“Frequently asked questions…”
Q: What is your experience in photography?
A: I have been interested in photography since I was a kid, well over 50 years now. But in 2002 after a couple of life changing events I got into photography full time. I started mainly with landscape and travel photography. Along the way I have shown my work in various shows, mainly in Sausalito and the Saratoga Art festivals here in California . I have done everything from, architectural, real estate, corporate head shots, advertising stills for TV, web and print. Additionally I’ve done table top product photography, weddings and a horde of miscellaneous jobs here and there.
I was the first Group Leader for “NANPA” – North American Nature Photography Association’s San Francisco Bay Area Meet-up program. I led groups of 20-30+ photographers going on outings and other educational venues. My own workshops took precidence and therefore I stepped down.
My passion however is to be outdoors and doing photography. I’ve been all over the iconic western US as well as Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Europe where I enjoy being with like minded people searching for that special “image”. For me weather isn’t an issue, as on a very chilly sunrise in the Alabama Hills Christophe Cassegrain, an outstanding & well know French photographer once said to me, “there isn’t bad weather really, just bad clothes”. I’ve shot in sub-zero to extremely high temperatures and enjoyed every nanosecond.
Also along the way I was mentored by Marv Miller who himself was a student of Ansel Adams. This for me has been quite an eye opening, wonderful experience and a close friendship continues.
Q: Why should I take your workshop…?
A: I offer quality and attentive instruction without the “tour bus” feeling. Taking a workshop (not just mine) is something I suggest whether your are starting to develop a passion in photography or want to brush up on new techniques. If you’re looking for inspiration in finding your ‘style’ I would be happy to help you. I use technology in the field to give real-time visual feedback to my clients. As photos are taken I can instantly review them and make suggestions showing you a large rendition of your image immediately, even do a quick edit to give you a taste of what that image can look like say, converted to black & white! Its been highly praised by my clients.
Q: I see you display photographs by your clients on your website. Why?
A: Well I’m a coach of photographic techniques and in my opinion it is my responsibility to encourage the people I train. Some of the images you see are done by individuals who don’t have a way (yet) of showing others what they can do. Others have more time under their belt and have websites or blogs where they display their work. Either way I feel it can be a bit of encouragement to get them on-line and visible if they so desire. It’s something I’m happy and feel privileged to do.
Q: What is a typical workshop like with you?
A: I believe that if you enjoy what you’re doing, you do it well and learn at the same time. We are always learning. Photography is all about the way you use light, shapes and texture. In nature the best light is typically in the morning and late afternoon. Many times we gather well before sunrise and shoot well into the night. We typically meet in the morning near our first objective where I lay out plans for the day based on real time circumstances. We will move about the area during the day taking advantage of conditions and breaking for lunch at a convenient time. I will suggest to you my thoughts on what each location offers. At that point I encourage you to make your own assessment and “work” to create your composition. During this time I will cover any questions and offer suggestions without hovering over you. Multi-day workshops feature a much wider gamut of photo opportunities, instruction and often much larger geographical territories. During Multi-Day workshops I set time aside for image review and editing suggestions. Additionally I offer image review and tutorials after my workshops continuing a relationship with my clients (now friends) in their on-going photographic evolution.
Q: I took a workshop before but there were so many students the instructor hardly paid attention to me, I felt left out…
A: My workshops have 6 participants maximum. This offers more time on location and more of a relaxed atmosphere, making it more conducive to creativity. Sometimes I have an assistant, but in any case I am able to pay attention to everyone. It is extremely important to me that you have a quality experience and that you spent your money and time well. Maybe that is why many folks keep coming back for more. Also unless given the blessings by my clients, I don’t take my own images while conducting workshops. You’re not paying me to take my own photos. I can do that on my own time not yours. I do have my camera at the ready for instructional purposes however. I really enjoy watching the new relationships that are formed amongst my clients as well as myself. I’ve met some super interesting people!
Q: Do you offer private (one to one) custom photography workshops?
A: Sure do! Where do you want to go? I’ll put one together.
Q: Who takes your workshops?
A: All kinds of folks. I have absolute beginners as well as long time professionals from other photographic disciplines. All at the same time! The best part is that aside from my guidance, conversations evolve and many viewpoints are shared.
Q: When I take a photograph it just looks blah, like any other snap shot…
A: As Ansel Adams once said “you don’t take a photograph, you make it”. That’s so true… Making a photograph entails thinking about it. You need to have some concept of what you want, how to get it, and what you want to do with it. I’ll teach you that.
Q: But I don’t have a fancy camera…
A: You don’t need a fancy camera. But you do need to know how to operate the one you have. Today’s digital SLR, Micro Four Thirds cameras, even smartphones are very capable. For the type of photography I teach, you will prefer to have one of these and a good tripod. Note: if you are thinking about getting a camera, rent a camera and join a workshop. That way you can see what works and what doesn’t. You will save a lot of money in the long run!
Q Do you show me how to edit and print?
A: Yes. When in the field, my workshops are about getting the image. I concentrate on getting you to the place and at the right time to get the “shot”. On multi-day workshops we take time to share and critique your images. I like to continue the relationship and review your images via the Internet after the workshop has finished where I can offer guidance and tutorials. In addition to offering my own advice, I can introduce you to Pro’s that can teach you the nuances of Photoshop and Lightroom.
Q: Do people take the same workshop again?
A: Yes they do! I’m proud to say many people who have participated in my workshops have come back for more! If nothing else the continued relationship involving photo critique and editing suggestions has made for great friendships. Also many times there is so much to photograph that a re-visit can pay off quite nicely. For example, my Point Reyes workshop offers a continually changing environment, there’s always something to see. And, if you missed “that shot” the first time, you can try again and most likely be more successful. I’ve been visiting the area for the last fifty years and I am yet to be tired of it.
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