Natural Art: The Photography of Brad Hill

 

Wares & Public Offerings: Customized Remote (Online) Tutoring

Brought to you by public demand and multiple persistent and very direct requests! I'm now offering remote (online) tutoring for a wide range of topics under the broad "umbrella" of digital nature photography. The range of possible topics is wide-ranging and includes virtually any aspect of nature photography - from image capture and compositional techniques (and even gear recommendations and discussions) through to raw processing and image processing/digital workflow topics. All sessions are fully customizable to meet your - or your small group's - individual needs.

Here's a little more detail on some of the most historically popular tutoring topics and the "mechanics" of my tutoring sessions...

• RAW Image Processing in a Capture One Pro Workflow: I've been using Capture One Pro as my primary raw workflow tool since 2004 (about two centuries in digital photography years!). So between my long history with Capture One Pro and my extensive background in wildlife photography I'm uniquely positioned to provide expert instruction on what you CAN do - and what you SHOULD do - to get the most out of your raw images. From image import, image management (including image culling and catalog organization), selective image adjustments using layers and powerful luma and chroma masks, colour adjustments and toning, and a whole lot more...I can help you squeeze the most out of your images in the most efficient way possible with Capture One Pro!

• Compositional and Creative Guidance? If you're less than thrilled about your initial image captures - either from a technical or a creative perspective - you've come to the right place! I've been teaching compositional techniques, including coaching on helping you SEE your subject in the most compelling way possible AND finding/creating the all-important critical visual contrast in your scene, for decades!

• Nikon Gear Choice and/or Nikon Gear Set-up? I've been using - and field testing - Nikon cameras and lenses since the 1980's. If you want professional feedback on choosing the right telephoto or super-telephoto to meet your exact needs - or how to set-up your DSLR or mirrorless Nikon camera to get the most out of it - you've come to the right place!

• Individual vs. Group Sessions? While MOST of my tutoring sessions are 1-on-1 sessions, I can accommodate small groups of up to 3 photographers in a session. If the sessions are focused on technical issues (e.g., making selective adjustments to an image using luma masks in Capture One Pro) it's best if all participants have fairly similar technical skills and/or backgrounds. Per-person discounts will be applied to tutoring sessions with two or three participants (contact me by email for tutoring rates).

• What equipment do I need to partipate in an online tutoring session? You'll need a moderate-to-high speed internet connection and a computer and/or mobile device with webcam and microphone. For tutoring sessions on post-processing the best possible setup is one where you can view the tutoring session on one computer or monitor and have the post-processing software you're using (often Capture One Pro) on a second computer or a second monitor.

For more information on my online tutoring services - or to book your sessions now - contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca

Online Tutoring FAQs

1. So Brad...what are the actual GOALS of your tutoring sessions?

Interesting question. Well, at the broadest level the goal is to help you become a better wildlife or nature photographer. And you could say my goal with the tutoring is the same as my own personal goals when it comes to wildlife and nature photography. So, when it comes to image capture it means helping the photographer get to the point where dealing with the technical and creative "issues" of capturing an image become almost automatic (or reflexive) and they "don't intrude" at all on the process. This, of course, is a multi-step and long-term goal, but I'm quite sure I can help you get there!

On the post processing side the goal is similar - it's to help the photographer get SO familiar and comfortable with all the tools and power of Capture One Pro that they can handle virtually any post-processing "problems" they may encounter. And, of course, it's to help the photographer squeeze the highest quality output out of their raw image captures as possible.

2. What topics or areas do MOST people want to cover during your tutoring sessions?

Overall about 75% of my sessions are on post-processing, and of those probably 90% of them are on Capture One Pro (with the remaining 10% or so on specific Photoshop techniques). The remaining 25% of the sessions are on a wide range of topics - some folks want help with their compositional skills, some want help setting up their camera or choosing a lens, et cetera!

3. Do you offer instruction or tutoring on Adobe Lightroom?

No. While I am familiar with all the features of Adobe Lightroom Classic and regularly test it against other raw processing software like Capture One Pro, I do not use it for processing my own images. Consequently I do not regularly use it to solve the unique and complex image "problems" that wildlife and nature photographers commonly encounter...and thus I feel it would be inappropriate for me to offer instruction on it.

4. Do you offer instruction or tutoring on Adobe Photoshop?

Yes and no. I have used Photoshop since the early 1990's and to many I would appear to be a Photoshop guru (but only because Photoshop is such a "deep" program and the difference in skills between a Photoshop novice and a TRUE Photoshop guru is immense!). However, in recent years I have used Capture One Pro for almost all of my post-processing needs, including making selective edits to an image using layers and complex masks. I still use Photoshop for a few specific tasks (e.g., output sharpening for specific output types, super-imposing type on images and other "graphic design" tasks) and I am more than willing to offer assistance on these type of tasks. However, if you're looking for a soup-to-nuts course in Photoshop, I am not the guy for you!

5. Why should I pay for your tutoring sessions when I can watch zillions of "how-to" videos for free on YouTube?

Ahhh...an excellent question! With my tutoring sessions you'll get customized and personalized sessions geared to help you with your specific needs and/or problem areas. And, of course, you'll be able to stop me whenever it suits you to ask questions or request a more detailed explanation. And, because I have been a working professional wildlife photographer for decades I can offer a perspective (including WHAT to do to an image rather than just HOW to perform a specific adjustment) that you just won't get elsewhere. And, depending on the topic we're covering, you will often be provided with session preparation materials (such as videos) to assist in your preparation for a given session. Last but not least, you'll be able to automatically record (and keep the videos) of our tutoring sessions, enabling you to review them when "practicing" what we covered in a given session.

6. How long are your tutoring sessions?

They can vary from 1 to about 3 hours, but I have found the optimal time to be around 2 hours per session. In 2 hours we can thoroughly cover a topic (or group of topics) and show you examples of the technique (e.g., a variety of uses of Luma Range masks) in action. But ultimately session length is up to you and certainly open for discussion.

7. What LEVEL of tutoring do you offer - is it only for professional photographers?

While I have instructed a lot of professionals, my tutoring sessions are definitely NOT just for them! To be honest I'm probably not the best person to instruct iPhone photographers, but anyone shooting raw images with a modern DSLR or mirrorless camera - and with the desire to improve their skills - will benefit from and enjoy my tutoring sessions. In most cases the first step in the process is a phone call where we discuss where you're at with your photograph and what you want to learn during the tutoring session(s).

8. Can you use MY raw images to demonstrate various post-processing techniques?

Of course! While I have a massive image library myself, MANY people really like it when I use their images to show them specific techniques or simply my "typical" approach to making an image look its best.

9. I have a buddy I shoot with all the time and we chat about photography all the time - can we do a session together?

Absolutely! I can accommodate from 1 to 3 photographers (and even 4 if you all promise to behave) and still ensure everyone gets personalized attention and great instructional sessions. It is best if you and your colleagues are at ABOUT the same skill and knowledge level...but I'm good at communicating complex ideas or techniques to shooters with different backgrounds! And, there IS a per-person discount for groups of 2 or 3 (and even 4 if you all promise to behave!). ;-)

10. I just bought a Nikon D6 and TRIED to work through the manual to set it up...but I'm pretty sure it could be set up better. Can you help me?

Sure! If you have virtually ANY Nikon DSLR or mirrorless camera made within the last 20 years I can help you set it up in a way that works for you (and you DON'T have to shoot it in manual mode if you don't want to - and you DON'T have to set it up just like I set mine up!). Different strokes - and different cameras set-ups - for different folks.

11. I'm a Canon shooter - can you help ME set up my Canon camera in the way that works best for me?

Sorry...but the answer is no. I'm not a Canon (or Sony) shooter...so I'm really not qualified to provide professional-level assistance on those brands of cameras. However, my partner in "photo tour crime" is a Canon shooter and I can direct you to her to help in the setup of your Canon camera.

12. OK...I JUST decided to switch to Capture One Pro and while I'm pretty technically proficient, I need a soup-to-nuts overview on using Capture One Pro as a full workflow tool. How many sessions will that take?

Well...if you want to use Capture One Pro as your primary workflow tool (including image cataloging and even importing and converting your Lightroom catalogs) it will take about six to eight 2-hour sessions to become proficient at virtually all aspects of the workflow. On top of this there WILL be some time you'll have to invest in pre-session preparation (largely by watching videos I recommend) and some post-session practicing.

13. OK...I'm WAY more advanced than the guy who asked the last question and I just have a few areas I want to brush up on - say...on using layers and masking and getting a better feel for making colour adjustments. How many sessions will that take?

Probably two 2-hour sessions - one for layers and masking and one for colour adjustments (specifically a deep dive into the Color Editor and the Color Balance tools).

14. SO...do you offer tutoring ANYWHERE in the world? Like Europe or Australia?

In theory - YES. However, the challenge we'll have to overcome is the time zone difference. I am a morning person and can begin sessions very early in the day (and note that I'm in North America's Mountain Time Zone), but I am useless after 4 PM Mountain Time. So if we can work out a time for sessions that work for you and that work for me...we'll do it!

15. Hmmm...looks pretty good. How do I sign up?

Simple as pie - just contact me at seminars@naturalart.ca and we'll get the ball rolling!

What Previous Online Tutoring Alumni Thought!

Here's a small sampling of what past "tutees" thought of their online tutoring experience:

Brad's field experience and technical knowledge brought that added dimension to improving my image editing techniques using Capture One (C1) Pro from my image capture to workflow, editing and post-processing. He tailored his sessions specific to my needs. Once they were identified he did a deep dive into the various user tools explaining in detail their applicability, nuances, integration and provided many useful tips along the way that would improve my wildlife and outdoor image editing techniques. At one point or another during our tutoring sessions Brad shared many additional tips for that quality image including some of which begin in the field (vision, light, composition, etc.), maximizing pixels and post-processing recipes. However, most importantly getting the most out of my images was as important to Brad as it was I. I was able to share some of my images with Brad and he provided feedback and did some sample edits of a few of them explaining his approach, rationale and tools used. Bottom line Brad is top notch, very personable, extremely knowledgeable and I greatly appreciated my tutorial sessions with him. Many thanks Brad! W. Janssen, Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. Sept-Oct 2020.

I've known Brad for about 10 years now, and he has been a major influence in raising my wildlife photography to the next level. When I heard he was going to be offering online tutoring, I quickly signed-up for my first Capture One Pro online tutoring session. Even though I already had about 5 years of Capture One Pro experience, I still needed help in using some specific tools (luma range, color editor, and noise reduction) and in knowing how to approach editing an image (the thought process, things to look for and consider, etc). Brad hit a home run in both of these categories! He explained tool usage in a totally understandable manner, making it super easy to absorb, and was always prepared to answer any questions I had. As valuable as the "tool session" was, the "how to approach editing an image" sessions were even better (for me). I even signed-up for additional tutoring sessions because they were so helpful! Brad took some of my images and post-processed them, thoroughly explaining along the way as to how to get started, what to look for, why he chose tool A instead of tool B, cropping considerations, etc. It was super helpful, and another one of those experiences that has assisted in pushing my photography to the next level. I am really looking forward to taking additional online tutoring sessions with Brad. If you want to learn from the best, make sure to give Brad a try. You won't regret it! M. McMillen, Livingston, MT, USA. Sept-Oct 2020.