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A short list of seminar and workshop options in 2006  
Thursday, March 23, 2006 | by Rob Galbraith

Photography workshops and seminars are a great way to learn more about making pictures and processing them on a computer. Every year we try to make it to several such events, to further our own understanding of the craft of photography, to be inspired by the work of some really fine shooters and to learn more about digital workflow.

In developing our annual education plan, we first think about areas that we want to improve, either when behind the viewfinder or in front of a monitor. My own focus for 2006 is two-pronged: buffing up my location lighting skills and digging deeper into all aspects of digital printing (site co-editor Mike Sturk and I share a desire to become better print makers in the months ahead). In researching the educational options available in North America, we've come across several workshops and seminars that seem tailor-made. We also learned of several events that don't cover either lighting or printing particularly, but they look darned interesting anyway.

If you're thinking about devoting some time to education this year, and have been struggling to find an event that meets your needs, here in no particular order is a short and almost certainly incomplete list of educational opportunities to consider in 2006 and into 2007.

Epson Print Academy for Working Professionals

Epson's one-day inkjet printing seminar for pro shooters has been running since mid-January 2006, and the feedback from friends who attended the Miami and Boston stops has been good. Originally planned as a 10-city spring tour across the USA, it has been expanded north of the American border to Montreal and Toronto. It feature John Paul Caponigro, Bruce Fraser, Greg Gorman, Mac Holbert and Jeff Schewe as speakers. The cost is US$99.95 (if you enter the discount code EPAPDISC); locations, dates and registration is on the Epson Print Academy web site.

Intense Moments: Photographing Sports

Now in its fifth year, Peter Read Miller's annual workshop focuses on making better sports action pictures (with and without strobes) and using lights effectively when shooting athlete portraits on location.

Intense Moments: Photo by Peter Read Miller/Sports Illustrated

It runs from Wednesday, April 19 through Sunday, April 23, 2006 in Denver, Colorado and is US$845 to attend. We've confirmed that there are still spots available. More information is on the workshop web site, plus Miller, a staff photographer with Sports Illustrated as well as a Canon Explorer of Light, has emailed us a brief rundown of how attendees will spend their time:

We start on Wednesday night with introductions and a show of my work. Thursday morning we check out gear and I talk a little about some general principles of sports photography as well as some specific points relating to the day's shoot. Starting Thursday,  head out to shoot a local mountain biking team riding trails in the Front Range west of Denver. We have six to eight riders. I set up some shots and the students are encourage to take riders and set up their own shots. We also do group and individual portraits using battery powered strobes.

We will be doing a strobe set up at a local high school gym for a basketball team scrimmage so that students can experience shooting with strobes as well as working with remotes. We will also be shooting the Colorado Crush Arena football game on Saturday night. In past years, we have shot college track meets, lacrosse, soccer and baseball. We usually shoot in the afternoons and evenings and in the mornings I review the students work from the previous day and talk about the day's upcoming shoot. I accompany the students on all shoots.

In addition we have two assistant instructors; Grant Leighton, a Denver based portrait/advertising photographer, and Max Morse, an L.A. based freelance sports photojournalist. During the course of the workshop I do a half hour one-on-one portfolio review with each student. Canon gives us tremendous support - providing equipment including pro digital bodies and lenses especially the fast long lenses so important to sports photography.

Rich Clarkson workshops

The Teton Range in Wyoming provides the backdrop for three of four Rich Clarkson multi-day workshops in 2006: Spring Digital Photography at the Summit, Fall Digital Photography at the Summit and Capture the Season. All three of these workshops, as well as the 2006 installment of Clarkson's Sports Photography Workshop in Colorado Springs, Colorado, feature all-star casts of photographers and editors (there are few workshop organizers that can draw big-name shooters to their faculty like Rich Clarkson) and access to a pool of loaner equipment from Nikon. Here's a brief rundown of each Clarkson workshop:

  • Spring Digital Photography at the Summit runs from Sunday, April 23 to Friday, April 28, 2006 in Jackson, Wyoming. We've confirmed that there are still spaces available. Tuition is US$1500, with a 10% tuition discount to NPPA, NPS, ASMP and NANPA members, as well as full-time students and photography educators. More information, including a list of faculty, is on the workshop web site (note that we're not on the roster of instructors this year).

  • Sports Photography Workshop runs from Sunday, June 25 to Friday June 30, 2006 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Tuition is US$950, with a 10% discount for NPPA, NPS and ASMP members, as well as full-time students and photography educators. This workshop is perhaps the most popular in Clarkson's stable each year, so register early if you want to be assured of a spot.

  • Fall Digital Photography at the Summit runs from Sunday, October 1 to Friday, October 6, 2006 in Jackson, Wyoming. Tuition is US$1500, with a 10% tuition discount to NPPA, NPS, ASMP and NANPA members, as well as full-time students and photography educators. The workshop is timed to coincide with the blazing fall colours in this area of Wyoming; past participants have produced some of the most beautiful photos of the region we've seen.

  • Capture the Season runs from Thursday, October 12 to Monday, October 16, 2006 in Teton Village, Wyoming. This workshop is aimed at advanced amateur photographers. The fee, including tuition, lodging and some meals, is US$2956.

Nature's Best Photography Experience

Photographer Daniel J. Cox is headlining a one-day seminar that blends nature photography education, inspiration and digital photography workflow tips. Cox, whose credits include cover stories for National Geographic, kicks off the tour this Sunday, March 26, 2006 in Washington, DC, then heads on to 15 other U.S. cities through December 2006. More information is on the seminar site, as well as in a press release.

Night Glow: Photo by Daniel J. Cox/Natural Exposures

The seminar, which is being staged by Blue Pixel, is US$149. A coupon code for readers of this web site drops the advanced-purchase price to US$139; enter RGNBP during the online registration process to obtain the discount. The price rises to US$169 at the door.

Digital Printing for the Fine Art Photographer

Landscape photographers Bill Atkinson and Charles Cramer are leading six three-day printing workshops in 2006 (they kicked off this year's sessions in February). The focus is on the making of great-looking digital prints, and the workshop delves into various facets of the process from image processing and colour management through matting and mounting. All workshops take place at Calypso Imaging in Santa Clara, California.

Of the five remaining workshops this year, four are US$995 (plus a US$50 materials fee). The dates are:

  • March 24 to 26, 2006
  • May 5 to 7, 2006
  • August 25 to 27, 2006
  • November 17 to 19, 2006

 The fifth is described as more intensive and is aimed at attendees of the workshop previously or anyone who can demonstrate they are already a skilled printer. This session is US$1095 (plus US$75 for materials) and runs from June 23 to 25, 2006.

More information is on Charles Cramer's site, as well as in a workshop PDF.

NPPA workshops and seminars

As news photographers by background, we've attended numerous National Press Photographers Association gatherings over the years, and have always benefited from the experience. The NPPA will stage a number of educational events in the U.S. in 2006, including:

The NPPA's Photojournalism Summit, taking place in Tampa Bay, Florida from June 23 to 25, 2006, will commemorate the organization's 60th anniversary. Registration isn't open for this event yet. Speaker lists and other details about all these events are in the Workshops & Seminars section of the NPPA web site.

Other professional development workshops and seminars

Other U.S. seminars with a photojournalism focus include:

Be sure to check out the web sites of other professional photography associations for information on the educational events they may be staging this year, including the America Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), North American Nature Photography Association (NANPA), Advertising Photographers of America (APA), Western Canadian News Photographers Association (WCNPA), Canadian Association of Photographers and Illustrators in Communications (CAPIC) and many, many more.

Wedding and portrait shooters in North America have a wealth of education options in 2006, including:

  • Wedding and Portrait Photographers International (WPPI) annual convention, which runs April 7 to 12, 2006 in Las Vegas.

  • Digital WakeUp Call Tour 2006, led by photographer David Ziser, is an evening seminar slated to touch down in a whopping 43 cities across the U.S. between April and November 2006. Registration is US$49 (US$69 at the door). The first date of the tour is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on April 17, 2006.

  • Digital Wedding Photojournalism, a 4-day workshop by Denis Reggie taking place in Atlanta, Georgia from April 24 to 27, 2006. Tuition is US$1450.

National Geographic Expeditions (On Assignment in Sante Fe)

Staged in conjunction with Sante Fe Workshops, each of the five week-long workshops takes place in Sante Fe, New Mexico and is led by a photographer who contributes regularly to National Geographic, in conjunction with an editor from the magazine. The 2006 workshop roster:

  • March 12 to 18, 2006 with Joel Sartore
  • July 16 to 22, 2006 with Gordon Wiltsie
  • July 23 to 29, 2006 with Joe McNally
  • September 24 to 30, 2006 with Robb Kendrick
  • October 1 to 7, 2006 with Bob Krist

The workshop fee is US$2655, and include tuition, accommodation, some meals and other expenses. National Geographic photographers will also lead three workshops in the Tuscany region of Italy in 2006.

Darwin Wiggett nature photography workshops

One of our favourite photographers of the Canadian Rockies, and the author of the superb book How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies as well, Wiggett shepherds photographers on several multi-day photo expeditions into the wilds of Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan each year. Most of his workshops are constructed as shooting trips with minimal formal instruction and lots of early morning opportunities to make pictures with Wiggett alongside for guidance. To join Wiggett at one of his workshops you'll need to plan ahead, as all workshop spots have been taken for 2006. Booking for 2007 is already underway.

2006 Antelope Canyon Photography and Fine Art Printing Summit

Alain Briot, Uwe Steinmueller (publisher of the Digital Outback Photo web site) and Joseph Holmes will stage a four-day workshop that focuses on the capture and printing of beautiful landscape photographs. The workshop runs from November 10 to 13, 2006 in Page, Arizona and is US$945 (including cost of materials). Shooting expeditions to Monument Valley and/or Canyon de Chelly will follow the workshop, at an additional cost.

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