Category Archives: Workshops

Trainer to the Stars (Equine Stars that is)

L O O K ….. PhyllisBurchettPhoto has a new BLOG Post and it’s all about us and her trip to New York!

In March I had the pleasure of heading to New York to photograph for Cari Swanson at Windrock Farm. My friend Suzanne joined me so we spent a day in the city being tourists before heading to Amenia to visit Cari. The last time I visited New York City was right after 9/11 St. Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church was still adorned with flowers, cards and momentos to the fallen.

After September 11, 2001, St. Paul’s became the site of an extraordinary, round-the-clock relief ministry to rescue and recovery workers for nine months. Though the World Trade Center buildings collapsed just across the street, there was no damage to St. Paul’s, earning it the nickname “the little chapel that stood.”

After our brief visit to the big city we took the train up to Wassaic, New York where Cari picked us up and took us to her farm. What a beautiful drive, rolling hills and gorgeous countryside. 

Cari and part of her “tribe”. Five Icelandic Sheepdogs Storm, Loki, Röskur, Rune and Freyja

I met Cari years ago when she was working on a movie set that was filming at the Burge Plantation in Mansfield, Georgia.  Thanks to Facebook we’ve stayed in contact and when the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to head to New York to work with Cari and her horses.  Cari Swanson is the owner of  Swanson Productions. They provide specialty horses for film, television and commercials including carriages and wranglers as well as instruction. Cari is a Horse trainer, Riding Instructor, Producer and Author.
Visit her website at http://cariswanson.com/

I wanted to shoot horses in the snow and boy did I get to! We had some gorgeous models that gladly showed their stuff for us under gorgeous blue skies the first day.

Paint Mares, Lily and Dreamer

Listo and Merlin, Lusitano Stallion and Gelding

                                                                   

The light was stunning, “Novelisto” owned by Ashley Slack Waller.

These two images were taken back to back but with the help of Photoshop we can make them look warm or cool. Which one do you like better?

I took lots and lots of images. Horses rearing and horses being goofy. All total the first day I think I shot over 2500 frames.

Lisa Oberman sent some of her beautiful custom tack for us to use. El Sueño Español check it out on Facebook.

This is the gorgeous Morgan Stallion, Rosevale Leggo owned by A Horse Drawn Affair.

We did portrait work with Blaze and Bond for promotional use too. These guys are veterans in the film business.

We even brought horses in the house!

Always trying to be creative, what can I do different with rearing horses? Cari had this great Carousel horse in her house so why not put it in a composite with Listo!

Cari is amazing with her horses, they respect her and respond to everything she asks willingly. Thank you Cari, we enjoyed our time at Windrock Farm and can’t wait to come back!

The horse knows….
He knows if you know….
He also knows if you don’t know.
~ Ray Hunt

Stay tuned plans are being discussed for a workshop at Cari’s farm for 2018.

On our way back to the city we stopped in Hudson, New York to photograph the Dr. Oliver Bronson House. This hidden gem is a challenge to be able to visit due to limited hours —- but if you love architecture and historic preservation, you won’t want to miss the experience. The house is centered around a grand spiral staircase that winds it’s way through the center of the house.

Well that was our world wind of a weekend of fabulous photographic opportunities, wonderful fellowship, yummy food and meeting new friends.

Thanks to all who made this trip possible!

 

 

 

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Shoot For Yourself

In 2001, on a trip to the Canadian Rockies, our guide had a Nikon N65 Film Camera. I came home smitten with photography and bought one for myself….thus began my love affair with photography. I don’t come from a photography background, I never had friends that were interested in photography.I have no formal training in art. I love to create but never thought of myself as creative.

Pink Camillas

My very first Personal Project began when my Mother passed away in 2003. My Mom was an avid gardener and I was obsessed with documenting every living thing in the beautiful yard that she created and worked so hard in over the years……that is how my journey began.

Pink Dogwood

 Shooting personal work is a way for you to have complete creative control. It’s also a great opportunity to test out new ideas and techniques. Personal Projects can help you beef up your portfolio. They can keep you passionate about photography by stimulating your creativity. Think outside the box, the great thing about shooting personal work is there are NO RULES (unless you want them). The only person you need to make happy when shooting Personal work is yourself…..YOU are the client.

Eastern Bluebird Female Ruby Throat Hummingbird Cedar Waxwings

Set a goal…..improve your skills and your vision through your project. The best way to separate yourself from the sea of photographers out there is to put your personality and life experience into your work. What are you passionate about?

The Chair

Oh, I forgot to add that all of the images above were taken in My Mother’s Garden……memories of her.

 

Quickie Tutorial on adding a texture to your images:

1. Open the background image you’d like to apply a texture to (this should be a finished image
with any needed adjustments already applied).

Wind Chaser_Original

 2. Open the texture you would like to use, Select All>Edit>Copy Then go back to your background image and Select Edit>Paste

(this will apply the texture image on top of your background image and if you look at the layers panel you will see the second layer added)

StoneBlush

  3. With the texture layer selected go to Select>All then Edit >Free Transform (Ctrl T)

and you can adjust the size of your texture layer to match the background layer by dragging the

edges in or out as needed, when finished click enter.

layer styles_web

 4. Go to Layer Styles (box above the top layer that says “normal”)….and you can scroll through to see which style you prefer.

Here I chose Linear Burn. I also use darken, multiply, overlay and soft light quite a bit.

You may need to brush some of the texture effect off your subject/background image so you would add a layer mask to do this.

Choose a white brush to reveal or black brush to conceal. Flatten your layers and you are done!

Wind Chaser

Here are a few companies that sell textures/backgrounds or you can get on their email list for freebees. Also, you can just Google textures for Photoshop, there are 100’s or you can go out and photograph your own textures.
http://www.joelolives.com/
http://www.graphicauthority.com/ (templates and textures)
http://frenchkisstextures.com/
http://kimklassen.com/
http://flypapertextures.com/

 Hope you will join me May 23, 2015 at Greer Farm in Hampton, GA for my next Cowboy and Horse Workshop….it’s almost full so sign up soon to reserve your spot!

http://phyllisburchettphoto.net/workshops/

We just completed the WOW Workshop at LearnToTakePhotos,

thanks to everyone who signed up for class!!!

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Happy New 2015!

 

The soul can not think without a picture.  ~ Aristotle

I think like Aristotle! That is definitely a stretch but I do need something to help me visualize ideas. I guess that’s why I love sites like Pinterest, where you can pin ideas to a board to use later.

You can follow me  at https://www.pinterest.com/skipitidoda/ I’d love to see you there and I will try to follow you back!

BACK BUTTON FOCUS

Occasionally I will let someone borrow my camera to take a quick picture.

When I tell them that I use Back Button Focusing, they want to know more. So I thought I’d do a quick review to answer that question.

What is back button focusing?

It’s a very simple thing that might change the clarity of your images forever.

When you auto-focus with your DSLR default settings, here is how it basically works: you press your shutter half way to auto-focus, and when your focus is OK you press your shutter a second time to take the picture. There is an alternative to this focusing method: you can decide that another button (the famous BBF, or “back button focusing”) will handle your focus.

In short: Rear focus involves focusing by pushing a button on the top right back of the camera (rather than by pushing the shutter button).

Why would you do that?

Simply because it separates your focusing from your shutter. Instead of asking your index finger to deal with two different things one after the other, you give it one single task (pressing the shutter at the perfect moment) while your thumb will deal with focusing.

Making the change from the shutter button to rear focus requires a big commitment and takes lots of getting used to; it takes a bit of retraining of the brain and the thumb to get used to rear focusing.

If you mainly photograph landscape or still life, it’s very likely that BBF won’t change your life. On the other hand, if you are a portrait photographer, and if your model is potentially moving fast BBF is probably going to be your best friend.

This is why BBF is very often used by sports, equine or wildlife photographers. Don’t forget that to get a crisp image with a fast moving subject you also need a high shutter speed in order to freeze motion, at least 1/500s or higher depending on the speed of your subject.

Another interest of BBF is that it locks your focus. If you press your thumb on your back button and release it, your focus won’t change until you press the button again. This will allow you to focus and then recompose a picture.

You need to change a custom function or two to set up rear focus. With most systems you set up rear focus via the camera’s menu, please consult your camera’s user manual or even do a web search on “Back Button Focusing” for your camera model. Depending on your camera, you will use the AF-ON button for Canon users and the AF-L button for Nikon users.

Both these images would have been very difficult to capture sharp focus without Back Button Focusing.

Try it and see if you like BBF but remember that it takes a while to get used to!

We still have two slots left for our Alaska Bear Tour in June….send me a message if you would like more information. http://phyllisburchettphoto.net/alaska-tour-2015/

My 2014 Iceland Equine Tour is full, thank you to everyone who has signed up! We are going to have a fabulous trip! If you are interested in joining me in 2016 send me a message.

My Spring Workshop Date has been announced it is May 23, 2014 in Hampton, Georgia:

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