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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Ulla Lohmann

Feb24

Exclusive workshop for the winner of Photoventure competition

By Ulla Lohmann, Tuesday February 24, 2015
Professor Matthias Pfaff (right) from the department of Virtual Design of the University of Applied Science, Kaiserslautern, shows the future of visual storytelling to Chris Wesser (left), who tries out the Oculus Rift 3D virtual reality headset for the first time.

Professor Matthias Pfaff (right) from the department of Virtual Design of the University of Applied Science, Kaiserslautern, shows the future of visual storytelling to Chris Wesser (left), who tries out the Oculus Rift 3D virtual reality headset for the first time.
© Ulla Lohmann

How to make a great photographer better? This was my task for Chris Wesser, the winner of the overall photo competition from Photoventure and powered by the Canon Irista platform - see: http://www.photoventure.com/2014/12/05/and-the-winner-of-our-liberate-your-photos-contest-is/

I wanted to give Chris a memorable day and teach him some new things. When he arrived in the morning, Professor Matthias Pfaff from the University of Applied Science, Kaiserslautern - http://www.fh-kl.de/fachbereiche/bg/vd.html - gave him an overview of the future of visual storytelling. Chris got to see and try the Oculus Rift headset, and watched a 360 degrees 3D video.

After coffee and cake, we started work on improving Chris's storytelling skills with his camera.

Firstly, accurate planning and research is important. We made a storyboard of what to photograph for a documentary about our small Bavarian village, Hohenschäftlarn. We worked out what to prioritise, where we had to go and when we had to be there because of the light. After we worked out a plan, we left to photograph a winter's 'dream day' in our village.

Secondly, for storytelling, strong images are important. We worked on what could tell our story in a single image and constructed opener and double pages.

Thirdly, we concentrated on photographing complex images with several layers and a certain depth to them.

Lastly, I emphasised how important it is to get close to the subject to get an intimate view.

After lunch, and a review of the images, we went to explore the Nature Reserve around the Isar River and also to try out shutter speeds and shooting bokeh. Chris tried several of my lenses and especially liked the 100mm Macro. To finish our documentary shoot of the village we shot inside Kloster Schäftlarn, a world-famous monastery, where we concentrated on photographing shapes and interesting shadows.

As another of the highlights of the day Chris took over control of the aerial camera. With Sebastian Hofmann - www.bastihofmann.com - flying his drone, Chris was able to capture a great overview of the village.

In the evening, we warmed up inside our house with a couple drinks and I reviewed Chris's images. We put together a portfolio of the story he shot. Stay in touch on Facebook and on Photoventure to see them!

I also reviewed some of his previous work and was able to give him some tips for his future work about how to take his photography to a professional level. After dinner, we said our goodbyes, but we’ll always have an open door for Chris.

If you are also interested in winning a workshop, keep in touch with me on Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ulla-Lohmann/129348437626 - and check out the great Photoventure site at: http://www.photoventure.com - they often run really interesting special events, for example the weekly challenge. Take part and feel inspired!

Good luck!
Ulla :)

Chris Wesser (right) takes aerial images with Sebastian 'Basti' Hofmann (centre). 'Basti' flew the drone and Chris took control of the camera. It was freezing cold, with quite strong winds, but the images were great - that's all what matters.

Chris Wesser (right) takes aerial images with Sebastian 'Basti' Hofmann (centre). 'Basti' flew the drone and Chris took control of the camera. It was freezing cold, with quite strong winds, but the images were great - that's all what matters. © Ulla Lohmann

Chris Wesser (left), winner of the Photoventure competition, on location in Germany with Canon Explorer Ulla Lohmann (right).

Chris Wesser (left), winner of the Photoventure competition, on location in Germany with Canon Explorer Ulla Lohmann (right).
© Ulla Lohmann