Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Columbia River Gorge - Spring Workshop

Sorry for slacking on the blog lately. Things have been been busy around here. One recent event was a 4 day workshop Kevin McNeal and I lead in the Columbia River Gorge last week and into the weekend. It was great and we had a group that was so eager and hungry to learn, and just get out photographing the sights that there was little downtime. Everyone was around the same level out of the gate which helped moved things along as well.

On a side note we all know Murphy's Law "Anything that can go wrong..." well I had this happen just before I was to meet Kevin and our group of participants. Driving in the Gorge just outside of Mosier my Subaru overheated out of nowhere which left me stranded on the side of I-84. Ended up warping a couple head gaskets is what I would find out a day later. This happened only 45 minutes before we were supposed to start and I was 30 miles in the wrong direction! I have had this car for 3 years and over 50k miles and this is the ONLY time it has failed me. Go figure! Everyone was really understanding. What could I do anyway. Kevin picked me up at the tow shop and we got things underway 1.5 hours late. We made up for it though with a great time!

Speaking of great time I will post a testimonial we received from one of our participants, Miles. I could not have come up with a more humbling and grand testimonial if I hired someone to write one. It means a lot to me when we can really make a difference like this. Here his experience in his own words followed by a couple images of his taken during the workshop and one I took of the group photographing in the Columbia Hills, Washington.

"Several days have now passed since our Columbia River Gorge Workshop has ended, and I've barely taken time out from editing the images to sleep. There are events in life that become epic memories based on their ability to be educational, inspirational, and completely fulfilling. When my family and friends ask how the workshop went, I tell them that it was one of the greatest experiences of my life.

When we all first met, you asked us what our goals were for our photography. Several of my fellow students indicated an interest in becoming professionals. My goals were perhaps less ambitious, but certainly no less lofty, considering my meager talent. All I wanted was to improve enough to be published on an extremely high quality fine art website. This may sound trivial and basic, but to me, it is what I have chosen to use as the benchmark to let me know that I've become a "good" photographer. My previous 20 submissions had all failed miserably, almost all rejected out of hand, without making it through first screening. It is with an incredible amount of pride that I can announce to you that one of the images you helped me learn to capture got published this morning.

It is only now, that I've gotten that obsession out of the way, that I can truly appreciate how valuable your Workshop is. You have taken me to some of the most amazing scenes in the world, right here in my own back yard, that I would NEVER have known existed. But arriving at these beautiful vistas doesn't mean much if I can't capture it with my camera to bring back and share with other people. To be immersed in photography with two Masters of the craft for 4 days is an experience worth FAR more than the extremely reasonable fee I paid to go on the Workshop. I had limitless questions, and each one was answered... carefully, thoughtfully, and enthusiastically. The willingness that you both showed me to share your ample tricks of the trade left me speechless - and a MUCH better photographer. I always felt safe, I always felt happy, and I could actually sense how much I was learning. Probably the best compliment I could pay you is that I came home and immediately signed up for the Oregon Coast Workshop you are running in a few months.

Thank you doesn't really begin to cover the things I want to express to you about our experience together. You are both world-class photographers; that is evident from your portfolios. But what people can't see from looking at your pictures, and what they wouldn't know if they didn't go out on a workshop with you, is that you are world-class teachers as well. I could not be more pleased with the results from the workshop, and for the first time in my life, I'm truly proud of the photos that I've taken. Thank you for giving me that experience.
All the best,


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love these pictures, especially the one with the long exposure! Very Nice!

2:43 AM  

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