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Alan Bland
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Amateur photographer and electronic music hacker
Introduction
I am a hobbyist photographer on a journey to raise my photography skills to the next level. Living in Colorado, many of my pictures display the natural beauty of Rocky Mountain flora and fauna. More recently I've begun to branch out into other subject areas, so you never can tell what my next picture will be.

I enjoy dabbling with electronic music technology, programming sounds and song snippets with a rack of ancient hardware synthesizers as well as some modern software synthesizers. 

Bragging rights
Bicycled to the top of Mount Evans, a 14,000+ ft mountain in the Colorado Rockies. Twice! Still. Gasping. For. Air.
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Occupation
Software dude

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Alan Bland

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PLUS post! Week 3
#SINGLEFRAME

I’m taking part in +Morgana Creely's mentorship Single Frame: An Introduction to Cinematic Storytelling which is part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers. During the third week we explored how to create stories to be used for a cinematic frame, using a creative technique to define the who, where, when, what and how. I've added that technique to my bag of tricks, as it will come in handy for some of the conceptual photography I like to create. We also continued to consume a lot of background material. It's been interesting seeing lighting techniques for various film styles, which nicely complements the Lighting With Intent mentorship I’m taking at the same time.

The output from this week was a set of three stories that could be made into photos. For the remaining three weeks of the mentorship I presume we'll be shooting one (or all three!) of the stories. Getting my props and costumes ready!
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#PLUSpost week1 Lighting With Intent with +Eric Raeber #LightWIT

During my journey to become a better photographer I recently began to play around with lighting. I bought my first light modifier, a shoot-through umbrella, about 6 months ago and started using my speedlight off-camera with TTL. While the results with the umbrella were better than my previous efforts, which involved bouncing light off a ceiling or wall, I still got very inconsistent results. It took a lot of tweaking in Lightroom or Photoshop to correct the exposure and to tweak the shadows the way I wanted.

So when +Eric Raeber announced his Lighting With Intent mentorship, I jumped on it. This mentorship is part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers. I have been amazed at Eric's lighting skills for the 2+ years I've been following his posts on G+. I couldn’t think of anyone more perfect to guide me to seeing the light, so to speak.

The first week of the mentorship was playtime. We all had new lighting toys to play with, so after some initial instruction Eric had us try every combination of light modifier, angle, power and distance we could think of. I had always intended on doing this on my own, but never got around to it. It's one thing to read about the theory, it's another to play with it in the studio until you get it.

Perhaps the most important lesson during the first week was actually something I had figured out about a month earlier. Don't trust TTL. I started using my lights in manual mode a month ago, and suddenly I was in control. I started getting predictable lighting from my flashes. That's the first step in being able to light with intent. I'm looking forward to learning a lot more during the next seven weeks!
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+Alan Bland here's to getting off TTL by the end of the mentorship.  We can do it and +Eric Raeber  can help
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Outstanding in her field!
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Turkey Vulture Black Vulture Probably a juvenile Turkey Vulture drying its wings in the sun after a couple of rainy days.

We don't get many large raptors in my neighborhood, but this guy has been flying round for the past few days. This morning I was playing with one of my cats when she made that squeaky-funny noise and ran over to the window. This huge bird was right outside the window with its wings spread. I grabbed my telephoto lens and snuck out back to get some shots while staying far enough away not to disturb it. It stayed in this position for 3 or 4 minutes, then perched normally for another 10 minutes before flying away.
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+Alan Bland 😊
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Getting ready to head down to Pearl Street this morning to meet up with a bunch of scavengers and other photographers to shoot some tulips! Yay!

#TulipSaturday +Eustace James +Marilyn Benham +Measie Elizabeth

#hqspflowers +HQSP Flowers +Kawthar A +Krystina Isabella Brion +Melania Pierce +Zita Nahm +Kanlaya Chungsangornpornsuk

#FlowerPower +FLOWER POWER +Edith Kukla

#BTPFlowerPro +BTP Flower Pro +Rinus Bakker +Nancy Dempsey +Silke Tüxen
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Thanks for the invite Alan.. logistically my body could not make it, but my heart was there :) Looks like you had a wonderful day!!
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PLUS post! Week 2
#SINGLEFRAME

I’m taking part in +Morgana Creely mentorship Single Frame: An Introduction to Cinematic Storytelling which is part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers. The second week took a look at cinematographers and what they do with their visuals to tell great stories. One great director is Ridley Scott. 
My introduction to his work was his film Alien. I saw it in college when it was in the theaters (I'm dating myself here). It was the first time I had seen space travel portrayed as dark and gritty. Scott used shadows extensively to conceal the alien during most of the film, with brief close-up glimpses of alien body parts to allow the audience to imagine what the alien looked like. Blade Runner is also a darkly lit film, which emphasizes the dystopian future it portrays. I'm amazed how the city scenes have so much bright neon yet the overall scene is still dark. According to wikipedia some of the effects were created by double-exposing the same scene lit in two different ways.
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It's one of my all time favorite movies and I usually prefer a directors cut but I love the original theatrical release. The Harrison Ford dead pan narrative is great and a must. As some of the others have mentioned the soundtrack is one of the best ever laid down. This is one the last movies to incorporate mainly models for the background and special effects before CG took over. The movie has such a pure look to it and it sucks you in until you feel like your there just out of the rain waiting to order noodles. 
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Have him in circles
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Alan Bland

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I took part in this mentorship last year and it is boatloads of fun! I created some of my most memorable images last year during this mentorship, and added some of the techniques to my permanent bag of tricks. Highly recommended!
 
Blurs and Unsharp Photography: Guided Play 2015

It's back!  I'm delighted to announce a new session of my mentorship, in partnership with the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers: a free eight week program on the art and weird science of unsharp photography.  The official signup post will arrive Monday, May 4, and the program will run from May 11 through July 9.

To me, blurs and unsharp photography have represented a new dimension of artistic freedom – a fresh and joyous way to play with light, color, form… and sometimes their absence.  My hope is to inspire some of you to find more of that joy in your own photography, and to offer some techniques, tips and tools to help, along with plenty of practice!

We’ll be covering a range of topics, including not just how to take certain kinds of images (and sometimes why), but also tools in post-processing and phone apps.  My goal is to be able to offer the program to you regardless of the tools you use to capture (or process) images – DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, point & shoot cameras, or Apple or Android smartphones ().  You’ll need to be familiar with the manual operation of any camera, and have time to take at least 100-200 photos per week (because practice with your hands will be key to some techniques; just knowing how won’t be enough).  You’ll also need to spend quality time in a (private) community supporting, enjoying, learning from and teaching your fellow participants!

Because we've had too much fun to stop, I've invited everyone who fully completed this program last year to sit in and assist with this round!  That means you'll have not only their support and encouragement, but a huge amount of accumulated experience with these topics.  I'm extremely grateful for their help, and to the other directors of the Mentorship Program: +Robin Griggs Wood and +Ron Clifford.


() There is at least one topic I may be unable to address if you’re using a point &shoot camera or smartphone alone (call it half of one of the eight weeks).  The ideal combination would be DSLR or mirrorless plus a phone, and if you use only a P&S it needs to be capable of full manual shooting (shutter speed, aperture and ISO).  Questions welcome anytime, and keep an eye out for the signup post on May 4!
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Thank you Alan!
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Here's another photo of the vulture that visited this morning, from a different angle with more sunlight. So, do you think it's a Black Vulture, or maybe a juvenile Turkey Vulture? +sandy vetter 
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Red (not black) on the head means Turkey Vulture. Thanks for sharing!
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Had a fun day meeting up with some scavengers in Boulder today! We toured the tulips on the Pearl Street Mall, lunched on burgers and beers, and hit up the farmers market. A few scavengers even got some shots for the current hunt, but we promised not to share the behind-the-scenes images until after reveals.

Here are a few photos from the day. I'll be adding more later.

+Christina Lihani +Brian Lihani +Kathleen Milks +Keith Stansell +Melissa Beagle +Michelle Verostko +Marc Sabatella +Linda Reitz and her husband
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Looks like a blast!
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Superstitions
The B&W Project 9/26

This settles it! I'm buying that lottery ticket tonight!!!

#BWProject26 curated by +Tisha Montgomery +Brandon Luk +Lauri Novak +Alison Christensen
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Thanks +John Dusseault
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