Seeing Photographically; The Basics - ColdSnap Photography

Seeing Photographically; The Basics

Minneapolis Metro Area

May 18-19, 2024

Do you want to go beyond just pulling your phone out and tapping the screen?

This workshop is designed to give you a basic understanding for an artistic approach to photography. Many beginning photographers tell me they want to be better at capturing what they see. I implore them to free themselves from that notion.  Artistic expression is not about replicating the world, it is about interpreting the world around you and sharing that vision with others.

Photography will never capture what you see! The world is a four-dimensional reality, photography depicts the illusion of four dimensions in a two-dimensional rendition. The best way to make photographs with more impact is to study and understand how a photograph transcends a four-dimensional world within its two dimensions. If you understand that process, you will understand how to make great photographs. This workshop offers you the fundamental building blocks to that understanding.


The outdoor session on May 18 will be held at St. Croix Bluffs Park in Washington County. For directions and information about the park go to:

The indoor session on May 19 will be held at the Ravine Landing in Cottage Grove, Washington County. For directions and information go to:

Do not contact Washington County Parks with questions about this workshop as their staff will not have any details. If you have any questions call John at (218) 830-0767.


Instruction will be a combination of hands-on demonstrations, one on one instruction, and classroom lecture.


On the first day you will learn about camera technique, optics, and lens selection, using light, the camera’s exposure system and how to use it for what you want, composition, framing, the decisive moment, perspective, and selective focus. In short, we will explore through hands-on demonstrations and practice the fundamental process for using your camera for its maximum impact.

On Day Two we will explore how to use Adobe Lightroom, or Adobe Camera Raw to bring out the most of what you captured on the image files from Day One. You will learn the fundamentals of a post processing workflow that will make the most of every image you capture. We will discuss, histograms and how to read them, exposure and correcting for badly exposed images, how to set contrast, identifying dynamic range in an image and how to correct for tricky lighting situations, how to sharpen your image files for the most impact, image sizing and what is proper sizing for social media, Instagram, Facebook and making prints.

Prerequisites or minimum required equipment:


You are welcome to use any camera that you have for the purposes of this workshop, as long as it produces a digital image file. Cell phones, Point and Shoot, DSLRs or Mirrorless cameras are all fine. Please note that some Cell phones and Point & Shoot cameras may have limited capabilities so some of the demonstrated techniques or processes might not work with these types of cameras.

Computer and Software For Post-Processing,

The post processing portion of this workshop will be taught using the most recent version of Adobe Lightroom, or Adobe Camera Raw. I assume that you are serious about photography to express your artistic ideas. Adobe provides you the most current version of the most powerful software for that purpose. Software instruction assumes that you are complete novice in the software, however, that you have basic computer skills.


Cost: $400

The workshop fee is for tuition and instruction only,  not included are accommodations, transportation, or food.

A non-refundable deposit of $200 will hold your spot until 60 days prior to the workshop.

Maximum of 12 participants.

If you have any questions regarding the content or approach to this workshop please feel free to contact me either via email, or phone.

(218) 830-0767

This is a past workshop

To see our current list, see our workshops page