Challenge. That is the word that was on my mind when I woke up this morning. I think that is the word that I should use to describe my experience with the photography workshop. Ah…but where to begin.
The group of photographers enrolled in the workshop was a very experienced and talented group. It was a challenge to attempt to rise to the overall level of proficiency of the group as a whole. While I was learning to use manual metering and the new “split grad neutral density” filter, the group was exploring the surroundings and discovering creative approaches for their photographs.
The schedule was challenging, but good. We would meet each morning sometime between 5:30 and 6:00 AM to drive to each location. This schedule allowed us to have wonderful light as well as “beat the crowd” to a variety of wonderful locations for photography.
After shooting for several hours in the morning, we would gather for a meal. We never could decide if it was breakfast, lunch, or brunch! The conversations during meal time were frequently photography related and much sharing took place in these informal times. Glen shared HDR tips with me and Suzanne shared Canon tips. (Suzanne and I were the only Canon shooters in the group — and boy did the group dish out the “ribbing!”) Raymond and I discussed what I’ll call the “Zen of photography.” The group from Manassas shared photography club information and ideas.
It was following meal time that we would be challenged to quickly find several images to process from the morning shoot and share with the group during the afternoon class time. If I worked quickly, I could squeeze in a 15 – 20 minute nap!
I found it totally fascinating to see the images from each class participant as well as to hear the comments, suggestions, and critiques from Tony and Sue. Every once in a while, Tony would take an image and re-process on his computer; thus providing wonderful insight into how he handles that aspect of photography. He was quick to add, however, that image processing was a whole different workshop!
Of course, we would head back out to the field each evening to once again “catch the light.”
We were challenged to use a variety of techniques; stretch creativity; and use all of the resources available to us.
Architecture. Water. Landscape. Macro. Creative eye. Nature. History. Flowers. Abstract. HDR. Balck and White.
The aspect of the workshop that I found especially interesting was the individual photographer was allowed to shoot what THEY wanted. Essentially there were no “assignments.” The location choice frequently would suggest a subject, but the photographer was certainly free to approach the location in their own personal manner.
“Thinking out of the box” was certainly encouraged. From seeing the other classmates images, each different and unique while all taken in the same location, we certainly learned the challenge of seeing creatively and showing an image from a unique, and often personal, perspective. The creativity fed more creativity; a very stimulating environment!
The acceptance of the work of others really impressed me. Photographers seem to have a unique way of supporting and encouraging each other. I really, really like that!
I must add that I was challenged physically and mentally as well. I begrudgingly lugged my “cheesy” tripod (an inside story) everywhere; climbed up and down creek beds; as well as bending low to get “the shot.” Tuesday evening I was tired and simply lost my concentration. It was challenging to keep up with the energy and quick pace of the workshop. There was very little “down time” the entire time.
However, after a good nights reset I quickly re-bounded and was ready to go the next morning!
Now that I have returned home, the challenge continues! I have many, many more images to sort through and process. I have tips and techniques to try to incorporate into my photography. I have “lessons” to practice and perfect.
The experience was great and, while it won’t be in the immediate future, I certainly hope to attend a workshop of this nature again sometime.
Stay tuned for more images —–