Don Smith Photography Workshops

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Iceland – Winter landscape and northern lights – January 2020 – Join Gary Hart and I as we tour you through the best of Iceland’s winter landscapes, including evening shoots with the Northern Lights.

How do you pick the best photography workshop? The proof is in the pudding: do you like the images you see? What have other clients said? Does the instructor have a solid resume?

I run workshops in locations ranging from Grand Teton in Wyoming to the Scottish Highlands.

First, a bit about who I am. I have made my living as a professional photographer for the past 42 years. I started in the newspaper business as a photojournalist, then matriculated into the field of professional sports. I worked for seven years for Sports Illustrated and have worked for the NBA, MLB and the NHL. I have been the co-team photographer with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks for the past 25 years.

Prior to making a living in sports, I gravitated toward landscape photography, first as a black-and-white enthusiast and then later transferring my skills to color photography. Though I paid the bills with my sports work, I was slowly building an impressive body of landscape images.

Getty Images had represented my sports work, and in 2008, they began representing my landscape images.

In 2006, I began offering my knowledge via my now popular landscape workshops.

My workshops are meticulously planned. I scout a new workshop a year in advance at the time I plan to run it, allowing me to know when and where the best light will be. I will never take a student to a location that I have not personally photographed for myself.

My groups are limited between 10-12 students depending on the conditions specified in the permit, and all of my workshops are run with proper permits and insurances in place.

I always have a second instructor with me, so our ratio is never more than six students to one instructor. This ensures you, as the student, will get the full attention you deserve.

It is my goal to have you on location 45 minutes prior to sunrise, and there are usually multiple locations. If the light stays good, we keep shooting. We do the same on the other end of the day, staying out until the last light is gone after sunset.

The afternoon is dedicated to teaching workflow, using the latest techniques in Lightroom and Photoshop along with some of my favorite third-party plug-ins. I also teach the basics of luminosity masking.

Moreover, I offer a minimum of two image review sessions where we discuss a wide range of image topics: light, composition, form, flow, eye-movement, shadow/highlight, reading light, finding photographic light, etc.

Most of my workshops include an evening of night photography.

Once someone takes a workshop with me, oftentimes they return—many times over. Over 60% of my workshops are made up of returning students, and I listen to all of my participants’ input to help me continually improve upon what I am offering.

Every student is important to me, from a first-time beginner to a seasoned veteran. I will often get professionals from other genres interested in landscape photography joining me.

Here are some samples from my current 2020 offerings:

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Winter in Northern Arizona – February 2020 – This workshop offers the best of Northern Arizona. It begins at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, then moves to Page where we visit slot canyons along with Horseshoe Bend, then finishes off in beautiful Sedona. With any luck, we will even have some beautiful snow on the rim of the Grand Canyon and few tourists to deal with.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Spring in Big Sur – March 2020 – This workshop is designed around the full moon cycle and will offer opportunities for moonsets at sunrise, waterfalls, crashing waves, arches, calla lilies, and sea stacks. In. short, it offers the best that the Big Sur coastline has to offer!

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Patagonia – March 2020 – This is a co-run workshop with former Sports Illustrated Photographer, Ron Modra. We begin with the ice at Las Glaciares National Park and continue with icebergs on an all-day boat tour outside of El Calafate. We then move on to El Chalten and the beauty of the Mt. Fitzroy Range and surrounding rivers and glacial lakes. We then cross into Chile and stay in Torres del Paine National Park on a glacial Lake as home base while we explore the dramatic beauty of the park. It’s then off to photograph real-life gauchos and finish up with exploring three more glaciers!

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Springtime in Columbia River Gorge – April 2020 – This is a co-run workshop with Gary Hart. We photograph incredible Northern Oregon and Southern Washington mountainsides of carpeted wildflowers along with many of the best waterfalls of the gorge. Moreover, we visit some amazing lakes with vistas of both Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Oregon Coast – Bandon to Cannon Beach – April 2020 – This very popular workshop covers the dramatic beaches and surrounding areas of the famed Oregon coastline. We begin with the sea-stack riddled beach of Bandon and finish at incredible Cannon Beach. In between, we have other locations including the Devil’s Cauldron.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Winter in New Zealand’s South Island – June 2020 – This is a co-run workshop with Gary Hart. We explore five geographical locations of New Zealand’s South Island starting in Queenstown then on to Glenorchy (made famous by the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings trilogies). We then spend a day on two ships photographing Doubtful Sound and then move up to photograph the famed Wanaka tree and surrounding area. From there, we cross the Southern Alps and helicopter you to a glacier and then finish at the incredible Mt. Cook National Park.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Fall in Grand Teton National Park – September 2020 – I hold this workshop during the heart of fall color. The native aspens and cottonwoods along with the awe-inspiring scenery are a must. This workshop is limited to 10 people and fills quickly.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Autumn in the Scottish Highlands – October 2020 – Co-run with former Sports Illustrated photographer Ron Modra. We will photograph the amazing beauty of the Scottish Highlands starting with The Isle of Lewis (the famed Fairy Pools and Old Man of Stor), then ferry to the Isle of Lewis and Harris (Luskentyre Beach, the famed seas stacks and the Callanish Stones), then return to the Glencoe area where mountain peaks, rivers and lochs create a mystical Scottish landscape.

Don Smith Photography Workshops

Monument Valley Landscape & Native American Portraiture – December 2020 – Co-run with former Sports Illustrated photographer Ron Modra, this workshop covers the iconic formations of Monument Valley (including a moonrise at sunset through the Mittens) along with Native American portraiture. This is one not to be missed.

Want to improve your photography skills?

Become an Outdoor Photographer Member to access techniques, inspiration and equipment reviews from the pros!

By entering your email, you agree to our privacy policy and to receive emails from Outdoor Photographer.