"Workshops are just about the best way to develop serious photography skills in a short amount of time," Photography Talk says.
Whether you want to hone your technique in an exotic clime, learn new tricks closer to home, or have a one-to-one with a professional photographer, we've got a rundown of some of the best workshops that will enhance your skills and provide a photographic adventure at the same time.
WORKSHOPS ON TOUR
Maybe you've got the travel bug and want to learn while trekking through faraway locales. Here are some of the most acclaimed and popular workshops that offer professionally guided excursions.
Jeff Wendorff runs Wildlife Workshops. In his previous career, he designed cellphones, but for the last 15 years, he's led workshops around the world, sharing his passion for nature. “If I could only photograph one thing in the world, it would be birds. I love bird photography, and I have skills that I would like to share with you,” Jeff says.
Jeff promises that every student will get his professional feedback and support. “I try to make workshops personal for each client giving them as much help as they ask for or as much as I that I feel they need.”
Jeff's workshops don't only focus on birds though. One of his forthcoming events is a tiger safari in India. Visit his calendar to find out more about that and the other workshops scheduled for this year and 2021, which include on-location workshops in France, Ecuador and Kenya.
The photography guides at Arctic Exposure run workshops in Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands, where they “teach you how to take better photographs, to skillfully use your camera and equipment, and give you some post-processing tips.”
CEO Skarphedinn Thrainsson is an Icelandic landscape photographer with a passion for capturing images of ice caves, volcanoes and auroras, and his work has been featured in publications such as National Geographic and Digital Photo Magazine.
Participants will receive critiques from the instructors to help them get the most out of the workshops. “During every workshop, we offer post-processing and image critique sessions to help you take your photography to the next level.”
Among Arctic Exposure’s forthcoming workshops are visits to Iceland for the Aurora Borealis & Ice Cave Photo Workshop, Greenland for the East Greenland Photo Tour, and Norway for the Lofoten Islands Arctic Winter Photo Tour.
For further details on these and the other events in 2020 and 2021, including pricing and dates, visit https://arcticexposure.is/photo-workshops/
Erez Marom Photography
Erez Marom has been a musician and a math lecturer, and he has a master's in engineering, but after falling in love with taking photos in 2008, the Israeli-born artist decided to dedicate his life and career to nature photography.
When he's not taking pictures or writing for DP Review, Erez runs workshops. He says on his website: “I put my body, mind and soul fully into making my workshops the best experience possible to all participants, and there's nothing more satisfying to me than knowing that they've had a special, educational and fulfilling trip, and have awesome shots to show for it.”
Client testimonials refer to the constructive feedback he provides to participants, with one saying “One of the most worthwhile parts of the workshop was his critique of my shots at the end of the day.”
There are places still available for Desert Storm, a photo workshop in Namibia in June.
Check out the other workshops that Erez has lined up for 2021 that will take students to places such as Argentina and Greenland.
NatGeo is an iconic institution with a long and epic history, and so it's fitting that it offers epic workshops befitting its global stature.
NatGeo says: “All of our photography programs are designed for amateur photographers of all levels interested in improving their skills.”
As of the time of writing, there are 51 different photography expeditions you can choose from, visiting spots all over the world from Tahiti, Costa Rica, Italy, Bhutan and Japan to Portugal, Patagonia, the Galápagos Islands and India.
Visit the website to get the full lowdown on each trip, including the photography experts who'll be leading the adventures. Experts like Jay Dickman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer whose work has encompassed political conventions, Olympics and the Salvadoran civil war, and Jonathan Kingston, a climber, diver and photographer whose images have appeared in The New Yorker, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. They will be the experts on the three India by Rail Photography Expeditions this year.
KEEP IT STATESIDE
If you'd rather take a workshop that explores the beauty of the American landscape, these are some of the top US-based professionals offering their knowledge and expertise.
David W. Shaw
A globally published photographer, writer and teacher, David W. Shaw has lived in Alaska for 20 years and regularly runs workshops there. “Alaska is not just another destination for me, it’s my home. I know it and love it, and can share with you the best locations, at the best times of year. When it comes to Alaska photo tours, I know what I’m doing,” he says on his website.
David keeps his workshop numbers small so that he can deliver personalized attention. “There won’t be competition for information; groups are small and there is time for everyone.”
Most of David's Alaska workshops for this year are booked, but there are two places left for the Arctic Brooks Range at the end of August, and bookings are open for the Kenai Peninsula workshop in September. You can get all the details on these and future packages at http://www.explore.david-w-shaw.com/photography-workshops/
Princeton Photo Workshop
The instructors at Princeton Photo Workshop in New Jersey are skilled experts who teach students of all levels of experience. Workshops take place in studios, such as Digital Camera Series: Settings & Beyond and Abstract Bubble Photography, or on field trips, going to places like the ruins of Eastern State Penitentiary and the dazzling spectacle of Friday Night Lights in Lambertville.
Among the instructors are Jenny Lynn and Frank Veronsky. Lynn is a photo-based artist whose work is exhibited at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Norton Museum of Art. Her "Dreams in Transit" is a 10-foot by 30-foot public art piece permanently installed at the 9th Street Station in Hoboken, New Jersey. Veronsky is a photographer of more than 25 years' experience, and he counts Simon & Schuster, Anheuser Busch, Chivas Regal, Doubleday Publishing, People Magazine, Forbes, Sony and Comedy Central among his clients.
Students will receive critiques on their work, like in the Eastern State Penitentiary workshop, for which Princeton promises “Your instructor will be with you every step of the way to look at your work and answer questions.”
The full calendar of classes and trips at Princeton is at https://princetonphotoworkshop.com/calendar
Sea to Summit Workshops
Sea to Summit Workshops was founded in 2010 by Jim Patterson and Joshua Cripps because of their passion for seascape and landscape photography.
Cripps is a wilderness landscape photographer and Nikon Ambassador. Patterson comes from a marine biology background, which gave rise to his focus on capturing the natural world in photography.
Their workshops this year will visit spectacular sights including eastern Washington for the Palouse workshop in June to explore the “old farmsteads, dilapidated houses, farm equipment, and often dramatic skies.” In December, the Death Valley workshop will take students to “the lowest, driest, and hottest place in North America” for “otherworldly photography opportunities” like its sand dunes and cracked earth texture.
Testimonials praise the instructors for the attention they give each student, including a student who says: “I really appreciated the informal image critique afterwards and the post processing advice.”
Visit the website for information on these and the other workshops they have available.
Before he launched his career as an editorial and commercial photographer for clients such as Esquire, Town & Country, and House & Garden, Andrew French spent nine years working as an assistant to photographers, enjoying an invaluable education from the likes of Annie Leibovitz and John Dominis.
Working out of his studio in Union Square, New York, Andrew provides workshops where he “encourages his students to be comfortable in chaos, discover moments in the unknown and be open to making mistakes, which often leads to the most compelling photographs.”
One of his upcoming workshops is (Extra)Ordinary Portraits in April. Named as one of the “21 Best Photography Workshops in The World” by Format Magazine, students will learn how to shoot portraits in a daylight studio setting.
Check out https://www.andrewfrenchworkshops.com/andrew-french-workshops for the other workshops Andrew is offering.
Perhaps group workshops aren’t your thing and you’d prefer to take one-to-one lessons where an expert can focus on your learning curve and give you their full attention.
Two of the photographers featured on the Cecilia website whom we’ve interviewed offer private workshops.
Karine Aigner is an award-winning wildlife conservation photographer. She spoke to us last year about her work photographing animals.
On her website, Karine says: “I offer private workshops custom tailored to your photographic needs and aspirations. I can organize a two-day private ranch workshop where we focus on wildlife, I can spend two hours at your home with you going over settings on your camera, or I can accompany you on a ten-day African safari and work as your private photo instructor.”
Peter Essick spoke to us last year about his career in which he’s been named by Outdoor Photography magazine as one of the 40 most influential nature photographers in the world.
You can contact Peter directly through his website to inquire about a personal workshop where he can impart his years of expertise and knowledge.
Have fun learning!