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Eric Raeber
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Eric Raeber

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It sometimes takes simply a different view to see beauty in the ordinary.

Giverny, France, 2015

#monochromeworld   #monochromephotography
#hqspmonochrome  +HQSP Monochrome 
#FramedSubjectFriday  +FramedSubjectFriday
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Eric Raeber

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Several months back, +Joanna Koziara asked if I would ever give a mentorship on lighting. I had entertained the idea of putting such a mentorship together for more than a year, but I never quite made the time. When a person with a creativity and conceptual ideas such as Joanna asks to add lighting to her photographic toolbox, how can one refuse?

Today I am rewarded by the amazing collection of images she created in her graduation album. Take a look by yourself and you will realize how beautifully she is Lighting with Intent.

If you ever find yourself in a similar situation, with a photographic skill you are eager to share, come and join the ranks of mentors at +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers, the journey is as fascinating as it is rewarding.
For the past several weeks I have been learning how to use light with intent in my photos. The Lighting with intent mentorship was made possible thanks to +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers and fearless lighting genius +Eric Raeber. Even before I signed up I knew it was going to be awesome, but I was wrong. It was way more than that! Eric provided us with very well written, easy to digest information on physics behind light and numerous techniques I didn't even know existed or ever dreamed to be able to use. Set of exercises and challenges that accompanied each lesson gave us few headaches and hangovers, gigabytes of data, and tremendous knowledge that had already made a positive impact in my photos. 
Most of all we not only learned new techniques, we had a lot of fun interacting and learning from each other, we all formed stronger G+ bonds.

I highly recommend this program to everyone! You wont be able to find a funnier, more knowledgeable teacher and more fun learning  environment than participating in one of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers 
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thank you +Heiko Mahr and +Carla McMahon you both have been an inspiration!
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In case you were wondering how hitting the bathroom before reaching gravity zero in an attempt to avoid a black hole relates to a Lighting with Intent mentorship, let me reassure you: you are not alone! This was an except from introductions in which I asked everyone to tell us something about themselves that is not true.

And boy did this open the doors to creativity!

After passing these doors, not once did +Beena R look back as she fully embraced the challenges offered week after week, from one assignment to the next. You will find that same creativity in her album, along with that very delicate touch of light she applies so well to her subjects.

Beena, it has been such a pleasure to see your art grow throughout this mentorship!
#FinalPLUSpost   Lighting With Intent with +Eric Raeber  #LightWIT  
When I heard an announcement by the captain of our Space ship as below: 
This is your last chance to hit the bathroom before reaching gravity zero. If you are still on top Mt Everest or aboard ISS, let us know and we'll pick you up on the way. We are not heading for a black hole, but in case we do let the zombies with flashing eyes out first! 

Not even in the wildest of my dreams I imagined that it was going to be as exciting as this first announcement! I am so glad I took some cues from the interest that the g+ folks showed in flocking to this mentorship like honey bees.. Well I was one of the first bees who got lucky :))

Well I do hope they are not going to kick me out for quoting something that's inside the community :) 

Eric had led us through a complicated maze of insightful learning with his great sense of humor and deep knowledge of what it means to Light with Intent. He told us several times that he was not going to tell us what/how to do something in our assignments.. instead, help us achieve/fulfill our intent with insightful guidance and sharing of high level knowledge that I could not have visualized to have access to until our journey started.

First week we were literally walking in the dark looking for what to light with a torch light and that got me into an amazement thinking what if I had a teacher in school who would have asked me to do this activity. What little children do, playing with light and shadows, creating shapes, I realized how exciting that could be, how exciting learning could be and how simple it could be to learn the principles of science!

Each week that followed, all through the 8 weeks were pure magic, some days, I found myself waking up at 3 am to light my brain with intent with out any one to disturb me in the house. Final assignment was the one where we were to Go create free hand with what ever we have so far learned. I have chosen to do High school senior portraits for two of my daughter's friends free of cost, they told me otherwise they would have got just one studio shot and two standard portraits for the school year book.

This gave me so much of satisfaction and I realized all the concepts fusing together in my brain at the right time, although I may have forgotten few things like using matrix metering where I should have used spot metering. Well... this is a journey that I hope and intend to continue with thought out intent :) 

The mentors/captains that +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers hand pick are just truly outstanding and for each flight, they have a well equipped knowledgeable crew of moderators to make your flight as unique and unforgettable as possible! And hats off to my fellow participants, some of the work they created were pure magic that made me want to do much better and to approach something with a different mind set. 

And I am once again humbled and very thankful for this great opportunity that has been keeping me inspired to the core! Thank you Eric, all the moderators and every one else who were kind enough to give me their valuable feedback on what I was creating!

I would no more be drooling over outstanding portraits (just kidding.. that's never going to go away) that has people looking at me with eyes that challenge me and allure me, I have opened a pandora's box and I am in my world of amazement :)
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Beena R
Very kind of you +Shamsa A. to stop by and appreciate, thank you!
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Is your toddler dancing to cleverly kitchy children’s tunes?

Towards the end of last year, my friend and musician +Jake Thorne asked me for a few informal headshots. Jake plays so many instruments that it is hard to keep count. He plays his instruments and sings for kids by volunteering in a local children's hospital.

During the past few years he has also been recording an album with songs for pre-schoolers: Jake T & the Jamboree.

If you have one such qualifying individual in your home or if you have remained a little kid in the heart yourself, you can listen, sing along or dance to a few cleverly kitchy children’s tunes. In doing so you will also support the InnVision Shelter Network children’s charity program in the Bay Area.

Artwork: Izabella Richbourg (age 5)
Photography: Eric Raeber (older than 5 - but just slightly)
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The streets of San Francisco

Tenderloin with +Gazzaroonii T. +Sam Breach +Swee Oh +Brian B. Sørensen +Larry Nienkark +Todd Draper and +Leo Deegan who took this behind-the-scenes shot:

#streetportraiture  in #sanfrancisco  
Amenda Lus's profile photoGazzaroonii T.'s profile photoEric Raeber's profile photoSPSINGH CHOPRA's profile photo
+Amenda Lus and +Gazzaroonii T., thanks!
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During my Lighting with Intent mentorship, +Piotr Edelman not only pushed himself to expand his boundaries, but he was always ready, with his comments, to challenge others in this photo-club of yesteryears to deepen their learning.

Take a look through his album and you will be amazed by the simplicity, the elegance and of course the lighting of his creations!

For anyone who has read this far, consider mentoring someone else here (or more) with +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers ... some people don't even know where to start with their cameras and you could be the change they need in their lives. Even the smallest bit of knowledge can be passed on and you can create your mentorship in many different ways. Imagine the feeling of taking someone to their next level, paying forward the knowledge you've received and watching someone blossom with enthusiasm and accomplishment!
Available light is always better than artificial light, especially a flash light, right? I always subscribed to this dogma to the point that two little flashes that came with my two recent camera bodies are still in the original wrappers. Yes, I always had a speedlight and a strobe but used them reluctantly when there was absolutely no other option.

Then came the mentorship. +Eric Raeber was kind enough to accept me into his Lighting with intent that was made possible thanks to +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers. For over two months Eric guided our group through the basic concepts and arcane techniques of lighting a scene with natural and artificial light, soft and harsh, cold, warm and gelled. Every weekly task was introduced with a well written and illustrated essay explaining the physics and the art. The G+ community provided the structure for discussions and critiques, a friendly environment resembling the photo-club of yesteryears. Everyone had a chance to discuss the ideas, ask questions, admire the results.

I have learned a lot, of course about the lighting and various hardware bits but also about myself. I have never seen a reason to set the custom white balance in camera. I could not tell the difference between the front and rear shutter synch and now I even know how to use it. Oh, and I know for sure that I am not that outgoing and brave but rather shy.

So watch this space. Maybe Eric will offer similar program again. If you are looking for a challenging, friendly and rewarding learning environment consider participating and expect lots of fun!

Thank you Eric and +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers
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You did a great job +Piotr Edelman​ well done :)
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I have gotten to know +Alan Bland over the past few years now. Mostly through the wonderfully creative concepts he comes up with for every new Scavenger Hunt.

When he applied to join the ranks of those who want to light with Intent, I did not hesitate for a second. I was too curious in seeing what he would do with using light. It came as no surprise that he was equally creative. But do not take my word for it, and click his album to see for yourself. Alan, it has been such a pleasure to have you in this mentorship!

For anyone who has read this far, consider mentoring someone (or a handful of people) with +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers. Some people don't even know where to start with their cameras and you could be the change they need in their lives. Even the smallest bit of knowledge can be passed on. Join the ranks of these stellar people who've volunteered their time to help others through the program: +Alex Lapidus +Sam Breach +Pam Boling +Morgana Creely +Tamara Pruessner +Heiko Mahr +Linda Villers +Lou McCorkle +Darla Hueske +Ellie Kennard +Doug Welch +Ugo Cei +John Getchel +Ron Clifford and, of course, +Robin Griggs Wood!

I can tell you first hand that seeing someone create with the tools you taught this person can be more rewarding than doing so by yourslef!
I'm finished! Eric Raeber's Lighting with Intent Mentorship is over! I must say it was very challenging. When I started this journey I had just recently purchased a studio strobe to go along with my speedlight and had started to play around with lighting, but I really had no idea what I was doing. Eric's mentorship came along at just the right time, and even though I had already committed to another mentorship at the same time, I had to join this one. And I'm so glad I did.

Eric planned a jam-packed schedule, touching on more topics about lighting than I realized existed, and hitting things I knew about but had never actually done. I got my hands dirty (figuratively, and literally with the milk splashing exercise) trying all these new-to-me techniques. Like almost any endeavor, the key to learning about lighting is to practice, practice, practice. The mentorship provided the structure and community to try and to learn and to commiserate and to celebrate.

Now when I approach a new photo project, I think about how I want it lit. Before, I simply relied on available light, or I aimed a speedlight in the general direction of the subject and hoped for the best. Now, I know how to think about the shadows and the reflections and the quality of the light I want or don't want, and how to control them. If I see someone else's photo with interesting lighting, I know how to reverse engineer it to guess how it was probably lit so I can replicate the effect. And best of all, when I set out to make a photo with my lighting gear, I just set it up and shoot with little or no guessing about what's going to happen.

Of all the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers mentorships I've taken part in, this one was the most challenging and the most rewarding. I learned so much and had a lot of fun doing it.

#FinalPLUSpost Lighting With Intent with +Eric Raeber #LightWIT
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Thank you +Darla Hueske! 
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He claims a dose of shyness above average. He only recently  acquired a lighting kit for my mentorship Lighting with Intent. He states that his reflections are at their best when in company of the bottle! But maybe these are all just stories to play it low key in face of an Evil Leader, because if you open his album, you may have a hard time recognizing the person I just described.

+Andy Smith's work has surprised us on every step along the way through this mentorship. Let him surprise you as well!
#FinalPLUSpost Lighting With Intent mentorship with +Eric Raeber #LightWIT

So... the end. Or, the beginning more like.    The TL;DR summary of the lengthy post below is this - Eric runs a great mentorship, and if he runs one again, sign up. OK?    (do it!) ;)

A few months back, I saw a post going around for signups for a new mentorship by Eric, being run as part of the +G+ Mentorship Program for Photographers.  To be honest, I didn't pay too much attention, as I was still finishing off the previous round of Scavenger Hunt.   Then, as Scavenging was just finishing up, someone in that community re-shared it again. I had a proper read of his sign-up post,  I did the finger counting of how many hours I had per week to dedicate, how much of the list of lighting items required I needed to buy (about £50 on a softbox and lightstand as I already had a few cheap lighting bits and pieces) and threw my hat into the ring.

What was to come over the next 9 weeks was enlightening, fascinating, and gave me a sore head at times (not just from the wine in week 4 lol!)

Eric came up with 9 very well written and easy to understand lessons with some great examples and assignments (well, in some cases, I had to re-read several times, but I have to do that anyway with other things, so more my problem than Eric's lol).

So we went through basic lighting in week 1, roaming the house in darkness with a flashlight to find interesting items to light through or off,  defining hard and diffused light in week 2, light fall off and isolation in week 3,  reflecting light in week 4 (also known as 'forcing the students to buy wine against their will' week, lol - we needed the wine after spending hours trying to stop what seemed like everything reflecting off the f%^ing wine bottle and glass we had to shoot!!)  So week 5, adding colour through gels (which was a week of revelation for me - I just love them!), week 6 showing motion in images and finding out about front curtains, rear curtains, of the camera kind, not bedroom), week 7, light painting - creating monsters and getting into trouble with the good lady wife for sitting naked on her leather seat!, week 8, reverse engineering of photos (I have an IOU for 1 photo from week 8), looking at the classic portraiture lighting styles, then the bombshell dropped for week 9, along with a draft creative brief for it to write up in week 8.

Ah week 9. Final week.  The gift -  A photoshoot for a friend, family, non-profit organisation or local business.  A way to push out of comfort zones.  So I didn't go too far out of the zone, as I decided to offer this shoot to a good friend, Colin 'Spider' MacKenzie, a top local blues harmonica player here in Aberdeen.  However,  up to this point, I've never taken photos of anyone outside my household, or my parents (who I've only taken a few informal shots of).

As a person afflicted lifelong with shyness (as opposed to just being an introvert) even this photoshoot with Spider was outside the zone a fair bit, and I was nervous and anxious about not making a total arse of myself with lighting equipment that I still am effectively a novice with!   But Spider is a true gent, and helpfully also a photog, and double helpfully a photog with other Fuji lenses ;)   I had a great time, and most importantly, he is happy with the shots!    Now, on to standing in a public place offering to take passing stranger portraits!  (I'm only half joking, I wrote a very precise plan for how to do such a thing in week 8 - only my shyness stops me currently).

I have learned so much in this mentorship, not just technically, but about myself. And hey, I did a photoshoot, and got some shots of my little girl my wife and I will treasure always.  Oh yeah, we did a video hangout! I've been here 4 years and never been in one until this mentorship, lol (such a newbie).

In closing, I would like to personally thank all of my fellow mentees and community moderators for their camaraderie and advice, their willingness to share and their inclusiveness, and look forward to seeing how you all progress. Can't wait to see your week 9 creations!

As for Eric,  I did portray him (jokingly - honest!) as a sort of Evil Leader  (a Emperor Palpatine of G+ if you will - OK, I'd better stop that!!) but really could not have wished for a better mentor - always available, always willing to offer assistance, and always inspiring.  Thanks Eric, for giving up your time for us and providing this opportunity for us all to grow as photographers. 

And, relax.... :)
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Aww +Beena R that is too kind of you, thank you :))
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Excellence takes a lot of focus and plenty of practice. Sometimes from a very young age!
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Merci +Maria Carpe Diem !
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A bird in love

San Francisco streets in the Tenderloin neighborhood.

#streetportraiture   #sanfrancisco   #streetphotography  
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Swee Oh
So good
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Have him in circles
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Basic Information
Concepts that surprise for photographs you remember!
My Story

I have always loved photography; for early on and despite the odors of developer, stop and fixer baths. Dodging, burning and retouching with a paintbursh dipped in black ink were all necessary to reach the results I wanted.

Since '82, I have always had a camera more or less close by. In the years that followed, Picasa, Gimp, Lightroom and Photoshop took care of the odors.

The first big push in my photography has been a summer job with a pro photographer in his studio. That made me reach two conclusions:
  1. I love that art and will continue for a long time.
  2. I love it so much that I will not make it my profession.
The second big push has been Google+. The feedback from all of you; The ideas; the styles of photography and the stories behind are all challenging me beyond anything I had envisioned possible. And Chrysta Rae's scavenger hunt has pushed my even further.

You might say that I am still searching for my style. But what I enjoy above all in my photography as much as in my job in the software world, is exploring the unknown; learning new skills; finding a pattern, a structure or a solution that is pleasing to the eye.

The two styles of photography I like most?
  • Conceptual portraiture, with images that are created to convey emotions about people or society

  • Dance photography (inspired by the work of Lois Greenfield and Richard Calmes)
Thinking of circling me?

You will get mostly photography. And mostly my own. You will get art (at least I'll try). You will get technical behind-the-scene photography. Finally, I will occasionally share the work of other: work that I respect, that amazes and that inspires!

You will also get some dose of humor, with serious bit of sarcasm and self-derision.
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