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Friday, August 1, 2008

Weekend Retreats


Short workshops and seminars offer fresh ideas and a new handle on techniques, plus help photographers overcome roadblocks to success—all in a brief period of time

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Weekend workshops and seminars present an opportunity for outdoor photographers to absorb and learn new skills and techniques over an intense few days. From lectures on mastering the digital print to shooting with pros in the field, there are ample opportunities to do what we love and learn something new.

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Weekend workshops and seminars present an opportunity for outdoor photographers to absorb and learn new skills and techniques over an intense few days. From lectures on mastering the digital print to shooting with pros in the field, there are ample opportunities to do what we love and learn something new.

Weekend Workshops
The Panasonic Digital Photo Academy offers weekend workshops in 20 different cities at Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced levels. The Advanced workshop consists of four hours of field shooting and four hours of postprocessing to help participants nail down the entire workflow, says Program Director Jennifer Warren.

The instructors at the Digital Photo Academy are based in their respective cities, allowing them to provide experience and knowledge about the location. Allen Birnbach, an instructor based in Denver, Colo., describes these workshops as a quick immersion in digital photography. He says, “In the Advanced workshop, the students come in, and we look at their portfolios. The idea is to get a sense of their individual style and capabilities, and then from there, we go in the field and actually create work. It’s a very mentoring type of environment, where the instructor is able to work with individual students and give them guidance in whatever category they may need.”

Regions Of Focus
While many photographic workshops offer different locations, the Gary Hart Photography Workshops explore California in places like the Eastern Sierra, Yosemite and the coastline of Big Sur. Hart likes to keep his workshops down to three or four days and pack as much landscape photography as possible into a small amount of time.

“Most people who I deal with are spent after three or four days of photography,” he says. “They’re long days, and this isn’t a vacation, and maybe other workshops are structured differently. I give them full days, and I make it clear that we’re going to be out taking pictures. We’ll put you in the right place at the right time.”

Another set of workshops that explores various destinations in California are those offered by Don Gale. His workshops offer an entire weekend or a three-day program in places like Death Valley, Yosemite, Bishop Canyon and other photographic landmarks. “We go over a lot of metering techniques,” says Gale. “Of course, being outdoors, available light always will be the primary source, but we do fill-flash, reflector fill and a lot of other solutions for problems. But the ultimate would be if you could get a great subject and great lighting, and you don’t have to do anything except set up the tripod and figure out how you’re going to frame it.”


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