Baltimore Studio, Education, Etc

I spent the entirety of last weekend and first day or two of the week working on the Atomic Canary endeavor. Specifically the space that is now open in Baltimore. My coconspirators and I hosted an open house all day Sunday. I was shocked at the number of people that showed up – somewhere between 50 and 60. Even more shocked at how long most of them decided to hang out chatting with us and each other. The diversity of experience, interests, and demographic were mind boggling. We all shared one thing in common – the passion for making pictures. The event ran way over our planned 7pm shutdown time.

I spent most of my time during the open house doing two things. Discussing the concept of Atomic Canary. The mission to go way beyond just a space that you can use to make pictures. A community of people and resources and ideas and assistance and education. Not just one point of view but diverse points of view. The other thing I spent a lot of time doing was showing the why of the facility we chose to house the space. We have a great space but it's more than that. Our little 2000 square foot corner is housed in this huge five floor turn of the century manufacturing facility with amazing huge common areas, architecture, bricks, loading docks, freight elevators, 20 foot high ceilings, columns, and more. All of them with thousands of shooting opportunities to be used.

I'm certainly going to use all of them for the mini-workshops I host. Not every space for every mini-workshop but I will switch it up every time I do one. Especially if I am doing one of the popular reoccurring mini-workshops like 10 things you can do with one speedlight.

Somehow or other I ended up hosting the free RAW vs JPEG mini-workshop that we had planned after the open house. Likely because I can sort of do that kind of thing on the fly with a bunch of people and achieve a semblance of coherency. Not something I tend to gravitate towards as I like to host events that involve actual camera work more than post-shooting computer kind of stuff. I leave that to people that actually like it. Surprisingly I had a lot of fun doing it. Ten people stayed to hear my hyperbole regarding the subject. The one thing that I took away was a reinforcement of what I already know. Different people tend to respond differently and have completely different ways of learning things. I'm confident we are on the right track with this endeavor and also felt good that out of those ten people all of them took away at least one tiny little thing they can use or think about differently in their own photographic mission.

Here's a surprise for a few of you. I used Aperture 3 to demonstrate a couple of things about shooting RAW instead of Lightroom which was far more of a common factor with most of the photographers there. Typically I will use whatever the crowd uses. I didn't do this to confuse anyone or to sell them that Aperture 3 was somehow more better and they should use that instead. I used Aperture 3 only because of an email I received a few weeks ago prompted by my discussion of Aperture 3 curves extended mode. The email in summary was a thank you for explaining something in a way that resonated with a reader that never did before.

Based on that email and the constituency that happened to be sitting there I thought the visuals that the Aperture 3 curves tool extended mode provides was a perfect illustration for that audience. It worked out great. The participants – at least some of them – could visualize what was going on inside the RAW file as they have never really quite got their arms around before. The light bulb want on for them so to speak. That's what this community is about. I'm happy even thought there is a mountain of work in front of me.

That mountain consists of all the things you thought about and knew from the beginning and tons of stuff that get's on the list that you stumble across. It's a fluid situation. Case in point, StupidCrap™ and pictures of StupidCrap™. As any reader here knows I make tons of of StupidCrap™ pictures, we all do. Too bad I actually need tons of pictures of completely different StupidCrap™. Example; Illustrations for all of the services and facilities we have to offer. Anyone that doubts the importance of photographs for this kind of thing just start a new business endeavor and you will be shocked at how many images you need. Pedantic catalog kinds of things, conceptual kinds of things, etc, etc. The image at the top is one good example. A reasonable illustration of some of the lighting facilities available – of course along with that will be an inventory of stuff. I will be busy every weekend for the next six months doing a ton of both pedantic as well as conceptual images for the softer kinds of services. While I was doing the pedantic I of course did dozens of more abstract things that you soon figure out are nice to have. Like this kind of thing…

Okay enough for now. I have to get back to planning the bunch-o-workshops, free events, member monthly events, etc that are coming at me real fast. Oh yea and beating the Canary website into submission, and dealing with a few potential sponsors, and…


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