Earlier in the year I picked out a couple of workshops that I wanted to attend for 2010. I’m just back from the first of those – Alison Shaw’s Photography Workshop that she runs twice in the fall on Martha’s Vineyard. It was an amazing experience. I highly recommend it and suggest that you run right now to book your place on the next one.
The workshop followed the format that most photography workshops do – a flexible schedule that allows you to be at the best locations for a given weather. We were very lucky in that most of the days we had a fabulous sunrise and sunset. I think that the class found the sunrise and sunset to be less interesting than what the change in light did to the subject that they had chosen to photograph. A topic for another post. After a week of getting up at 4.30 am and then not getting to bed until 11 pm I was exhausted.
The morning sessions typically began with the group arriving on location around 5.30 am, and went until the light got bad or we got hungry. We then headed off to the local diner for breakfast, which was typically a pretty substantial meal since we had been up at that point for 3 or more hours but additionally calories that I could well do without! Breakfast was a fun opportunity to get to know some of the other folks taking the workshop and to talk photography.
One of the things that I really enjoyed about the workshop was the critique sessions. Every day we reviewed as a group, 4 images from each participant with Alison provide her critique. This meant that we were critically looking at least 64 images per day, most of which were a unique take on the locations that we had been to in the last day or so. I felt that this alone was worth the price of admission. The other thing was that I really felt connected to the group, want to stay in touch and see what they do next.
As I said above an amazing experience and one that I look forward to next year.