News / Blog

Standing Room Only for TECH EDGE

Cynthia Hall

CALL Program Intern

A packed house of enthusiastic artists from multiple disciplines, as well as gallery and museum representatives, attended the first Artist Trust “TECH EDGE” technology skill-building workshop, “Photographing Your Artwork Digitally,” at Photo Center NW in Seattle on August 18. Artist Trust Program Manager Nichole DeMent led the information-packed session, treating attendees to live demos and lots of useful how-to instructions on photographing the perfect image for multiple purposes. We knew the topic was a hot one for artists, as we’ve received many requests to offer this information, and the workshop filled quickly.

Nichole began with a discussion of the importance of using a tripod. While that might seem obvious, a sharp photo is necessary to create a great image of your art, and the tripod is the best way to stabilize your camera and avoid a blurry shot. We then moved on to reviewing the features and functions of the digital camera. Settings were discussed, along with recommendations on choosing the optimal setting for different light situations.

Tips on how to achieve the best lighting emerged as a key part of the afternoon presentation. Nichole opened with a discussion on white balance: “It’s as important to get the white balance correct as it is to use the tripod.” She demonstrated how to use a grey card and pointed out other materials that can be substituted for the grey card, which provide the same result and save money, too. The topic of lighting stimulated plenty of questions from the attendees; obviously this is a key component of creating a great shot. Everything from the best type of lamps to use, to working with reflection, to using polarizers (on lights and the camera lens), was covered. Questions popped up all afternoon, providing for a lively session.

During the break, attendees had an opportunity to mingle and exchange ideas. It was also a wonderful time to view the terrific photography on view at the Photo Center NW. If you haven’t stopped by lately, make a point to treat yourself. Not only are the exhibits impressive, but the breadth of classes offer something for every level of photographer and digital imager.

The second part of the workshop included pointers on what format to use when shooting (tip: RAW is the answer!). This was followed by a brief discussion on computer software that’s available to help manipulate digital images. The basics of the point-and-shoot camera were also touched on, followed by an interesting Q&A session.

At the conclusion, everyone felt the session was highly informative and some wished that it could be longer (than three hours!) with suggestions for specifics and more aspects they’d like to explore. This will help us as greatly as we prepare for a repeat of this workshop in 2014.

This is just the first of a series of new TECH EDGE workshops designed to address artists’ needs in working digitally. Everything from manipulating your digital images to social media will be offered. Watch for announcements in our free (re)Source e-newsletter, on our website events calendar, or via Facebook and Twitter in the coming months detailing more about these exciting new offerings from Artist Trust.