Think Globally Shoot Locally

There are a huge number of opportunities for us to attend workshops in great parts of the world.  How do you maximize your workshop experience?  There are things that you ought to be considering as you select the workshop you want to attend to make sure that it’s a good fit.  Some questions you should ask yourself are:

  • What is my goal for this workshop?
  • What are the 3 – 5 things that I want to focus on and get help with during my time at the workshop?

For the workshop leaders should ask the following:

  • Will I spend a lot of time in the classroom, or will it be mostly outdoors?
  • Will the instructor be shooting while we are out in the field? It can be hard to get the attention you need when the instructor is shooting.
  • Will I receive lots of in-the-field instruction? Or am I expected to learn by watching the instructor?
  • What is the number of students and instructor(s) in the class?

Field based workshops can be a great experience.  Away from home you have few of the distractions that you would have at home and can focus (pun intended) on learning as much as you can.  The one disadvantage is that the workshop is away from home which means that you are going to have one or maybe two chances to visit the same location during the workshop.

Having a chance to visit the same location at different times of day, different times of the year, in different weathers and different light will allow you to make great images.  In addition to getting great light, familiarity with a location allows you to push pass the obvious images and make something more creative and unique.  This of course means shooting locally.

While we often think that there are few opportunities to make great images locally, this is in part because we are so familiar with our surroundings that we have stopped really looking.  I challenge you to take time during your daily routine to really look at the places you visit and travel through. My guess is you’ll find some great places to go shooting not too far from home.

After yet another rainy morning I headed out in the late afternoon with the hope that I would be able to make some interesting images as the storm cleared.  By the time I got the beach the rain had ended but the wind had picked up.  It was brutal down on the beach – dry sand was being blown making life very uncomfortable.  Even the sheltered spot I made this image from wasn’t as sheltered as I had thought.  When I reviewed them at home I realized that the fence on the left of the picture was swinging wildly in the wind.  Fortunately I managed to get my timing right to allow me to make a few images where the fence was sharp.

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