Category Archives: workshops

Video Progress

This weekend I shot a couple of videos of students talking about their experience with the 8 week Digital Photography 101 course.  Eventually I’ll have a bunch of videos that will all be edited and posted on our website.

I’ve had a few people ask about the process of shooting on a green screen and so I thought I’d create a short video that shows the editing process.

Here’s the lighting setup.  I have a portable green screen that’s lit by two Arri 650 Plus fresnels.  The subject is lit by an Arri 1000 watt Arrilite with small Chimera softbox.  There’s also a 650 fresnel that I use as a separation light – that’s the light high above the green screen.

There’s a silver reflector opposite the softbox for some fill light.  There are also two flags to keep light from spilling into the lens.  One large flag to block the separation light and one small flag to block the light coming from the rear of the softbox.


Here’s another view with our former student, Craig, in the shot.


After the video is shot with our Canon XH-A1 it’s imported into Adobe Premier Pro CS3.  I use a Matrox RT.X2 video capture card for real-time HD editing.  The basic steps shown in the video are:

  1. Add Chroma Key to reveal stock background animation.  You can buy these from Digital Juice, they’re called Jump Backs HD.
  2. Add left matte to eliminate the green screen stand.
  3. Clean up the audio in Adobe Audition.
  4. Add some stock music from Digital Juice.
  5. Add the right matte
  6. Adjust the color
  7. Move Craig to the right to make room for text.
  8. Add some text.
  9. Fade everything out.

From Green to Finished from Mark Wallace on Vimeo.

From Blank Page to Big Screen

Later this year we’re going to be hosting Keith Digby and Brian Paisley of West Coast Screenwriting for an all new (to us) workshop!  Yes, that’s right – we’re hosting a screenwriting workshop.

In addition to all the vital information you need to develop a screenplay, Brian and Keith give you and your project their hands-on, personal attention. In a dynamic, collaborative environment, their ‘tag team’ approach will help you evolve your characters, develop your structure, conquer your unique challenges.

Keith and Brian developed West Coast Screenwriting to help new writers, teachers of media, and writers who want to take their work to the next level realize their ambitions. It’s not simply about learning to write; it’s about screenwriters and teachers both new and experienced being motivated, confident and supported in their endeavors.

We don’t have a date set yet but I know it will be October at the earliest.  If you’re interested please let us know soon.  Space is going to be very limited and I know I want a seat!

Fun Video

The last class in our 8–week Digital Photography workshop was last night.  I’m bummed that this workshop is over because the group of students was just so much fun.  We learned a lot from each other and I saw some terrific photography.

Rose in front of the green screen.

After that class I asked if anyone could stay after to give their impressions of the last 8 weeks.  Almost everyone had to zip home but Rose was able to stay after and give us some feedback.  I’ll be catching up with other students in the near future to get their feedback but I’m happy about the little video we shot last night.  Thanks Rose!

Digital Photography 101 Testimonial from Mark Wallace on Vimeo.

Digital Photography 101: May 6th

Our next 8–week Digital Photography course begins May 6th in our new studio!  Come join us for 8 weeks of learning.

Click here for more info.

This eight week course will give you a solid foundation for creating quality photographs. Each week the instructor will give you creative guidelines as well as technical instruction.

You’ll learn the “math” of photography: ISO, aperture, shutter speed, resolution, pixels, etc. You’ll also learn the “art” of photography: Elements of composition, framing and cropping, point of view, motion, panning, cropping, and more.

The class meets once a week for two hours. The first part of the lesson will be reviewing the previous week’s assignment, getting peer input, question/answer, and discussion. The second part of each lesson will be learning new material and getting the next week’s assignment.

Please Note: A digital SLR camera is required. Please contact us if you have questions about your camera.

We’re Moving! …and teaching Photoshop!

I can finally spill the beans on something we’ve been working on for quite some time now. After searching high and low we’ve finally found a new location for our studio. We are very excited about the move.

We’ll be in our new location May 1st, just in time for our May 17th Studio Lighting class.  The new studio is about 400 square feet larger than our current space – and all of that new space is going to be dedicated to our workshops.  This means that we’ll have a permanent classroom space!

The new classroom is being custom built for us.  As soon as construction begins I’ll start posting photos.  With the permanent space I’ll be able to offer more workshops.  The first thing we’re adding are classes for post production.  That means Lightroom and Photoshop.  As things come together I’ll be making announcements about the new Photoshop classes.

I’m also going to be offering two free workshops.  Neither workshop has a name (please leave your suggestion in the comments section) but they are going to be terrific. 

The first workshop will be focused on using photography as a means for social change.  I’ll be discussing ways you can use your skills at your local non-profit organization, church, animal shelter, border crossing, or war zone.

The second workshop isn’t really a workshop at all.  It’s a gathering of people that meet to talk about their current photography and learn from each other.  It will be limited to 10 people and won’t be a teacher/student type of environment.  I will be the facilitator but not necessarily the teacher.  Applicants will have to submit a portfolio and artistic statement to be considered.  The group will meet weekly for about 12 weeks.  Look for more details soon.

The new studio is located a few miles west of our current location.  It’s on 40th street just north of Southern Ave.  As soon as we have the lease signed and sealed we’ll be publishing the exact address.

The move keeps us close to the airport for folk flying in for our workshops but moves us out of the flight path so we don’t have to listen to jets flying over all the time.  You can see the studio from the street so people will have a much easier time finding us, and the floors are brand new and beautiful!

So here’s what I need from you:

  • Suggestions for the names of my new free workshops.
  • Any special requests you have for the Photoshop classes.
  • Word of mouth – please tell your friends about us.  Our new location is twice as expensive and we really need to stay busy!

Fun in New York

We’re already back from our quick trip to New York City.  Diane already mentioned most of the good stuff but I wanted to mention a couple of things.

B&H Photo

One of the first things we did was make a quick trip to B&H to pick up some new gear.  But, as luck would have it, they were all out of stock on the things we wanted.  I ended up ordering the new stuff online and it should be here soon.  What are we doing with all of this new stuff??  Stay tuned and we’ll let you know soon enough.

Hanging out with Shelby Chan was a lot of fun.  He’s a great guy and we were honored that he took time out of his busy schedule to meet us.  If you haven’t seen his work make sure you take a look at his web site.  He has some very cool behind-the-scenes videos too.

The SoHo Photo Gallery

We were also able to spend some time at the SoHo Photo GalleryAnn Marie Rousseau was displaying some of her work and I really loved it.  She was at the gallery when we arrived but was just leaving, so we weren’t able to spend any time with her.  Hopefully next time.

The lower floor of the SoHo Photo Gallery.

The gallery has two floors and is a wonderful space.  Local photographers can become members and display their work.  They also show work from featured photographers throughout the year.  If you’re in New York make sure you stop by and see what’s happening at the gallery.

We are working to bring some workshops to other cities.  New York is on the list and we were able to do some leg work while we were in town to begin to make it a reality.  We’re also looking at bringing workshops to L.A., San Francisco, and Seattle.  For those of you in the middle of the country we’re looking at Denver but are open to additional options.  Please let us know if you’re interested.

Speaking of workshops my next Digital Photography 101 workshop begins tomorrow night.  We have a terrific group of students and I can’t wait to begin.  It’s always a blast.

Color Management Essential Training from


One of my favorite sessions of my Digital Photography 101 course is the session on color.  We talk about additive and subtractive color, the cultural meaning of color, how color has impacted photo-journalism and about color management.  Although we do discuss color spaces and using a workflow to get consistent and accurate color there is always so much more to discuss.

I was excited to see that (on of my favorite sites) has just announced a new course on color management.  If you’re looking for some great training on this subject then this is a great place to get started.

Color Management Essential Training is an in-depth exploration of applying color theory and color management workflows in various graphics applications. Part 1 (chapters 1-9) explores color and color management theories, while part 2 (chapters 10-20) teaches actual color management techniques that can be incorporated into workflows. Beginning with definitions for such terms as hue, saturation, and metamerism, instructor Chris Murphy teaches the processes for getting consistent color in every stage–from input and edit through final output–and delves into color management principles for the web, prepress, and print. He also details specific color management workflows in Adobe Illustrator CS3, Photoshop CS3, InDesign CS3, Acrobat, and QuarkXPress 7. Exercise files accompany the tutorials.

Topics include:

  • Grasping basic color management
  • Understanding spectral power distribution and illuminants
  • Distinguishing color from digital color
  • Solving color problems
  • Profiling and calibrating printers
  • Working with Mac OS X
  • Tagging, embedding, and assigning color profiles
  • Finding the proper workflow balance
  • Using application-specific color management processes