I had the pleasure to attend the second annual Photo fest in Lincoln County, NV this year and it did not disappoint! There was a great turnout, it more than doubled from the inaugural year. I participated in Impressionistic, Sports, Landscape, Night Sky, Environmental, and Photo Editing classes.
This one was completely new to me and was explained as “showing the world what you see when you’re not wearing your glasses” and was taught by Alyce Bender. She walked us through camera settings and how moving your camera different ways will give you different effects. Things were blurry and hard to make out, just giving the impression of something. We started in Cathedral Gorge using plants and flowers as subjects. Then we moved into the Hoodoos where it was much cooler and we practiced lines as well as learning how to stack images in camera. I have much respect for intentionally blurry images now.
This was taught by Michael Okimoto, who I met the previous year when he taught the Environmental Photography class. We were up on one of the mountains where he had some mountain bikers staged. We went over camera settings and I was excited because this was also something I haven’t tried but i could definitely see how i could apply it to my child and family photography. The bikers would come one by one around a corner where all the photographers were staged at and we all tried to freeze them in motion. Then we moved down the trail some and practiced panning with the bikers. This allows the subject to stay in focus (if you do it right) and the background to have a motion blur. I’d like to practice this some more. The images looked good on my LCD screen, but they were all a bit blurry when I saw them full size.
Landscape & Night Sky
Taught by a couple, Shawn & Corinne Severn, we missed the beginning of class because we thought it started half an hour later than it did… and we discovered a speakeasy. The clouds cleared prior to sunset so there wasn’t much color in the sky, but we practiced framing up a shot on an old water tower back in Cathedral Gorge. This class transitioned into the Night Sky class taught by the same couple in the same location. We all lined up and focused on a rock formation and waited for night to fall. We were in the right position to capture the Milky Way! I got the shot I wanted then I kept moving my camera to see what else there was. After this class Michael Okimoto took a small group of us into the hoodoos to shoot more night sky. This was an image that has been on my bucket list and I was so excited to have the opportunity! I really liked the framing, but I felt that I could have done better with the sky exposure and less light on the hoodoos, but it was great for a first try!
This class was taught by Mikel Conrad in Pioche, Nevada. He had a female model named Irish, who we practiced outdoor lighting on. I haven’t had the opportunity to try HSS (high speed sync) so that was interesting and solidified my desire to upgrade one of my strobes. I just love the effects you can get with it. We then changed locations and used Kelly Garni as a model outside of his Ghost Town Art & Coffee Co. While we were there some bikers came through and we used one of them with his bike as another model for variety. We moved up the hill and Irish was our model again. Then we broke up into small groups and practiced lighting and camera settings on each other. I loved the variety of images this class provided. Finally Mikel brought us to an overgrown area between two buildings which was shaded and he showed us how he would photograph a senior portrait, including posing, lighting and camera settings.
I don’t have as much to say about this class because I was introducing a friend to Lightroom and showing him how I choose images and edit them. It was a very helpful class especially for those who are less familiar with Photoshop and it’s capabilities.
Overall, this trip up North was definitely worth my time. I had a lot of fun and learned several new and useful techniques that will help to bring my photography to the next level. I feel like I should always be learning something new in order to provide my clients with the best possible photos, and I will definitely be attending the Lincoln County Photo Festival again when it rolls back around next year.