Out of Chicago 2016
Conference Friday night in Harold Washington Library – Now this “grand gentleman” is a site to see. Enormous and stately the Harold Washington Library was dedicated to this former first African American mayor. It was not an old building but created to blend in and look old as the other historical buildings. Rick Sammon was the headline speaker for the Out of Chicago Photography Conference: How to Get Motivated and Stay Inspired. He has trekked everywhere in the world with a vision to not only get and stay motivated but to get and stay healthy! He impressed me with his speech and I was motivated to continue to seek the creative moments. Tony and I were ready to go forth and snap. So off we ventured into the evening to photo crawl. There were 10 locations with photography instructors waiting to guide us in our experience of shooting. We decided to see the Crown Center Fountains at night. To our delight four ballet dancers decided to frolic and dance in the fountains. This was honey to the photographers on the crawl as we rushed in to capture a happening. Those dancers posed and posed for all of us as little kids ran all around them and the water was at times spouting out of the sculptures on each end of the sight. Drenched in water they had such energy and the desire to keep dancing and posing. Eye candy for all to see and that time when photographers shout with glee…I got it. The next site was at the Cloud Gate sculpture referred to as “the Bean”, because of its’ kidney bean shape. Gorgeous stainless steel silver gleaming surface was reflecting everything is sight. I laughed out loud when a guy walked by saying, “Everybody is a f*#@king photographer!” What was his problem? There were only 25 of us…and…all the rest of the tourist with their smartphones. Tony zoomed around each side of the bean with his tripod and Cannon 6D with fisheye lens. And so did all the other 25 photographers and tourists. Needless to say we will forever have photos of strangers reflecting in a bean in Millennium Park Chicago.

Classes: Saturday
Levi Simms “Anywhere, How to Shoot Anyone Anywhere” Street Photography – With his trade mark Dapper Dan white hat and bowtie Levi struts his “photo passion” like a religious zealot on steroids with humor. Advocating focus on the people on the street not the skyscrapers…by using polite approaches to a subject, respecting their space and wishes. His anecdotes were hysterical. His photos were black and white gems. He instructed us on how to setup our cameras for those shots.

Impact of Color with Bryan Peterson – Raspy voiced and long haired Bryan the comedian photographer showed a lot of examples of color in our world. I respected his use of time honored color wheel rules to enhance your shots. Juxtaposition of backgrounds and subject are so important, for example use your jacket if its colorful behind a subject’s head…zoom in and voila a lovely background.

Valerie Jarden Street Walk- How to use shadows and light to capture those people walking on the street was our goal with Valerie. I did Black and White to experiment with the settings Levi suggested and loved the contrast. She wanted us to move around a lot and get the vision of the scene first and then look for those contrasts and highlights. So grateful how she introduced herself to people on the street and explained to them what we were learning. Again those Chicagoans were happy to help us learn!

Molly Porter Street Walk – Local photographer instructed the best lighting from her daily commute to work.

Expo vendors - Many vendors provided information about their products at the Expo Room, and you could rent equipment.

Teri Lou Dantzler - iphone/ipad Camera Lecture – With the help of smart apps and maybe a special lens or two added onto your ipad or iphone you can compete with the big boys. I asked about battery life issues, she agrees we all have those problems with charges. She uses a large battery charger continuously hooked to her iphone and ipad as she works. Nice tripod attachment.

Lecture by Dr. Satoki Nagata – At first it was difficult to hear and understand the Dr., but his charm and creative talents were translated to us as we listened and observed his instruction and viewed his wonderful images.

Street walk with Dr. Satoki Nagata – We joined him again for a streetwalk at night. The native Chicagoan photographers were in awe of this Japanese neuroscientist now living in Chicago. He created backlit black and white images. Using off camera radio wireless flash to capture a scene of profiles of people walking by. The timing and settings were critical. Cameras set to 1/8 of a second speed, aperture 4.0, ISO 100, and manual focus with the subject between the camera and the flash. You must click at the perfect moment the figure aligned with your lens and flash!
Delightful fun!


Classes: Sunday

Composition with Chris Smith - High school physics teacher with lots of talent. Instructed on how to create a fish eye composition, or if you desired to straighten and correct the composition using tilt shift lens, or Lightroom and Photoshop techniques.

Studio off camera flash portrait shoot with Steve Neilson - Students took turns using no flash and found the best flash for the portraiture they wanted of the model provided.

Printing on Red River Papers with Derrick Story - Mr. Story has a great last name, because he is a tall man. His tips for good printing on quality paper were
helpful and informative. He explained the organization method he uses for his studio: three copies of a photo…digital archived…printed to place on tables around the house for critique to tweak if needed. .. and framed on wall to enjoy.

Landscape with Matt Kloskowski - Mr. K has been a guru of mine for many years. I have enjoyed his podcasts and tutorials on Photoshop. He has moved over almost exclusively to Adobe Lightroom as his app of choice. His examples of landscape photography made me tingle to see how he used composition and color and lighting! So honored to meet him and talk to such a nice talented guy.

LightRoom and PhotoShop Matt Kloskowski - Mr. K used a photo of his before and after to demonstrate the use of Lightroom and Photoshop to create his images. I enjoyed his use of the healing brush techniques in PS and the adjustment brush in camera raw. He believes Lightroom will soon have all the features needed to create his images.

Portrait shooting techniques on Streetwalk with Mr. Ryan Brown- Super nice guy escorted us outside with a lovely lady model, Amy. He even shared his lens with us (promotional opp).
I have to pinch myself now to believe Tony and I learned portrait tips on the streets, even alleyways of Chicago. And in the beautiful parks. Mr. B was really helpful and asked me to pose the model. I wanted some intense lighting on the models face and he helped me understand the positioning with the sunlight and the use of reflectors and diffusers. We all worked together to get the shot we wanted. A great way to end our conference classes!


Passion in Photography with Scott Bourne (accomplished bird photographer) - Absolutely talented, kind, funny guy. He is so passionate about his work and birds, yes birds! He emphasized passion in you life…all aspects of your life. His anecdotes were touching, sprinkled with short bursts of humor and laughter.
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