I had visited the NewSpace Center for Photography on a past trip to Portland, Oregon. It's a wonderful gallery and teaching space, clean and light with rental facilities for photographers including darkroom, studio, lighting equipment and digital lab. NewSpace also offers a nice long list of classes for aspiring photographers every season. Recently, I had the opportunity to check one out.
HDR, Panoramas and Extended DoF taught by Mark Fitzgerald went from 10am to 5pm. All the how to's came in the morning followed by 2 hours for shooting and lunch. Then we returned to the digital lab and began to implement the how tos. Here's a before shot:
Here's the after shot:
You can see there's a pretty big difference.
Mark was a fabulous teacher, providing handouts that matched the lecture talking points and were easy to follow. For our shooting exercise, he also provided a shot list of considerations for each type of shot so we'd experience the greatest success in the lab afterwards. Mark's own images using HDR were captivating.
My class mates included some new to photography within the year, serious enthusiasts and long-time as well as more recent professionals. But no one seemed to be a braggart, no one was intent on proving themselves to the others so the atmosphere was easy.
The digital lab is well equipped with 10 computers split between Mac and PC.
With the additional skills I learned particularly in Photomatix, I suddenly could "see" differently. I could see what could happen with a scene with some digital work. I walked around all the rest of that weekend reminded that the world is such a beautiful place.
I had such a good experience that I'm looking into their summer class schedule.