Just taking some time here to answer some questions...
1. Just wanted to remind everyone that registration for NEW STUDENTS who want to AUDIT The Photographers' Workshop is this coming Monday, March 1st starting at 9am Pacific Time. I am not limiting the number of auditing students, however I'm only keeping the registration open for 24 hours. You can read more details here. I still don't have a date for past students to register for auditing (sorry.)
2. No, it's not March yet but it will be soon (for all of you who are taking the March class!)
3. Kelli, I always knew you were a wheel barrow thief (ha!)
4. The cologne I got for Josh is Calvin Klein, Euphoria. (And it is indeed, Euphoric.)
5. Courtney calls me K.K. - just a nickname she came up with a couple years back. (I'm not Courtney's mom - she's got a mom
and we share custody.) When Josh and I met, I already had Ross and
Coley and he already had Courtney Lee. Together, we had Annie. I know
that always throws everyone for a loop because Cole and Courtney look
so much alike, but those two are not blood-related.
6. The paint color in our bedroom is Valspar, Sea Air - but if you want something a little greener, go with Sea Lily.
7. I really WILL post some pictures of the house soon. We've done a lot of work (but there's still a TON to do.)
8. Still planning to share those scrapbook pages but I haven't ordered the photos I need for them yet (I'm really bad about getting around to stuff like that.)
9. Right now, I don't have any plans to go back to designing scrapbooking products. That doesn't mean I never will - but for now, this photography thing is keeping me busy.
10. I get most of the girls clothes from Target and Old Navy just because I like the prices and they always have cute stuff. I also shop at Crazy 8 online. I'll shop at Gymboree (but only when they have a sale or are offering Gymbucks.) Other than that, I just look for sales. I picked up Annie's birthday dress at the Gap for only $14. Sometimes I'll splurge on something from Mini Boden or Janie & Jack but in general, I think they're overpriced and it bugs me.
11. I don't currently have any plans of doing any marketing on my blog. I just added the 'Clickin Moms' link because I think it's a great photography forum and I really encourage my past students to join it.
12. The first Making the Shot lesson has been ready to go for several months now. Unfortunately though, my web guy had a family emergency that is keeping him from being able to work on the website. So for now, all of the big additions I've been planning are on hold until things settle down a little for him. If it looks like it's going to be much longer though, I'll just offer the lesson through Paypal and will email it to everyone who purchases it.
13. For now, my plans are to only offer Making the Shot lessons to students who have registered for the online Photographers' Workshop (past and current students along with anyone who is already paid/registered for a future class, including auditors.)
14. I don't have an exact length of time I plan to continue teaching the online version of The Photographers' Workshop. My guess is that I'll still teach it for at least a couple more years just so long as there is still interest, however I am taking FEWER students than I have in the past because I really want to focus on adding more options for my past students, like Making the Shot lessons and telephone consulting and am even looking into the possibility of hosting very small, three day workshops for my past students. I'm just wanting to branch out in a few different directions, knowing that I'm not able to keep up with the number of students on the wait list (which is why I'm offering the auditing option.)
15. I shot Courtney's basketball game in full Manual mode at f2.8, 1/500th of a second with my ISO ranging between 200-900. There's TONS of natural light in that gym (no artificial light) so I'm always able to shoot in there with low ISOs but my ISO was particularly low that day because it was so sunny outside. When I shot Coley's basketball game later that day in a different gym (that has no natural light) I shot with the exact same settings except my ISO much much higher; between 1250-2500. The keys to shooting sports though is to maintain a reasonable shutter speed to prevent subject movement and to either use a preset white balance setting (usually the fluorescent setting when shooting in a gym) or to set a custom white balance.
16. I shot the recent B&W's of Annie with a 24-70mm lens at f2.8. I was just standing above her to get them.
17. I'm not currently using any purchased actions for the majority of my editing. I'm using an action that I made based off the recommendation of another photographer. Because it's her technique, I can't really share it but I've been bugging her like crazy to create a 'how to' for it and I've got my fingers crossed that she will. If she does, I'll let you know.
18. I do use noise reduction software sometimes. When I do, I use Noise Ninja OR the Smooth-o-Matic action from Totally Rad Actions 2. (Totally Rad Actions only work with Adobe CS2 or higher.)
19. I own the following lenses: Nikon 50mm f1.4G, Nikon 85mm f1.4, Nikon 24-70mm f2.8, Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 and a Sigma macro 50mm f2.8. A couple of those lenses are ridiculously priced - but you can get comparable lenses for much cheaper, like the Nikon or Canon 85mm f1.8, the Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 and the Tamron 70-200mm f2.8.
20. I think the 24-70mm f2.8 (or the comparable Tamron 28-75mm f2.8) is ideal for outdoor, everyday shooting. However for indoor, everyday shooting, I recommend a 50mm lens or something a little wider like a 24mm, 28mm or 35mm. For indoor and low light stuff, you really need something with an aperture that opens to f1.8 or wider in my opinion.
21. In regards to back button focusing, that is a topic I plan to cover in a future issue of Making the Shot. It's just a topic that's a little too big for a blog post.
22. If you're looking for a wide angle lens, I'd recommend a 24mm lens or a 28mm lens - just get whichever has the widest maximum aperture, depending upon your budget. There's also high end wide angle zooms like the 16-35mm f2.8. Something like a 17-50mm f2.8 will work also but keep in mind that this lens will NOT work on full frame cameras (like the Nikon D700 or the Canon 5D.)
23. I love Adobe Lightroom 2 now (although I am STILL struggling to learn it) and am using it to organize all of my images, to sort my images for editing and to get my images to a good, usable state for editing (making any necessary adjustments in exposure, white balance, etc.) Then I pull all the shots I want to edit into Photoshop CS4 for my final editing. A person could do ALL of their editing in Adobe Lightroom 2 if they wanted to but I'm a creature of habit and I really love to do my final editing in CS4. In general though, I prefer modestly edited images. I've tried every editing fad and while I love them, I just seem to always come back to the fact that I want my images to have a classic, simple feel to them. I want people to look at my images and say, "Great photo!" rather than "Great editing!"
24. My ISO was at 2000 for all the shots I took of Annie jumping on the bed. In hindsight, I should have increased it for a higher shutter speed but that's just the way it goes sometimes. I used an 85mm f1.4.
25. Since I shoot RAW images rather than JPEG images, my photos do NOT undergo any in-camera sharpening. Therefore, my images looks less sharp straight out of the camera than they would if I were shooting JPEGs. So I sharpen ALL of my images that are posted on my blog. I typically just use Boutwell's Magic Glasses at about 40% opacity which is from Totally Rad Actions 1.
26. The key to good skin tones is always going to be in nailing your exposure and having a correct white balance. That's just a huge topic though so I'll save it for my online classes.
And one of Coley from Valentines day that I cam across this morning...