Archive for SNAP! Photography Seminars

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

2011 Tours and Workshops – Something for Everyone

Posted in Art of Photography, Artistic Development, Good News, Instruction, Techniques, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 26, 2011 by Darwin

Below is a listing of tours and workshops available for 2011 and into 2012. Their are only a few spots left in these events so if you want to boost your learning in photography then come join us for a great time:

Fire and Ice Photo Tour – November 10 – 13, 2011

This event is sold out but to be added to the wait list contact the Aurum Lodge or sign up for the 2012 photo tour. This is one of my favorite tours because of the short days with great light and the intersection of new ice with the fiery skies of late fall.

Just Announced! Do to popular demand we have added a second Fire and Ice as of Oct 10. Tour starts Wed. Nov. 16th 5pm to Sunday Nov. 20th 1:30 pm (four nights at Aurum Lodge!), with the option to join a day later (Nov. 17th) for those who cannot make the four nights, but wish to come for three nights only. Cost is C$ 1,359 for the four night tour or C$ 1,019 for the three night tour all in. Contact Alan at Aurum Lodge to book. Only two spots left

©Darwin Wiggett

Ice Bubbles on Abraham Lake – Winter Magic Tours 2012 – Feb. 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4, 2012

It seems that the Ice Bubbles out on Abraham Lake have now gotten a bit famous especially after my 2008 Travel Photographer of the Year Win which featured my Abraham Lake shots. I have taken many photographers out on the ice at Abraham Lake and now their great photos are circulating around and getting lots of views. I have been leading these tours since 2005 (see the results from back then when almost everyone was still shooting film!).

It might seem an easy proposition to just drive up to the lake in winter and get great shots on your own; and yes that is possible. But the ice bubble locations change from year to year, and most people are unaware of the extreme dangers of Abraham Lake and of the other great locations near the lake. That is where your guides (Alan who lives on the shores of Abraham Lake) and I can make sure we get you to the best spots in the best light no matter the weather. And plus you get the fantastic accommodations of the Aurum Lodge which is a nice retreat after a few hours out on the ice at -25 degrees C!

In 2012, there are two tours available; Feb 23-26, and Feb. 29 – March 4 (this latter tour is already sold out). So if you are keen to photograph Abraham Lake and other great spots this coming winter, then sign up for the Feb23-26 tour before it sells out!

©Darwin Wiggett

©Darwin Wiggett - could you find this place on your own?

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

©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

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.

A Little Birdy Told me a Secret!

Posted in Good News with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 6, 2010 by Darwin

Luckily I speak “White-Crowned Sparrow” 😉
My feathery little friend hinted that the next person to register for Harvest Moon will get something special.

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

Into the Field with the Pros

Posted in Good News, Photography Gear, Techniques with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2010 by Darwin

For SNAP! which was held on April 24 and 25, John Marriott and Samantha Chrysanthou and yours truly had a video made by Dave Barton. See what it is like to be in the field with the ‘pros’ 😉

The Daily Snap – April 16

Posted in The Daily Snap, Workshops and Seminars with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2010 by Darwin

©Darwin Wiggett

Speaking of seminars, if you want to improve your photography and spend some time in the mountains with Sam (she is just so cute… and smart) then make sure you sign up for the SNAP! Photography Seminar; Mastering Digital Nature Photography from Capture to Commerce in Canmore Alberta, April 24 and 25th. This is not hype or hyperbole, this thing is almost sold out… we have less than 10 spots left as of this morning–so act now–well you know the rest….