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    • Ok this idea came from @Chris , indirectly when he said if he was in the Land of Oz down under he would come along to one of my bird photography workshops, Not that Chris probably needs any help from what I’ve seen. But it got me thinking, how about a Cake photography workshop, not just a week but a long term project covering the basics and then branching out into various Photography genres, there are so many, and so many great photographers here on Cake from time to time many of whom love to share their knowledge, I’m not the best photography but do ok, like most I’m still learning and as they say one of the best ways to learn is to teach. So let’s see what we can do here on Cake to get an active photography workshop going. I’m willing to get it started and kick it off covering the basics and happy to go into detail for Bird photography, mushroom photography some post processing work and into some other forms, but there are far better people out there at some of the other forms, we have some great street photographers here, Some amazing landscape photographers, Portrait photographers etc, so there are plenty of directions this can head. Be really good If Cake had sub categories where we could branch out, but lets work with what we have, and see if Cake keeps up or develops as a need arises. Lets see if we can make this one of the best free learning experiences going around. 

      1.    First question of cause is anyone interested in learning or bettering their photography? 

      2.    How do we go about it, Month topics in the form of Panels where participants volunteer via a conversation to be invited to the panel, with a format say first week the basic theory, with feedback then a set assignment / Challenge  with say two weeks to submit to the panel then feedback on the images in a positive but constructive way. The idea to grow peoples skills, so there will be some feedback that some may not want to hear at first. But the feedback and comments will be restricted to the panel, but visible to all.

      3.    Starting out simple and the very basics, but over time growing, maybe a different panel each month some someone new can join the earlier panels and then grow with the group.

      4.    The idea of calling on some of the more skilled people in the Cake community to help out in the relevant genres as we get up to them and as the group requests. 

      So that’s some ideas just throwing it out there and seeing if there’s an interest and if anyone things this is possible here in Cake as it stands. I’m willing to lead it off for a while but certainly happy for anyone else to lend a hand especially when it comes to some of the areas I’m not so flash at. If it takes off it may even drive people to cake and it may open Cake up to other learnings. If there are anything similar to this idea on Cake already we can learn from how that’s going, I’m not aware of any, but I’ve very much in to the photography and technology side of Cake, so anything’s possible here. 

      Ok over to you all thoughts, ideas, is there a need for something like this? Can it work? What can we do to make it work?

    • I love this idea. Using a panel seems like a good approach. I guess there would have to be an open thread separate from the panel where participants could upload their entries for the monthly themes? Panelists would have to grab a photo from (or link to?) the open thread in order to critique the photo in the panel thread?

    • I think a panel (workshop) on photo techniques sounds like a great idea. A few suggestions on the logistics, for what it’s worth:

      - If it makes sense, encourage people to upload videos of how they set up their weekly assignment photo (filters, lights, reflectors, etc.).

      - If you can make the techniques accessible for smartphone camera users you will get greater workshop participation, imho.

      - Publicity. I’d suggest adding a blurb to the end of new posts to shroom Saturday and Birds, with a link to this conversation.

      Again, great idea @Glenn_Smith .

    • This is an interesting idea, @Glenn_Smith! I'm not sure what workshops I'd want to participate in on either side, but here are some random thoughts:

      - In the past and on other platform, I've found the "public critique" part to be a very strange beast. Not everyone wants their photography to be publicly criticized in the first place - and even when people are fine with that, I've often seen critique that wasn't helpful at all.

      - I think it only makes sense to try and use all of the platform's strengths (and avoid the weaknesses). On Cake, there are panels and multi-topic conversations, but no following people, hashtags or communities. This means that, while inviting several dozen people to all start their own weekly conversation about their own photo is something that worked well on platforms like Google+, the same doesn't seem to be the way to go on Cake.

      - I'm thinking about a system like this:

      1. Identify and approach "experts", or at least people who are willing to participate in some sort of mentor role (this is what you're just doing here). If you've found some, invite them to a first panel discussion where everyone can talk about their photo experience, equipment, favourite techniques and so on.

      2. Once that "mentor panel" is in place, decide how to proceed with a (weekly? monthly?) workshop. This too could work using Cake's panel functionality, with a limited number of participants besides the mentors getting a voice in that conversation.

      3. Last but not least, at the end of a workshop, there could be a third conversation, where everyone can add their "best shot" and have it discussed. Depending on what works best, this could be a panel but also just a public conversation for everyone to chime in. This last conversation should be added to the "photography critique" topic that already exists:

    • I really like the idea of having a final “PHOTOGRAPHY CRITIQUE-<TOPIC>” thread at the end of a workshop period. Then, if people don’t want a critique, they can sit back and watch. This would mean three related threads, though?

      Also, I second @apm’s idea about addressing the challenges/restrictions of phone cameras. Maybe discuss all the technical issues for dSLRs and then add a blurb about how the theme could be caught with a cellphone camera, too? Ask participants to specify the cellphone camera they used when getting a shot they share? Hmmm...

    • Ok some great ideas coming here, certainly think the idea of covering phones is a good one and I’ll include that, I do actually cover some of that in my actual workshops as just about everyone has one so definitely will include that. I’ll go throu the ideas and see what I can come up with maybe running them calendar month to month. I’ll see if I can put it all together and list out the structure of it and see if everyone can polish it off maybe after the first one or two it will evolve. We’ll see. Of cause if no one participates then it will not be filling a need that maybe out there. We’ll see. Keep the ideas coming. Could be the start on Cake training. Covering all kinds of topics.

    • I really like the idea of having a final “PHOTOGRAPHY CRITIQUE-<TOPIC>” thread at the end of a workshop period. Then, if people don’t want a critique, they can sit back and watch. This would mean three related threads, though?

      More like two-point-something, I guess. ;) At least the initial "mentor-only" panel could be something ongoing instead of needing a new conversation each month. New mentors would be invited to the existing conversations - and old one's would just "drop out" without really needing to be removed from the existing panel conversation.

      Similar to what @apm suggested, this single mentor introduction panel could then be linked to from every new workshop that gets started, so that participants can look up who everyone is without this information cluttering every new post.

      In the long run, it might also be sufficient to have one "critique" thread per topic, not necessarily per (potentially repeated) topic. If I'm interested in talking about someone else's street photography now and participate in the critique thread this time, I might be interested in doing the same six months later. :)

    • Do we have an idea who our readers are, who might want to participate? Young folks with their first camera/phone, or more knowledgeable amateurs with a basic understanding of aquiring digital images with a camera, or even more serious amaterus and pros who are actively looking for growing their skills even further? I ask because these groups bring widely different needs and expectations with them, and meeting the needs of one group might/will drive the other group away.

      The numbers of skills needed for good state of the art photography today, from camera use and management, to image processing and storing, and displaying, are vast topics, well worth discussing and learning. But my impression is that only a fraction of most cameras users are desiring to aquire them, or are instead looking for the "magic" computer button to push - enhanced AI perhaps...

      Many folks really seem to believe a "good" camera is the secret to great images. Most of us with really "good " cameras know that the secret is not the camera, but a well trained eye and an understanding of the fundamentals of photography that allow the creation of better than average images these days. A camera is a box that is black inside - camera obscura.

      I am willing to help in any way I can.

    • Do we have an idea who our readers are, who might want to participate? 

      That’s a really good question. You can’t always make everyone happy: it may be too basic for some or too advanced for others.

      I guess a related question is

      What is the prerequisite knowledge required to attend this workshop?

    • Plenty of great ideas coming together here, a few questions as well. To answer some of the questions, I think each month should be a stand-alone Tutorial on a subject. Starting at the very basics and then progressing along, to advanced. Being monthly people can join in when they feel they are at a level to gain something from it. I think each month should be targeted to both DSLRs and phone camera, that will be a challenge, but that’s part of the fun, to challenge the tutors as well as the students. For those who know there DSLR inside out it can be challenged to see what they can do with a phone camera. I think it can be fun to set some limitations at times and see what you can achieve. It can push the creativity button. There's no one forcing any one to participate and it may all fall flat. in the coming days I'll put together what I think will work from all the ideas coming in and we'll see if we can kick something off for April. Keep the ideas flowing, I like the idea of the conversation and panel running together and separate sections per month so anyone coming in later on can go back and pick up from the start, it may become a library of training of cause if no one comes then it may be all to no use. then again "If you build it, they will come" may ring true. Thanks for all the input so far and those that have said they are happy to help out. 

      I suggest we start off with basics that won't matter what camera you use such as composition techniques. Then move on to the exposure triangle with one of each leg per month, with a few exercises to show that each can do. Then start to move into the various areas, of which there are many, Architecture photography, Astro photography Nature photography ,Portraiture photography, Street photography, Landscape photography, Long exposure, Night photography, Mushroom Photography, Lighting (Natural and flash), Macro. That’s over a year’s worth to start with before we even try to hard to come up with areas to cover. If we can make it through the first year I’m sure it will start to take on a direction of its own. Keep the ideas coming and we'll see what we can create.

    • Show up?  👀

      I think that is the first set of googly eyes that I have quoted, Drac. 😉

      @Glenn_Smith answered my question and others a few hours later. It looks like he will start out on the basics, with a pulse required as the prerequisite.

      Later workshops will get progressively more advanced, meaning you may need a strong grounding in the basics to get the most out of it (if you did not attend the earlier workshops).

      One thought for ease of sign ups, which is something that @Ravi has brought up before. It’s something I would’ve done with our writing workshop if I had thought of it. Perhaps at the end of the first post for a new panel (workshop), you include something like “If you’d like to be added to this panel, please react to this post with a 🙃 emoji and I will invite you.”

      As the creator of a panel, each time someone reacted to the first post with a 🙃 it would show up in your notifications 🔔. You would then add them to the panel if they’re cool. 😎

      FYI, @Vilen I think some people would like an easy way to request an invite to a panel after it starts. Especially for panel (workshops). Maybe even a comment box to explain why they want to join if it’s not obvious, such as when @Pathfinder had additional great info to share on @lidja ‘s panel (road trip report). This could also address some of her desire for side notes or a side bar.

    • I am in the camp that the only way you get better is to have your work critiqued. I went from taking snapshots to award winning photos in a very short period of time because of weekly critique. Since then every milestone in my photography has come from critique of my images. It doesn't have to be public, but there is value in watching other people's images being critiqued. And yes, not all critique is created equal, but you are always free to disagree with the critique.

      I have critiqued 1000's of images over my career, and I realize I have certain bias. I try to eliminate that but it still comes out,. When it does I try to point out that bias during the critique, saying something along the lines of... "..this is the way I like to do things, it's not the only way, feel free to pursue your own style and do what feels right to you".

    • I spent several years at the now defunct site called the Arcanum, which promoted a Master/Apprentice style of learning photography. That model might work well here on Cake. Have the general panels, but then pair people with a mentor for more guided instruction.

      I would be interested in being a mentor. My specialty is glamour and fine art model photography, in the studio, outdoors, and underwater.
      http://craigcolvinphotography.com/ (NSFW)

    • Sounds good @Moose408 glad to have the help. Yes a same to see the Arcanum come to an end it seemed to show promise, the idea was good. As you say maybe we can get something like that going here as part of this, might be like a stage two, with stage one the basics and when we then branch out into other area then the mentorships can take over if we get enough people on board willing to lend some time. I usually take images of things that don't talk back so not one of my strong points so appricate your input when we get to that. Having said that tonight I did get to shoot a model as part of a Canon event to try out the EOR R, My second go with one after the Canon light awards final late last year. Still a nice piece of gear, but not for me just yet. Here's one from tonights shoot not up to your standards so work in progress on this one I think, but still a fun night out.