If you have followed Weekly Photo Tips for very long you know I am a big fan of Joey L. (you can find previous posts here and here).
Well I had the pleasure of spending the past snowy weekend watching another of his tutorial DVD's "Photographer Shoot-Off: Lara Jade vs. Joey L.".
This DVD features Joey L. and Lara Jade and though it is labeled as a shoot off/challenge but it really is an educational/tutorial DVD in which both photographers shoot in similar situations but in their own contrasting styles. I would think it fair to describe Joey as a photographer who uses "bold lighting" and Lara leans more toward the minimalist lighting/natural lighting kind of photographer.
The DVD is over four hours long (was shot over two years) and has four unique challenges:
1. Color Portrait
2. On Location
3. Photographing a stranger
4. Studio Shoot
Each challenge (photographer) has two parts, the shoot itself and the editing of the images from that shoot.
I like the fact that nothing seems to have been left out. They discuss their shoots in great detail, what the concept is, how (and why) they approached the shoot as they did and then you watch them execute their plan with the "behind the scenes" video of the shoot.
That is followed by Joey and Lara explaining why they picked the images that they did and then take us step by step through their editing process.
And I love to watch the editing style of other photographers, it would be easy for one to assume that Lara and Joey would sit down, open Photoshop, hit a few keys and editing would be done. Nothing could be further from the truth, they try new things, experiments with ideas, techniques, and Photoshop tools to arrive at their final image.
It was very cool to watch Joey scroll through the blending modes and see what best matches his vision for the image.
We all prefer to get it right in a single frame, but that's not always possible and in one shoot Joey does a great job capturing the overall theme and then grabbing some of the small details and individual components, then adding them in Photoshop to "pull it all together".
And just as their shooting styles are different, so is their editing styles. I was stuck to the screen watching Lara take the "plain" image on the left and turn it into the stunning fashion image on the right.
I think with this (and any) DVD that I review people want to know "is it worth the money?"... and I can't answer that with a "yes" or "no" because I don't know what value other people put on education, on knowledge.
For me personally it was a yes, I can tell you with full confidence that I learned from watching this and will watch it all again.
There were things I learned that I will incorporate in my photography and my editing with the end result of becoming a better photographer.
You can get "Photographer Shoot-Off: Lara Jade vs. Joey L." at a significantly reduced price ($129) and part of the proceeds from each sale will go will go towards Joey's latest philanthropy project, helping indigenous tribes in Africa. So you will save 35%, do good for others, and learn new things.
So check out Joey and Lara's websites, watch the two and a half "preview" below and I think you will come to the same conclusion I did, they both have something to offer and I didn't want to miss out on it.