Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The summer is upon us and excitement is in the air...

It has been a wonderfully busy season here in SW Florida, and as is the norm, as the temperature begins to rise, the pace of life begins to slow. This past week is the first week where I feel I've had a little extra time to explore some of my personal projects and goals (oh, and to finally clean up my messy office). One of my goals has been to give a little more attention to this blog and I hope to be doing weekly posts (maybe even bi-weekly, I know, now I'm talking crazy)! I have so many ideas that flow through my head, problem is they've usually dripped out before I am able to give them any attention. So, now I've written it down for all to see, and you know that anything online must be true.

I have a few summer plans on the horizon, but one in particular that I am getting very excited about. I have throughout the years tried to take as many "continuing education" classes as I can. If time and money were no obstacle, I would be perfectly content being a permanent student. But, since that is not to be, I try to squeeze it in when I get the opportunity. If you are anywhere from a budding photographer to a seasoned pro, I think taking these courses is one of the best things you can do to progress your skills and creativity. While I don't mind working on my own, the nature of photography (especially architectural photography) can be very solitary. You have to take it upon yourself to interact with other photographers and to get and give feedback. I have been working in this area for five years and I am ashamed to say that I have met a scant few of my local industry professionals.

Anyway, I have taken several NAPP courses throughout Florida over the years. These are usually in a large auditorium with hundreds of people, with subjects ranging from Photoshop, to Lightroom, to lighting techniques. The courses are usually taught by renowned photographers in the business and are well worth the $99 fee. I have also made use of many of the online workshops available, most of them offered for free. Two that I have taken are through Creative Live and also OnOne. Again, I have usually always gained some piece of information that made it well worth my time. I also attended the PDN PhotoPlus Expo in NYC a few years ago with the opportunity to take several specialized seminars.

However, I have never taken a very intensive course, one that is one-on-one with the instructor, out in the field, and over a multiple day range so that you could really absorb all the information. I have looked for such a course over the years, but never really saw what I was looking for, or shall I say, could never really justify spending the money because a lot of the courses weren't necessarily in my area of interest. A few months ago, I came across Santa Fe Workshops and I immediately knew that I had found what I was looking for. I will be taking the weeklong Architectural Photography course, taught by Hedrich Blessing photographer, Nick Merrick. The best thing about the course (other than the aforementioned aspects) is that it is not geared to beginners but to architectural photographers with an established portfolio. So, I will be with 13 other established architectural photographers from across the country (plus, Nick Merrick, and he has to at least count for two on his own!) for a whole week completely immersed in all things linear. Sounds like a dream to me!

I am really looking forward to it and I'm sure I will blog more about it as details arrive, and of course, I will give updates on my experience there.

And because I can't post without a photo, here's a Miami skyline photo I shot while visiting a few months ago, just for fun.