THAT OF OUR PARTICIPANTS. We'll be covered with all mediums - 35mm slide projection and digital projection (you'll need a CD of your work compatible with Power Point, Pro Show Gold, or your own laptop). In short, between our class time, your practice time, the intermittent shooting times, and our slide sessions, you will have an extremely complete week.
One added advantage all of our Digital Photography and Photoshop students have enjoyed and commented upon was the unity of our groups, since all meals are shared either at the Mountain Dale Farm or at Hoot Hollow. These informal group times provide the opportunity for a tremendous amount of information sharing - on other workshops, on techniques and equipment, on places to photograph, and other diverse topics.
For some, using a computer -- even for working images! - can
be demanding, mentally, and for photographers accustomed to being
afield shooting images, time spent behind a computer might be
drudgery. Our time frame will hopefully alleviate some of this,
by providing plenty of time at the computer while still giving
you, the photographer, some time to shoot or relax, or if you
wish, to use the computer lab to your full advantage.
Our formal classroom instruction will begin at 9AM and continue until noon, where we'll break for lunch (served at Hoot Hollow), and followed by an afternoon session that will continue to 5PM or so.
There will be a break for dinner (served, along with breakfast, at your farm bed and breakfast, the Mountain Dale Farm), followed by 'open computer lab time' every evening back at Hoot Hollow. Our instructors are always at the Lab, so even during our open computer time in the evening we'll be helping and assisting you, and occasionally presenting new material.
Our digital lab - rear view
Our digital lab - front view
Our Participants: This course is designed for photographers with limited or extensive experience with Photoshop, who want an easier way to manage your workflow. You will learn to use Aperture as the foundation of your workflow. We will build your expertise from the ground up, explaining every step and every technique as we go along. New software can be intimidating, but only because it seems so vast and complex. You'll discover Aperture is really easy to use.
It will be helpful, but not required, for participants to have some basic familiarity with Photoshop, or even Elements, since we will be showing you when to use Photoshop in addition to Aperture. We'll show you how to make targeted adjustments in Photoshop and we'll explain some other circumstances where you may choose to use Photoshop.
Preparation Beforehand: You'll need to bring along your own laptop with a copy of Aperture installed on it. We suspect that you'd like to work on your own images to practice, so you should have a folder on the computer with some of your files. We hope you're shooting RAW files!
All of our courses are taught on the grounds of the Hoot Hollow Institute of Nature Photography, in either our studio or in our computer lab. Hoot Hollow is located in central Pennsylvania, northwest of Harrisburg, east-southeast of State College, and near RT 522 between Lewistown and Selinsgrove, Pa. The nearest full-service airport and car rental is in Harrisburg. Lodging is at a farm vacation bed and breakfast located about eight miles from Hoot Hollow. It is a 'target-rich' shooting environment in a rural area rich with landscapes, farm scenes, farm animals, and nature subjects. Breakfasts and dinners are served at the farm.
Location: All of our courses
are taught on the grounds of the Hoot Hollow Institute of Nature
Photography, in either our studio or in our computer lab. Hoot
Hollow is located in central Pennsylvania, northwest of Harrisburg,
east-southeast of State College, and near RT 522 between Lewistown
and Selinsgrove, Pa. The nearest full-service airport and car
rental is in Harrisburg.
Lodging is at a farm vacation bed and breakfast located about six miles from Hoot Hollow. It is a 'target-rich' shooting environment in a rural area rich with landscapes, farm scenes, farm animals, and nature subjects. Breakfasts and diners are served at the farm.
Price: The tuition for the Digital Photography Courses is $1,695 and includes all instruction, lab fees and supplies, meals (you will not go hungry!), and lodging based upon double occupancy from Sunday through Thursday nights. A single rooming supplement is available ($90 for a room in the house, $150 for a cabin). The fee does not include transportation to, during, or from the course.
In the Aperture Course you will not only be 'introduced' to
the tools and menus and palettes in Aperture, you will become
intimately acquainted with the same! Through lecture, drill, quiz,
practice, and application in an interactive, hands on computer
environment you will learn the tools and techniques required to
integrate Aperture into your workflow in a satisfying and productive
manner. In short, you will learn, really learn, what you need
to know to get started in Aperture! Some of the topics we'll cover
· Importing Images -- Learn how to have your images managed by Aperture in the Library or leave them elsewhere on your computer and allow Aperture to reference them. Learn to use Stacks and Versions.
· See how to quickly rate and sort through a group of images in a shoot, zoom in for a closer look and even compare multiple images to find the best one.
· Optimize your favorite images by making nondestructive changes to your RAW files to quickly improve the exposure tonality and color. Use these same sliders to adjust other file types without accessing a new interface. Learn to use the tools that are unique to Aperture such as the Quarter Tone Levels sliders, and the Color Controls.
· Create stunning Slideshows; create Web Pages that are ready to upload and books!
· In addition learn when to use Photoshop in conjunction with Aperture to make adjustments to just part of an image.
Since the best way to consolidate learning is to practice it over and over, we'll not only have you try the techniques all week long, at the end of the week we'll have you spend some time photographing and then using Aperture just as you will when you return home.
Day 1, evening: Welcome dinner and orientation. Introduction
to Hoot Hollow and a review of the objectives for the week's course.
Day 2: Introduction to Aperture and the tools and Menus that will be covered. Setting up Aperture's Preferences and Presets. Monitor calibration.
Day 3: Importing images, understanding the Library, Projects, Albums, Ratings, Views and Adjustment tools: We'll use the Adjustment Heads Up Display (HUD) to Optimize images both for tonal adjustments and color adjustments and we'll use the Keyword HUD.
Day 4: We'll learn to make targeted adjustments in Photoshop using Layer Masks and other tools we might want to use in Photoshop.
Day 5: We'll spend the morning photographing an assignment and then practice what we've learned all week by using Aperture to prepare a Slideshow of our best images from the shoot.
Day 6: We'll finish working on your presentations this morning, ending with a Question and answer session before lunch. After lunch we'll showcase your week's work with the Slideshows and then it's graduation. Conclude by 2:30PM.
Please note - the exact, daily itinerary is subject to some change and modification based upon the group's progress. All of the above topics will be covered, but we do not want to be held to a fixed timetable - your comprehension and understanding is more important to us than a set schedule.
On a trip to Chile in December of 2003 I used a 35mm camera
and the full potential of Adobe Photoshop. When shooting landscapes
exposure values between foregrounds and backgrounds were often
extreme, and far beyond the capability of film to record accurately,
even with graduated neutral density filters. Sometimes the distance
was too great for depth of field to cover both a foreground and
background. In traditional photography, these scenes that I could
enjoy with my eyes and senses were not recordable. Yet the scenes,
the views, the subjects all exist in reality, but film, with traditional
photographic methods, could not record the reality!
On this trip I shot for Photoshop on many occasions, taking two exposures of the same scene to incorporate into Photoshop later to produce an image similar, or identical, to what I really saw. I shot multiple images with telephoto to create panoramic views of scenes I'd normally be forced to cover with a wide-angle.
To quote from one of my friends on this Chile trip: " I think the landscape images will be significantly boosted by application of the "digital blending technique" that you so kindly put forth to us. I consider this to be a ground breaking technique that will be as important to me as when several years ago, at Hoot Hollow, you explained how manual exposure and middle gray fit "
A long time has passed since that trip, and Mary and I and
our digital instructors Rick Holt and Ellen Anon have all switched
completely to digital photography, and have loved every minute
of it. Our photographic visions have expanded, our abilities to
capture what we've really seen, and our just plain enjoyment of
photography has increased immensely. Photoshop has certainly been
a valuable tool in broadening our vision, as it will your's as
Photoshop is not just image manipulation. It is a tool that will broaden our vision as photographers and one that all of us should learn to incorporate into our future work. We're excited about this tool! Read our Classroom Report at the end of this page (blue type) that describes our very first class.
Ellen Anon, along with her son, Josh, literally
wrote the book on APERTURE, "Aperture Exposed" published
by Sybex. She is also the author of "Photoshop for Nature
Photographers" with her co-author, Tim Grey. Ellen is a freelance
photographer who specializes in all types of outdoor photography.
Her images are poetic statements, vivid in color and intent, imaginative
in their portrayal, and comforting in their beauty, and are included
in collections in several countries. Ellen earned a Ph.D. in psychology
and is a clinical psychologist who evolved into a professional
photographer in the mid 1990's. She is represented by a stock
agency in Japan and her photos have been used in numerous books
(including Sierra Club's "Mother Earth"), articles,
calendars, posters, promotional items and billboards. In addition
she has been Art Morris's teaching assistant for several years
on his larger bird photography workshops.
In recent years she has become increasingly involved with the various aspects of digital photography from scanning film images to using digital SLR cameras to using Photoshop to enable her to make her gallery prints at home. She has attended courses at the Lepp Institute of Digital Imaging. She has begun sharing the knowledge she has acquired via individualized instruction and now these workshops, so that other photographers can make the transition into the digital world with ease and fun. Ellen is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
Joe McDonald has been a full-time professional wildlife
and nature photographer since 1983. Along with co-authors, Mary
Ann McDonald and Rick Holt, they are the authors of "Digital
Nature Photography - From Capture to Output." Joe is the
author of six books on wildlife photography and another on African
Wildlife, as well as a how-to video produced with his wife, Mary
Ann, on Photographing on Safari. His work has appeared in every
major nature and wildlife publication published in North America.
Along with operating their own stock photography business, Joe
is represented by over a dozen stock photo agencies worldwide,
including Corbis, Animals Animals, Auscape, Okapia, and others.
In addition to maintaining an active and informative website, www.hoothollow.com, Joe is columnist for OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER, writing the 'Big Game' column, and Joe and his wife Mary Ann are Field Correspondents for NATURE'S BEST Magazine, and KEYSTONE OUTDOORS, writing a photography column, and Joe Van Os's web magazine, www.photosafaris.com where they write a regular column on wildlife and nature photography.
For over fifteen years Joe and Mary Ann have been teaching photography courses and leading photography tours and workshops. Their very popular photo tours and safaris have them afield for over twenty-five weeks each year.
Joe has worked with Photoshop for several years, mainly for creating sales promotional material and for web site use. Now, with the advent of digital cameras, he is using Photoshop nearly daily. He is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals.
If you've read the above biographies, you'll see that all of us are dedicated photographers that are interested in sharing our knowledge and helping people. I've been involved in teaching my entire adult life, from teaching assistantships in graduate school to a six-year stint as a high school biology teacher before starting my career as a wildlife photographer and photo workshop instructor. Ellen has taught college level courses as well as individual instruction, and has been assisting Art Morris with his birding workshops for years. Rick is actively teaching Photoshop right now, and feels, as both Ellen and I do, that knowing Photoshop will take you (quoting from Rick's bio) "beyond the limits of film and recreate what you saw and felt when you recorded the image."
I intend to make our Digital Courses every bit as successful, in terms of the knowledge conveyed, the quality of the experience, the intensity, and, just as importantly, the amiability and fun, that we've done with our CNPC and ANPC courses here at Hoot Hollow.