One of the questions I am asked most is how do I capture the images I do. The simple answer is knowing what camera settings to use in each situation and being able to adjust them quickly to the changing conditions as I shoot. After receiving several requests regarding group nature photography workshops, I found a venue that would allow for both an in-class indoor portion as well as a natural outdoor area with plenty of wildlife for implementing these techniques in a practical setting.
“It was a great workshop Paul! I’ve had a quick look at my photos and notice a big improvement in sharpness!! Thank you for the great tips!”
“Paul did a great job on covering what you need to know to get started with good results, and to build a plan to practice and improve
“This workshop took the guessing out of what to do with all the buttons. The environment was fun and casual. Paul is a fantastic teacher; his words will guide you as your hands and eyes capture the beauty of nature!”
Most of the fall nature photography workshops for November are full, with a couple of spaces remaining for Sunday, November 26, 2017. If you are interested in participating, please contact me to register and secure your spot. Unable to make it on the 26th? I may add a few dates in early December if there is enough interest to warrant booking the venue as I know December is a busy month for many people. If participating in a December workshop is something is you are interested in, contact me and I will look into booking the space.
Private one-on-one instruction is also available and I will be hosting a variety of other workshops in the new year, including those geared toward birding. Please keep an eye on my Upcoming Events page for future workshops or contact me to be added to the list to be among the first notified.
Monday, November 6, 2017, marked the first fall nature photography workshop at The Hive, where I shared tips and techniques to help participants achieve better results from their camera and lens. One of the key points I emphasize is investing the time to learn and understand how to properly operate your current gear is more important than investing in more expensive equipment. Quality results have much more to do with the photographer than they do the price tag on your camera and lens.
Each workshop is limited in size to allow for individualized attention and on this day six participants took part. The first half of the workshop took place indoors where we discussed everything from achieving proper exposure to selecting the optimum camera settings for a variety of subjects including birds, butterflies, and landscapes. Participants were encouraged to take notes to use as a guide moving forward, so they can reference the material later and refresh their memories as they implement and practice these techniques on their own.
After ensuring everyone had a basic understanding of the information covered, we headed outside for the second hour to apply these techniques to practical situations. In an effort to guarantee birds for the participants to photograph, I placed a couple of feeders on the south side of the property the week prior in hopes of bringing our feathered friends closer. This typically is not my shooting style as most of my images are taken while hiking at area parks, ESAs, and conservation areas. However, for the purpose of the workshop I wanted to ensure we had a few subjects as many of the participants were using lenses in the 200-300mm range.
Immediately upon exiting the building we were greeted by the sounds of several bird species, including American Goldfinch, Black-capped Chickadee, Downy Woodpecker, and Blue Jays. As we made our way over to the feeders, we could see a flurry of activity as birds came and went. Gathering around the feeders, we were presented with great opportunities to photograph the previously mentioned birds while a pair of Red-tailed Hawks circled overhead. I answered further questions from the group, observed and made recommendations on shooting techniques, and reiterated many of the points covered inside as they applied to the day’s shooting conditions.
As the group continued to take photos, I was happy to begin hearing feedback as many of the participants could see improvements as they reviewed their images on their LCD screens. There was a lot of material covered on this day, so I advised the group to implement one technique at a time and practice it until they were comfortable before moving on to another one. Understanding these concepts lays the foundation for achieving the results you want. Improving your photography skills, like anything else, is really contingent on practice. The more you practice, the easier it becomes and the more you will improve.
I was really fortunate to have such a great group of people attend the first workshop. It was a pleasure to finally meet many of those who have been loyal blog and social media followers over the years. Sharing my tips and techniques is something I really enjoy, and hearing such great feedback really means a lot to me.
Once again thank you to everyone who came out for today’s workshop. It really was a pleasure to meet each of you and share my tips and techniques to help you improve you nature photography.