Back from Florida

The title being as it is because I was in Florida during the last week of January for a photography course at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre. I attended about 20 seminars, workshops and photo shoots led by leading photographers and photo editors, learning everything from the (very) basics of the photojournalism business to lighting techniques to Photoshop. It was fascinating and exhausting, and I learned how much I have to learn. Just the nuts and bolts of digital printing left my mind boggled.

The photos below are some of the pictures I took during the first photo shoot on Tuesday, in Miami’s Little Havana. We strolled Calle Ocho looking at stores, the domino players’ park, and the cigar factories. We had great opportunities for portrait-taking, but I was also fascinated by the untouristed end of the street that showed a more isolated community than the one we’d gone to see.

One of the things that most impressed me is how photography is now about technology – Photoshop, the right printer, the right scanner. One of the photographer/instructors who most made an impression on me was Ben Willmore, whose work you can see at http://www.thebestofben.com/. This isn’t the type of work I’d necessarily do – I’m still a fan of black & white film – but after his demonstration I could see how this fits into the photography lexicon (and I broke down and bought Photoshop). For example, by manipulating color, shadow, detail and contrast, you can direct the eye toward what you want people to see – in this case, toward the hand and the standing dominos, and away from the watch or the dominos in the corner. (At least, that’s what I hope I’m doing.)