Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the westway method

A couple of readers have mentions the ads that have recently appeared on this blog. I'm not getting in to advertising in a big way, but I am helping to sell a product that I was involved in developing, over a period of five years. There's an instructional DVD available now and an e-book coming in the next few weeks. The Westway Method of Photography is a DVD created by a good friend of mine, Randy Kerr. Randy is a very successful wedding and portrait photographer, working at the highest levels in Austin, Texas. I met Randy about 5 years ago through a shared acquaintance and we've hit it off ever since. I have never met anyone with such an innate understanding of light and photography. Nearly everything I've learned about natural lighting for portraiture, I've learned at classes taught by Randy and that I now help him teach. He's also a bit of an unusual character, developing his portrait business in a field in Bastrop, Texas - about 30 miles outside of Austin. Living in a tent and working the land, he carved out a portrait studio, cutting back trees to suit the light in particular seasons, building features to use as backgrounds and planting wildflowers to provide foreground elements throughout the year.
The Westway DVD presents Randy's 10 step approach to photography, describing it in a very down to earth and non-technical way. There's a clear description and demonstration of camera basics along with some rarely documented fundamentals on finding and using natural light for portraiture. The subject matter ranges through landscapes, portraiture and wildflowers, with an ecological bent. The 1 hour DVD also touches on using lighting modifiers and teaching you how to work within the limits of your camera equipment, to get the best from your photography. I have to admit I also make a brief appearance in the DVD, working through the effect of depth of field and aperture on final images. I think this is a great instructional DVD to introduce the fundamentals of photography and light and really presents some hard to find information on natural light portraiture, in an understandable way. It would also make a great Christmas present! You can see an example chapter from the DVD in the video link below, at slightly reduced quality for web display. I particularly like the visual way it teaches how to identify mid-tones in a scene, to help evaluate exposure.
The DVD also recently won a Telly award for an educational product and was very well shot and produced by Bradley Helgerson. If you are interested, you can order the DVD here. There are also reviews of the DVD available from other owners, here.


Julia said...

Oooh the DVD does sound interesting. Nice time of year for it to be available!

Whoever made the ads needs a lesson in grammar. "Learn photography from the Pro's". The Pro's what? :)

Gordon said...

a fine point, Julia ;) I'll pass it on.

felix said...

what sort of pictures do you like to take?