Seminars & Workshops

1-Day Seminars

"Nature Photography Field Techniques for a Digital Age"

Rod Planck has taken 28 years of field experience photographing nature and condensed it into this unique and intensive 1-day seminar. This instructional program follows the field process of nature photography—from the moment you find a subject that inspires you to the creation of an image that is properly exposed, razor sharp (where and when it needs to be) and dynamically composed with strong visual integrity.

Rod teaches field techniques that work for digital photography. You will discover new ways to explore and experience the wonders of the natural world from Rod's non-commercial perspective. Regardless of your skill level or imaging format this well organized and presented seminar will help you take your photography to a higher level.

Seminar Times:

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.: Registration
9:00 - 5:30 p.m.: Program Presentation

Seminar Schedule:

(Morning Session 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)

Program One: Thinking Digitally

This program begins with a quick overview of the basics of exposure. Rod will discuss the correlation between aperture, shutter speeds and the roll that ISO plays in modern digital photography. He'll also explore exposure modes and suggest which exposure mode is most useful for digital photography. The program will then transition into a discussion specifically about exposing RAW captures. Rod will illustrate the exposure requirements for RAW captures and how to get them quickly and consistently in-the-field. With this knowledge photographers can take full advantage of the benefits of RAW captures and do it with confidence. A minimal amount of post-processing of a RAW capture will be discussed and illustrated. Jpeg exposure will also be discussed during this program.

(This program deals with single exposure captures only. Other contrast control methods such as merge to HDR, exposure blending or the use of split neutral density filters will not be covered during the program.)

Topics Include:
  • Proper Exposure and Digital Capture
  • What is a Histogram?
  • Is There Really Such a Thing as a Bad Exposure in Digital Photography?
  • Correct Exposure for a JPEG
  • RAW Capture: Exposing to the Right
  • Which Exposure and Meter Modes to Use
  • Speed Up Exposure Compensation in Aperture Priority
  • Plus more...

Program Two: Photographing Insects, Spiders and other Small Creatures in the Wild

This program is devoted to the art of photographing small free roaming creatures (insects, spiders, amphibians and reptiles) in the wild while using natural light, fill and standard TTL flash methods. Rod uses stunning images and easy to understand instructions to explain what can be an arcane subject for many - flash photography. After hearing this presentation and following Rod's step by step instructions you'll be able to go out into the field and photograph free flying creatures with confidence. He'll also explain why flash is not always the best choice and when you should switch back to natural light.

Topics Include:
  • Lighting Insects, Spiders, Amphibians and Reptiles
  • Use One Flash or Two?
  • Natural Light: When to rely on it
  • Using Flash in the Standard TTL Mode
  • Standard TTL Flash: Quick Set-up
  • Controlling Exposure in Standard TTL Flash Mode
  • Using TTL Fill Flash
  • TTL Fill Flash Output Compensation: How much do you set?
  • TTL Flash: Quick Set-up
  • Equipment Suggestions
  • Plus more...
  • Lunch Break 12:00 - 1:30 PM

    (Afternoon Session 1:30 - 4:40 PM)

    Program Three: Composing World-class Images in the Field

    Program covers how to see and compose strong images in the field to eliminate the need to use the crop tool and other forms of image manipulation. During this program Rod will outline methods to refine your creative vision.

    This program is designed to give the photographer a better understanding of why certain compositions "work" and why some don't. This program would also be useful in the editing process. Even with the "instant feedback" of camera monitors many times photographers find during editing that some images are not satisfying compositionally. With the knowledge gained from this program you'll be able to get to the heart of why an image works compositionally or not.

    Another benefit of having an understanding of composition is that it will help you compose better images in the field therefore minimizing editing time afterwards.

    Program Four: Field Techniques

    This program will cover a variety of subjects. It will begin with a discussion on when it is best to use a tripod. He will also explain how to properly use Vibration Reduction (VR) or Image Stabilization (IS) while handholding the camera. Basic camera setup will be covered along with an in-depth discussion on setting up your camera for flight or action photography and which focus modes work best for this type of photography.

    Rod will also go into more detail about the use of apertures and aperture selection as a creative tool. The program will then move into the use of tilt-shift lenses along with how to use them to easily make panoramic images. He'll also go into the basics of making panoramic images.

    Techniques for using Nikon and newer Canon digital cameras in the field to make in-camera multiple exposures will also be covered.