Fall Color in California’s Wine Country with Mary Louise Ravese and Sue Bloom

Autumn transforms California’s wine country with the striking pattern of hillsides covered with vineyard rows resplendent in shades of gold and red. Join acclaimed photographers Mary Louise Ravese and Sue Bloom in a weeklong workshop exploring the renowned Napa and Sonoma valleys during this Fall color display. Excite your senses with an itinerary that will satisfy your visual and creative interests, your appetite for gourmet cuisine and your thirst for some of the best wines in the world. This workshop will offer a wide variety of photo shoot opportunities, from landscape and nature close-ups in the vineyards and olive groves, to the architecture of the wineries themselves with their barrel rooms and atmospheric underground wine caves. Expand your repertoire of shooting and image editing/post processing techniques.

Ricketts Glen and Waterfalls Galore with Tom Dwyer

Waterfalls, waterfalls, waterfalls – plus! If you like photographing waterfalls and streams you’ll love Ricketts Glen State Park in Benton, PA. Headlined by the 94-foot Ganoga Falls the park sports a total of 22 named waterfalls. Of course, that means virtually uncountable riffles and cascades along the way. It’s a veritable photographers paradise. Ricketts Glen embraces the Glens Natural Area, a National Natural Landmark which includes these wild, free-flowing waterfalls that cascade through rock-strewn clefts. Old growth timber and diverse wildlife add to the beauty of this 13,000-acre park.

We’ll focus not only with our lenses but our thinking, our vision, our senses and our feelings on the creation of artful images. We won’t “take pictures” or “capture photos”. Rather we will seek a better understanding of creating images “about” our subjects as opposed to “of” them. Participants should expect our days to be long and intense, yet filled with opportunities for exploring, and learning both in the classroom and in the field. Often, the camaraderie of our mutual interest will blossom into new friendships. Ultimately, you will go home having grown in your capabilities as a photographer and with an even stronger desire to pursue the artfulness of your craft. For more information visit: https://www.tomdwyerphotography.com/index.php/tour-workshop-schedule/ricketts-glen-and-waterfalls-galore

Autumn Colors in the Adirondacks with Tom Dwyer

People travel from all over the country (indeed all over the world) to enjoy the colorful Adirondack Mountains in full autumn regalia. This workshop will offer easy access to mountain trails, magnificent waterfalls, wilderness rivers and streams, placid lakes, and awesome sunsets & sunrises, all painted with the brilliant colors of autumn.

We’ll focus not only our lenses but our thinking, our vision, our senses and our feelings on the creation of artful images. We won’t “take pictures” or “capture photos”. Rather, we will seek a better understanding of “creating” images “about” our subjects as opposed to “of” them. Participants should expect our days to be long and intense, yet filled with opportunities for exploring, and learning both in the classroom and in the field. Often, the camaraderie of our mutual interest will blossom into new friendships. Ultimately, you will go home having grown in your capabilities as a photographer and with an even stronger desire to pursue the artfulness of your craft.

Quiet Waters of the Adirondacks with Tom Dwyer

Most of us cannot resist taking pictures of beautiful scenes that include water . . . rivers, streams, lakes and waterfalls. What’s more, who doesn’t like spending an August day on the shores of mountain lakes or ponds? And, there’s nowhere better to do that than in the Adirondack Mountains of New York’s Adirondack State Park. In this incredible state park that is larger than the five largest national parks combined, we’ll relax and appreciate the quiet waters in search of peaceful images.

We can count on capturing everything from colorful reflections to cool, moody mountain hideaways . . . from misty lakeside sunrises to graceful Common Loons. From imposing mountain vistas to artful abstracts. We’ll enjoy composing subjects just beneath the water’s surface, discover how to handle high contrast in water scenes and why cloudy days are great for streams, lakes and ponds. We’ll focus not only our lenses but our thinking, our vision, our senses and our feelings on the creation of artful images. For more information visit: https://www.tomdwyerphotography.com/index.php/tour-workshop-schedule/quiet-waters-of-the-adirondacks-2018.

Raise The Level of Your Photography with Byron Jorjorian

Learn practical field, compositional, and technical tips that will Raise the Level of your image creation. In this 5 hour seminar we will discuss dozens (more than 40) specific ways you can improve the technical, and artistic level of your photography.

While designed primarily for outdoor and nature photographers, many of these ideas can be applied to your image making regardless of your area of photographic interest.

• Maximize image sharpness
• Avoid common stumbling blocks to good photography
• Leave locations with more and better compositions
• Bring more art, style, and technical quality to your images

Adirondack Lake, Streams & Waterfalls with Tom Dwyer

New York State’s Adirondack State Park is greater in size than Yellowstone, Everglades, Glacier, and Grand Canyon National Park combined. Within this photographic wonderland, we’ll explore Forked Lake, Stillwater Reservoir, the Raquette River, the Cedar River, Connery Pond, Buttermilk Falls and many other opportunities that will assure plenty of Adirondack magic to excite our shutter release fingers. We’ll focus not only our lenses but our thinking, our vision, our senses and our feelings on the “creation of artful images”. We won’t “take pictures” or “capture photos”. Rather we will seek a better understanding of creating images “about” our subjects as opposed to “of” them. Participants should expect our days to be long and intense, yet filled with opportunities for exploring, and learning both in the classroom and in the field. And, don’t be surprised if the camaraderie of our mutual interest blossoms into new friendships. More importantly, expect to go home having grown in your capabilities as a photographer and with an even stronger desire to pursue the artfulness of your craft.

Shenandoah National Park with Tom Dwyer

The Shenandoah National Park website could not be more correct when it notes that the park “. . . is your escape to recreation and re-creation.” To that we should add, “you can’t go wrong if you are searching for a great photography venue” . . . actually many great photography venues. During our visit we train our lenses on cascading waterfalls, meandering streams, spectacular mountaintop vistas, and quiet wooded hollows. Sunrises and sunsets can be so stunning you forget to click the shutter.

Amid some 200,000 acres of protected lands we’ll focus not only our lenses but our thinking, our vision, our senses and our feelings on the “creation of artful images”. We won’t “take picture” or “capture photos”. Rather we will seek a better understanding of creating images “about” our subjects as opposed to “of” them. Participants should expect our days to be long and intense, yet filled with opportunities for exploring, and learning both in the classroom and in the field. And, don’t be surprised if the camaraderie of our mutual interest blossoms into new friendships. More importantly, expect to go home having grown in your capabilities as a photographer and with an even stronger desire to pursue the artfulness of your craft. For more information visit: https://www.tomdwyerphotography.com/index.php/shenandoah-national-park-workshop-2018.

Warblers and More in Michigan Upper Peninsula with Paul Rossi

Excellent opportunity to photograph many beautiful warblers: colors and patterns, as a group, unmatched.

The Eastern Upper Peninsula at and just north of Lake Huron can be spectacular for northern warblers at the time of this trip. 24 species breed in the area and 3 more migrate through at this time. Scarlet Tanager, Indigo Bunting, Baltimore Oriole, Rose-breasted Grosbeak, Blue-headed vireo, and many others join them. Many of the 24 species of warblers have a breeding range extending further north. And many individuals stay around the lake shore after crossing Lake Huron to feed on the super abundant midge hatches. The midges feed the incredible population of spiders, which the warblers also love. There is so much food around for warblers that their territories are often shrunken. On a 1.5 acre lot where I live we have had 7 species of warblers breed for over 15 years! The past few years there has been a Spruce Budworm outbreak along the lake front and in areas we will visit inland. The outbreak will continue this year. Spruce Budworm specialists such as Cape May and Tennessee Warblers are abundant, and many other species such as Blackburnian, Magnolia, Canada and Black-throated Green Warblers have increased their numbers. Last year a Bay-breasted pair attempted to nest.

Here is an animation of migrating birds in the western hemisphere that clearly shows that Michigan funnels migrating birds (especially northern warblers) through the area of this workshop at the time of the workshop: mid-to-late May.

We will strive for images with excellent composition, not just a bird on a stick large in the frame with a clean background. The types of opportunities you will have on this trip can never be found at a migration hotspot such as Magee Marsh or Pt Pelee, where there can be plenty of warblers but you can only hope that a bird might be close enough and land on a unblocked perch with a decent background. At these excellent viewing locations good photographic opportunities are often days apart. But we will have many excellent opportunities most days.

At the time of this trip the aggressive experienced males, which are in their brightest plumage, provide abundant opportunity in their breeding habitat, especially because of all the migrants of the same species around.

Dig Deeper Retreat in Tyro, Virginia with Jamie Konarski Davidson

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Nelson County, Virginia, this retreat-style workshop is perfect for the photographer looking to slow down, focus and dig deeper into what, how and why you photograph so that you can release the creative seeds and grow as a photographer & visual artist. If you’re tired of rushing to capture moments and feel like something is missing in your work or your approach to finding subjects and expressing your vision, this is for you. Limited to no more than five, you’ll find the pace just right, have plenty of hands-on instruction in the field, learn creative ways to post-process your images and relax. We’ll even have Lensbabies to play with during our time together.

Join Jamie Konarski Davidson for a time of wonder, growth and exploration in an amazingly energizing place. The star location for this workshop is Pharsalia, an antebellum plantation in Tyro, Virginia, where we have unfettered access. Spring blooms are abundant and blanket this magical place. Beyond Pharsalia, we visit a wonderful waterfall, ivy-covered church, historic grist mill and meander along the Blue Ridge Mountains. Most meals provided. Prepare for creative stretching exercises and challenges.

For more information.

Interpretive Nature Photography: Art and Nature

by Jamie Konarski Davidson

Ferns - Multiple exposure with spin to highlight patterns and texture.

Ferns – Multiple exposure with spin to highlight patterns and texture.

What does interpretive nature photography mean? Nature is nature, art is art, and never the two shall meet, right? For some, perhaps this is true. But only for those who have never walked in the woods, sat in a flower garden or watched the sun meet the day or settle in for the night. Or for those who have never stopped long enough to explore a dandelion or to watch a butterfly break free of its chrysalis. Nature IS art, in its finest and purest form. Capturing this essence is what nature photographers live for. It is what makes us unable to imagine doing anything else. It is what brings me peace, healing and joy. It is what pushes me as an individual to be present in the moment and to slow down long enough to see and feel and connect.

So, how do we do this and what do the results look like? Most of us begin our photographic journey with our eyes, hands and mind — seeing something, grabbing the camera and figuring out how to set the camera correctly. This is natural, as we need to see our subjects and to learn how to use our equipment to capture the moment. The sticky piece in this equation is “correctly.” True, technical knowledge is necessary. What is missing, and what makes our work express the “art in nature” is vision and heart. When we see and connect at the heart level, our work begins to shine, and what we share with the world resonates at a deeper level than a pretty picture. Continue reading