2014 Workshops and Tours
This tour is being taught by Dave and I, but registration is through the Yosemite Conservancy.
On the Monument Valley Tour, 14 November 2009.
Dave Wyman has just posted the tentative 2014 schedule. I attend and instruct many of these with him, as you'll see in his listings.
To register and for any questions, click the links, or call or email Dave Wyman at (323) 377-7565 in Los Angeles. Dave is often out leading other tours, so he's not always sitting by his phone or computer. I instruct, while Dave organizes these tours
Dave Wyman is the author of at least three books about travel and photography: Yosemite in Photographs, Backroads of Northern California and Backroads of Southern California, all so popular they've sold out.
Dave just won a fat cash prize in a very popular photo contest — shot on his iPhone!
Dave has been leading outdoor hiking, educational, camping, historical and photo trips for decades.
These sell out fast, so if you're going to go with us in 2014, don't dawdle.
These are both tours and workshops.
A tour is when a guide takes you to the right spots at just the right time to get great pictures.
A workshop is when you spend most of your time in a motel watching people work on computers.
In our case, we're out shooting all day. Instead of wasting the day indoors talking about color profiles or raw converters, you can get all the hands-on individualized instruction you'd like — or not — while we're all out shooting something worthwhile. This way you can learn what really matters in the best possible place to learn it: while you're still out shooting.
If all you want to do is shoot; great! We're out shooting from dawn to dark, and we don't get up any earlier than we have to to catch the dawn. We've got this down.
We do get together when we get back in the evenings for the occasional short educational talk or review of images, but since we'll be up before dawn shooting the next day, we don't stay up late.
If you want a drinking tour, this isn't it. If you want a shooting tour that gets you the most and best possible images, and/or if you want to learn more about your gear and how to use it well, this is it.
We're happy to teach you anything and everything related to workflow, image preparation and publication, monitor calibration, storage, backup and everything else computer related if you ask, but remember, you'll be spending time actually making pictures on these tours instead of just talking about it.
Professional photographers come on these tours to create the images that they'll sell later, and these same pros keep coming back with Dave.
These tours are so good that I see about 30% of the people are repeat attendees.
On Dave's tours, we come back with a lot of great pictures, and you can learn as much or as little as you'd like to about your camera, composition, lighting, interpolation matrices, RealRaw, White Balance settings, or anything you'd like to know.
If you just want to shoot fantastic subjects in great locations, we'll leave you alone so you can enjoy the tour.
Like all outdoor and scenic photography, we start with a basic itinerary, and optimize it on-the-fly as weather and lighting conditions change. This is how we get to the best locations in the best light.
Since most of any instruction you'd like is one-on-one, these are great for people of any level. Of course many attendees are experts, who spend all their time shooting. The good news is that Dave and I are available to you for whatever you'd like to learn, and I usually do give one short talk about the key fundamentals of composition and how to make strong images that stand out, win contests and catch everyone's eye.
I'm glad Dave and I worked to get this schedule up this soon for 2014, since some attendees come to these tours lucky enough to have received them as gifts from loved ones.
Bring any kind of camera. Most people shoot Nikon and Canon DSLRs, while others shoot RealRaw. Bring anything you want, but we probably move too fast for most large-format (4x5" and up film) shooters, which is why Dave didn't suggest that. As you can see at the shot above from one of our trips the other week, tripods usually only come out at night, or if you shoot ISO 50 film as I often do. Once we work one location, we're on to the next location.
DSLR Video Class
There's a series of DSLR video classes coming around the USA and Canada this fall.
It's called DSLR Dynamics and if you're interested, here's a highly classified secret code to get a 15% discount: KENROCKWELL (one word).
No, I won't be teaching it and I haven't attended personally (but I might go to check it out); they called me and I think it's something that some of you may find interesting.
Marc tells me that they are very shortly announcing 2014 workshops in Greece (May) and Scotland (October). Ask about them here or call (917) 854-8118.
Marc's work has been everywhere, including National Geographic, and he's only one of the leaders of his workshops.
Speaking Engagements top
I don't organize my own trips. I teach when others invite me to events they have planned, like Dave's tours above.
I had the time of my life for a week in Italy in October 2003 when the Politechnico di Torino invited me to teach at their summer program. I volunteer to give presentations a couple of times a year through volunteer organizations like the Sierra Club.
Please ask if you'd like me to address your group, whether it's graduate students at Oxford, a class of excitable first graders, the local Police or Fire department or your local photo club or charitable organization.
The biggest gotcha is bribing my wife to let me head out so she can hire babysitters; that's why I have to get paid if it's anything commercial.
Jay leads workshops in New York City.
Jay is among the the best of the world's best photographers. Jay is a living legend, having been an internationally recognized icon since as I recall the 1950s, and he's still going like gangbusters today.
Like most of the world's best photographers, his formal degree is in painting, having studied under Josef Albers at Yale.
I had no idea he offered much in the way of workshops, and it looks like he runs a few each year. Most photographers on his level can't afford to run workshops because they are run ramshackled shooting $30,000-a-day jobs, so I'm impressed that Jay takes time out to offer these at all.
I've admired Jay's work for decades, and I learned more from sitting in on a 20-minute talk about what really matters in photography than I learned in many years of reading books, websites and magazines.
God only knows how much you'd learn taking one of his 5 full day workshops.
For instance, few photographers have any idea of what negative space is. If you don't either, you had better take one of Jay's workshops (or enroll in a university art degree program), because it's half of your picture!
Jay doesn't waste your time with irrelevant nonsense like Photoshop: Jay teaches you how to look, how to see and how to evaluate your work so you can improve continuously. You'll shoot digital in these workshops, but that's so everyone can see what you're doing while you do it. You'll be learning to take great pictures, not twiddle with software. Check out his workshops! Tell them I sent you.
To quote Jay: "The more equipment you take, the fewer pictures you'll take."
Frans Lanting Workshops, Santa Cruz, California.
I've admired Frans Lanting's work for decades. He now offers some workshops in Santa Cruz.
If you don't read National Geographic Magazine, where I seem to see his wildlife photos illustrating articles every other month, you've probably seen him on TV, or seen his work showing off Nikon's cameras in their brochures, like for the Nikon F5, or seen some of his many books on your coffee table.
Frans is the master's master of wildlife photography.
To sign-up, contact:
Frans Lanting Studio
Tel: (831) 429-1331
and of course mention to Jessica that you heard about these workshops here.
Bird ace Steve Cirone specializes in private instruction in San Diego. I've known Steve since the 1990s.
Steve is different: he'll let you shoot using his gear like his Canon 800mm f/5.6 and 1Ds Mk III. If you don't want to haul your birding gear to San Diego, you don't have to. Heck, with Steve, you get private lessons and don't even need to buy a camera!
See these shots? These aren't his life's best; they were what was on his screen to send me when I asked him for something to share here, since he hasn't been in National Geographic — yet.
A Black skimmer ejecting accidentally snagged eel grass. A photographic first. They are fish eaters. No veggies!
Steve is out every dawn shooting birds, and has made the most incredible bird shots I've ever seen. What makes Steve's work special is that he's able to capture birds actually doing things with each other, while in motion, while in awesome light.
I've seen Steve teach. He's a riot! He's able to explain everything in the funniest and simplest possible terms. Steve isn't out trying to sell you idiotic exposure calculators with 259 different scenes and exposure compensations. Steve gives it to you straight!
Phase-One's PODAS workshops are pricey, and fancy. They pick you up at the airport, drive you around to everything, feed you, and have already made reservations and paid for your hotels. All you do is get there; everything else is included. Phase One even supplies you with the finest P65+ camera to use for the workshop; you need not bother bringing your own.
Phase One, and its workshops, are for those who have outgrown LEICA and demand something better.
Phase One is the standard used in today's best commercial photography. If you're hiring someone for $20,000 or $30,000 a day, he's probably shooting a Phase One back on his Hasselblad or Contax.
When we were at Roy's on Route 66 the other month, a crew of about 6 was setting up all day for a serious commercial shoot for International Trucks. Lo and behold, I asked, and yes, they were using the Contax 645 Camera and a Phase One medium-format back.
Holy Moley, when I found the link to International Trucks, the shot of Roy's is in the rotation of images!
Commercial shoots are like Hollywood: fake. Big trucks don't travel Route 66 past Roy's anymore, and they don't use chase cars to shoot moving trucks, either. The camera is rigged to the truck, then a long exposure is made while the truck inches forward at walking pace.
Anyway, if classy workshops and the best gear in existence is your cup of tea, check them out. Remember, though: fancy cameras won't guarantee great photos. Great photos come from your imagination.
The truck shoot was unrelated to the workshops; it's just an example of a high-dollar shoot I saw using Phase One.
I'd love to go on one, however it looks like they run close to the same times as my own workshops this year.
If you want to master the world's finest equipment, take a PODAS workshop, and tell them I sent you. I have yet to be on one of these, but as I understand them, they are luxury workshops with the emphasis on indoor learning over outdoor shooting. There is time spent indoors on the computer for those who want to learn processing, profiling and printing as well as time outdoors shooting.
If you want to learn to take great pictures with whatever you already have, take Jay's workshop below. Better, take them all!
Other Tours top
These are personal friends who organize these trips, as well as do great photography.
My photographer friend Paul Renner is always leading trips to Africa.
Paul was born and raised in Tanzania, speaks Swahili, and spent most of his childhood chasing or running away from wild animals.
I suggest my friend Jim Cline's tours of Latin America, Asia and southeast Asia.
I've known Jim for years and he really takes the time to do the forward research for his trips. Every time we get together it seems he's just gotten back from a scouting expedition in advance for his next trip, in other words, Jim has probably been down there the month before the formal trip to check everything out before you go.
Jim has been all over Latin America for a long time. He's not one of the usual guys who just lets you pay for his vacations; Jim puts a lot of work into these tours!
Another friend I've know for decades is humanitarian photojournalist Karl Grobl.
Today Karl spends most of his time today documenting the efforts of humanitarian organizations throughout Asia, Oceania and Latin America. He's usually away on assignment for weeks at a time, but keep checking to see if he has anything recreational planned. He'll get you places for which you'll need to consult an atlas. If you want to get places no one has been before he's your guy.
See what he has planned here.
Paul, Jim and Karl are accomplished, published, multiple award-winning photographers skilled at getting in and out of the right locations at the right time, are articulate and a lot of fun with whom to travel. I've been all over with all of them and wish I had the time to do more!
Isle of Skye, December 2010. Photo by Bruce Percy.
Bruce Percy is a Scottish Photographer who's work has been used by National Geographic Traveler magazine (Patagonian images), the Sir Edmund Hillary foundation in New Zealand, and Fujifilm UK amongst others.
He has weekend and 5 day photographic workshops running throughout the year in the highlands and islands of Scotland.
Photos from Previous Workshops top
17-23 October 2013: California's Eastern Sierra.
17-19 February 2013 (Sunday~Tuesday): Route 66 Trip!
These two trips are taught by Dave and I, however two different organizations are doing the registration.
If you're coming out for one, definitely join us for both. Photos from last year.
Southern California Photo Weekend: August 11 & 12, 2012
Great news: Dave Wyman and I are leading a photo weekend on Saturday and Sunday, August 11 and 12.
Come spend a vacation weekend, and bring the family. Your spouse and kids can go have fun in the sun while we go explore the best Southern California has to offer. Unlike most of our photo outings, you don't have to go alone on this one, since we'll be dead smack in the middle of where half the world dreams all year of vacationing. We'll be someplace the rest of the family will love, so they can come with you and go do their own thing (like Disneyland) while we go shoot each day.
Specifically, we'll be halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles in southern Orange County and northern San Diego County. This gives us the best access to the state's most scenic locations, and it's easy to get to from LAX or SAN, or just fly straight into John Wayne Airport (SNA) in Orange County.
We'll be at or close to the beach, so it should be very pleasant.
Dave's off leading other trips in Yosemite this week so he won't be back to answer questions or register anyone until Monday, July 30, but mark your calendars and we'll see you there! Dave's at (323) 377-7565 or firstname.lastname@example.org, but remember, he's off leading another trip this weekend and not by his phone or computer.
12-15 April 2012: California's Central Coast en Plein Air (Thursday-Sunday).
02-04 March 2012: Olde Southern California (Friday-Sunday).
03-05 February 2012: Route 66 (Friday-Sunday).
17-20 November 2011: Yosemite for Serious Photographers (no DSLRs).
Dave Wyman and I are running a new trip to Yosemite in November, but only for seriously serious shooters. This means you're free to bring any sort of camera, except a DSLR. That's how we're defining serious.
This shot was made earlier this year with a 1963 LEICA M3, exposure set with LEICAMETER MR-4, 1957 LEICA SUMMICRON 50mm f/2 with close-focusing range, f/8 at 1/125, 39mm LEITZ Or orange filter, no tripod, frame 25 of roll 1 of Kodak T-Max 100.
Dave wanted to do an "alternative process" trip where the crazier you or your camera, the better. Dave and I tried to figure out how to define "alternative" process, and we didn't want to say "iPhone and pinhole only" or whatever, so the best we could dream up is simply NO DSLRs. Once we struck out DSLRs, what's left is all cool.
I was just kidding about wet plates since we'll probably be moving too fast for large format cameras, but we're serious about no DSLRs on this tour. Dave and I run enough tours for DSLRs, so bring your Canon S100, your kid's camera, your Mamiya TLR, Mamiya 6 or whatever, and be ready to make some great snaps with some even more exceptional shooters.
Digital cameras are fine for this trip, and so are any sort of SLR, just not a digital SLR. Bring anything and everything else.
02-06 November 2011: Neon, New Mexico, Arizona and Route 66 (2-6 November 2011)
26-28 August 2011: Monterey and the Central California Coast.
This was a unique photography workshop and bicycle tour of Yosemite.
14-17 April 2011: Plein Air (Outdoor) Photography along California's Central Coast. Photos.
Dave brouhgt along our own caterer and we enjoyed a few freshly-prepared French bistro meals, as if the Central California Coast in springtime wasn't enough.
The trip started with the San Luis Obispo Farmer's Market, about which which my wife some years ago remarked was "the best thing she had ever done with me."
17-20 October 2010: Autumn in Yosemite. (Sunday through Wednesday.)
This tour is run each year by The Yosemite Association, and is taught by myself and Dave Wyman.
Call (209) 379-2317 (ext. 12, ask for Pete) for registration.
This tour runs right after the Yosemite trip above, and many people join us for both trips. These two trips are extremely popular and sell out months ahead of time.
Cancelled due to family: 06-12 November 2010: The American Southwest: Northern New Mexico.
Rancho de Taos, New Mexico, from 2008's tour.
26-29 August, 2010: Point Reyes National Seashore and Tomales Bay. (Thursday through Sunday)
Tomales Bay, as seen during last year's trip.
17-21 June 2010: California's Central Coast: San Luis Obispo to Big Sur. (Thursday through Monday.)
16-21 April 2010 (Friday night through Wednesday night.)
GOLDRUSH!, Highway 49 and California's Gold Country.
12-14 February, 2009: Route 66: Barstow, California.
14-17 February, 2009: Route 66: Barstow, California to Kingman, Arizona. (Sunday evening - Wednesday morning.)
2009 November: Monument Valley.
Thursday through Sunday, October 22-25, 2009: Bodie and the Eastern Sierra.
2009 August and September
Sunday evening through Wednesday morning, 30 August - 2 September, 2009: Point Reyes.
2009 April: Lands of Fire and Ice: Exploring the Backroads of Northern California
Dave Wyman and I will see you again, Friday through Wednesday, April 17-22, 2009. More info.
2009 February: Route 66
Friday through Sunday, 6-8 February 2009. More info.
Second Route 66 Photo Tour, February 8-10 2009 (Sunday-Tuesday): The first Rt. 66 photo tour this year was an instant sell-out, so to give more people the chance to make it, Dave Wyman added a second Rt. 66 photo tour which still has some openings.
The Route 66 Workshop, January 25-27 2008.
California's Eastern Sierra, October.
Thursday through Sunday, October 18-21, 2007: Bodie and the Eastern Sierra.
Stoneman Meadow, Yosemite National Park, October.
Monday through Wednesday, October 22-24, 2007: Autumn Light Photography in Yosemite National Park, California. I'll be helping teach this workshop sponsored by The Yosemite Association. Also see more about it here.