So as most of you know, I'm out in Turners Falls Massachusetts where I've just started Phase 1 of the most comprehensive photographic education anywhere in the US. Weeks one and two blew by pretty quickly, with guest speakers and equipment being handed out, and our first assignment shot in neighboring Historic Deerfield. We're getting to know our teachers and their backgrounds, and getting settled into the program thats as demanding as they come.

Our week one assignment, with one of my final images posted above, was really an eye opener for me. Working mostly with artificial lighting, I usually never had to worry about the quality of available light. Having to work exclusively with said natural light put me on the spot, especially when the weather turned sour, giving us nothing but even, diffuse light for the entire day.

Read more and see some other shots from the day after the jump.

Coming from a very strobist background, having to deal with the giant softbox in the sky wasn't exactly intuitive. I've never had to work with models in all natural light, so it threw me for a bit of a loop when we had to photograph three different sets of subjects using it. The weather that day wasn't exactly cooperating, and trying to find a shadow was next to impossible.

Luckily, I still remember how to work without cranking down my exposure and blasting something with light. The above shot of Claudia was shot with an 85mm F/1.2 @ F/2.8 in the middle of a corn field we walked past. The new 5D Mark II creates literally noiseless images at ISO 50, and the color comes out fantastic in Photoshop CS4. Claudia, the 'model' for the day is another student whom I spent some time working with for our people assignment.

Another all natural light subject was more of an exercise in manually focusing toy lenses than anything else. Our not-so-little Chinese Sharpei friend here was excited by all the paparazzi attention he was getting.

Class is moving along slowly while all the students are brought up to speed, so I get a chance to relax and stretch myself on assignments. Keep checking back for more info on my new work and the Hallmark class of 2010.