Frequently Asked Questions
How much experience do I need?
We accommodate all experience levels, beginners to advanced. Our teaching philosophy is that fieldwork is the best teaching experience. Therefore field trips are the cornerstone of all our workshops. This allows for lots of one on one time. We approach and work with each student at whatever their skill level. Throughout the workshop and balanced with the field trips are individual reviews and critiques, this allows us to evaluate everyone’s work at whatever their level and help identify strengths and weaknesses in their technique and visualization process. If you are an absolute beginner, we suggest you read your camera manual and try to understand as much about the workings of your camera as you can before you show up for a workshop. Practice taking pictures using your tripod. This is probably the biggest area that we see students struggling with. This is especially important for Winter Workshops, where the last thing you want to be doing is struggling with a tripod outside in the cold.
What kind of equipment do I need?
All you need is a camera with manual controls for the focus, and exposure settings (or auto with manual overrides) tripod, and cable release. These are the basics, remember great camera systems don’t make great photographs, great photographers do. If you are thinking about buying or adding to your existing system, contact us and talk with us about your equipment needs before you purchase, we may be able to save you money and headaches.
Do I need special close-up camera equipment?
No, and yes and no. Great flower photographs can be made with a minimum of equipment, it is one of the things that makes wildflower photography so much fun. You can spend a lot of money on macro lenses and other gadgets for close-up photography, you can also enjoy macro photography without spending an arm and a leg on equipment. We will demonstrate techniques that do not require expensive equipment yet allow you to explore the exciting world of close-up photography.
Besides camera equipment what other gear will I need?
It depends upon the workshop location, and duration. We will send you a confirmation letter with detailed information about equipment and workshop specifics.
What if I want to shoot B&W film?
Great! We have extensive B&W experience. I photographed for over 10 years in B&W before I made a serious color photograph. We have complete B&W enlarging capabilities (up to 20×24 inches) in our studio. I have worked as a commercial and fine art B&W printer. However, some workshops may not allow for the processing of B&W film during the workshop.
Are these workshops geared towards film or digital shooters?
Currently, most of our participants are shooting digital. If you are a film shooter contact us to determine the facilities available for processing your work. Because we spend a lot of individual time with the student, we are able to address technical issues for both mediums on an individual need-to-know basis in all of our workshops. We have a laptop for downloading and viewing images from field shoots. Digital shooters should remember to bring all software, drivers, cords, and camera manuals when attending any workshop.
Some workshops we do and some we don’t, check the workshop description, if you have questions please feel free to call. If transportation is an issue, contact us and we may be able to help you arrange to carpool with another participant. We are generally not available ourselves, as we arrive a day or two early to most workshop locations.
What is a typical itinerary for a workshop?
It varies from workshop to workshop (if available we have posted itineraries for some workshops at the individual workshop descriptions.) Typically we begin each workshop with an orientation and technical lecture, followed by a review of previous work in a relaxing atmosphere designed to allow participants to get to know one another. The next day we usually begin with an early morning sun-rise start, (not mandatory but strongly recommended.) The second and subsequent morning sunrise shoots are strictly voluntary.
What if it rains during the workshop?
Your point being? Bring a rain suit. Some of the best photographic opportunities are during in-climate weather. We recommend bringing an umbrella or zip-lock plastic bags to protect your camera from rain. We are not deterred by rain, sleet, snow, or fog. In the twenty-some years that I have taught and led workshops, I have yet to have a weekend completely occupied by rain, however, there is always a first time.
What subject matter will there be to shoot?
No matter what the weather, no matter what the wildflower bloom, no matter what the light is doing, I have always found that nature provides lots of subject matter to shoot.
For workshops that provide accommodations, standard prices are for double occupancy rooms. When available you can request individual rooms at an additional cost. Accommodations are provided only in those workshops that clearly state it in the workshop description.
Our preselected locations accommodate a wide range of athletic abilities. If you have special needs or restrictions on your physical abilities please contact us, we will work with you to maximize your outdoor experience.
What is your cancellation policy?
All workshops require a nonrefundable deposit, this is stated in the workshop description.
The non-refundable deposit is non-refundable. Less than 120 days before the workshop there is only a 50% transfer (on the balance paid–not including the deposit amount) if we are able to replace your spot with someone on the waitlist. If there is no replacement available there is no refund or transfer.
Cancellations of workshops due to “acts of God” are eligible for a 100% refund of any “balance due” portion of the fee which may have been paid. All deposits are non-refundable but in the above scenario will roll over 100% to a future workshop of choice.
Refunds may take up to 8 weeks to process.
***Terms and conditions may change without notice!***
Gift Certificates are available in any amount. Certificates can be purchased for a specific workshop or a dollar amount that can be applied to any of our workshops. Certificates can be transferred to another workshop with 6 weeks’ advance notice. Gift Certificates are good for 18 months from date of purchase. Gift Certificates values do not exceed the original price paid.