Try a Landscape Workshop - It Will Be a Lifechanger

I have advocated for Landscape Workshops for some time. I went on one in 2008 to Vermont (with Moose Peterson), one in 2009 to Acadia National Park (with Robert Rodriguez, Jr.), one in 2015 to West Virginia (with Ed Heaton) and this year I choose to go to Rocky Mountain National Park with Kevin Gourley.

Kevin was thorough - he had us meet at his studio three times in advance - once just to socialize and see images of his that we were likely to shoot.  We met closer to the actual dates of the workshop to get information on the geography, receive a packet of info that included discounts and perks, and got a review of the exposure triangle, what we'd need to bring and reminders of the importance of settings, schedules and just about anything you could possibly need for preparation.

When we finally arrived, he provided us with another packet, this one filled with power bars, chocolate, packets of bug repellent and an official map of Rocky Mountain National Park.  I had been there twice before - once when I was 16 and fell in love with it but wasn't mature enough to get a "lay of the land," and once 20 yrs ago for a few hours as we traveled from California back to NY where we lived. A very brief trip but I saw the golden Aspen trees and wasn't able to capture their beauty at that time.

Kevin's first words to us were that he was our "designated worrier," and that he had a plan, a contingent plan and a contingent for the contingency.  He very successfully directed the six of us to some spectacularly beautiful spots for the next four days.  He was quite well acquainted with every inch of the park.  It had been dry and the waterfall areas were not as exciting as some times but he was able to find us a nice waterfall and he sure knew where the very best Aspens were!

He was always talking photography and stopping to ask the six of us what we had learned after each session.  I learned a lot from my fellow participants as well.  Sometimes I forget that folks are still grasping the importance of an f stop or their ISO. It was good for me to slow down and help figure out exactly why did I choose a specific setting?  Kevin was constantly reminding us to "turn off image stabilization" when we were on tripods and he was just as good reminding us to turn it back on when we were hand-holding.  Kevin was a gentle, caring instructor who was animated when talking about any and every aspect of photography.

He had us running to get the shot every morning at 5:40 and we were generally chasing Elk and finding a sunrise until 7:30pm or so.  I came home with lots of wonderful photographs and many fond memories of the time I shared with like-minded folks.

So, all in all I STILL recommend a landscape workshop if you enjoy becoming a better photographer, love looking at new and wonderful images or even if you just like getting out in nature and enjoying this beautiful world we have around us...especially when it is at it's peak of beauty.

All this talk, I think I'm ready for another one!

Keep shooting, friends and having a good time!

PS By the way, I have some calendars available with some of these pictures for $25. Email me if you are interested.


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