charles cramer

Workshops at Picture Element

Santa Clara, California     Three-day workshops

Dates for 2020:   March 20-22, April 3-5, May 22-24, and June 12-14

To sign up, email me, and I'll get back to you quickly with more information.

Tuition: $1250

The March worshop is completely full, but later dates have some openings. (Although I can add names to the waiting list for various session).

These workshop takes place in Santa Clara, California, and do not involve any field sessions. We will spend all our time learning and actually making prints.

From adjustment/optimization, to orchestrating the light, I will share what I've learned in 35 years of making prints. You will learn ways to make your images stronger and more compelling. This workshop is not for beginners—you need experience in using Lightroom (or Adobe Camera Raw) and with Photoshop.

The “Fine Art” in the title just means that you are willing to devote the time and effort to explore and optimize your images to their fullest potential. This class will give you the tools to go beyond your film or digital camera file, and spur your imagination to create stronger interpretations of your images. Much discussion will center on critiquing prints (produced both before and during the class) and exploring what makes an exceptional print. This workshop will engage both the right and left sides of your brain!

Students will need to be fairly familiar with Photoshop, as that is our primary image editor (after Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw).

There will be a healthy discussion of color management and how to diagnose if a problem is due to your monitor calibration—or your printer profiles—or both! You will receive an invaluable "reference print" that can be used to test your printer, printer profile, and printer dialog settings. The pros and cons of many printer choices will be discussed and demonstrated with actual comparison prints.

This workshop requires homework! About 2-3 months before the class, I will mail out my 99 page workbook, Optimizing Images For Printing: Effective and Efficient Techniques to Optimize Images. This is a tutorial and includes exercise files, so you can practice these techniques at home. You will discover the power of the most versatile Photoshop adjustment layer of them all—curves. This handout covers what I consider the essential techniques to optimize and fine tune your images. Learning these techniques will not only increase your productivity, but result in stronger interpretations of your own images. I also ask everyone to bring some of their current prints to the workshop for critiques.

I have presented this workshop over seventy times at various locations around the country. As they say, “practice makes perfect”, and I am constantly refining what and how I present the material in this workshop. I strive to eliminate the superfluous, and present just the information that you need to effectively and efficiently process, refine, and print your own images. Our excellent assistant will be Jeff Vadasz.

Subjects covered will include

The Master file concept

Using Adobe Camera Raw and/or Lightroom, and Photoshop
Getting the most from your digital capture
What to do in Lightroom—and what to save for Photoshop
Using Smart Objects

Using color management to insure consistent results from monitor to final print
How do I get good profiles for my monitor, scanner, and printer?
Using the supplied "reference print" to diagnose your own setup and profiles

Recommended techniques for working on files
Photoshop selection tools—tips and techniques
Setting density and color balance
Retouching, burning and dodging
Preparation of files for output to various printers
Using the “Smart-sharpening” action script (included)

Can my print be stronger? And what to do to improve it
What makes an effective print?
This is where you learn "when" to do particular adjustments

Archival methods of mounting and matting digital prints

Students will get to fine-tune and print using their own images. I will spend time working with each person individually to discuss and refine the adjustments to your image in RAW development and/or Photoshop. You must be familiar with Photoshop, which would include performing basic tonal adjustments with layers or curves, painting on layer masks, resizing, cropping, etc.

This class involves no field sessions, so we devote all our time to discussing, practicing, and then making prints. This is very similar to the 5-day Yosemite workshops, except we don't do any field sessions.