A new workshop!

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 in Articles | No Comments

I have decided to offer a new workshop in 2012- Available Light Travel Photography- through the Santa Fe Workshops in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The workshop will start Wednesday March 28 and go to Sunday, April 1. Please contact the Santa Fe Workshops for complete registration information-

Offering a new workshop is a pretty big deal for me; I won’t teach a workshop unless I feel I have more than enough practical experience and insider’s knowledge to make it a completely worthwhile experience for my potential students. After dabbling with travel photography for the first 20 years of my professional career and having now finished my third travel photography based book in the last 10 years I feel ready to offer this class. It’s going to be great fun as well!

Travel photography is different from general nature photography or wildlife or landscape or macro photography because a tripod usually isn’t used, faster shutter speeds and more wide open f-stops are used and stalking subjects is replaced by sitting a waiting for them to come to you. How do you tell a travel photographer from a nature photographer? A nature photographer will be snarling, holding a crumpled map in a mud covered SUV while a travel photographer is smiling, hold a glass of wine in an outdoor cafe.

What I mean by available light photography is shooting even when the light is low, even very low. Many of my recent favorite pictures have been taken when the light is so low that my initial thought on the potential of the scene was “not enough light” or even ” don’t even think about it.”  But with a bit of cleverness and ‘why-not’ spirit combined with an unholy trust in the great Gods of Photography I tried and tinkered and fiddled and ended up getting some really nice images that I never would’ve thought possible.

This workshop is about how to wander around the next time you are in an exotic location and hand hold your way to spectacular any-kind-of-light pictures. I will of course talk about the advantages of using a tripod but I won’t mention using flashes or strobes or slaves or soft boxes or bounce light or cords or power sources or the sore muscles you will get hauling all that stuff around. No frustration in this class, no calculation anxiety and no feelings of inadequacy because you think you are not as smart as your flash (you’re not, get over it!).

Expect to be outside at twilight and inside at mid-day working the shadows and dimly lit alcoves of Santa Fe. I will talk about lots of how-to technique- how to approach people, how to trust your camera, How to find good hand-held compositions, how to find a background and wait for a subject and how to link you images together to create a visual narrative or sense of story.

No, it’s not the typical workshop I teach but it will be fun and different and you will find yourself taking pictures of things you have never tried before in lighting conditions you never would’ve thought possible. Now how bad can that really be?!?

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