Archive for John Marriott

Beyond the Trophy

Posted in Art of Photography, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 1, 2011 by Darwin

Samantha and I just got back from the SNAP! Photography Seminars ‘Weekend Workshop’ with John Marriott which, based on the feedback forms was a great success. We had a wonderful group of talented photographers ranging from absolute beginners to semi-pro shooters. Because our location was based in the heart of Banff National Park near Lake Louise it was hard for photographers not to wish for ‘good light’ for the sunrise and sunset shoots. Good light to most of us means richly-coloured skies and warm light skimming across the peaks. Well, the weather did not co-operate with these expectations and we were mostly met with overcast skies.

The problem with expectations is that they blind you to other opportunities which can lead to thrilling images. On the last day of the workshop we all went to Lake Louise at sunrise. Of course, there was no sunrise but instead it was cloudy, then fog rolled in, and then it started to snow. There was some grumbling about the ‘crappy’ light but where some people saw a curse of bad luck, others found inspiration. There really is no such thing as bad light (just bad attitudes ;-)). Below are two images made from the ‘crappy light’ that morning at Lake Louise that show that photographers with an open mind can create amazing images no matter what the conditions.

These two photos were the images that John, Sam and I felt were the most compelling of the weekend (all made in the ‘worst’ light by the way). To us these were refreshing and novel images of Lake Louise. How many more pink alpen-glow images need to be made from here anyway? To see more work by each photographer simply click on their photos. Watch in the future for new workshop offerings from Samantha and myself and new offerings from John Marriott.

©Wojtek Zlobicki

©Rosana Ramos

Two Openings for SNAP! Weekend Workshop – Oct 27-30, 2011

Posted in Good News, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by Darwin

We’ve had a couple of cancellations for the SNAP! Photography Seminars Weekend Workshop with John E. Marriott, Samantha Chrysanthou and yours truly coming up on October 27 – 30, 2011. This means if you are able to take advantage of a last minute opportunity, then now is your chance!  The workshop sold out early this year, leaving a few disappointed photographers out there – our apologies!  So don’t hesitate if you are interested.  The workshop, based out of beautiful Baker Creek Chalets near Lake Louise, is geared toward beginner to intermediate shooters. We cover topics ranging from artful compositions to useful filter techniques with plenty of constructive critique throughout the weekend.  A combination of class and field time ensures that you get to practice your new skills, and a low instructor-to-student ratio guarantees all your questions will be answered!  (If you have questions about the meaning of life, John Marriott will be happy to answer them!!). For more information on the workshop and topics covered visit the SNAP! website. To register contact Baker Creek Chalets.

We hope to see you at the workshop!

©Darwin Wiggett

SNAP! Baker Creek Photography Seminar, October 2011 almost sold out!

Posted in Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 23, 2011 by Darwin

For anyone interested in signing up for SNAP! 2011, note that that as of today (June 23) there are only a couple of  spots left. This event will sell out so don’t delay if you want to participate. As a reminder about what SNAP! is all about – read on:

If you’re ready to learn about photography in an intensive long weekend workshop (Thursday through Sunday) under the guidance of top instructors John Marriott, Samantha Chrysanthou and yours truly, then this weekend workshop October  27-30th, 2011 might just be the ticket. Check out what is on offer:

  • We’ve got gear for you to try out! That’s right – Sigma Canada is bringing lenses for us to play with in the field to see if any of the lenses fit your shooting style and budget.
  • We also have a sample filter pack from Singh-Ray if you want to try your hand at grad filters, polarizers or Vari-ND filters
  • You get 7 hours of classroom instruction  where we cover lens choice, filters, composition and design, camera controls and other topics. All three instructors are there for your burning photography questions. You can also network with your fellow shooters and get the inside scoop from industry leaders.
  • You get over 20 hours to practice your skills in the field in the world class scenery of Banff National Park, Alberta. Being able to practice what you learn immediately after a class room session is a powerful reinforcement for new skills. And best of all your instructors are always there to help you with any problems or questions in the field. We are there to assist you, we are not there to shoot our own images!
  • You benefit from instructor critiques of your images both in-class and in the field. A low student-instructor ratio (only 24 students!) ensures you aren’t competing with your fellow participants for help or assistance with any questions you may have at any time.
  • Did I mention the lodgings yet? Last year’s participants raved about the quality of the food at Baker Creek Bistro and the comfort of the accommodations at the Baker Creek Chalets. Our price includes meals and room and board, so there are no hidden fees to calculate and no extra work in booking your spot.  Bring your spouse — give him or her a vacation with our incredibly low special spouse rate! (contact Baker Creek for more information).

To learn more about this fun event go to our SNAP! Photography website where you can download the information PDF for a schedule and prices. If you have any questions about this event please email us at snapphotoseminars@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

©Darwin Wiggett

The Weekly Photo and Two New eBook Releases

Posted in Books about Photography, eBooks, Good News, TCBlog, Techniques, VWBlog, Weekly Photo with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 30, 2011 by Darwin

Below is an image taken during the spring of 2008 at the Columbia Icefields in Jasper National Park that I finally got around to processing.  Yikes, gotta get caught up!

The cool thing is that the longer I wait to process images the more likely I am to delete most of the photos from the shoot. After several years, my objectivity about the images is much higher and I realize that most of the photos I make actually suck! Only those images that are a tad different or say something that I haven’t said before are likely to survive the ‘aged’ editing process.

The image below was one of the few survivors. I took this image with my Canon EOS-1ds Mark III and a Canon 24mm TS-E lens (the original version). I liked the grungy look and enhanced that look by converting the image to a textured black-n-white (and then toned blue) with Silver Efex Pro 2. Any one interested in buying this software (which I am a huge fan of) can get 15% off if you use the code darwin on checkout.

©Darwin Wiggett

Speaking of the parks and the mountains and melting glaciers… I am happy to announce two new eBook releases. I have just released my latest eBook over at How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies. This latest book is a big compendium of all the great places to go in Banff National Park – check it out! You’ll need this eBook if you plan a visit to Banff National Park because it directs you to all the best spots in the the right light and in the correct season (over 50 locations are discussed).

And if that isn’t exciting news, then this is; my good friend and Canada’s best wildlife photographer, John Marriott has  written an eBook for all of us Canadian Rockies fans. Check out The Icefields Parkway: Wildlife Edition

Here is more good news. I am offering a 20% discount on these $10 eBooks if you buy 2 or more eBooks by June 7 (midnight MST). Just use the code LLTL on checkout. This is the last time you’ll get this big of a discount. Going forward the standard discount will be 10% but only if you buy 5 or more eBooks.

And finally, if you want to share images you have taken in the Canadian Rockies, be sure to post them to the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies Flickr group. Why bother? Well, I will be there to comment on your photos and also I will pick out a great photo once a week to feature on the How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies website!

Finally thanks to Stephen Desroches for his amazing hard work designing these eBooks and building the website and of course thanks to Samantha for her great editing job and moron (oops… I mean moral) support. Happy shooting!

Workshops and Tours – Something for Everyone

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2011 by Darwin

With the official arrival of spring (at least on the calendar if not in the weather), it’s time to think about investing in your photography. Whether you are looking for an intensive instructional workshop, access to unique photo opportunities, or a combination of both, Samantha and I have come up with a number of options that will tickle your shutter bug.

Spring Photo Tour in the Canadian Rockies, May 30 – June 4, 2011 with Darwin Wiggett

This intensive photo tour to grab the best that the Canadian Rockies has to offer is based out of the Aurum Lodge in the Bighorn Wildlands. This tour has been sold out for a long time but, due to a recent cancellation, there are now two spots available. This will be the last spring tour that I am going to lead in the Canadian Rockies. So if you want to see the iconic spots and secret stops and spend full days outdoors absorbing the best scenery that Banff, Jasper, Yoho and the Bighorn Wildlands has to offer, then join me on this epic adventure. Please note that this is tour and not an instructional style workshop. Cost $1639 per person (single) includes accommodations, meals and guiding. For more information see here or the Aurum Lodge website.

©Darwin Wiggett

SNAP! Photography Seminars – Weekend Workshop at Baker Creek, Banff National Park, October 27 – 30, 2011

For those of you looking for a workshop and not a tour, there is still some space available in the SNAP! Photography Seminars Weekend Workshop.  This workshop caters to beginner and semi-advanced nature photographers who are seeking to make an investment in their passion for photography all the while based out of a world-class mountain lodge.  Samantha and I have teamed up with John Marriott to present this, our second annual event at Baker Creek.  Under the guidance of three pro photographers, you will master advanced camera controls, refine your eye for composition and benefit from extensive critique of images made during this intensive, fun-filled weekend.  For more information and a sample schedule, head on over to the SNAP! Photography Seminars website. The workshop is value-priced at $1395 (double occupancy) and includes meals, accommodations and workshop fees (plus we offer a killer, low non-photographer spouse rate!).

Light Matters Masterclass – Creative Expression Photo Workshop, November 2 – 6, 2011

For those of you looking for something different, consider Light Matters Masterclass.  This unique, mentor-ship style workshop is designed for advanced amateur and semi-pro photographers who desire to learn about the dynamic balance between the three fundamental pillars of creative expression: craft, art and profession. This workshop is an intensive learning experience designed for photographers poised to move into the realm of visionary photographer. We have teamed up with Royce Howland and the Aurum Lodge in the heart of the Canadian Rockies to create this one-of-a-kind workshop experience. We are only accepting nine students, so don’t delay with this exclusive opportunity.  For more information please go here. Cost is $2745 per person  and includes all instruction, accommodations and meals.

©Darwin Wiggett

 

JUST ANNOUNCED!!

Gaia Nudes – Nudes in the Landscape Photography Workshop, August 12 – 14, 2011

Samantha and I have created a unique opportunity to photograph nudes in the landscape on a private ranch 30 minutes west of Calgary, Alberta. Our sessions are limited to six photographers working with three models to ensure you achieve your photographic vision. Included is a 2-hour instructional seminar and two, 4-hour shooting sessions.  You will learn to pose models and compose  dramatic images that celebrate the human form in both stunning natural landscapes and on the ranch site with old buildings and cars. All property releases and model releases are included so you can use your images commercially.  To learn more about this  rare opportunity to combine a love of the landscape with an aesthetic appreciation of the human form, check out Samantha and my new Gaia Nudes website and the Gaia Nudes Workshop page.  Cost is $995 per photographer. We anticipate this workshop will fill up fast!

 

©Samantha Chrysanthou

 

Ghosts and Gullies Photo Workshop 2011 (dates July or August TBA)

Last year’s Extreme Saskatchewan was a popular and amazing event and we have had numerous requests to repeat the tour because everyone loved the access to old cars, farmsteads and awesome landscapes of southern Saskatchewan. The costs, logistics and the timing of the tour preclude doing the event every year. But for this year, we have found a great location just two hours from Calgary that offers many of the subjects so loved from the Saskatchewan tour. If there is enough interest we will organize and host this event which will likely include the following:

  • all meals, accommodations and instructor fees (a Thursday through Sunday event)
  • accommodations in a provincial historic site
  • access to historic old buildings and preserved pioneer town site
  • a photo session in an auto wrecker’s yard
  • landscape photography of badlands, gullies and natural areas
  • photography on private ranch land
  • instructional sessions, critiques and assignments

We are accepting only a small number of participants (8-10). We estimate the cost (accommodation, meals and fees) of this three day workshop to be around $1295 (a bit less for double occupancy). We understand that it might be short notice to run the event this summer, so we are canvasing for demand!  If you are interested in participating and are available this summer on either July 21-24 or August 24-28, 2011 email me and let me know!  Deadlines for serious inquiries is March 23 at midnight MST; first come, first served. We will only run this workshop if we have enough interest; otherwise, watch for it for next year!

©Darwin Wiggett

SNAP! Weekend Workshop, Banff National Park – Oct 27-30, 2011

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Photography Gear, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2011 by Darwin

If you’re ready to learn about photography in an intensive long weekend workshop (Thursday through Sunday) under the guidance of top instructors John Marriott, Samantha Chrysanthou and yours truly, then this weekend workshop might just be the ticket. Check out what is on offer:

  • We’ve got gear for you to try out! That’s right – Sigma Canada is bringing lenses for us to play with in the field to see if any of the lenses fit your shooting style and budget. We are also working on getting some other sweet goodies to play with so stay tuned!
  • You get 7 hours of classroom instruction  where we cover lens choice, filters, composition and design, camera controls and other topics. All three instructors are there for your burning photography questions. You can also network with your fellow shooters and get the inside scoop from industry leaders.
  • You get over 20 hours to practice your skills in the field in the world class scenery of Banff National Park, Alberta. Being able to practice what you learn immediately after a class room session is a powerful reinforcement for new skills. And best of all your instructors are always there to help you with any problems or questions in the field.
  • You benefit from instructor critiques of your images both in-class and in the field. A low student-instructor ratio (only 24 students!) ensures you aren’t competing with your fellow participants for help or assistance with any questions you may have at any time.
  • Did I mention the lodgings yet? Last year’s participants raved about the quality of the food at Baker Creek Bistro and the comfort of the accommodations at the Baker Creek Chalets. Our price includes meals and room and board, so there are no hidden fees to calculate and no extra work in booking your spot.  Bring your spouse — give him or her a vacation with our incredibly low special spouse rate!
  • We always bring plenty of prizes to give away during the workshop. We have a $250 gift certificate from our sponsor, The Camera Store for the first person to register (sorry, taken!) and a personal portfolio review by John, Samantha and me for the 7th person. (Can’t reveal if this one is taken yet…). Plus there are always more goodies given away during the weekend.

To learn more about this fun event go to our SNAP! Photography website where you can download the information PDF for a schedule and prices. If you have any questions about this event please email us at snapphotoseminars@gmail.com

©Darwin Wiggett - Herbert Lake, Banff National Park, Alberta

SNAP! Photography Seminars Weekend Workshop – 2011

Posted in Inspirations, Instruction, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 4, 2010 by Darwin

Samantha Chrysanthou, John Marriott and yours truly are happy to announce another SNAP! Photography Seminars event for 2011. We are returning to Baker Creek Chalets, October 27-30, 2011 to present an in-depth workshop style program with 7 hours of instruction and critique and over 20 hours of practice in the field. Imagine learning  photography surrounded by some of the finest scenery in western Canada under the watchful guidance of three of Canada’s best photo instructors. You’re sure to come away with new skills to ramp your photography up a notch. We will cover how to objectively evaluate your work, strengthen your compositions, use filters in the field to make better in-camera captures, master Live View, and get creative with lens choice and camera controls. Meals and accommodations included and we have a killer low spousal rate, so you can treat your loved one to a relaxing holiday while you learn and practice photography. Only 24 participants, so don’t wait.

Check out the photos below that were made by past participants in this workshop at Baker Creek. And cruise over to John’s blog to see more photos from our assignment “opposites attract’ (December 4th entry). As a wee incentive to get you to sign up early, we have a $250 gift certificate from The Camera Store in Calgary for the first person to book a spot, and a private 20 image portfolio critique by Samantha, John and me for the 7th person to sign up. For more information and to book your spot check out our pdf on the SNAP! Photography Seminars website.

©Dan Wotton

©Eric Bartlett

©Karen Ho Fatt

©Lee Sacrey

©Nicole Norris

©Richard Fenster

©Robert Skoye

©Sandy Pokorny

Photo Tour vs Photo Workshop

Posted in Artistic Development, Good News, Inspirations, TCBlog, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 28, 2010 by Darwin

Note: To see all future posts please note this blog is no longer active, please visit me over at oopoomoo.com

Photo tour vs photo workshop:  which one is right for you?

The answer depends on your style because the two products are very different beasts.

The reason why I pose this question is because I have met people on my photo tours who will receive more bang for their buck on a workshop, not a tour, and yet they find themselves adrift on my intensive, results-based tours.  I think the difficulty lies in part with definitions.  A photo tour is usually a photo-intensive outing designed to put photographers in great locations in the best light. These tours are about photography first and instruction second. The reason why you pay a fee for these kind of tours is because the photographer has spent the necessary days or months to scout the best locations and photo opportunities and plunks you perfectly into those conditions. You are paying for the pro photographer to be an excellent guide, reading the light and doing the background research to get you where you need to be for maximum results.  These tours are aimed at advanced amateurs and semi-pros looking to flesh out their portfolios or maximize their take from a given area.  They are not for those who are looking to understand camera controls, the basics of photography or some general goal of ‘improving their craft.’

©Darwin Wiggett - Photo Tour result - a trophy shot in great light

On the other hand, a photo workshop balances classroom instruction with field application.  You will probably have a seminar or two (or more, depending on how long the workshop lasts) that provides you with lessons on how to shoot followed by practical time outdoors implementing those lessons.  There is more formal teaching involved with a workshop compared to a tour because the emphasis is usually on learning first and photographic opportunity second.  Which style of learning — tour or workshop — depends on you, and it is critical that you know what you are looking for in order to get the most value from your experience.

Workshops should stretch you to see beyond the obvious

Sometimes pro photographers try to combine the best of both worlds by offering a workshop/tour combo. In my opinion, doing a combo package is very difficult to do well. The two styles really do not mix well. I suggest that, if you plan to sign up for one of these ‘all in one’ packages research it carefully to find out how the tour part and the instruction part compliment one another. Otherwise beware of the ‘we do it all’ packages.

Personally, I do both tours and workshops but no combos. Here is what is currently on offer:

Photo Tours – For tours, my greatest reward is getting people to places they would not get to on their own and in perfect conditions with appropriate light. I have been doing these kinds of tours in the Canadian Rockies for 7 years. No matter the conditions, I know where to go to find subjects that match the quality of the light.

Photo Workshops – Recently, I have been doing more workshops with other photographers.  I find that having at least two instructors on a workshop results in a higher quality of instruction overall. Not only can two or more instructors get to everyone’s questions, the different styles of the instructors compliment each other.  One specialized workshop I teach with Samantha is aimed at Camera Clubs.  Called PhotoCram Weekend, we teach photographers the fundamentals of photography through an immersive, weekend workshop. that is tailored toward the Club’s needs. (Any Club interested in having us come out to teach members new skills please contact us). I  am also a founding member, along with Samantha and John Marriott, in the Snap! Photography Seminars series. These workshops are broadly designed to give you the most bang for your buck; we cover a wide variety of topics through both class seminars and practical time in the field. The next workshop is the Harvest Moon Photo Weekend in late October this year and it is aimed at beginner to semi-advanced shooters.   Check out our  PDF here. I think there are still a few spots left.

One of the ‘holes’ in the photo workshop arena is for the advanced or semi-pro shooter who has mostly mastered the craft of photography but needs to expand his or her artistic vision and professional presentation. In photography there are three pillars to being a master. A fine photographer has learned to balance equally the craft (technique and tools), the art (vision and expression) and the profession (external presentation) of photography. I am part of a team of photographers, along with Samantha Chrysanthou and Royce Howland, who is offering an intensive, immersive photo workshop designed to help photographers grow in all three of these areas. We are looking for only nine photographers this November for this novel workshop, so space is extremely limited.  To find out more, simply download the information pdf or watch our Light Matters Master Class: Creative Expressions video trailer below.  If you know of a friend who might be interested, help us find our nine photographers by passing this link along. These nine photographers will come away from the weekend transformed (we promise).

In the end, I have tried to develop a workshop or tour out to match your needs and skill level. Hope to see you soon.

Prizes Announced for Harvest Moon Workshop Registrants

Posted in Good News, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2010 by Darwin

Hi all! Just a quick note to inform you of new prizes we have for those who plan to sign up to our Harvest Moon Photo Workshop on Oct. 21-24 in Banff National Park. We are encouraging early registration for the event so that we get the rooms we want for our participants, and we have placed a cap of 30 participants to keep a small instructor-to-student ratio. Baker Creek is holding our rooms until September 15th but can’t guarantee spots for participants after that date. So here is your incentive not to wait until the last minute to sign up!  Get free stuff just for registering.  We’ll announce the winners at the workshop.

1st person to sign up gets a 20 inch canvas print from Darwin (that’s me) worth $350 (We already have a winner for this one!)

13th person to sign up gets a $250 gift certificate from our sponsor, The Camera Store in Calgary plus a copy of my sold-out book How to Photograph the Canadian Rockies.

27th Person to sign up gets a $250 gift certificate from The Camera Store in Calgary.

For more information and to download a PDF about the event see this link. And remember to tell a friend!

©Darwin Wiggett - Herbert Lake, Banff National Park

Harvest Moon Photo Workshop

Posted in Good News, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 30, 2010 by Darwin

The most common comment I get from photographers is that they want to participate in a workshop that has a winning combination of class time and field time.  Well, we aim to please!

Although technically the harvest moon is in September, we are offering a weekend photo workshop in October (Oct 21-24, 2010) when the moon is in its full glory, and well… we liked the name Harvest Moon (you know, it reminds of us of Neil Young, great music, and iconic landscapes).  I think a tour like this, when it is well done, is the best way to improve your photographic skills in one, concentrated weekend.  There aren’t many of these kinds of workshops in Alberta with a landscape focus, and especially not many with 3 pro photographers at your beck and call.

So apart from its uniqueness, what else is so special about this workshop? Check out these three reasons below:

  1. Three awesome instructors! No, this is not hype — I have seen both John Marriott and Samantha Chrysanthou in action teaching and they are really fine instructors. As far as yours truly… well at least I’m good company in the bar after the photo shoots ;-).
  2. We want you to master the craft of photography, plain and simple. To do this, we give you in-depth classroom instruction (5 hours) and then you get three pros on hand to help you one-on-one in the field (for nearly 20 hours of shooting time) and  in some of the most stunning scenery in western Canada (Banff National Park in Alberta).
  3. We cover topics such as How the Pros Approach a Scene, Mastering  Composition and Design, Light Painting and Night Photography, The Artful Critique, professional critiques of your images and lots of help in the field. And of course we can address any questions you have in the field from filter use to picking the right aperture to how to use live view. Got a problem area with technique? Let us help you find the solution!
  4. You get to stay in one of the nicest lodges in the Canadian Rockies (Baker Creek Chalets) and the price includes all meals and accommodations. Plus we have negotiated a killer low spouse rate (in case your non-shooting partner wants to come and hang out in the lodge — easier to convince them to let you go if they get to have a vacation at the same time!). See, we thought of everything!

So, if you want to take your photography to the next level and be inspired by great scenery and good company in a fine lodge atmosphere, then this workshop might be for you. For more information and instructions on how to register, check out our detailed PDF But don’t delay!  We are only taking registrations until September 15, 2010 and of course the number of registrants is limited. And note there are some nice prizes for early registrations!

And finally for a wee taste of some of the stuff we plan to cover in the workshop  see this article by Sam and me on  Simple Light Painting Techniques.

©Darwin Wiggett