Issue 2 Welcome back. It's been a busy couple of weeks since my inaugural newsletter went out and there is plenty to report. I'll continue with my "

Issue 2 Header
Mark Issue 5

Issue 2

Welcome back. It's been a busy couple of weeks since my inaugural newsletter went out and there is plenty to report.
I'll continue with my "Photographer's Process" series in this issue and, of course, update you on the world of Trekabout.
I have some exciting plans for a new workshop involving portrait / people photography and processing and I would be keen to hear your feedback and interest. More on that later.

Our recent " Weekend Beach to Mountain Experience" was a ripper. I've put up a link to short video that I put together of the weekend. It's a bit of fun and I do hope you will enjoy it.
One thing for sure, it certainly opened my eyes up to HD video. That's a whole new ball game :-)

Check out the video here.

My next "Post Processing and Workflow Experience" starts in a couple of weeks. More details below, but there are still some spots available.

If you like what you see please let me know and feel free to forward to your friends. If you do not wish to receive the newsletter simply unsubscribe at the end of this email.

So climb aboard and hang on, here we go again!


Adobe Photoshop Quick Tips

I work on a Mac so I will refer to the Command key quite often. If you use a PC the equivalent is the Control key.

Ever wondered how to apply the copyright symbol to your work quickly and easily?
It's really very simple. On a Mac just hold down the ALT key and type G. Job done.
On a PC it's a little more tricky but easy nonetheless. Hold down the ALT key and type the number 0169 on the numeric keypad. You must use the mimetic keypad or it won't work. Presto. Job done.

A really easy way to change the brush / tool size in Photoshop ( and Lightroom) is to press the left or right bracket keys. " [ " will reduce the brush size and " ] " will increase the size.
Works in Camera Raw too!

Made a mistake and want to undo the last step just hit "Command" "Z".

Most common keyboard shortcuts work okay in Photoshop too. For instance "Command" "C" for copy. "Command" "V" for paste etc.

Want to swap your foreground and background colours. Press "X".

Inside Photoshop and wish to cycle through the screen modes? Press "F". If you are in Bridge and want to see an image full screen then press the "Space bar". Why both couldn't have been the same beats me !!!

Keyboard shortcuts can save you a ton of time but there are also many tricks you can do with a wheel mouse or Wacom tablet to save you time. Take the time to learn them and you will certainly reap back the savings later.

20110521 AlexLuke GLAM 413 copy

Portrait, Process, Print - Watch this Space

The three Ps. I'm planning a new workshop which will combine a morning portrait workshop, hands on, with a couple of models working in both outdoors and studio settings. That's hands on your cameras, not the models.

We'll look at doing a couples / engagement type shoot and some typical set-ups you might use for family portraits.

After lunch we'll process the images, you'll need your laptop or be prepared to share one and then run off some 8" x 12" prints to produce the finished product.

As soon as I have finalised the details I will let you know when, where and how much. Numbers will be limited to ensure the maximum learning opportunity fro both the shoot and the processing.

Drop me a line if you are interested or would like more information.


The Photographer's Process - Part 2

In the last issue I talked about choosing your camera. Well, I started to talk about it. I laid out the pros and cons of sensor size and the differences between FX, DX ,APS-C, APS-H, Full Frame, X3, M8, Four Thirds and so on. There was a lot to think about and the type of photography you intend to use the camera for is also a major factor.

Assuming you've waded through all the sensor arguments and have decided on the sensor size that will suit your photography needs and budget. Now how do you select which brand to go with? For many the decision is simple and will involve brand loyalty based on what they have always used. I prefer to look at things a little more objectively and choose what is best for the job. Factors to consider will be the ergonomics of the camera, lens choices available, low light performance and these days even video capability comes into the equation. In many cases the camera that most of your photography friends have may influence your decision. If you are off on a trip with a good mate and he/she has a Canon and you have a Pentax then you are not able to share any equipment.

Go into your local camera store and handle all the cameras you wish to consider. You might have a short list of say a Canon 7D, a Nikon D7000, a Pentax K5 and a Sony A580. Try them out. Hold them. Check out the menu systems. Inspect the build quality. Do your fingers find the shutter button and command dials easily or is the camera awkward to hold. What suits one person will be entirely different to someone else. Take some test shots on your own memory card and take them home and have a look at them on your PC or Mac. You are about to invest a significant sum of money in a system that, once you start with, will be expensive to change. Take the time to make sure you are making the right decision for the right reasons.


Right, you've decided on a brand and of course you've done the right thing and chosen Nikon. Just kidding :-) So now which level of camera body should you buy. The more expensive the camera, the more feature rich they become. You'll find more hardware controls (buttons) rather than menu driven controls. Very handy if you need to change a setting quickly. Press a button and turn a dial. Done. Much quicker than press MENU. Now press, err where was that Bracketing adjustment menu item again? Buttons are much quicker, but they come at a price. Move even higher up the price scale and things like shutter mechanisms and body materials are more robust and built to last longer.

I guess in the end you get what you pay for and the more you spend on a camera body the less you have to spend on lenses.

Which brings me to my next topic.

Which Lenses should I buy?

Should you spend up big on "fast glass" or are there other cost effective lenses available that will suit your requirements. With sensor technology improving almost day by day, the need for "fast glass" is not as important as it once was. What's better, a zoom or a fixed focal length lens. Decisions, decisions!!

As a very minimum you need a good range from around 18mm through to 200mm on a crop sensor and through to 300mm on a full frame sensor. Many cameras come with kit lens packages and offer a combination of lenses or one big range zoom lens. Depending on the brand and the extent of the zoom the options are endless. I am not going to attempt to cover all the possible combinations here but I will provide some links to a number of sites where lens info can be easily accessed.


A couple of possibilities though might be as follows:

Canon 1.6 crop camera such as 600D TWIN KIT 18-55mm and 55-250mm. This would be a good entry level starter kit with room to add more high quality glass later. ($1200 approx)

Nikon 1.5 crop camera such as D3100 TWIN KIT 18-55mm and 55-300mm. Again a good entry level combination. ($1200 approx)

Pentax offer the very, very good 1.5 crop sensor K5 with a 18-135 WR lens ($2200 approx)

Moving a little more upscale and you start to find the cameras are usually offered with better quality lenses. For instance a Canon 7D might be offered with the excellent 15-85mm IS USM but that combination might be three times the price of the 600D twin lens kit. ($3000.00 Approx)

Make no mistake, you pay for quality.

Move onto full frame sensors and you'll find something like Nikon's D700 will be offered with a 24-70 f/2.8. ($5000.00 aprrox)

You could, and I believe should, add a nice fast 50mm prime lens to any kit for minimal outlay. Most manufacturers will have an f/1.8 version (very fast glass) fro a couple of hundred dollars. Even better are the f/1.4 and f/1.2 (really, really fast glass) versions ( a lot more expensive though). A cheap f/1.8 50mm prime lens will be a wonderful addition to your kit. Fantastic for portraits, especially on a crop sensor camera, the bokeh (background blur) they produce is nothing short of stunning. Make sure you check one out.

Sigma, Nikon, Canon, Tokina, Sony, Olympus, Tamron---I'm confused

So you've headed in to the camera store all set to buy your nice new Canon camera with its shiny new Canon lenses and the sales person throws a spanner in the works. A nice new shiny, but less expensive, Sigma 24-70 f/2.8 EX DG HSM for $1100.00 instead of the Canon 24-70 ES /2.8L USM for $1900.00. That's an $800.00 saving, enough to buy another lens, maybe that dedicated Macro you've thought about.


The third party lenses these days are very good. I would not advocate for a second that the Sigma will out perform the Canon or Nikon equivalent, but in many cases the difference will be indiscernible. Again do you research thoroughly and you might find that the third party lens will suit you and your budget perfectly.

The bottom line, and finally an answer to the question "Which lenses should I buy"?, is buy the best glass you can afford. Sorry. It's just that simple. You get what you pay for.
There are of course some exceptions to the rule and we'll discuss those next time.

Here are the links as promised:

DP Review Lens Feature Search


Fred Miranda

Ken Rockwell

SLR Gear

 MPR8674 Girraween Rock Pools

The Girraween Experience

Spots are disappearing fast for our brand new "Girraween Experience". This will be a springtime wildflower and landscape extravaganza in the amazing Granite Belt near Stanthorpe.

Girraween National Park will play host to a new three day workshop where we have the opportunity to photograph an amazing array of wildflowers. Unique orchids are in abundance, but we won't stop there. The scenery is stunning, so naturally, landscape photography will also be on the agenda. The area is a favorite for Michael and I. I have had many memorable times at Girraween and the surrounding areas and can't wait to present the area to our workshop participants.

Michael recently spent a number of days re-visiting the area to develop a viable workshop program to ensure that you, not only improve your photography skills, but are presented with the best locations and opportunities to take home some fantastic images. Please check out the details here.


Post Processing and Workflow

My next Post Processing and Workflow Experience kicks off shortly on Wednesday 13 July. Held over four nights the workshop covers a multitude of issues designed to improve your post processing workflow and expertise.
Topics covered will include but not be limited to:
* Importing and opening images
Image resolution * Selections and masks Colour and white balance adjustments
Retouching * Histograms * File formats * Filters * Actions * Scripts * Plug-ins * HDR Metadata
Batch processing * Presets * Keyboard shortcuts * Exporting and saving Automating tasks
Re-sizing * Sharpening Noise reduction

I will also be introducing new sessions on integrating Lightroom into your Photoshop workflow.
Spaces are still available but limited to a maximum of 8 participants to ensure quality of learning.
To find out more have a look on the Trekabout website here.

The price is $240.00 for the entire 4 night (12 hour) workshop. Loyalty discounts are available for returning clients.

josephs coat january

Macro Experience and Reptile and Frog Experience - ONLY TWO SPOTS LEFT!!!!

The next Macro Experience and Reptile and Frog Experience workshops are on this coming weekend.

These two very popular workshops are to held consecutively on Saturday 2nd July and Sunday 3rd July 2011. Why not take this great opportunity to make a weekend of it and hone your macro skills on Saturday, and then come along Sunday to take advantage of your new found skills to capture unique images of amazing creatures.

Being a cool time of year the reptiles and frogs will be naturally quiet and inclined to simply laze around and pose for you. Check out the details here.

Special offer

If you wish to take advantage of attending both workshops over the weekend we have a special offer available.
Both workshops for a very attractive $229.00.
If you have already booked one or the other of these workshops and wish to take up this offer, the difference between what you have already paid and the double-offer will apply.
If you wish to take advantage of this offer please email me with your details and I'll let you know how to book.

It's not too late to join in for this fantastic opportunity.


Fancy an Island Escape?

Lord Howe Experience

We have two island experiences coming soon. Guest tutor Darren Jew will join Michael to present a fantastic workshop with the Lord Howe Experience. Commencing on Sunday 9th October you be treated to a wondrous week of tuition (including an underwater session with equipment supplied) in stunning surrounds.
At the southern end of the island, the often cloud-covered twin peaks of Mt Gower and Mt Lidgebird rise perpendicular form the sea. To the north, the sheltered coral lagoon (one of the most southerly coral reefs in the world) arcs around the tiny settlement of Lord Howe. Ancient rainforests cover the slopes, and kilometre after kilometre of white sandy beaches and rocky shores await exploration by you and your camera. Check out more details here.
Lord Howe Experience Gallery.

Norfolk Island Experience

The following month we head back to Norfolk Island, a photographer’s paradise. The island is only 8km x 5kms and is situated in the midst of the Pacific Ocean, half way between Australia and New Zealand. The air is crisp and clean, the scenery superb and the people are delightful. Photographic opportunities are endless and include stunning landscapes/seascapes, sunrises/sunsets over rocky cliffs, birds galore(including shots of birds in flight), convict ruins, cattle/ducks/geese roaming over the fields and macro, to name but some. The Norfolk Island Experience commences on Sunday 30 October 2011.
Norfolk Island Experience Gallery.

Lord Howe

So that about wraps it up again.
I hope you enjoyed this edition and will continue to enjoy many new issues into the future.

If you do not wish to receive future newsletters, don't worry I wont be offended or upset. Simply unsubscribe at the bottom of this newsletter.

email facebook google_plus instagram linkedin pinterest twitter