Bryan Peterson Oregon Workshop
About a month ago I was able to take a three day photography workshop with Bryan Peterson of Understanding Exposure, Learning to See Creatively, etc, along the Oregon coast. This was an early birthday present, that came up pretty much last minute. I had never been on anything like this previously so I really did not know what to expect. I had a couple of goals for the workshop. First just get out and concentrate on my photography for a few days. Second, push photography out of my normal comfort zone.
Since this was my first photography workshop, I really did not know what to expect. As Bryan mentioned in his email to me about the class, the Oregon workshop is know as the vagabond workshop, since we go where ever the light is good.
The group all met at the Portland Airport, since most people taking the workshop including Bryan and Chris Hurtt (the other instructor) were coming in from out of town. It was a great group, we have a total of 11 people. We all piled into two minivans, and headed to Lincoln City, OR, since the weather was going to great at the coast. We were truly lucky on the weather front, Brian mentioned that in the last 8 Oregon workshops, they never made it to the coast due to rain. ##Getting out of my comfort zone## One of my main goals of this workshop was to learn new techniques. Not only within the types of photographs I normally take, but push myself to try forms that I had not spent much time at. There were several things that Brian and Chris had us work that were pretty new to me.
I had never spent much time shooting macro photography at all. Sure I would take my normal lens out and photograph some flowers in the yard while the kids were playing, with varying results. Since during this workshop you spend at least 6-7 hours per day out shooting, there is only so many landscape angles you can get.
I rented the Canon 100mm f2.8 macro lens, from LensRentails.com (more on renting lens online in another post). Shooting Macro definitely took me out of my comfort zone. First off, seeing a shot in macro is much more difficult for me, it is something that Chris helped me work on over the weekend. Additional there is more technical challenges to getting a great macro shot. Most of the time I found myself laying on the ground trying to get a specific angle on a blade of dew covered grass as a light breeze is moving the blade as if it is in a hurricane. Since your depth of field is so shallow in macro photography it helps to blast off several shots to ensure you have one that is in focus. I have a good bit of work to do in this area, but I now have a much higher respect for good macro shots, and am interested in continuing shooting macro.
###Motion Photography### Each morning, we would usually end up on the side of the road with Bryan showing us a technique. One area that I had never spent much time on was various ways of introducing motion into my shots. I can’t say I took any shots I really like, but it did open my mind to ways to handle motion.
##Taking time in one spot## Another thing I learned over the weekend was that if you focus on getting shots in one location you will find thing to photograph that you never would have. I think many amateur photographers go out to a location, take the shots that are obvious then move on to another location. I know I have done this in the past. Several times over the weekend we would show up a at location and shoot there until the light changed. That could be 2-3 hours. It is amazing what you can find to photograph if you spend 3 hours in the same location. So I learned not to rush from one location to the next, take time and look for thing that you never thought of, chances are you are going to find a new angle on something that no other photographer has ever seen. ##Learning from others## Doing a workshop with Bryan Peterson and Chris Hurtt was amazing, it was great to be able to pick their brain on how to see creatively and get the correct exposure in various conditions. But the other benefit of having 10 other students at the workshop was that we all had various levels of experience and were able to learn from each other.
I am still working on processing shots from that weekend, I took over 1600 shots. Between working on this new version of my site, work and family, I am way behind. But the workshop was a great experience and I am hoping to publish several shots from my trip soon in the new Gallery I am setting up on my blog.