Jeff Zaruba and I arrived in Umbria a few days before the workshop began to scout locations with our Italian assistant Lorenzo. Those first couple of days were busy, but they were nothing compared to the non-stop action once the workshop began.
We had 10 students in the group and one of the students brought along his wife. On our first day of shooting, we went to a bed and breakfast we’d scouted a year ago. The location is extremely picturesque and Eleanora was all ready for us: The kitchen was set up for us to shoot while she prepared lunch, and she’d planned a wonderful menu.
Dennis Gray was introduced to photography right about the same time his father started sneaking him into the Stockton sport races in the trunk of his car—he was 14. “I got a Nikon F, one of the first ones they made in 1959, and at the same time, my father bought a go-kart that he and I raced. We were both gear heads,” recalled Dennis. “He snuck me into the races so he didn’t have to pay the $2 entry fee.”
Balancing your photographic pursuits with the ups and downs of daily life can be a difficult task. Keeping pace with a photography series requires not only dedication but also a clear direction to ensure building success. Here, workshop student James Clift talks about how creative assignments with concrete deadlines can help expand the horizons of the intermediate photographer.
Ever get up at the crack of dawn and haul out of the hotel/condo/AirBnb with a cup of coffee and camera and haul down to a beautiful beach or center of a quaint Eastern European city ready to take the perfect sunrise photography, only to be overcome with the feeling that it’s already been done? Here, travel photographer Jeff Zaruba offers five tips for turning the ordinary into extraordinary.
The Image Flow headed down to Big Sur for an all-inclusive weekend photography workshop shooting nude models and the rugged California coast, not to mention a tour of Ansel Adams’ private darkroom and a behind-the-scenes look at the Edward Weston estate. Stuart Schwartz offers a few words:
This is the first time we’ve held Big Sur Landscapes & Nudes, and you never know how a new workshop is going to go, so there’s always a bit of apprehension. But as soon as we got to the Center for Photographic Art in Carmel, CA, on Thursday, for a presentation of work by instructors Michelle Magdalena and Ken Parker and a motivational talk with Artistic Director Brian Taylor, it was pretty obvious it would a special weekend.
Emerging nature and landscape photographer Mary D’Agostino is as homegrown as much of her work. A busy executive by day, Mary used to spend her vacations painting wildlife, but in recent years, she has developed a passion for photography. She put herself through a “school of photography” taking workshops and classes at The Image Flow and started working one-on-one with Stuart. “I was doing projects and shooting a lot, and I would routinely bring my work in for critique from Stuart.”
Mary has also sought critiques from experts in the field of nature photography, which have been met with increasing success. “I’m fearless when it comes to finding people in the field of photography to evaluate my photographs,” she says.
On the cusp between student and teacher, Leanne Hansen discusses her career before photography, the importance of light, and finding her best images close to home.
“To make successful photographs, we need to understand all of the possibilities and variations for light.” Her new workshop The Language of Light for Photographers offers photographers the opportunity to explore and experiment with the different types, shapes, and colors of light.
Hendrik Paul straddles two worlds: He grew up in Mill Valley, CA, where he took his first photography class in eighth grade. He spent his free time hiking on Mount Tamalpais and soaking up the northern California landscape, but his roots are firmly planted on a 500-year-old farm in Germany.
“It’s such a different life from how we live, this small farming community, living off the land. The men went out and did the field work and the women did the cooking. It’s still quite antiquated compared to California or America,” says Hendrik.
Beautiful iPhone images by Michelle Grenier.