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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Better Photography Is A Journey, Not A Destination

A compendium of resources to inspire and teach, and get you on the path of making better pictures

Labels: How-ToColumnTech Tips
Schools and colleges provide both formal degree programs and continuing education in photography and related software. Check out the listings for your local institutions, or enroll in one of the country's top-rated programs such as Brooks Institute, with a nature component led by Ralph Clevenger, (www.brooks.edu), or the Rochester Institute of Technology (www.cias.rit.edu).

Short-term workshops include field and/or classroom instruction ranging from a weekend to several weeks. Check out the course lists at Rocky Mountain School of Photography in Missoula, Mont. (www.rmsp.com); Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, N.M. (www.santafeworkshops.com); Palm Beach Photographic Centre in Palm Beach, Fla. (www.workshop.org); Light Photographic Workshops in Los Osos, Calif. (www.lightworkshops.com); Maine Media Workshops (www.mainemedia.edu); Art Wolfe Photography Workshops in Seattle (www.artwolfeworkshops.com); McDonald Wildlife Photography in Pennsylvania (www.hoothollow.com), to name just a few. I've taught at a number of these schools.

Attend National Conventions
Annual gatherings of like-minded photo/outdoor/nature enthusiasts present a myriad of opportunities to view others' work and have your own reviewed by professionals, take short courses, see vendor exhibits, participate in photo trips, network with your colleagues and even influence the direction of the field.

Photographic Society of America—This year's convention takes place September 18-24 in beautiful Colorado Springs! www.psa-photo.org

Professional Photographers of America—It's more involved in commercial, portrait and wedding photography, but has a lot of information for outdoor-oriented photographers. The 2012 convention is scheduled for January 15-17 in New Orleans. www.ppa.com

Photoshop World—The semiannual convention of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals. Next up is September 7-9 in Las Vegas. www.photoshopuser.com

The North American Nature Photography Association—The Annual Summit is generally held in January or February, and the organization has a great scholarship program for high school and college students. www.nanpa.org

Photo Plus (the PDN Photo Plus International Conference and Expo)—The major product show for the industry in the U.S., with exhibits, seminars and demonstrations. This year, it's scheduled for October 27-29 in New York. www.photoplusexpo.com

Keep On Keepin' On
Whether as a hobby or a profession, outdoor photography requires tenacity, growth, renewal and response to thrive. The resources listed here are just the tip of the iceberg, but they offer a variety of ways to help keep your skills and perspectives fresh. If you pay attention, you'll never get bored in this field!

For information about upcoming seminars and digital-imaging workshops, visit www.georgelepp.com. If you have any tips or questions, address them to: OUTDOOR PHOTOGRAPHER, Dept. TT, George Lepp, 12121 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1200, Los Angeles, CA 90025-1176 or online at www.georgelepp.com.


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