Sunday, June 23, 2013

The most important photography investment you can make

Photographers know that there is an seemingly endless list of photography things we can buy.  Just browse on over to Adorama or B&H websites.  You can spend hours just browsing the cameras, lens, filters, tripods, memory cards, lights, back packs, software, computers to process and store photos, and loads of other gizmos.   We tend to contract an infectious disease of that spreads among photographers - GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome).  The manufactures of camera gear don't help when they bring out new versions every months.

We all have a budget we are willing to spend on our photography.  For some it is modest and others it may be pretty high but it's not infinite.   If you were limited to buying one thing that would make your photographs better, what would it be?  What one photography related thing would you spend your money on?

For me it's not something you can buy at Adorama, B&H or the local photography store.   It's that thing behind my eyes and between my ears.   My experience is that money spent learning is a much better investment than the latest gizmo, gadget, or software.   There are many ways to improve photography knowledge and skills.  You can take a class in a classroom or online.  You can read books.   For me the best was to learn is to attend a workshop with top notch leaders and other photographers that are interested in improving their photography.   It's like being immersed in a cloud of photography knowledge that you absorb just by being there. 

Before signing up for a workshop you should do a little research.  What is the objective of the workshop?  Some are more guided trips that get you to interesting places at the right time but don't provide any real instruction.  Make sure the instructors are familiar with the places you will be going.  All outdoor photographers know that the weather influences what you can take and when. 
Chuck in A Fog
You need an instructor who knows the area and can adjust the workshop plans to accommodate the weather.   You should learn if the instructor is a good teacher as well as good photographer.  I know some great photographers who are not strong teachers.  Your leader should be both.

I recently attended a workshop with His Light Workshops led by Bill Fortney.  Bill has a great team of instructors that are there to help and make sure everyone gets the most out of the workshop.   This was my third workshop with His Light Workshops and I have already signed up for another in July.   I've known Bill for a number of years and know he is a great teacher that is passionate about photography and teaching others.   In addition to his staff of instructors, Bill brings in special invited guest instructors.  We were blessed to have Matt Kloskowski on this workshop.  
Don't jump guys!

I've been to other workshops with other instructors and keep coming back to Bill's because he is a strong Christian who attract other strong Christians to his workshops.   It's not unusual to have prayer time before heading out.   It doesn't get much better than being in God's creation with great people who love the Lord.

Here's some more photos from the workshop in Palouse Washington,  Mount Rainier National Park, and Olympic National Park.

Looking for the best spot to shoot Palouse Falls

Workshop participants are all outstanding in a field

Going to the edge for the best shot.

What, me worry?

At the end of the week I had to say goodbye to old friends and new friends.   But I know I'll see them again in a future workshop.

The end of the day
I'm working my way through my photos from the workshop and also the prior week when June and I were in vacationing in the Washington and Oregon coast region.  Watch for other blog posts.

No comments:

Post a Comment