Sep 6 2011

Why this workshop?

[Photography] is putting one’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis. – Henri Cartier-Bresson

I’ve spent a some time here recently telling you about the Close to Home workshop and the great sponsors we’re working with to bring it to you, and I am certainly grateful for their participation and their support. I personally use many of their products on a daily basis and I highly recommend you try them, too.

Day is done

But workshops are not just about the sponsors or the prizes they’ve donated for participants. I think it’s important for you to know what it is you’re getting yourself into so you can decide if a particular workshop is right for you. I always look at workshops and seminars as opportunities to do two things: a) learn from other photographers I respect and b) grow as a photographer by learning something new. Some workshops and seminars are designed to further your off-camera flash skills or post-processing techniques and they are certainly valuable to photographers of all levels. There comes a time, however, when you find yourself dissatisfied with simply learning new “tips and tricks.” There’s that voice in your head that says, “I want to do more. I want my photography to mean something more.” That’s where I’ve found myself recently and that’s where Ray and I plan to take you.

Now, of course I want you to come to the workshop to experience this for yourself, simply because there’s nothing like the kind of energy that a group of photographers focused on the same goal can bring, but I think I can give you enough information to help you decide if this workshop is right for you.

Essentially, the Close to Home workshop is about seeing. Seeing photographs, seeing stories and helping you tie your photography to your life—in both small and big ways. The book, Close to Home: Finding Great Photographs in Your Own Back Yard, is really a smaller discussion of a big idea—that great photography comes from within you, not where you live or travel . Ray and I are going to help you get closer to this idea through a series of discussions and exercises designed to slow you down and help you see the world around you more clearly. Then, once we’ve gotten you used to this approach, we’ll give you an individual assignment for the rest of the workshop so you can put these ideas into practice, and ask you to show the rest of the group your results at the end.

This may seem a bit like navel-gazing Zen meditation—and sometimes it is—but there are definitely practical results that you’ll see. You will understand better why you make photographs and how to make all of the photographic skills and techniques you’ve already acquired better serve your particular kind of seeing. It doesn’t matter if portraits or landscapes or abstracts are your thing, and it doesn’t matter what your skill level is. We want to help you connect your photography with your life.

I hope you’ll join us.


Don’t forget that early registration ends tonight, Sept. 6, at midnight PST, where you can save 10% off of the regular workshop fee of $299. If you register and pay by the deadline, you’ll be eligible for a chance to win one of two copies of Laura Shoe’s Lightroom Fundamentals DVD. Register today!


Sep 1 2011

September 2011 wallpaper

With all of the activity in getting ready for the Close to Home workshop and announcing the great sponsors we’ve  lined up, I nearly forgot about picking a September wallpaper. Fortunately for me, several of my photographic peers posted theirs today, so it’s like having a built-in reminder system. (Of course, if I let it go too long, my Mom casually reminds me.)

September 2011 Wallpaper

This month’s wallpaper is a result of some of the principles I talk about in the Close to Home book—those same principles that we’ll be discussing in Port Townsend at the end of the month—and that is with the right weather and a little patience, you find some pretty cool photographs right where you live. This photograph was taken from the deck on the back of my house as some summer thunderstorms were heading off to the west after giving us some much-needed rain early in August. As the skies cleared, the rising moon was revealed and the setting sun provided a warm glow to the retreating clouds. A perfect end to a summer evening.

September 2011 wallpaper — Desktop (1920 x 1200) September 2011 wallpaper — iPad (1024 x 1024) September 2011 wallpaper — iPhone (640 x 960) 


Sep 1 2011

Workshop Sponsor: Laura Shoe

I’m pleased to announce that Laura Shoe has joined our group of fabulous sponsors for the Close to Home workshop. Laura is an an instructor and fine art photographer based in Seattle, Washington, and particularly enjoys sharing her knowledge of Photoshop, Lightroom and other digital imaging topics with other photographers.  She is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop Lightroom, and in addition to offering independent workshops, she teaches at Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle. She also taught for many years for the Rocky Mountain School of Photography, and is a Lightroom moderator and beta tester for Adobe.

Laura Shoe

Laura has put together a comprehensive DVD of Lightroom Fundamentals, including nearly seven hours of the same instruction she provides in her 2-day Lightroom workshops. Two lucky participants will receive a copy of Laura’s Lightroom Fundamentals DVD—but there’s a catch! You must register and pay for the Close to Home workshop before the early registration deadline on this Friday, Sept. 2nd extended to Tuesday, September 6 ! to be eligible. You’ll get a 10% discount for the workshop, too, saving you $30 off the full $299 workshop price.

So if you’ve been putting it off, here’s a little incentive to register early and get a chance at a really great prize. Sign up today!