General Workshop Information

 
This page contains the general workshop information our workshop attendees most frequently ask about. If, after reading through this text, you still have questions, please feel free to CONTACT US.  To view our upcoming photo workshops, please click on one of the buttons below:

2017 PHOTO WORKSHOPS 2018 PHOTO WORKSHOPS

 

Hotel information
We will provide hotel and location information, as well as suggested clothing and equipment, to all workshop attendees upon registration.

Itinerary and travel information
Specific photography shoot locations and timetables are not set until shortly before our workshop so that we can assess last minute weather and light conditions. You will receive a detailed itinerary upon arrival.

Workshop updates and other information
About a month before our workshop you will begin to receive information regarding what to bring, clothing, equipment and weather. Final updates will go out a week before. We tend to over inform you so that you are totally prepared.

Skill level
Our workshops typically range from amateurs to advanced amateurs. We’ve even had other professional photographers on our workshops. Every workshop is different in some respects as far as location accessibility. We will inform you of any difficulties that are involved—there will be no surprises. We stay safe and don’t get involved in areas that are questionable. However some areas require a bit more hiking than others.

Attendees should have a good understanding of their equipment, cameras and menus, as well as the relationship between aperture, shutter speed and ISO. This is explained very simply in the syllabus (provided upon registration) on pages 32. A laptop and a thumb drive will be very handy for preparing images for review as well as backing up your work.

A typical day

  • Pre-sunrise departure from our hotels. It’s a good idea to pick up some snacks (granola bars etc.) the night before. Please let us know if you have any food allergies or requirements.
  • Unless indicated when we meet at the beginning of our workshop, we will return to town late morning and eat lunch. Please note that if you decide to stay out in the field and skip lunch (not suggested!) it is your responsibility to arrive on time at the location for our afternoon session.
  • Time will be devoted to image reviews as well as presentations of photographic interest.
  • We may elect to stay longer in the field one day and save the review/discussion session for another time. We are very flexible.
  • Depending on weather and location, our time in the field often continues through sunset, taking advantage of the day’s golden hours. Again, it’s a good idea to carry snacks as dinner could be at a late hour.
  • It is very important that you are prompt for departures and for situations that call for attention to time. I highly suggest that you try to be ready 10 minutes before the times we determine, just in case.


What do we cover in the field and classroom?
Every image should tell a story and convey emotion. When we use our eyes and inner emotion together, we have the potential to make a powerful image. In the field we emphasize slowing down, defining the subject and deciding how to tell the story using your camera. We will work on “seeing” images and using the environment to aid in creating artistic imagery. We will discuss the need for foregrounds, leading lines or patterns and how to handle these in different ways. We will stress simplicity and use all aspects, including depth of field, proper exposure, filter usage and more. All this will help you become a better “thinking” photographer and at the same time, return home with some wonderful images from unforgettable locations. The following (and not in any order) are just some of the many things we will bring attention to during our time together.

  • Improving your technical and visionary photographic skills within these “hands-on” workshops
  • Developing your skills in finding, seeing and creating your image
  • Making images that allow the viewer to quickly define the subject and understand the story you are trying to convey
  • Working the scene and area, not just making a photograph and moving to the next possible location
  • Composition, exposure and other essential elements needed to bring out the story within the image
  • Other techniques including, learning about when or when not to use strong tonalities, negative space, balance, framing, bringing out your personal vision and eliminating any flaws that negatively affect your images
  • Choosing the right focal length (lens) to convey your story
  • Learning to think about how you want your image to look while in the field, not after the fact
  • We will discuss how to make panoramas and long exposures, and how to use focus stacking and HDR effectively
  • Basic processing, workflow, how to use available programs (Adobe) as well as other software (NIK software etc.), together

The majority of instruction, nature photography techniques and tips take place right there in the field. We take time in the evenings and periodically during the day to review our images in informal critique sessions. We also make special presentations concerning nature photography from time to time. There’s no need to take notes; after the workshop you’ll receive a complete 80+ page syllabus containing everything we discussed and more.


Please consider the following:

1. Know your camera and equipment. You do not need to travel the world to understand your camera’s functions and capabilities. You can go online, read your manual and practice in your own living room and backyard. Knowing how to access your ISO, Aperture and shutter speed settings is primary. There are other functions you may not use, but you should know where they are located on the camera. For example, knowing where your depth of field button is, even if you are not using it is a good start.

“Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.”—Vince Lombardi

Please click HERE to access an article that Jack wrote concerning this subject. Please read it – it’s something I hope you remember.

Here’s an article on How to make sharp images.

2. Tripods. Tripods are the easiest ways to improve your photography. Yes, there will be times you’ll want to shoot without a tripod, but most of the time a tripod is very important. The better the tripod, the better your images will be. That goes for your tripod head as well. Tripods keep your camera steady, allow you to view your images more critically and force you to slow down.

As my good friend Bill Fortney says, “There are two kinds of tripods, ones that are easy to carry, and good ones.”

Read this – it will offer you good insight on buying tripods and heads.