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I conducted the first of two scheduled fall workshops this past weekend at Harriman State Park, in upstate NY, and the conditions were perfect. Six students from around the tri-state area joined me for a half day of shooting, followed by lunch and an afternoon session at my new state of the art studio/workshop (more on the studio in the next post).

We didn’t have much of a sunrise, but there was mist and rain in the air for most of the morning which made for great photography of the fall foliage. Soft light combined with moisture saturates colors, and brings down contrast which really makes nature looks its best this time of year. All of the students made wonderful images and were completely immersed in the moment, and most importantly, having fun. Afterwards, we returned to my studio where I helped them develop their “selects” and then gave a slideshow presentation reinforcing key photographic concepts I had explained in the field.

A few days later participant Wayne Stix from White Plains NY sent me a wonderful letter part of which said:

“I have been photographing nature and landscapes for forty-six years. On Saturday you showed me how to capture the scence that has eluded me until now. WOW! Thanks. I can’t wait to do it again.”

It’s extremely gratifying when you know you’ve helped someone achieve something worthwhile, and this is why I enjoy giving workshops. Learning in the field in real world conditions is the best way to learn not only how to see photographically, but how to use your camera and lenses in an efficient and effective manner. It’s how I continue to learn day after day, year after year. And I learn just as much from the workshop participants as I hope they learn from me.

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Photo Credit: Debbie Schwarz


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