Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Get The Most From A Workshop
What to look for and what to expect from a photography workshop
You can go to a class or workshop that lasts a day or a weekend, or you can attend one that goes a week or longer in a specific area. Workshops of different lengths will have very different curriculums. Often, short workshops will deal with a specific topic that can be handled in that short time, while a longer workshop will go into more depth. Be wary of short workshops that promise to deliver too much. Even if the workshop is “successful” in presenting a great deal of material, you may find it overwhelming and very tiring.
Be wary of travel workshops that try to pack too many locations into a short time frame. It’s extremely difficult to photograph an area well if you’re spending most of your time traveling from place to place. It also can be frustrating to start relating to a location and then find you have to leave it to go to a new location.
With a longer workshop, you usually get the chance to spend some time at a location and really get to know it photographically. There also are longer workshops that are designed for an in-depth look at a particular topic or work with a specific instructor.
Preparing For Your Workshop
Preparation for a workshop is important to ensure that you can make the most of your experience right from the start. Here are some things to consider, and don’t write any of these off as being too simple because I’ve seen all of these areas as problems in workshops.
1 Know your camera. Don’t buy a camera just before the workshop and expect to learn it while in attendance. Spend time shooting with it so you’re at least comfortable with the basics.
2 Carry enough memory cards. It can be difficult and expensive to run out of memory card space and have to buy cards on location.
3 Carry enough batteries. One camera battery simply isn’t enough. Two batteries should be a minimum, and three is even better.
4 Take the gear most appropriate for the workshop. Usually, you can tell what you’ll need from the topic of the workshop or the location, but you always can query the instructor to see what would be most appropriate.
5 Wear comfortable walking or hiking shoes. Never buy new ones just before your trip.
6 Be prepared for the weather and changes in weather. Ask the instructor to give you some ideas as to what to wear, and check weather reports to see what’s most likely at your location. If you don’t have the right rain gear or cold-weather gear and you need it, you’ll become frustrated by the experience.
Says Kathy Adams Clark (www.kathyadamsclark.com), “Ask questions before the trip. Don’t assume anything. Ask what footwear and clothing will be needed. You want to be comfortable and well equipped to make the best of the workshop.”
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