These are possibly the most important Photography lessons you will ever learn!

I recently had my first ever Seminar event in Kansas City last month.  It was a phenomenal experience and I was awe-struck that over 50 people wanted to spend the day listening to me talk about my passion.  It was the pinnacle of my career thus far and the one thing I had drempt about since the inception of EverydayHDR almost 5 years ago.  Knowing all of this going forward I decided I had to make this Epic for those who attended the course.

Of course, Epic is not always easy to accomplish on a minimal budget!

I made a series of videos that I think you may get some value out of as well.  These are the most important photography lessons you will ever learn!  While they are not overly technical, they are extremely important!  I played each video before the start of every lesson throughout the day to ensure that everyone there received valuable training.  Now I am releasing them to you!

most important photography lesson you will learn

Important Photography Lesson #1

This one may seem very obvious, but let me tell you I have done this several times.  One time it was the camera, one time I left the battery on the charger, and another time I left the SD Card in the computer.  I don’t care who you are, with this lesson it is not “If” but “When”.  It will happen to you and you will say… “Damnit Blake!!!”

Important Photography Lesson #2

Again, another obvious one.  From now on I will stop calling these obvious because I think you understand the point of them.  However, one time I was in San Francisco on Treasure Island shooting a long exposure shot of the San Fran Skyline.  I had to pee really really bad and I was in a pretty quiet people free environment surrounded by tress.  I walked over to a tree and started to do my business, about 5 seconds into it I hear a crash and I immediately thought someone was there.

I recovered myself pretty quickly and looked around.  There was no one.  I didn’t see my camera either.  I walked around, turned my flashlight on and I saw it slowly falling down the hill.  I had forgotten to secure my front tripod legs fully and down it went.  True story…

Important Photography Lesson #3

When I was shooting in Cannon Beach Oregon a few months ago I had a ton of gear with me!  I had two full bags, one with camera gear and one with video gear.  I was in the parking lot of Indian Beach organizing my gear and very excited to go shoot.  I put one bag on the shoulder and launched the other on the other shoulder.  I had forgotten to zip the bag and my 70-300mm lens and a 600 EX-RT Flash went skidding 15 feet across the pavement of the parking lot.  Lets just say I check my bag twice before putting it on my back!

Important Photography Lesson #4

Another Cannon Beach story.  It was dark, very dark on the coast in Ecola State Park.  I knew the rain was about to come but I wanted a long exposure shot of the coast at night so badly.  I prepped my camera in the car with all of the necessary settings so all I had to do was setup the tripod legs and fire.  I ran out there and braved the wind and impending storm.  I reached the vantage point and snapped a 30 second exposure… nothing!

I knew it was dark out there so I increased the exposure to a minute… Nothing…

I almost took another shot when a buddy of mine, Scott Kyle, from HDR Insider said, “Is your lens cap on?

It certainly was.  I felt horribly embarrassed as we had just met and then the rain came.  We settled for a beer instead of photos.

Important Photography Lesson #5

One time I was in a once in a lifetime location in a very foreign place.  I was new to photography, very new.  I had no idea what the settings were so I bought 3 books about beginning photography to go along with me on the trip.  I was reading about White Balance one night and decided I’d adjust my settings to match my environment instead of let my camera do it.  I was amazed by the success!

The next day I was asked to shoot a once in a lifetime event.  I was floored by the opportunity.  I quickly assembled my gear and went along for the ride.  I must have shot over 300 exposures that afternoon and was stoked to upload them to my computer.  When I got back I uploaded them only to realize I shot the whole thing in Tungsten White Balance!  Even worse… I wasn’t shooting RAW yet!  I am still beating myself up about that to this day.

And the Grand Finale:

This video was the introduction to the HDR Master Class course and set the stage for the days learning.  While it is funny, it points out the idiocy of HDR and those who get into it.  We have all been there… Photomatrix, Horrible Offensive Colors, Vibrant skies… the list goes on!

I had a blast making this production and it is the reason I look like crap in Lesson 1 (above).  I was up all night producing this and wanted to wake up early at the Lake House to capture the morning light.  It was great to have a location like this to shoot.  My wife’s Uncle graciously opened his house for it.  I don’t think he knew I was going to do this 🙂

I certainly hope you enjoyed these as much as the seminar did.

Most Important Photography Lessons Blake Disguise


Blake Rudis
f.64 Academy and f.64 Elite are the brainchildren of Blake Rudis. While he is a landscape photographer, he is most passionate about post-processing images in Photoshop and mentoring others.

For Blake, it's all about the art and process synergy. He dives deep into complex topics and makes them easy to understand through his outside-the-box thinking so that you can use these tricks in your workflow today!
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