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Feb 1 2013 Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp

Read a few reviews of the Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp 
Qing Zhao 
Thomas Beaman 
jeff Franks 
Jenna Walcott 
Tammy Labuda 
Heather O'Mara 
Natasha Esguerra 
Joe Payne 
The October 2014 Bootcamp has sold out. The next available bootcamp will be held in 2015 on April 21st, 22nd, and half day on the 23rd with an opening reception on April 20th. For those wondering if I'll be bringing the bootcamp to another city, I will NOT be doing that. I will NOT be doing another workshop outside my studio.  
For more information and to register please contact the studio at 856.428.4268; 609.560.0877 or via email. 
I'm amazed at the growth and the international response of the Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp. Attendees are traveling from all over the world. This past year we've had students from Canada, Japan, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, New Zealand, Mexico, Indonesia, Australia, Fiji, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Argentina, Panama, Dubai, a slew of European countries, and a U.S. contingency from coast to coast. The upcoming Summer bootcamp should have quite an international flavor as well. Please call us with any questions. Thanks to all those former students who've spread the word!! 
During the past few years since I've been doing workshops and seminars, the most common denominator for all of my students has been the need to develop their own style. After 32 years of shooting I've come to believe the only way to accomplish this is to become one with your camera. Seeing with your mind's eye is a lot different than just looking through your viewfinder. In order to accomplish the former, a photographer's skillset must be first and foremost before they can begin developing their own style. 
The goal of this workshop is for every photographer in attendance to drastically improve their skills and give them the confidence to go after their own style.  
The workshop will feature: 
- Various technical aspects and a deeper understanding of your gear. 
- Understanding the difference between the quantity and the quality of light 
- A multitude of creative flash techniques. 
- Lighting your subjects from noon to midnight. 
- Live bridal shoots on location in Philadelphia. 
- Live shooting of bridal prep situations 
- A model ratio unlike any other workshop 
- Individual hands-on instruction during shoots. 
- Techniques in capturing the essence of our clients. 
- The best damn breakfasts and lunches included! 
Other topics covered will be: 
- Client interaction and relationships. 
- Sales presentation skills including a mock presentation. 
- Building a referral base through vendor/partner relationships. 
- Client retention. 
- Difference between being a photographer in business and a business person in photography 
- Workflow from capture to proof. 
The next available two-and-a-half-day workshop will take place at my studio in Haddonfield, New Jersey in 2015 on April 21st, 22nd and half day on the 23rd, 2014, with an opening reception on April 20th for those who can attend. The workshop will begin at 8:45am and go until we drop on the 12th and 13th, and will end midday on August 14th. Breakfast and lunch will be provided all three days. A discount code for a hotel only 2 miles away will be provided after registration.  
Tuition is $1,800 and attendance will be limited for more individual attention. 
$900 is due upon registration and the balance will be due three weeks prior to the workshop. 
Here's a few comments on my work, seminars, and workshops. 
American PHOTO Magazine-"one of the top ten wedding photographers in the world" 
WPPI- Cliff Mautner is "one of the top photographers and educators in the world" 
Marcus Bell-"Cliff is a pure craftsman with the lens and exhibits an amazing eye to capture the perfect moment. Cliff has been able to turn these rare talents into an incredible business with a solid vision for the future. A workshop with Cliff would fast track you to the big time. 
Joe Buissink-"Cliff sees light like nobody I've ever met" 
Ray Prevost-"It amazes me when I hear new photographers complain about the bad locations and the lousy lighting they have to work with at weddings. What that tells me is that they need to learn the skills that are part of this profession. I can think of no better person to teach you to "deal with it" than Cliff Mautner. He does more than just deal with "bad light", he makes it into good light by using it to add drama and interest in his images. Even guys like me, who know where to find the good light, can learn how to do something other than run for the shade. I've learned much from Mr. Mautner. 
"I also attended last weeks workshop and it's hard to put into words what a life changing experience it was. The whole concept of "good" light is out the window, Cliff shows us how to make any light "good light". As he say's as a wedding photographer your job is to catch the moments and you can't always afford to wait until the light is just right. He made shooting in direct midday sun not only ok but artistic, and beautiful. My confidence is way up from this, and I had several "aha" moments. Cliff obviously truly cared about each and everyone of us getting it. We got the feeling that he would have stayed with us all night until we got it if need be. He was very concerned with all of us having a great experience and took care of every detail of the workshop. He was a complete open book, and a very humble guy considering the huge talent and sucess he is. We even got to sit in on a real wedding inquiry meeting to see exactly how he conducts those." 
"Cliff Mautner is beyond amazing. As a wedding photographer for the last 5 years, I learned more with cliff at this workshop in 3 days than I did in 5 years on my own. He will teach you how to see in ways you never even imagined. Turning the worst light into the most incredible advantage. I am so blown away that if Cliff ever offered another class, I would attend it even at double the price I paid. The quality of my work has taken a leap from where I was and my confidence is 10x what it was. I really believe I know what to do in any lighting challenge. I can't say enough other than to be at this class will give you an almost unfair advantage." 
"Also, I don't think I've ever gone to a workshop or seminar where the host put so much effort into making sure EVERYONE'S needs were met. He left no stone unturned and logistically, the studio, the material, the food, drinks and everything else was fantastic. As far as the content goes, he hit everything you could imagine. The class audience consisted of all levels of experience. From 25+ year professionals to people who are looking to take their hobby to the next level. From my conversations with my workshopmates, everyone felt they got their monies worth and a whole lot more." 
"This month I attended the Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp presented by Cliff Maunter. I cannot begin to describe how just the time spent was one of the best I have ever invested. No question went unanswered and he focused on each of us. I felt like I not only got to know his as a professional photographer, but understood him better as a person. I was also fortunate to form friendships with those that I met in that class. The variety of topics we covered were amazing and in depth. I also felt that nothing was a hard sell of anything, but rather a hard share. Also, what was demonstrated was not the right way, but just, his way. He did not preach, he spoke, he shared, he educated. I could not ask for more than that. 
"I waited a long time to be a part of the Lighting and Skillset Bootcamp, and I am so excited to talk about the experience I had. I knew years ago that I had to wait until I was ready for the kind of learning I would experience at Cliff's workshop. I had to have the proper gear and the mindset to take it all in without missing a beat. If you are someone who wants to improve your way of seeing and working, you should put this workshop on your bucket list. The word I have coined for my experience at the workshop is EUREKA! I had always said that light was elusive, oh I was wrong and now I know it's not. It's how you see and Cliff will show you how to see. People always ask me, "don't you learn all that when you are at a wedding with Cliff?" And the answer is no, not like I learned at the workshop. You will spend time with people who are on the very same quest as you. It was a journey filled with laughs, new friends, good food, road trips and lots of learning. Cliff will answer completely and honestly any question you pose. There is nothing like having beautiful models to work with and a list of skills covered with no stone left unturned. Everything from natural light, window light, off camera flash, to workflow, pricing, taxes and insurance, you will be filled with information that will help your business grow as well as your soul. This bootcamp is about YOU as much as it is about learning. I might be the luckiest girl in the world. All I can do is be grateful and keep on stopping time." 
For more information and to register please contact the studio at 856.428.4268; 609.560.0877 or via email.

Oct 20 2014 Alien Skin's Exposure 6 software Discount Code

Many people know that I have a tendency to shy away from heavily photoshopped, over processed images. This is completely true. I'm not a fan of going beyond what the image actually looked like. Sure, we'll tweak it here and there, retouch a few things, and even add a vignette to an image to bring the eye to the subject. Every once in a while, my studio manager, or I, will take a bit of creative license and enhance a portrait when it makes sense to do so.  
We've been using Alien Skin's Exposure 6 software for a while now, and we find it to be a tremendous complement to our workflow. It doesn't promise to "save" an image. I've been quoted as saying "there is no un-suck filter in photoshop". The same holds true or Alien Skin's exposure 6. It will empower you with the ability to creatively tweak an already good photograph by implementing your customized enhancement through a simple to use- STAND ALONE- interface. It's also one of the very best pieces of software for Black and White conversions as well.  
Through midnight on Halloween, you can receive 30% off on ANY of Alien Skin's products. Just click on the Alient Skin Software Link use promotion code CMP1410 to apply the discount.  
Below, you'll see an image I created a few weeks ago. It was a rather rainy day, and for a few moments, the sun broke through. Streaks of light gave the image a dreamy feel, and I was really pleased with what we were able to produce in such weather. With Exposure 6, we bumped up the contrast, and enhanced the streaks of light- but not in a way that looks un-natural.  
This image is BEFORE Exposure 6. A little contrast tweak, a slight clarity adjustment, and we enhanced the streaks of light slightly.

After applying Exposure 6-A little contrast tweak, a slight clarity adjustment, and we enhanced the streaks of light slightly.


Sep 29 2014 Nikkor 24-120mm F4G-Lightweight and SHARP

Ok, I admit it. I'm a bit of a lens snob. I love quality glass, and I carry a slew of lenses to each wedding. I don't pack a ton of lenses with for no reason. I use them ALL. One day I'll post a blog about each, but today I want to give a shout out to my F4 Nikkor lenses that allow me to shed some weight for SOME parts of the wedding day without sacrificing performance or sharpness. I NEVER thought I'd own any F4 lenses. I begin each day with my Nikkor 85mm F1.4G on one D4S, and my Nikkor 35mm F1.4G on another D4S. I also carry a Nikkor 28mm 1.4D, and an assortment of other goodies as well. It's a large kit, and I use everything in the bag. 
The wedding day is long. I mean, really long at times. I bust my ass for my clients, and I can't ever let a moment pass without making sure I've done everything I can to capture those moments in the most creative way possible. I've been shooting professionally now for 33 years. Yeah, insert age joke here..... At 52, or heck, at any age, it's physically draining to carry any amount of equipment all day long, let alone flagship cameras with fast glass. While I tend to shoot with the most shallow depth of field possible for much of a wedding day, I also recognize when I need a bit more depth as well. Enter my Nikkor F4G lenses. The Nikkor 70-200 F4G, Nikkor 24-120mm F4G, and the Nikkor 16-35mm F4G have been in my bag now for a few months. My neck, shoulders, arms, and my entire body thank them. These lightweight tools have allowed me to shed weight without giving up a thing. I shoot the first dance, parent dances, and many other elements of the reception at F4 to allow some room for error, so why not shoot them with lighter gear? They focus well in low light, and unless I need to open up wider than F4, they're ideal for wedding receptions, family formals, and anything else I don't need a shallow depth of field for.  
If you'd asked me a few years ago if I'd use F4 glass- I'd have said "no way". To me, they were generally considered "amateur" lenses. Today, there's no way I'd do without them given how much fresher I feel after a grueling wedding day shoot. These lenses are built to last, focus fast, and they're as sharp as anything Nikkor produces. Many may say, "why in the world does anyone carry that much gear to a wedding?" Fortunately, I don't. I have amazing assistants who help me with all of my gear, and we pack everything in a tidy Tamrac rolling strongbox. My assistants and I are symbiotic on the wedding day, and they often know what I need before I need it. All of my gear is incorporated into my workflow seamlessly.  
I'm often asked what I bring to a wedding. Here's a fairly comprehensive list of what's in my bag.  
2- Nikon D4S's 
1-Nikon D810 
1- Nikon D4 
Nikkor 28mm F1.4D 
AF-S Nikkor 35mm F1.4G 
AF-S Nikkor 85mm F1.4G 
AF-S-Micro Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED 
AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm F2.8G ED 
AF-S Nikkor 16-35mm F4G ED VR 
AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm F2.8G 
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F2.8G ED VRII 
AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR 
AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR 
3 SB910's 
1 SB900 
Battery packs: 
3 Nikon SD-9's (incredibly efficient) 
2-TT1 Mini's 
3-TT5 Flex's 
2-AC3 zone controllers 
The handy power cable that attaches to the camera body(really cool) 
Rogue Flash Benders-modifiers 
Small, medium and large for various needs 
Bogen carbon fiber monopod 
GL-1 gunlight 
wescott Ice Light 
Granola bars.... chocolate.... valium...(kidding!} 
I also have A Nikon D3S and a Nikkor 70-200 VRI in my car for backup.  
This was shot with the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G VR and was racked at 30mm 
The next shot was with the same lens at 100mm. The versatility is really stellar.  


May 19 2014 Ruben and Sally-Liberty House Wedding with the Nikon D4S

Not too long ago, shooting something like a bridal party with sparklers was a real challenge. Cranking up the ISO wasn't an option years ago, and the use of fill flash sort of washed out the sparklers. Today, with the Nikon D4S, not only can I shoot an image like this at ISO 6400 without even thinking about it, but the focus system in low light kicks serious butt. I'll be posting more images from this wedding of Sally and Ruben at the Liberty House soon, but I wanted to share this. For the pixel peepers, I've also included a 100% crop of the image as well.  
Nikon D4S Nikkor 24-70 F2.8G, 1/125th @ 2.8 @ ISO 6400.

100% crop of the Nikon D4S @ ISO 6400