The activity provides photographers with an opportunity to learn by practicing.

One of the main objectives of Imaging USA is to provide photographers of all levels the opportunity to enhance their skills with top-notch classes. Personally, I learn best by doing so I really enjoyed that we were given the chance to join a photo walk hosted by Canon and led by Vanessa Joy, a Canon Explorer of Light. The focus of the photo walk was to teach attendees how to shoot at night with only one external light source.

The walk began at 6:00 p.m. just as many of the regular class sessions were ending. There were approximately 30 people who joined the walk. We started just outside the Exhibition Hall of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center. Joy began the walk by introducing two models (Alexis and Whitney) who would be our photo subjects for the duration of the event. Ms. Joy then explained that we would be walking through the hotel’s facility and stopping at certain points where lighting might be challenging. The photos used within this article were taken by MacSources Senior Editor, Nicholas Calderone.

I have to stop here to applaud Ms. Joy for managing such a large group of people for a photo walk. As one of the attendees, I can say that it was difficult to hear instructions throughout the walk unless you were right in front of the group. This was not the fault of Ms. Joy or even Canon. Because it was such a large group and because it was held inside the facility, there were hurdles to overcome with being able to hear Ms. Joy.

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As it happens, Ms. Joy structured the walk to accommodate a large group of people because she ended up providing some instruction at the beginning of the walk — before we started walking — and the rest was simply practice-time. Since the objective of this photo walk was to teach people how to light a subject at night, Ms. Joy provided a continuous spotlight directly on the subject. She would then take a few test shots to get her settings correct for the dramatic look she was going for.

Once her desired look was achieved, she would then share her camera settings with the group with the instruction that we should adjust our individual cameras as needed. Ms. Joy works with a Canon 1DX Mark II so she has quite a bit more flexibility with her settings than some of the people in the photo walk group. There was a wide range of cameras and lenses in use. I noticed a Canon 1DX Mark II, Canon 70D, Canon 80D, Canon EOS-R, and various Nikon cameras, too.

We ended up having five set-ups in four different locations throughout the hotel. The first two locations were just outside the Exhibition Hall. We also used a unique hallway outside the Soundscapes Water Park entrance that had blue backlit walls, bridge areas in the Cascades Atrium, and one of the additional garden areas in the Cascades Atrium. Each location presented different challenges with night lighting that Ms. Joy showed us how to fix.

While it would have been nice to have a smaller group to be able to have more individualized instruction, I think this photo walk was a success. This was a unique activity for attendees to take advantage of since it featured professional models and a class act instructor like Ms. Joy. The only thing that would be have been nice would have been if we could take a shot with the model and then be able to have Ms. Joy provide feedback on it. I definitely learned a lot during this activity and I welcome the opportunity to be able to do it again in the future.

To learn more about Vanessa Joy visit vanessajoy.com, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.